Rare snowstorm hits Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:02 PM GMT on December 12, 2008

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A rare early December heavy snowstorm hit Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi yesterday, setting several records. It was the earliest measurable snowfall in recorded history at Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Lake Charles. Also, this snow event set the all time record snowfall amounts for the month of December at Beaumont, Port Arthur, Lake Charles, Lafayette, and New Iberia, and was the first measurable snowfall in recorded history for the month of December at Lafayette. In Mississippi, up to 5 inches of snow fell on areas south of Jackson. The snow knocked out power to 83,000 and caused numerous traffic accidents and road closures across Southeast Louisiana. The snow was caused by an upper-level low pressure system that deepened over the Gulf of Mexico. The snow was unusual because it occurred when the surface temperatures were 32 to 35 degrees.

The one inch of snow reported in New Orleans was that city's earliest snow on record. The previous earliest date for measurable snowfall in New Orleans was Dec. 22, 1989. New Orleans' last snowfall, in 2004, was a dusting. The record snowfall for the city is about 5 inches, recorded Dec. 30, 1963.


Figure 1. Yesterday's snowstorm brought a festive blanket of white to Magee, Mississippi. Image credit: SouthernLady.

A few selected snow amounts from yesterday's storm:

Louisiana
-------------
Amite 8.0 inches
rossroads 6.0 inches
Hammond 6.0 inches
Mount Herman 6.0 inches
Opelousas 6.0 inches
Washington 6.0 inches
Covington 6.0 inches
Baton Rouge 3.0 inches
Plaquemine 2.5 inches
New Orleans 1.0 inches
Lafayette 1.0 inches
New Iberia 0.8 inches
NWS Lake Charles 0.4 inches

Mississippi
---------------
Columbia 5.0 inches
Jayess 5.0 inches
Brookhaven 5.0 inches
Prentiss 4.0 inches

Texas
--------
Lumberton 4.0 inches
West Beaumont 4.0 inches
Woodville 3.0 inches
Beaumont City 2.5 inches
SE TX regional Arpt 1.8 inches
Orange 1.0 inches
Port Neches 1.0 inches
Jasper 0.5 inches

So what happened to global warming?
Record snow events inevitably bring comments like, "so what happened to global warming?" First of all, no single weather event can prove or disprove the existence of climate change or global warming. One needs to look at the entire globe over a period of decades to evaluate whether or not climate change is occurring. It might be instructive to look at what global snow cover is doing this season (it's about 10% below average, Figure 2), but this doesn't mean global warming is occurring. This year's reduced snow cover could be due to natural seasonal variations. Only global average temperatures, when viewed over a time scale of decades, can prove or disprove the existence of global warming. Global average temperatures, when averaged over a decades-long period that removes the "bumps" associated with natural seasonal weather fluctuations, show that global warming is occurring.

Secondly, as both myself and wunderground climate change expert Dr. Ricky Rood have pointed out, global warming won't necessarily lead to a decrease in snowfall in all regions. If it is cold enough to snow, we may actually see increased snow in many locations. Global warming puts more moisture in the atmosphere, due to fact that higher global temperatures evaporate more moisture off of the oceans. I expect that coming decades will bring many record snowfalls, due to the increased moisture available in the atmosphere.


Figure 2. Northern Hemisphere snow cover on December 9, 2008 (blue areas) compared to average (green line). Northern Hemisphere snow cover was about 10% below average the first week of December. Since October, Northern Hemisphere snow cover has been about 5% below average. Bob Hart at Florida State has put together a nice set of regularly updating images showing the current state of global snow cover.

Subtropical Storm Rene possible in the Atlantic next week
The trough of low pressure that brought snow to the deep south will track eastward over the Atlantic over the next few days, reaching the central Atlantic north of the Lesser Antilles Islands by Monday. On Monday or Tuesday, the computer models unanimously agree that the southern portion of the trough will pinch off and form a "cut-off low"--an extratropical storm that is cut off from the jet stream. This low is expected to track slowly westward to a point midway between Bermuda and Puerto Rico by late next week. The low will be over waters marginally warm enough--25°C--to support formation of a subtropical storm, and phase space diagrams from Florida State indicate that this storm will be warm-cored. Wind shear is forecast to be low enough to allow a subtropical or tropical storm to form, and I give a medium (20-50% chance) that we will see Subropical Storm Rene in the Atlantic next week.

Jeff Masters

Snow in Metairie, LA (saintsfan06)
Levee in Metairie
Snow in Metairie, LA
New Orleans Snow Storm (locust)
New Orleans Snow Storm
Snowing in South Ms! (dwmckenzie)
Snowing in South Ms!
Texas Snow (sdmanis)
Pearland Texas Snow on my car
Texas Snow

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New Blog
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
TY 0822 (Dolphin)
Issued at 12:50 UTC, 15 December 2008

Dolphin is a typhoon (10-minute sustained) now.
Barely 65 kt (74.8 mph).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
283. IKE
Not looking bad...plenty of LLC.....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
282. IKE
Quoting MissNadia:

Ike, it ain't sports It's a business!!!!
Collage stuff is good... all those kids play their hearts out


Except there's no playoff in NCAA division 1A football....same thing every year....why did team X get screwed.

I like sports...just don't like it when teams get the shaft.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
It was a third down, naturally. They would've had to kick it, and gone into OT.

2nd time this season of having a ridiculous call on a 3rd down. San Diego and us really have several reasons to be annoyed at incompetent officials... they even have video for crying out loud.

Tirade over. :D
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
Ravens got screwed on that call at the goal-line. What down would it have been then, if the call was the player wasn't across the line.

This is one reason I turn away from sports...team gets screwed.

Ike, it ain't sports It's a business!!!!
Collage stuff is good... all those kids play their hearts out
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
Ravens got screwed on that call at the goal-line. What down would it have been then, if the call was the player wasn't across the line.

This is one reason I turn away from sports...team gets screwed.


Can't recall... but yeah, we got screwed... and not for the first time this season, either. We got screwed over by the officials in the Titans game as well.

But, we should have stopped them earlier, and we would've won. So, can't put too much on the officials really.

Wouldn't surprise me if we collapse to 9-7 now. Still, an improvement on last year.
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278. IKE
Ravens got screwed on that call at the goal-line. What down would it have been then, if the call was the player wasn't across the line.

This is one reason I turn away from sports...team gets screwed.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
And Haiti doesn't need anything right now...

(Extract from Ike's wiki article..)

"The outer bands of Ike caused additional flooding in Haiti, which was already devastated by Hanna and also hit hard by Fay and Gustav. The last bridge still standing into the city of Gonaïves was washed away, slowing relief in the community considerably and creating a deeper humanitarian and food crisis in the hard-hit region. 74 deaths were reported in Haiti from Ike,[66] of which most were in the coastal community of Cabaret which was swept away by floodwaters and mudslides.[67] Haitian Prime Minister Michèle Pierre-Louis called for help at the end of the week, saying that four storms in three weeks have left over 550 dead and as many as one million homeless.[68] She also said that parts of Gonaïves were so severely damaged that the city may have to be rebuilt elsewhere.[68]"
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Quoting IKE:
Just about every model intensifies pre-Rene and then loops it toward Haiti/DR, weakening it along the way.

I'm surprised it's not an invest already and think it may be sometime today.


Let's hope it doesn't form at all, or that weakening trend picks up quick if it does.

R storms have a tendency to be vicious.
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275. IKE
Just about every model intensifies pre-Rene and then loops it toward Haiti/DR, weakening it along the way.

I'm surprised it's not an invest already and think it may be sometime today.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
274. IKE
It does look like Rene is on the way...SSD satellite is down again....good thing Colorado state/RAMSDIS is working.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
A SFC TROUGH IS BECOMING A LITTLE BETTER ORGANIZED JUST E
OF THE FRONT ALONG 52W N OF 22N. IR IMAGES REVEAL AN INCREASED
AREA OF CYCLONIC TURNING IN THE MID-LEVELS WITH ASSOCIATED
SCATTERED SHOWERS AND TSTMS N OF 26N BETWEEN 46W-56W. SIMILAR
ACTIVITY EXISTS FROM 19N-24N BETWEEN 42W-45W IN AN UPPER
DIFFLUENT ZONE. THIS SFC TROUGH WILL LIKELY GAIN VORTICITY FROM
THE WEAKENING FRONT AND POSSIBLY DEVELOP INTO A CLOSED LOW
TUE...ACCORDING TO MANY OF THE NWP MODELS. MODELS ARE IN GOOD
AGREEMENT IN SHOWING A TRACK TOWARD THE SW STEERED BY THE E
PERIPHERY OF A BUILDING MID-LEVEL RIDGE.

From discussion
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Coastal N.C. is 62 and cloudy
Calm Winds
Forecast is for 70 and partly cloudy skies!!!!!
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:


ULYSSES (Dolphin 0822) beginning to appear on Philippines satellite radar

It looks like Dolphin is trying to form an eye
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2373
I won't be that surprised if Rene forms all the crazy things that happened in 08 a post-season storm wouldn't be a shocker.
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2373
Thank You to those who posted the pictures of the snow in LA/TX
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268. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


ULYSSES (Dolphin 0822) beginning to appear on Philippines satellite radar
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45554
Looks like some fairly vigorous mid-level vorticity associated with the potential Rene.
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266. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #26
T2008-22 DOLPHIN
15:00 PM JST December 15 2008
===============================================

Subject: CATEGORY TWO TYPHOON EAST OF THE PHILIPPINES

At 15:00 PM JST, Severe Tropical Storm Dolphin (980 hPa) located near 14.3N 130.3E has 10 minute sustained winds of 60 knots with gusts up to 85 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving northwest at 6 knots.

Storm Force Winds
================
40 NM from the center

Gale-force Winds
================
180 NM from the center in northeast quadrant
150 NM from the center in southwest quadrant

Dvorak Intensity: T3.5

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 15.0N 129.1E - 65 knots (CAT 3)
48 HRS: 16.3N 128.3E - 65 knots (CAT 3)
72 HRS: 17.6N 128.0E - 55 knots (CAT 2)
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45554
265. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
RSMC: India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
11:30 AM IST December 15 2008
=========================================

Yesterday's Low Pressure Area over southeast and adjoining southwest Arabian Sea and neighborhood now lies as a well marked low pressure area over southwest Arabian Sea.

Satellite imagery indicate broken to intense convection over the area between 6.0N and 11.5E and between 59.0E and 64.0E. In association with the above the vortex centered near 9.5N 62.0E has the dvorak intensity of T1.0 with 3 minute sustained winds of 20 knots.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45554
264. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Bureau of Meteorology in Australia
TROPICAL CYCLONE OUTLOOK WESTERN AUSTRALIA 110E-125E
Issued at 2:00pm WDT on Monday the 15th of December 2008
===========================================
A developing Tropical Low [1005 hPa] is situated north of the Kimberley in the Timor Sea. At 11am it was near latitude 10.0S 128.0E, and is reported almost stationary. The low is expected to move towards the west or southwest during the next few days and will be closely monitored.

Tropical Cyclone Development Potential
=====================================
Tuesday: Low
Wednesday: Moderate
Thursday: High

Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45554
Hello ,

Mever does all the snow reports get out because the reporting sustem for snow is older then dirt .
Lauderdale county ,franklin county in alabama both recieved 3 inches of snow .
Justbecause you don't see it on the so called snow data site or any otyher doesn't mean it didnt happen. have a nice day and enjo the weather .
dew
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Indeed, a late season surprise. Rene might be forming. Well I guess its back to the old ole wunderground Forecasting earlier than expected.

Damn, I think my kid brought home a really bad cold or something from school. Bad coughing, going to have to see local doctor. (Or go to Walgreens.)
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24161
TYPHOON Dolphin
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2373
Atlantic Sub-tropicalcyclogenesis Analysis


-Potential Rene-


Cyclogenesis is currently occurring along a baroclinic zone in near 60w and 40n, which is association with a sheared upper level low near 50n. The trough of low pressure is flanked by vigorous anticyclones from both sides. The substantial pressure gradient is currently causing strong gale force winds around the vicinity of the trough. Subsequently about 36 hours from now, the anticyclone from the west is expected to bisect the trough of low of pressure as it moves eastward. The high pressure system will then set itself over the remnants of the trough, guiding it Southwestward, and warming the ambient air adiabatically; providing ideal conditions from sub-tropicalcyclogenesis. Due to the absence of the trough, vertical wind shear values are expected to decrease to slightly marginal levels for subtropical storm formation. However, this system is expected to interact with land as the high to its northwest steer it southwest toward Hispaniola and Puerto rico. The combination of wind shear and land interaction should weaken this system significantly, and it is highly unlikely that it will reinvigorate itself in the Caribbean.

FutureMet
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259. JRRP
sincerely I don´t think that we will see Rene
but... nobody knows
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Texas blue norther.
16F Amarillo, 70F Dallas right now.

Link
Member Since: January 30, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 750
Hello Rene, soon.
Member Since: September 21, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 688
Rene???
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
Quoting Drakoen:
NEAR 28N54W. THE CLOUD PATTERN IS EXHIBITING SOME CYCLONIC CIRCULATION WITH SCATTERED SHOWERS AROUND THE LOW CENTER.


I believe this is the most recent Quikscat for above area
Link

and for the area just North of 30N
Link
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Evening Everyone! Haven't been in for a while. Just wanted to stop by and wish everyone Happy Holidays!
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AS WAS ADVERTISED BY MUCH OF THE COMPUTER MODELS...A SFC LOW IS
BEGINNING TO FORM OVER THE CENTRAL ATLC NEAR 28N54W. THE CLOUD
PATTERN IS EXHIBITING SOME CYCLONIC CIRCULATION WITH SCATTERED
SHOWERS AROUND THE LOW CENTER.
THIS SYSTEM WILL DRIFT SW DURING
THE NEXT 24 HOURS AND THEN W TO WSW FOR SEVERAL DAYS. THE PRES
GRADIENT IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE BETWEEN THIS DEVELOPING LOW AND
THE SFC HIGH CURRENTLY OVER THE W ATLC WITH WINDS REACHING GALE
FORCE ON THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE SFC LOW.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30559
Tried to embed this, but ran into some problems...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5841396592020661354
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Global Warming???

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Some crazy weather in store for my location in S. Ontario: warming up to 7C tomorrow morning, followed by a rapid drop below freezing in the afternoon, then about 20 cm of snow later in the week, with the temperature warming up to 10C on Friday then dropping to -10C that night.
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Quoting hurricane23:


Maybe next year?
area near 20.4n/42.7w is the pinch off zone late tonight early tommorow is the early stages watch wait see
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We are going to get rain for the next three days but it will warm up before then. It can rain and it can get cold( below 32F/0C ) but not at the same time.
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2373
241 is right but I can't see huristat's posts so he could be right too.
and Donna's center actually passed East of NJ but brought hurricane force winds to the state
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2373
244. Skyepony (Mod)
JRRP~ I don't think I've seen cmc & ukmet in more agreeance all season.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
1903 hurricane hit New Jersey also


That's the Vagabond Hurricane
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Quoting all4hurricanes:
Ok we need an icebreaker
What is the only hurricane to make landfall in New Jersey


Well as far as we know, there is an extremely high amount of hurricanes that have hit NJ... however, in recorded history, these three have.
The Storm of October 1804
1821 Norfolk and Long Island Hurricane
Vagabond Hurricane
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looks like future Rene starting to detach...
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Ok we need an icebreaker
What is the only hurricane to make landfall in New Jersey
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2373
It's getting quieter and quieter... :(
Member Since: September 21, 2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 688
Quoting Drakoen:
West Pacific.


Looks a bit more like a Joey Porter at this rate.
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West Pacific.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30559

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.