Was the 2010 Haiti Earthquake triggered by deforestation and the 2008 hurricanes?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:57 PM GMT on December 20, 2010

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Major earthquakes occur when the stress on rocks between two tectonic plates reaches a critical breaking point, allowing the earth to move along the connecting fault. While the slow creep of the tectonic plates makes earthquakes inevitable along major faults, the timing and exact location of the quake epicenter can be influenced by outside forces pushing down on Earth's crust. For example, the sloshing of water into the Eastern Pacific during El Niño events has been linked to magnitude 4, 5, and 6 earthquakes on the seafloor below, due to the extra weight of water caused by local sea level rise. Sea level rise due to rapid melting of Earth's ice sheets could also potentially trigger earthquakes, though it is unknown at what melting rate such an effect might become significant.


Figure 1. Google Earth image of Haiti taken November 8, 2010, showing the capital of Port-Au-Prince and the mountainous region to its west where the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake was. Note the brown color of the mountains, where all the vegetation has been stripped off, leaving bare slopes subject to extreme erosion. Heavy rains in recent years have washed huge amounts of sediment into the Leogane Delta to the north.


Figure 2. Zoom-in view of the Leogane Delta region of Figure 1, showing the large expansion in the Delta's area between 2002 and 2010. High amounts of sediments have been eroded from Haiti's deforested mountains and deposited in the Delta. Recent expansion of the river channel due to runoff from Hurricane Tomas' rains is apparent in the 2010 image. Image credit: Google Earth, Digital Globe, GeoEye.

At last week's American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting last week in San Francisco, Shimon Wdowinsky of the University of Miami proposed a different method whereby unusual strains on the crust might trigger an earthquake. In a talk titled, Triggering of the 2010 Haiti earthquake by hurricanes and possibly deforestation , Wdowinsky studied the stresses on Earth's crust over the epicenter of the mighty January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake that killed over 200,000 people. This quake was centered in a mountainous area of southwest Haiti that has undergone severe deforestation—over 98% of the trees have been felled on the mountain in recent decades, allowing extreme erosion to occur during Haiti's frequent heavy rainfall events. Since 1975, the erosion rate in these mountains has been 6 mm/year, compared to the typical erosion rate of less than 1 mm/yr in forested tropical mountains. Satellite imagery (Figure 2) reveals that the eroded material has built up significantly in the Leogane Delta to the north of the earthquake's epicenter. In the 2008 hurricane season, four storms--Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike--dumped heavy rains on the impoverished nation. The bare, rugged hillsides let flood waters rampage into large areas of the country, killing over 1,000, destroying 22,702 homes, and damaging another 84,625. About 800,000 people were affected--8% of Haiti's total population. The flood wiped out 70% of Haiti's crops, resulting in dozens of deaths of children due to malnutrition in the months following the storms. Damage was estimated at over $1 billion, the costliest natural disaster in Haitian history. The damage amounted to over 5% of the country's $17 billion GDP, a staggering blow for a nation so poor. Tragically, the hurricanes of 2008 may have set up Haiti for an ever larger disaster. Wdowinsky computed that the amount of mass eroded away from the mountains over the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake was sufficient to cause crustal strains capable of causing a vertically-oriented slippage along a previously unknown fault. This type of motion is quite unusual in this region, as most quakes in Haiti tend to be of the strike-slip variety, where the tectonic plates slide horizontally past each other. The fact that the 2010 Haiti quake occurred along a vertically moving fault lends support to the idea that the slippage was triggered due to mass stripped off the mountains by erosion over the epicenter, combined with the extra weight of the extra sediment deposited in the Leogane Delta clamping down on the northern portion of the fault. Wdowinsky gave two other examples in Taiwan where earthquakes followed several months after the passage of tropical cyclones that dumped heavy rains over mountainous regions. His theory of tropical cyclone-triggered quakes deserves consideration, and provides another excellent reason to curb excessive deforestation!


Figure 3. Two of 2008's four tropical cyclones that ravaged Haiti: Tropical Storm Hanna (right) and Hurricane Gustav (left). Image taken at 10:40 am EDT September 1, 2008. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

Christmas in Haiti
Portlight.org will brighten the lives of hundreds of kids in Haiti this week, thanks to their successful Christmas in Haiti fundraiser. Portlight raised $1800 to buy toys, candies, and other assorted goodies. The shipment left Charleston last week, and will arrive in time for Christmas. Thanks to everyone who helped support this worthy effort!

Jeff Masters

Stuff for Haiti (Portlight)
Stuff for Haiti
Ms. Mae (Portlight)
Ms. Mae

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Just think this is just the beginning of the storm parade as New Years weekend looks stormy for the SE US. THis pattern to me is looking like an El-Nino one.
Member Since: November 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6577
Ranfall totals of 1" is becoming likely for C FL for Sat. Night now. Question I think will be will there be severe wx because one would think with such a strong low being depicted on the Euro of 1000 milibars near Cedar Key and deepening as it crosses N FL is quite amazing.
Member Since: November 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6577
1023. Jax82
Well whoever sings the song "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas" is probably going to wake up to a heckuva lot of snow if they live in the south. But then again i've seen stuff like this get all hyped up and only see flurries, lol.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 1261
Quoting cat5hurricane:

You like what they did down there with the Magic? I know one thing is I'm glad to see Turkoglu back there. I think him alone makes Howard a better center.


I love it!!! I can't tell you how much Turk makes the Magic better. Yes, they have lost the last couple of games with him back but give it time because once they gel then watchout! Vince Carter had to go..
Member Since: November 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6577
1021. Walshy
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Birmingham Alabama
528 am CST Wednesday Dec 22 2010

Well all I can say is that I was skeptical on Monday morning...
hesitant on Tuesday morning...and now growing confident this
morning...that Santa may be bringing in an extra present on
Christmas.

Have decided to go full fledged with the Euro this morning as the
consistency that we look for has now continued for now 54 hours.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning, who said it never rains in Southern California???

Flash Flood Warning Statement as of 5:03 AM PST on December 22, 2010

The National Weather Service in Las Vegas has issued a* Flash Flood Warning for... south central San Bernardino County in southeast California... this includes Morongo and Yucca Valley.

* Until 800 am PST

* at 455 am PST... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated very heavy rain over the warned area. Local law enforcement has reported roadway flooding at several locations across the Morongo Valley... with one roadway covered with several feet of water.

* The storm producing will continue to produce moderate to heavy rainfall across the warned area over the next several hours..

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

This is a dangerous situation. Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause fast rising water and flash flooding of washes... drainage areas... highways... streets and low water crossings. When flash flooding is observed... move quickly to higher ground to escape flood waters. Do not stay in areas subject to flooding when water begins rising. It only takes 18 inches of swiftly moving water to sweep a vehicle off the Road... and less than six inches of swiftly moving water to sweep a person off their feet.

Never drive your vehicle into areas where water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. When you approach flood waters make the smart decision... turn around... don't drown!

Report flooding to your local emergency management office or law enforcement agency and ask them to relay your report to the National Weather Service forecast office in Las Vegas.

Kennedy



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1019. Walshy
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Someone's wishing for a White Christmas.


NWS from VA to GA. Lol, I even seen north Florida mention it. Today was the day the models showed similarities. If they do not change, I don't think this will be a winter storm. A blizzard seems more likely based on the Euro. Will still have a few days so change is likely.



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Quoting Chucktown:


Yea Press, could get rather interesting around these parts on Saturday night. I am being very careful how I mention that this morning. So far I have labeled it on air as possibly some wintry weather for parts of the southeast.


Chuck...I'm not happy about this!
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Quoting Walshy:
Dramatic forecast change for Greenville SC this morning from weatherunderground.


Christmas Day
Cloudy. Snow likely...mainly in the afternoon. Heavy snow accumulation possible. Cooler with highs in the lower 30s. Chance of snow 60 percent.
nt_chancesnow
Saturday Night
Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Cold with lows in the mid 20s.

Someone's wishing for a White Christmas.
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1016. Walshy
Dramatic forecast change for Greenville SC this morning from weatherunderground.


Christmas Day
Cloudy. Snow likely...mainly in the afternoon. Heavy snow accumulation possible. Cooler with highs in the lower 30s. Chance of snow 60 percent.

Saturday Night
Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow. Cold with lows in the mid 20s.
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Quoting presslord:


Uggghhh!!!!!


Yea Press, could get rather interesting around these parts on Saturday night. I am being very careful how I mention that this morning. So far I have labeled it on air as possibly some wintry weather for parts of the southeast.
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1014. IKE
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
ok i will use white frozen precip instead


Looks like you're a believer!
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1013. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting presslord:
KOG...Please stop saying that word!!!!! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
ok i will use white frozen precip instead
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1012. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
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Quoting presslord:
KOG...Please stop saying that word!!!!! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

Press...I'm still thinking right now just some cold rain later in the week for Isle of Palms, SC.
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Quoting Walshy:


Indeed. At 3am this morning the GFS jumped ON board and everything seems to be going down hill.

Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Charleston SC
651 am EST Wednesday Dec 22 2010

Prefer to trend toward the European model (ecmwf) solution since the GFS is coming
more in line with each model run.
Will therefore maintain a slight
chance for precipitation into Sunday as the coastal low pulls
northeast. Will keep all precipitation liquid at this point...as
ongoing hourly forecast temperatures remain above freezing. It
must be noted that even the slightest deviation in track and
intensity could greatly change expected impacts.
This weekend
storm system will be continue to be closely monitored.





Uggghhh!!!!!
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According to HAMweather, there were no record daily lows set or tied in the US in the past 24 hours, and only a single record daily low maximum (Waimanalo, Hawaii, tied last year's record of 74). On the other end of the scale, there were 127 record daily highs or high minimums set or tied, mostly in the southwest. High record/low record ratio: 127:1.

(Over the past two days, there have been no record daily lows and five record daily low maximums set or tied. In contrast, there have been 87 record daily highs set or tied, and 199 record daily high minimums set or tied. Over the past three days, those numbers are 15 low or low maximums and 409 high or high minimums, and over the past four days, those numbers are 21 low or low maximums and 464 high or high minimums.)

Now, for those who see some kind of pro-GW conspiracy in not presenting daily records in such a way that tied records are set apart from new records, I repeat the first paragraph thusly:

According to HAMweather, there were no new record daily lows or low maximums set in the US in the past 24 hours. On the other end of the scale, there were 104 new record daily highs or high minimum set, mostly in the southwest. High record/low record ratio: 104:0.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13597
Quoting Jeff9641:


You too brother I know we will get heavy rain and maybe some thunderstorms with such dynamics moving overhead Saturday Night. Anytime you get that strong of a Low pressure coming off the Gulf calls for concern. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well!

You like what they did down there with the Magic? I know one thing is I'm glad to see Turkoglu back there. I think him alone makes Howard a better center.
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KOG...Please stop saying that word!!!!! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
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1006. IKE
Quoting cat5hurricane:

There's also some mets that don't place too much confidence in forecasting models that blow up storms to epic proportions beyond 4 days.

We saw this with Richard earlier this year I think.

I remember the HWRF model blowing up a tropical storm to a category 4 hitting Tampa out to 6 days. The storm didn't even come close to attaining that intensity. It ended up hundreds of miles away.

Once more data is gathered and processed with this model, these estimates should come down. I think it can be a big storm, but I doubt anything close to what this EURO run is suggesting.


That's true too.
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1005. IKE
Quoting severstorm:

Morning Ike, The anwser to your comment is YES YES YES hAPPY holiday Dude


Merry Christmas to all.

I'd love to see some white stuff/snow. I'll believe it when I see it.

62.6 here now.
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Quoting IKE:
A lot of mets hanging their hats on the Euro(ECMWF). I'm not an expert...I'll take their word on it, but there would be some ticked off people if this storm didn't pan out.

You think there will be some....paying attention, to the 12Z runs later today:)

There's also some mets that don't place too much confidence in forecasting models that blow up storms to epic proportions beyond 4 days.

We saw this with Richard earlier this year I think.

I remember the HWRF model blowing up a tropical storm to a category 4 hitting Tampa out to 6 days. The storm didn't even come close to attaining that intensity. It ended up hundreds of miles away.

Once more data is gathered and processed with this model, these estimates should come down. I think it can be a big storm, but I doubt anything close to what this EURO run is suggesting.
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1003. Walshy
Quoting IKE:
A lot of mets hanging their hats on the Euro(ECMWF). I'm not an expert...I'll take their word on it, but there would be some ticked off people if this storm didn't pan out.

You think there will be some....paying attention, to the 12Z runs later today:)


Indeed. At 3am this morning the GFS jumped ON board and everything seems to be going down hill.

Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Charleston SC
651 am EST Wednesday Dec 22 2010

Prefer to trend toward the European model (ecmwf) solution since the GFS is coming
more in line with each model run.
Will therefore maintain a slight
chance for precipitation into Sunday as the coastal low pulls
northeast. Will keep all precipitation liquid at this point...as
ongoing hourly forecast temperatures remain above freezing. It
must be noted that even the slightest deviation in track and
intensity could greatly change expected impacts.
This weekend
storm system will be continue to be closely monitored.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting severstorm:

Morning jeff9641, looks like some interesting weather could be here saturday night. Hey Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year my FRIEND.


You too brother I know we will get heavy rain and maybe some thunderstorms with such dynamics moving overhead Saturday Night. Anytime you get that strong of a Low pressure coming off the Gulf calls for concern. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as well!
Member Since: November 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6577
1001. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting presslord:


Excellent that you differentiated between the two states!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now...please make sure the evil "s" word stuff stays well away from the South Carolina coast!!! Thanks!!
snow press get the shovel ready you are going to need it better yet tell the wife to pick one up and wrap it for christmas and then you can guess what it is
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Quoting IKE:
A lot of mets hanging their hats on the Euro(ECMWF). I'm not an expert...I'll take their word on it, but there would be some ticked off people if this storm didn't pan out.

You think there will be some....paying attention, to the 12Z runs later today:)

Morning Ike, The anwser to your comment is YES YES YES hAPPY holiday Dude
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
999. IKE
A lot of mets hanging their hats on the Euro(ECMWF). I'm not an expert...I'll take their word on it, but there would be some ticked off people if this storm didn't pan out.

You think there will be some....paying attention, to the 12Z runs later today:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Walshy:
North Carolina going to get slammed. South Carolina has a chance too.

Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Greenville-Spartanburg SC

605 am EST Wednesday Dec 22 2010
Either way...if we consider a
white Christmas to be one inch accumulation on Christmas day...that
has not happened in the area from Greenville (1963) to Charlotte
(1947) in nearly 50 to 60 years. If this forecast works out...it
could be an event that will be talked about for the rest of our
lives.
The potential downfall would be if the system slows down even
more...in which case the bulk of the snow would fall on Sunday. Stay
tuned!




Excellent that you differentiated between the two states!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now...please make sure the evil "s" word stuff stays well away from the South Carolina coast!!! Thanks!!
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977:

Thanks for sharing that. Good article.
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Terrific article about Thundersnow from the NWS Chicago Office for those who are interested. Some really good stuff in here. Enjoy.
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Snow Potential in North Carolina.

2+ Feet Possible above 3,000-6,000FT.
1 Foot Possible 1,500-3,000FT.
6-12 inches Possible across the big cities in NC.
Light snow possible further east to Wilmington.


**Could be worse if Euro has its way with its Blizzard**

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994. IKE
Quoting Walshy:
North Carolina going to get slammed. South Carolina has a chance too.

Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Greenville-Spartanburg SC

605 am EST Wednesday Dec 22 2010
Either way...if we consider a
white Christmas to be one inch accumulation on Christmas day...that
has not happened in the area from Greenville (1963) to Charlotte
(1947) in nearly 50 to 60 years. If this forecast works out...it
could be an event that will be talked about for the rest of our
lives.
The potential downfall would be if the system slows down even
more...in which case the bulk of the snow would fall on Sunday. Stay
tuned!




LOL..those are some bold statements! This could be an interesting weekend in weather for the entire eastern USA.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jeff9641:
GFS and EURO are now on the same page and the NWS in Melbourne expect a 1000 milibar low plow in around Cedar Key if the Euro is correct. Saturday night is looking very stormy for FL. Severe wx and very heavy rain is likely now for the FL penisula and a good snow for the FL Panhandle. WOW!!!!

Morning jeff9641, looks like some interesting weather could be here saturday night. Hey Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year my FRIEND.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
North Carolina going to get slammed. South Carolina has a chance too.

Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Greenville-Spartanburg SC

605 am EST Wednesday Dec 22 2010
Either way...if we consider a
white Christmas to be one inch accumulation on Christmas day...that
has not happened in the area from Greenville (1963) to Charlotte
(1947) in nearly 50 to 60 years. If this forecast works out...it
could be an event that will be talked about for the rest of our
lives.
The potential downfall would be if the system slows down even
more...in which case the bulk of the snow would fall on Sunday. Stay
tuned!


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
el nino going on? californians might think so. maybe the computers have not updated the last yr?
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990. IKE
From New Orleans discussion.....

AFTER THE FRONT CLEARS THE REGION...DEEP LAYER NORTH-NORTHWEST
FLOW WILL TAKE HOLD OF THE ENTIRE GULF SOUTH. A STRONG UPPER
LEVEL TROUGH WILL BE IN CONTROL OF THE EASTERN HALF OF THE NATION.
WITH A CONNECTION TO A VERY COLD AIRMASS OVER THE NORTHERN PLAINS
IN PLACE...STRONG COLD AIR ADVECTION WILL OVERSPREAD THE REGION.
1000-500MB THICKNESS VALUES WILL PLUNGE A GOOD 200 METERS...AND
925MB TEMPERATURES WILL DROP FROM AROUND 10C TO AROUND -4C BY
SUNDAY EVENING. THIS COLD AIRMASS WILL REMAIN ENTRENCHED THROUGH
AT LEAST WEDNESDAY...WITH CLEAR SKIES...LOW HUMIDITY...AND
TEMPERATURES 15 TO 20 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL EXPECTED FROM SUNDAY
THROUGH WEDNESDAY. STRONG RADIATIONAL COOLING IS EXPECTED TO TAKE
PLACE MONDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHTS. A HARD FREEZE IS LIKELY BOTH OF
THESE NIGHTS OVER A VAST MAJORITY OF THE CWA. ONLY AREAS ALONG THE
LA COAST AND IN METRO NEW ORLEANS SHOULD SEE TEMPERATURES REMAIN
IN THE LIGHT FREEZE CATEGORY.

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989. IKE
PRELIMINARY EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
312 AM EST WED DEC 22 2010

VALID 12Z SUN DEC 26 2010 - 12Z WED DEC 29 2010


...EUROPEAN CENTRE GUIDANCE STAYS THE COURSE ON POWERFUL EAST
COAST STORM DECEMBER 26-27...


WILL STICK WITH THE CONSISTENT ECMWF FOR THE PRELIMINARY FRONTS
AND PRESSURES FOR DAYS 3-7. FOR THREE CONSECUTIVE MODEL
CYCLES...THE DETERMINISTIC ECMWF HAS INDICATED A
MASSIVE...DEEP...SLOW-MOVING CYCLONE HUGGING THE CAROLINA AND MID
ATLANTIC COASTS THE TWO DAYS FOLLOWING CHRISTMAS. THE ECMWF AND
UKMET WERE THE FIRST OF THE GLOBAL NUMERICAL MODELS TO SWITCH FROM
TRACKING THIS WAVE ALONG 40N THROUGH THE MIDWEST...TO A SUPPRESSED
PATH ACROSS THE DEEP SOUTH. SINCE THIS BREAK-AWAY...THE UKMET
SPLIT OFF EVEN FARTHER SOUTH...WITH THE ECMWF LOCKING ONTO AN
EVOLUTION THAT TAKES THE DEVELOPING LOW TO THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE
AND THEN SHARPLY UP THE EASTERN SEABOARD. THE GEM GLOBAL FOLLOWED
THE EUROPEAN CENTRE TRACK ON ITS 00Z/21 RUN...BUT HAS SWUNG THE
SYSTEM OUT WIDER OVER THE ATLANTIC THE LAST TWO RUNS. THE GFS HAS
SHIFTED TO THE SOUTHERN ROUTE ACROSS THE GULF STATES ON ITS
CURRENT RUN...BUT LIKE THE GEM GLOBAL...DIRECTS THE CYCLONE WELL
SOUTH AND EAST OF CAPE HATTERAS. THE ECENS MEMBERS HAVE AVERAGED
CLOSE TO THE DETERMINISTIC ECMWF...WITH MANY MEMBERS FOLLOWING IT
EXACTLY...AND OTHERS TRACKING A BIT FARTHER OFFSHORE. THE
EUROPEAN CENTRE GUIDANCE HAS THE ADVANTAGE IN DEVELOPMENTAL
SYSTEMS WITH ITS HIGH RESOLUTION...AND IS FURTHER AIDED BY ITS
4D-VAR ANALYSIS IN GENERAL. ITS ENSEMBLE MEMBERS ARE MORE HIGHLY
RESOLVED THAN THE GEFS MEMBERS...AND WITH DYNAMIC...DEVELOPMENTAL
SYSTEMS...THE EUROPEAN GUIDANCE SHOULD HAVE THE EDGE.
INDEED...THE GEFS MEAN HAS BEEN CONSISTENTLY FLATTER WITH THE PATH
OF THE BIG STORM...WHICH IS CERTAINLY IN LINE WITH THE LOWER
RESOLUTION. EVEN SO...FOUR 00Z/22 GEFS MEMBERS STILL TRACKED
COMPARABLY TO THE ECMWF...SHOWING A DEEP NOREASTER AND A HIGH
IMPACT STORM FOR THE MAJOR METROPOLITAN AREAS ASTRIDE INTERSTATE
95 FROM WASHINGTON TO BOSTON. TO WIT...THESE GEFS MEMBERS ARE
GOING AGAINST THEIR LOWER RESOLUTION/LESS DEVELOPMENTAL NATURE.
THE ECMWF HAS MUCH CLIMATOLOGY ON ITS SIDE AS WELL...WITH ITS
TRACK WEST OF THE GULF STREAM...AND THE BOMBING PHASE NEAR AND
NORTH OF CAPE HATTERAS.

THE MOST UNUSUAL...AND THREATENING...ASPECT OF THE ECMWF FORECAST
IS THE RELATIVELY LOW LATITUDE AT WHICH THE STORM MATURES AND
STALLS/LOOPS. MORE TYPICALLY...SYSTEMS WILL CLOSE OFF AND HOVER
OVER THE WATERS SOUTH OF NOVA SCOTIA...AS WITH THE MOST RECENT
CYCLONE STILL AFFECTING DOWNEAST MAINE. THE ECMWF SHOWS THE
UPCOMING CIRCULATION COMING TO A HALT JUST EAST OF THE DELMARVA
PENINSULA...WHICH PUTS THE VERY POPULATED AREAS OF THE EASTERN MID
ATLANTIC...LONG ISLAND...AND SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND IN A PROLONGED
PERIOD OF HIGH WINDS AND HEAVY PRECIPITATION...MOSTLY SNOW. THE
EXTRAORDINARY NEGATIVE NAO THIS MONTH COULD CERTAINLY SUPPORT SUCH
AN ANOMALY. EVEN BEFORE THE RAPID DEEPENING PHASE OF THE
SYSTEM...AREAS OF THE DEEP SOUTH FROM THE INTERIOR GULF COAST
STATES TO GEORGIA AND THE MOUNTAINS AND PIEDMONT OF THE CAROLINAS
MAY SEE A VERY RARE WHITE CHRISTMAS...AGAIN...CONSISTENT WITH THE
REMARKABLE DISRUPTION AT HIGH LATITUDES.


WHILE THE EASTERN VORTEX RELOADS AND EXPANDS...THE FLOW STREAMING
OFF THE PACIFIC WILL BE LARGELY SHUNTED FARTHER NORTH THAN RECENT
DAYS...WITH THE POLAR JET TAKING AIM AT THE WASHINGTON COAST.
SOME FLOW WILL SPLIT INTO THE FAR SOUTHWEST...BUT WITH NOT NEARLY
THE ROBUSTNESS OF THE PAST WEEK.


CISCO


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988. IKE
5 day QPF....

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From what I have been reading, this should change...again: For West Palm Beach..

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Quoting IKE:
Crestview,FL. forecast for Christmas day....

Saturday Night: A chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33. Breezy, with a north wind between 15 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

........................................


AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE AL
456 AM CST WED DEC 22 2010

...A RARE WINTRY WEATHER PRECIPITATION EVENT POSSIBLE OVER THE INTERIOR
GULF COAST LATE CHRISTMAS DAY...



A WARM FRONT LOOKS TO HUG THE COAST WITH LOW PRESSURE TRACKING
EASTWARD OVER THE COASTAL WATERS. A TIGHT GRADIENT IN TEMPERATURE
WILL EXIST WITH THE COLDER TEMPERATURES OVER THE INTERIOR. THE LOW
IS PROGGED TO PULL COLDER AIR SOUTHWARD DURING THE DAY AND MOISTURE
FLOWING ATOP THE COLDER DOME MAY RESULT IN SOME SNOW MIXING IN WITH
THE RAIN OVER THE FAR NORTHERN ZONES LATE IN THE DAY SAT.
THIS IS
SUPPORTED BE AN ASSESSMENT OF CRITICAL WINTER WEATHER THICKNESSES AND
FORECAST SOUNDINGS WHICH SHOW THERMAL PROFILES JUST OFF THE SURFACE
GOING BLO ZERO CELSIUS THERE BY EVENING. NEAR THE WARM FRONT...DAYTIME
HIGHS LOOK TO OCCUR EARLIER IN THE DAY WITH A COLD RAIN AND FALLING
TEMPERATURES EXPECTED INTO THE AFTN. AFTER SUNSET SAT...THE FORECAST
THERMAL PROFILES LOOK TO SUPPORT A MENTION OF LIGHT SNOW NORTH OF THE
IMMEDIATE COAST AS WRAP AROUND MOISTURE WEST OF THE DEPARTING AND
STRENGTHENING LOW SLIDES EASTWARD THROUGH THE AREA. STILL TOO EARLY
TO OFFER SPECIFICS ON ACCUMULATION POTENTIAL AS ALL OF THIS IS HIGHLY
DEPENDENT ON STRENGTH AND TRACK OF THE LOW. STAY TUNED.

A DRIER AIRMASS SETS IN BEGINNING SUN WITH A LONG PERIOD OF COLDER
WEATHER TO CONT INTO THE FIRST HALF OF NEXT WEEK AS A STRONG CANADIAN
HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM DOMINATES THE SOUTHERN US.




IKE, I hope you can get some show up there buddy! This looks like your good chance and it may stick as well.
Member Since: November 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6577
GFS and EURO are now on the same page and the NWS in Melbourne expect a 1000 milibar low plow in around Cedar Key if the Euro is correct. Saturday night is looking very stormy for FL. Severe wx and very heavy rain is likely now for the FL penisula and a good snow for the FL Panhandle. WOW!!!!
Member Since: November 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6577
983. IKE
Crestview,FL. forecast for Christmas day....

Saturday Night: A chance of rain and snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33. Breezy, with a north wind between 15 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

........................................


AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE AL
456 AM CST WED DEC 22 2010

...A RARE WINTRY WEATHER PRECIPITATION EVENT POSSIBLE OVER THE INTERIOR
GULF COAST LATE CHRISTMAS DAY...



A WARM FRONT LOOKS TO HUG THE COAST WITH LOW PRESSURE TRACKING
EASTWARD OVER THE COASTAL WATERS. A TIGHT GRADIENT IN TEMPERATURE
WILL EXIST WITH THE COLDER TEMPERATURES OVER THE INTERIOR. THE LOW
IS PROGGED TO PULL COLDER AIR SOUTHWARD DURING THE DAY AND MOISTURE
FLOWING ATOP THE COLDER DOME MAY RESULT IN SOME SNOW MIXING IN WITH
THE RAIN OVER THE FAR NORTHERN ZONES LATE IN THE DAY SAT.
THIS IS
SUPPORTED BE AN ASSESSMENT OF CRITICAL WINTER WEATHER THICKNESSES AND
FORECAST SOUNDINGS WHICH SHOW THERMAL PROFILES JUST OFF THE SURFACE
GOING BLO ZERO CELSIUS THERE BY EVENING. NEAR THE WARM FRONT...DAYTIME
HIGHS LOOK TO OCCUR EARLIER IN THE DAY WITH A COLD RAIN AND FALLING
TEMPERATURES EXPECTED INTO THE AFTN. AFTER SUNSET SAT...THE FORECAST
THERMAL PROFILES LOOK TO SUPPORT A MENTION OF LIGHT SNOW NORTH OF THE
IMMEDIATE COAST AS WRAP AROUND MOISTURE WEST OF THE DEPARTING AND
STRENGTHENING LOW SLIDES EASTWARD THROUGH THE AREA. STILL TOO EARLY
TO OFFER SPECIFICS ON ACCUMULATION POTENTIAL AS ALL OF THIS IS HIGHLY
DEPENDENT ON STRENGTH AND TRACK OF THE LOW. STAY TUNED.

A DRIER AIRMASS SETS IN BEGINNING SUN WITH A LONG PERIOD OF COLDER
WEATHER TO CONT INTO THE FIRST HALF OF NEXT WEEK AS A STRONG CANADIAN
HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM DOMINATES THE SOUTHERN US.

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982. IKE
From this mornings Birmingham,AL. discussion...

LONG TERM...SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY.

WELL ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT I WAS SKEPTICAL ON MONDAY MORNING...
HESITANT ON TUESDAY MORNING...AND NOW GROWING CONFIDENT THIS
MORNING...THAT SANTA MAY BE BRINGING IN AN EXTRA PRESENT ON
CHRISTMAS. AS PREVIOUSLY DISCUSSED OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS...THE
EURO CONTINUES WITH AN UPPER LOW SWINGING THROUGH SOUTH OF THE
AREA...WITH A DEVELOPING AND STRENGTHENING SURFACE LOW DURING THE
DAY SATURDAY. THE HESITATION IN THE FORECAST YESTERDAY WAS THE
PURE FACT THAT THE GFS WAS TAKING THE NORTHERN ROUTE AND NOT
DEVELOPING A SURFACE LOW TO THE SOUTH. WELL THAT HAS BEEN THROWN
OUT THE WINDOW AND THE GFS IS VERY CLOSE TO THE EURO SOLUTIONS.
THE 00Z GFS WAS STILL ABOUT 6 HOURS FASTER AS IT DOES NOT
INTENSIFY THE GULF LOW AS MUCH AS THE EURO. HOWEVER...THE 6Z GFS
IS COMING IN AND IS ACTUALLY A TOUCH SLOWER AND FURTHER SOUTH THAN
THAN EURO...BUT IS NOW BEGINNING TO INTENSIFY THE UPPER LOW AS IT
SWINGS INTO THE GULF. THE NEW SOLUTION NEVER PHASES THE UPPER LOW
AND UPPER TROUGH UNTIL WELL PAST THE AREA AND ACTUALLY HAS LESS
QPF OVER THE AREA DURING THE DAY SATURDAY DUE TO THE MORE SOUTHERN
ROUTE.

HAVE DECIDED TO GO FULL FLEDGED WITH THE EURO THIS MORNING AS THE
CONSISTENCY THAT WE LOOK FOR HAS NOW CONTINUED FOR NOW 54 HOURS.
THAT COMBINED WITH THE GFS TRENDS...HAS ALLOWED FOR A LOT MORE IN
CONFIDENCE IN THE FORECAST. THIS SYSTEM WOULD BE HISTORIC IF THERE
IS ANY ACCUMULATION ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA...AS IT WOULD BE THE
FIRST TIME FOR ANY ACCUMULATION OF SNOW ON CHRISTMAS DAY. NUMEROUS
TRACE EVENTS HAVE BEEN RECORDED...BUT NO EVENTS HAVE HAD MORE THAN A
TRACE. STILL REALLY TOO EARLY TO TALK ABOUT ACCUMULATION ACROSS THE
AREA AS THE MODELS STILL PROVIDE SOME ISSUES IN REGARDS TO WHERE AND
HOW MUCH WILL THE HEAVIEST PRECIPITATION. IF THE EURO PANS OUT THE
HEAVIEST QPF WILL BE ACROSS THE SOUTH...POSSIBLY EVEN SOUTH OF THE
US 80/I-85 CORRIDOR SATURDAY AFTERNOON/NIGHT. THE 00Z GFS BRINGS IN
THE HEAVIEST QPF ALONG AND SOUTH OF THE I-59 CORRIDOR...WITH THE 06Z
GFS EVEN FURTHER SOUTH. STILL QUITE A WAYS OUT TO GET INTO THESE
SPECIFICS.

OVERALL LOOK FOR MOISTURE TO WORK INTO THE AREA FRIDAY NIGHT AND
THEN SEE A POSSIBLE CHANGE OVER TO SNOW ACROSS THE NORTH AFTER
MIDNIGHT AND THE ARRIVAL OF SANTA. THE BEST CHANCES FOR THE SNOW WILL
OCCUR AFTER 12Z IN THE NORTH. TEMPERATURES ARE NOT GOING TO UP MUCH
AT ALL ON SATURDAY...ESPECIALLY IF THE RAIN/SNOW IS FLYING OUT
THERE. RIGHT NOW LOOK FOR THE CHANGE-OVER TO SNOW TO OCCUR SOUTH OF
THE I-20 CORRIDOR BY NOON AND THEN SOUTH OF I-85 LATER AFTERNOON
INTO THE EVENING. AGAIN THIS IS DEFINITELY SUBJECT TO CHANGE OVER
THE NEXT FEW DAYS...OR EVEN HOURS.

TEMPERATURES BEHIND THIS SYSTEM WILL BE COLD AND POSSIBLY EVEN
APPROACH HARD FREEZE CRITERIA ONCE AGAIN. MADE A FEW MODIFICATIONS
FROM MODELS FOR SUNDAY AND WENT COOLER FOR THE AREA. THIS MAY NOT BE
LOW ENOUGH IF THERE IS ANY SNOW COVER FROM THE SYSTEM ON SATURDAY.
COLD TEMPERATURES CONTINUE THROUGH THE END OF THE PERIOD ALONG WITH
DRY CONDITIONS.

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Special Weather Statement
Statement as of 3:59 AM EST on December 22, 2010


... A wintry mix possible on Christmas day for north and central Georgia...

A strong storm system currently moving across Southern California
and the Desert Southwest... will move into the Southern Plains
Friday... and across the deep south Saturday spreading a wintry mix
across much of north and central Georgia.

At this time all computer models are developing a surface low over
the northern Gulf of Mexico Friday night and Christmas
day... moving across North Florida and into the Atlantic by Sunday
morning. This will spread moisture into the state beginning late
Friday night and Christmas day... ending late Saturday night. If
this current forecast track holds... there will be enough cold air
in place that the precipitation will fall as a mix of rain and
snow as far south as Atlanta and Gainesville on Christmas
day... and into central Georgia Saturday evening. Across the north
Georgia mountains the precipitation could be all snow with
accumulations possible.

Anyone planning travel on Christmas day across Georgia... or the
southeast United States should keep abreast to the latest forecast
on this developing storm system.

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Quoting FLWaterFront:


Your point is badly misplaced, based on the context of my post.

Are you saying that I am merely a follower because I have pointed out that we are not immortal? If so, you must by implying that you are either the leader or amongst the leaders who are going to make us immortal and that because of my commentary, I am somehow "in the way" of this process.


Maybe I misread your post. I understood you to be syaing that since we are all mortal, we should not try to affect our environment. The reasons I took it that was include the statements about helplessness to change our environment:

"we are helpless against 99.9999% of the forces that could or are capable of causing us harm. In reality, we are little more than the equivalent of ants who are busily building and maintaining an ant hill, if one were to look at it in a macro-scale.

But what happens to ant hills when there is a major flood, or a high wind, a fire, earthquake and so on? Obviously, that ant colony is devastated, to say nothing of the individual ants themselves.

...we have developed an odd view of ourselves and one which tends to ascribe to us more power over our surroundings than we actually possess. This is, in effect, an illusion...... we are all ultimately helpless against nature.

My point here is that there simply is not much to be gained by worrying about that which we cannot control, nor is there much sense to exaggerating our own potential for controlling or altering our own environment, either for better or worse. "


My comment about leading, following, getting our of the way was based on my interetation that you didn't want to try to stop global warming. I was saying that even if you don't want to be part of the solution (whether because you disagree with the theory, just think it is futile or simple prefer to perish without a fight), I was just asking you to let those of us who do want to fight against global warming get on with it and not try to block us.

I never implied I was a leader. Neither did I imply you were a follower. If you took it that way, I apologize for the accidental insult. Nor was I talking about immortality.

In regards immortality however, I believe how we live our life is more important than how long it is and to quote Field Marshall Eomer: "Great deeds are not lessened because no one is left to sing about them." I just prefer to fight to stop global warming regardless of the cause. I prefer to fight to have America free from foreign oil. I prefer to have Americans developing the cutting edge battery, solar, etc. technology rather than trying to solve our economic problems by hiring people to make last generation products.
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Still not seeing more than the possibility of scattered flurries.

First of the new year now is looking really interesting.
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I may be totally out of line here, but to the average person who looks to this particular blog to get often informative information about an extreme event, like the freeze and mini snow/sleet storm in florida last january, all this complex scientific talk about global warming/cooling to be honest with both sides, noone but you selve are even bothering to look at it. Most of us for example see a potenital historic blizzard on Christmas day afecting everyone in the south and east coast. Would really appreciate GFS and European models and some of your meteorology students can explain to the common joe. Besides, can we have some peace on earth and good will towards all men and women at Christmas. Call me crazy.. Just a thouhght. Thanks
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Found this article interesting:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/20/regional-greenhouse-gas-i_n_798997.html

"...CONCORD, N.H. — Two of the 10 Northeast states that agreed to dedicate millions of dollars to reduce carbon emissions and promote green energy have reneged on their promise, instead diverting substantial funds to saving their budgets.

New York and New Jersey over the past year have raided accounts set up under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the first mandatory U.S. cap-and-trade program for carbon dioxide. The accounts were created to pay for energy efficiency programs aimed at reducing the region's pollution by 10 percent by 2018.

Citing their example, New Hampshire dipped into its fund in June to help balance its budget.

New York took $90 million last fall – roughly half of its fund; New Jersey zeroed out its fund, taking all $65 million; and New Hampshire, a much smaller state, took $3.1 million in June. In all three states, the money was used to pay the state's bills.

Maryland made no withdrawals but diverted some funding to help the poor pay their electric bills..."

Some things were more important to them, eh?
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Wow models keep on keeping this potential weekend storm going.. But GFS keeps it down.. If it stays consistent then we could have some huge problems in a lot of spots.. I wonder if the models stay consistent wednesday night and into thursday morning..
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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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