Extreme 111° heat hits Texas; floods kill 9 in Haiti

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:25 PM GMT on April 26, 2012

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Another round of unprecedented April heat hit the U.S. yesterday, and this time it was Texas' turn to see large sections of the state with the hottest April temperatures in over a century of record keeping. Seven major airports in Texas set all-time April high temperatures yesterday:

Amarillo, TX: 99° (old April record 98° on 4/22/1989 and 4/22/1965)
Lubbock, TX: 101° (old April record 100° on 4/16/1925 and /22/1989)
Dalhart, TX: 96° (old April record 94° on 4/22/1989)
Borger, TX: 99° (tied April record set on 4/22/1965)
Midland, TX: 104° (old April record 101° on 4/21/1989)
Abilene, TX: 104° (old April record 102° on 4/16/1925)
Childress, TX: 106° (old April record 102° on three occasions, most recently on 4/3/2011)

According to wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt, both Texas and Oklahoma came within 2°F of their all-time April state high temperature record yesterday. Altus, Oklahoma hit 104°, falling 2° short of the April state record of 106° set at the Magnum Research Station in 1972. In the Texas Mesonet, it hit 111° at Knox City 3NW, which is just 2° short of the Texas April state record of 113° set at Catarina in 1984. According to Mr. Burt, What is amazing is that Knox City is in the north-central part of the state, not down in the Rio Grande region like Catarina. The 111° would probably be pretty close to whatever the all-time hottest temp for ANY month might be in that location (probably around 115°). On Sunday this week, Nevada just missed setting their April state high temperature record, when the mercury hit 105° in Laughlin (April state record: 106° in 1989.)


Figure 1. At least 36 of the roughly 400 major U.S. cities that maintain automated weather sensors at their local airports (8%) have set or tied all-time April high temperature records so far this month. The records set yesterday in Texas are not yet in the database, and are not included on this map. Image taken from our new Record Extremes page.

Earlier this week, all-time record April heat hit large portions of Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming. At least 36 of the roughly 400 major U.S. cities that maintain automated weather sensors at their local airports (8%) have set or tied all-time April high temperature records so far this month; no all-time April cold records have been set. The U.S. has been on an extraordinary pace of setting high temperature records so far in 2012. During March 2012, an astonishing 32% of all the major airports in the U.S. set all-time March high temperature records. For the year-to-date, there have been 184 new all-time monthly high temperature records set at the major airports, and 6 all-time monthly low temperature records. Not surprisingly, the period January - March this year has been the warmest such period in the U.S. since record keeping began in 1895.



Figure 2. Total precipitable water (in mm) for this morning shows a surge of moisture moving westwards though the Caribbean. Precipitable water values in excess of 51 mm (2 inches, orange colors) are capable of generating heavy flooding rains. Image credit: University of Wisconsin CIMSS.

Heavy rains kill nine in Haiti
The rainy season has begun on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, where heavy rains that began on Monday have triggered mudslides and floods that killed nine people. Nearly 500,000 people are still homeless in Haiti from the January 2010 earthquake, making the country highly vulnerable to flooding disasters. Heavy flooding was also a problem this week in the neighboring Dominican Republic, where 11,000 people were evacuated; no deaths were reported there, however. Precipitation forecasts from the GFS model suggest that the worst is over for Hispaniola, with the axis of greatest moisture expected to move west of the island today. This surge of moisture will bring heavy rains to Jamaica, Cuba, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and South Florida during the remainder of the week.

Jeff Masters

I'll have another cup please (BigJohnsSalsa)
Gonna be a good day
I'll have another cup please

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I'm assuming this trough is what they referred to as a tropical wave?


SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
1031 PM EDT THU APR 26 2012

.SYNOPSIS...A RIDGE EXTENDING ALONG 27N WILL LIFT N TO THE
NORTHERN GULF COAST BY LATE FRI BEFORE BUILDING OVER THE
SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES SAT THROUGH TUE. A TROUGH WILL MOVE INTO
THE STRAITS OF FLORIDA LATE SAT THROUGH SUN...INTO THE SE GULF
MON...AND INTO THE S CENTRAL GULF TUE.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 253
Great point, this TS didn't provide needed rains it fanned the flames, that point had escaped me until you mentioned it. I remember now that happened. How long before West Texas becomes a desert? Good thing ye Texans are a tough lot.
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Ummmmm???? What tropical wave? First I've heard of it but I hope it does make it this far.

NO SIGNIFICANT FRONTAL SYSTEMS OR UPPER AIR DISTURBANCES ARE
EXPECTED TO AFFECT THE REGION AS THE UPPER AIR PATTERN WILL REMAIN
FAIRLY ZONAL ACROSS THE S U.S. AS A RESULT...NOT MUCH CHANGES
EXPECTED THE NEXT FEW DAYS. NO PRECIP EXPECTED AS FAIRLY
SIGNIFICANT INVERSION AND DRY AIR FROM 850-700MB REMAINS OVER THE
REGION THROUGH THE WEEKEND. THIS BEGINS TO ERODE SOMEWHAT BY
MON...AS A WEAK SYSTEM WITH LIMITED MOISTURE APPROACHES THE
REGION FROM THE WEST. FOR THIS...LEFT INHERITED 20% FOR MON. RIDGE
REBUILDS STRONG AGAIN TUE. BY WED...MOISTURE FROM A TROPICAL WAVE
MAY AFFECT THE REGION...NOT SURE IF IT WILL MAKE IT THIS FAR WEST
THOUGH.
OTHERWISE...AFTERNOON TEMPS IN THE MID/UPPER 80S...AND
LOWS IN THE UPPER 60S/NEAR 70 CAN BE EXPECTED THROUGH NEXT THU.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 253
Quoting Tribucanes:
At home n Texas, so sorry to hear your in for a repeat of last year. When TS Don hit last year and immediately evaporated I was very concerned. NOAA reported this was the fastest dissipation of a TS ever. Other ones that came close were ones that went over mountainous regions. It was crazy to watch it dissipate so instantly. We can hope for a pattern change, but I think we both know that is highly unlikely. Good luck and God speed, your going to need it.


Thank you. I hope something changes from last year. We in east Tx have had an insane amount of rain and it surprised me too when I read about the fires. But farther west they haven't had near the rain we've had or none. I can't imagine another summer like that. The demise of Don was pretty amazing. And the ridge knocked all the moisture out of Lee's west side but his winds just fanned the flames. A repeat's a pretty scary thought.
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381. MTWX
My blog covering the 1 year anniversary of the April 27th outbreak. Enjoy and with that goodnight all!
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At home n Texas, so sorry to hear your in for a repeat of last year. When TS Don hit last year and immediately evaporated I was very concerned. NOAA reported this was the fastest dissipation of a TS ever. Other ones that came close were ones that went over mountainous regions. It was crazy to watch it dissipate so instantly. We can hope for a pattern change, but I think we both know that is highly unlikely. Good luck and God speed, your going to need it.
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Can't slap the smile off my face either. ;D

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Russian Gov’t Radio: “The number of victims has reached one million people today” — Consequences of Chernobyl meltdown are endless and uncontrollable

Chernobyl tragedy: the last “gift” from the Soviet regime
Source: Voice of Russia
Author: Dmitry Konchalovsky
Date: Apr 26, 2012

Exactly 26 years ago there was an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Whole regions in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus have become unfit for life, and the number of victims has reached one million people today. And experts are still disputing about long-term consequences of the disaster.

[...] its consequences are endless and uncontrollable, and it is impossible to count the exact number of victims. Scientists are still arguing if the number of one million deaths is valid, but when such big numbers are taken into account, the one thing is absolutely clear – things are in a bad way. Besides, no one can count how many babies could not be born, and on the lives of how many subsequent generations this disaster will tell in the form of cancer.
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Henderson County NC had hail over 1 inch diameter on April 26, about 9 pm. Some of it landed on my deck, and several pieces were larger than quarters. Some hailstones were smooth, like marbles, and others were spiky, like a sea urchin. They were the largest hailstones I have ever seen first hand.
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Well crap! Dejavu all over again. :(


Six forest fires break out in Kountze




The Kountze Volunteer Fire Department says they have contained six forest fires that broke out Thursday.

The fire department believes sparks from a passing train may have caused the fire because the fires were spread for miles along train tracks.

It was difficult for firefighters to get to the fire because winds pushed the fires deep into the woods.

The fire trucks couldn't get to the flames so firefighters had to call in reinforcements.

What began as a small brush fire grew rapidly into a forest fire.

According to Kountze Volunteer Fire Department, six fires lined this train track for miles causing them to believe sparks from a passing train caused the blaze.

"I was not expecting this at all. We've had a lot of rain. Evidently we haven't had enough," Kountze Fire Chief Jeff Lacomb said.

25 mile per hour wind gusts pushed the fires deep into the forest beyond brush and trees causing trouble for firefighters.

"Fire units can't get close to it right now," Chief Lacomb said.

Kountze Fire Department called for back up by land and by air. Texas Forest Service provided a birds eye view so firefighters could have a better idea of what they were dealing with.

"They're scattered from the high school basically to Honey Island. They're roughly 4, 5, 6 miles apart," Chief Lacomb said.

The fire department brought in dozers to make plow lines around the fires.

Sour Lake Fire Department joined the cause with a brush truck used to extinguish spot fires.

Chief Lacomb calls Thursday's fires a reminder of what he may be in for this year.

"If I remember correctly it started about this time last year in our area. So I'm not looking forward to the rest of the year.

No homes were evacuated and no injuries have been reported.

Chief Lacomb says keep brush piles small if you burn any, plow dirt around the fire, and keep a water hose handy.

Thursday's fire is proof that flames can still spread despite an early rain season.

Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 253
Wow the Tuscaloosa video is amazing. They had so much time to vacate the area. Unless they were able to get underground they had no chance at survival. In a situation such as this, with the time they had; driving away from this was the only way to survive if not underground or in tornado safe room. Next time hopefully they will suggest driving away from this impending death. I'm not advocating running from a tornado in a car when it's on you, but when you have 15-35 minutes warning and no underground shelter they (the people of Tuscaloosa) should have been encouraged to go to a place of sure survival or drive away. In an F4-F5 how people die is they and the entire structure they are in are sucked into the funnel. Death comes from getting struck by objects in the funnel. When I was a young boy, in Wilson N.C. my neighborhood was hit by a tornado. My bed was right beside the window, I awoke to my window shattering. My family rushed to the center hallway. A sound I'll never forget came on us, and the roof was torn away. We were fortunate that day, and my intrigue with nature was born.
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The Irvine City Council voted Tuesday night to send a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission opposing the San Onofre nuclear plant. [...] More than 200 people packed the council chambers for a public hearing [...]

The letter opposes the relicensing of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and highlights other concerns over the plants operation. [...]

Arnie Gundersen came from Vermont to testify. Hes a former nuclear engineer who says plant operator, Southern California Edison, made design changes which caused the current problems. Its the beginning of a movement nationwide to tell the NRC that business as usual just isnt good enough anymore, Gundersen said. [...]

Councilman Larry Agran says hes worried about public safety should something disastrous happen at the nuclear plant. So if we dont speak up about that and take those responsibilities seriously, we might as well give up on local government, he said.
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More 'grolar' bears spotted in N.W.T.

26/04/2012 2:14:11 PM

CBC News
The 'grolar' bear - a mix between a grizzly and a polar bear - has been spotted once again near Ulukhaktok, N.W.T.


The sightings are becoming more common - the last one was shot near the community in 2010, and another was found in 2006.

Robert Kuptana, who lives in the Arctic hamlet of about 400 people, said a family of three bears was recently hunted by someone in the community.
"One is pure white, which is the mother, and there's one with fairly dark fur on it and another one, too, is fairly white but you look at the legs and they're brown, so it's a very different being," said Kuptana.

Kuptana said grizzly bears, which are a species not natural to the area, are increasing in numbers near Ulukhaktok.

He said ever since the caribou have been travelling a different route along the mainland, the grizzlies have been following the herds and mating with polar bears.

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Expedition 30 Crew Returning Home Friday

The six astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station packed cargo and shifted their sleep schedule Thursday as three Expedition 30 crew members prepare to return to Earth early Friday after five and a half months in space.

Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, who arrived at the orbiting complex on Nov. 16, are set to undock in their Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft at 4:18 a.m. EDT Friday for a landing in the steppe of Kazakhstan at 7:45 a.m.
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What's up everyone...did a special (but brief) tropical update this morning b/c of activity in the Caribbean.

Basically am waiting for if/when the upper flow over the disturbance becomes more anticyclonic (which would reduce shear/enhance outflow). This would happen if the latent heat release of the thunderstorms was enough to build a vertical warm core.

So far the latest 200 mb wind barbs don't suggest this is happening...so I am not impressed yet in terms of tropical development...

But man talk about the heavy rains. I wonder how much has fallen in Jamiaca and eastern Cuba today.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I'm not going to disagree with you guys on your hunch about this hurricane season bc I think both of you have been around a decade or so longer than I have and therefore you have a better idea (presumably) about how the season is going to turn out. But, what makes you guys think this year is going to be active?


Analog year 2002..,for me.


Tendency for the Western Caribbean and GOM to breed and support Hurricanes.


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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Well, I had made my own loop for the Caribbean region specifically, I didn't find it off the site.

Thanks for posting that as the GIF maker wasn't cooperating with me. =P


Here is the link to the loops.

Link
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Quoting Patrap:




I'm with ya on that.


I'm not going to disagree with you guys on your hunch about this hurricane season bc I think both of you have been around a decade or so longer than I have and therefore you have a better idea (presumably) about how the season is going to turn out. But, what makes you guys think this year is going to be active?
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3634
Quoting kmanislander:


Luv that song LOL.

Could be a long season with conditions becoming relatively active this early.


I'm thinking an early start, followed by an early end (something like 2002).
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Tx13, I found the Pacific loop. This is from January 5th to April 26th 2012.



Well, I had made my own loop for the Caribbean region specifically, I didn't find it off the site.

Thanks for posting that as the GIF maker wasn't cooperating with me. =P
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Tx13, I found the Pacific loop. This is from January 5th to April 26th 2012.


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Quoting kmanislander:


Luv that song LOL.

Could be a long season with conditions becoming relatively active this early.




I'm with ya on that.


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Quoting Patrap:


Hiya Kman,


Once mo, into the "Season" we shall go.



Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into da fucha'...


Luv that song LOL.

Could be a long season with conditions becoming relatively active this early.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Hi Pat,

Another year on the blog up and running in April would you believe !.


Hiya Kman,


Once mo, into the "Season" we shall go.



Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping, into da fucha'...
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Quoting Patrap:


Hi Pat,

Another year on the blog up and running in April would you believe !.
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Large Image

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Quoting hydrus:
SPoRT’s AWIPS II team in collaboration with our partners at the Huntsville National Weather Service are preparing SPoRT data for the next generation of the Weather Service’s decision support software. One such success is a plug-in to display total lightning data. This example image shows the source density product from the North Alabama Lightning Mapping Array (NALMA) overlaid on the radar data from the Hytop, AL doppler radar. Note the intense lightning activity in the center cell, whereas some other strong radar signatures have no lightning observed. (Image from 24 October 2010)


That is the kind of stuff that get's me excited! lol
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Wikipedia article on hail spikes.

"Generally known as hail spikes, these are the result of energy from the radar hitting hail, or very heavy rain, and being deflected to the ground, where they deflect back to the hail and then to the radar as in the image on the left."
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Quoting stormpetrol:


Hi, my wife and I just got a good soaking trying to get our groceries in the car at Fosters, no use waiting for this rain to hold up a bit. The only thing I see holding back potential development in the SW caribbean is 40-60 knots of shear!


Agreed, though shear has slackened a bit in the central Caribbean of late. May will be here on Monday so after that anything could happen.
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Le hour 204 GFS... Weak TS in the Bahamas...
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3477
Quoting kmanislander:


Hi there

Some great rain this evening and a surface low to the South stirring things up. Last year was very dry all the way into the mid part of the year as I recall, quite unlike this year which has been wet early.Whether this means anything in terms of how different this season may be from the last remains to be seen.

Looks like the MJO could kick start something in the not too distant future if upper level conditions cooperate.





Hi, my wife and I just got a good soaking trying to get our groceries in the car at Fosters, no use waiting for this rain to hold up a bit. The only thing I see holding back potential development in the SW caribbean is 40-60 knots of shear!
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Quoting stormpetrol:


strange to see this in late April.

Yea it is...maybe we'll have an early storm
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News about a study using lightning and phased-array radar data for a thunderstorm.

"Though total lightning flash rates are expected to increase as storm updrafts intensify, in this case a short-lived decrease in total lightning flash rate (upper-left) was observed during the simultaneous development of an updraft surge."
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Quoting stormpetrol:


Hi there

Some great rain this evening and a surface low to the South stirring things up. Last year was very dry all the way into the mid part of the year as I recall, quite unlike this year which has been wet early.Whether this means anything in terms of how different this season may be from the last remains to be seen.

Looks like the MJO could kick start something in the not too distant future if upper level conditions cooperate.



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strange to see this in late April.
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The Gulf cooled due to the strong trof of low pressure that just moved through last weekend.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3634
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

What's with everything, especially the Gulf, getting colder in the last couple frames?

There's been a lot of wind across the Gulf of Mexico lately with that last low pressure area. That probably cooled it off.

Quoting weatherh98:


What's the pressure from the pacific high

Honestly, I have no clue.

Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Do you have the Pacific loop to see how it cools a little bit?

Just a second..
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Shew it was just stormin pretty bad here in SE PA no hail just thunder, lightning and ALOT of rain
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Ha.



I must admit, I'm hoping this happens and it has a fair shot as the possible upward MJO phase comes through the basin. However, it will be very short lived. We need consistency, as from what I see no other models are predicting anything to form in 8 days other than the GFS. If this where to happen though, however unlikely, it would be remarkable to see, as it could be easily a 65 mph cyclone according to the GFS and it is defiantly a purely tropical system. However, the natural climatological norms are against it, such as the 100 knot shear values over Cuba that would have to die down to around 20, which to me is improbable. It would have to get lucky with an anticyclone.

I am highly skeptical, but it would be interesting to be proved wrong in this case.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Do you have the Pacific loop to see how it cools a little bit?
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supercooled water video (with bonus Darth Vader imitation)

video with music
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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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