Ice storm cripples Houston; Yasi the 2nd costliest Australian storm on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:13 PM GMT on February 04, 2011

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A significant ice storm is in progress across southeast Texas, much of Louisiana, northern Mississippi, and southern Arkansas this morning, as the latest onslaught from the memorable winter of 2010 - 2011 continues. Houston, Texas recorded 1/10" - 1/4" inch of ice so far from the storm, resulting in a crippling of that city's transportation system. Numerous crashes have closed many area roads, and flights at local airports have been largely halted. Snowfalls of 1 - 3 inches will occur today along the northern edge of the ice storm region, in a swath from northeast Texas to western Kentucky. The storm will move into New England on Saturday, but will not bring heavy snow. The next chance for heavy snow occurs next Wednesday and Thursday, when the GFS model is predicting the formation of a winter storm capable of dropping a foot of snow in the Appalachians and inland areas of New England. However, it is too early to put much faith in this forecast.


Figure 1. Trees snapped off along the Chicago lakefront by winds from the Blizzard of 2011. Image credit: viewer uploaded photo from WGN.

Revisiting the Chicago blizzard
This week's blizzard in Chicago dropped 20.2" of snow on the city, Chicago's third-greatest snowstorm on record. But the tremendous winds that accompanied the blizzard--gusting to 61 mph at O'Hare Airport, and 70 mph at the Lakefront--made the storm Chicago's worst-ever blizzard as far as impacts on travel. Another remarkable feature of the storm were the intense thunderstorms that developed. According to an excellent write-up on the storm posted by the Chicago National Weather Service office, the Blizzard of 2011 had 63 lightning strikes, and several reports of hail. The most extraordinary hourly observation I've ever seen in a U.S. winter storm came at 9:51pm on February 1 at Chicago's Midway Field: A heavy thunderstorm with lightning, heavy snow, small hail or ice pellets, freezing fog, blowing snow, visibility 300 feet, a wind gust of 56 mph, and a temperature of 21°F. Welcome to the Midwest! Thanks go to meteorologist Steve Gregory for pointing this observation out to me.


Figure 2. Snow amounts from the February 1 - 3 blizzard of 2011 peaked at over 2 feet along the shore of Lake Michigan between Chicago and Milwaukee. Strong northeasterly winds pulled moist air off of the Lake in this region, allowing the "lake effect" to enhance the blizzard's snows in this region. Image credit: Chicago National Weather Service office.

Tropical Cyclone Yasi the second most damaging storm in Australia's history
Tropical Cyclone Yasi has dissipated, but the damage totals from the storm make it Australia's second most expensive tropical cyclone of all-time, according to Tropical Storm Risk, Inc. The storm's $3.5 billion price tag is second only to Cyclone Tracy, which hit Darwin on Christmas Day 1974, doing $3.6 billion in damage (2011 dollars.) Yasi roared inland over Queensland, Australia at 12:30am local time on Thursday as a strengthening Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds and a 930 mb central pressure. The cyclone missed the most populous cities on the coast, Cairns and Townsville, but damaged up to 90% of the buildings in the small towns near where the eye passed--Tully, Mission Beach, and Cardwell. A storm surge of 5.4 meters (17.7 feet) was observed at Cardwell, and there was substantial surge damage at the coast. Fortunately, the storm surge hit near low tide, resulting in a storm tide--the height of the water above land--of about 4.5 meters, more than 2 meters below what would have occurred had Yasi hit at high tide. Yasi moved quickly enough across Queensland after landfall so that major flooding was limited to just three locations near the coast. Yasi's central pressure of 930 mb at landfall made the storm the most intense recorded in Queensland since at least 1918, and possibly since 1899. In 1918, there were two cyclones (at Mackay and Innisfail) with measured pressures in the upper 920s/low 930s, but it is quite plausible that the minimum central pressures were lower than that. The 1899 (Mahina/Bathurst Bay) cyclone had a measured pressure (ship near shore) of 914 mb.


Figure 3. The tide gauge at Carwell, Australia during passage of Tropical Cyclone Yasi recorded a 5.4 meter (17.7') storm surge (red line). Since the surge came near low tide, the storm tide--the height of the surge above mean water--was only 4.5 meters (blue line). The storm tide would have been more than 2 meters higher had Yasi hit at high tide, and the damage from coastal flooding would have been huge. The green line shows the expected water levels at Cardwell due to the tide. Image credit: Queensland government.


Figure 4. Tropical Cyclone Yasi at 04:15 UTC February 3, 2011, as seen by NASA's Aqua satellite.

Jeff Masters

Yasi Damage Tully Nth Qld (AliHirst62)
Butler St Tully Nth Qld
Yasi Damage Tully Nth Qld
Chicago Blizzard 2011 (ChicagoMike)
Digging out....over 20 inches of snow and drifts in the 3 to 5 foot range.
Chicago Blizzard 2011
()
Snow Drifts in Central Missouri (tucktan)
Looking outside our front door in Columbia, MO.
Snow Drifts in Central Missouri
RoofShovel (luvne32)
Ice dams are forming, not good for water infiltrating walls
RoofShovel

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Quoting Orcasystems:


Your confused again... its suppose to be "Whats your sign" no wonder he doesn't know the score :)



Show you how long it's been since I was on a date. LOL
Forgot about that one, Orca.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Quoting pottery:

If we live long enough.
The sand is running out, man.
Thing is, I am still trying to figure out my analogue calculator.
When I do my accounts, they ALWAYS end up minus. Obviously doing something wrong.....


I bet your holding the abacus upside down.
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Thanks for the news Skye :(
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674.
that's a bad one.
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Quoting Grothar:


Haven't used that line since I was in college.


Your confused again... its suppose to be "Whats your sign" no wonder he doesn't know the score :)
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Quoting Grothar:
Just think, this group could have been on this year's half-time show. Can't believe they didn't make it.



I watched that longer than the half time show.
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Quoting Patrap:
You old Guy's will get used to it Im sure.

ACK!

If we live long enough.
The sand is running out, man.
Thing is, I am still trying to figure out my analogue calculator.
When I do my accounts, they ALWAYS end up minus. Obviously doing something wrong.....
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674. Skyepony (Mod)
Mexico~
At least 34 animals, including two crocodiles and a monkey, died at a zoo in Chihuahua state from the wave of arctic temperatures that have affected northern Mexico over the last few days, where seven people have died of the same freezing weather, authorities said Saturday. The death from hypothermia of an inmate at the Ciudad Juarez municipal jail and of another person in a fire – apparently started by a bonfire to keep away the cold – raised to five the number of victims in the state of Chihuahua, while two more fatalities occurred in the neighboring state of Tamaulipas. Meanwhile, the dramatic drop in temperatures, which plunged as low as 20 C (4 F) below zero in some towns in Chihuahua state, caused the deaths of 34 animals in the zoo at Ciudad Aldama, located some 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of the like-named state capital. Five iguanas, two crocodiles, a capuchin monkey, 15 parakeets and 12 serpents lost their lives from hypothermia, the owner of the Serenguetti Zoo, Alberto Hernandez, said. The owner said that the icy temperatures in most of the state over past few days caused power outages that forced personnel to try and warm some parts of the zoo with wood fires in an attempt to save the animals’ lives. But the extreme cold, which began last Wednesday with temperatures not seen in the region since 1956, caused the animals’ deaths. At the same time, dozens of birds died of the cold before dawn Saturday in Chihuahua at a sports club in the capital, its administrators said.
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Quoting pottery:

So. Whats the score????


Haven't used that line since I was in college.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Ive been on this blog a few times after the new format. I personally dont like how the blog page is not centered anymore. I dont like the wasted space look on the right. Oh well I will have to get use to it.
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Just think, this group could have been on this year's half-time show. Can't believe they didn't make it.



Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Quoting Orcasystems:

Aberdeen by 4

Well, SOMEONE is happy!
But I meant the score in the game there. The game with the ball shaped like a pawpaw. (papaya, to some..)
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You old Guy's will get used to it Im sure.

ACK!
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Shimmy??? its like replacing a Rolls with Lada

Could not have smitten that nail on the head as well as you did.
Good one!
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Slash needs a new hat,,..seriously
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Quoting pottery:

So. Whats the score????

Aberdeen by 4
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Quoting pottery:
Nice!
I see that Football is in the air.
Well, Liverpool dropped one on Chelsea today. How about THAT?
(oh, wait a sec, they seem to be talking about some other type of football. what does it mean??)

heheheheh

Oh, and by the way, I read back a bit, and saw that my name came up a few times.
Nope, I dont "hate" the new blog.
But I cannot see any advantages over the old one.
Apparently, there is some updated information, but quite frankly I would have revised the thing and included the revisions, not re-invented a perfectly good wheel.
And this new wheel still has a shimmy.

But that's just me.


Shimmy??? its like replacing a Rolls with Lada
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Quoting Grothar:


Getting close. Much closer than I thought. That last touchdown play was smooth.

So. Whats the score????
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Has anyone heard of a Ice storm forecasted for the SE Thursday and Friday of this week?
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Nice!
I see that Football is in the air.
Well, Liverpool dropped one on Chelsea today. How about THAT?
(oh, wait a sec, they seem to be talking about some other type of football. what does it mean??)

heheheheh

Oh, and by the way, I read back a bit, and saw that my name came up a few times.
Nope, I dont "hate" the new blog.
But I cannot see any advantages over the old one.
Apparently, there is some updated information, but quite frankly I would have revised the thing and included the revisions, not re-invented a perfectly good wheel.
And this new wheel still has a shimmy.

But that's just me.
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661. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
I am guess "Dirty Dancing" song?
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47046
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
The only song I knew was the brief "Time Of My Life".


Must be an oldie. I don't remember it.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
658. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Wellington
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin
TROPICAL CYCLONE ZAKA (10F)
13:00 PM NZDT February 7 2011
==============================================

At 0:00 AM UTC, Tropical Cyclone Zaka, Category Two (985 hPa) located at 27.4S 177.9W has 10 minute sustained winds of 50 knots and is reported as moving southwest at 18 knots.

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

Gale Force Winds
===================
180 NM from the center in sectors from north through east to southwest
120 NM from the center from southwest through northwest to north
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47046
Quoting PcolaDan:


Doing good. Noticing the fat lady hasn't sung yet. Still game on...


Getting close. Much closer than I thought. That last touchdown play was smooth.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
The only song I knew was the brief "Time Of My Life".
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Quoting Grothar:



I've seen better Kindergarten shows. It was a disgrace. To spend that kind of money on a production and have it wasted by such a poor performance. I just got two phone calls about it saying the same thing.

Good.. I was worried it was only me.... why do they even bother? They haven't pulled it off yet.
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Quoting Grothar:


Just joking with ya Washington..We may be rude, but we all have a good sense of humor. Perhaps that was the theme of the Half-time show. Now that was rude. LOL
Their is some good comedians from D.C as well.one that comes to mind is Dave Chapelle(Am I spelling his last name right).But his type of comedy is not appropiate for the blog to see....
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The Super Bowl 1/2 time show was an example, of how some musical acts need to stay in a recording studio!! That looked alot worse than my sons high school talent show, with millions of dollars less to work with!!
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Quoting Grothar:



Trust me, it was the performance. Nothing wrong with your sound. That was only for the "Outer Limits" LOL. (How you doing, guy??)


Doing good. Noticing the fat lady hasn't sung yet. Still game on...
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Quoting aquak9:
Or do people remember me as the crazy broad from D.C?

didn't you have a different name before?
Nope.It's always been Washingtonian115,and will always stay that way.The reason why I said that is becuase people seem to remember me,from august or september of last year(2010).Yeah I've mad some pretty screwed up statments,but I don't need people to come back,and remind me.That's what I meant by that.
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Quoting PcolaDan:


Hey Gro!
Don't know if it was the performance or the lack of setting up the sound for a TV audience. There was NO mix in the audio booth for us to hear properly.



Trust me, it was the performance. Nothing wrong with your sound. That was only for the "Outer Limits" LOL. (How you doing, guy??)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Quoting washingtonian115:
Ha!.Don't get to excited now Grothar!.


Just joking with ya Washington..We may be rude, but we all have a good sense of humor. Perhaps that was the theme of the Half-time show. Now that was rude. LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Quoting Grothar:



I've seen better Kindergarten shows. It was a disgrace. To spend that kind of money on a production and have it wasted by such a poor performance. I just got two phone calls about it saying the same thing.


Hey Gro!
Don't know if it was the performance or the lack of setting up the sound for a TV audience. There was NO mix in the audio booth for us to hear properly.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
640. RecordSeason 1:26 AM GMT on February 07, 2011

I take it your bored and decided to drop in and screw up every ones day?

You, off my Planet.


naaah, let's keep him. Maybe we can compost him.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Apparently while I wasn't paying attention.. I turned into my father. I just watched the half time show... WTF was that???


Well, I just thought it was my antiquated TV and sound system....;(
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1496
Quoting Orcasystems:
640. RecordSeason 1:26 AM GMT on February 07, 2011

I take it your bored and decided to drop in and screw up every ones day?

You, off my Planet.



......said the "Little Prince" LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Or do people remember me as the crazy broad from D.C?

didn't you have a different name before?
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Apparently while I wasn't paying attention.. I turned into my father. I just watched the half time show... WTF was that???



I've seen better Kindergarten shows. It was a disgrace. To spend that kind of money on a production and have it wasted by such a poor performance. I just got two phone calls about it saying the same thing.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Quoting Orcasystems:


Apparently while I wasn't paying attention.. I turned into my father. I just watched the half time show... WTF was that???


ROFLMAO You old fa@t!!!!

MUCH better than the WHO disaster last year.
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640. RecordSeason 1:26 AM GMT on February 07, 2011

I take it your bored and decided to drop in and screw up every ones day?

You, off my Planet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:



Me, never! Ask anybody on the blog. Except, atmoaggie, GeoffWPB, Caneswatch, Pottery, Patrap, Floodman, KeeperoftheGate, MiamiHurricane09, hydrus, Orcasystems, PColaDan, DontAnnoyMe and a few hundred others. I don't mean to be rude, but I got to go watch half-time, now. I hear yelling in the background.


Apparently while I wasn't paying attention.. I turned into my father. I just watched the half time show... WTF was that???
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Christina Aguillara plus Star Spangeled Banner equals disaster. Wow. At least Rosanne Barr got the words right. Yuck.
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Mmmm I remember my first time on the blog.I was seriously a wall flower.Now I'm like out there?.I still to this day wondered how that happen.Or do people remember me as the crazy broad from D.C?
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Quoting Grothar:



Me, never! Ask anybody on the blog. Except, atmoaggie, GeoffWPB, Caneswatch, Pottery, Patrap, Floodman, KeeperoftheGate, MiamiHurricane09, hydrus, Orcasystems, PColaDan, DontAnnoyMe and a few hundred others. I don't mean to be rude, but I got to go watch half-time, now. I hear yelling in the background.
Ha!.Don't get to excited now Grothar!.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Score! As the great Yogi Bear said, “It ain’t over till it’s over Boo Boo.


That was just a lucky pass. He didn't even know the receiver was there.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Quoting washingtonian115:
Soooooo are you rude?



Me, never! Ask anybody on the blog. Except, atmoaggie, GeoffWPB, Caneswatch, Pottery, Patrap, Floodman, KeeperoftheGate, MiamiHurricane09, hydrus, Orcasystems, PColaDan, DontAnnoyMe and a few hundred others. I don't mean to be rude, but I got to go watch half-time, now. I hear yelling in the background.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27210
Quoting Grothar:


How do you like the game so far? hehe hehe!


Score! As the great Yogi Bear said, “It ain’t over till it’s over Boo Boo.
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632. beell
Eat mo' beef! Maybe just a little unsettling about snow that owes its existence to the slaughterhouse.

Unusual Snowfall in Dodge City - Jan 19, 2011
An unusual weather setup produced a very narrow and isolated band of snow across parts of Dodge City and Ford county on 1/19/11. The atmosphere was cold and moist with low clouds and fog preceding the formation of the snow. It appears that two slaughter plants and a power generating plant contributed to the snow as ice nuclei and copious amounts of water vapor were fed into the boundary layer. East/southeast winds carried the vapor and nuclei aloft into the lower clouds and then precipitated out as snow downwind of the source.
The image below shows the source of the snow and the area of Dodge City and Ford county that was covered by the snow. Snowfall of as much as 0.7" was reported in the snowfield with no snow observed at all outside of this area.





Full Story and Additional Graphics-Snowfall 01/19/2011 Dodge City, KS NWS

Fly little snowflake, fly!

Photobucket
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Quoting Grothar:


Hey, I was born in NYC.
Soooooo are you rude?
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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.

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