Harsh winter weather continues in Europe; rare snowstorm hits Libya

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:57 PM GMT on February 07, 2012

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Europe's winter onslaught continues unabated this week, with very cold temperatures and heavy snows over much of the continent. Yesterday, a rare snow storm hit North Africa, bringing 2 - 3 inches of snow to Tripoli, Libya. It was the first snow in Tripoli since at least 2005, and may be the heaviest snow the Libyan capital has seen since February 6, 1956. Across Europe, at least 250 deaths have been blamed on the winter weather since the cold spell began on January 26. Hardest hit has been Ukraine, with 135 deaths--mostly of homeless people. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, the current cold snap is the most severe for Europe since February 1991.


Figure 1. The scene in Tripoli, Libya, on February 6, 2012, after a rare snowstorm. Image credit: libyall.com.

Unusual jet stream kink causing Europe's harsh winter weather
The reason for the exceptionally cold and snowy winter weather in Europe lies in the behavior of the jet stream. The jet stream--the band of strong west-to-east blowing upper-level winds that circles the globe at mid-latitudes--acts as the dividing line between cold, polar air to the north, and warmer subtropical air to the south. On average, the jet blows straight west to east. But this winter, the jet has had a highly convoluted shape, with unusually large excursions to the north and south. When the jet bulges southwards, it allows cold air to spill in behind it, and that is what has happened to Europe over the past two weeks. The jet often gets "stuck" in one of these highly convoluted shapes, allowing a persistent period of extreme weather to occur. The latest predictions from the GFS and ECMWF models show the unusual jet stream pattern over Europe persisting for at least another week.


Figure 2. The jet stream pattern over Europe shows that the jet is taking a major dive southwards across France and into North Africa, keeping almost all of Europe on the cold (north) side of the jet.

The AO and NAO
A good measure of the tendency of the jet to form major bulges in winter is the Arctic Oscillation (AO) Index, which has ranged between -1 and -3 over the past two weeks. A strongly negative AO Index like this means the winds of the jet are relatively weak, allowing it to sag southwards over Europe and allow cold air to plunge southwards behind it. Usually, a negative AO also means cold winter weather over North America, but not this winter. In North America, we're better off paying attention to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) Index, which we can think of as the Northern Atlantic portion of the AO. Ordinarily, the AO and NAO are in phase during winter (about 80 - 90% of the time), meaning that Europe and North America experience similar winter weather. However, over the past two weeks, the NAO has been positive while the AO has been negative. The positive NAO means that jet stream winds have been strong over North America and the North Atlantic, keeping cold air bottled up to the north over Canada and the Arctic. This pattern is predicted to persist for at least another week. We've seen many record extremes of both the positive and negative phase of the AO since 2006; see that latest post by Andrew Freedman of climatecentral.org to learn more.

Jeff Masters

Snow In Rome (MonicaC)
A view of Rome: the Stadio Olimpico
Snow In Rome
Paris Snow (vickwhy)
First snow of the winter stops public transport.
Paris Snow
Croatia - Dalmatia - Trogir cyclone Gabor, snow in Dalmatia, frozen streets....sounds impossible but it happened ! Snow is still present. In this part of world this is phenomena
Snow
Snow - cyclone Gabor (antoniomise)
Croatia - Dalmatia - Trogir Riva - corso in blizzard
Snow - cyclone Gabor
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Quoting KoritheMan:

Don't see anything.


can ya see it now iam gonna shrink it down to a banner size gif for my blog page header for the 2012 season

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296

Quoting CanesfanatUT:


I get into Baton Rouge tomorrow night and NO on Friday afternoon through Sunday. Krewe of Oshun will be my first parade of the carnival season!! Can't wait!
How long will you be down here?
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Quoting RTSplayer:
Looks like tis threaded the needle and hasn't hit any land directly.

Good news.
there has been quad effects flooding rains gusting winds only the direct eye has missed land indirect effects are still felt and continue to be so
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting FrankZapper:
Cool weather predicted for Mardi Gras. You all come on down!


I get into Baton Rouge tomorrow night and NO on Friday afternoon through Sunday. Krewe of Oshun will be my first parade of the carnival season!! Can't wait!
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Quoting FrankZapper:
BTW, while I've been away has there been any breakthroughs with the AGW insight? Does what's his name and Co. still obsess about it on the blog?
It's still the same.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


thinking about using the above as my banner for 2012 tropical atlantic hurricane season blog page
Don't see anything.
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thinking about using the above as my banner for 2012 tropical atlantic hurricane season blog page
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
BTW, while I've been away has there been any breakthroughs with the AGW insight? Does what's his name and Co. still obsess about it on the blog?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like tis threaded the needle and hasn't hit any land directly.

Good news.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
SH102012 - Tropical Cyclone (>=96 kt) JASMINE

..click image for Loop

ZOOM is available


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559

Quoting AtHomeInTX:


So, it's reasonable to forecast below-normal rainfall for Spring with some improvement possibly by late Summer. Stay tuned.

Pretty much my thinking as well. There should be some reprieve for you guys this year relative to last year, but it will not be quick.
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Quoting FrankZapper:
You would make a fine meteorologist. Just saying.


One step ahead of you bro. I'm not about to let this talent go to waste. Unlike most people, I have a ton of time to prioritize my life.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


lmao breakdown :P

I'm fine. I started working at Walmart in November, and I already hate it. Unfortunately, it looks like I'm stuck indefinitely. I need it to move on with my life.
You would make a fine meteorologist. Just saying.
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Sigh...

La Nina still ongoing
Posted: Feb 07, 2012 8:21 PM CST Updated: Feb 07, 2012 8:21 PM CST
By Patrick Vaughn

Despite the fact that Southeast Texas has seen between 9 and 14 inches of rainfall since the beginning of 2012, La Nina continues unabated.

La Nina is the abnormal cooling of the Eastern Pacific waters which causes global weather impacts. This cooling assisted in the drought across Texas. During winter months, La Nina looses its impact on our region. However, by Spring, we may again begin to see below-normal rainfall.

Currently, water temperatures in the Eastern Pacific are running between 1 and 2 degrees below normal - please see graphic #1. Long range computer models forecast warming of the Eastern Pacific to begin by March/April/May (MAM) - please see graphic #2. By May/June/July (MJJ), the consensus of the models shows warming with near-normal temperatures by the end of Summer around June/July/August (JJA).

So, it's reasonable to forecast below-normal rainfall for Spring with some improvement possibly by late Summer. Stay tuned.



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Stadium effect?



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Quoting Patrap:
Scant hope for Philippine quake missing
February 8, 2012 - 1:29PM


MCT

Thousands of soldiers in the quake-hit Philippines are scouring villages buried under landslides, but authorities say hopes of finding dozens of missing people alive are dim.

Two days after a 6.7 magnitude quake flattened homes, destroyed bridges and triggered deadly landslides in the central island of Negros, rescuers had yet to find anyone alive among at least 92 people reported missing.

"Rescue teams have so far not seen or heard any signs of life underneath," Ernesto Reyes, mayor of the city of Guihulngan on Negros island where 29 people from a small mountain community were believed buried by a landslide, told AFP on Wednesday.
"None of our missing have so far been retrieved."

At least 48 people were confirmed to have died in Negros, with another 92 missing, regional military commander Colonel Francisco Patrimonio said.

In Manila, the national government's disaster office said the death toll was 22, with 71 missing, but acknowledged it had not yet been able to verify reports from authorities in Negros.

Reyes said the mountain community in Guihulngan was buried under about 10 metres of debris, with rescue efforts painfully slow because people had only picks, shovels and their bare hands to claw through the dirt.

Roads and bridges to Guihulngan, a coastal city of about 100,000 flanked by mountains, were badly damaged in the quake, meaning earth movers and supplies for survivors could not be quickly deployed to the area, he said.

"Our immediate concern now is how to serve the living - we don't have enough food, there is no electricity and water," Reyes said.

"We are appealing for help from everyone."

The other missing people were reported in the nearby farming town of La Libertad, where a cluster of hillside homes were also crushed by a landslide, according to Negros Oriental province governor Roel Degamo.

"We are in a state of shock, and all we can do now for those still missing is to pray," Degamo said.

He said soldiers and rescuers raced against time on Tuesday to find a young woman who had sent a mobile phone text message to her relatives that she was pinned down, but alive.

The dramatic search, however, ended in tears hours later.

"She was found dead and still clutching her mobile phone," Degamo told AFP, declining to give further details about the victim in deference to her grieving family.

Civil Defence Office chief Benito Ramos said five military battalions, or about 2000 troops, had been deployed to the devastated zones and were helping local rescue units.

"We are racing against time, and hoping against hope that maybe, just maybe some of them might still be alive," he said.

However, he said the military had not yet been able to get heavy equipment into the landslide-devastated communities because of the damaged roads.



Of course, the people had been worried, just a day before this happened, that the nearby earthquakes were a harbinger of some volcanic events.

The Phillipine government and the USGS assured them there was nothing to worry about, and no undersea volcanos erupting.


Well, they were half right; no volcanos after all.

Locals had the right idea after all: Something was brewing.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting FrankZapper:
Hi Kori!
I took a Sabbatical from weather blogging at the end of the 2011 season.
I'm fine except for nervous breakdown after Tigers AND Saints didn't finish #1. :(
How are you?


lmao breakdown :P

I'm fine. I started working at Walmart in November, and I already hate it. Unfortunately, it looks like I'm stuck indefinitely. I need it to move on with my life.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
would you like an epic event


The event itself? Yep. The loss of life? Nope.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Should I ready my video camera?
would you like an epic event
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting KoritheMan:


Haven't seen you in awhile. How are ya?
Hi Kori!
I took a Sabbatical from weather blogging at the end of the 2011 season.
I'm fine except for nervous breakdown after Tigers AND Saints didn't finish #1. :(
How are you?
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178. wxmod
Africa dust today

Member Since: October 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1738
Quoting BtnTx:
I am expecting this summer to be very hot for GOM states. Tropical storm developments could be very scary. And tornado season before that as well. I expect 2012 to be an extreme weather year.


To be fair, the south is supposed to be warm during a La Nina year. The NAO sorta negated that the last two winters, but it's certainly not the norm.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
On Yahoo now.... Link

Syria raises spectre of proxy conflict for U.S., Russia
ReutersBy Andrew Quinn | Reuters – 4 hrs ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the Obama administration weighs worst-case scenarios for Syria, one stands out: a civil war that develops into a proxy battle between Arabs and the West on one side, and Russia and Iran on the other.

U.S. officials stress they do not want to play a military role in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on protests has killed more than 5,000 people and raised fears of a protracted power struggle in a country at the heart of the Arab world.

But after U.S. and Arab-led efforts to craft consensus in the U.N. Security Council on Syria's political transition were torpedoed by vetoes from Russia and China, some analysts say risks are growing that the international community will line up on opposite sides of a fratricidal war.


Well, if that were to happen it would be the first proxy war since Vietnam. Soviet war in Afghanistan may count to as the US was funding extremist groups there to fight the Soviets. Hopefully it is the worst case scenario as a proxy war would lead to another Cold War and probably an economic collapse as all trade between the West and China would be severely limited. Not needed in a time like this.
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Quoting FrankZapper:
Cool weather predicted for Mardi Gras. You all come on down!


Haven't seen you in awhile. How are ya?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
This is still in the long-range, but it has shown it on its run enough times that I feel the need to mention it.

Around February 14-17, the GFS has been constantly predicting an unprecedented severe weather outbreak across Louisiana and Texas. It has shown at the same intensity around the same timeframe. With wind shear of 100 knots coupled with dew points in the 60s and 70s, if this were to come true, this outbreak would be amazing and one we would not soon forget.







Should I ready my video camera?
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well, its bedtime. night all! be back tomorrow morning.
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172. BtnTx
Quoting Chicklit:
It has been so warm in Central Florida this winter, I am wondering what will happen to all this heat once winter is over. I think I've turned my heat on once and it's now February.
I am expecting this summer to be very hot for GOM states. Tropical storm developments could be very scary. And tornado season before that as well. I expect 2012 to be an extreme weather year.
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Cool weather predicted for Mardi Gras. You all come on down!
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*yawn*
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Beautiful moon tonight
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Yup, it's snow all right. And it might be underdone looking at the 0Z NAM so far...
We won't probally get anything here in the city.
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On Yahoo now.... Link

Syria raises spectre of proxy conflict for U.S., Russia
ReutersBy Andrew Quinn | Reuters – 4 hrs ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the Obama administration weighs worst-case scenarios for Syria, one stands out: a civil war that develops into a proxy battle between Arabs and the West on one side, and Russia and Iran on the other.

U.S. officials stress they do not want to play a military role in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on protests has killed more than 5,000 people and raised fears of a protracted power struggle in a country at the heart of the Arab world.

But after U.S. and Arab-led efforts to craft consensus in the U.N. Security Council on Syria's political transition were torpedoed by vetoes from Russia and China, some analysts say risks are growing that the international community will line up on opposite sides of a fratricidal war.
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Miami NWS Discussion

EXTENDED FORECAST...
THE LATEST LONG RANGE MODEL OF THE GFS IS SHOWING THAT THE FRONTAL
BOUNDARY WILL REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY OVER THE FLORIDA KEYS ON
FRIDAY INTO EARLY THIS WEEKEND...AS A COLD FRONT LOCATED OVER
THE CENTRAL UNITED STATES MOVES SOUTH AND INTO CENTRAL FLORIDA.
AT THE SAME TIME...THE GFS IS ALSO SHOWING ANOTHER MID TO UPPER
LEVEL DISTURBANCE TO MOVE OUT OF THE EASTERN PACIFIC AND THROUGH
SOUTH FLORIDA EARLY THIS WEEKEND. THIS MEANS THAT WE SHOULD SEE
ANOTHER ROUND OF OVERRUNNING MOISTURE OVER SOUTH FLORIDA SATURDAY.

HOWEVER...THE LATEST LONG RANGE ECMWF MODEL IS SHOWING THE COLD
FRONT OVER THE CENTRAL UNITED STATES MOVING SOUTHEAST AND THROUGH
SOUTH FLORIDA ON SATURDAY AND INTO THE FLORIDA KEYS SATURDAY NIGHT.
THE MODEL IS ALSO SHOWING THAT THE MID TO UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE
WILL ALSO MOVE EASTWARD FROM THE EASTERN PACIFIC BUT THROUGH THE
FLORIDA KEYS INSTEAD OF SOUTH FLORIDA ON SATURDAY.

THE GFS MODEL IS SHOWING RAIN CHANGES OF 60 TO 70 PERCENT FOR
SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT...WHILE THE ECMWF IS SHOWING ONLY 20
TO 30 PERCENT CHANCE FOR THIS SAME TIME PERIOD. THEREFORE...WILL GO
WITH A MIDDLE OF THE ROAD APPROACH WITH 40 PERCENT POPS FOR SATURDAY
AND SATURDAY NIGHT ALONG WITH A SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS.

BOTH LONG RANGE MODELS DO SHOW THAT THE COLD FRONT WILL BE SOUTH
OF THE CWA ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON ALLOWING FOR THE DRIER AIR TO WORK
INTO THE AREA FROM THE NORTH. THIS WILL BRING THE RAIN CHANCES
DOWN OVER THE CWA FOR LATE THIS WEEKEND INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK TO
AROUND A SLIGHT CHANCE.

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165. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Quoting SPLbeater:
I didnt know the National Weather Service had Child Abduction Emergency warnings...thats good to know


yup, you can receive them from a weather radio as well.
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164. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Fiji Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Advisory #7
SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE JASMINE (12F)
12:00 PM FST February 8 2012
=====================================

At 0:00 AM UTC, Tropical Cyclone Jasmine, Category Three (958 hPa) located at 17.4S 168.2E has 10 minute sustained winds of 80 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving east southeast at 13 knots. Position poor based on multisatellite enhanced infrared imagery and peripheral surface reports.

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

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

Gale Force Winds
=================
60 NM from the center in northeast quadrant
60 NM from the center in southeast quadrant
70 NM from the center in southwest quadrant
70 NM from the center in northwest quadrant

Overall organization remains good. Eye partially cloud filled but still discernible. Outflow good to the east but restricted elsewhere. Jasmine lies under 250 HPA short-wave trough in a weak sheared environment. Cyclone is being steered to the southeast by deep layer mean northwesterly flow.

Dvorak analysis based on dg eye in lg surround yielding DT = 5.0, PT= 5.5 and MET=5.5 final Dvorak based of DT.

Dvorak Intensity: T5.0/5.0/D0.5/24 HRS

Most global models move jasmine southeast with gradual weakening.

Forecast and Intensity
=====================

12 HRS: 21.1S 169.9E - 70 knots (CAT 3)
24 HRS: 22.6S 171.0E - 65 knots (CAT 3)
48 HRS: 25.2S 173.2E - 50 knots (CAT 2)

The next tropical disturbance advisory on Severe TC Jasmine from Fiji Meteorological Services will be issued at 8:30 AM UTC..
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Scant hope for Philippine quake missing
February 8, 2012 - 1:29PM


MCT

Thousands of soldiers in the quake-hit Philippines are scouring villages buried under landslides, but authorities say hopes of finding dozens of missing people alive are dim.

Two days after a 6.7 magnitude quake flattened homes, destroyed bridges and triggered deadly landslides in the central island of Negros, rescuers had yet to find anyone alive among at least 92 people reported missing.

"Rescue teams have so far not seen or heard any signs of life underneath," Ernesto Reyes, mayor of the city of Guihulngan on Negros island where 29 people from a small mountain community were believed buried by a landslide, told AFP on Wednesday.
"None of our missing have so far been retrieved."

At least 48 people were confirmed to have died in Negros, with another 92 missing, regional military commander Colonel Francisco Patrimonio said.

In Manila, the national government's disaster office said the death toll was 22, with 71 missing, but acknowledged it had not yet been able to verify reports from authorities in Negros.

Reyes said the mountain community in Guihulngan was buried under about 10 metres of debris, with rescue efforts painfully slow because people had only picks, shovels and their bare hands to claw through the dirt.

Roads and bridges to Guihulngan, a coastal city of about 100,000 flanked by mountains, were badly damaged in the quake, meaning earth movers and supplies for survivors could not be quickly deployed to the area, he said.

"Our immediate concern now is how to serve the living - we don't have enough food, there is no electricity and water," Reyes said.

"We are appealing for help from everyone."

The other missing people were reported in the nearby farming town of La Libertad, where a cluster of hillside homes were also crushed by a landslide, according to Negros Oriental province governor Roel Degamo.

"We are in a state of shock, and all we can do now for those still missing is to pray," Degamo said.

He said soldiers and rescuers raced against time on Tuesday to find a young woman who had sent a mobile phone text message to her relatives that she was pinned down, but alive.

The dramatic search, however, ended in tears hours later.

"She was found dead and still clutching her mobile phone," Degamo told AFP, declining to give further details about the victim in deference to her grieving family.

Civil Defence Office chief Benito Ramos said five military battalions, or about 2000 troops, had been deployed to the devastated zones and were helping local rescue units.

"We are racing against time, and hoping against hope that maybe, just maybe some of them might still be alive," he said.

However, he said the military had not yet been able to get heavy equipment into the landslide-devastated communities because of the damaged roads.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559
Quoting redhusky:
sunlinepr -- Thanks for World Quakes 2011...Amazing in so many ways!


That was an Excellent job by the one who collected the data, plotted it, making the video...
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Quoting Chicklit:
It has been so warm in Central Florida this winter, I am wondering what will happen to all this heat once winter is over. I think I've turned my heat on once and it's now February.
who knows anymore uncharted territory we are now in when it comes to weather
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
I didnt know the National Weather Service had Child Abduction Emergency warnings...thats good to know
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Cyclone Jasmine 013000Z 08 Feb

CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
5.9 / 936.0mb/ 112.4kt

Raw T# 5.6
Adj T# 5.6
Final T# 5.5

Scene Type: EYE

if the eye wasnt obscured with cirrus clouds, the numbers would be at or above 6.0 i believe

----------------------
Tropical Cyclone Cyril 015200Z 08 Feb

CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.2 / 984.2mb/ 49.0kt

Raw T# 3.0
Adj T# 3.0
Final T# 2.7

Scene Type: CURVED BAND with 0.54 ARC in LT GRAY Maximum CURVED BAND with 0.56 ARC in LT GRAY at Lat: 27.59.23 S Lon: 159.02.23 W
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It has been so warm in Central Florida this winter, I am wondering what will happen to all this heat once winter is over. I think I've turned my heat on once and it's now February.
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XX/XX/XX
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
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sunlinepr -- Thanks for World Quakes 2011...Amazing in so many ways!
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Ha ha ha ha.
is that suppose to be snow?.Oh please I'm laughing so!!!
What an insult to the brain! all we've basically seen this winter is rain!!
The winter of 2011-2012 will be remember for no snow,and the lack of winter storms.


Yup, it's snow all right. And it might be underdone looking at the 0Z NAM so far...
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Quoting Patrap:
itsa Fine track to cover.


Found the track in YT.... Been a long time no hear....



From the 1970 album "Formerly Anthrax" (which was originally the name of the band)
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itsa Fine track to cover.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127559
Quoting Patrap:
..It's a marvelous Night for a Moon Dance..

I have an LP from a jazz rock group called "Show of Hands" playing that Van Morisson song....
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Quoting WxGeekVA:

This is the snow map that I just created after viewing the 18Z NAM and GFS runs for tomorrow afternoon.
Ha ha ha ha.
is that suppose to be snow?.Oh please I'm laughing so!!!
What an insult to the brain! all we've basically seen this winter is rain!!
The winter of 2011-2012 will be remember for no snow,and the lack of winter storms.
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GeoffreyWPB "What Is Deja Vu?"
128 Grothar "I could have sworn you asked that before."

It's deja vu all over again.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860

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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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