Great earthquake rocks Chile; NYC gets 4th greatest snow ever; Xynthia batters Europe

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:26 PM GMT on February 27, 2010

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A great earthquake with magnitude 8.8 rocked the coast of Chile at 6:34 GMT this morning, generating a potentially dangerous tsunami that is racing across the Pacific Ocean. The great quake is the 7th most powerful tremor in world history (Figure 1). Preliminary tsunami wave heights for the California coast near Santa Barbara are 2 - 2.5 feet. The wave is expected to arrive between 12:15 - 12:35 pm PST. The tsunami is expected to arrive in Hawaii between 11:05 - 11:42am HST, with a wave 8.2 feet high expected in Hilo, on the Big Island. A tsunami from the 9.5 Magnitude 1960 earthquake in Chile killed 61 people in Hilo. Today's quake was so strong, that it triggered a seiche in Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, over 4,500 miles (7,000 km) away. The lake sloshed back and forth, creating a wave 0.4 - 0.51 feet on either side of the lake.


Figure 1. Wikipedia's list of strongest earthquakes of all-time.

Preliminary tsunami amplitude forecasts:

La Jolla, CA 2.3 ft
Los Angeles, CA 2.0 ft
Malibu, CA 2.6 ft
Pt. San Luis, CA 2.3 ft
Half Moon Bay, CA 2.6 ft
Crescent City, CA 1.7 ft
Morro Bay, CA 2.2 ft
Santa Monica, CA 3.3 ft
San Francisco, CA 0.7 ft
Pismo Beach, CA 4.6 ft

Hilo, HI 8.2 feet 11:5am HST
Honolulu, HI 1.6 ft 11:37am HST
Kahului, HI 7.2 ft 11:26am HST
Nawiliwili, HI 3.0 ft 11:42am HST
Haleiwa 1.6 ft
Kawaihae 2.0 ft

Port Orford, OR 0.7 ft

Moclip, WA 1.3 ft

Seward, AK 1.3 ft
Stika, AK 1.3 ft
Kodiak, AK 2.3 ft

Tofino, British Columbia 1.7 ft

Today's great quake occurred at the boundary between the Nazca and South American plates about 325 km southwest of the capital Santiago (population 5.3 million). The depth was estimated at 35 km. At least four aftershocks of magnitude 6 or higher have occurred, the largest being a 6.9 aftershock. Fortunately, the area close to the epicenter is relatively sparsely populated, but there may be heavy damage in Concepción (est. pop. 300,000) and Chillan (est. pop. 170,000), which lie 115 km and 100 km to the south of the epicenter, respectively.


Figure 2. NOAA's preliminary forecast of tsunami wave energy for today's earthquake. Image credit: NOAA Tsunami Warning Center.

New York City slammed with its 4th largest snowstorm on record
The snow from the fourth extreme snowstorm to wallop the Northeast U.S. this winter dumped a remarkable 20.9" of snow on New York City's Central Park yesterday and Thursday. This is the 4th largest snowstorm for the city in recorded history. According to the National Weather Service, the top ten snowstorms on record for New York City's Central Park are:

26.9" Feb 11-12, 2006
26.4" Dec 26-27, 1947
21.0" Mar 12-14, 1888
20.9" Feb 25-26, 2010
20.2" Jan 7-8, 1996
19.8" Feb 16-17, 2003
18.1" Mar 7-8, 1941
17.7" Feb 5-7, 1978
17.6" Feb 11-12, 1983
17.5" Feb 4-7, 1920

The storm also helped New York City set a new all-time snowfall record for the most snow ever recorded in a month--36.9". The old record was 30.5", set in March 1896. However, the old Lower Manhattan WB Station recorded 37.9" in February 1894. Yesterday's snowstorm puts New York City's snow for the 2009 - 2010 season at 51.4", making it the 11th snowiest winter since 1869. Chris Burt, author of Extreme Weather, lists the city's all-time seasonal snowfall record at 81.5", set in the winter of 1867 - 1868. This measurement came before official records began in Central Park, and were done be the NY Park Commissioners (see "Annual Report NY Park Commissioners", 1868, by John B. Marie). The second snowiest winter in NYC occurred during the winter of 1995 - 1996, when 75.6" fell.

Destructive Winter Storm Xynthia battering Portugal and Spain
A powerful 969 mb low pressure system named "Xynthia" is rapidly intensifying of the coast of Spain, and stands poised to deliver a devastating blow to Portugal, Spain, and France today and tomorrow as it powers through Europe. Sustained winds of 60 mph (96 km/hr) were reported today at a Personal Weather Station in Costa del Morte, Spain. The pressure fell to 969 mb as Xynthia passed overhead. For comparison, Winter Storm Klaus had a minimum pressure of 967 mb. Klaus, which hit northern Spain and southwest France January 23 - 25, was Earth's most costly natural disaster of 2009, causing $5.1 billion in damage and killing 26. Models predict that Xynthia will continue to intensify today, reaching 962 mb as it moves into the west coast of France Sunday morning. Sustained winds of 50 - 65 mph (80 - 105 km/hr) with hurricane-force gusts up to 100 mph (160 km/hr) are possible along the north coast of Spain tonight and the west coast of France on Sunday as Xynthia barrels through. The storm is also bringing an exceptionally moist plume of tropical moisture ashore, as seen in precipitable water imagery from NOAA (Figure 4). This moisture is likely to cause moderate to severe flooding in portions of Europe over the weekend.


Figure 3. Visible satellite image at 12 GMT of Xynthia.


Figure 4. Satellite measurements show a region of extremely high atmospheric moisture is associated with Winter Storm Xynthia. This moisture will surge over Portugal and Spain today, potentially creating serious flooding. Image credit: Sheldon Kusselson, NOAA/NESDIS.

Links to follow:
Wundermap for Northwest Spain
Spanish radar
Meteo-France
Portugese radar

Jeff Masters

Central Park 26Feb10 (MickyDee)
the BIG one Taken in Manhattan
Central Park 26Feb10
Tree 1, House 0 (Backbaybob)
This cottage was no match for 65 mph wind and an old pine tree.
Tree 1, House 0

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1016. Levi32
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


The low pressure expected in the Caribbean also means that there will be less rain over the Amazon, which is bad for the Brazilian forest fire season.



Volcanic activity? You mean Mount Redoubt? Most of the eruption consisted of water vapor, which should have enhanced a positive feedback near the pole but not in the tropics, which is the area studied in which a negative feedback resulted in nearly flat temperatures after 2000. Mount Redoubt erupted previously in 1989-1990, and I see no similar spike in global temperatures from 1990-1991. Whatever caused the rapid warming, it appears to have broken the decadal lull in global warming.


More volcanoes erupted than just Redoubt. There were a few in Russia as well. The SO2 released from these eruptions is an effective absorber of sunlight, and heated the upper atmosphere, which aided in the amazing blocking we have seen this winter. Joe Bastardi has commented on this as well.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Quoting timpatio:
Welcome to Jeff Masters "Global warming propaganda Board".- sponsored by Al Gore


Masters like many meteorologists doesn't understand that the atmosphere is only the tail of the dog. The solid and liquid portions of the planet are the dog itself. The tail doesn't wag the dog. Unfortunately, the only thing most meteorologists understand is the atmosphere so they try to claim that the atmosphere is somehow in charge of everything. Many of them don't seem to understand that the atmosphere keeps the ground from getting as hot as it would if there were no atmosphere.

They talk about the atmosphere blocking radiation from the ground but what actually happens is that the atmosphere significantly reduces the amount of radiation the ground can produce by cooling it. The equation for the amount of radiation produced depends upon the temperature in degrees Kelvin raised to the fourth power. For example, the resulting number for 300 Kelvin (about 28 C) is over 100 million lower than the number for 301 K.

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If we do go into a La Nina. Do you guys think it'll be western based(La Nina Modiki, Central Pacific cooling)?

If so, how will that effect our weather patterns?
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1013. Skyepony (Mod)
NWS has that ULL deepening over TX moistening from the top down. Seems a little ahead of the 18Zgfs but about the right place. Trending away from swinging down deep into the gulf, more a little off the coast. Snow line down to about Waco tomorrow but the bottom layer well above freezing so no accumulation that far south. More northern track I think ups the chance & snow totals for my place in WNC. Best chance for severe weather in FL~ south of I-4.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 227 Comments: 39457
1012. beell
Evening, Grothar,
Pretty good consensus that the surface low drags along the northern part of the gulf coast coming ashore in the big armpit area of FL.

Not as clear cut after an exit to the ATL. A close brush with OBX and then out to sea as a guess.
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Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1010. Ossqss
Oops :)
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Quoting Grothar:


Hey, my old friend beel. How far is that supposed to go into the Gulf? I keep seeing conflicting reports. At least 3 different versions of that system.


Ok, i'm here.
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1008. Grothar
Quoting beell:
Eastern half of TX showing some impressive looking cold high clouds but not much going on underneath. Dry underneath I think.



Hey, my old friend beel. How far is that supposed to go into the Gulf? I keep seeing conflicting reports. At least 3 different versions of that system.
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1007. beell
Eastern half of TX showing some impressive looking cold high clouds but not much going on underneath yet. Dry air underneath I think.

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1006. Grothar
'K I get it!! He was born 50 years too early. Very funny and way ahead of his time. I can remember almost every episode. It was even shown in Europe. Unless people knew English quite well, they did not get all the "humor" Most considered it a normal children's TV show. It demonstrates how good he truly was.
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Quoting Grothar:


Come on now; you can't go from Soupy to McGoo to the Three Stooges without confusing all of us. Stay in character for just a little while longer.


Stooges would be nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.

Good to know that someone recognizes Soupy though. He's one of my idols.

"Why is it that every time I write "F" you see ....?"
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1004. Grothar
Quoting altesticstorm10:

Disregard this, completely.

---------------------

Let's not forget that 2005 was originally predicted to be only a barely above-average season.


This question was already answered in 997.
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goodnight.
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1002. Grothar
Quoting misanthrope:


Yuck, yuck, yuck.


Come on now; you can't go from Soupy to McGoo to the Three Stooges without confusing all of us. Stay in character for just a little while longer.
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Quoting Grothar:


Very short-sighted of you to say that.


Yuck, yuck, yuck.
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Quoting misanthrope:


Does the name McGoo ring a bell?



Very short-sighted of you to say that.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
so the handle misanthrope means Etymology: Greek misanthr%u014Dpos hating humankind, from misein to hate anthr%u014Dpos human being
Date: 1683
: a person who hates or distrusts humankind


well you sure picked a nice handle for a screen name i wunder who you were before i just can't put my finger on it but i will been hanging here since aug 2005 keep typing and responsing you will give it away soon


Does the name McGoo ring a bell?

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Quoting MrstormX:
Whats going on in the longterm GFS for March 15, something over the GOM?


I think they just said we should keep our "Ides" open.
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Quoting altesticstorm10:
Cricket, cricket...

I'm sorry, but if something "subtropical" can get named by the NHC in like May/November/December, why can't a 969 millibar "winter storm" with a center of circulation and strong TS-ish winds in the Atlantic Basin get a name?


The winter storms are not tropical, or even subtropical. However, they do get mentioned on NHC discussions which go year-round, and we have had some hybrid (and maybe even subtropical) storms this winter. If you really think there are some tropical systems out there in the wintertime, then you might be able to just email the NHC.

Quoting all4hurricanes:

Why is it that every season is going to be interesting? I mean all season are somewhat interesting but every year they say about 11-16 storms 5-8 hurricanes and 2-4 major hurricanes. what about 2010 will make this year especially active?


One, the SSTs are flat, indicating a weakening of the Bermuda High and North Atlantic Gyre. The Gulf Stream has been fluctuating, and the transition between El Nino Modoki to neutral or La Nina or even half-and-half will guarentee some weird tracks. For example, storms moving into the Mediterranean, going into Central America then crossing over into the Pacific, etc.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


hahaha dont you mean bettererly??


Oh my. I think I might have awakened a "sleeping Giant" or is that awoke. I might have met my match. Too bad Awake isn't here to see this. She enjoys a good banter.

All kidding aside. Is there to be any significant storms over FLA tomorrow? I heard a short snippet (small piece of information) on the news, but not the whole thing.
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Ok i'm off to bed
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Quoting Ossqss:
How about a musical metaphor? (☼¿☼) :) Gnight





Hey, I thought Tom Petty raced cars, I didn't know he sang too! (Appropriate song for the blog tonight Oss!!!! Good one!)
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Quoting Grothar:


So was I. You should be used to me by now VA. I love to bust chops before I go to bed. I sleep much "betterer"


hahaha dont you mean bettererly??
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


i was kidding around... haha but no problem


So was I. You should be used to me by now VA. I love to bust chops before I go to bed. I sleep much "betterer"
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William Shatner's appearance at the closing ceremony reminded me of this bit. I am Canadian! Hilarious.

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Whats going on in the longterm GFS for March 15, something over the GOM?
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Quoting Grothar:


Actually if you are using the comparative it would be nicer, since most polysyllabic adverbs do not use that form. It was the adverb to which I was referring, not the comparative. But thanks anyway VA for the help.


i was kidding around... haha but no problem
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I'm back couldn't sleep
it's nicely but this is a blog grammar doesn't matter
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


actually is more nicely :p


Actually if you are using the comparative it would be nicer, since most polysyllabic adverbs do not use that form. It was the adverb to which I was referring, not the comparative. But thanks anyway VA for the help.
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How about a musical metaphor? (☼¿☼) :) Gnight



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Quoting Levi32:
921. AstroHurricane001 1:16 AM GMT on March 01, 2010

Neutral years have produced the most tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes since 1995 and that's pretty close to what we're supposed to see this year. YIKES.


Yeah, contrary to popular belief, strong La Ninas are not the best conditions for active Atlantic hurricane seasons. This is because, although La Ninas do set up favorable atmospheric conditions over the Atlantic, they also cool the world's tropical oceans and lower heat content in the tropics. During strong La Ninas, this cooling effect offsets and sometimes overpowers La Nina's favorable atmospheric effect on the Atlantic, resulting in less storms and lower average intensity of the storms. Because of this, near-neutral ENSO conditions, especially heading in a cold direction, are the best setup for active Atlantic hurricane seasons, because although upper-level atmospheric conditions aren't quite as favorable as during a La Nina, they aren't severely limited either, and the heat content in the tropics remains high. This balance is generally the best setup for the Atlantic on average.


The low pressure expected in the Caribbean also means that there will be less rain over the Amazon, which is bad for the Brazilian forest fire season.

Quoting Levi32:


Regarding 1954, it's not a superb analog, considering that during this part of the '50s an El Nino hadn't been seen since 1951, and 1954 was a La Nina year that was the first in a 3-year La Nina, the longest in recorded history. However, a predominantly negative to neutral NAO during the summer contributed to the position of the Bermuda High close to the SE U.S. which allowed the horrid beating of the Carolinas that year, and the same pattern of steering storms more towards the west is forecast to develop this season.

And yes, a lot of factors are lining up this year to make it a bad season. If things still look this way in May, it's probably not gonna be pretty.

The warming in January was expected due to volcanic activity in the polar regions last year which caused a lot of blocking this winter, in combination with the El Nino, and February will also be very warm.


Volcanic activity? You mean Mount Redoubt? Most of the eruption consisted of water vapor, which should have enhanced a positive feedback near the pole but not in the tropics, which is the area studied in which a negative feedback resulted in nearly flat temperatures after 2000. Mount Redoubt erupted previously in 1989-1990, and I see no similar spike in global temperatures from 1990-1991. Whatever caused the rapid warming, it appears to have broken the decadal lull in global warming.
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Quoting Grothar:
Play nice, guys, or is that nicely?


actually is more nicely :p
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Im sure he believes in AGW as well, even though there were no ice caps in the Cretaceous period... im sure the evil humans traveled back in time and did that as well...
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Play nice, guys, or is that nicely?
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so the handle misanthrope means Etymology: Greek misanthr%u014Dpos hating humankind, from misein to hate anthr%u014Dpos human being
Date: 1683
: a person who hates or distrusts humankind


well you sure picked a nice handle for a screen name i wunder who you were before i just can't put my finger on it but i will been hanging here since aug 2005 keep typing and responsing you will give it away soon
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i see yer all still pissing in the wind ya better stop that cause yer sure makin a fine mess all over yourselves

lol

It's actually "don't piss into the wind," not "don't piss in the wind." I find that as long as I face in the right direction, I have no trouble keeping dry.

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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i see yer all still pissing in the wind ya better stop that cause yer sure makin a fine mess all over yourselves

lol


Well Keeper its not windy here right now so I'm not getting it on me.... LOL
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3261
i see yer all still pissing in the wind ya better stop that cause yer sure makin a fine mess all over yourselves

lol
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting atmoaggie:

1. This wasn't about me burning leaves, but I have, retain my right to do so, and will vote accordingly in my parish.
2. Make things up? Really, there is such a scenario where it simply isn't a reasonable endeavor to compost.
3. Yeah, please teach me some atmo physics. (Really, I can whip up a dispersion model for the particulates given the emission rate and wind conditions. In the absence of a good wind, particle counts 100 yards away, and further, are minuscule. But maybe I can learn something from the guru, here.)
4. So you don't like Louisiana? (Like this has anything at all to do with Ike's leaves!?!) Should I turn my back on 6 generations of family history and move far, far away? (Does seem to be a lacking culture in the world of cookie-cutter houses, manicured tiny-lawns devoid of trees, where everyone eats only at chain restaurants...you can have that...enjoy.)
5. No, I am not putting any children at risk. I didn't say I burn with kids around, nor will I when any kid is going to get any amount of smoke in the face.

If you didn't like my attitude, which seems to be the case, you shouldn't have tossed the first stone.


1. As far as I'm concerned, this wasn't ever about you. As far as I can see, in your little world, it's all about you. And retain your right to burn leaves - how freakin' trivial can you get?

2. Enlighten me. At what scale does composting become impractical? I live in a city of 225,00 - it works well here. It only becomes impractical when folks are too lazy to care.

3. Lesson 1 - the largest dimension of a football field is 100 yards. The furthest you could be from the boundary is 50 yards. Second, 10 micron particles from an open fire traveling no further than a 100 yards? Sorry dude, but you are clueless.

4. Point me to where I said I didn't like Louisiana. Again, don't make things up because you feel a need to justify your behavior to me. And this:

" (Does seem to be a lacking culture in the world of cookie-cutter houses, manicured tiny-lawns devoid of trees, where everyone eats only at chain restaurants...you can have that...enjoy.)"

Sorry, but I've spent some time in Louisiana and you have your fair share of cookie-cutter houses and manicured lawns. You can find them just about anywhere in the good old USA. I'm sure Louisiana is special to you, but just about any place is special to someone.

5. I'm sensing some serious denial here. The fact is that if you spend your life in Louisiana, you're 1.5x more likely to die of cancer than if you spend your life in Utah. I'm not saying there aren't very good reasons for you to raise your kids in Louisiana but those but decisions always come with consequences. If you're willing to accept the consequences for you and your kids, good on ya.

Finally, I don't recall tossing any stones in your direction. All I can see is you butting into other folks business.

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HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN ANGELO TX
305 PM CST SUN FEB 28 2010

TXZ049-054-064>066-071>073-076>078-098-099-113-114-127-128-139-140-154-155-168>170-012115-
FISHER-NOLAN-STERLING-COKE-RUNNELS-IRION-TOM GREEN-CONCHO-CROCKETT-SCHLEICHER-SUTTON-ASKELL-THROCKMORTON-JONES-SHACKELFORD-TAYLOR-CALLAHAN-COLEMA N-BROWN-MCCULLOCH-SAN SABA-MENARD-KIMBLE-MASON-305 PM CST SUN FEB 28 2010

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR PORTIONS OF WEST CENTRAL TEXAS.

.DAY ONE...THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT

A FEW THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE TONIGHT...AS AN UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEM APPROACHES WEST CENTRAL TEXAS. ANY STORMS WHICH DEVELOP ARE NOT EXPECTED TO BE SEVERE.
.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY
NO HAZARDOUS WEATHER IS EXPECTED AT THIS TIME.
.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...
SPOTTER ACTIVATION WILL NOT BE NEEDED.

$$

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I have been reading over the last few pages in here tonight and I have to say Levi you make a great point on your prediction of 14/8/4. I also know that this could change by May if things hold right. Now from most of those dates that were put on here,we had a storm in early to mid June. Which means a active season.... I do see this for now anyway... Although like I said things could change by May we will have to wait and see....

Now I gess I'm a "Downcaster" because I donot wish any storm on anyone. Lord knows we have had enough on the north gulf coast as well as FL, TX, LA and MS.... So lable me as a "Downcaster" if you want, I sure hope they all stay out with the Fishies....

Taco :0)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3261
Looks like SPC thinks we should be paying attention tomorrow around here. (Yes, we should, but CAPE shouldn't be all that much. Not going to warm up quite enough for that.)

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Quoting Skyepony:
The storm is pulling together over TX/OK




It Sure is,,,

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Good night everyone supposed to be another snow storm Tuesday
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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.

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