WeatherNation Blog

More Treats Than Tricks

Happy Halloween! The Nation’s weather has plenty of fall treats, and very few tricks in it today. If you’re looking for that last second pumpkin in the patch, dry conditions are anticipated across the central and southern U.S. Rainfall chances exist into the Pacific Northwest, around and along the lee side of the Rockies, and back into New England. We’re also mixing in some snow with activity in upstate New York and the White and Green Mountains in Vermont and New Hampshire. Trick-or-Treaters in Spokane, Boise and Buffalo may need to carry an umbrella to keep the costumes dry this evening. Overall, the pattern looks fairly progressive until late next week. For those of you planning travel back east sometime in the Wednesday to Friday time frame, keep an eye on the forecast.
Parts of New England may be dealing with significant precipitation from another Nor’ easter.

The Texas Rangers were able to take game 3 of the World Series from the San Francisco Giants last night in Arlington. Weather won’t be an issue for tonight’s game, with a clear sky and south wind at 6-13 mph. Afternoon highs running nearly 10-degrees above average in the lower 80s will slowly slide back to the middle 70s for the first pitch. GORGEOUS weather for game 4! A cold front slips into Texas before game 5 Monday, bringing a slightly cooler push of air. Temperatures are still expected to be in the low 70s for the first pitch Monday evening.

Hurricane Tomas continues churning up the ocean waters in the Caribbean this morning, with sustained winds over 100 mph and gusts over 120 mph. Tropical storm warnings have been posted in Dominica, Martinique and St. Lucia, with Tomas raking the Leeward and Windward Islands. Some strengthening is expected, and Tomas could become a major category 3 storm Monday or Tuesday. Right now, he’s slowly moving to the west-northwest at around 8 mph, but the upper air pattern eventually favors a more northerly turn. This would take the hurricane up between Cuba and Haiti sometime next weekend. Elsewhere in the tropics, Shary has quickly raced into the north Atlantic and dissipated, and the National Hurricane Center doesn’t have their eye on anything else in the Atlantic or central and eastern Pacific. Typhoon Chaba is making headlines in the northwest Pacific, brushing the eastern parts of island of Japan. Here’s a look at Chaba from space:

Speaking of space, NASA has once again delayed the 39th and final shuttle mission in their program. Discovery is now set to launch Wednesday, November 3 at 2:52 PM CDT. From NASA: “Managers decided Saturday to delay the shuttle Discovery’s launch an additional day to Wednesday to give engineers enough time to complete replacement and retest of leaky quick-disconnect fittings in the ship’s right-side orbital maneuvering system rocket pod.” Cape Canaveral’s weather is expected to cooperate, with a partly sunny sky and a very slim chance for an afternoon storm. Highs in Florida for this historic launch is forecast to be up around 80, and a breeze from the southeast will be around 6-12 mph.Until next weekend!

Meteorologist Bryan Karrick, WeatherNation LLC

From the Tropics to the Ski Slopes

Tomas continues to Strengthen

Hurricane Tomas is continuing to gain strength.  It is currently passing over Barbados.  Reports of damage are starting to trickle in.  So far there have been a couple photos of down trees and damaged homes.

This storm will be moving over the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea and conditions are right for it to continue to develop into a major hurricane.  Here is the current track of the storm:

Hey Snow Bunnies, get out your skis!

Ski enthusiasts are hitting the slopes for the first time this season.  Out west, the first and only ski resort to open is Loveland Ski area.  This is the second year in a row that the Loveland has been the first resort to open.  Here is one of the first photos of the season:

More snow is on the way for the west as they are about to be hit with a series of storms this weekend and next week.  In the upper midwest, Trollhaugen Ski Area is also opening for the season today.  Although most of the runs aren’t open yet, snow making is gearing up because is winter is right around the corner.

More planets like Earth??

New space studies are suggesting that 1 in 4 stars that are similar to the sun have planets are that are about the same size as the earth, according to the USA Today.  Check out the full article here:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/10/23-of-stars-may-have-earth-sized-planets/1

Active October & Top of the World

After a busy severe weather week across the eastern half of the nation, we’re heading into the last weekend in October on a much quieter note. Some of the preliminary information coming from this last week of the month have been pretty impressive! Since October 1, we have seen 81 tornado reports(most of these observed this week,) and a whopping 1,148 total storm reports, including hail and wind. The map on the left shows widespread wind and tornado reports across the Ohio Valley on Tuesday. In a sharp contrast, North Dakota was slammed with the first blizzard of the season, with upwards of 8-inches measured southwest of Devil’s Lake. Most of the snow will melt away the next couple of days, with highs in the 30s and 40s.

If you’re traveling out west, a fast moving system is forecast to bring rainfall from Washington to Southern California tonight into the first part of Saturday, with lingering rain into the Pacific Northwest over the weekend. A few rumbles of thunder may be heard in places like San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, California Friday night & Saturday morning. Phoenix and Tucson are expecting highs up around 90 on this Friday! Those of you across the central and eastern half of the country are forecast to dip to frost and freeze levels tonight, with advisories & warnings in effect from Pennsylvania to northern Georgia, extending back out toward Arkansas and Texas.

As we touched on yesterday, the tropics have become a little more active this week too. Tropical Storm Shary is forecast to bring 1 to 3-inches of rain to the island of Bermuda later today and tonight. Shary’s winds may increase to around 50 mph, but will stay below hurricane strength. She’s expected to race very quickly off to the northeast and dissipate over the weekend. Down off the coast of South America, a  disturbed area of weather may take on tropical characteristics in the next day or two. The next name in the National Hurricane Center’s list is Tomas. Models take this system up into the Caribbean over the next several days. A third area of low pressure in the central Atlantic has lost most of its definition and is forecast to move into an unfavorable area for further development.

Check this out! A mobile network operator in Nepal has installed a 3G wireless base station at the summit of Mt. Everest! Not only can visitors make calls from the area, but they can also connect to the Internet and share their experiences with everyone. Up to this point, visitors relied on satellite phones. For those of you interested in a panoramic view of Mt. Everest and several other locations around the world, here is a great link: http://www.panoramas.dk/fullscreen2/full22.html

Until next time-

Meteorologist Bryan Karrick, WeatherNation LLC

Really… More Tropics!

Hello everyone!  Just as we are wrapping up the "hurricane" that blew
through the Midwest, we are no turning our attention to the tropics, again.
The storm that impacted the Midwest was not technically a hurricane, but it
has received a lot of press because it was just about as close as you get to a
"land" hurricane.  Just take a look at the discussion from the
National Hurricane Center below.  You'll see,
three possibilities which is a little much considering it is late October.

"FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

1. SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH A LOW PRESSURE
SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 1200 MILES NORTHWEST OF THE NORTHERNMOST CAPE
VERDE ISLANDS HAS BECOMES LESS ORGANIZED OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS.
SATELLITE DATA INDICATE THAT THE LOW IS PRODUCING WINDS TO GALE
FORCE.  ALTHOUGH UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE ONLY MARGINALLY CONDUCIVE
FOR DEVELOPMENT...AN INCREASE IN ORGANIZATION COULD RESULT IN THE
FORMATION OF A TROPICAL STORM.  THERE IS A MEDIUM CHANCE...50
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES SLOWLY WESTWARD.

2. SATELLITE IMAGES AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE THAT A SURFACE
LOW IS FORMING WITHIN A DEEP-LAYER TROUGH LOCATED ABOUT 700 MILES
SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF BERMUDA.  SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY HAS
CHANGED LITTLE DURING THE LAST FEW HOURS.  HOWEVER...ENVIRONMENTAL
CONDITIONS ARE BECOMING MORE CONDUCIVE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A
TROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL DEPRESSION DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO.
THERE IS A HIGH CHANCE...60 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A
SUBTROPICAL OR TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT
MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD NEAR 15 MPH.

3. A VIGOROUS TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED OVER THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC
ABOUT 1000 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS IS PRODUCING
A LARGE AREA OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS.  ENVIRONMENTAL
CONDITIONS APPEAR FAVORABLE FOR SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THIS
SYSTEM DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.  THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...20
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD OR WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 15 TO
20 MPH.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS."



I don't know about you, but I think this season has been fascinating.
We have years when hurricanes just seem to target the same area of the map.  This year,
it seems to have been Central America.  However, now we are seeing a few storms develop
out in the Atlantic.  In fact, we could soon see Shary develop.   That's right, we are on the 'S' storm already.
Click here for storm names.  There has been destruction all over Central America.  It has been a very
active season. Often times, though, living in the US, we don't focus on the storms unless they are
hitting the Gulf Coast states or the Eastern seaboard.  Or at least, that's sometimes the way it seems. 

Hurricane season ends November 30.   If we see four more storms develop and we round out the list of names,
we will move on to the Greek alphabet for naming storms. (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta...) 

The Midwest Storm

What a storm.  After the lowest barometric pressure recorded of 28.21" in Bigfork, Minnesota earlier this week,
the massive storm is now over Canada and losing steam.  Behind this big storm, temperatures are taking a nose dive.
We will see near or below freezing temperatures all the way south to the Texas Panhandle.
  

Other thoughts... If you are looking for an interesting read about global warming.
This article from the Associated Press that was in USA Today is pretty good.  

We'll also be watching a weather system moving in from the Pacific that could affect the World Series.  
Looking at rain and wind near the San Francisco Bay area.  

“Land Hurricane”

10/27/2010 surface map showing the record-breaking low pressure system.

I guess “land hurricane” is one way to put it… one thing is for sure, this is one massive, strong low! In case you haven’t heard, it is officially the strongest non-tropical low we’ve ever seen in the continental U.S. To answer our question from yesterday’s blog… “how low can you go?” … the answer appears to be 955.2 mb. That was the pressure reading out of Bigfork, MN at 5:13 PM yesterday. That is the lowest pressure reading ever reported from a non-tropical low! This storm has definitely surpassed some of the strongest, historical storms in the Upper Midwest. Let’s compare numbers… The infamous Armistice Day Storm (November 11th, 1940), dropped to 965 mb. Then there’s the storm that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald (November 10th, 1975) in Lake Superior. That system’s lowest pressure reading was 980 mb.

From the NWS:

.DULUTH...THE LOW PRESSURE RECORD AT DULUTH WAS SET AT 1115 AM
WITH A PRESSURE OF 960.2 MILLIBARS /28.35 INCHES/. THE PREVIOUS
RECORD WAS 964.3 MILLIBARS WHICH OCCURRED ON NOVEMBER 10 1998.

.INTERNATIONAL FALLS...THE LOW PRESSURE RECORD AT INTERNATIONAL
FALLS WAS SET AT 345 PM WITH A PRESSURE OF 956.0 MILLIBARS /28.23
INCHES/. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 971.9 MILLIBARS ON OCTOBER 10 1949.

.WISCONSIN...THE LOW PRESSURE RECORD FOR THE STATE OF WISCONSIN WAS
SET IN SUPERIOR AT 1115 AM WITH A PRESSURE OF 961.3 MILLIBARS
/28.39 INCHES/. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 963.4 MILLIBARS WHICH
OCCURRED AT GREEN BAY ON APRIL 3 1982.

Still not impressed? To put things into perspective, Hurricane Karl, a category 3 this season, bottomed out at 956 mb. Karl was the stongest hurricane ever recorded in the Bay of Campeche. This storm was and still is comparable to a solid hurricane.

Today, this low continues to spin along the US/Canadian border–it’s still incredibly strong, though we’re not seeing such low pressure readings today. Nevertheless, the winds continue to howl and many across the country are feeling the impact. Gusts of up to 60 mph are still being felt today across the Upper Midwest. The most dominant feature to this storm will now be the cold, Wintry side. As it moves eastward, north and northwest flow will continue to pull in cold Canadian air. Check out the wind chill today:

And that’s not all. Wet, heavy snow is blanketing North Dakota, parts of South Dakota and Northern Minnesota. Also, remember the gusts up to 60 mph? Can you say “blizzard?” Yeah. Blizzard conditions continue today for North Dakota. Blizzard warnings continue through this evening. It certainly is a reality check after seeing such a nice, warm October in this neck of the woods. Dunn Center, ND reported 8.5″ at noon. Snow totals in northern MN were also impressive. Up to 7″ in Duluth and Two Harbors.

Paul Douglas' cabin in Northern Minnesota showing some wet snow and a downed tree.

Severe Storms

Yesterday’s line of destructive thunderstorms was no joke. A total of 297 wind damage reports and 26 tornado reports officially as of 1:30 PM. What caused this squall line? It was associated with a cold front that swung out of this massive low in the Northern U.S. Check out this footage out of Wanatah, Indiana as a possible tornado blew through:

Gusts well over 60 mph were clocked along this line. The cold front continues to wreck havoc today. The threat has moved down south.

Atlanta Georgia today as a cold front ignites strong thunderstorms.

The front is losing steam, but tornadoes still will be a possibility today in the Southeast. A tornado watch is in effect through this evening in the area of concern. The threat for severe storms will drastically diminish tomorrow, though a blast of frigid air behind this system will break into a good portion of the nation in the next 24 hours. Many areas will be experiencing a 15 to 20 degree temperature drop as the low continues to pull in cold, Arctic air behind it.

BRRR.

Susie Martin
WeatherNation Meteorologist

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