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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"Here it comes again,filling my soul,never wants to let go"
90L is in! Unbelieveable thing - it's only February!
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I just checked the navy page...

http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/tc_pages/tc_home.html

I don't see Invest 90L. Unless my Navy page isn't updating....what other sources show declared invests? I am curious...
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


What I'd like to know is how the jet stream gets locked in so we have a string of unusually warm/cold days. I believe right now the jet stream has a giant crest (ridge) over North America...and a giant dip (trough) over Europe....so its been warm over North America but exceedingly cold over Europe. But how does such a significant jet stream lock up happen?

P.S....I think the jet stream crest (ridge) over North America is letting cut-off systems like this west Caribbean disturbance get interesting. Usually something like this during this time of year gets ripped apart with wind shear by a more southward jet stream pattern.
Very odd, to be sure. But not everywhere in Europe is frigid. For instance, Svalbard, Norway, which is north of the Arctic Circle, has been running 15-25 degrees above normal for the past several days, and is expected to do so again a few times this week. Rain is expected there on Tuesday. Rain. At 79 degrees North. In the first week of February. When the sun hasn't risen for months.

Weird. Definitely weird.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Where do you see that at?

EDIT: A very rare event guys...WE HAVE INVEST 90L.


OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I am predicting the NHC will mention this in a special tropical weather outlook later today!!!!!
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Quoting hydrus:
Good morning C.I. Glad to hear you had some decent rain, even drought stricken Texas is getting in on the action. Hope you are doing well..
I have been around. I see that Texas has been getting some. Thank goodness because they needed it more than ever. Doing good.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Where do you see that at?


here
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We have an Invest. In February.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
Here come Alberto.

Share: 0
Time Lat Lon Wind(mph) Pressure Storm type
------------------------------------------------- ------------
12 GMT 02/5/12 22.0N 86.0W 25 1014 Invest

Where do you see that at?

EDIT: A very rare event guys...WE HAVE INVEST 90L.
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Invest 90
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Quoting Neapolitan:
The month is young, of course, but over the first four days of February so far, record highs (and high minimums) in the contiguous United States have outnumbered record lows (and low maxiumums) by 655 to 1.


What I'd like to know is how the jet stream gets locked in so we have a string of unusually warm/cold days. I believe right now the jet stream has a giant crest (ridge) over North America...and a giant dip (trough) over Europe....so its been warm over North America but exceedingly cold over Europe. But how does such a significant jet stream lock up happen?

P.S....I think the jet stream crest (ridge) over North America is letting cut-off systems like this west Caribbean disturbance get interesting. Usually something like this during this time of year gets ripped apart with wind shear by a more southward jet stream pattern.
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Quoting RTSplayer:
Arctic Sea Ice quality is very poor this year already.

Overall, 30% extent is about the same or lower than last year, by the time you take the excess in a few places and fill it in the places that are far lower.

Daily Arctic Sea Ice

However the quality is very low even in places where the 30% extent is about the same, which is to say 80% has become 50 to 60%.

The volume modeling claims this year is about the same volume as last year on the same day, but that's just a model. At least Area and Extent are pure data.
It's interesting to note that over the past three weeks, there's been a total net gain of Arctic Sea ice area of just 54,998 square kilometers. By comparison, during the same three-week period last year, there was a net gain in Arctic SIA of 1,006,085 km2, while in 2007 that three-week gain was 944,455 km2. There's talk of a new low maximum record this year, but that remains to be seen; to do that, no larger a net gain than an additional 600,000 km2 or so can be added over the next month, and it's still possible for freezing to go on a ten-day (or more) run. (Last year's ice max was on March 9; in 2007, that happened on February 27.)
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Here come Alberto.

Share: 0
Time Lat Lon Wind(mph) Pressure Storm type
------------------------------------------------- ------------
12 GMT 02/5/12 22.0N 86.0W 25 1014 Invest
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577. Skyepony (Mod)
Sometimes using the preview comment feature can make your avatar temporarily disappear. Maybe go to another blog or outside the blogs still in WU..something like that might force it back..
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Quoting LargoFl:
current radar has alot of yellow and green seemingly headed for fort meyers, have to watch it today


Regardless of development, this system will bring rainfall to south Florida...west Cuba, and the Cayman Islands.

Depending on how far east it gets knocked when the Texas shortwave upper trough arrives...it could bring rain as far east as Jamaica, east Cuba, and the Bahamas.

The question I have is what this area will look like once the Texas shortwave will arrive? If it stays cut-off like this west Caribbean system has....could it be the next area of interest?
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Quoting RTSplayer:
See if this works.

About a dozen 3 to 7 degree record breaks, including several cases where the previous record was within the past 20 years.


The low is a tie, and the low max is a 1 degree break.

Records
The month is young, of course, but over the first four days of February so far, record highs (and high minimums) in the contiguous United States have outnumbered record lows (and low maxiumums) by 655 to 1.
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Many of you that don't recognize the name Andy Gabrielson have probably seen this video...He filmed it.

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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Good morning. I have been lurking since the end of hurricane season. I don't know what will happen with this blob but we finally had some beneficial rain this morning and still pretty overcast.
Good morning C.I. Glad to hear you had some decent rain, even drought stricken Texas is getting in on the action. Hope you are doing well..
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Arctic Sea Ice quality is very poor this year already.

Overall, 30% extent is about the same or lower than last year, by the time you take the excess in a few places and fill it in the places that are far lower.

Daily Arctic Sea Ice

However the quality is very low even in places where the 30% extent is about the same, which is to say 80% has become 50 to 60%.

The volume modeling claims this year is about the same volume as last year on the same day, but that's just a model. At least Area and Extent are pure data.

Arctic Sea Ice 15% extent.



Still holding about 250k below previous records.



Only place that's above the median is the Bering Straits, and that hardly makes up for everything else being absurdly low.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:
I just read the groundhogs day 1952 tropical storm article on Wikipedia. Its ironic to me that it formed in the exact same spot this system appears to be spinning up at right now. That doesn't mean the fate of this system will be equal to that of the 1952 storm (which struck south Florida & tracked offshore of the US east coast), but I thought it ironic.

This system probably has a small shot at development before the next cut-off upper trough from Texas streams eastward and absorbs it.
current radar has alot of yellow and green seemingly headed for fort meyers, have to watch it today
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I just read the groundhogs day 1952 tropical storm article on Wikipedia. Its ironic to me that it formed in the exact same spot this system appears to be spinning up at right now. That doesn't mean the fate of this system will be equal to that of the 1952 storm (which struck south Florida & tracked offshore of the US east coast), but I thought it ironic.

This system probably has a small shot at development before the next cut-off upper trough from Texas streams eastward and absorbs it.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Hey.... was wondering if you guys would check in over the weekend. We've been looking at the wx in ur area and wondering if we might get a very rare Feb STS out of it.... It sure looks interesting on satellite and radar, anyway.
Good morning. I have been lurking since the end of hurricane season. I don't know what will happen with this blob but we finally had some beneficial rain this morning and still pretty overcast.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Hey.... was wondering if you guys would check in over the weekend. We've been looking at the wx in ur area and wondering if we might get a very rare Feb STS out of it.... It sure looks interesting on satellite and radar, anyway.
CMC wants to bring some cold air down. I dont put much faith in it tho. Models just havent done that well past 5 days..144 hours.
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A Little Super Bowl tune! Link
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Quoting BahaHurican:
According to Grothar, who saw it all, we had a TC in Feb in 1952. Definitely not an ordinary occurance.

I just read the story about the storm chaser who was killed in the auto accident. I find it ironic that he survived all those deadly and potentially deadly tornados, only to be killed by someone going the wrong way on the highway.... possibly even drunk or high [i. e. out of control]. It just goes to show that you should live your life to the best of your ability. I'm glad he started chasing early, and didn't wait until he was "old enough" to learn his craft and follow his passion.


So if anything happens...will be the first since '52...wow! In general, I think we have an omega block pattern with a 200 mb anticyclone over S Canada with cut-off systems developing to the southeast. The cut-off in the NW Caribbean today is only the first...the next cut-off is forming over Texas. I wonder if these cut-offs will trigger some interesting subtropical cyclone potential over the next days as we are seeing now.

I was ticked off when I read that story about the accident, how someone foolish can take people's lives away so senselessly. It put it into perspective to me....he was born the same year I was born.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hey guys long time no see I have been having overcast rainy conditions over the last couple of days here in GCM I like it I hope it can stay longer anyone have any ideas on what is going on and also what is going on with the blog as I said I haven't been on for a good while so I need to know what I missed
Hey.... was wondering if you guys would check in over the weekend. We've been looking at the wx in ur area and wondering if we might get a very rare Feb STS out of it.... It sure looks interesting on satellite and radar, anyway.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22682
hey guys long time no see I have been having overcast rainy conditions over the last couple of days here in GCM I like it I hope it can stay longer anyone have any ideas on what is going on and also what is going on with the blog as I said I haven't been on for a good while so I need to know what I missed
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Well...I know I am tracking this. I didn't expect to see more organization like I am this morning.

Dude...if this becomes an Invest....this will be a very very rare occurrence for February. I don't even know if a tropical invest has ever happened in February before.
According to Grothar, who saw it all, we had a TC in Feb in 1952. Definitely not an ordinary occurance.

I just read the story about the storm chaser who was killed in the auto accident. I find it ironic that he survived all those deadly and potentially deadly tornados, only to be killed by someone going the wrong way on the highway.... possibly even drunk or high [i. e. out of control]. It just goes to show that you should live your life to the best of your ability. I'm glad he started chasing early, and didn't wait until he was "old enough" to learn his craft and follow his passion.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22682
Quoting RTSplayer:


Yes, it has.

Once in January and once in February.

We searched it the other day when the models started to hint something might happen.

1952Groundhog day TS

Maybe it's a 60 year event?

List of some tropical "Earliest" facts


Interesting...I didn't know the models hinted at this in days past (or that an Atlantic tropical system happened in February before).

When I saw 200 mb upper EASTERLY winds over the US (which I thought was unusual for February)...I was dumbfounded to see an impressive 200 mb fully closed anticyclone over south Canada (again I thought strange for February)!

I think as mid-latitude disturbances rotate around this 200 mb anticyclone....a part of them gets cut-off when they dive southward to the east of that anticyclone. The next cut-off looks to me developing over Texas. I wonder if this pattern of cut-off upper troughs might support an unusually early period of Atlantic subtropical development?
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What I understand about the NW Caribbean Disturbance.

(1) Its a surface trough supported by a far south cut-off upper trough. The cut-off upper trough was mid-latitude in origin and I beleive became cut-off on February 1st in the Bay of Campeche (and has been tracking slowly east since then).

(2) There may now be a rotation developing along the surface trough just east of the Yucatan shoreline this morning based on the developing organization of the cloud bands.

(3) The water temps are 27 to 28 deg C below....

(4) Wind shear in this spot is lowest in the Atlatnic basin as the divergent southerly upper winds (which are supporting the surface trough) are only 90 deg opposed to the low-level easterly trade winds. Wind shear elsewhere is much much higher with upper westerlies 180 deg opposed to the low-level easterly trade winds.

The only negative factor is that convevctive mass over Texas streaming eastward...which is the next cut-off upper trough that could absorb this system before it has a chance to develop. However...I would not be surprised if this next cut-off upper trough also becomes an interesting feature down the road....
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Well...I know I am tracking this. I didn't expect to see more organization like I am this morning.

Dude...if this becomes an Invest....this will be a very very rare occurrence for February. I don't even know if a tropical invest has ever happened in February before.


Yes, it has.

Once in January and once in February.

We searched it the other day when the models started to hint something might happen.

1952Groundhog day TS

Maybe it's a 60 year event?

List of some tropical "Earliest" facts
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Did I post a link here yesterday about the concern in the early 1930s that our climate was changing? And they meant warming at the time, which is no surprise, given the kind of weather they'd been having [Dust Bowl, extreme highs / floods / numbers of tropical cyclones in the basin]. It just reminds me of all the recent hype and makes me wonder if anything serious will be done in the long term. Sure didn't seem so, after last time.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22682
Quoting BahaHurican:
Mornin', ever'body...

R we tracking this???



Also, anybody from Cayman been on since yesterday morning?


Well...I know I am tracking this. I didn't expect to see more organization like I am this morning.

Dude...if this becomes an Invest....this will be a very very rare occurrence for February. I don't even know if a tropical invest has ever happened in February before.
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See if this works.

About a dozen 3 to 7 degree record breaks, including several cases where the previous record was within the past 20 years.


The low is a tie, and the low max is a 1 degree break.

Records
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Perfect. Best graphic ever. Wish I'd discovered that years ago.


Figure our disturbance can't possibly dodge this front, so it's got maybe 24 hours to earn a name.
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
This is starting to creep me out.



A magnitude 5.7 earthquake offshore Vancouver Island, and a magnitude 4.3 offshore southern Oregon, all within the span of 31 minutes. Let's look back at the earthquake events I've deemed "significant" in the Cascadia region.

September 1, 2009 - August 31, 2010: 2 earthquakes M6.5 or higher, both offshore northern California.

September 1, 2010 - August 31, 2011: 4 earthquakes, including 2 above M4.5 (both offshore Oregon).

September 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011: 4 earthquakes, including 2 above M4.5 (a M6.4 offshore Vancouver Island, and a ~M5 quake offshore southern Oregon).

January 1, 2012 - February 5 (early morning), 2012: 3 earthquakes, including 2 above M4.5 (one south of Queen Charlotte Islands, another offshore Vancouver Island).

Agreed. I vaguely recall that the fault these quakes are reminding us of is one that can produce devastating tsunami. Seattle and Vancouver, not to mention the rest of the west coast, would be sitting ducks.
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Quoting RTSplayer:
535:

Hey, could you give the link for that graphic please?

That is awesome. I've never seen a composite like that for the Caribbean...


See #534.
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535:

Hey, could you give the link for that graphic please?

That is awesome. I've never seen a composite like that for the Caribbean...
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

...feels like hurricane season.


If I didn't know better I would say this looks like a soon-to-be subtropical depression....

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Quoting WxGeekVA:


We have 850MB Vort!!!

...feels like hurricane season.
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548. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


TC JASMINE 983HPA NEAR 17.2S 154.1E
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 10F 992HPA NEAR 22.8S 179.9W
LOW 994HPA NEAR 33.0S 161.0E

---------
pretty active surface map
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Looks to be a spin developing just ENE of the tip of the Yucatan....

Whatever it is, it's still very broad.
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Gotta run get some Party stuff....You all have a great day and God Bless!
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We have 850MB Vort!!!



And the shear has dropped considerably since yesterday!
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Quoting Patrap:
A Warming Globe will do dat TS.

Go Giants


YEPPERS....i like the Giants also....
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Here you go:


Looks to be a spin developing just ENE of the tip of the Yucatan....
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A Warming Globe will do dat TS.

Go Giants!!!




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

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