WeatherNation Blog

Moderate Risk Area Today, Wildfires, and Super Typhoons

Elevated Severe Risk Today

Moderate severe weather threat issued today for portions of Minnesota and South Dakota.  There is the potential for tornadoes as well as intense straight line winds and large hail.

From the National Weather Service in Minneapolis:

Nationwide, the threat for thunderstorms today is expansive.  It stretches from the western half of New York all the way through to Washington and southward to Texas.   Once again the zone of highest concern for today is centered South Dakota and Western Minnesota.

Super Typhoon Guchol

Although the Atlantic Basin has been relatively quiet this year, the Pacific Basin is producing some more intense storms.  Super Typhoon Guchol has developed and is projected to approach the coastal areas of Japan. Here is the current track of the storm:

As of this morning (which is actually Sunday Evening in this part of the world), the typhoon was packing over 150 mile sustained winds.  That makes it equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane.  The latest discussion on the storm states that it has an eye that is 17 miles wide!

By the time it approaches the coast of Japan, it is expected to weaken a bit with sustained winds up to 80 mph.

Wild Fires Continue

Firefighters receive assistance from the National Guard.  Video shows the National Guard loading up a bucket of water on a helicopter as the National Guard from Kansas and Nebraska provides support to Colorado:


Video from youtube user: TheNationalGuard

Windy and dry conditions continue to make it difficult for firefighters in the Southwest.

Photo from: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/06/11/colorado-wildfire-rages-mescalero-apache-eye-little-bear-fire-117709

The Whitewater Baldy fire is now up to 75% but the growth potential is still high as weather conditions aren’t helping the situation.

From Inciweb.org: Aircraft will continue to patrol the fire area today. Firefighters continue to prepare for the fire if it reaches Turkey Creek; they are ready to insert portable pumps and hose-lays to hold the fire along Turkey Creek and the Gila River. Helicopters with buckets are ready to assist the firefighters. Hand crews will be chipping along Road 141 between Hulse Ranch and Beaverhead Work Center.

Happy Father’s Day! Check back here for more updates.

Meteorologist Gretchen Mishek

Moderate Severe Risk in the Northern Plains

June 17, 2010: NOAA reports “The largest single-day tornado outbreak in Minnesota history occurred with 48 tornadoes across the state, and set the stage for a record breaking tornado year that finished with 113 tornadoes statewide. There were three EF-4 tornadoes and four EF-3 tornadoes in Minnesota on this day. Four tornado fatalities occurred, which was the highest number since July 5, 1978.” It’s more than a little ironic that another significant tornado outbreak is possible later today, two years later to the day.

Zombie Alert. Why worry about dew point and severe thunderstorms when we’ll soon be tracking the living dead on Doppler? Details from CDC below.

Father’s Day Severe Threat: Significant Tornado Risk. According to SPC a surge of hot, humidifed air may set off a few severe storms from the Dakotas into western and central Minnesota (by tonight). A few large, violent tornadoes are possible this evening in South Dakota, pushing into southwestern and even central Minnesota early tonight. Stay alert later today for watches and warnings. Details from SPC:

FORECAST SOUNDINGS AT 00Z/MON IN ERN SD SHOW MLCAPE FROM 2500 TO
3000 J/KG WITH AN IMPRESSIVE SHEAR ENVIRONMENT. 0-6 KM SHEAR IS
FORECAST TO INCREASE DURING THE DAY REACHING 50 TO 55 KT BY EARLY
EVENING. THIS ALONG WITH A STRENGTHENING 40 TO 50 KT LOW-LEVEL JET
SHOULD BE FAVORABLE FOR TORNADIC SUPERCELLS. FORECAST SOUNDINGS NEAR
AND JUST EAST OF ABERDEEN AT 00Z/MON SHOW 0-3 KM STORM RELATIVE
HELICITIES OF 350 TO 400 M2/S2 WITH LCL HEIGHTS AROUND 700 METERS
SUGGESTING A THREAT FOR STRONG TORNADOES WILL BE POSSIBLE. IN
ADDITION...SUPERCELLS SHOULD CONTAIN LARGE HAIL WITH HAIL GREATER
THAN 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE WITH THE MORE DOMINANT ROTATING
STORMS. AS STORM COVERAGE INCREASES DURING THE EVENT...A LINE OF
STORMS COULD ORGANIZE ACROSS SRN MN WITH DISCRETE ROTATING CELLS
EMBEDDED IN THE LINE. THE STRONG SHEAR AND WELL-DEVELOPED LOW-LEVEL
JET SHOULD HELP THE TORNADO THREAT TO CONTINUE INTO THE EVENING.
HOWEVER...A GRADUAL TRANSITION TO A WIND DAMAGE THREAT SHOULD TAKE
PLACE DURING THE EARLY TO MID EVENING. THE LINE COULD MOVE ESEWD
INTO CNTRL AND ERN IA BY LATE IN THE EVENING. THE SEVERE THREAT
SHOULD DROP OFF QUICKLY TO THE SOUTHWEST OF THE MCS MAINLY DUE TO
WARMING MID-LEVEL TEMPS.

 

One Stormy Week. If you’re keeping score (and who among us isn’t): 2,034 separate severe storm reports in the last week, according to SPC. For an interactive map from Ham Weather click here. Details:

Total Storm Reports:2034
Wind:1061
Rain:257
Snow/Blizzard:5
Tornado:30
Hail:653
Lightning:14
Dust:9
16:5

 

Remembering The Chandler Tornado. Bill McAuliffe at The Star Tribune takes a look back at the last F-5 tornado to hit Minnesota, 20 years ago yesterday: “Twenty years ago Saturday, about 5:30 p.m., one of the strongest tornadoes in state history blew apart the small southwestern Minnesota city of Chandler, destroying 49 of its 131 homes, injuring more than 30 people and wiping away nearly every familiar landmark. Damage in today’s dollars was $24.6 million. One woman died six weeks later; she’d been injured when a wall fell on her. She waited out the storm in her basement. It was the last F5 tornado to touch down in Minnesota.”

Acapulco Radar. The Saturday late morning radar image above shows the soggy remains of Carlotta, which hit the Mexican coast as a powerful Category 2 hurricane Friday night.

“Carlotta” Comes Ashore Near Mexico’s Puerto Escondito. Details from Reuters: “Hurricane Carlotta made landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast near the southern city of Puerto Escondido late on Friday, unleashing heavy rain and gusts of winds as far as the resort city of Acapulco, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Carlotta, the third named storm of the Pacific hurricane season, had escalated throughout the afternoon into a Category 2 hurricane but weakened into Category 1 storm as it hit coastal mountains in the state of Oaxaca. As it made landfall at 9 p.m. EDT, it had winds of nearly 90 mph (145 kph) with higher gusts. It was about 10 miles (15 km) northwest of Puerto Escondido and about 190 miles (310 km) southeast of the tourist city of Acapulco.” Map of Carlotta’s track courtesy of NHC and Ham Weather.

Mexican Radar Sites. Heading to Mexico for a vacation or “business trip”? Here’s a handy web site, where you can tap into radar sites from Cabo San Lucas to Acapulco to Cancun. Definitely bookmark-worthy.

“Enlightening”. Thanks to the Key West office of The National Weather Service for sharing this shot, via Facebook: “Cloud to cloud and cloud to ground lightning strikes over the extreme southeast portion of the Florida Peninsula. This picture was taken earlier this evening from Key Largo by official storm spotter Joe Sheriff. We are always interested in pictures of weather phenomena around the Florida Keys.”

A Wild Sky. These must be mammatus, but they’re unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Thanks to Ivette Mendez-Kelley out in Morrison, Colorado for sharing this photo.

Weather Bliss. Friday was amazing up north, low humidity, blue sky, a faint whisper of a breeze – June the way it was meant to be on Pelican Lake in Orr, MN. Photo courtesy of Payton Frostad, who had the good sense not to be stranded on that fishing boat.

“Ask Paul”. Weather-related Q&A:

Paul-

I took this picture last Saturday in Buffalo, MN.  I was facing basically east, and I took the photo at around sunset.  I was wondering if there was some name for this phenomenon.  I hadn’t seen it before.”

 

Thanks,

 

 

Steve Nisbet

 

 

Steve, you captured a great example of “crepuscular rays”, or twilight rays, only seen around sunrise and sunset, caused by scattered of white light in dust and haze by objects (thunderheads?) over the horizon. It can make for a breathtaking sight!

Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse. Hey, the zombies are coming, so don’t sweat the thundershowers tomorrow, ok? I’m a “Walking Dead” fan, and this web site caught my eye. Clearly someone at Atlanta’s CDC, the Center for Disease Control, has a well-developed sense of humor: “If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).

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Welcome to the WeatherNation blog. Every day I sift through hundreds of stories, maps, graphics and meteorological web sites, trying to capture some of the most interesting weather nuggets, the stories behind the forecast. I’ll link to stories and share some of the web sites I use. I’m still passionate about the weather, have been ever since Tropical Storm Agnes flooded my home in Lancaster, PA in 1972. I’ve started 5 weather-related companies. “EarthWatch” created the world’s first 3-D weather graphics for TV stations – Steven Spielberg used our software in “Jurassic Park” and “Twister”. My last company, “Digital Cyclone”, personalized weather for cell phones. “My-Cast” was launched in 2001 and is still going strong on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. I sold DCI to Garmin in 2007 so I could focus on my latest venture: WeatherNation. I also write a daily weather column for The Star Tribune startribune.com/weather And if you’re on Twitter, you’ll find me @pdouglasweather
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