Snow, ice paralyze South; Nor'easter aims at New England; deadly floods in Australia

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:49 PM GMT on January 11, 2011

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Much of the nation's South remains paralyzed today by a major winter storm that left up to a foot of snow and dangerous ice accumulations in its wake. Six states have declared states of emergency, and travel is extremely hazardous in the affected region, including Atlanta, where at least five closures of major interstates occurred this morning due to severe icing. The storm began Sunday in northeast Texas and tracked eastward, bringing snow amounts as high as 7 - 8 inches to northeastern Texas and southern Arkansas, 9 - 11 inches to northern Mississippi, northern Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, and southern Tennessee. As of 3am CST, the heaviest snow as reported in the NOAA Storm Summary occurred at Cashiers, North Carolina, 12.5 inches. The worst freezing rain was reported in central Georgia at Wrightsville, which received 1.5" of ice. Aiken, South Carolina received 1" of ice, and numerous locations in South Carolina, Central Georgia, and Central Alabama received over 1/2" of ice. Freezing rain amounts of 1/4" were also reported in northern Louisiana, central Mississippi, and western Arkansas. Dangerous travel conditions will persist across the affected region the rest of today, as temperatures will struggle to reach 40°.


Figure 1. Snow and ice at North Carolina's Charlotte airport caused travel delays yesterday, and thousands of flights were canceled Sunday and Monday across the Southeast U.S. due to the severe winter storm that hit the region. Image credit: wunderphotographer robb04047.

Major Nor'easter expected for New York City and Boston
Today's snow storm has pushed off the coast of North Carolina, and is expected to "bomb" into a classic Nor'easter off the coast of New England tonight through Wednesday. Up to a foot of snow is possible for New York City, Boston, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The heaviest snow--up to 16 inches--will likely fall across central Massachusetts, eastern Connecticut, western Rhode Island, and Long Island. Today's Nor'easter will not be as intense as the December 26 blizzard, however. The winds from today's storm are expected to remain less than 35 mph, resulting in only minor coastal flooding and an absence of blizzard conditions (frequent wind gusts over 35 mph or sustained winds over 35 mph, plus visibility less than 1/4 mile for at least three consecutive hours.)

Deadly flash flood hits Australia
Flood-weary Queensland, Australia suffered a new flooding disaster yesterday when freak rains of six inches fell in just 30 minutes near Toowoomba. The resulting flash flood killed nine people and left 59 missing. The flood waters poured into the Brisbane River, causing it to overflow, and significant flooding of low-lying areas in Brisbane, Australia's third largest city with some 2 million people, is expected on Thursday. As I discussed last week, Australia had its wettest spring (September - November) since records began 111 years ago, with some sections of coastal Queensland receiving over 4 feet (1200 mm) of rain. Rainfall in Queensland and all of eastern Australia in December was the greatest on record, and the year 2010 was the rainiest year on record for Queensland. The ocean waters surrounding Australia were the warmest on record during 2010, and these exceptionally warm waters allowed much higher amounts of water vapor to evaporate into the atmosphere, helping fuel the heavy rains. The record warm ocean temperatures were due to a combination of global warming and the moderate to strong La Niña event that has been in place since July. Queensland typically has its rainiest years when La Niña events occur, due to the much warmer than average ocean temperatures that occur along the coast. Beginning in December, the Queensland floods have killed at least 19, and done $5 billion in damage. Queensland has an area the size of Germany and France combined.


Figure 2. Remarkable 5-minute YouTube video showing the sad fate of a row of parked cars when a nearby small stream experiences a flash flood, sweeping away dozens of the cars. A note to the wise: Two minutes into the video, we see a man enter the flash flood to save his car. He is successful, but his actions were extremely risky--most flash flood deaths occur when cars with people inside get swept away. I would not have attempted to save my car in that situation.

Jeff Masters

Snow on Poinsett Highway in Greenville (DevLady)
Snow on Poinsett Highway in Greenville
Sunny, warm South Carolina? Not! (kemnken)
Sunny, warm South Carolina?
Sunny, warm South Carolina? Not!
Icicles for Treats (dixiedaughter)
Icicles for Treats

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oh goodness... here comes religion
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Quoting MichaelSTL:
Maybe I should just put Levi on ignore because he is obviously one of those eggheaded denialists who think that science fiction trumps real science.

By the way, imagine if gravity, which is a theory like global warming, ceased to exist at this moment - we'd all fly off into space at up to 1,000 mph (the rotational speed of the Earth at the equator*)!

*Of course, Levi thinks that the Earth is flat and the moon landing was the biggest hoax ever, behind global warming. And the Sun orbits the Earth.

Oh, and Dr, Masters ought to moderate comments - he doesn't have to put up with the cr@p that goes on. Including people threatening him (probably including death threats).

MichaelSTL...I admire Levi with his persistance to continue reporting the weather in all aspects while us peons (myself included) try to make jokes and keep livity at it's highest acme during these times.
Way to go Levi...I am still reading everything you say, and keep up the great job.
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Quoting MichaelSTL:
Maybe I should just put Levi on ignore because he is obviously one of those eggheaded denialists who think that science fiction trumps real science.

By the way, imagine if gravity, which is a theory like global warming, ceased to exist at this moment - we'd all fly off into space at up to 1,000 mph (the rotational speed of the Earth at the equator*)!

*Of course, Levi thinks that the Earth is flat and the moon landing was the biggest hoax ever, behind global warming. And the Sun orbits the Earth.

Oh, and Dr, Masters ought to moderate comments - he doesn't have to put up with the cr@p that goes on. Including people threatening him (probably including death threats).


Just because you can't find a way to counter my SST data directly doesn't mean you have to resort to name-calling and wild assumptions about my beliefs. I certainly have never done such to you, and I expected more courteous treatment in return. I'm sorry that you can't. Ignore me if you wish, but I enjoyed our little debates, even if you didn't.
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Quoting MichaelSTL:
Maybe I should just put Levi on ignore because he is obviously one of those eggheaded denialists who think that science fiction trumps real science.

By the way, imagine if gravity, which is a theory like global warming, ceased to exist at this moment - we'd all fly off into space at up to 1,000 mph (the rotational speed of the Earth at the equator*)!

*Of course, Levi thinks that the Earth is flat and the moon landing was the biggest hoax ever, behind global warming. And the Sun orbits the Earth.

Oh, and Dr, Masters ought to moderate comments - he doesn't have to put up with the cr@p that goes on. Including people threatening him (probably including death threats).


Maybe Levi's a Christian and just pointing out that man does not control our Climate.
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interesting... above average.. shocker.
this should be thrown out though right? this doesn't matter, but declining sea ice does.
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Quoting Patrap:
Didnt Barrow,Alaska reach a new Daily High record Sunday of 33F?

Phunny we dont get that news from da locals ?

Go fig'ya



Ok, that was in the middle of a winter that has been brutally cold for our state, and the warm-up was a week-long transitional period between 500mb patterns. It's not really that significant. I have seen record Barrow highs of just above freezing during the heart of winter before. It happens when you stick a 5800-meter block directly over them.
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Didnt Barrow,Alaska reach a new Daily High record Sunday of 33F?

Phunny we dont get that news from da locals ?

Go fig'ya

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Greetings all...
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Quoting MichaelSTL:


Right - those SSTs wouldn't be at record warm levels if global warming wasn't occurring, La Nina or not - just compare the variation, mostly from ENSO, to the overall increase.



Duh!


Question, then - not sure if you have the answer or not, in which case, your opinion, please:

The chart shows the departure from 61-90. When do you think they'll update the charts ending in a more recent decade? Go from 71-2000. Or, now that 2011 has started, go from 81-2010.

All would still cover a 30-year period (recommended by the World Meteorological Organization). I believe that the WMO also recommends using the latest decade available.

You'd still see the trend, right? So why use a period that ended two decades ago?
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"The correction could mean that 2010 will be the warmest year on record, surpassing 1998 and 2005."

Funny....I thought the majority of government agencies had already declared 2010 the warmest year on record, despite satellite data from two different sources which say otherwise.
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Quoting MichaelSTL:




That is the official data according to the BOM, not according to a denialist showing some cherry-picked (defining the Australia region as whatever you like the most, not how the BOM defines it) data (i.e. you).

Also, some SST datasets have a known issue in the past decade:

The deniers were half right: The Met Office Hadley Centre had flawed data %u2014 but it led them to UNDERestimate the rate of recent global warming

Claims that global warming has slowed down over the past decade were partly based on faulty data. Instead, the rate of global warming was underestimated because of a new way of measuring sea-surface temperatures, suggests a new study%u2026.

[Lead author John] Kennedy says the underestimation of the change in sea-surface temperature could account for up to 0.03 C of the apparent slowdown in global temperatures. The correction could mean that 2010 will be the warmest year on record, surpassing 1998 and 2005.


I would like then to know what the BOM defines as Australian waters in a lat/lon rectangle. I used fairly straight forward boundaries that made sense, but I'll use whatever they used. I'm just investigating using the most accurate SST data set that we have based on data since satellites started helping with SST measurements.
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Chillin' ...used to boil Sassafras in Ohio way back.... Makes a great healthy tea... Easy to spot the tree.... Leaf looks like 3 fingers
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Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service New Orleans la
1214 PM CST Tuesday Jan 11 2011


Update...


..18z aviation discussion...


Latest satellite analysis shows that the stratus deck producing
MVFR restrictions has begun to break up a bit. This clearing
process will continue over the next couple of hours...allowing for
a return to VFR condiitions at all terminals between 20-22z. The
only impact after skies clear will be strong winds of around 15
knots out of the north affecting kmsy and knew through the
forecast period. These winds are the result of colder air moving
over the warmer lake waters...resulting in increased thermal
mixing which in turn allows stronger boundary layer winds to
descend to the surface. 32




&&


Previous discussion... /issued 1049 am CST Tuesday Jan 11 2011/


Update...
klix 12z sounding showed a much shallower saturated inversion than
yesterday morning...and satellite showed a clearing line moving
southeast about 35 miles per hour across northern and western Louisiana with
breaks in clouds developing in some coastal areas. Updated the sky
cover grids to better account for the timing from cloudy to mostly
sunny. Even with sunshine...north-northwest winds across snow
cover not too far to our north will not allow temperatures to
respond as they normally would. Have lowered the highs today by a
few degrees in most areas. Looking at new guidance...a hard
freeze/ freeze is still expected the next three nights...and the
mav guidance may not have the cold bias that it had with a couple
earlier events this winter given the optimal Arctic high pressure
setup and close proximity of snow cover. 22/dew point


Previous discussion... /issued 813 am CST Tuesday Jan 11 2011/


Update...


Sounding discussion...
no problems with the flight this morning. Precipitable water value
of 0.44 inches with a lifted index of 23.1. Winds are relatively
light and out of the northwest near the surface and out of the
west aloft.


Cl


Previous discussion... /issued 333 am CST Tuesday Jan 11 2011/


Short term...
low clouds over the region a function of cold air advection moving
over snow and ice pack upwind of the forecast area. The deck is
rather shallow with some breaks developing. Clouds are expected to
thin to partly cloudy coverage as stratocumulus streaks during
daytime heating before clearing fully after sunset tonight.
Temperatures will remain cold today despite any sunshine. Arctic
surge will also bring an increase in winds to produce colder wind
chills this evening and overnight. A hard freeze and freeze
warning will be posted for tonight and will be needed for next
couple of nights as Arctic air remains in place with very little
modification anticipated.


Long term...
models show a series of short-wave impulses dropping into a mean
trough position along the Mississippi Valley to keep the Arctic
surges dropping into the Central Plains and Gulf states well into
next week. The frequency of resurgences are about every three days
with the longer range global models showing even colder air
entering the area middle of next week along sharp thermal trough.
While much of this forecast package is primarily a temperature
forecast...some sensible weather may be noted with warm air
advection sea fog developments Sunday night and a rain chance
ahead of frontal passage Monday night. Otherwise...much below
normal temperatures will be the rule for much of the next 7 days
with only a brief respite over the weekend. 24/rr
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
I don't mind a little home dug sassafras, though studys show it's not to healthy for rats and mice.
Still spittin' snow here off and on. None showin' on radar though.
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Getting ready to make a trip through this along the eastern coast of Lake Michigan. Will take some pics on the way.

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And if we expand the Reynolds data to surround all of Australia, 1998 still wins.

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Nea....Anyone ever tell you that you lool like Victor Newman?
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There is AGW and TGW. I'm for TGW.
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aren't ex in-laws considered out-laws?
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I would like some chamomile tea...
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Nea.. The problem I have is not in the by-laws.....It's in my ex in-laws. Maybe similar, but different....
Actually it sounds like an irrelevant topic, BUT. I have found that the Lipton green diet tea with citrus is one of the most satisying teas around. And for the price it is a bargain.
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Quoting reedzone:
ENOUGH about Global Warming please!! There is nothing on this topic that talks about GW. We need to focus on the TOPIC, floods, the weekend snow/ice storm and Nor'easter. Cut the GW crap! You guys do this on every blog!!!

Would you care for a cup of tea, reed? It's chamomile; helps to calm the nerves...

Anyway, you do realize that the "dis-believers in the science behind the theory of anthropogenic global warming" have an obligation to deny that any severe weather event--along with pretty much anything else--is related to the changing climate, don't you?

It's in their by-laws...

;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13455

People on here drew away people like Weather456, Drakeon, StormW, Hurricane23, ect.. Though I won't back out. If there is a good blog from the doc, I will read and respond.
Good defense except for one you mentioned...All I will say in that matter is "I am female" nuff said
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Quoting MichaelSTL:


Well, Dr. Masters mentioned it in his entry:

The record warm ocean temperatures were due to a combination of global warming and the moderate to strong La Nina event that has been in place since July.


Really? Hmm....because according to Reynolds V2, 1998 was the warmest year on record off of eastern Australia by a long shot.

Jan-Nov 2010 SST Anomalies (Dec data not in yet):



Jan-Dec 1998 SST Anomalies:



Time series of Reynolds V2 SST data bounded by the region from -30S to -15S, 150E to 180E:



I don't know exactly which lat/lon region he was referring to, but La Ninas generally cool the waters north of 15S east of Australia, thus confining most of the warming effect south of that.
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You set yourself up on that one reedzone... I still like you, but when you get older and more mature, you will learn to (look before you leap)
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Quoting NRAamy:
67. reedzone 9:58 AM PST on January 11, 2011

Sorry I get tired of coming on here and hearing you all talk about GW when it's not even the topic.



simple solution.... don't come on here.....


People on here drew away people like Weather456, Drakeon, StormW, Hurricane23, ect.. Though I won't back out. If there is a good blog from the doc, I will read and respond.
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More snow on top of the record setting Saturday snow. This started out as ice pellets and quickly changed to real snow. When that snow had just fallen it was about four times deeper. It has been consolidating for 3-4 days.
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75. JRRP
Quoting NRAamy:
67. reedzone 9:58 AM PST on January 11, 2011

Sorry I get tired of coming on here and hearing you all talk about GW when it's not even the topic.



simple solution.... don't come on here.....

lol
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5322
67. reedzone 9:58 AM PST on January 11, 2011

Sorry I get tired of coming on here and hearing you all talk about GW when it's not even the topic.



simple solution.... don't come on here.....
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Someone got lost in the High reeds?

Im a tad confused,..seems.


Go fig'ya...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting reedzone:
Sorry I get tired of coming on here and hearing you all talk about GW when it's not even the topic.


From the main blog, then:

"...The ocean waters surrounding Australia were the warmest on record during 2010, and these exceptionally warm waters allowed much higher amounts of water vapor to evaporate into the atmosphere, helping fuel the heavy rains. The record warm ocean temperatures were due to a combination of global warming and the moderate to strong La Niña event that has been in place since July..."

You do realize that the "believers in the science behind the theory of anthropogenic global warming" have an obligation to tie every severe weather event to Global Warming, don't you?

It's in their by-laws...
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Quoting reedzone:
Sorry I get tired of coming on here and hearing you all talk about GW when it's not even the topic.

reedzone.Human nature...We have a tendancy to persistantly talk about things we have a hard time of controlling, Global warming, taxes, hurricanes, and Lindsay Lohan
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Global Climate Change Indicators
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Climatic Data Center



Many lines of scientific evidence show the Earth's climate is changing. This page presents the latest information from several independent measures of observed climate change that illustrate an overwhelmingly compelling story of a planet that is undergoing global warming. It is worth noting that increasing global temperature is only one element of observed global climate change. Precipitation patterns are also changing; storms and other extremes are changing as well.
How do we know the Earth's climate is warming?

Thousands of land and ocean temperature measurements are recorded each day around the globe. This includes measurements from climate reference stations, weather stations, ships, buoys and autonomous gliders in the oceans. These surface measurements are also supplemented with satellite measurements. These measurements are processed, examined for random and systematic errors, and then finally combined to produce a time series of global average temperature change. A number of agencies around the world have produced datasets of global-scale changes in surface temperature using different techniques to process the data and remove measurement errors that could lead to false interpretations of temperature trends. The warming trend that is apparent in all of the independent methods of calculating global temperature change is also confirmed by other independent observations, such as the melting of mountain glaciers on every continent, reductions in the extent of snow cover, earlier blooming of plants in spring, a shorter ice season on lakes and rivers, ocean heat content, reduced arctic sea ice, and rising sea levels.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
For Mastic Beach, Long Island, my hometown...


URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW YORK NY
1148 AM EST TUE JAN 11 2011

...COASTAL STORM TO IMPACT THE AREA TONIGHT AND WEDNESDAY...

NYZ078>081-177-179-112100-
/O.CON.KOKX.WS.W.0002.110112T0000Z-110112T2300Z/
NORTHWESTERN SUFFOLK-NORTHEASTERN SUFFOLK-SOUTHWESTERN SUFFOLK-
SOUTHEASTERN SUFFOLK-NORTHERN NASSAU-SOUTHERN NASSAU-
1148 AM EST TUE JAN 11 2011

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING
TO 6 PM EST WEDNESDAY...

A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING
TO 6 PM EST WEDNESDAY.

* LOCATIONS...LONG ISLAND.

* HAZARDS...SNOW...HEAVY AT TIMES.

* ACCUMULATIONS...10 TO 15 INCHES...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS
POSSIBLE.

* WINDS...GUSTS 25 TO 35 MPH.

* VISIBILITIES...LESS THAN 1/4 MILE AT TIMES.

* TIMING...HEAVIEST SNOW OCCURS AFTER MIDNIGHT TONIGHT INTO
EARLY WEDNESDAY.

* IMPACTS...HAZARDOUS TRAVEL TONIGHT AND THROUGH THE DAY
WEDNESDAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW
ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN
EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...
AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

&&

$$
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Sorry I get tired of coming on here and hearing you all talk about GW when it's not even the topic.
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Quoting aquak9:
whoa whoa

does irish coffee mean you're drinking alcohol at 10:30 in the morning?

Only if it's REAL Irish Coffee :O)
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Quoting NRAamy:
yeesh, reed..... count to ten... breathe deep..... OHM.........


Koom-by-ya..ZEN moment, hmmmmmmm...
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Quoting aquak9:
hi bordonaro!!!

EEEK! that's horrid weather. Man I feel like I'm living in paradise right now. And no, it's not very paradise-like, socks AND shoes are in order.

At least the biggest slice of Arctic air will by pass FL. You have already had your two good shots so far this year.

And, oh, by the way, thanks for sharing, the cold air with us :O)
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yeesh, reed..... count to ten... breathe deep..... OHM.........
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Quoting reedzone:
ENOUGH about Global Warming please!! There is nothing on this topic that talks about GW. We need to focus on the TOPIC, floods, the weekend snow/ice storm and Nor'easter. Cut the GW crap! You guys do this on every blog!!!

:O)..It will be OK!!

Big NOR' EASTER is coming :O)!!!
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hi bordonaro!!!

EEEK! that's horrid weather. Man I feel like I'm living in paradise right now. And no, it's not very paradise-like, socks AND shoes are in order.
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ENOUGH about Global Warming please!! There is nothing on this topic that talks about GW. We need to focus on the TOPIC, floods, the weekend snow/ice storm and Nor'easter. Cut the GW crap! You guys do this on every blog!!!
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Greetings from the frozen tundra of DFW, TX.

At 32.79 N & 97.5 W, we are at a "balmy " 26F/wind chill 12 F. That is after our invigorating morning low of 21 F!!

We have a barometric pressure on 30.68"/1039 mb and slowly rising.

A ridge of High pressure is extending from NE of Barrow, AK southward all the way into North Central TX.
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About

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