Before trying to introduce a new month, we can’t ignore what a crazy February we had here in the United States. From the first day of the month we were already tracking huge storms that not only affected the Northeast but also places like Cooper City, FL where in a matter of hours they had a total of 8 inches of rainfall on the ground that created flash flood warnings across south Florida. The south saw snow once again with some places in Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi getting up to 8 inches of snow fall. And of course, the ones who felt the fury of February were those living in the Northeast…and the big question is, what city hasn’t broken the snowfall record for the month?! Pittsburgh has a new record of 48.3 inches for the month, Reagan Nat’l Airport has 32 inches, Central Park, NY got 36.9 inches this breaks the old record of 27.9 inches set in 1934 and the list goes on and on for cities who received twice their monthly average.
Central Park, NY
The Northeast has ended the month the same way they started it, with cloudy skies and scattered snow showers so will March be a carbon copy of February or will spring arrive on the 21st? Well here is an outlook for next month and it doesn’t look too good for the eastern half of the U.S.
Enjoy the full moon and stay warm!
WeatherNation Meteorologist LLC
Destruction in Concepción, Chile
Growing up in Costa Rica, I’ve been through my fair share of strong earthquakes. I hated them growing up. They’re scary, they’re unexpected and it feels like your house is about to get swallowed up by the earth. I distinctly remember the April 22nd, 1991 earthquake (7.4 magnitude) which was followed by hundreds of horrifying aftershocks. The ground didn’t stop shaking for 24 hours. I remember sitting outside with my parents and brother for hours until it got dark and we decided to all huddle together for the night in my parents’ bedroom. Try going to sleep while 4 – 5 magnitude earthquakes are shaking the ground every hour and even smaller ones occurring every 10 minutes or so!
Upon waking up today and seeing the top headline about Chile’s 8.8 magnitude earthquake, I revert back to those experiences I had growing up. Now 7.4 was awful, but 8.8?! That’s just insane. I believe you’d have a very tough time just trying to remain standing in an earthquake like that. Images of flipped cars, destroyed buildings and highway systems collapsing are flooding the internet and news programs.
This earthquake is officially one of the strongest quakes in the world. Amazingly, Chile has gone through worse–back in May 22nd of 1960, an unfathomable 9.5 magnitude earthquake impacted the South American country. It resulted in over 1500 deaths and over 2 million people were left homeless. It also ignited a tsunami which caused deaths in Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines. So yes, this most recent earthquake definitely raises our eyebrows as it too quickly spawned a tsunami.
Fortunately for us, technology has given us ample preparation time now. We can track tsunami waves from afar and we can give ETAs on first wave arrivals. It really is incredible how far we’ve come. Hawaii is expected to feel the impact of the tsunami at around 11 AM local time (4 PM EST). Eight foot waves will be expected at Hilo. Tsunami warnings are in effect for Hawaii, Guam, the American Samoa, Samoa and other Pacific islands. Tsunami advisories (meaning conditions are being monitored) are in effect for the U.S. west coast (California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska). British Columbia is also under an advisory.
Hawaii: Tsunami Warning
One thing to remember about tsunamis is that they’re not like wind waves… the kind that you surf on. A tsunami is actually a SERIES of shallow water waves. They are controlled by the depth of the water it moves in, so the deeper the water, the faster they move. For ocean depths of 12,400 feet, a tsunami would average speeds of 460 mph! These waves undulate up and down. The water begins to pile up and before you know it, you have a surge of high water. Wave intervals can be anywhere between 5 minutes and 1 hour–so tsunami events are quite prolonged. It’s not that kind that you see in cartoons where you see a big huge “surfer dude” wave sloshing into a village on the coast. It’s more like a large swell propagating at a rapid rate.
Officials remain generally optimistic given the lead time we have on this tsunami. We’ll keep watching and you can keep yourself posted here: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/ptwc/
This is officially the snowiest February in Central Park , NY’s history. After receiving 17″ of snow so far from this current winter storm the monthly total has reached 35.9″. This breaks a record that has been in the books since 1896! This was quite a storm in the Northeast. The center pressure reached close to 970 mb at its peak intensity.
As the pressure dropped, the storm got stronger, storm rotation intensified and surface convergence increased. The air piling up in the center of the storm had no where to go but up and as it ascended cooling occurred and clouds formed. High above the storm the air was spreading apart or diverging resulting in a constant upward motion or ‘lift’ in the atmosphere. Often times when Nor’easters take on this type of rapid intensification they can form a tiny eye like that of a hurricane…excuse the random meteorological tangent but this is the kind of storm meteorologist live for!
A tiny eye can be seen over Long Island, NY indicating that this mid-latitude cyclone has reached peak intensity.
This storm was large and the effects were felt all the way to the eastern Great Lakes with snow and atop Mount Washington, N.H. with a 120 mph wind gust. As a consequence of it’s strength, drier air has intruded into the storm and it is bound to weaken. The worst of the storm in over but light snow showers will continue this weekend.
With winter weather waning in the East, stormy weather will just be getting started in the West. A large storm plows into California tonight bringing a combination of valley rain and mountain snow to the area. Through next week this same storm will track into the South and bring another rare chance of winter weather to the Southeast Monday and Tuesday next week. Mostly sunny weather will continue in the Midwest.
Have a good weekend!
I think the natives are getting restless in Philadelphia. With 73″ of snow this winter season many may be tired of digging out from one big snow after the other. Three out of their top 10 biggest snowstorms have occurred this season and they are about to get smacked by another. This morning, snowflakes the size of quarters were falling in downtown Philadelphia and New York City. Residents in D.C may be spared the heaviest of the snow this time around but they will certainly experience gusty winds.
The heaviest of the snow will fall later today and tonight as this storm deepens off the coast and acquires a central low pressure close to 28.9″ Hg which is comparable to a Category 1 hurricane. I’m expecting the highest snowfall amounts from central New Jersey northwest into central New York state. This storm will also produce 1-4″ of rain in New England as a steady southeast wind develops right the ocean.
The Southeast gets a taste of cold air today in the wake if this storm riding up the East Coast. Warmer weather will return by the weekend whereas below normal temperatures will continue for the majority of the southern Plains. Wichita, Kansas has yet to see a 60 degree day this winter season! Never before in Wichita’s history have they failed to reach 60° or higher December-February.
The weekend will be wet in the West as a stronger storm moves into southern California. Heavy rain and a few thunderstorms can be expected from Los Angeles to Tuscon. In addition to the rain, mountain snow will fall with Winter Storm Watches and Winter Weather Advisories issued for the Sierra Nevada, Uintah, Wasatch and Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Have a good one,
“Snowmageddon” is the word President Barack Obama used to describe the snowstorm that dumped 17.8″ of snow in Washington D.C. back on Feb. 5-6. Another snowstorm is targeting the Northeast but this time it could bring significant snow to New England. Snow and wind will increase tonight over the Northeast as low pressure intesifies off the coast. This next storm will be allowed to sit and spin, producing a longer duration snow event in the interior Northeast and New England with high pressure over the Canadian meritimes blocking the storm’s eastward progression. This next storm comes in a long line of recent storms that have battered the East Coast this winter. It is estimated that the two back-to-back snowstorms the beginning of this month have cost the nation $15 billion dollars.
One model forecast of snow through Tuesday night. Areas shaded in pink depict 12"+ snowfall amounts.
The right ingredients are coming together for a heavy lake effect snow event downwind of Lake Michigan. With a straight shot of cold, arctic air down Lake Michigan and enough atmospheric lift, an intense lake effect snow band could develop later today in northwestern Indiana. Light snow has been falling in downtown Chicago which could amount to 1-5 ” whereas nearly a foot could fall in northeastern Indiana.
A heavy lake effect snow band should develop later today in the area outlined in red.
Bouts of rain and high elevation snow fell across the West as the first in a series of two storm move inland. The second and stronger storm will move into the Desert Southwest this weekend and bring another dousing rain and high elevation snow event to the region.