Rare March tornado rips Michigan; record March heat wave sets more records

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:43 PM GMT on March 16, 2012

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As I stepped out of my front door into the pre-dawn darkness from my home near Ann Arbor, Michigan yesterday morning, I braced myself for the cold shock of a mid-March morning. It didn't come. A warm, murky atmosphere, with temperatures in the upper fifties--30 degrees above normal--greeted me instead. Continuous flashes of heat lightning lit up the horizon, as the atmosphere crackled with the energy of distant thunderstorms. Beware the Ides of March, the air seemed to be saying. I looked up at the hazy stars above me, flashing in and out of sight as lightning lit up the sky, and thought, this is not the atmosphere I grew up with.


Video 1. Video taped at Hudson Mills Metro Park in Dexter about 5:30PM on March 15, 2012, by Matthew Altruda from Tree Town Sound, http://www.treetownsound.com. Caution: foul language.

That afternoon, as the Detroit temperature soared to 77°F, the second warmest on record so early in the year, going back to 1871, I watched as late afternoon thunderstorms built with remarkable speed. Though NOAA's Storm Prediction Center had placed Southeast Michigan in their "Slight Risk" area for severe weather, I wasn't too concerned about tornadoes. We don't get many tornadoes in Michigan this early in the year, and certainly not strong ones. Prior to yesterday, there were only sixteen tornadoes on record in Michigan that occurred before March 16, going back to 1950. Though the air was remarkably unstable for this time of year, the upper level winds were not strong enough to generate much shearing action on the air, meaning that tornadoes would have a tough time getting spinning. But the atmosphere had other ideas. In a remarkably short half-hour period, a severe thunderstorm sprang up west of Ann Arbor, began spinning, and dropped a strong tornado down on the unfortunate town of Dexter, Michigan. The tornado skipped along a ten-mile path, damaging or destroying 128 buildings, but fortunately not causing any deaths or injuries. While most of the damage was light to moderate, thirteen homes were demolished, and preliminary damage estimates from the National Weather Service put the twister at the boundary between EF-2 and EF-3 strength, with winds of 135 mph. If confirmed as an EF-3, this would be the earliest EF-3 or stronger tornado in Michigan history, going back to 1950, according to data from The Tornado History Project. The previous earliest appearance of an F-3 tornado in Michigan was on March 20, 1976. At least two other tornadoes touched down in Michigan yesterday, making it the second largest tornado outbreak in state history so early in the year. The record outbreak for so early in the year was the eight tornadoes that touched down on March 12, 1976.



Figure 1. Radar reflectivity image (top) and Doppler velocity image (bottom) of the March 15, 2012 Dexter, Michigan tornado.


Video 2. This video report by AnnArbor.com's Nathan Bomey shows tornado damage in the Dexter, Michigan, about 90 minutes after the tornado came through on Thursday, March 15, 2012.

I talked to a friend in Dexter who relayed the story of her friend who was driving through town, saw the tornado, and pulled over into the Dexter car wash to take shelter. Some strangers living next door to the car wash yelled at him to come shelter in their basement, since the car wash didn't have a basement. He joined them, and was glad he did, because his car and the car wash were heavily damaged by a tree that was flung into it (see damage to the car wash in the video above.)

Hail, Hail, to Michigan
The Dexter storms also brought golfball to baseball-sized hail and a deluge of 4 - 5 inches of rain that caused street flooding in Ann Arbor. My Ph.D. advisor and co-founder of Weather Underground, Dr. Perry Samson, related this story to me: "I was traveling home by bus to go chase, but the bus came to a stand still at Michigan Stadium as cars were sunk up to their windows in water on Main Street. I told the driver I had to chase this storm, and came up with a story about what I do. He gunned the bus and drove through the flood to get me home. So I didn't actually commandeer a bus to chase the tornado, but it was darn close!"

Record Midwest March heat wave topples more records
For the second consecutive day, large portions of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa, including the cities of Chicago, Madison, and Dubuque, recorded their all-time warmest temperatures for so early in the year. Perhaps the most extraordinary record occurred in Madison, Wisconsin, which hit 82°F--a temperature 39°F above average. It was the hottest temperature ever recorded in March, and three degrees warmer than any day so early in the year, going back to 1869. Not as many all-time hottest temperature records for so early in the year were set in Michigan and other surrounding states, due to plentiful moisture that generated afternoon cloud cover. The records will continue to fall across the Midwest for another week, as the ridge of high pressure responsible stays locked in place.

Major airports that set all-time heat records yesterday
For the second consecutive day, Chicago, Illinois hit 81°F; the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1872, and 35°F above average. This ties the record set on March 12, 1990.

For the second consecutive day, Springfield, Illinois hit 83°F, the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1879, and 32°F above average. This ties the record of 83°F on March 13, 1918.

Rockford, Illinois hit 82°F, the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1893, and 36°F above average. Previous record: 79°F set the previous day.

Moline, Illinois hit 81°F, the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1874, and 33°F above average. Previous record: 80°F on March 12, 1990.

Dubuque, Iowa hit 78°F, the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1874, and 34°F above average. Previous record: 75°F set the previous day, and also on March 12, 1990.

Waterloo, Iowa hit 79°F, the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1895, and 34°F above average. This ties the record set on March 7, 2000.

Madison, Wisconsin hit 82°F, the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1869, and 39°F above average. This is also the warmest temperature ever recorded in March (tied with March 29th, 1986 and March 31, 1981), as is also (by two weeks) the earliest 80° reading ever measured there. The previous record for a temperature so hot this early in the year was 79°F set the previous day, on March 14, 2012.

Data for the previous records was taken from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

I'll have a new post on Saturday.

Jeff Masters

Sterm has Passed (nickwuaa)
Lightning to the east courtesy of my daughter. This was a violent storm that produced a tornado west of us and plenty of hail and thunder.
Sterm has Passed
Looks like Snow (KSMc)
The hail was more than an inch deep.
Looks like Snow
Yikes (Susie77)
Eeks! NWS just issued us a severe thunderstorm warning. Very cool mammatus clouds!
Yikes
Three Strikes at Sunset (CecileWNC)
Three Strikes at Sunset

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TEST TEST TEST
XX/AOI/XXL
MARK
25.66N/68.63W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864
I guess everyone is either working, looking at radar or going home. I am about to do the latter. Keep the jokes coming Press. Even if they are old, they're good. Anything for a chuckle. Everyone have a good weekend. I will catch up on Monday.
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A sociologist was walking down the street when he came across a woman who was lying in a ditch, groaning, and bleeding from a knife wound.

The woman says, "A man stabbed me and stole my purse!"

The sociologist proclaimed, "I must find the man who did this. He needs help!"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting presslord:
then....the monk gives the vendor a hundred dollar bill, and the vendor pockets it. The monk asks for his change, and the vendor says...

"Change comes from within."
yes it does
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864
SEL8

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 78
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
315 PM CDT FRI MAR 16 2012

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

SOUTHWEST AND WEST CENTRAL TEXAS

EFFECTIVE THIS FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 315 PM UNTIL 900
PM CDT.

HAIL TO 2.5 INCHES IN DIAMETER...THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO 70
MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE AREAS.

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 70
STATUTE MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 50 MILES NORTH OF BIG
SPRING TEXAS TO 45 MILES WEST OF DRYDEN TEXAS. FOR A COMPLETE
DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE
(WOUS64 KWNS WOU8).

REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE
FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY
DO PRODUCE TORNADOES.

DISCUSSION...THUNDERSTORMS ARE BEGINNING TO DEVELOP NEAR THE DAVIS
MOUNTAINS IN SW TX...AND THIS AREA OF CONVECTION IS EXPECTED TO
EXPAND EWD/NEWD THROUGH THE AFTERNOON IN RESPONSE TO CONTINUED
DAYTIME HEATING AND THE APPROACH OF A WEAK MIDLEVEL TROUGH FROM FAR
W TX/SRN NM. THE COMBINATION OF MLCAPE AOA 2000 J/KG...EFFECTIVE
BULK SHEAR AOA 40 KT...AND STRAIGHT HODOGRAPHS WILL SUPPORT
SPLITTING SUPERCELLS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING LARGE HAIL AND ISOLATED
DAMAGING WINDS. THE ERN EXTENT OF THE SEVERE THREAT WILL BE LIMITED
BY THE PERSISTENT STRATUS AND WEAKER INSTABILITY...WHILE THE TORNADO
RISK APPEARS LIMITED BY RELATIVELY WEAK LOW-LEVEL SHEAR.

AVIATION...A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL SURFACE AND ALOFT
TO 2.5 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE WIND GUSTS TO 60
KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO 500. MEAN STORM
MOTION VECTOR 27020.


...THOMPSON
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You know it's late in the day when I laugh at all Presslord's jokes. I almost didn't get the one about the blondes, being one myself:)
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C'mon, people!!! This is some excellent material...
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3 statisticians are out bow hunting. They spot a deer. The first one shoots, and his arrow lands 3 feet to the right of the deer. The second one shoots, and his arrow lands 3 feet to the left of the deer. The third one says, "We got him!"
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Just imagine, for a moment, if there were no hypothetical situations...
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BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE FOR WS 78
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
315 PM CDT FRI MAR 16 2012

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 78 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 900 PM CDT
FOR THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS

TXC003-033-043-081-103-105-115-135-151-165-173-227 -235-317-329-
335-353-371-383-389-415-431-443-461-475-495-170200 -
/O.NEW.KWNS.SV.A.0078.120316T2015Z-120317T0200Z/

TX
. TEXAS COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE

ANDREWS BORDEN BREWSTER
COKE CRANE CROCKETT
DAWSON ECTOR FISHER
GAINES GLASSCOCK HOWARD
IRION MARTIN MIDLAND
MITCHELL NOLAN PECOS
REAGAN REEVES SCURRY
STERLING TERRELL UPTON
WARD WINKLER


ATTN...WFO...MAF...SJT...
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32554
Dont open it
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
66.6 degrees outside my door
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864
TEST TEST TEST
XX/AOI/XXL
MARK
25.66N/68.63W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864
then....the monk gives the vendor a hundred dollar bill, and the vendor pockets it. The monk asks for his change, and the vendor says...

"Change comes from within."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Two blondes walk into a bar...

Wouldn't ya think at least one of 'em woulda seen it?!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting Patrap:
You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to the devil, "What did that man pick up?" "He picked up a piece of the truth," said the devil. "That is a very bad business for you, then," said his friend. "Oh, not at all," the devil replied, "I am going to help him organize it."

Jiddu Krishnamurti
so true.. it does not take love or grace to be organized!
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Quoting presslord:


Oh....OK....so...It's deep thoughts you want...

How's this?

A Buddhist monk goes up to a hot dog stand...and says to the guy..."Make me one with everything..."
sure thing pepper rings with that
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864
Or....

How many abstract artists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Fish
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You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to the devil, "What did that man pick up?" "He picked up a piece of the truth," said the devil. "That is a very bad business for you, then," said his friend. "Oh, not at all," the devil replied, "I am going to help him organize it."

Jiddu Krishnamurti
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
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Oops. MCD 268 removed.
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Strong t'storms entering NW GA, a couple are severe. Otherwise, summer-like thunderstorms are forming in central and southern Georgia.

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Quoting JNCali:
Hydrus, I see your deep thought and raise you: "the mind in singularity is limited by definition, and the infinite, while being understood, can only be attained with cooperation and unity of a group acting in harmony."


Oh....OK....so...It's deep thoughts you want...

How's this?

A Buddhist monk goes up to a hot dog stand...and says to the guy..."Make me one with everything..."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0267
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0225 PM CDT FRI MAR 16 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...CNTRL/ERN GA INTO WRN SC

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH UNLIKELY

VALID 161925Z - 162130Z

SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE AFTERNOON.
ISOLATED INSTANCES OF MARGINALLY SEVERE HAIL AND GUSTY WINDS WILL BE
POSSIBLE WITH STRONGER STORMS. A WW IS NOT EXPECTED.

TEMPERATURES HAVE WARMED INTO THE 80S THIS AFTERNOON LEADING TO A
MODERATELY UNSTABLE AIR MASS WITH SBCAPE VALUES AROUND 2000-3000
J/KG. COMBINED WITH MODEST MIDLEVEL LAPSE RATES OF 6.5-7 DEG C/KM
PER 12Z REGIONAL RAOBS AND 18Z MESOANALYSIS...BRIEF BUT STRONG
UPDRAFTS ARE POSSIBLE. GIVEN THE LACK OF DEEP LAYER FORCING AND VERY
WEAK BULK SHEAR /LESS THAN 15 KT/...ORGANIZED SEVERE STORMS ARE NOT
ANTICIPATED AND ONLY SPORADIC INSTANCES OF MARGINALLY SEVERE HAIL
AND GUSTY WINDS ARE EXPECTED. THEREFORE WW IS NOT EXPECTED.

..LEITMAN.. 03/16/2012


ATTN...WFO...CHS...CAE...GSP...JAX...FFC...TAE...

LAT...LON 34028124 34258294 34188333 33958373 33228410 32598436
32128434 31958425 31398385 31198313 31208248 31278225
31678182 32468067 33228017 33758036 34028124
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hydrus:
The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.

- Kahlil Gibran
Hydrus, I see your deep thought and raise you: "the mind in singularity is limited by definition, and the infinite, while being understood, can only be attained with cooperation and unity of a group acting in harmony."
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686 Jedkins01 "How old are you may I ask? Because I am now 21(I'm assuming you are young enough to fit may statement) and when I am 50, I would love to shake hands and have a beer with you, and look back and laugh at all the GW fuss back in the early 2000's.
691 Neapolitan "If there's any laughing going on in 2050, it'll be of the derisive type--and it'll be aimed squarely at those who delayed action on mitigation."

'fraid not.
Even if you were sitting on a barstool up to your chest in seawater at your favorite (former)beachfront bar, AGW deniers would be laughing derisively at "folks gullible enough to believe that this obvious coverup* by climate scientists trying to hide their theft of taxpayer dollars proves anything."
And AGW advocates would be left to cry in their beer about all of the unnecessary hardships caused by the fact that most folks refuse to pay any attention to what's going on around them.

* ie chest-high seawater on what useta be dry land
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
Orion: Exploration Flight Test-1 Animation (with narration by Jay Estes)

This animation depicts the proposed test flight of the Orion spacecraft in 2014. During the test, which is called Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), Orion will launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., perform two orbits, reaching an altitude higher than any achieved by a spacecraft intended for human use since 1973, and then will re-enter and land in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the United States. Narration by Jay Estes, Deputy for flight test integration in the Orion program.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
seems to be picking up might get something


What is that?
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Quoting Patrap:
Depth of 26C Isotherm

2012



2011


6-day loop current forecast. It looks like it's trying to pinch off a second loop eddy.

EMC forecast
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The Dexter tornado has been rated an EF-3 (for now):

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DETROIT/PONTIAC MI
348 PM EDT FRI MAR 16 2012


..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
..REMARKS..

0517 PM TORNADO 4 S PINCKNEY 42.39N 83.96W
03/15/2012 WASHTENAW MI NWS STORM SURVEY

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STORM DAMAGE SURVEY CONFIRMED
A TORNADO IN WASHTENAW COUNTY. THE TORNADO WAS RATED AN
EF3...WITH MAXIMUM WIND SPEEDS OF 135 TO 140 MPH. THE
ESTIMATED PATH LENGTH OF THE TORNADO IS 7.2 MILES WITH A
MAXIMUM WIDTH OF 800 YARDS. THE MOST INTENSE DAMAGE
INCLUDED HOUSES DESTROYED WITH SOME INTERIOR ROOMS
REMAINING.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13625
seems to be picking up might get something
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0268
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0244 PM CDT FRI MAR 16 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...WEST TX

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH LIKELY

VALID 161944Z - 162045Z

A SEVERE THREAT IS LIKELY TO DEVELOP ACROSS WEST TX THIS AFTERNOON.
AS CELLS INCREASE IN COVERAGE...A POTENTIAL WILL EXIST FOR
SUPERCELLS WITH LARGE HAIL. ISOLATED WIND DAMAGE WILL ALSO BE
POSSIBLE. WW ISSUANCE WILL PROBABLY BE NEEDED ACROSS WEST TX THIS
AFTERNOON.

AN ISOLATED CELL IS NOW BEGINNING TO DEVELOP JUST TO THE NORTHEAST
OF THE DAVIS MOUNTAINS IN WEST TX. SHORT-TERM MODEL FORECASTS
INITIATE MORE CONVECTION OVER THE NEXT 1 TO 2 HOURS AND GRADUALLY
INCREASE CONVECTIVE COVERAGE NNEWD INTO THE MIDLAND AND LUBBOCK
AREAS. THE ENVIRONMENT IS CHARACTERIZED BY MODERATE INSTABILITY
/MLCAPE OF 1500 TO 2500 J/KG/...0-6 KM SHEAR OF 35 TO 45 KT AND
MID-LEVEL LAPSE RATES OF 8.0 TO 8.5 C/KM. THIS ALONG WITH THE
DISCRETE NATURE OF THE CONVECTION SHOULD FAVOR SUPERCELL DEVELOPMENT
WITH A THREAT FOR LARGE HAIL. THE WIND DAMAGE THREAT SHOULD REMAIN
ISOLATED BUT COULD INCREASE AS CELLS EXPAND IN COVERAGE LATER THIS
AFTERNOON.

..BROYLES.. 03/16/2012
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32554
Hunting Hugo
By Jeffrey Masters, Ph.D. — Director of Meteorology, Weather Underground, Inc.


In September of 1989, a NOAA hurricane hunter airplane intercepted Hurricane Hugo as it approached the Caribbean islands, just before Hugo's destructive rampage through the Caribbean and South Carolina. The crew of the airplane were the first people to encounter the mighty hurricane--and very nearly became its first victims. The mission remains the most harrowing flight ever conducted by the NOAA hurricane hunters. I served as flight meteorologist on that flight, and feel fortunate indeed to be able to tell the story.

— Dr. Jeff Masters (Chief Meteorologist, Weather Underground, Inc.)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting Patrap:
....Shrimp Cocktails with Lemon..

I lub Lent.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm....
Once a week this happens. And off to the fridge I go...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21859
The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.

- Kahlil Gibran
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21859
Quoting presslord:
knowledge is understanding a tomato is a fruit....wisdom is not putting one in a fruit salad...
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.

- Laozi (Lao Tzu, Lao Tse, Lao Tsu)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21859
Quoting presslord:


perhaps not....but a PhD is a pretty damned good indicator


Experience Piled Higher and Deeper.

It's the entire idea behind organized education. Take as much hard-won experience as possible and jam it into the least amount of time possible.

Many how don't have a graduate degree have Ph.D. level knowledge in their areas of practice by the time they reach their retirement ages, but it's better if we can get people up to speed when they are young so that they can extend our knowledge base.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
....Shrimp Cocktails with Lemon..

I lub Lent.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm....
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
knowledge is understanding a tomato is a fruit....wisdom is not putting one in a fruit salad...
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Quoting Neapolitan:
The NCDC has updated its numbers. yesterday saw 593 record daily highs and 445 record daily high minimums, for a total of 1,038. (Meanwhile, there were 2 record daily lows and 10 record daily low maximums, for a total of 12.) For the year-to-date, there have been 10,324 record highs or high minimums, and 1,221 record lows or low maximums.

The chart shows daily high and daily low temperature records that have been broken this year. (It doesn't show records that have only tied, nor does it show high minimums or low maximums):

hot


The high/low minimum figures should be even more impressive.

A fluffy blanket keeps things nice and warm when the Sun isn't shining. Those daytime highs build off of high dark-time residual heat, I'm betting.

Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
I made a poll blog about where will the first named system of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season form,so if any of you would like to participate,go to my blog.

Link
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Quoting BahaHurican:
However, it is still CALLED heat lightning. It'a a colloquialism, perhaps, but descriptive enough for the average reader to know what it is.


We should maybe examine this a little... make sure we all know indian summer isn't caused by indians, and fish storms aren't caused by fish. @SPLBeater, it isn't meant to be taken literally.
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163. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Perth Tropical Cyclone Warning Center
Tropical Cyclone Advice #20
SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE LUA, CATEGORY THREE (16U)
3:00 AM WST March 17 2012
===========================

At 2:00 AM WST, Severe Tropical Cyclone Lua, Category Three (954 hPa) located at 17.6S 118.8E or 300 km north of Port Hedland 365 km west of Broome has 10 minute sustained winds of 80 knots with gusts of 110 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving east southeast at 11 knots.

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

Storm Force Winds
=================
90 NM from the center in northeast quadrant
50 NM from the center in southeast quadrant
50 NM from the center in southwest quadrant
70 NM from the center in northwest quadrant

Gale Force Winds
=============
240 NM from the center in northeast quadrant
180 NM from the center in southeast quadrant
180 NM from the center in southwest quadrant
240 NM from the center in northwest quadrant

Dvorak Intensity: T5.0/5.0/D1.0/24 HRS

Severe Tropical Cyclone Lua is intensifying as it moves steadily towards the east Pilbara coast, with an expected crossing during Saturday afternoon.

Gales are expected in coastal areas between Whim Creek and Bidyadanga including Port Hedland, extending during Saturday morning to adjacent inland areas and north to Cape Leveque including Broome, and possibly west to Dampier.

Destructive winds to 160 kilometres per hour are possible between Port Hedland and Bidyadanga after sunrise extending to the inland eastern Pilbara later in the day. Very Destructive winds up to 230 kilometres per hour are forecast near the cyclone centre.

As the cyclone moves further inland, gales should reach eastern Gascoyne areas, adjacent Interior and far northern Goldfields on Sunday morning.

Heavy rainfall is expected near the west Kimberley coast and in coastal and inland parts of the east Pilbara, extending into the east Gascoyne, western Interior and northern Goldfields later on Saturday and during Sunday.

Residents of Port Hedland and east to Bidyadanga are specifically warned of the very dangerous storm tide expected as the cyclone centre approaches the coast. Tides are likely to rise significantly above the normal high tide mark with damaging waves and very dangerous flooding.

Heavy surf conditions are also expected along the west Kimberley coast during Saturday.

Tropical Cyclone Watches/Warnings
=================================

A Cyclone WARNING is current for coastal areas from Cape Leveque to Dampier, including Port Hedland, Karratha, Dampier and Broome, as well as inland parts of the east Pilbara and far west Kimberley, including Telfer, Newman and Jigalong.

A Cyclone WATCH is current for parts of the central and eastern inland Pilbara, the eastern Gascoyne, far northern Goldfields and the far western Interior including Three Rivers, Meekatharra and Wiluna.


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

12 HRS: 19.6S 120.2E - 90 knots (CAT 4)
24 HRS: 22.6S 120.5E - 45 knots (CAT 1)
48 HRS: 28.3S 120.7E - 25 knots (Tropical Low)
72 HRS: 31.0S 128.1E - 25 knots (Tropical Low)

Additional Information
=======================

Severe TC Lua has remained steady at 80 knots for the last 3 hours as it continues to track east southeast towards the east Pilbara coast. Position is based on recent IR and microwave imagery, with indications on Port Hedland RADAR, albeit at extreme range.

Dvorak analysis of embedded center yields DT of 5.0, MET is 5.5 based on a trend of D, PAT of 4.5 resulting in an Final Dvorak of 5.0. SATCON at 12Z indicates 1min winds of 93 knots with AMSU estimates running at 100 knots 1 min mean.

Microwave imagery from TMI at 1515Z is indicating improved convective structure with a well defined eye at 85-89 GHz. Final intensity estimate 80 knots 10 min mean but is expected to increase further in the short term.

SSMIS imagery indicates intensification, and this trend is expected to continue. The system could reach 90 knots prior to landfall. The system is likely to maintain TC intensity until Sunday afternoon as it moves over inland parts of Western Australia.

The next tropical cyclone bulletin on Severe Tropical Cyclone Lua from the Perth Tropical Cyclone Warning Center will be issued at 22:30 PM UTC..
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 46266
Quoting SPLbeater:


wow a year older man thats a big difference isnt it.

AGE, has nothing to do with knowledge, like yqt said. anyways, lighting that occurs at a distance where thunder is no longer audible, ISNT caused by heat!
However, it is still CALLED heat lightning. It'a a colloquialism, perhaps, but descriptive enough for the average reader to know what it is.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good afternoon. Lua looks pretty good...


Yeah...with some very high cloud tops near the center
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8349
160. wxmod
I know some of you think China is far away and has nothing to do with USA weather. It's a volcano though, constantly spewing for many years.


BeijingAir ‏ @BeijingAir

03-17-2012 03:00; PM2.5; 268.0; 318; Hazardous (at 24-hour exposure at this level)
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March 15, 2012
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8349

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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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