Summer in March continues for Midwest; Dexter, MI tornado an EF-3

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:54 PM GMT on March 17, 2012

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For the third consecutive day, Chicago, Illinois hit their warmest temperature on record so early in the year, going back to 1872. The mercury hit 82°F, giving the city its third consecutive day of 80°+ temperatures, smashing the old record by a month. Previously, the earliest Chicago had ever seen three consecutive 80 degree days was back on April 14 - 16, 1976. This morning's Public Information Statement from the National Weather Service in Chicago had this to say:

Chicago and Rockford have both broken high temperature records 3 days in a row and will likely break record highs for 5 days in a row. There is even the potential they could tie or break record highs for 6 or 7 days in a row depending on how warm temperatures get on Monday and Tuesday. It is extraordinarily rare for climate locations with 100+ year long periods of records to break records day after day after day. At the current pace... it is likely that Chicago and Rockford will not only break... but shatter their current record warmest Marches.


Figure 1. "This is the kind of sunset that you can expect to see in July, not in March. 77degrees when I took this," said the caption on this wunderphoto taken yesterday in Windom, Minnesota by wunderphotographer sally.

Minneapolis, Minnesota hit 79°F yesterday, the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1872, and 39°F above average. This smashes the old record by a remarkable 6°F. Previous record: 73°F, set just two days previously, and also on March 7, 2000.

Bismark, North Dakota hit 81°F yesterday, which was a remarkable 41°F above normal. Not only does this tie Bismarck's warmest all-time monthly March temp on record (three other 81°F readings later in the month, with March 22,1910 being next earliest), it beats the next warmest early season record by a full 6°! The previous record was 75°F on March 12, 2007. Temperatures also soared into the 70's well into Canada's prairies on Friday, setting all-time warm temperature records for so early in the year across much of southern Canada.

International Falls, Minnesota hit 71°F yesterday, which was 36°F above normal, and their earliest 70°F reading by two weeks. Previously, the earliest 70°F reading came on March 30, 1967. Back on March 17, 1897, the temperature in International Falls hit -33°F!

Dexter, Michigan tornado rated an EF-3
NWS survey teams have confirmed that an EF-3 tornado with winds of 135 - 140 mph hit Dexter, Michigan on Thursday. It was the earliest EF-3 or stronger tornado in Michigan history, going back to 1950. The tornado skipped along a 7.2-mile path and had a width of up to 800 yards. It damaged or destroyed 128 buildings, but fortunately did not cause any deaths or injuries. 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 Thursday, 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 2. Radar reflectivity image of the March 15, 2012 Dexter, Michigan tornado.

I'll be back Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

Lightning 2 (barbtrek)
Another shot from yesterdays storm in Michigan
Lightning 2
Setting Sol (minnesotamom)
Setting Sol
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Depends how fast this thing moves, Monday or Tuesday, or both days

Yeah.

Looks like extreme Eastern Texas will be under the gun Tuesday.



Mississippi and Tennessee on Wednesday.



Alabama, Georgia, and east Tennessee on Thursday.



and on and on...

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31343
Well Rookie I'm off the local gin joint or do drop inn to lather up before my beloved North Dakota Fighting Sioux play the Denver Pioneers.

All I want to hear all night is: Here is your UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA FIGHTING SIOUX SCORRRRRRRRIIIIIIINNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGG.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I went with 12-7-4 for this upcoming hurricane season.

Too high?

I don't think so... I still don't think we'll see El Nino. Probably a warm neutral conducive for 11-12 storms, maybe more if the environment in the Gulf/ Caribbean is favorable for some home grown storms.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7566
never mind i was trying to post the pollen count map but it just dissappears when i post it.

Anybody know why?
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9718
Quoting StormGoddess:


Actually it could be Skogafoss in Iceland.
Link


Correction I found the actual picture: It is Skogafoss in Iceland. The picture is by Anna Andres.
Link
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Quoting nymore:
Where I live there are times where I could have used more than 3 dogs


LOL! I hear ya, buddy. That is why I live on the Texas Gulf Coast! ;-)
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Ireland


Actually it could be Skogafoss in Iceland.
Link
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Nah. The horse froze to death! They did not need to shoot it. ... Have you ever heard of a 3 dog night?
Where I live there are times where I could have used more than 3 dogs
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Monday?



Depends how fast this thing moves, Monday or Tuesday, or both days
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Quoting RitaEvac:
U shaped jet stream coming into the plains, gonna be hell of a weather event

And the next one too..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20345
Quoting RitaEvac:
TX radar gonna be lighting up like a Christmas tree Tuesday, whole state from Oklahoma to Mexico should have a squall line and rake the state from west to east

Monday?

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31343
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31343
TX radar gonna be lighting up like a Christmas tree Tuesday, whole state from Oklahoma to Mexico should have a squall line and rake the state from west to east
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Quoting nymore:
I am guessing as cold as it has been, they shot the horse for meat.


Nah. The horse froze to death! They did not need to shoot it. ... Have you ever heard of a 3 dog night?
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Gulf moisture is beyond plenty and sky high rain totals could be in the making


Possibly. Right now we just have summer t'storms dumping rain, imagine if we got a front.
Member Since: January 30, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 224
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


We have established how the horse died. We just have not yet discovered if it was a one horse town. ;-)
I am guessing as cold as it has been, they shot the horse for meat.
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Gulf moisture is beyond plenty and sky high rain totals could be in the making
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U shaped jet stream coming into the plains, gonna be hell of a weather event

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Quoting nymore:
thank you for the WEATHER report. Go ask the people in Deadhorse AK how they feel about the abnormal warmth they are experiencing.


We have established how the horse died. We just have not yet discovered if it was a one horse town. ;-)
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well it is also a bit unusual to see levi so early in the season talking about the tropics lol but levi how do you see the season shaping up i have noticed that signs of el nino occurring now quickly changed in about 2 weeks into march so is this another neutral season in your opinion?
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Quoting nymore:
To bad for you the legend is false


The premise is correct, even if it is a false legend.
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Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20345
Quoting BobWallace:


Well, yes, my house is burning down.

But the upside is that my feet aren't cold any longer....
thank you for the WEATHER report. Go ask the people in Deadhorse AK how they feel about the abnormal warmth they are experiencing.
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48 hour forecast..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20345
Quoting Patrap:
..my sweat is sweating,

phew-ee

Gardening is tough work.

I need a cold Fresca, asap.


Bought some garlic societies and replanted around the oak trees, sweating like summer
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Quoting nymore:
If this is what global warming brings for northern mn. I am all for it, even though right now it is 60 degrees about 90 miles southwest of I Falls. Nice to see the icebox of the nation so warm, I bet they are not complaining either.


Well, yes, my house is burning down.

But the upside is that my feet aren't cold any longer....
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
I went with 12-7-4 for this upcoming hurricane season.

Too high?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31343
Quoting Neapolitan:
According to the old legend, a frog placed in a pot of lukewarm water and set atop a stove won't complain, either; he'll just sit there, dumb and green and comfortable as can be while the water gets warmer and warmer, and by the time he realizes it's getting a little too warm, it's too late... ;-)
To bad for you the legend is false. Maybe some research would be in order before bringing false facts (lies) to the forum
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Fractal will affect future forecasts...Fractal Weather forecast


2007-05-30


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A click to an image opens a full sized image.

Online since 1990
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Quoting nymore:
If this is what global warming brings for northern mn. I am all for it, even though right now it is 60 degrees about 90 miles southwest of I Falls. Nice to see the icebox of the nation so warm, I bet they are not complaining either.
According to the old legend, a frog placed in a pot of lukewarm water and set atop a stove won't complain, either; he'll just sit there, dumb and green and comfortable as can be while the water gets warmer and warmer, and by the time he realizes it's getting a little too warm, it's too late... ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13442
The Strange Attractor. The Lorenz Attractor. I remember this one from way back.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
155.

Thanks for the reply!

I think that an El Nino isn't very likely, with a Cold PDO and the ENSO forecasts giving that possibility kind of the cold shoulder. However, I do think we're going to get very close to one or the fact if we do get one, the atmosphere will lag (as the atmosphere will not have adjusted yet thanks to the PDO) and the effects won't be as drastic on our hurricane season as 2006 and 2009's where, which leads me to the idea that we will see around 13 named this year.
Also, the Australian's ENSO wrap-up seems to believe that we won't be seeing a El Nino this year.


Well the SOI led the SSTs during the tail-end of the winter, so I'm not sure you can make the argument for an appreciable atmospheric lag this year. Also, multi-year La Ninas within cold PDO periods are almost always followed by a couple years of at least weak El Nino before going cold again. Just look at the 1950s, the 1970s, and the 1998-2000 La Nina. Of course, this La Nina hasn't gone on as long yet as any of those three, so it's still possible that we could remain colder than forecast in the Pacific and maintain neutral/La Nina for one more year, but we shall see.

What will be more interesting is if we do get the El Nino, whether the negative PDO signature (cold water along west coast of North America) will remain strong in the Pacific, because that can cause an interesting dance to happen between the east Pacific and the west Atlantic during the summer.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
Quoting CybrTeddy:


That's true, however given that the trade winds and African drought don't seem to be letting up + with the warm neutral upcoming, I think that it will be the WATL's year to shine.

Point taken
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 7765
This is likely to be a very quiet season overall though, at least compared to the last two. El Ninos following multi-year La Ninas are the perfect setup to reduce storm numbers. 9-11 named storms seems like a good bet right now if the ENSO models are correct.
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Quoting Patrap:
Watch how the "entertainment" turns into a Horror show, downstream in time, as it is fractal in nature, and Vice-versa, save for the "Loaded Dice".
Everything is fractal. :) A fractal flame.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20345
155.

Thanks for the reply!

I think that an El Nino isn't very likely, with a Cold PDO and the ENSO forecasts giving that possibility kind of the cold shoulder. However, I do think we're going to get very close to one or the fact if we do get one, the atmosphere will lag (as the atmosphere will not have adjusted yet thanks to the PDO) and the effects won't be as drastic on our hurricane season as 2006 and 2009's where, which leads me to the idea that we will see around 13 named this year.
Also, the Australian's ENSO wrap-up seems to believe that we won't be seeing a El Nino this year.
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Quoting nigel20:

Possibly, though SST's can warm quite rapidly if given the chance


That's true, however given that the trade winds and African drought don't seem to be letting up + with the warm neutral upcoming, I think that it will be the WATL's year to shine.
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prolong period of unsettleness
with abunant rainfall/severe early in the period
as cold core cutoff stalls nations midwest
then nudges ne up over lower lakes
to be absorbed into the zonal flow above it
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Ireland
I was thinkin Ireland or Scotland too.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Hey Levi!

I think this season will be very focused in the West - thanks to the SST's being so cool in the Eastern Atlantic, all the heat and energy has to be built up somewhere and unlike the last two hurricane seasons where the SST's where warm in the East and the West, I think it will be all stuck in the Western Atlantic and the GOMEX, causing significant systems this year to develop closer to home. You agree?


Hey Teddy :)

Well all El Nino seasons carry the enhanced risk of in-close developments as opposed to long-trackers from the deep tropics. However, only GOM systems typically hit the U.S. often. The rest develop too far north and recurve too quickly to hit the eastern seaboard, in general. I think you're right that the central and eastern tropical Atlantic will be largely shut down this year if the El Nino does come on.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Hey Levi!

I think this season will be very focused in the West - thanks to the SST's being so cool in the Eastern Atlantic, all the heat and energy has to be built up somewhere and unlike the last two hurricane seasons where the SST's where warm in the East and the West, I think it will be all stuck in the Western Atlantic and the GOMEX, causing significant systems this year to develop closer to home. You agree?

Possibly, though SST's can warm quite rapidly if given the chance
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 7765
Towering cumulus clouds outside right now, it really is summer!

Looks like NC/SC will be under the gun from these summer-like storms today.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31343
Hey Levi!

I think this season will be very focused in the West - thanks to the SST's being so cool in the Eastern Atlantic, all the heat and energy has to be built up somewhere and unlike the last two hurricane seasons where the SST's where warm in the East and the West, I think it will be all stuck in the Western Atlantic and the GOMEX, causing significant systems this year to develop closer to home. You agree?
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Quoting StormGoddess:

No trees + really green + waterfalls = could be Iceland.
Ireland
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
My weather prediction.... Most of us know by now that this upper low is a slow mover. This will probably mean multiple severe weather outbreaks from the same system. Flooding will occur, but it will not be widespread(yet). 8 to 10 days from now, this low will exit the U.S., but It will have seemed longer than that. Then, we get a decent break from any severe weather. After our reprieve, things become very active. The Bermuda High will build back in when the upper low moves N.E. into the Atlantic. It does not show on this GFS run, but will soon enough.Then, the inevitable happens, moisture moving from the Eastern Pacific moves E-NE over the already steamy Gulf of Mexico, so the Bermuda High can do its thing and recharge the atmosphere with abundant moisture. Now depending on how strong this next system is( and my prediction is very strong ) it will not only cause multiple severe weather events, but flooding will become a major concern for the mid west and parts of the Mississippi Valley. As it is with most of the systems we track, the exact location and forward movement of this system will dictate the extent of the rainfall that affects a certain area. The other important factor is the amount of moisture that will be available when this low moves into the central U.S. The Bermuda High should be very prominent, and will have a big influence on the forward movement and direction. The weaker the system, the slower it will move, and more flooding rains, the stronger the system, more in the way of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, but less in the way of flooding.
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Quoting Levi32:
The large-scale sinking downstream of the bowling-ball upper low coming out of the plains next week makes any kind of cyclogenesis near the Bahamas seem unlikely, but it's nice to see the models already trying to entertain us.

12z GFS 200mb Height/Wind 120 hours:


Well, with record heat and historic tornado outbreaks already this year, it wouldn't surprise me to see something form out in the Atlantic.

Trade winds and abundant SAL are really cooling the Eastern Atlantic down.



Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31343
Quoting Levi32:
The large-scale sinking downstream of the bowling-ball upper low coming out of the plains next week makes any kind of cyclogenesis near the Bahamas seem unlikely, but it's nice to see the models already trying to entertain us.

12z GFS 200mb Height/Wind 120 hours:

at one point the models showed the cutoff driving se ward towards sw sub tropical atlantic it is going to be interesting to see if in fact it can shove off the ridge
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
Watch how the "entertainment" turns into a Horror show, downstream in time, as it is fractal in nature, and Vice-versa, save for the "Loaded Dice".
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127377
Southwest fun for this evening!


Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
The large-scale sinking downstream of the bowling-ball upper low coming out of the plains next week makes any kind of cyclogenesis near the Bahamas seem unlikely, but it's nice to see the models already trying to entertain us.

12z GFS 200mb Height/Wind 120 hours:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26543
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


You mean everyone isn't here to see me post? What a horrible realization this is... :(


-----> Raises hand <-----
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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.