Tornadoes, extreme flooding, unprecedented heat expected in U.S. today

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:04 PM GMT on March 19, 2012

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Widespread and potentially catastrophic areal flooding and river flooding is expected this afternoon through Wednesday morning in Eastern Oklahoma, Western Arkansas, Western Louisiana, and Southwest Missouri, warns the National Weather Service in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in their latest flood watch for the region. The storm system responsible is a massive, slow-moving trough of low pressure over the Western U.S. that dumped heavy snows that closed several interstate highways in Arizona over the weekend. This storm system will collide with the warmest and moistest air mass ever recorded in March in the Central and Eastern U.S. According to the NWS in Minneapolis, Minnesota, moisture flowing northwards into Minnesota along the cold front yesterday had the highest levels of moisture ever recorded so early in the year, and moisture levels are expected to remain at record levels today. At the boundary between the Western U.S. trough of low pressure and Central U.S. ridge of high pressure, a cold front will lift huge quantities of moisture-laden air aloft, forcing record rains to fall. A wide region of 4 - 8 inches of rain is expected in the flood watch area, and isolated amounts as high as 15 inches could fall by Wednesday, as numerous rounds of thunderstorms repeatedly track over the same area. The cold front is also expected to trigger a Moderate Risk of severe weather over much of Texas today, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area, says NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. Damaging winds, large hail, flash flooding, and few strong tornadoes are expected to affect the area late this afternoon. Severe thunderstorm watches are already posted for much of West Texas, as seen on our Severe Weather Map. Eleven tornadoes were reported yesterday in Oklahoma, Nebraska, and South Dakota.


Figure 1. Predicted rainfall amounts for the 3-day period Monday morning through Thursday morning show an area of 7+ inches (yellow colors) is expected over Eastern Oklahoma, Western Arkansas, Western Louisiana, and Southwest Missouri. Image credit: NOAA HPC.


Figure 2. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has highlighted a Moderate Risk area for severe weather over much of Texas today, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Summer in March for the Midwest
The ongoing March heat wave in the Midwest is one of the most extreme heat events in U.S. history. With so many records being shattered, it is difficult to cover in detail just how widespread, long-lasting, and extreme the event is, and I offer just a few highlights:

Winner, South Dakota hit 94°F yesterday, the earliest 90°+ reading ever recorded in the Northern Plains, according to wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt. The 94°F reading was just 2°F short of the all-time state record for South Dakota in March, which was 96°F in Tyndall in 1943. However, subsequent analysis by NOAA questioned this 94°F reading, and it is now believed that 87°F is the appropriate high for Winner.

International Falls, Minnesota hit 79°F yesterday, the hottest March temperature on record in the Nation's Icebox. At midnight this morning, the temperature was 66°F there, breaking the record high for March 19 (set in 1910) by 6°F. The low temperature for International Falls bottomed out near 60°F this morning, so low for today is (unofficially) the same as the previous record high for the date. This is the seventh consecutive day that International Falls has broken or tied a daily record. That is spectacularly hard to do for a station with a century-long weather record. The longest string of consecutive records being broken I'm aware of is nine days in a row, set June 2 - 10, 1911 in Tulsa, Oklahoma (with weather records going back to 1905.) International Falls has a good chance of surpassing nine consecutive records this week.

Houghton, Michigan, near the frigid shores of Lake Superior, hit 76°F both Saturday and Sunday. It was the hottest March temperature on record, and an astonishing 44°F above the average high for the date (Saturday) of 32°. Huron, South Dakota also recorded a high temperature (88°F) that was 44° above the average high for the date, on Sunday. Most of the cities in Northern Michigan set all-time March high temperature records over the weekend.

Chicago, Illinois now has a string of five consecutive days of 80°+ temperatures, and the hottest temperature on record for so early in the year (82°F on Friday, and tied again on Saturday). The average high temperature in August is 82°F in Chicago, so this week is basically summer weather. Prior to this year, there had only been 10 days in March with highs in the 80s in Chicago, going back to 1871. The last time Chicago saw an 80 degree temperature during the month of March (prior to this year) was over 22 years ago back on March 12, 1990 when the high temperature hit 81. This morning's Public Information Statement from the National Weather Service in Chicago had this to say about this unprecedented March heat:

Chicago and Rockford have now both broken high temperature records 5 days in a row. There is even the potential they could tie or break record highs for up to an unbelievable 8 days in a row depending on how warm temperatures get Monday through Wednesday. It is extraordinarily rare for climate locations with 100+ year long periods of records to break records day after day after day.


Figure 3. March's month-to-date average temperature compared to the other top 5 warmest months of March in Chicago. The dotted blue lines are month-to-date average temperatures based on the current predicted temperatures. The hashed black line is the average month to date temperature for March. These graphs really illustrate just how far above the previous warmest top 5 Marches this month really has been and assuming no major pattern change the last week of the month gives some indication of just how far above the record March 2012 could end up being. Image credit: NWS Chicago.

Record heat in Canada
Record-breaking heat has also penetrated into the Prairie provinces of Canada over the past week. Winnipeg, Manitoba broke its record high for the past four days in a row, and hit 21°C yesterday, its hottest temperature on record so early in the year. With today's forecast by Environment Canada and wunderground both calling for highs near 25°C (77°F), Winnipeg is likely to record its highest March temperature on record. Previous record: 23.3°C on March 27, 1946. The earliest date for a 25°C+ temperature in Winnipeg is April 9, 1977.


Figure 4. The jet stream pattern features a large, southwards dipping bulge over the Western U.S., creating a trough of low pressure with cold and snow, and a large, northwards looping bulge over the Central U.S., creating a record-strength ridge of high pressure.

Why the record early-season warmth?
The unusual warmth is due to a loop in the jet stream that has created a large upper-level ridge of high pressure that is stuck in place over the Eastern U.S.--a phenomenon known as a "blocking pattern." Since the jet stream acts as the boundary between cold air to the north and warm air to the south, and the large loop in the jet places its axis far to the north of the eastern U.S., summer-like warmth has developed over the eastern half of the U.S. Conversely, colder than average temperatures have developed over the western third of the U.S. behind the southwards-dipping loop of the jet stream. There are at least three large-scale patterns working together right now to create an unusually strong ridge over the eastern half of the U.S.:

1) La Niña. The on-going La Niña event in the Eastern Pacific has weakened considerably over the past month, but ocean temperatures there are still cool enough to affect the jet stream pattern, favoring high pressure and warm temperatures over the Eastern U.S., and low pressure and cold temperatures over the Western U.S.

2) The Madden-Julian Oscillation( MJO). The MJO is a 2-month cycle of thunderstorm activity that travels west to east along the Equator. The MJO is currently in phase with La Niña, and is helping create warmer temperatures over the Eastern U.S.

3) The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO.) The NAO is in its positive phase, which means the difference in pressure between the Icelandic Low and the Azores High is stronger than usual. This tends to increase the jet stream winds and keeps the jet from sagging southwards over the Eastern U.S.

While the blocking pattern responsible for the heat wave is natural, it is very unlikely that the intensity of the heat would have been so great unless we were in a warming climate. Climate scientist Dr. James Hansen has posted an interesting (as yet unpublished) paper discussing how the odds of such extreme heat events have shifted in recent years.

Extreme jet stream patterns like this often lead to tornado outbreaks in the Midwest, at the boundary of where warm, moist air flowing north from the Gulf of Mexico collides with cold, dry air flowing south. Cold dry air aloft, combined with warm, moist air at the surface, makes the atmosphere unstable, since air rising in thunderstorm updrafts will be less dense than the surroundings, allowing the air to accelerate upwards and increase the intensity of the thunderstorm. This will be the case today, when NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has highlighted a Moderate Risk area for severe weather over much of Texas today, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Flood risk low this year for the Northern Plains
For the first time in four years, the Northern Plains are not expecting major to record snow melt flooding, said NOAA's National Weather Service in their annual spring flood outlook issued last week. Residents along the Mississippi, Missouri, Red, and Souris Rivers have endured a punishing series of bad flood years, but this year is unlikely to continue that trend, due to a lack of snow cover. The Northern Plains states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota recorded their 3rd - 8th warmest winter in the 117-year record, and are on pace to crush the record for warmest March in history. Winter snowfall was below average over most of the region, and what snow was on the ground at the beginning of March has mostly melted, thanks to the record-breaking March heat this week. The Souris and Red River basins contain about one-third the amount of water in the snow as last year, ranking this season in the lower half of the last 60 years. Precipitation this water year (since Oct 1, 2011) has been less than 50% of the normal across the Upper Mississippi and Upper Missouri Valleys, and much of the region is under moderate to severe drought, according to the latest Drought Monitor.


Figure 5. What a difference a year makes! Snow cover on March 15 of last year (top) was heavy over Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas, and caused massive flooding problems on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers during spring melt season. In contrast, there is almost no snow pack in the Upper Midwest this year (bottom), significantly reducing the odds of spring flooding on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Image credit: NOAA/NOHRSC.


Figure 6. The U.S. spring flood risk, as predicted by the National Weather Service on March 15, 2012.

Jeff Masters

March 18th sundown (rosana)
Today it was warm, sunny & calm water with clouds matching the mood of the people just enjoying this view.
March 18th sundown
Mullet Lake ice melting (JeffMasters)
I pulled a piece of ice out of Mullet Lake in Northern Michigan during my bike ride along the shore. It was so strange riding shirtless in 82°F heat along the shore of a frozen lake. The ground still had some snow patches from the 16" snow storm from last week. The lake ice is breaking up weeks ahead of usual due to our warm winter and incredible March heat.
Mullet Lake ice melting
Come have a glass of wine on the patio! (RedRoxx)
LOL woke up to MORE snow, in the VOC (Sedona) are today, want to have a drink on the patio with us?
Come have a glass of wine on the patio!
End of the Icefishing Season (bbend)
One last beautiful day on the ice but it's beginning to weaken and get unsafe- another 60 plus degree day. Normally we'd have about 3' of ice or more but this season it was about 24" at the most.
End of the Icefishing Season

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The tornado warned cell seems to have a similar radar presentation to the one last night.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Event hasn't even begun and Houston already losing power to high winds
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SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SPRINGFIELD MO
353 PM CDT MON MAR 19 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SPRINGFIELD HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
CEDAR COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST MISSOURI...

* UNTIL 445 PM CDT.

* AT 350 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM OLYMPIA TO 5 MILES
SOUTH OF WAGONER...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 35 MPH. THESE STORMS ARE
CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE ARNICA...BEARCREEK...CANE HILL...
CAPLINGER MILLS...CEDAR SPRINGS...FILLEY...MASTERS...OLYMPIA...
STOCKTON...UMBER VIEW HEIGHTS AND WAGONER.

OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE STOCKTON LAKE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THESE ARE DANGEROUS STORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS...IF
YOU ARE IN THEIR PATH SEEK SHELTER INDOORS AND STAY AWAY FROM
WINDOWS.

DOPPLER RADAR HAS INDICATED SOME ROTATION WITH THESE STORMS. WHILE
NOT IMMEDIATELY LIKELY...A TORNADO MAY STILL DEVELOP. SEEK SHELTER
INDOORS AND AWAY FROM WINDOWS AS THESE STORMS APPROACH. A TORNADO MAY
DEVELOP WITH LITTLE ADVANCED WARNING.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
TX13,do you think SPC may upgrade to High Risk or they will stick with Moderate?

While today has the potential to be a substantial outbreak, it isn't even close to being a High risk. That would require a 30% tornado and/or 60% damaging wind.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128871
Quoting RitaEvac:


No. I don't ever want to be in that kind of drought again. That is catastrophic damage to trees, vegetation, roads, waterlines, concrete, slabs, everything dies.


Oh yea me too. I was just speaking in terms since we endured that ridiculous drought, I will gladly take on a deluge of rain this year. Just to think so many people I know were asking for hurricanes and etc last fall and I couldn't believe how stupid they sounded. I couldn't get the point through some of their heads that if another Ike came through here after that drought, ever single tree would fall down.
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Power out in Houston due to high winds

Strong winds continue over the area this afternoon.

Frequent wind gust at or above 40mph are being reported across the area including 44 at Victoria and 42 at Palacios with 38 at IAH. A wind gust to 69mph was reported at Victoria earlier today.

With radar showing a few developing showers over the area, strong winds aloft may be transported to the surface resulting some minor wind damage (downed tree limbs) and disruption of power. Currently over 9,000 residents across the Houston metro area are without power.

Strong winds will continue overnight ahead of a squall line due into the area toward sunrise.

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991
WFUS54 KSJT 192055
TORSJT
TXC267-435-192130-
/O.NEW.KSJT.TO.W.0002.120319T2055Z-120319T2130Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN ANGELO TX
355 PM CDT MON MAR 19 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN ANGELO HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHWESTERN KIMBLE COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL TEXAS...
SOUTHEASTERN SUTTON COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL TEXAS...

* UNTIL 430 PM CDT

* AT 351 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO WAS 25 MILES SOUTHWEST OF I-10 NEAR THE SUTTON-KIMBLE
COUNTY LINE...OR 22 MILES SOUTHEAST OF SONORA...MOVING EAST AT 50
MPH.

IN ADDITION TO DANGEROUS TORNADIC WINDS...OTHER HAZARDS INCLUDE...
LARGE DAMAGING HAIL UP TO GOLF BALL SIZE.
DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH.
POTENTIALLY DEADLY LIGHTNING.

* THE TORNADO IS EXPECTED TO BE NEAR...
I-10 NEAR THE SUTTON-KIMBLE COUNTY LINE BY 420 PM CDT...

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 10 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 421 AND 432.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM CDT MONDAY EVENING
FOR WEST CENTRAL TEXAS.



LAT...LON 3028 10060 3040 10058 3051 10009 3030 9997
TIME...MOT...LOC 2055Z 248DEG 44KT 3030 10043
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128871
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN ANGELO TX
355 PM CDT MON MAR 19 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN ANGELO HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHWESTERN KIMBLE COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL TEXAS...
SOUTHEASTERN SUTTON COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL TEXAS...

* UNTIL 430 PM CDT

* AT 351 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO WAS 25 MILES SOUTHWEST OF I-10 NEAR THE SUTTON-KIMBLE
COUNTY LINE...OR 22 MILES SOUTHEAST OF SONORA...MOVING EAST AT 50
MPH.

IN ADDITION TO DANGEROUS TORNADIC WINDS...OTHER HAZARDS INCLUDE...
LARGE DAMAGING HAIL UP TO GOLF BALL SIZE.
DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH.
POTENTIALLY DEADLY LIGHTNING.

* THE TORNADO IS EXPECTED TO BE NEAR...
I-10 NEAR THE SUTTON-KIMBLE COUNTY LINE BY 420 PM CDT...

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 10 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 421 AND 432.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM CDT MONDAY EVENING
FOR WEST CENTRAL TEXAS.

&&

LAT...LON 3028 10060 3040 10058 3051 10009 3030 9997
TIME...MOT...LOC 2055Z 248DEG 44KT 3030 10043

$$
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

No, this storm is more of a damaging-wind producer as opposed to a tornado producer. It's turning into a bow echo.


Here in Austin, I feel like I need to call my daughter in sick for work at 6pm. Of course it's sunny and breezy and she thinks I'm crazy, but her job is not here in the hills, but on the flats of major highway crossroads.

I think I'll call her 'delayed' dead-battery. Nobody questions that, and by the 6p I suspect all the staff will be bailing out to get home.
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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
Finally, I know what those are called.

I've seen one or two of those this spring, also, but a roving pack of chihuahua's makes quick work of them.


Mosquito hawks! :)
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TX13,do you think SPC may upgrade to High Risk or they will stick with Moderate?
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14408
Quoting DavidHOUTX:


Well if that is going to set up and bring us ample amounts of rain all year, I will gladly take it. I can live with one year missing out ~60% of our rain and the next getting ~60% more rain than average :-)


No. I don't ever want to be in that kind of drought again. That is catastrophic damage to trees, vegetation, roads, waterlines, concrete, slabs, everything dies.
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Here is my SlideShow over today and last few event thus far...

http://s1160.photobucket.com/albums/q496/TampaSpi n/?albumview=slideshow
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i am seeing max reflectivity about 20000 ft up in the storm, could be some very large hail soon.
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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
Finally, I know what those are called.

I've seen one or two of those this spring, also, but a roving pack of chihuahua's makes quick work of them.


Our 2 Jack-Chi's do the same.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128871
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8226
Quoting jamesrainier:


Somebody who knows better than me..is that a hook forming near Decatur?


Looks like a bow echo with strong down burst. That is if I am looking at the same cell as you.
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Quoting jamesrainier:


Somebody who knows better than me..is that a hook forming near Decatur?

No, this storm is more of a damaging-wind producer as opposed to a tornado producer. It's turning into a bow echo.

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SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
TXC435-192130-
/O.NEW.KSJT.SV.W.0003.120319T2041Z-120319T2130Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN ANGELO TX
341 PM CDT MON MAR 19 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN ANGELO HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
SUTTON COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL TEXAS...

* UNTIL 430 PM CDT

* AT 335 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS 4 MILES NORTH OF THE
INTERSECTION OF US-277 AND RANCH ROAD 189...OR 10 MILES SOUTH OF
SONORA...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 40 MPH.

STORM HAZARDS INCLUDE...
GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL.
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH.

WITH POSSIBLE STORM IMPACTS...
NUMEROUS VEHICLE DENTS...
MODERATE TO SIGNIFICANT ROOF AND PLASTIC SIGN DAMAGE...
SOME EXPOSED HOME AND VEHICLE WINDOWS WILL CRACK OR BREAK...
INJURY TO UNPROTECTED PEOPLE AND ANIMALS...
SOME TREE LIMB DAMAGE...WEAKENED TREES TOPPLED...
SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES POSSIBLE...
POTENTIALLY DEADLY LIGHTNING.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR...
THE INTERSECTION OF RANCH ROAD 2596 AND RANCH ROAD 864 BY 410 PM
CDT...

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 10 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 399 AND 425.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM CDT MONDAY EVENING
FOR WEST CENTRAL TEXAS.

&&

LAT...LON 3033 10065 3046 10078 3071 10043 3071 10031
3047 10011
TIME...MOT...LOC 2040Z 236DEG 34KT 3045 10061

$$

18

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14408
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
343 PM CDT MON MAR 19 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN FORT WORTH HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
COOKE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS...
NORTHWESTERN DENTON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS...
SOUTHEASTERN MONTAGUE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS...
NORTHERN WISE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS...

* UNTIL 430 PM CDT

* AT 343 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED 5 MILES
WEST OF DECATUR...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 55 MPH.

* THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR...
FORESTBURG AROUND 400 PM...
SANGER AND ST. JO AROUND 405 PM...
MUENSTER AROUND 410 PM...
RAY ROBERTS PARK JOHNSON BRANCH AROUND 415 PM...
LINDSAY AND GAINESVILLE AROUND 420 PM...
CALLISBURG AROUND 430 PM...

THIS WILL IMPACT I-35 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 482 AND 503.
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Quoting Patrap:
Crane Fly's are NOT Mosquitoes



Finally, I know what those are called.

I've seen one or two of those this spring, also, but a roving pack of chihuahua's makes quick work of them.
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Quoting ClimateChange:


No, I mean the pattern in the central and northern Plains this spring is reminiscent of the pattern in the southern Plains last year. The ridge is just displaced further north this year.

Texas has been located in a weakness / upper level low south of the ridge axis, providing copious rainfall. These types of strong ridges are associated not only with droughts but also deluges because they slow the motion of storm systems.


Well if that is going to set up and bring us ample amounts of rain all year, I will gladly take it. I can live with one year missing out ~60% of our rain and the next getting ~60% more rain than average :-)
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Hellava Hail storm NW of Fort Worth



Somebody who knows better than me..is that a hook forming near Decatur?
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Hellava Hail storm NW of Fort Worth



VIL of 124 kg/m2...At the very, very top of the scale.

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Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8226
Quoting ClimateChange:


No, I mean the pattern in the central and northern Plains this spring is reminiscent of the pattern in the southern Plains last year. The ridge is just displaced further north this year.

Texas has been located in a weakness / upper level low south of the ridge axis, providing copious rainfall. These types of strong ridges are associated not only with droughts but also deluges because they slow the motion of storm systems.


gotcha
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Quoting Patrap:
Crane Fly's are NOT Mosquitoes





Daddy long legs
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Quoting DavidHOUTX:
Just to show how much Houston floods. I have not seen this before but this is amazing. Almost every year, if not twice a year.

Link
Well, no wonder Houston floods, you are in a bayou. Or should I say, were? Low lying bowls tend to fill.
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The table is becoming set for an outbreak of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes across central and eastern Texas, and up into southeastern Oklahoma tonight. OA reveals anywhere from 1000-4000 j/kg of CAPE across the area, meaning the atmosphere is very unstable. In addition, mid-level lapse rates lie near 7-8C. This means that very large hail, potentially up to the size of baseballs or larger, is likely in any strong thunderstorms that fire. The main reason today has not been active so far is because there is a CAP in place, limiting thunderstorm development. However, as peak heating comes into play, the CAP will likely weaken and break. After this occurs, we'll probably see discrete cells form in front of the current squall line. This is why the Storm Prediction Center has stated that the tornado threat will increase with time.
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Hellava Hail storm NW of Fort Worth

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Crane Fly's are NOT Mosquitoes



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128871
Quoting RitaEvac:


Totally off, last year at this time in TX we weren't getting any kind of rains like we're seeing this 1st quarter of this year. I knew something was wrong last year with no spring rains in SE TX.


No, I mean the pattern in the central and northern Plains this spring is reminiscent of the pattern in the southern Plains last year. The ridge is just displaced further north this year.

Texas has been located in a weakness / upper level low south of the ridge axis, providing copious rainfall. These types of strong ridges are associated not only with droughts but also deluges because they slow the motion of storm systems.
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Just to show how much Houston floods. I have not seen this before but this is amazing. Almost every year, if not twice a year.

Link
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Quoting kwgirl:
Goes to show you that we can learn something new everyday of our lives. Now, it sounds like you know what you are talking about. I never knew that mosquitoes hibernated. What type are they? We just have Aedis Egypti and Salt Marsh mosquitoes. And I have never caught them sleeping. Granted, we do not have mosquitoes all the time, but when it rains they come out because of being newly hatched, if I understand what Mosquito Control tells us. Don't know where you are located. I am in the Fl. Keys. When it is dry the fleas are horrendous and when it is wet the mosquitoes hatch.
They're just average large native mosquitoes, it would appear. The standard variety that I've seen all my life. Nothing out of the ordinary in terms of color or appearance.

All I know is what I'm seeing this year, and that it's unusual to find so many large female mosquitoes that have survived the winter, but that aren't biting. Normally I don't think I would be paying much attention to this non-biting aspect, but this has been an exceptionally mild winter, and a dry spring, so this may help explain what I'm observing.

From a general search, the consensus seems to be that the over-wintering females don't emerge from winter hibernation pregnant, but I wonder about that. I also now wonder if these females are likely to ever bite in the spring, before the hungry children hatch out. My guess is, based upon what I'm seeing now, is no. My guess is they really are pregnant, possibly with just a few eggs, and this is their sole reason for hibernating, not to start a brand new life of feeding in the spring. This strategy would give them a head start, perhaps, over eggs that have been deposited in places that are not as suitable as newer places they find in the spring. The hibernating females form a sort of latent, flying egg reservoir, perhaps.

This would mean of course, that the hibernating females don't have to be good weather forecasters. They just have to find sufficient water before they die, not a meal.
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Yea, models are off the chart, we'll see. You and I both want the heavy rain cuz we know we need every drop of runoff there is. In fact looking forward to the yo yos in Houston to get caught off guard in flood water.


Lol there will be plenty of them. Hopefully the City of Houston is trying to get those storm drains cleared out. If this does happen to stall and train right up the 45 corridor there will be serious, serious flooding.
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Heading toward SUTTON TEXAS...TAKE COVER NOW
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This looks like a typical set up for a bad flooding event in Houston. Could be similar to the 1998 floods in Central and SE Texas. Very similar set up.
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Quoting ClimateChange:


Looks very warm right on into the start of April. 6-10 and 8-14 day outlook have 70-80% probabilities of warmer than normal weather across a good chunk of the Heartland. This pattern is eerily reminiscent to the pattern from last spring & summer in the southern Plains and from spring/summer 2010 in Russia and eastern Europe.


Totally off, last year at this time in TX we weren't getting any kind of rains like we're seeing this 1st quarter of this year. I knew something was wrong last year with no spring rains in SE TX.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
You can see here why the CPC is predicting the 6-10 day time frame to have below normal amounts of precip across the South. A pattern change occurs and the 8-10 day 500mb comparison of the European and GFS shows ridging across the middle or Eastern 2/3 of the country. If the Euro pattern pans out, it would be very similar to the setup Texas saw basically all of last year. Hopefully, this setup won't stick as it's just a 2-3 day time frame. With La Nina waning, I doubt Texas will have to endure anything close to the drought of last year. The GFS has ridging farther north and east.

Everybody should begin preparing now for the looming excessive heat and drought.


Looks very warm right on into the start of April. 6-10 and 8-14 day outlook have 70-80% probabilities of warmer than normal weather across a good chunk of the Heartland. This pattern is eerily reminiscent to the pattern from last spring & summer in the southern Plains and from spring/summer 2010 in Russia and eastern Europe.
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2 new cells forming around both sides of Del Rio.
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ULL getting ready to "Fly" over Roswell, NM
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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
I use a jeweler's loop.

The males die in the fall. Only the females hibernate, and they've already been fertilized for life.

These are the big females that have over-wintered.

It's just a little weird to see so many in the house, and none of them biting.

If early spring warmth is sufficient to bring out the deciduous plants and flowering evergreens, why aren't the mosquitoes impressed by this, as well?

Since egg development, following a blood meal takes between 3-5 days, my guess is that the mosquitoes are saying that there won't be sufficient rainfall to make babies for at least a week out? Perhaps the decision to feed isn't made until after rainfall occurs, but this closes the window of opportunity some, for their short life cycle. It would be better for them, if they were good weather forecasters.

They don't apparently remain pregnant very long, either, preferring to get rid of their eggs. Hibernation can extend their lifespans from a couple of weeks in the summertime to 6-8 months in the winter.

So why are they flying around all over the place, using up their precious life cycle, when there's no desire to feed and breed? They're also risking being eaten by predators. Why not stay holed up someplace until both the temperature AND the moisture arrive?
Goes to show you that we can learn something new everyday of our lives. Now, it sounds like you know what you are talking about. I never knew that mosquitoes hibernated. What type are they? We just have Aedis Egypti and Salt Marsh mosquitoes. And I have never caught them sleeping. Granted, we do not have mosquitoes all the time, but when it rains they come out because of being newly hatched, if I understand what Mosquito Control tells us. Don't know where you are located. I am in the Fl. Keys. When it is dry the fleas are horrendous and when it is wet the mosquitoes hatch.
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Quoting DavidHOUTX:


We can only hope


Yea, models are off the chart, we'll see. You and I both want the heavy rain cuz we know we need every drop of runoff there is. In fact looking forward to the yo yos in Houston to get caught off guard in flood water.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Forecast is ULL to stall and setup a north to south line of heavy rain near the TX/LA border, but if that ULL is a tad farther west when it stalls....well Houston.....we've gotta problem coming.


We can only hope
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Quoting Ameister12:

Two strong rotations!


What is JFV on a sit-n-spin?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Strong rotation...

I beat both of you. =)


:P
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7845
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Strong rotation...

I beat both of you. =)


Two strong rotations!
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You can see here why the CPC is predicting the 6-10 day time frame to have below normal amounts of precip across the South. A pattern change occurs and the 8-10 day 500mb comparison of the European and GFS shows ridging across the middle or Eastern 2/3 of the country. If the Euro pattern pans out, it would be very similar to the setup Texas saw basically all of last year. Hopefully, this setup won't stick as it's just a 2-3 day time frame. With La Nina waning, I doubt Texas will have to endure anything close to the drought of last year. The GFS has ridging farther north and east.

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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128871
Strong rotation...

I beat both of you. =)

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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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