Europe cold wave deaths hit 200; low-snow winter for the U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:06 PM GMT on February 03, 2012

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Brutal winter cold continues over most of Europe, where at least 200 people have died in a cold wave that began January 26. Hardest hit has been Ukraine, where the temperature bottomed out at -17°F (-27°C) at the capital of Kyiv this morning. It was the second coldest day of the cold wave, behind the -28°C reading of February 2. These temperatures are the coldest winter weather in six years in Ukraine, and at least 101 deaths are being blamed on the cold there. Also hard-hit has been Poland, where 37 people, most of them homeless, have died from the cold. Rome, Italy experienced a rare snowfall today, only its second day with snow during the past fifteen years. Very cold temperatures 10 - 20°C below average will continue for another seven days in Europe before gradually moderating late next week.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average as analyzed by the GFS model, for February 2, 2012. Remarkably cold air was present over Europe and western Alaska, while very warm air was over central North America and Siberia. This image is being generated experimentally by wunderground, and will be regularly available on our web site in the future.

Meanwhile, a snow drought for the U.S.
In the U.S., it's been the opposite story, with temperatures 10 - 15°F above average continuing this week over much of the nation. January 2012 is in the weather record books as the 3rd least-snowy January for the contiguous U.S. since snow records began in 1966, and December 2011 ranked as the 11th least snowy December on record. With no major snow storms in the offing over at least the next ten days, it's looking probable that the non-winter of 2011 - 2012 will set numerous record-low seasonal snowfall totals. The National Weather Service sends out a daily "Weather and Almanac" product for several hundred major U.S. cities that we make available on wunderground. I went through yesterday's statistics for those cities that reported measurable snow this winter. Only nine cities out of 166 major U.S. cities in the lower 48 states reported above-average snowfall as of February 1; 157 cities received below-average snowfall. The big winner in the snow sweepstakes has been Alaska, which is boasting 8 of the top 10 locations for heaviest snowfall this winter. While the 27.75 feet of snow that has fallen on Valdez has gotten a lot of attention, more remarkable is the 18.8 feet of snow Yakutat has received. That's more than 12.5 feet above what they usually have by this time of year.



The big losers in the snow stats for this winter are the cities along the lake effect snow belts on the Great Lakes. Most notably, Syracuse, New York is nearly four feet of snow below average for this time of year. Perhaps more exceptional is Williston, North Dakota, which has received just 1.8" of snow this winter--more than two feet below their average for February 1.



Have a super weekend, everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

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Maximum temperature today -21c in the afternoon.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

*sheds tear* that was beautifully said... You're giving it a 50% chance of developing aren't you?



30%, in my opinion. Given the rarity of pre-season systems, and even more unlikely for a February system.
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Where's hydrus?!?!?! he saw her first...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10480
Quoting CybrTeddy:
This satellite loop, to me, explains the situation.

90L isn't just some super-disorganized pre-season system like we had last year. While it is still disorganized, and development is still slim, it is probably one of the most well organized pre-season invests I've seen in the last few years with a good chance of further development. Rotation becoming more evident with building and sustaining convection over the developing LLC.

Link

*sheds tear* that was beautifully said... You're giving it a 50% chance of developing aren't you?
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736. Srry, WRONG QUOTE... OOPSS
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Quoting Neapolitan:
90L is now up on the Navy site:

Link



Hurrah! Sanity makes a comeback...its really official...90L is real! Meanwhile...I am still waiting for the NHC to issue a special TWO...
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Sun has discharged outbursts toward earth the past few weeks, numerous earthquakes around the globe have been happening, and now a tropical entity in the Carribbean in early Feb. Sun is magical
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.
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TAFB 48 hr surface forecast shows low attached to a front, won't be designated IF that is true.


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734. Skyepony (Mod)
Checked recon.. got all excited to see some sort of non-tasked training mission going on..it's not 90L. They are flying that storm south of Greenland. They found 962mb at the center, highest surface winds so far..62kts (71mph).
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37801
NEW CIMSS analysis out...

850MB:



Improved...

700MB:



About the same.

500MB:



Slightly stronger, but still disorganized and elongated from NNE-SSW.

Shear:



The shear over the area where a LLC would be located is now only 20 kts, which is better than this morning.

Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3470
This satellite loop, to me, explains the situation.

90L isn't just some super-disorganized pre-season system like we had last year. While it is still disorganized, and development is still slim, it is probably one of the most well organized pre-season invests I've seen in the last few years with a good chance of further development. Rotation becoming more evident with building and sustaining convection over the developing LLC.

Link
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LOL I love it

Link
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31874
.
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I have to say, even though 90L isn't all that impressive... It is February, and the 850 MB Vorticity is actually relatively IMPRESSIVE... though vorticity isn't all it takes for a storm to form.
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I'd give the system a 40-50% chance of developing into a subtropical or tropical cyclone before crossing Florida.
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90L is now up on the Navy site:

Link

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I think this is 2 hours old but as of then there is still no surface circulation...
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3470
Depending on what 90L brings to the table tomorrow, i might take my 20% chance, and raise it to 30% chance.
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Nice vorticity
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Quoting JeffMasters:
OK, this is officially nuts. We've got the first Super Sunday Invest in history. You'd think I could have a nice quiet Super Sunday not thinking about blogging about something in the tropics, but NOOOO! I'll be interested to see the SHIPS model forecast when it comes out in another hour or so. 90L likely doesn't have time to develop into a named storm, but definitely has the potential get more organized. Shear is 20 - 25 knots, and both the GFS and ECMWF models keep the shear below 25 knots through Monday. There is a historical precedent, as some here have pointed out, with the the 1952 Groundhog's Day tropical storm that hit Southwest Florida. According to Wikipedia,

The 1952 Groundhog Day Storm was the only Atlantic tropical cyclone on record in the month of February. First observed in the western Caribbean Sea on February 2, it moved rapidly throughout its duration and struck southwestern Florida within 24 hours of forming. In the state, the winds damaged some crops and power lines, but no serious damage was reported.

Jeff Masters


Can't you make Angela carry some of the water on this?!?!
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Quoting aspectre:
701 WxGeekVA "Everyone CALM DOWN and drink a nice cold Fresca..."

Then have a Twinkie afterward.


LOL!!!
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90L in Feb, this could be a weird Season this year!
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Quoting yqt1001:


Well, that ASCAT pass completely missed what is being called the center. :P
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
This is completely the wrong area
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Well, Invest 90L doesn't even appear on that pass, so.... :P


And if you read the edit you will see that i noted that before you start pointing fingers
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Quoting aspectre:
701 WxGeekVA "Everyone CALM DOWN and drink a nice cold Fresca..."

Then have a Twinkie afterward.

I love that commercial, LOL.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31874
718. JRRP
90L ???
jajajaja nice
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Quoting yqt1001:


Well, that ASCAT pass completely missed what is being called the center. :P

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Well, Invest 90L doesn't even appear on that pass, so.... :P

yes but the enviroment would need to be following the same wind pattern around it to have any kind of evident and good circulation... That, or just shows how the ne shear is affecting the enviroment...
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Is this postseason from 2011, preseason for 2012, or regular season 2012? I'm clueless on which one it could be...

You are talking about post-season 2012, and I was talking about regular season 2012.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31874
701 WxGeekVA "Everyone CALM DOWN and drink a nice cold Fresca..."

Then have a Twinkie afterward.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Haha, it is weird to be talking about post-season, when the season hasn't even begun yet. XD


Is this postseason from 2011, preseason for 2012, or regular season 2012? I'm clueless on which one it could be...
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3470
Quoting SPLbeater:
All we need is some winds from the west on the southern side...ASCAT does not show a closed LLC.



Partial pass


This is completely the wrong area
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Quoting SPLbeater:
All we need is some winds from the west on the southern side...ASCAT does not show a closed LLC.



Partial pass



Well, Invest 90L doesn't even appear on that pass, so.... :P
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31874
Quoting SPLbeater:
All we need is some winds from the west on the southern side...ASCAT does not show a closed LLC.



Partial pass




Well, that ASCAT pass completely missed what is being called the center. :P
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1285
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Good insight Dr. Masters, I am thinking almost exactly the same. Maybe it will be classified in postseason analysis.

Haha, it is weird to be talking about post-season, when the season hasn't even begun yet. XD
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31874
Quoting JeffMasters:
OK, this is officially nuts. We've got the first Super Sunday Invest in history. You'd think I could have a nice quiet Super Sunday not thinking about blogging about something in the tropics, but NOOOO! I'll be interested to see the SHIPS model forecast when it comes out in another hour or so. 90L likely doesn't have time to develop into a named storm, but definitely has the potential get more organized. Shear is 20 - 25 knots, and both the GFS and ECMWF models keep the shear below 25 knots through Monday. There is a historical precedent, as some here have pointed out, with the the 1952 Groundhog's Day tropical storm that hit Southwest Florida. According to Wikipedia,

The 1952 Groundhog Day Storm was the only Atlantic tropical cyclone on record in the month of February. First observed in the western Caribbean Sea on February 2, it moved rapidly throughout its duration and struck southwestern Florida within 24 hours of forming. In the state, the winds damaged some crops and power lines, but no serious damage was reported.

Jeff Masters
wacky 2012 just like ya called it about a month ago and its to get a whole lot wackier yet
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All we need is some winds from the west on the southern side...ASCAT does not show a closed LLC.



Partial pass

But of course, this is excluding the center to the NW

Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting JeffMasters:
OK, this is officially nuts. We've got the first Super Sunday Invest in history. You'd think I could have a nice quiet Super Sunday not thinking about blogging about something in the tropics, but NOOOO! I'll be interested to see the SHIPS model forecast when it comes out in another hour or so. 90L likely doesn't have time to develop into a named storm, but definitely has the potential get more organized. Shear is 20 - 25 knots, and both the GFS and ECMWF models keep the shear below 25 knots through Monday. There is a historical precedent, as some here have pointed out, with the the 1952 Groundhog's Day tropical storm that hit Southwest Florida. According to Wikipedia,

The 1952 Groundhog Day Storm was the only Atlantic tropical cyclone on record in the month of February. First observed in the western Caribbean Sea on February 2, it moved rapidly throughout its duration and struck southwestern Florida within 24 hours of forming. In the state, the winds damaged some crops and power lines, but no serious damage was reported.

Jeff Masters


Good insight Dr. Masters, I am thinking almost exactly the same. Maybe it will be classified in postseason analysis.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3470
Shallow 6.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Vanuatu
Posted on February 5, 2012
February 5, 2012 – VANUATU – A 6.0 earthquake struck the South Pacific region of Vanuatu 16:40 UTC, in what has turned out to be the third major earthquake to strike this turbulent tectonic plate boundary since a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit 3 days ago. Today’s earthquake was very shallow, measuring 4.3 km (2.7 miles) beneath the ocean floor. No tsunami warnings were issued.


Phivolcs quells panic about 5.9 Philippine earthquake setting off volcanic chain, after 70 aftershocks rattle sea-floor
Posted on February 5, 2012
February 5, 2012 – MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) denied under water volcanoes caused the series of earthquakes in the Eastern Visayas starting Saturday night. This, as Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum Jr. pacified fears that volcanoes there would erupt anytime soon. Text messages started spreading last night that an underwater volcano is on the verge of erupting. This will supposedly cause a large tsunami. Local radio stations have already denied the information. Authorities there also said the information is untrue. A total of 70 aftershocks were recorded in the area ever since a magnitude 5.9 was recorded in the southeastern part of San Policarpio in Eastern Samar. Solidum told ABS-CBNnews.com that the cause of the earthquake was due to subduction. According to the US Geological Survey, subduction is the process of the oceanic lithosphere colliding with and descending beneath the continental lithosphere. No casualties have been recorded so far. – with a report from Geron Ponferra, ABS-CBN News Eastern Visayas. -ABS
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It wouldn't have been mentioned in the TWD and/or be declared an invest if it didn't have a real chance of becoming something.

Yes it has a CHANCE to form, but the NHC designates Invests during the winter/spring quite a bit...
2011: march we had 90L
April 91L and 92L
May 93L and 94L

yes its very cool that we have a february invest, but its has about the same chance or a little more of a chance as last year's pre-season invests.
like i said: 20-25% Chance of Formation
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Quoting JeffMasters:
OK, this is officially nuts. We've got the first Super Sunday Invest in history. You'd think I could have a nice quiet Super Sunday not thinking about blogging about something in the tropics, but NOOOO! I'll be interested to see the SHIPS model forecast when it comes out in another hour or so. 90L likely doesn't have time to develop into a named storm, but definitely has the potential get more organized. Shear is 20 - 25 knots, and both the GFS and ECMWF models keep the shear below 25 knots through Monday. There is a historical precedent, as some here have pointed out, with the the 1952 Groundhog's Day tropical storm that hit Southwest Florida. According to Wikipedia,

The 1952 Groundhog Day Storm was the only Atlantic tropical cyclone on record in the month of February. First observed in the western Caribbean Sea on February 2, it moved rapidly throughout its duration and struck southwestern Florida within 24 hours of forming. In the state, the winds damaged some crops and power lines, but no serious damage was reported.

Jeff Masters

...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...
120205 1200 120206 0000 120206 1200 120207 0000

LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON
BAMS 22.0N 86.0W 22.7N 86.4W 23.0N 86.5W 23.3N 86.4W
BAMD 22.0N 86.0W 24.0N 84.7W 26.3N 82.3W 29.0N 77.5W
BAMM 22.0N 86.0W 22.9N 85.7W 23.7N 84.7W 24.9N 83.0W
LBAR 22.0N 86.0W 22.9N 85.3W 24.2N 83.8W 25.2N 80.8W
SHIP 25KTS 31KTS 34KTS 31KTS
DSHP 25KTS 31KTS 34KTS 31KTS
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Quoting JeffMasters:
OK, this is officially nuts.
Yep. That statement pretty much sums up the state of things, I'd say...
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702. 7544
yes thanks jeff enjoy the super bowl
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Everyone CALM DOWN and drink a nice cold Fresca...

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I'm not saying it will develop, but I'm saying it has a much better chance than you are making it out to be, HurricaneDean07.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31874
698. JeffMasters (Admin)
OK, this is officially nuts. We've got the first Super Sunday Invest in history. You'd think I could have a nice quiet Super Sunday not thinking about blogging about something in the tropics, but NOOOO! I'll be interested to see the SHIPS model forecast when it comes out in another hour or so. 90L likely doesn't have time to develop into a named storm, but definitely has the potential get more organized. Shear is 20 - 25 knots, and both the GFS and ECMWF models keep the shear below 25 knots through Monday. There is a historical precedent, as some here have pointed out, with the the 1952 Groundhog's Day tropical storm that hit Southwest Florida. According to Wikipedia,

The 1952 Groundhog Day Storm was the only Atlantic tropical cyclone on record in the month of February. First observed in the western Caribbean Sea on February 2, it moved rapidly throughout its duration and struck southwestern Florida within 24 hours of forming. In the state, the winds damaged some crops and power lines, but no serious damage was reported.

Jeff Masters
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

No, it is low-level, and close to designation I'd say. It's a subtropical cyclone, not tropical.


You are supported by 850Mb analysis, it is at the surface now.

Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3470
696. 7544
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It wouldn't have been mentioned in the TWD and/or be declared an invest if it didn't have a real chance of becoming something.


yeap
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XX/INV/90L
MARK
22.36N85.88W
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Oh please, dont get your hopes up believing that its something it's not. it's not near organized even for a sub-tropical system... it needs to show th NHC what it's made of to get anywhere near formation...
No formation for this sytem, i don't believe. Not today at least... 90L can prove me wrong tomorrow.

It wouldn't have been mentioned in the TWD and/or be declared an invest if it didn't have a real chance of becoming something.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31874
it probably won't amount to much...but I'm fascinated by what allowed it to be...
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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.