Hurricanes Igor and Tomas get their names retired

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:19 PM GMT on March 27, 2011

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The names Tomas and Igor will no longer be used to name hurricanes in the Atlantic, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced this March. Hurricane Igor made landfall near Cape Race, Newfoundland on September 21, 2010, and was that island's most damaging hurricane in 75 years, with $200 million in damage. Hurricane Tomas smashed through the Lesser Antilles Islands on October 30 - 31, 2010, dealing a particularly harsh blow to St. Lucia, where eight died and damage was estimated at $500 million. Tomas also killed 35 people on Haiti, and contributed to a cholera epidemic that killed thousands.


Figure 1. Little Barsway bridge 10 km north of Grand Bank, Newfoundland, after flood waters from Hurricane Igor swept it away. Image credit: George J.B. Rose.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Tomas taken at 10:30am EDT Saturday October 30, 2010, as the storm began lashing the Lesser Antilles. At the time, Tomas was a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

The retirement of hurricane names
The WMO maintains a list of hurricane names for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific that repeats itself every six years. The names Igor and Tomas in the Atlantic would have appeared again in 2016, but will be replaced by Ian and Tobias. Each spring, the WMO meets to decide if any names should be retired from the list, due to notable death or destruction caused by one of the past season's storms. Any country that is a member of the WMO can request that a name be retired. If a country seriously affected by a hurricane does not request retirement of the name, then the name will not be retired. In the recent past, Mexico, in particular, has been reluctant to request retirement significant storms that have affected them. In 2010, two significant hurricanes affected the country, but Mexico chose not to request retirement of either: Hurricane Alex, which killed twelve people and did $1.5 billion in damage, and Hurricane Karl, which killed 22 and did $206 million in damage. Back in 2005, Mexico also did not request retirement of Hurricane Emily, which made two landfalls in Mexico as a major hurricane, destroying thousands of buildings, but not claiming any lives. A new storm named Emily will appear this year, as we are recycling the names from 2005 that were not retired (2005 holds the record for most retired names, with five.) Probably the best example of a hurricane that did not get its name retired, but deserved to, was Hurricane Gordon of 1994, which killed 1145 people on Haiti. Haiti did not send a representative to the 1995 WMO meeting when retirements for 1994 were decided. Gordon did not affect any other countries strongly enough to motivate them to request retirement, and the name Gordon will be used again in 2012.

Since Atlantic hurricanes began getting women's names in 1953, 76 names have been retired, an average of 1.3 retired names per year. The list includes one tropical storm, Allison of 2001, that caused billions in damage from its heavy rains. The storm with the most appearances so far is Arlene, which has appeared nine times: 1959, 1963, 1967, 1971, 1981, 1987, 1993, 1999, 2005. Arlene will make its tenth appearance this year. One exception to the retirement rule: before 1979, some storm names were simply dropped. For example, in 1966, Fern was substituted for Frieda, and no reason was given. Only three Eastern Pacific hurricanes have had their names retired--Hurricane Ismael of 1995, Hurricane Pauline of 1997, and Hurricane Kenna of 2002. All of these storms hit Mexico.

Cool Katrina animation
A new visualization created by Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois shows Hurricane Katrina spinning over the Gulf of Mexico during a 36-hour period in August, 2005. The animation is part of a full-length planetarium film called Dynamic Earth screened at the Fulldome UK festival on March 12 - 13. You can see the video at the newscientist.com or DynamicEarth web sites. The video description: Trajectories follow moist air rising into intense "hot tower" thunderstorms, and trace strong winds around the eye wall; rapidly rising air is yellow, sinking air blue. The sun, moon, and stars show the passing of time. The visualization highlights Katrina's awesome power and fierce beauty.

I'll be back with a new post Tuesday or Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

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WUUS54 KLIX 292352
SVRLIX
LAC051-071-075-087-300015-
/O.NEW.KLIX.SV.W.0035.110329T2352Z-110330T0015Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
652 PM CDT TUE MAR 29 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHERN JEFFERSON PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...TIMBERLANE...MARRERO...HARVEY...
SOUTH CENTRAL ORLEANS PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
EXTREME NORTHWESTERN PLAQUEMINES PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
WEST CENTRAL ST. BERNARD PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF CHALMETTE...

* UNTIL 715 PM CDT

* AT 648 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING HALF DOLLAR SIZE HAIL.
THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR TERRYTOWN...OR NEAR TIMBERLANE...AND
MOVING NORTHEAST AT 30 MPH.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL OTHERWISE REMAIN OVER MAINLY RURAL
AREAS OF THE INDICATED PARISHES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM CDT TUESDAY EVENING
FOR SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA AND SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI.



LAT...LON 2987 9020 2994 9005 3002 8997 2996 8982
2987 8996
TIME...MOT...LOC 2352Z 215DEG 26KT 2993 9000



24/RR


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Quoting WatchingThisOne:


That situation with the reactors is very serious indeed. It looks like the sea is going to be the dumping ground for highly radioactive water. The stuff is putting out 1000mSv at its surface and/or as airborne radiation. Not exactly practical to truck it away, and if you did where would you truck it? 15 minutes of exposure is good for 250mSV, the newly increased (by 150%) annual limit for workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Here's hoping we don't see a much more serious steam explosion in the coming days and weeks. It appears from all the discussion about water in the basement level that we could see just that.

A very tough spot to be in. Your first priority must be preventing a full meltdown at pretty much any cost. To do that, you need a LOT of water, fresh water. We apparently have containment leaks, particularly at reactor no. 2, which is busy filling up a u-shaped overflow tube. From the end of that tube, it is 180 feet to the sea, and that is where it is going. Although that "can't be confirmed at this time."

If you supply enough water to prevent a full meltdown, you have all this radioactive water that is going to go into the sea.

If you cut off the water supply, you run the very real risk of a full core meltdown and steam explosion.

The sea wins out over the atmosphere. As dreadful as that is, a massive steam explosion is just not acceptable. Although we may end up getting one anyways if the situation continues to head south.

I have seen no expert commentary - none - that reassures me about the situation. The word "grave" pops up from now and then in commentary on this, and it seems that it is appropriate. Lets just hope we don't see criticality anytime soon.

The Japanese fishing industry is finished. They lost their fleet and now the fish will contain nasty things like plutonium that most consumers don't want in their seafood.

Much of northern Japan could eventually become uninhabitable. Including the Tokyo area.

Worst case scenario? Maybe ... but then again, what is the alternate scenario? Do tell.

French experts will arrive on the scene soon. Hopefully they will be a little more forthcoming, and will have solutions for some, most or all of this.

WTO

Edit: Clarifying the French experts thing, the head of a French nuclear firm is headed for japan with five nuclear experts in tow. It's not clear who called in the firm.


Most consumers of any food, including here in the US, already get plutonium, and cesium, and various other elements however they are in such minute quantities that it doesn't bear any mention. We have all those atmospheric nuclear tests to thank for that.

The plutonium contamination isn't really a concern. It's at .54 Bq/kg, which is about what it is (nuclear testing). To put that in perspective, a banana contains 15 Bq/g. So when they say low levels, they mean really really low levels (approximately 27,800 times less than a banana).

What makes them think it came from the plant is the signature appears to be different than the normal contamination seen in the general environment. The bigger question then would be, how did it get there?

No, it didn't get there from a steam explosion. Plutonium doesn't boil until you get to around 6000F, and we certainly haven't seen that (it's not something one would miss). It could have gotten there from fuel rods with damaged plating flaking off plutonium dust or mixing with water (from the cooling ponds or from the reactor), or perhaps from mishandled damaged fuel rods in the past. Plutonium fuel has a rather long half-life.

If it is being detected in the leaked water, that would imply that there are at least some rods with damaged plating, exposing plutonium metal to the water. They may even be able to get a fix on if the leak is from the reactor or from the cooling pond depending on the isotope concentrations.

Most of the high radioactivity is coming from radioactive Iodine, which has a half life of 8 days. It is a short term danger (meaning in a couple of months, most of it will be gone). Cesium, cobalt, and strontium are longer term concerns, but that really depends on how much contamination there is and where it is.

Northern Japan becoming uninhabitable? Unlikely. You would need a set of pretty incredible circumstances to come together for that to happen. Something akin to having the reactor basement filled with anthracite coal. Even in spent fuel rods most of the remaining materials are non-volatile elements with very high boiling points. The biggest danger from meltdowns doesn't come from the fuel components, they come from the fission by-products which are much more radioactive with much lower boiling points than the fuel components. You would also need favorable weather patterns to move the material over northern Japan and have it settle there.

There's going to be contamination around the area regardless. How much long term contamination there is remains to be seen.
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Im on the lappy toppy and that Wind is coming from the West Bank this way.


104
WUUS54 KLIX 292333
SVRLIX
LAC051-071-300000-
/O.NEW.KLIX.SV.W.0034.110329T2333Z-110330T0000Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
633 PM CDT TUE MAR 29 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN JEFFERSON PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...METAIRIE...KENNER...AVONDALE...
SOUTHWESTERN ORLEANS PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS...

* UNTIL 700 PM CDT

* AT 630 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING LARGE DAMAGING HAIL UP TO
GOLF BALL SIZE. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR AVONDALE...AND MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 20 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
WAGGAMAN...HARAHAN...WESTWEGO AND BRIDGE CITY

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH...PREPARE
IMMEDIATELY FOR DAMAGING WINDS...DESTRUCTIVE HAIL...AND DEADLY CLOUD
TO GROUND LIGHTNING. PEOPLE OUTSIDE SHOULD MOVE TO A SHELTER...
PREFERABLY INSIDE A STRONG BUILDING BUT AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

THIS STORM HAS A HISTORY OF PRODUCING DESTRUCTIVE WINDS AND LARGE
DAMAGING HAIL. SEEK SHELTER NOW INSIDE A STURDY STRUCTURE AND STAY
AWAY FROM WINDOWS!

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM CDT TUESDAY EVENING
FOR SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA AND SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI.



LAT...LON 2988 9023 2989 9025 2990 9026 2994 9027
3004 9022 3003 9012 3004 9002 2993 9005
2987 9021
TIME...MOT...LOC 2333Z 230DEG 17KT 2991 9022



24/RR



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting atmoaggie:
Hey, now is that middle school "getting fresh" or some other...

Cause we haven't even held hands, yet.


Grothar,

I think you got an invite to hold hands! How sweet lol

It looked like we were going to get slammed earlier but it went further south. The night is young though.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
The BRN for SE LA backed way, way off.



The MUCAPE is still fairly high between 2,000-3,000J/kg and mid- level lapse rates are steep between 7.5-8C/km. Helicity values are around 200, which isn't too impressive but still leaves the threat.
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Quoting doorman79:
what a day!

Atmo and grothar getting fresh.
Hey, now is that middle school "getting fresh" or some other...

Cause we haven't even held hands, yet.
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That is covering a big area. Is Pat still on or did he take cover? They really look bad.

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Quoting atmoaggie:
Strawberry ptown? Sun?

I can see a gap in the clouds west of Satsuma, but not at Ponchatoula...

Must need a satellite update.


Its not blue bird, but the sun isn't behind much at the moment.
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Quoting doorman79:
what a day!

Atmo and grothar getting fresh.

Pat getting hammered with rain.

And the sun is shining just east of ptown.

Evening All!
Strawberry ptown? Sun?

I can see a gap in the clouds west of Satsuma, but not at Ponchatoula...

Must need a satellite update.
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Quoting Grothar:


Where is ptown?


Ponchatoula

On the north shore of lake ponchatrain
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Quoting doorman79:
what a day!

Atmo and grothar getting fresh.

Pat getting hammered with rain.

And the sun is shining just east of ptown.

Evening All!


Where is ptown?
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The BRN for SE LA backed way, way off.

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what a day!

Atmo and grothar getting fresh.

Pat getting hammered with rain.

And the sun is shining just east of ptown.

Evening All!
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Quoting atmoaggie:
for now, the closest 50dBz reflectivity is better than 40 miles to my south. But, I have a feeling that comfortable distance will shrink soon...

Approaching tkeith and patrap, at the moment.
Make that 30 miles...
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Hi all, How is everyone
Just come to say hi before i put myself into a pain-killer induced coma. i am in so so much pain.
Take care all and i'll come back if i wake up.
Stay safe from those thunderstorms.
Hi Aussie. Back pain? Best of luck, dude.
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Quoting Grothar:


Don't tempt me! How close are those storms to you? The do look nasty.
for now, the closest 50dBz reflectivity is better than 40 miles to my south. But, I have a feeling that comfortable distance will shrink soon...

Approaching tkeith and patrap, at the moment.
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Hi all, How is everyone
Just come to say hi before i put myself into a pain-killer induced coma. i am in so so much pain.
Take care all and i'll come back if i wake up.
Stay safe from those thunderstorms.
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Heading in the general direction of NOLA
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Hmm, guess Grothar trying his best to come up with something besides "twit" to say...
;-)


Don't tempt me! How close are those storms to you? The do look nasty.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Definitely some rotation show up on the Hi-Definition radar. Hook to the southwest of New Orleans.

That's what prompted my comments ~30 minutes ago. That TDWR site has been showing it off and on for a while, now, in different spots. Definitely building a hook, now.

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Quoting atmoaggie:
Right, the smoothed, pretty graphics that hide the fine scale details.

Hokay.



I like when you talk technical.
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Definitely some rotation show up on the Hi-Definition radar. Hook to the southwest of New Orleans.

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Im going into power down mode..too much Lightening Uptown now.

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Quoting tkeith:
I hope not...
It "spun out" pretty quickly. For a frame or 2 it looked possible. (and the potential still present)
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Not sure there isn't a spinner coming together for that part about to be in Kenner...
I hope not...
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Hmm, guess Grothar trying his best to come up with something besides "twit" to say...
;-)
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wdsu LIVE animated radar
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wdsu local NBC Station,weather page
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The Wunderground radars are fine nuff for me,,I dont need dem Fancy Smancy Pay for Graphics,,

LOL


Next dem revenuers will be busting up my Jazz Fest Still.
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Quoting Grothar:
I thought you guys from Louisiana would have better graphics for these storms. Come on, get with it.

Right, the smoothed, pretty graphics that hide the fine scale details.

Hokay.

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I thought you guys from Louisiana would have better graphics for these storms. Come on, get with it.

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524
WUUS54 KLIX 292312
SVRLIX
MSC113-147-300015-
/O.NEW.KLIX.SV.W.0033.110329T2312Z-110330T0015Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
612 PM CDT TUE MAR 29 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
PIKE COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI...
WALTHALL COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI...

* UNTIL 715 PM CDT

* AT 611 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED 7 MILES
EAST OF OSYKA...OR 16 MILES SOUTHEAST OF MCCOMB...AND MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 35 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
MAGNOLIA...TYLERTOWN AND SALEM

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH...PREPARE
IMMEDIATELY FOR DAMAGING WINDS...DESTRUCTIVE HAIL...AND DEADLY CLOUD
TO GROUND LIGHTNING. PEOPLE OUTSIDE SHOULD MOVE TO A SHELTER...
PREFERABLY INSIDE A STRONG BUILDING BUT AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM CDT TUESDAY EVENING
FOR SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA AND SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI.



LAT...LON 3134 9007 3135 9004 3134 9003 3125 9003
3101 9010 3100 9053 3135 9039 3136 9009
TIME...MOT...LOC 2313Z 208DEG 30KT 3105 9034
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
Hope at least the car's in the garage, if that's an option.
Nope. The 2 seat roadster with an aluminum hood and trunk lid is out in it. Hopefully no big hail here. *please?* (Going to have to move soon...)
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ping one STW


801
WUUS54 KLIX 292306
SVRLIX
LAC051-089-292330-
/O.NEW.KLIX.SV.W.0032.110329T2306Z-110329T2330Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
606 PM CDT TUE MAR 29 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN JEFFERSON PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...METAIRIE...KENNER...AVONDALE...
CENTRAL ST. CHARLES PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...

* UNTIL 630 PM CDT

* AT 602 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
BOUTTE...OR 7 MILES SOUTHEAST OF HAHNVILLE...AND MOVING NORTHEAST
AT 20 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO NEW
SARPY...DESTREHAN...WAGGAMAN...NEW ORLEANS ARMSTRONG AIRPORT...
HARAHAN AND BRIDGE CITY

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH...PREPARE
IMMEDIATELY FOR DAMAGING WINDS...DESTRUCTIVE HAIL...AND DEADLY CLOUD
TO GROUND LIGHTNING. PEOPLE OUTSIDE SHOULD MOVE TO A SHELTER...
PREFERABLY INSIDE A STRONG BUILDING BUT AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM CDT TUESDAY EVENING
FOR SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA AND SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI.



LAT...LON 2983 9045 2991 9048 3006 9031 3006 9026
3003 9018 2987 9014 2982 9036
TIME...MOT...LOC 2306Z 230DEG 17KT 2990 9033
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

Geez, mother nature just isn't letting up for those folks up there. I noticed the NOAA forecast for NYC calling for a mixture of rain/snow during that time. That may have to be adjusted in due time...


Of course I am leaving Friday for Long Island.
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That would be University City,,near Loyola and W Esplanade to Chateau Estates,,looks to be under the Gun
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The most-unstable LPL Heights moving along with it as well.
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Quoting Patrap:
Seems to be atmo,,and the rotation has become larger indeed
Not sure there isn't a spinner coming together for that part about to be in Kenner...
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Now hearing Thunder to my Nw..and my South,,..interesting


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Seems to be atmo,,and the rotation has become larger indeed
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That bit of rotation still going...seemingly stronger, but now going out over the lake.

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SPC mesoanalysis viewsector
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From the Weather Channel


•Although there is loads of uncertainty at this time, computer weather models are depicting a possible major Northeast storm late this week.

•This storm would develop Thursday night off the North Carolina coast and intensify Friday near the Jersey and southern New England coasts.

•Potential for snow to fall near the I-95 corridor including Philadelphia, New York and Boston.

•How much? As it stands now, a potential 6-to-12 inch snowstorm in highly populated Northeast cities. This is HIGHLY dependent upon the extent of the storm's explosive coastal development and track of storm.

•Strong winds and wet, heavy nature of snow may lead to power outages and very poor visibility.

•Major travel disruption over a wide area is possible!


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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.