WeatherNation Blog

What’s With the Weather?

Hello and happy Tuesday everyone, hope all is well. Here’s what’s making weather headlines on this last Tuesday of March 2010.

Severe Storm

The past few days have been interesting in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic States. Many are cleaning up from as many as 14 tornadoes since Sunday. Here are the storm report maps:

Tornadoes

TornadoesMid

High Point, NC Tornado on Sunday

The National Weather Service classified this one as an EF-3 tornado:

HighPoint

Oakland Park, FL Tornado on Sunday:

Oakland Park

Near Ft. Lauderdale, FL Monday Morning

Ft. Lauderdale

Somebody’s trampoline in power lines after the tornado

Trampoline

Tornado Statistics

Before this weeks active weather, we only had 14 tornadoes in the month of March. We are now up to 31, which is 63% below average. So far for 2010, we are 55% below average… see below:

tornado summary

Heavy Rain in the Northeast

This is a picture from Hutchinson River where heavy rain have sent some rivers in the Northeast to record levels. Looks like the greens are going to be a little slow today. By the way, Boston has now just seen their wettest March on record. As of early Tuesday, Boston has seen 11.9″ of liquid precipitation beating the previous wettest March on record of 11.0″ set in 1953.

Flooding

Jacksonville, FL New Record

It is now the longest stretch since having an 80 degree day in Jacksonville. December 15th, 2009 was the last time the mercury got to that level… 104 days! The old record was 103 days back in Nov. 12th 1995 – Feb. 22nd 1996 and Dec. 1st 1977 – March 13th 1978. We might break that streak by the end of the week – the forecast for Jacksonville is 81 degrees on Friday!

jacksonville

Big Storm in the Pacific Northwest

Winter Storm Watches and Warnings are posted for the Western U.S. as a big storm plows in at over 200mph at 30,000 to 40,000 ft. This is causing some major snows in the higher elevations, perhaps as much as 20″ to 30″ – Ski season isn’t quite over yet!

northwest

This was the view from Snoqualmie Pass earlier today – you’re going to need the chains today!

snow

OK – hope I didn’t over due it today with the weather headlines and pictures, but there’s some good stuff happening. Stay safe and have a good rest of your Tuesday!

Meteorologist Todd Nelson – WeatherNation LLC

Wrapping Up March

While the eastern coast of the country is in the midst of showers and thunderstorms, the central plains and midwest are in the midst of a major warm up.  Looking back over the month, March has brought a whole spectrum of weather conditions to the country, some of them were record breaking.

First of all, here is a look at whats going on this morning.  Stronger showers and thunderstorms are moving through Florida and the North Carolina this morning.  There have been 9 reports of tornadoes across the country from yesterday and this morning.  So far this year, there has only been 14 reports of tornadoes this year.  Usually by this point in the year, we  have many more tornadoes.  In fact before this system, this year ranked number 9 in the list of fewest tornadoes.  But we are catching up quickly with this latest outbreak of severe storms.  There were even a preliminary report of a tornado in Broward Country, Florida near I-95 during rush hour this morning.  The threat for severe weather continues through the morning in south and central Florida.   Here is the convective outlook for today:

day1otlk_1300

The rain isn’t only in Florida though, it actually extends from the coast of Maine all the way down to the Keys.  The northeast has already picked up over an inch of rain in many places along the coast including New York City (offically 1.37″ so far in Central Park).  But this is just beginning.  Rain will continue to fall throughout the day today and into the middle of the week with more than 3 inches expected in New York City.  The ground in many of these areas is already saturated from recent heavy rain the past couple of weeks so there are numerous Flood Watches in effect across the region.

Across the central US, the weather situation is completely different.  A ridge is of high pressure is building in and its going to be sticking around through the middle of the week.  There will be a strong flow out of the southwest.  Breezy conditions will move in tomorrow with winds up to 20 mph.  But despite these windy conditions, it will be quite warm (along the lines of 20 to 25 degrees warmer than average).  Typically highs in the upper midwest are in the 40s.  High temperatures may rise into the 70s this week! That would be a fitting ending to a snowless March in many places across the region.  If the month ends with no snow (which it mostly likely will), it would be first time since the late 1800s in some places in Minnesota, including the Minneapolis/St. Paul area!

Troughs and Ridges

JC_BLOG1

This weekend, our country is divided and I am not talking about college basketball or politics, I am talking about the long wave pattern across the United States.

With weather depiction, a trough is a dashed line and a ridge is a series of right angle markings.   If you are around the trough, look for rain.. the ridge… dry weather.

The hotspot in the US today will be in two locations, the Carolina’s and Central Florida, this the where there could be a ‘Slight Risk” of severe storms.   One area of concern is going to be near Orlando Florida where there could be Isolated Supercells with the risk of a few tornadoes today.

JC_BLOG2

The Ridge is going to bring the Plains a streak of above average temperatures for the next 4 days, then the ridge slips over the Mississippi River Valley.   When that Happens, the Plains will be under Southwest flow with the return of severe storms.  That’s about 5 days out, but if we see the gulf moisture move back up into Oklahoma, we could have a small outbreak of severe storms.

It was on this day back in 2007, that the Southern Plains experienced a significant Tornado Outbreak.  80 Tornadoes touched down between KS and TX:

JC_BLOG3

I remember this day very well, it was the day I chased my first fatal or killer tornado.   That day did not look like it would be a complete outbreak, the winds aloft look too uni-direction, or there wasn’t much directional shear.

I remember when we first intercepted our storm, it looked fairly stretched out, then with in minutes, the low level rotation increased and it dropped a strong tornado.

JC ELMWOOD TORNADOThe roads in Beaver County Oklahoma are few and far in-between, so it made for a challenging chase.   This is near Elmwood, Oklahoma where this tornado hit a ranchers house and took the lives of a husband and wife who did not take any shelter from the storm, despite it being tornado warned for over a half hour.   It was after this day that I changed the way I storm chased.  If I can get closer, close enough that I can pin point the exact location of the tornado, maybe I can do a better job warning people.

Vigous Upper Level Low Brings Rain and Winds

A very strong storm system currently over the Central Plains, will bring rain and some severe weather to the mid section of the United States this Saturday.

This same system produced damaging winds in  El Paso on Friday, with Gusts up to 84 mph.   That’s hurricane force folks.

As this Upper Low ejects out of Kansas to Missouri today, it may spawn some isolated severe storms.   Where?

The Storm Prediction Center has the Slight Risk Area centered right over most of Arkansas today;

JC_BLOG2

I don’t expect to see an outbreak of Severe storms, but Mainly Hailers on a broken squall Line into this Evening.   Back when I was studying meteorology at St. Cloud State University, my forecasting professor always reminded us that computer models can not forecast convection or Thunderstorms.   But, in the last 15 years….. numerical weather prediction has drastically improved.   One model that does a very good job on forecasting thunderstorms is the 4.0KM WRF.   During my tenure forecasting in Oklahoma City, I watched this model nail the timing and position of supercells and squall lines.   Today, this same model has a broken a broken squall line moving across Arkansas.

Can you see the line of storms on the 4KM WRF at 7Pm CDT Today?

JC_BLOG1

This storm will continue to move towards New England for Late Sunday and Into Monday, bringing that area moderate rainfall.   In the wake of this storm, most of the country is going to enjoy a nice warm up for next week.   By the end of the week, another storm storm will form over the Southern Rockies, possibly producing some severe weather for the Southern Plains.   Stay tuned.

WeatherNation Meteorologist

Jonathan Conder

A Windy Weekend Ahead

The winds of change are right around the corner for the weekend with High Wind Warnings already being issued for the Southern Rockies:

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...HIGH WIND WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO
MIDNIGHT MDT TONIGHT...

A HIGH WIND WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO MIDNIGHT
MDT TONIGHT FOR THE SANDIA AND MANZANO MOUNTAINS...EASTWARD TO
GUADALUPE COUNTY AND SOUTHWARD TO THE SOUTH CENTRAL MOUNTAINS AND
CHAVES COUNTY.

* WINDS...WEST TO SOUTHWEST WINDS OF 35 TO 45 MPH WITH GUSTS UP
  TO 60 OR 70 MPH ARE EXPECTED. THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL OCCUR
  ALONG THE CAPITAN AND NORTHERN SACRAMENTO MOUNTAINS...AS WELL
  AS PARTS OF SOUTHWEST CHAVES COUNTY.

70 MPH?   Wow... that's almost hurricane for winds.

These winds are being caused by a very strong upper level storm that is moving out of the Southern Rockies
 and ejecting out over the Southern Plain on Saturday:
The main wave of energy is going to over Arizona this after.  
 Can you see where it is on the map below?
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As this upper level storm moves out of the Rocky's, it is likely to bring a wave of 
showers and T'Storms from MN all the way to TX on Saturday:
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I do not think we will see much for Severe Weather on Saturday... any storms are likely to be just heavy, 
producing small hail, smaller then 1" and winds less then 55 mph.

As we get into the tail end of the weekend, this same storm system will p
roduce rain mainly East of the Mighty Mississippi.
BLOG4
If you like warmer weather... just wait until next week as a strong ridge 
of high pressure builds in across the Western Half of the United States.

Jonathan Conder
WeatherNation Meteorologist
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