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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750. ScottLincoln
4:05 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting CybrTeddy:

KENS 5 TV - Viewer photo from HWY 90 near Bexar Co. Texas earlier tonight.


FYI... I should mention that it seems as if numerous people discussing this photo in other places, indicating that it was a picture taken in 2004 and is not of the 3/19/2012 tornado near San Antonio.

With the quick ease by which people can tout fake photographs on the internet these days especially on un-reviewed TV photo albums, we should use this as a reminder to take these things with a grain of salt.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3169
749. ScottLincoln
2:55 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting RTSplayer:


Oh really?

So you have millions of people unemployed, not counting the ones who have "given up" looking for work, but we still take in over a million immigrants per year...

You don't see how jobless rate and immigration are related? For every million immigrants you take in, assuming average family size 4, then you need a half million new jobs just to break even.

Not only is it stupid, it's really immoral.


They are not as clear-cut related as you think they are. Most of the people looking for work are not looking for the same jobs as immigrants typically take, especially the illegal ones. There are many places hiring, but they are all minimum wage jobs that will end up paying worse than unemployment benefits. No one who has worked at even the median salary will take those part-time jobs if they pay less than unemployment but cause you to be dropped from unemployment. It is also argued by many economists that without people willing to take those jobs (and even jobs that pay less), the wages would be forced higher to attract works, thus raising the prices, and putting more people out of work.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3169
748. Tango01
2:40 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting Tango01:


I disagree. The watches were indicating high risk of several tornadoes (the watches were ranging from 50% to 70%) so there way off with this. I am referring to facts here not "gloom and doom" feelings. Besides, you get far more hail and wind reports under slight risk conditions that what was reported in TX yesterday so it is not a matter of observing hail, wind, floods and tornadoes, but how many were observed in the area indicated with moderate risk. Moreover, the moderate risk area was indicating a higher than 40 % or 50 % chances (I believe so) of these events within a 25 mile radius of a given point. If you look at the reports you will see that between Austin and Waco along the I-35 corridor, this didn't happen. My point is that the probabilities were wrong and a much lower probability (low risk) should probably have been indicated in the forecast. Again, this is not "gloom and doom" these are just facts and statistical data.


Actually, I have checked SPC's past issued outlooks and their verification image and they are in agreement of my point. If you look at the severe hail probability for the 1630 outlook, it is indicating 45% along the I-35 corridor from San Antonio to NE TX. If you then look at the verification image you'll see that there are only two reports of severe hail. Same issues can be found with observations not meeting expectations (probabilities) both for tornadoes and wind. SPC forecast does not include floods as you mentioned.
Member Since: September 10, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 49
747. RTSplayer
2:40 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


I dont see a problem with legal immigration, only the illegal. And the jobless rate has nothing to do with immigration.


Oh really?

So you have millions of people unemployed, not counting the ones who have "given up" looking for work, but we still take in over a million immigrants per year...

You don't see how jobless rate and immigration are related? For every million immigrants you take in, assuming average family size 4, then you need a half million new jobs just to break even.

Not only is it stupid, it's really immoral.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
746. aspectre
2:35 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
New Blog
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
745. lilElla
2:34 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
#742 KEEPEROFTHEGATE
Thank you - averages seem to mean notta this season, does this also mean that "the odds of" are no longer pertinent?
Member Since: December 5, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 273
744. Tango01
2:33 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting Chucktown:


SPC was right on. Don't forget, moderate risk means a moderate risk for severe weather. This includes hail, wind, flood, and tornado reports within the risk area. The tornado watch that was in efect was exactly that, a watch. You seem disappointed with the outcome from yesterday. Seems to be a common "gloom and doom" theme on the blog.


I disagree. The watches were indicating high risk of several tornadoes (the watches were ranging from 50% to 70%) so there way off with this. I am referring to facts here not "gloom and doom" feelings. Besides, you get far more hail and wind reports under slight risk conditions that what was reported in TX yesterday so it is not a matter of observing hail, wind, floods and tornadoes, but how many were observed in the area indicated with moderate risk. Moreover, the moderate risk area was indicating a higher than 40 % or 50 % chances (I believe so) of these events within a 25 mile radius of a given point. If you look at the reports you will see that between Austin and Waco along the I-35 corridor, this didn't happen. My point is that the probabilities were wrong and a much lower probability (low risk) should probably have been indicated in the forecast. Again, this is not "gloom and doom" these are just facts and statistical data.
Member Since: September 10, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 49
743. Josihua2
2:29 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Wow not to far back Texas was the drought capital of the US. everyday temps we in the high 80`s and often into the 90`s but recently Texas has received more rainfall than most(if not all states in the US). Ahh the wonders of climate and weather :P
Member Since: December 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 53
742. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
2:22 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting lilElla:
In our neck of the woods (S Wisc)low temp this morning was 59, our average low is 26 and average high is 46. We are supposed to get up to 82 this afternoon. And tomorrow much of the same. Bloodroot is in full bloom and lilacs are leafed out........... Apple producers in our area are getting quite concerned.
brief cold shot but warming will be quick to rtn if anything new growth will be slowed

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
741. Chucktown
2:19 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting Tango01:
I am wondering what happened yesterday at the SPC. They are usually quite good with their forecast but yesterday the were way off: only two tornadoes for a moderate risk area and high probability for tornadoes in the watch areas that did not materialized.


SPC was right on. Don't forget, moderate risk means a moderate risk for severe weather. This includes hail, wind, flood, and tornado reports within the risk area. The tornado watch that was in efect was exactly that, a watch. You seem disappointed with the outcome from yesterday. Seems to be a common "gloom and doom" theme on the blog.
Member Since: August 27, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1720
740. DavidHOUTX
2:18 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting hydrus:
This model has not finished running, but does not have the low moving at all for almost three days...Link


That looks pretty bad for SE Texas, Louisiana looks like it will get the brunt of it though. At least that's how I am seeing it..
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 598
739. DavidHOUTX
2:16 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting hydrus:
This model has not finished running, but does not have the low moving at all for almost three days...Link


Wow...
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 598
738. lilElla
2:11 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
In our neck of the woods (S Wisc)low temp this morning was 59, our average low is 26 and average high is 46. We are supposed to get up to 82 this afternoon. And tomorrow much of the same. Bloodroot is in full bloom and lilacs are leafed out........... Apple producers in our area are getting quite concerned.
Member Since: December 5, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 273
737. hydrus
2:09 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting DavidHOUTX:


Well that is fantastic. If this pans out, looks like they will need to extend that flood watch!
Quoting DavidHOUTX:


Well that is fantastic. If this pans out, looks like they will need to extend that flood watch!
This model has not finished running, but does not have the low moving at all for almost three days...Link
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20520
736. Tango01
2:09 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
I am wondering what happened yesterday at the SPC. They are usually quite good with their forecast but yesterday the were way off: only two tornadoes for a moderate risk area and high probability for tornadoes in the watch areas that did not materialized.
Member Since: September 10, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 49
735. StormTracker2K
2:07 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Common site this year in Houston.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
734. TampaSpin
2:07 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting DavidHOUTX:


Yes the atmosphere was capped pretty well. The storms fought through some of it but couldn't completely get through the cap as they thought.


Wasn't it only a 10% chance for Tornado's....that is a small percentage as it was. Thought i would get the experts opioion as i was just not sure. Thanks!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
733. KeysieLife
2:06 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting Patrap:
It is the springtime of my loving - the second season I am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing - so little warmth I've felt before.
It isn't hard to feel me glowing - I watched the fire that grew so low.

It is the summer of my smiles - flee from me Keepers of the Gloom.
Speak to me only with your eyes. It is to you I give this tune.
Ain't so hard to recognize - These things are clear to all from
time to time.

Talk Talk - I've felt the coldness of my winter
I never thought YOU would ever go. I cursed the gloom that set upon us...
But I know that I love you so

These are the seasons of emotion and like the winds they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion - I seek the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient - Upon us all a little rain must fall...It's just a little rain...


Thanks Pat! As I "get the Led out" this morning I have awoke to 1.5" of fluffy white...Spokane, WA. Amazing what the first day of spring will do. :)
Member Since: September 10, 2010 Posts: 3 Comments: 409
732. DavidHOUTX
2:03 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Too low, as their weren't many supercells that developed out ahead of the main line. It was almost as if the atmosphere was capped some.


Yes the atmosphere was capped pretty well. The storms fought through some of it but couldn't completely get through the cap as they thought.
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 598
731. DavidHOUTX
2:01 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
I wonder if this front is going to stall a little farther west than they thought. Is the CRAS model pretty accurate? Are any other models following that trend?
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 598
730. Thundercloud01221991
2:01 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
.
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
729. StormTracker2K
2:00 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting TampaSpin:


With that, do you think the Percentages yesterday from SPC was correct, too High, or too Low?


Too(edit)high, as their weren't many supercells that developed out ahead of the main line. It was almost as if the atmosphere was capped some.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
728. TampaSpin
1:58 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting DavidHOUTX:


Well that is fantastic. If this pans out, looks like they will need to extend that flood watch!


Yep the dip keeps coming and the rain keeps falling one after another it appears.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
727. DavidHOUTX
1:54 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting hydrus:
Mornin Dave. CRAS model has your area getting at least one more shot of heavy rain after this one...00 CRAS wvbt Image.. Loop..Link


Well that is fantastic. If this pans out, looks like they will need to extend that flood watch!
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 598
726. hydrus
1:48 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting Neapolitan:
Absolutely amazing.

Found this for International Falls:

hot, hot, hot
I heard someone say that the low temps would have surpassed the record high temps in certain areas..Mother Nature showing her might.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20520
725. TampaSpin
1:48 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting StormTracker2K:




With that, do you think the Percentages yesterday from SPC was correct, too High, or too Low?
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
724. hydrus
1:45 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting DavidHOUTX:
What a day we have ahead of us here in Houston!
Mornin Dave. CRAS model has your area getting at least one more shot of heavy rain after this one...00 CRAS wvbt Image.. Loop..Link
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20520
723. Neapolitan
1:43 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting SteveDa1:
3 straight days of 25C+ heat is unheard of for March. Very rare still for April. Yet, here it is...
Absolutely amazing.

Found this for International Falls:

hot, hot, hot
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13462
722. Patrap
1:35 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
A Atmosphere with "Loaded Dice"..is geared more toward chaos as it warms.
The Ratio of a 1F degree increase in Global temps, produces a 4% increase in Global WV.

More WV available, increases the ability of Chaos to reign.

Welcome to the "New World"

..brought to you by, well..u know.

Us.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127628
721. GeoffreyWPB
1:34 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10999
720. Patrap
1:32 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
719. SteveDa1
1:31 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
3 straight days of 25C heat is unheard of for March. In fact, in Montreal's case, never has it seen 3 straight days above 20C, let alone 25C! Occurrences that are very rare still for April.

Yet, here it is...

Forecast for today and the next 2 days. Many places are expecting a rain-snow mix over the weekend and will remind everyone that we are still in March.

Toronto, ONT Record March High: 25.6C on the 28th, 1945.
25C, 25C, 25C

Ottawa, ONT Record March High: 26.7C on the 29th, 1946
25C, 27C, 27C

Montreal, QUE Record March High: 25.6C on the 28th, 1945.
24C, 26C, 26C

Sherbrooke, QUE Record March High: 23.0C on the 30th, 1977
25C, 26C, 26C

Even much farther north....

Normals of 0C, -12C
Val D'or, QUE Record March High: 17.6C on the 14th, 1995
21C, 23C, 15C

Timmins, ONT Record March High: 19.9C on the 15th, 1990
23C. 26C, 14C

Extending in the Maritimes...

Fredericton, NB Record March High: 22.2C on the 30th, 1962
22C, 25C, 24C

Moncton, NB Record March High: 18.9C on the 29th, 1945
22C, 26C, 22C

Halifax, Nova Scotia
16C, 21C, 21C
Member Since: October 17, 2006 Posts: 60 Comments: 1297
718. StormTracker2K
1:19 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting TampaSpin:
Good Morning...Anyone hear a Number of how many tornadaos there was yesterday!


Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
717. DavidHOUTX
1:18 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
409 AM CDT TUE MAR 20 2012

.DISCUSSION...
LINE OF STORMS CURRENTLY ENTERING INTO OUR CWA FROM THE WEST. SO
FAR TIMING HAS BEEN ON TRACK WITH PROGS. AS SUCH NOT REALLY PLAN-
NING ON A WHOLE LOT OF CHANGES TO THE GOING FCST/GRIDS WITH THIS
PACKAGE. STILL LOOKING FOR STRONG/SEVERE STORMS ALONG WITH HEAVY
RAINS TODAY WITH THE INCOMING SQUALL LINE. PRIMARY THREAT SHOULD
BE DAMAGING WINDS BUT HAIL ALSO LIKELY. THE BULK OF THE ACTIVITY
TO TAPER OFF FROM THE WEST LATE THIS EVENING AS EVERYTHING MOVES
OFF TO THE ENE. HOWEVER THE MAIN UPPER LOW RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE
STORMS WILL BE LINGERING IN/AROUND THE RED RIVER THESE NEXT 24HR
OR SO. THIS MIGHT ALLOW FOR ADDITIONAL DEVELOPMENT AS SHORTWAVES
ROTATE AROUND THE BASE OF THE UPPER LOW. THIS COMBINED WITH LEFT-
OVER BOUNDARIES AND DAYTIME HEATING COULD LEAD TO MORE PCPN..AND
PERHAPS SLOWER MOVING PCPN ON WEDS. ATTM NOT A LOT OF CONFIDENCE
WITH KEEPING (OR EXTENDING THE FFA) THROUGH WEDS BUT IT COULD BE
SOMETHING TO KEEP AN EYE ON DEPENDING ON WHAT HAPPENS TODAY.

THINGS EXPECTED TO QUIET DOWN DURING THE LATTER PART OF THE WEEK
AS THIS UPPER LOW FINALLY MOVES OFF THE E/NE AND A RIDGE SETTLES
OVER THE AREA. A SLOWLY DEVELOPING/STRENGTHENING ONSHORE FLOW TO
HELP SE TX SLIP INTO A MORE BENIGN PATTERN OF MODERATE TEMPS/LOW
TO NO POPS THROUGH THE WEEKEND. 41
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 598
716. LargoFl
1:18 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
TXC423-459-499-201600-
/O.NEW.KSHV.FF.W.0007.120320T1257Z-120320T1600Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000 Z.OO/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SHREVEPORT LA
757 AM CDT TUE MAR 20 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SHREVEPORT HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
SMITH COUNTY IN NORTHEAST TEXAS...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...WHITEHOUSE...TYLER...
UPSHUR COUNTY IN NORTHEAST TEXAS...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF GILMER...
WOOD COUNTY IN NORTHEAST TEXAS...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...WINNSBORO...MINEOLA...

* UNTIL 1100 AM CDT.

* AT 750 AM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED
VERY HEAVY RAIN ASSOCIATED WITH A WIDESPREAD AREA OF SHOWERS AND
ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE WARNED AREA. TWO TO FOUR INCHES OF
RAIN HAVE ALREADY FALLEN ACROSS THIS AREA...WITH AN ADDITIONAL ONE
TO THREE INCHES POSSIBLE OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS. ANY ONGOING
FLOODING COULD ESCALATE...ESPECIALLY IN LOW LYING AND POOR
DRAINAGE AREAS.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO WEST
MOUNTAIN...ROSEWOOD...QUITMAN...PLEASANT GROVE...HOARD...HAWKINS...
HAINESVILLE...GOLDEN AND BIG SANDY...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN AUTOMOBILES. NEVER DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO
AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE ROADWAY. FLOOD WATERS ARE USUALLY
DEEPER THAN THEY APPEAR. JUST ONE FOOT OF FLOWING WATER IS POWERFUL
ENOUGH TO SWEEP VEHICLES OFF THE ROAD. WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED
ROADS MAKE THE SMART CHOICE...TURN AROUND...DONT DROWN.

TO REPORT FLOODING...HAVE THE NEAREST LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY RELAY
YOUR REPORT TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE IN
SHREVEPORT.

&&

LAT...LON 3297 9515 3291 9515 3291 9481 3257 9491
3252 9499 3214 9499 3214 9547 3220 9547
3224 9549 3229 9546 3236 9546 3249 9560
3269 9560 3272 9564 3295 9567

$$

12
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36972
715. StormTracker2K
1:18 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Devine,TX Tornado from 3/19/2012.


Police said the communities of Devine and Natalia appeared to be the hardest hit. The San Antonio Express reported that several homes suffered damage, and some people were trapped in mobile homes for a period of time.


Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
714. DavidHOUTX
1:17 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
What a day we have ahead of us here in Houston!
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 598
713. TampaSpin
1:16 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Good Morning...Anyone hear a Number of how many tornadaos there was yesterday!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
712. kwgirl
1:08 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Good morning all. I see that the weather has really ramped up in Texas. Please keep safe and alert today. "Turn around, don't drown" is the best advice to heed. I thought that blob of moisture would give us some rain in the keys. Alas, no such luck. Though the rest of the nation is warm, this is exactly our average weather in SE Florida. Of course, here in the Keys we have the advantage of being "out to sea" and get the sea breezes to make the sunshine comfortable. Everyone in the watch zones take care. My thoughts and prayers are with all the people adversely affected by the weather today.
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
711. AussieStorm
1:06 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting Neapolitan:
Well, that's certainly going to make the morning rush hour fun. :-\

Looking at these, I would say very fun.


More Houston cams here.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
710. Patrap
1:01 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
It is the springtime of my loving - the second season I am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing - so little warmth I've felt before.
It isn't hard to feel me glowing - I watched the fire that grew so low.

It is the summer of my smiles - flee from me Keepers of the Gloom.
Speak to me only with your eyes. It is to you I give this tune.
Ain't so hard to recognize - These things are clear to all from
time to time.

Talk Talk - I've felt the coldness of my winter
I never thought YOU would ever go. I cursed the gloom that set upon us...
But I know that I love you so

These are the seasons of emotion and like the winds they rise and fall
This is the wonder of devotion - I seek the torch we all must hold.
This is the mystery of the quotient - Upon us all a little rain must fall...It's just a little rain...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127628
709. GeoffreyWPB
12:59 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10999
708. stormwatcherCI
12:57 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Good morning everyone. Just dropped in for a quick check on what is going on weatherwise. Weather has been just about perfect here except for the lack of rain.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8272
707. bohonkweatherman
12:52 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Loudest 2.25 inches of rain I have ever received, sounded like 5 or 6 here outside of Buda Tx. If Lake Travis gets another 10 rains like this Lake will fill up. I think some areas of Texas got 10 inches or more last night.
Member Since: July 5, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1348
706. weathermanwannabe
12:35 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
The Southeast, as shown on your second map, is also in trouble and we could see a serious wildfire issue as well at some point. Interesting from that map that I took a long Sunday drive with my Wife on Sunday along the FL/AL/GA tri-state area, clearly shown in deep red on your map, and I did end up stopping an officer and letting him know about a "cigarette" fire brewing several miles behind us. We were the only ones on a long stretch of hwy North of Lake Seminole on the GA/AL border and we passed the burning bushes right next to the hwy..................
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8822
705. GeorgiaStormz
12:31 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting RTSplayer:


We don't have enough security, and we have far too much immigration both legal and illegal. Why is a country with such high jobless rates and a 1/7 "poverty" rate still accepting immigration?



I dont see a problem with legal immigration, only the illegal. And the jobless rate has nothing to do with immigration.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9721
704. StormTracker2K
12:31 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting weathermanwannabe:


Yeah. I left out the part about the persistent drought issues when Texas and the sections of the mid-west have been parched for months. I could be wrong but I suspect that a "slow" snow melt (and the accompanying river flooding over a period of weeks) is better than a one time rain/flash flood event in terms of agriculture issues. Either way, with a lack of appreciable snow melt, I do not know where the water is going to come from for them over the next several months.


The problem is the rain that TX & OK have been getting hasn't made it much farther north. Which your right where is their water going to come from as we enter summer as they don't have the luxury of daily afternoon summer thunderstorms as we do across the SE US.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
703. weathermanwannabe
12:27 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting StormTracker2K:


The problem is the northern plains haven't seen nearly as much. Infact many places have seen no rain in WEEKS across the upper Midwest. Not a good scenario starting to play out as a very serious drought can be expected over the coming months.





Yeah. I left out the part about the persistent drought issues when Texas and the sections of the mid-west have been parched for months. I could be wrong but I suspect that a "slow" snow melt (and the accompanying river flooding over a period of weeks) is better than a one time rain/flash flood event in terms of agriculture issues. Either way, with a lack of appreciable snow melt, I do not know where the water is going to come from for them over the next several months.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8822
702. StormTracker2K
12:24 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
SE US is in need of rain bad. Good news is that some is expected later this week & into the weekend. Our drought could get a little worse before getting better as the summer rains move in which hopefully is early this year.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
701. StormTracker2K
12:21 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Meanwhile the eastern half of TX should be out of the drought after this rain event.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
700. StormTracker2K
12:19 PM GMT on March 20, 2012
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Good Morning. Amazing turn of weather events for the mid-section of the US over the span of a few weeks. From the tornado outbreak a few weeks ago to flooding rain this week. Interesting to note that it was a point of interest a few weeks ago that the lack of snow melt would not cause the usual Spring flooding issues but now we get copious amounts of rain from a weather system.


The problem is the northern plains haven't seen nearly as much. Infact many places have seen no rain in WEEKS across the upper Midwest. Not a good scenario starting to play out as a very serious drought can be expected over the coming months.



Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651

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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.