Category Archives: National Weather Event (Past/Ongoing/Future)

Powerful storm system bringing unusual weather to Christmas day…

A very strong storm system will be moving northeastward from the Rockies toward the Northern Plains today.  In advance of this system, a very warm and moist air mass has moved northward across Oklahoma.  The Midnight temperature Christmas morning in Okarche was 56 degrees.  The temperature rose to 65 degrees by 6 am – and the dew point was also 65 degrees!  Strong south and southeast winds have been gusting to between 40 and 55 mph across the state.  These are conditions that one would expect to find in the middle of May!

The most significant impacts from this storm system are going to remain north of the state.  A deep cyclone will be tracking from western Nebraska to southeast North Dakota, bringing full scale blizzard conditions to the Dakotas.  As the warm and moist air moves northward, there will be a risk of severe thunderstorms over Kansas and Nebraska.

In Oklahoma, there will also be a low end risk of severe weather this afternoon.  A dryline will be moving rapidly eastward across  the state today.  A narrow line of thunderstorms is expected to form along this feature which will be approaching the Okarche area between 1 and 2 pm.  There will be sufficient moisture and low level shear to support a couple of instances of damaging winds with the storms.  In addition, any sustained area of rotation along the line would be capable of producing a brief tornado.  Even outside of the thunderstorm line, winds will be quite strong across the state today with gusts to 50 mph not uncommon.  As dry air moves into western Oklahoma behind the dryline, fire danger will increase to near extreme levels.

For the record…

Thunder has not been recorded in Okarche on Christmas day before.

The record high low temperature of 50 degrees would be set given the low so far this morning of 56 degrees.  However, temperatures by Midnight will have fallen into the 40′s which will keep that from occurring.

Also, the record high of 74 degrees is not likely to be reached as temperatures with extensive cloud cover will top out around 70 before precipitation arrives.

All in all, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember weatherwise.

Hurricane Matthew (5:30 am / Oct 7, 2016)

… Hurricane Matthew remains a strong category 3 storm …

… Worst weather likely to remain offshore …

In the U.S., a Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts from Jupiter Inlet to South Santee River.

At 5:30 am, Matthew was located about 45 miles east of Titusville, Florida and moving to the north northwest at 13 mph.  There is the possibility that the storm will never make a U.S. landfall, thus keeping the worst of the weather offshore.  Maximum sustained winds are still near 120 mph, and the minimum pressure is 938 mb.  However, the greatest wind gusts observed overnight across the coastal areas of Florida have only reached between 70 and 80 mph.  A steady weakening is now forecast.

The forecast track of Matthew continues to be precariously close to shore through the next 36 hours, and the closest approach may be to South Carolina (not counting skirting Cape Canaveral at the current time) Saturday afternoon.  By that time, sustained winds are forecast to be less than 100 mph, reducing the chances of a devastating impact.

Hurricane Matthew (7:30 am / Oct 6, 2016)

… Dangerous Hurricane Matthew category 3 and strengthening …

… Preparations to protect life and property in Florida should be rushed to completion …

In the U.S. – A Hurricane Warning is in effect from north of Golden Beach Florida to Altamaha Sound Georgia, including Lake Okeechobee.  A Hurricane Watch is in effect from north of Altamaha Sound to South Santee River South Carolina.

Hurricane Matthew is located about 215 miles southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida.  It is moving northwest at 12 mph.  Maximum sustained winds are 125 mph and the minimum pressure has fallen rapidly overnight to 940 mb.  Winds are just now responding to the falling pressure and further strengthening will occur today.  Matthew should be a powerful and dangerous category 4 hurricane when it begins to impact Florida.

The eye will begin to approach West Palm Beach around 2 am on Friday, but don’t focus solely on the eye as tropical storm force winds will begin to affect southeast Florida later this morning.  Between 2 am Friday and 2 am on Saturday, the eye will be moving northward along or near the Florida and southeast Georgia coast.  It appears that at least some part of the eye will be crossing over part of the Florida coast, especially near Cape Canaveral.  The path that Matthew is taking will expose a very large area of the coast / possibly several hundred miles / to hurricane conditions.

Hurricane Matthew (7 am / Oct 5, 2016)

… Hurricane Matthew remains strong category 3 storm …

Hurricane Warnings are in effect from Haiti northward across most of the Bahamas.  In the U.S., a Hurricane Warning is in effect from Golden Beach to Sebastian Inlet and includes Lake Okeechobee.  A Hurricane Watch is in effect from Sebastian Inlet to Fernandina Beach.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Chokoloskee to Golden Beach… Florida Keys from Seven Mile Bridge eastward… and Florida Bay.

After interaction with land, Matthew has weakened slightly over the last 24 hours.  Maximum sustained winds are 115 mph and the minimum pressure is 964 mb.  Some strengthening is likely over the next 48 hours as the hurricane tracks across warm waters and through an environment of weak shear.

Reliable model guidance is now showing the track of Matthew will come very close to the coast of Florida.  Hurricane conditions may start impacting southeast Florida by early evening on Thursday, then spread northward through Friday as the storm tracks north northwest.

Beyond Saturday, model guidance has started coming up with some interesting scenarios concerning Matthew.  The hurricane may not make landfall in the Carolina’s as earlier expect.  It’s possible that steering currents do not kick the storm completely out into the Atlantic either.  Some solutions suggest that the storm will turn back to the southeast and south, and possibly make another run at the Bahamas and Florida next week.  It is still much too early to tell where Matthew will end up over the weekend and next week.

Significant impact storm / January 21-24, 2016 / 2016 #1 (Closed)

A deep upper low will be tracking across the southeastern part of the country over the next 72 hours, producing a variety of dangerous weather conditions.

Severe thunderstorms will be possible today (Thursday) and Friday from east Texas to western Georgia and the Florida Panhandle.  The greatest risk of tornadoes extends from far southeast Texas to southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southwest Alabama and the western part of the Florida Panhandle.

An extended period of freezing rain from this evening to Saturday morning may result in crippling ice conditions from central North Carolina southwestward into South Carolina and northeast Georgia.

Heavy snow will be occurring from southern Kentucky to New Jersey.  The heaviest snowfall will begin Friday afternoon and continue through much of the weekend.  Areas around Washington DC will be under a Blizzard Watch from Friday evening to Sunday morning where snowfall over over a foot will be possible.  Mountain areas of western Virginia and eastern West Virginia are likely to see over two feet of snow.

UPDATED 1:12 PM CST JAN 21:

Severe thunderstorms developed this morning over east Texas.  One storm capable of producing a tornado and golfball size hail has crossed into Louisiana just north of Bancroft.

UPDATED 4:10 PM CST JAN 21:

Tornado Warnings in red.

Tornado Warnings in red.

Strongly rotating storm approaching Gatesville, Mississippi.

Strongly rotating storm approaching Gatesville, Mississippi.

There has been a big increase in the number of rotating storms over central and southern Mississippi and southeast Louisiana.  Many Tornado Warnings are in effect.

UPDATED 8:00 AM CST JAN 22:

The winter related impacts are starting to kick in this morning.  Heavy snow is currently falling across Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia.  Forecast snow amounts have increased and now nearly two feet of snow is forecast for Washington DC.  Blizzard warnings have been expanded and now cover parts of southeast New York, New Jersey, southeast Pennsylvania, northern Delaware, northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC.

UPDATED 2:37 PM CST JAN 22:

Freezing rain is falling across northern Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.  Moderate to heavy snow is occurring from northern Tennessee and central Kentucky to the Washington DC area.  As the event continues to ramp up, there are areas that are likely seeing 2+ inches per hour snowfall rates.  The highest storm totals will be between two and three feet by the end of the weekend.

UPDATED 10:00 PM CST JAN 22:

The Blizzard Warning has been extended a little farther north across southeast Pennsylvania.  Very heavy snow is falling in and around Washington DC, and this snow extends north across New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  The heaviest snow has been coming to an end across Tennessee and Kentucky.

UPDATED 8:44 AM CST JAN 23:

The surface low off the Mid-Atlantic coast has deepened rapidly overnight.  Blizzard conditions extend from southern New York to Washington DC.  As expected, there have been some very impressive snowfall rates and accumulations.  Some places have been seeing rates of over three inches per hour.  The highest snowfall totals have now likely exceeded two feet in some areas.  As of 7 am, here are some CoCoRaHS observations from the state of Maryland:

UPDATED 2:43 AM CST JAN 24:

Snow is winding down across eastern New Jersey and Connecticut.  There should only be a couple more hours before all precipitation has moved offshore.  Snowfall totals are coming in and forecast amounts of 24 to 36 inches look pretty spot on.  There are more than a few jaw dropping amounts approaching 40 inches.

Storm total snowfall for Central Park, New York was 26.8 inches.  This was just 0.1 of an inch short of the all time record set February 11-12, 2006.

...RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM SNOWFALL SET AT PHILADELPHIA...

A TOTAL OF 19.4 INCHES OF SNOW FELL AT THE PHILADELPHIA
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ON SATURDAY, ESTABLISHING A NEW RECORD FOR THE
DATE. THE PREVIOUS RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM SNOWFALL FOR JANUARY 23 WAS
11.9 INCHES SET IN 1935.

IT WAS THE 5TH GREATEST CALENDAR DAY SNOWFALL AT PHILADELPHIA WITH
THE TOP SPOT BEING HELD BY THE 27.6 INCHES OF SNOW THAT FELL ON
JANUARY 7, 1996.

THE TWO-DAY TOTAL FOR THIS STORM WAS 22.4 INCHES AT PHILADELPHIA
WHICH IS EXACTLY EQUAL TO THE CITY`S NORMAL SNOWFALL FOR THE ENTIRE
SEASON.

THE TWO-DAY STORM TOTAL WAS THE 4TH GREATEST ON RECORD FOR
PHILADELPHIA DATING BACK TO THE 1870S. THE GREATEST TWO-DAY TOTAL
ON RECORD WAS 30.7 INCHES IN JANUARY 7-8, 1996.
...RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM SNOWFALL SET AT ALLENTOWN...

A TOTAL OF 30.2 INCHES OF SNOW FELL AT THE LEHIGH VALLEY
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ON SATURDAY, ESTABLISHING A NEW RECORD FOR THE
DATE. THE PREVIOUS RECORD DAILY MAXIMUM SNOWFALL FOR JANUARY 23 WAS
7.7 INCHES SET IN 1966.

IT WAS THE GREATEST CALENDAR DAY SNOWFALL AT ALLENTOWN, REPLACING
THE 24.0 INCHES THAT FELL ON FEBRUARY 11, 1983.

THE TWO-DAY TOTAL FOR THIS STORM WAS 31.9 INCHES AT ALLENTOWN WHICH
IS A NEW RECORD, AS WELL. THE PREVIOUS RECORD TWO-DAY SNOWFALL TOTAL
WAS 25.6 INCHES SET ON JANUARY 7 AND 8, 1996.

ALLENTOWN`S NORMAL SEASONAL SNOWFALL OF 32.9 INCHES WAS ALMOST
EXCEEDED BY THIS ONE STORM.

OFFICIAL WEATHER RECORDS FOR ALLENTOWN DATE BACK TO 1922.

ALSO, THE LIQUID EQUIVALENT PRECIPITATION TOTAL AT THE LEHIGH VALLEY
INTERNATIONAL WAS 1.65 INCHES ON SATURDAY, ESTABLISHING A RECORD FOR
THE DATE. THE PREVIOUS RECORD DAILY PRECIPITATION TOTAL FOR JANUARY
23 WAS 1.39 INCHES SET IN 1983.

OTHER RECORDS FOR THE EVENT (1/23/16 UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED:

555

A couple images from my friend, Mike who lives in Washington DC:

 

Hurricane Alex? Why not?

As goofy as everything else has been this winter, we might as well throw a hurricane in the mix.   Hurricane Alex is moving quickly (north northeast at 20 mph) over the northeast Atlantic.  Hurricane Warnings are in effect for Faial, Pico, Sao Jorge, Graciosa, and Terceira in the central Azores.  Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Sao Miguel and Santa Maria.   Maximum sustained winds are 85 mph.

Alex is the first hurricane to form in the month of January since 1938 (it was an unnamed storm).  In 1954, Hurricane Alice formed in December, and remained a hurricane into January, 1955.  Originally thought to have formed in January, the 1954/1955 hurricane was given the name Alice as the first named storm of the year.   Post-storm analysis showed the storm actually should have been named as the last storm of 1954 which would have given the system the name, Irene.  The decision was made not to change the name, and as a result, 1954 is the only season to have started and ended with two storms having the same name.  The first Hurricane Alice formed in June of 1954.

Severe weather outbreak – December 23/24, 2015

A deepening trough of low pressure has its axis over the High Plains early this Wednesday morning.  Very strong mid level flow is entering the back side of this trough with 80 to 100 knot 500 mb winds extending from northern California to Arizona.  In response, deep surface low pressure has developed over southeast Colorado.  The trough will become negatively tilted over the next 18 to 24 hours as it swings northeastward across the Mississippi Valley.  The wave will be passing over the Great Lakes by Thursday morning.

Low level moisture has been streaming northward on an increasing low level jet and MUCAPE between 2000 and 3000 j/kg now covers much of east Texas and Louisiana.  Thunderstorms have already developed over the Ark-La-Tex, and this is in an environment very conducive to rotating updrafts.  The first Tornado Watch for this event is already in effect, and there will be more over the next 36 hours.

Parameters favorable for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes will increase further on Wednesday.  The appearance of the forecast soundings is one of strong low and deep layer shear and seasonably strong instability.  Confidence in a major outbreak of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes is high.

Through daybreak, severe thunderstorms capable of all facets of severe weather will develop in waves from Arkansas southeastward to the Florida Panhandle.  This activity will spread northeastward toward western Tennessee during the afternoon, and redevelopment of severe thunderstorms will be likely over Arkansas and Louisiana.  By mid-afternoon, the severe weather threat will expand toward the Ohio Valley as the deep surface low accelerates toward the Great Lakes, and an intense low level jet becomes established from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes.

There will be at least some severe weather threat extend into Michigan during the early morning hours of Thursday.  Meanwhile, severe thunderstorms will continue from southeast Louisiana northeastward to the Tennessee Valley.

Isolated severe thunderstorms may continue into Thursday afternoon over the Southeast U.S. and Mid-Atlantic region.

Current indications are that a few strong or violent tornadoes may occur on Wednesday over portions of eastern Arkansas, northern Mississippi, western Tennessee, western Kentucky and southeast Missouri.