Heaviest rains in Colombia's history trigger deadly landslide; 145 dead or missing

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:07 PM GMT on December 06, 2010

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Colombia's heaviest rains in history triggered a landslide in the poor hillside community of Bello on Sunday, killing at least 20 people and leaving 125 missing. This year's unprecedented rainy season had already killed 176 people prior to Sunday, making it one of the deadliest flooding years in Colombia's history, according to the director of Colombia's national disaster management office, Luz Armanda Pulido. In 2009, 110 people died in flooding disasters, and 48 were killed in 2008, according to Colombian Red Cross director of national relief operations Carlos Ivan Marquez. This year's rains are the heaviest in the 42 years since Colombia's weather service was created and began taking data, agency director Ricardo Lozano said. The resulting flooding has destroyed or damaged the homes of 1.6 million people. Colombia's president Juan Manuel Santos said the number of homeless from the flooding could reach 2 million, and said "the tragedy the country is going through has no precedents in our history." Neighboring Venezuela has also been hard-hit by this year's severe rainy season--at least 30 people are dead from floods and mudslides, and tens of thousands homeless. More rain is in the forecast--the latest forecast from the GFS model (Figure 2)--calls for an additional 4 - 6 inches (100 - 150 mm) across much of western and northern Colombia in the coming week.


Figure 1. Satellite-observed rainfall over Colombia during the past two weeks shows a region of 100 - 200 mm (4 - 8 inches) has fallen near Medellin, close to where Sunday's landslide in Bello occurred. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Colombia's rainy season usually peaks in October, then gradually wanes in November and December. The heavy rains are due to the presence of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, the area encircling the earth near the Equator where winds originating in the northern and southern hemispheres come together. When these great wind belts come together (or "converge", thus the name "Convergence Zone"), the converging air is forced upwards, since it has nowhere else to go. The rising air fuels strong thunderstorm updrafts, creating a band of very heavy storms capable of causing heavy flooding rains. This year is a La Niña year, which means there is a large region of colder than average water off the Pacific coast of Colombia. Colder than average water off the Pacific coast enhances rainfall over Colombia, and this year's La Niña, which is at the borderline between the "moderate" and "strong" categories, is largely to blame for Colombia's deadly rainy season.


Figure 2. Rainfall forecast from today's run of the GFS model predicts that region to the north and west of Bogota, Colombia may see another 100 - 150 mm (4 - 6 inches) during the coming week (red colors.) Image credit: NOAA/CPC.

See also my November 22 post, Colombia rainy season floods kill 136.

I'll have a new post on Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting caneswatch:


College is ok, but I know my high school won't be lasting much longer, and I think it won't see another year in existence.


that sucks man..
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Quoting tornadodude:


hmm, interesting, hope all is well with your school man


College is ok, but I know my high school won't be lasting much longer, and I think it won't see another year in existence.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting surferjoe5899:
Coral Springs, FL
They claim it was 37 this morning yet there was ice on the top deck (bed cover) of my truck. No ice on the ground or the windshield, just my topdeck. Can anyone explain that?


Radiative cooling,which is especially efficient on darker surfaces. The surface radiates heat to space by black-body incandescence and thus becomes cooler than the air above it (air is a very inefficient radiator.) Many a time I have found frost on my car roof when the air was above freezing; often there is liquid dew on the side surfaces of the same vehicle.
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Quoting Minnemike:

that is peculiar... it is stationary on an animation, so i'm guessing it's somehow topographically related. maybe a rise in the land that is instigating precipitation? very odd.


hmmm, maybe it is smog from a plant or something?
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Quoting FLPandhandleJG:


I hear ya.. I really hope i get to c some snow sometime this winter.. that would nice down here..


Hey panhandle. NOAA currently has a slight chance for flurries in its forecast for Crestview. Hopefully it close to all of us in Okaloosa County. Soooo close. Also, its funny how the chance for widespread snow is developing on the GFS for all of our area yet the Accuweather long range has it quite warm. I though Frank Strait swears by the GFS? I don't see a way to get NOAA's long range though, it only goes out to the weekend for our area.
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Quoting caneswatch:


Here's to you not being to busy TD. And here's to being one of the only kids to go to a good college despite going to the only school with an F grade last year:

Link


hmm, interesting, hope all is well with your school man
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Quoting tornadodude:
what causes a return like that?


that is peculiar... it is stationary on an animation, so i'm guessing it's somehow topographically related. maybe a rise in the land that is instigating precipitation? very odd.
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Quoting calusakat:
Problem...

What about all the fluorescent tubes in buildings throughout the world that have been in use since goodness knows when.

Then again, when you do the numbers...

10 bulbs per household with 4/1000g Hg being replaced every five years per bulb.

Which equals 4/100g of Hg being released into the environment of that household every five years. Assuming, of course, that the bulbs are crushed and then sprinkled throughout the household.

Over a period of fifty years that would mean 4/10 g of Hg would possibly be released into that same household. Do any of you have any idea just how small amount that really is?

Take into account that the likelihood of the actual release into that household would, worst case, be less than 5% of that total and it begins to look more and more like a Chicken Little event.

A simple solution would be to have a refund that made it worthwhile for the consumer to return the bulb for recycling. I, for one, save over three hundred dollars per year using those bulbs and paying a little extra up front for a good refund at the end of the bulbs use would be a great incentive.





Well, for the last few years, there had been a trend of commercial enterprise going towards the "green-cap" tubes. The EPA had no regulatuion towards these low-mercury bulbs, and most thought they could be thrown out with regular trash. That's changed.

The current generation of CFL's don't fall into that "green-tip" idea, but there are versions called "ALTO" bulbs which have as low as 1mg of mercury (but still have mercury).

Costs more.

The deposit idea may have merit, as would a proper recycling program (which can capture up to 99% of the mercury in bulbs).

It's not just mercury, and not just flourescents, though.

Other types of light bulbs, including high-intensity discharge (HID), neon, mercury vapor, high pressure sodium, and metal halide lamps can also contain mercury, lead, and cadmium.

So LED's are going to have to be pressed harder than the CFL's are.

Here, Phillips has a contender. They are currently selling a 12 watt (60W equivalent) A19 Ambient LED Soft White Light Bulb, Dimmable.

Cost, though, is $40 each.

They have an estimated 25,000hrs life (12.5 times the life of a standard bulb).

And will use 5 times less energy.

And NO mercury.

So that's probably the way to go. It's just that initial cost that's gonna soak ya. In my case, with about 25 bulbs to replace, that'll be $1000. Good thing I'll have until 1 Jan, 2014 to replace them.
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Quoting tornadodude:


haha me too.

been a busy month so far. I cook at a local steakhouse and we have a ton of Christmas parties this month, so that gets a little hectic


Here's to you not being to busy TD. And here's to being one of the only kids to go to a good college despite going to the only school with an F grade last year:

Link
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:


I hear ya.. I really hope i get to c some snow sometime this winter.. that would nice down here..


hope you do too man
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what causes a return like that?

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Quoting tornadodude:


haha me too.

been a busy month so far. I cook at a local steakhouse and we have a ton of Christmas parties this month, so that gets a little hectic


I hear ya.. I really hope i get to c some snow sometime this winter.. that would nice down here..
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2133
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:


same here.. but off today.. surprising.. lol


haha me too.

been a busy month so far. I cook at a local steakhouse and we have a ton of Christmas parties this month, so that gets a little hectic
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Quoting tornadodude:


hey man


Ive been great, just really busy, how bout you?


same here.. but off today.. surprising.. lol
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2133
Quoting FLPandhandleJG:


Sup tornadodude.. how u been?


hey man


Ive been great, just really busy, how bout you?
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299. JRRP
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Quoting tornadodude:


Sup tornadodude.. how u been?
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2133






Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2133
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hmmm
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2133
Wow GFS models going with snow a lot for the south..

GFS-Animation

Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2133
U.S. Severe Weather Forecast for Today

No convective issues for the CONUS today thru tonight
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Quoting SQUAWK:

Good thing after what your fans did to those poor little ducklings in post #245.
LOL
they just roll with em
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NASA Ejects Nanosatellite From Microsatellite in Space


On Dec. 6 at 1:31 a.m. EST, NASA for the first time successfully ejected a nanosatellite from a free-flying microsatellite. NanoSail-D ejected from the Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite, FASTSAT, demonstrating the capability to deploy a small cubesat payload from an autonomous microsatellite in space.



Artist concept of a solar sail in space. (NASA)

Nanosatellites or cubesats are typically launched and deployed from a mechanism called a Poly-PicoSatellite Orbital Deployer (P-POD) mounted directly on a launch vehicle. This is the first time NASA has mounted a P-POD on a microsatellite to eject a cubesat.

FASTSAT, equipped with six science and technology demonstration payloads, including NanoSail-D, launched Friday, Nov. 19 at 8:25 p.m. EST from Kodiak Island, Alaska. During launch, the NanoSail-D flight unit, about the size of a loaf of bread, was stowed inside FASTSAT in a P-POD.

"The successful ejection of NanoSail-D demonstrates the operational capability of FASTSAT as a cost-effective independent means of placing cubesat payloads into orbit safely," said Mark Boudreaux, FASTSAT project manager at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "With this first step behind us, we have demonstrated we can launch a number of different types of payloads using this common deployment system from an autonomous microsatellite like FASTSAT."

"NanoSail D has multiple enabling technology demonstration objectives for this flight," said Joe Casas, FASTSAT project scientist at Marshall. Casas said when the NanoSail-D sail is deployed it will use its large sail made of thin polymer material, a material much thinner than a single human hair, to significantly decrease the time to de-orbit the small satellite without the use of propellants as most traditional satellites use.

The NanoSail-D flight results will help to mature this technology so it could be used on future large spacecraft missions to aid in de-orbiting space debris created by decommissioned satellites without using valuable mission propellants.

"This is a great step for our solar sail team with the successful ejection of the NanoSail-D satellite from FASTSAT," said Dean Alhorn, NanoSail-D principal investigator and aerospace engineer at the Marshall Center. "We had to carefully plan and calculate the ejection time, so we'd be lined up over the United States and our ground controllers to execute the next phase of the mission."

After ejection, a timer within NanoSail-D will begin a three day countdown as the satellite orbits the Earth. Once the timer reaches zero, four booms will quickly deploy and the NanoSail-D sail will start to unfold to a 100 square foot polymer sail. Within five seconds the sail fully unfurls.

If the deployment is successful, NanoSail-D will stay in low-Earth orbit between 70 and 120 days, depending on atmospheric conditions. NanoSail-D is designed to demonstrate deployment of a compact solar sail boom system that could lead to further development of this alternative solar sail propulsion technology and FASTSAT's ability to eject a nanosatellite from a microsatellite -- while avoiding re-contact with the FASTSAT satellite bus.

NanoSail-D was designed and built by engineers in Huntsville and managed at the Marshall Center with technical and hardware support from NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. This experiment is a combined effort between the Space and Missile Defense Command, Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation, both located in Huntsville, Ala. and NASA.

FASTSAT launched on the STP-S26 mission -- a joint activity between NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense Space Test Program. The satellite was designed, developed and tested at the Marshall Center in partnership with the Von Braun Center for Science & Innovation and Dynetics Inc. of Huntsville. Dynetics provided key engineering, manufacturing and ground operations support for the new microsatellite. Thirteen Huntsville-area firms, as well as the University of Alabama in Huntsville, also were part of the project team.

For more information on the timeline of the NanoSail-D deployment visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/501204main_NSD2_timeline_sequence.pdf


To learn more about FASTSAT and the NanoSail-D missions visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/smallsats
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841
fxus64 klix 071000
afdlix


Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
400 am CST Tuesday Dec 7 2010


Short term...
it appears the hard freeze did verify as nearly all locations in south Mississippi and the Florida parishes were at or below 27
degrees as of 3 am. Most have been below 30 degrees since 11 PM.

In the freeze warning area...areas away from the warmer lake affects have managed to go below 32 degrees but the official sites
like kmsy and knew have held up around 40 degrees thus far.

Audubon was at 38. Temperatures should rebound above freezing by middle- morning and bring an end to this round for at least a day or two.
Models are in very good agreement with handling the feature currently detected in satellite imagery over Colorado and falling
behind southern branch jet streak currently moving across Texas and upper Mexico.
This tight vorticity structure should bring
enough dynamics to squeeze some low valued precipitation in its path due primarily to isentropic lift in limited upglide region
just in advance of the strongest vorticity.
Isentropic analysis using 290k surface yields some saturation at the 850-800 mb layer mainly across southern and eastern Mississippi. Total wind vectors along the isentrops is rather neutral looking or even modest down Glide across southeast Louisiana which is a negative for precipitation generation in this regime.
Given the system passing at the typically coldest part of the night...some flurries or
brief sleet shower may result but no amounts of consequence due to expected very fast movement and limited lift opportunity.

The column is relatively dry and will dry rather abruptly with feature passage to preclude deformation wrap-around considerations.

Another inhibitor is the disjointed placement of the northern branch impulse to the southern branch surface low to disrupt the warm conveyor process into the vorticity feature for heavier snow considerations.

Essentially...this event should remain a brief aesthetic event with little to no impacts requiring actions to mitigate.

Temperatures will once again cool to near freezing Wednesday night in the usual colder locations. 24/rr


Long term...
models are coming in line with what should be a very strong Arctic intrusion into the interior U.S. This weekend into early next week.
The GFS shows a rather large meridional flow pattern from the Hudson's Bay to the central Gulf Coast by Sunday with hard freeze implications by Sunday night.

The European model (ecmwf) is actually stronger with this air mass...showing the cyclone to pass farther north across the Great Lakes and ushering a 1040mb high out of Canada into the middle plains states.1000-500mb thickness were about 70-80m lower than the GFS model...which equates to upper teens possible Sunday night in southern Mississippi and the Florida parishes.

Given a few more days to monitor model trends...have opted to compromise the temperatures during this period midway between the very cold European model (ecmwf) and the warmer GFS.

Regardless the model choice...all strongly indicate a freeze and hard freeze situation at least similar to the current one if not harder. 24/rr
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Purrr-fect..

LOL
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Quoting Patrap:


Its called frost.

But Im sure theres a conspiracy or a chad hanging somewhere to gnaw on,since its Florida.



Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10577
Quoting paratomic:
I believe the root of AGW denial for creationists is the fear that feeding the government monster by accepting its claims that humans are hurting the earth will, in a broader context, lead to bigger government or some kind of environmental religion. They fear a bigger government because they think that the anti-christ will rise from big government and form an even bigger world government. They fear environmental religion because it's a deception and feeds into this idea of bigger government. It also offers a scientific reason rather than a moralistic one for global disasters. Instead of god punishing humans by bringing about a series of end times events, it's just us putting too many GhG's into the atmosphere. It minimizes god.

I was a creationist for the first 20 years of my life. I believed the earth was 6000 years old. You have to understand... fundamentalist creationists FEAR secularism and science because they don't acknowledge god. It's like an atheist that has an equation for all of the processes on earth but there's no variable in it for god. What about god? That's really all they're saying. They don't want to feel marginalized because that would, ironically, encourage them to believe that the end times are near. Christians will be persecuted according to end times theology. So the harder we all push to criticize fundamentalists, the more devout they will become.

I come from a family and a background of fundamentalism, and am keenly aware of and steeped in the fear they feel, so I agree in part with most of the things you say. However, I do take issue with a few areas, namely the part where you wrote "fundamentalist creationists FEAR secularism and science because they don't acknowledge god." That may be part of it--but I know they also fear science simply because they don't understand it. It's like showing a high-intensity flashlight for the first time to some tribe deep in the jungle that has only known fire. If the members of that tribe understood electricity, they'd think nothing of the flashlight; instead, however, it becomes something evil, something of a darker world, something to be demonized and banished.

You did write one thing with which I completely agree: "...the harder we all push to criticize fundamentalists, the more devout they will become." Absolutely true; after all, look what's happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan. :-\
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Quoting surferjoe5899:
Coral Springs, FL
They claim it was 37 this morning yet there was ice on the top deck (bed cover) of my truck. No ice on the ground or the windshield, just my topdeck. Can anyone explain that?


Its called frost.

But Im sure theres a conspiracy or a chad hanging somewhere to gnaw on,since its Florida.

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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
fans are going down for maintenace on wed of next week

Good thing after what your fans did to those poor little ducklings in post #245.
LOL
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Quoting Grothar:


What were you drinking?


Nothing but one Dr. Pepper the entire night. It shot down to 40 degress by 10 pm last night.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting caneswatch:


If it isn't cold, then why did I sleep for 9 hours?


What were you drinking?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23703
Quoting Grothar:


Don't believe what you read, Geoff. It is just a government conspiracy to make people think it is cold. Ft. Lauderdale should remain in the 90's all week. It is great outside. It is just another way for the secrect goverment to extract money from us.



If it isn't cold, then why did I sleep for 9 hours?
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Fort Lauderdale breaks cold record for Dec. 7


Don't believe what you read, Geoff. It is just a government conspiracy to make people think it is cold. Ft. Lauderdale should remain in the 90's all week. It is great outside. It is just another way for the secrect goverment to extract money from us.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23703
Quoting hcubed:
Since people are concerned about the legacy we leave, and the type of world we leave for our children, comment on this:

According to the census (2010), there are 32,203,228 households with children under 18 (out of 77,894,830 total).

Let's say that each of these households live in a house that has, conservatevely, 15 incandescent bulbs.

Let's convert them all to CFL's.

We're talking about 483,048,420 CFL's, with a lifespan of 5 years (est).

Each CFL contains about 4mg of mercury (.004g).

Thats a total of 1,932,193.68g (or 4259.757 POUNDS) of mercury being thrown out. Every 5 years.

Just for the US. Just for households w/ children under 18.

It's estimated that India alone goes through 640 million bulbs per year. Changing to CFL's means less energy usage, and less CO2, but then there would be 2,560,000g (5643lbs) of mercury floating around.

Now THAT'S a legacy to leave for your children and grandchildren.

But hey, less CO2 in the air is a good thing, right?
Problem...

What about all the fluorescent tubes in buildings throughout the world that have been in use since goodness knows when.

Then again, when you do the numbers...

10 bulbs per household with 4/1000g Hg being replaced every five years per bulb.

Which equals 4/100g of Hg being released into the environment of that household every five years. Assuming, of course, that the bulbs are crushed and then sprinkled throughout the household.

Over a period of fifty years that would mean 4/10 g of Hg would possibly be released into that same household. Do any of you have any idea just how small amount that really is?

Take into account that the likelihood of the actual release into that household would, worst case, be less than 5% of that total and it begins to look more and more like a Chicken Little event.

A simple solution would be to have a refund that made it worthwhile for the consumer to return the bulb for recycling. I, for one, save over three hundred dollars per year using those bulbs and paying a little extra up front for a good refund at the end of the bulbs use would be a great incentive.



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Quoting Neapolitan:

Wanna bet? ;-)
I believe the root of AGW denial for creationists is the fear that feeding the government monster by accepting its claims that humans are hurting the earth will, in a broader context, lead to bigger government or some kind of environmental religion. They fear a bigger government because they think that the anti-christ will rise from big government and form an even bigger world government. They fear environmental religion because it's a deception and feeds into this idea of bigger government. It also offers a scientific reason rather than a moralistic one for global disasters. Instead of god punishing humans by bringing about a series of end times events, it's just us putting too many GhG's into the atmosphere. It minimizes god.

I was a creationist for the first 20 years of my life. I believed the earth was 6000 years old. You have to understand... fundamentalist creationists FEAR secularism and science because they don't acknowledge god. It's like an atheist that has an equation for all of the processes on earth but there's no variable in it for god. What about god? That's really all they're saying. They don't want to feel marginalized because that would, ironically, encourage them to believe that the end times are near. Christians will be persecuted according to end times theology. So the harder we all push to criticize fundamentalists, the more devout they will become.
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it certainly gets cold here again next week, supposed to finally get above freezing thursday through saturday, but then a high of 22 on monday.

brrrr
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Fort Lauderdale breaks cold record for Dec. 7
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10577
Quoting Jeff9641:
After this cold wave next Monday that may be it for quite awhile in the SE US especially FL. So enjoy the cold now becuase after Monday and Tuesday the cold will ease and lift out.
fans are going down for maintenace on wed of next week
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Dr Roy Spencer in Cancun for the conference
reported 54 degrees this morning. It's like God's trying to tell them something. Every time they have a AGW conference or rally. It gets cold!!
wait till ya see severe storms and tornadoes with hail the size of melons in los angeles
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Dr Roy Spencer in Cancun for the conference
reported 54 degrees this morning. It's like God's trying to tell them something. Every time they have a AGW conference or rally. It gets cold!!
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Gotta love lake effect.

000
NWUS53 KMQT 071604
LSRMQT

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MARQUETTE MI
1103 AM EST TUE DEC 07 2010

..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
..REMARKS..

0730 AM SNOW 6 SSE MARQUETTE 46.47N 87.37W
12/07/2010 M14.8 INCH MARQUETTE MI NWS EMPLOYEE

STORM TOTAL SINCE SATURDAY EVENING. 5.7 INCHES IN THE
LAST 24 HOURS. STILL SNOWING.
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269. eddye
ritaevac u ready south fla going 2 get colder then this front monday wow i cant belive it
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1040 ridge would make more sense
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267. IKE
Quoting BobinTampa:


Look forward to it. Hope you have great holiday season Ike. I probably won't be checking in too much due to AGW talk.


You too and thanks.
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Only showing 1029 ridging into the SE, not gonna be that cold, model is overdone.
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Good news! China may agree to binding emissions reductions. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/12/china-may-submit-binding-emission-reduction-target.php Hopefully we can avoid this http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/12/climate-change-kill-5-million-by-2020.php
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264. eddye
so south fla going 2 get colder then this cold front we have know
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About JeffMasters

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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