WeatherNation Blog

Blizzard Warnings, Thunderstorms, and Flooding

Blizzard warnings and winter storm warnings are ongoing for Montana this morning, with the advisories scheduled to last through tomorrow morning. A sample warning from the region looks as follows:

BLIZZARD WARNING
Issue Date: 506 AM MDT TUE APR 28 2009
Expiration: 600 AM MDT THU APR 30 2009

…BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM MDT THURSDAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GREAT FALLS HAS UPGRADED THE
WINTER STORM WARNING TO A BLIZZARD WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT
UNTIL 6 AM MDT THURSDAY.
SNOW…HEAVY AT TIMES…WILL CONTINUE TO FALL OVER THE ROCKY
MOUNTAIN FRONT AND THE ADJACENT PLAINS THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT. BY
THURSDAY MORNING…EXPECT STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL AMOUNTS OF 15 TO 20
INCHES OVER THE PLAINS…AND 2 TO 3 FEET IN THE MOUNTAINS.
CURRENT FORECAST MODELS INDICATE THAT VERY HEAVY SNOW WILL OCCUR
THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH TONIGHT…WHEN SNOWFALL RATES COULD
APPROACH 2 INCHES PER HOUR. SNOWFALL…COMBINED WITH NORTH WINDS
OF 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH…WILL CREATE BLIZZARD
CONDITIONS AT TIMES…WITH VISIBILITIES REDUCED TO LESS THAN ONE
QUARTER OF A MILE AT TIMES.
THE SNOW IS EXPECTED TO BE HEAVY AND WET…CAUSING WIDESPREAD AND
SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS TO LIVESTOCK…TRAVEL…POWER TRANSMISSION…
AND ALL OTHER OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. EXTRA PRECAUTIONS SHOULD BE
TAKEN FOR THIS STORM…ESPECIALLY FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH
TONIGHT.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…
A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS
AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT
CONDITIONS…MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF
YOU MUST…HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU…INCLUDING AN
EXTRA FLASHLIGHT…FOOD…AND WATER. IF YOU GET STRANDED…STAY
WITH YOUR VEHICLE.
$$

More severe thunderstorms are in store for the plains today after 5 tornado reports were received from yesterday’s activity. Today the SPC has issued a slight risk in their convective outlook category running from Fort Stockton, TX through northeastern Nebraska. Very respectable hail is definitely in the cards today, especially in Texas as those familiar with the Floydata to Childress region are well aware, which is also where I would place the best odds for tornado development today, although as usual with this type of setup anywhere from odessa through the garden city corridor has good odds.

Our Rivers & Lakes Center is going nuts with flooding across the country this morning with 12 gauges showing major flooding, 45 with moderate flooding, and 82 with minor flooding. Today’s rains will only add to the furor as heavy precipitation falls across the nation.

Please be sure to view our Advisory and Radar Centers for the latest updates and developments.

As always stay tuned to your favorite weather outlet, stay informed, and stay safe!

cheers,

–patrick

More Severe Thunderstorms & Monster Snow

image Last week we forecast severe storms for the weekend which formed as predicted. As of the time of this writing there were 31 storm reports of funnel clouds / tornadoes, 346 hail reports, with the largest of  4.25” in Grant County, Oklahoma, 177 high wind reports of varying intensity with the most common occurrences in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Severe storms will continue for the next few days ranging from the southern plains to the Great Lakes States as the Storm Prediction Center has issued slight risks for each of the next three days. Strong winds and tornadoes will be possible each of the days with the increased potential for very large hail.

We still have the potential for snow as the end of April approaches with a new system entering the Pacific Northwest. Over the next few days impressive accumulations will occur in Montana especially, but also in North Dakota, portions of Idaho, and Wyoming. Winter Storm Warnings have already been issued in Montana for the approaching system, forecasting accumulations of up to two feet of snow in elevated terrain. A sample warning is below for your convenience:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREAT FALLS MT
540 AM MDT MON APR 27 2009

…MAJOR SPRING STORM TO IMPACT MONTANA THIS WEEK…

.A STRONG SPRING STORM WILL IMPACT ALL OF MONTANA THIS WEEK. A
LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL DEEPEN ALONG THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST COAST
TODAY AND TONIGHT…THEN IT WILL MOVE INLAND AND STALL OUT OVER
THE REGION…BRINGING ABUNDANT PRECIPITATION AND COOLER
TEMPERATURES THROUGH MOST OF THE WEEK.

MTZ011>014-045-047-050-051-272100-
/O.UPG.KTFX.WS.A.0009.090428T1200Z-090430T1200Z/
/O.NEW.KTFX.WS.W.0009.090428T0000Z-090430T1200Z/
HILL-CASCADE-CHOUTEAU-CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN LEWIS AND CLARK-
LIBERTY-BLAINE-JUDITH BASIN-FERGUS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…HAVRE…GREAT FALLS…BIG SANDY…
FORT BENTON…HELENA…LINCOLN…CHESTER…CHINOOK…STANFORD…
LEWISTOWN
540 AM MDT MON APR 27 2009

…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 AM
MDT THURSDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GREAT FALLS HAS ISSUED A WINTER
STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW FOR MOST OF NORTH
CENTRAL AND CENTRAL MONTANA…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS
EVENING TO 6 AM MDT THURSDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER
IN EFFECT.

FOR TONIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT…TOTAL SNOWFALL AMOUNTS OF 8
TO 15 INCHES ARE EXPECTED OVER THE PLAINS OF NORTH CENTRAL
MONTANA…WHILE 7 TO 12 INCHES ARE EXPECTED IN THE VALLEYS OF
CENTRAL MONTANA. IN THE MOUNTAINS…1 TO 2 FEET OF SNOW ARE
EXPECTED. THE SNOW IS EXPECTED TO BE HEAVY AND WET…CAUSING
WIDESPREAD AND SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS TO LIVESTOCK…TRAVEL…POWER
TRANSMISSION AND ALL OTHER OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES.

NORTHEAST WINDS OF 15 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH WILL ALSO
CAUSE AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW…WHICH WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO
LESS THAN ONE MILE AT TIMES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MEANS
SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING.
SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL
DANGEROUS. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE…WHICH WILL CAUSE
REDUCED VISIBILITIES. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU
MUST…KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT…FOOD…AND WATER IN YOUR
VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

FOR SPECIFIC ROAD AND TRAVEL CONDITIONS IN MONTANA…DIAL 5 1 1.

&&

$$

Please be sure to view our Advisory and Radar Centers for the latest updates and developments.

As always stay tuned to your favorite weather outlet, stay informed, and stay safe!

cheers,

–patrick

Stormy Weekend Ahead, More Snow For The Rockies

 

image

 Things have been generally quiet the last few days on the severe thunderstorm front, but will pick up again Friday and over the weekend as our split flow will become amplified providing reasonable dynamics for development. Areas from the central plains to the western Great Lakes states have the potential for severe thunderstorms with the forecast dynamics and shortwaves, especially if sufficient convective temperatures can be met.

Snow is also on the horizon over the next few days in the central and northern Rockies. While advisories have not been issued as of yet, some respectable totals are expected Thursday and Friday in southern Montana, and northwestern Wyoming as upslope flow will be a predominant feature.

Please be sure to view our Advisory and Radar Centers for the latest updates and developments.

As always stay tuned to your favorite weather outlet, stay informed, and stay safe!

cheers,

–patrick

Record Highs in California, More Snow, and Thunderstorms

Record breaking heat will slam into coastal California today for the second day in a row as a strong ridge of high pressure settles over the region. Heat Advisories have been issued for much of the region, a sample of which is included below for your convenience:

 

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
325 AM PDT MON APR 20 2009

...RECORD BREAKING HEAT LIKELY TODAY...

CAZ006-508-509-512-513-528>530-202200-
/O.CON.KMTR.HT.Y.0001.090420T1900Z-090421T0300Z/
SAN FRANCISCO-SAN FRANCISCO BAY SHORELINE-
SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA COAST-SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS-
SANTA CLARA VALLEY...INCLUDING SAN JOSE-
NORTHERN SALINAS VALLEY...HOLLISTER VALLEY...AND CARMEL VALLEY-
NORTHERN MONTEREY BAY-SOUTHERN MONTEREY BAY AND BIG SUR COAST-
325 AM PDT MON APR 20 2009

...HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 8 PM PDT
THIS EVENING...

A STRONG RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL CONTINUE TO COMBINE WITH
WEAK OFFSHORE FLOW TO CREATE RECORD TO NEAR-RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES
THIS AFTERNOON. LOCATIONS AT THE COAST WILL AGAIN SOAR INTO THE
80S AND LOWER 90S...WITH INLAND LOCATIONS WARMING WELL INTO THE
90S.

IN ADDITION...A FEW LOWER 100S ARE POSSIBLE NEAR THE SALINAS...HOLLISTER
AND CARMEL VALLEYS. THIS SECOND DAY OF MUCH ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES
HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CREATE HEALTH PROBLEMS ESPECIALLY FOR PEOPLE
WHO ARE HIGHLY SENSITIVE TO THE HEAT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS HEAT ADVISORY IS BEING ISSUED UTILIZING A HEAT HEALTH
WARNING SYSTEM. IT IS SPECIFIC TO THE AREAS INCLUDED IN THIS HEAT
ADVISORY. IT IS TARGETED AT THE ELDERLY AND VERY YOUNG...AND THE
INFIRMED...WHO MIGHT BE MORE SENSITIVE TO HEAT AND THUS AT
GREATER RISK. INDIVIDUALS WHO FALL INTO THIS CATEGORY SHOULD BE
ESPECIALLY CAREFUL BY DRINKING PLENTY OF WATER AND SEEKING A
COOLER LOCATION FOR THE DAY IF NO AIR CONDITIONING IS AVAILABLE IN
YOUR LIVING QUARTERS. ALSO...ASK FOR A FRIEND OR RELATIVE TO
CHECK ON YOU FREQUENTLY. WEAR LIGHTWEIGHT...LIGHT-COLORED...
LOOSE-FITTING CLOTHING. WEAR A HAT TO SHIELD YOURSELF FROM THE
SUN. YOUNG CHILDREN AND PETS SHOULD NEVER BE LEFT IN VEHICLES
UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DURING WARM OR HOT WEATHER.
image 

Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories are active for northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, and The U.P. of Michigan where accumulations of up to ten inches of snow are possible in some areas as a low pressure center slowly moves south of the area. Snows are expected to continue through Tuesday as conditions will gradually settle down.

Severe thunderstorms are still possible today along the mid-Atlantic states causing the Storm Prediction Center to issue a Slight Risk in their Convective Outlook category for the area. Thunderstorms moving through this morning will be marginal in intensity but a reintensification will occur later this afternoon with a pronounced threat of strong straightline winds, hail, and the possibility of tornadoes.

Please be sure to view our Advisory and Radar for the latest updates and developments.

As always stay tuned to your favorite weather outlet, stay informed, and stay safe!

cheers,

–patrick

Denver Still Under the Gun, More Severe Weather Over the Weekend

imageOur discussions this week of snow for the Rockies certainly are coming to fruition, as well as our discussions of severe weather. Many closures have already been issued this morning for the Denver area, and I25 has been closed from Wellington, CO to the Wyoming state line due to adverse conditions. Essentially all mountainous areas in Colorado have active winter warnings at the time of this writing calling for varying degrees of accumulations from inches to feet (plural). Fortunately winds associated with this system are moderate enough to negate the need for a blizzard warning or the situation could be considerably worse, but is more than serious as it is. Another blessing is that warm temperatures will follow along behind the snow, so a quick melt is in store. A few storm totals from 8am yesterday to 3am this morning (mdt) are as follows:

...COLORADO...
BLACK HAWK 8 N                        8.8                     
BAILEY 3 NNE                          8.5                     
EVERGREEN 6 WSW                       7.5                     
PINE 3.6 NNW                          3.7                     
GOLDEN 2 SW                           3.6                     
BERGEN PARK 3 NE                      3.0                     
FAIRPLAY                              2.0                     

...WYOMING...
AFTON 17 E                           17.0                     
JACKSON 9.9 NNW                      17.0                     
LANDER 3.5 SW                        15.0                     
CROWHEART 14 W                       14.0                     
DUBOIS 6 WSW                         14.0                     
KEMMERER 36 N                        14.0                     
MEETEETSE 30 SW                      13.5                     
THAYNE 17.2 E                        12.0                     
RIVERTON 2 W                         11.5                     
BONDURANT 19 SW                      11.0                     
SOUTH ENTRANCE 8 W                   11.0                     image
WAPITI 19 WSW                        11.0     

An examination of our Forecast Precipitation Type Radar product shows the snows maintaining a respectable vigor through Saturday morning, then slowly fading away through the evening hours and  lingering for a bit in the highlands on Sunday morning.

Another item to notice on our Forecast Radar animation is the intensity and breadth of rainfall moving across the southern plains into the deep south. Rather impressive totals  will extend from southern Texas into Louisiana and Arkansas, with southcentral Texas having an opportunity for greater than 3” in some areas.

The storms yesterday in Texas certainly caused commotion. According to amarillo.com a portion of Interstate 27 was closed between Happy and Tulia, Texas due to a combination of rain and flooding. At one point 4-6” of hail accumulated on the road surface (called a hail streak) causing the Texas Department of Transportation to dig out the snowplows to clear the roads.

A total of 16 Funnel cloud / Tornado reports were received in our Severe Weather Center for yesterday’s events at the time of this writing. Fortunately no reports of injuries have been received. Most reports centered around the observance of funnels, utility power flashes, and one report of a “loud roaring sound” by one observer who as fortune would have it was in a storm shelter at the time.

The Storm Prediction Center has extended their outlooks for today, tomorrow, and Sunday with all three days falling under the slight risk category. Essentially the potential for severe thunderstorms will slowly migrate from the Cherokee Strip to Texas today, through the Kansas / Arklatex region tomorrow, and into Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia on Sunday.

Please be sure to view our Advisory and Radar for the latest updates and developments.

As always stay tuned to your favorite weather outlet, stay informed, and stay safe!

cheers,

–patrick

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