WeatherNation Blog

More Flooding Rain in the Ohio River Valley

Hello and happy Cyber Monday everyone, hope all is well! Another slow moving low pressure system has found it’s way into the Ohio River and Tennessee River Valleys and is squeezing out more tropical moisture in spots that don’t need any more moisture! In fact, there are a few locations getting rain today that have already seen their wettest year on record and many others that are nearing records as well. Keep in mind that we still have all of December left in the 2011 years, so if this active pattern keeps up, there will likely be several more records falling.

Heavy 2011 Precipitation

Take a look at the 2011 precipitation to date across the nation and note the deep reds even purples from the Ohio & Tennessee Valley into the Northeast. These are the spots dealing with an extremely wet year, some currently in the wettest year in recorded history and some getting close to a record.

2011 Precipitation Departure From Normal

It’s amazing to look at the precipitation departure from normal since January 1st. Locations in the bright purple have seen nearly 20″ or more of above average precipitation since January 1st. It’s interesting to see this map perspective, which really shows the “Dry” areas compared to the “Wet” areas. It really is a story of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Places that don’t need anymore continue to get pounded, whereas places that need moisture aren’t getting much. There are still some spots across the Deep South that are around 20″ behind normal precipitation since January 1st.

U.S. Drought Monitor

The latest update from the U.S. Drought Monitor still has EXCEPTIONAL drought conditions across the deep south with SEVERE drought conditions popping up now across the Upper Midwest. Interesting story coming out of Texas now that the holidays are on the minds of many… Drought conditions have many future Christmas trees in jeopardy as tree farmers are struggling to keep seedlings alive.

Here’s more from

Flooding Headlines

The National Weather Service has flooding headlines in place for many locations that are getting heavy rainfall and have been getting heavy rain since Sunday. These are also areas that had 2″ to 3″ of rain last week. Minor river flooding is occurring due to recent heavy rainfall.

Find out more about the flooding from the National Weather Service HERE:

Additional Rainfall

The rainfall forecast from HPC shows an additional 2″ to almost 4″ of rain possible in areas near the Great Lakes Region through 6pm Wednesday.

Thanks for checking in on this Monday, hope all is well and have a great rest of the week.

Meteorologist Todd Nelson

White Christmas


My little family now has a tradition of taking our annual Christmas card picture in our front yard in December with our Christmas tree.  This is a tradition that started 4 years ago when I snapped a photo that immediately became my favorite and, unfortunately for the rest of my family, I decide that it must be replicated every year.  This photo can’t be taken just any day in December.  It has to be the day we bring home our Christmas tree and it HAS to be snowing. (Need the snow to cover up the dead grass and plants and in the front yard but I also love the snow falling in the picture).  Miraculously we have managed to keep this tradition for the past 4 years when it all began.   As a meteorologist, I feel like I have a slight advantage.  Starting the day after Thanksgiving, I start watching the weather closely for the perfect day for the bring home the tree and taking the family photo.  And if that criteria isn’t enough already, it has to be on a weekend day so my husband is home from work.  Each year I worry that the conditions won’t line up correctly on weekend day but somehow it works out.  Odds are actually with me and by the time Dec. 25th rolls around we usually have a least an inch of snow on the ground.


In the Minneapolis Area, we have 76 – 90% chance of having a white Christmas, so I can rest assured that we probably have a white Christmas but whether or not it will be in time for Christmas photo to get into the mail is another story.  No major storms on the way for next weekend..But I still have 2 more weekends after that!



Wishing I was In…


In particular,  I wish I was in spending the weekend in San Diego.

As an offshore flow develops, temperatures will be soaring into the mid to upper 70s today and even to the mid 80s tomorrow. That is about 10 to 15 degrees above average for this  Southern California is always nice but it isn’t always hot like it will be this weekend.  This pattern is expected to stick around through next week so the beach weather is here to stay.  But along with this warm weather, the winds will also be increasing.


On the other end of the nation, snow is falling in the Boundry Waters Canoe Area as an area of low pressure moves across central MN towards the Great Lakes.

A couple more inches expected to accumulate through the day today:

The rest of the Central US is only dealing with Rain from this same storm system as a cold front is extending from the Great Lakes down to the Gulf Coast.


Potential for severe storms in Louisiana late this afternoon as this evening as this front tracks eastward.

Relative Quiet This Thanksgiving – A Reason To Give Thanks

As we head through this Thanksgiving, we want to give you a reason to be thankful – even if you aren’t happy with a stagnant batch or clouds or cool and breezy weather…

Here is reason number 1:

Think back to 2001.  We saw a major two day tornado outbreak in the South on November 23-24 that spawned 67 tornadoes over that period, and ended up causing 13 fatalities.  Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas were the main states impacted by that outbreak.

Reason number 2:

In 1993 Texas experienced what is known locally as a “Blue Northerner” – or a cold front in that region.  It caused temperatures to dip low enough that the Thanksgiving Day football game for the Dallas Cowboys was seen being played in sleet and rain -with cold temperatures arriving!  Leon Lett slipped in the game, and that caused Miami to escape with a win.

Reason number 3:

In 1991 a dust storm in southern California caused massive travel concerns and deadly travel conditions.  In the end enough accidents were caused that nearly twenty people were killed and more than one hundred and fifty people were injured by the end!

Reason number 4:

In 1983 Denver, Colorado, was slammed with one of the biggest snowstorms of all time to hit a major U.S. city on Thanksgiving.  They were hit with twenty inches of snowfall!  Imagine trying to fly out of Denver’s airport for a connecting flight with that type of snowfall on the ground during the busiest travel day of the year!

Finally – reason number 5:

In 1950 we saw the Great Thanksgiving Storm Of 1950.  This took place over the Ohio Valley region, with portions of Ohio picking up 20 to 30 inches of snowfall.  The Ohio State vs. Michigan football game was played in temperatures that dipped as low as five degrees, and ended up as a low-scoring affair – with a final score of 9-3… In that game the Wolverines beat the Buckeyes and the game featured over 40 punts between the two teams!

Are those reason enough to be thankful for the fairly decent weather we are seeing?  Stay safe and avoid the dangerous Pacific mountain passes in the Pacific Northwest, if possible!

Great Central Region Travel Weather – But A Storm Is Coming

As you head around the nation for travels this Thanksgiving, many people in the Midwest will be giving thanks for one thing different than usual – great travel weather!  This is what it looked like on satellite in the early going of the day this Wednesday – with clear or partly cloudy skies only inhibited by some patchy fog around the nation’s midsection.

You can see those foggy patches, as well as just some light cloud cover – but other than that things are looking quite clear and smooth across the Midwest and the central and southern Plains.  Stay tuned through the rest of this blog post, though, as there are some changes on the way come this Friday through Sunday!

Moisture looks to collide with a weak wave of energy flowing through and over the Rockies in the next 36 hours, to provide the boost needed to form our next Midwest storm system.  Look at this image below, this would come at about 6pm Friday – and shows model forecasted precipitation from one of the major computer models we look at as meteorologists:

You can see rain starting to nudge into portions of Iowa and up through the central Plains, along with portions of Texas – so the quiet weather pattern is relatively short-lived.  In the next image you’ll see that things get even more rainy and stormy around the central third of the nation as we head through the course of the weekend!  This next image is the same computer model’s forecast for Saturday morning to early afternoon:

Quite a bit of rain!  Stay safe and stay tuned to road conditions if you’re traveling!

November 2011
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