WeatherNation Blog

Messy October

Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s hard to believe that October is over already, but it certainly has been an interesting one. A lot of records have been broken over the course of the past 31 days and I thought I’d share some of these little facts.

Friday Rainfall Records

Friday Rainfall Records

The United States has seen the wettest October in 50 years. It’s not hard to believe with the impressive storm systems we’ve seen this month. The latest storm system was a beast! Yesterday, Broaddus Texas received 12 inches of rain. Hundreds of rainfall records were set along the Mississippi River Valley and other areas. Flood warnings are still in effect after all the rain we saw. The good news is that the nation’s mid section has seen a big improvement in their weather–just in time for Halloween! It’s no fun trick-or-treating in the rain.

Another interesting little fact? The United States has seen its coldest October since 1976 and the 2nd coldest in the past 50 years. Many areas have been dealing with unseasonably cold temperatures–the Midwest comes to mind. October 2009 made it onto the top 5 coldest Octobers in the Twin Cities with the average temperature this year running a good 7° – 8° below the average. Chicago had the coldest October since 1988. Dallas? The coldest since 1976.

And oh the snow–yes. October 2009 has been a wintry mess for many. Three feet of snow was reported in Colorado this past week. All that from one single storm system. Cheyenne ranked October 2009 as the snowiest October on record with 28 inches. The previous record was 23.1 in 1906. Boston recorded its earliest snowfall to start the season.

All-in-all, it has been an interesting October. Let’s see what November will bring…

Happy Halloween! Don’t eat too much candy.

Susie Martin

Meteorologist

Blizzard, Flood Takes Hold Over Central U.S

Storm Reports

The recent storm reports depict nicely the two weather extremes taking place right now across the center of the country.  Flooding rains have plagued an already saturated ground from Texas north through Illinois while blizzard conditions were reported in parts of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.

A nearly stationary, heavy rain band set up overnight along the Mississippi River Valley and dumped close to 4″ of rain in some areas.  High water rescues have been ongoing today in Little Rock, AR in addition to the severe weather that ripped through Arkansas yesterday. Two tornadoes were spotted in Arkansas and three twisters were reported in northwest LA leaving one man dead near Shreveport.

Heavy snow continued this morning in CO, NE and KS with the addition of 30-40 mph winds.  Blowing snow reduced visibility down to 1 block in northeastern Colorado this morning…certainly blizzard conditions!

currents

The blizzard has ended in the high plains but now the cold takes hold.  Above are the temperatures from this afternoon and temperatures have been in the 30′s in the central and high plains behind the strong storm currently moving through the Upper Midwest.  Warm, moist air surging northward ahead of the storm has given way to temperatures in the 60′s and 70′s this afternoon.

This sluggish rainstorm eventually moves into the Northeast tomorrow.  The East Coast won’t get the soaking that parts of the south did today, but it could be a wet night for trick-or-treating tomorrow.

The coldest October outbreak to hit Arizona since the 1970′s will start to wane this weekend.  Yesterday, Tucson, AZ, only reached a high of 59 degrees which broke the record for the coldest maximum temperature.  The cold air gets shoved east as a large high pressure ridge settles into the area.  Temperatures will be at or slightly above seasonal average by the end of the weekend for some in the Southwest.

Wet and windy will be the weather story in the Pacific Northwest this weekend.  A fast moving jet stream (that thin ribbon a fast flowing air at about 35,000 ft.) will move over the Northern Rockies and produce wind gusts exceeding 50 mph.  Already, a 70 mph wind gust was reported near Deep Creek in western Montana.  Hurricane force winds are 74 mph!

Watches and Warnings

Moist air embedded within this strong flow will produce showers over the higher terrain.  Rain can also be expected for Seattle and Portland as a front approaches tomorrow.

Forecast

Have a great Halloween everyone,

Kristin Clark

WeatherNation Meteorologist

An Epic Snowstorm

The recent snowstorm in the Central Rockies will be one for the record books.  In the foothills northwest of Denver over 44″ of snow has fallen, along the front range and I-25 corridor anywhere between 15-25″, and areas east of Denver received 8-15″.  Snowfall totals like this haven’t been seen in the Denver area since the blizzard of ’97 and as I type this blog the snow is STILL accumulating!  It seems like every time I check the recent snowfall posts I have to rub my eyes and do a double take.  The highest amounts have been measured in the mountainous and low populated areas.  However, over 2 feet of snow has already fallen in the western suburbs of Denver.

Denver Snow

This is a very typical, big snow weather event for Colorado.  A strong low pressure center is passing near southeastern Colorado with Gulf of Mexico moisture getting wrapped up in the counter-clockwise circulation.  As the elevation increases, the low level moist air rises slowly up to the Colorado Rockies producing clouds and (if the air is cold enough) snow.

Snow-Cover I-25 Near Denver

Snow will continue today in Colorado and Wyoming with a gradual end tomorrow as the storm pulls away to the east.  Blizzard conditions could develop today and tonight as the wind blows to over 30 mph causing blowing and drifting snow.  What a storm…and it’s only October!  Oh, and winter begins December 21.  :)

With this same storm, watch out for heavy rain and potentially damaging storms today/tonight across AR, TN, OK, LA and eastern Texas.  Over 4″ of rain could soak an already saturated ground causing flooding.  Stay tuned.

Kristin Clark

WeatherNation Meteorologist

Hello and happy Wenesday everyone, I hope you are enjoying your week so far. It has been an interesting week of weather so far, lots of stuff to talk about on the weathermaps. Two large storm systems are blasting through the nation today, one of which will be exiting the East Coast by this evening. The other storm is now just making its way into the Plains and is making a big splash, literally, in the Midwest. Heavy showers and storms will develop tonight and tomorrow in the southern Plains, some may even be severe. Here is the Damaging Wind Probability for today:

damaging winds

Tomorrow, the severe threat shifts east a bit, but the threat will likely be damaging straight line winds. Here’s the expected rainfall :

rainrian

Cold in the Great Basin

High temperatures have fallen nearly 30 degrees in the southwest today, some may even see the coldest high temperature ever recorded on today’s date. A freeze warning is in effect for southeastern Arizona. Temperatures tonight could be near the record mark in some locations including Tucson, AZ. Tucson’s record low temperature for Thursday is 32 degrees.

freeze

That’s it for now – hope you can join us again tomorrow. We’ll keep an eye on the sky, in the meantime, enjoy the weather.

Meteorologist Todd Nelson

WeatherNation

Hello and happy Tuesday everyone. Active weather pattern setting up this week across the country with two BIG storms setting up on either coast today. The first system is east of the Mississippi Valley, spreading copious amounts of rain from the Lower Mississippi Valley northeastward into the New England states through tomorrow. Take a look at the radar from earlier today in the southeast, notice the red box over the Florida panhandle:

SE Radar

This is a Tornado Watch in effect until 6PM EDT. The low developing in the Gulf is adding some rotation to the lower levels of the atmosphere, which may translate in funnel clouds and tornadoes. Here is what to expect:

TORNADOES...HAIL TO 0.5 INCH IN DIAMETER...THUNDERSTORM WIND
   GUSTS TO 70 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE
   AREAS.

   THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 105 STATUTE
   MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 45 MILES EAST NORTHEAST OF
   MARIANNA FLORIDA TO 35 MILES WEST OF APALACHICOLA FLORIDA.  FOR A
   COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE
   UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU6).

   REMEMBER...A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR
   TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
   AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
   THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
   AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

   DISCUSSION...TSTMS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE DEVELOPING IN
   MOIST...STRONGLY-SHEARED LOW LVL WAA ZONE ALONG CONFLUENCE AXIS OVER
   THE NERN GULF OF MEXICO AS REGION IN GLANCED BY RED RVR VLY
   SHORTWAVE IMPULSE /REF MCD 2140/.  POTENTIAL WILL EXIST FOR SCTD
   STORMS WITH LOW LVL ROTATION AND POSSIBLE TORNADOES AS W/E FRONT NOW
   ALONG THE CST OF THE FL PANHANDLE MOVES SLOWLY NWD.

   AVIATION...TORNADOES AND A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL
   SURFACE AND ALOFT TO 0.5 INCH. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE
   WIND GUSTS TO 60 KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO
   450. MEAN STORM MOTION VECTOR 20030.

Thunderstorms have a unique way of concentrating moisture in the atmosphere into a rather small column, which has been the case in the south over the past 24 to 48 hours. Some spots in the Lower Mississippi Valley have already seen 3″ of rain and additional heavy dose may come today, take a look:

Rains

Monster Storm in the West

Note the colors in the western half of the country. A slew of watches and warnings, ranging from Winter Storm Warnings to High Wind Warnings to Red Flag Warnings. Biggest threats include: Snows of 1′ to 2′ feet may be possible in the higher elevations of the Rockies; Winds of 60mph to 70mph; Blowing dust and wild fire danger.

warnings1

Temperatures will drop significantly, 20 to 30 degrees, behind the front and as far south as Arizona. Tucson, AZ is likely to see a Record Cold High Temperature on Wednesday along with many other locations in the Tucson viewing area.

Heavy rains, and storms will spread into the Plains by Thursday, some of which may be severe Thursday and Friday in the lower Mississippi Valley. Good news for Trick or Treaters, this storm will wrap up and scoot east, with only lingering showers. Widespread showers, storms and snowfall is not expected to damper any fright night festivities. However, we’ll keep you posted in the event things begin to sour…

That’s it for now, make sure to check back in tomorrow for the latest and greatest weather tibits and factiods. We’ll try to keep it interesting enough for you to want to see what’s cooking. Have a good Tuesday

Meteorologist Todd Nelson

WeatherNation

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