Extreme storms and extreme heat hit the U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:50 PM GMT on June 30, 2012

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A violent line of organized severe thunderstorms called a derecho swept across the U.S. from Illinois to Virginia on Friday, damaging houses, toppling trees, bringing down power lines. The storms killed six people in Virginia, two in New Jersey, and one in Maryland, and left at least 3.4 million people without power. The thunderstorms in a derecho (from the Spanish phrase for "straight ahead") create violent winds that blow in a straight line. The traditional definition of a derecho is a thunderstorm complex that produces a damaging wind swath of at least 240 miles (about 400 km), featuring a concentrated area of thunderstorm wind gusts exceeding 58 mph (93 km/hr.) A warm weather phenomenon, derechos occur mostly in summer, especially June and July in the Northern Hemisphere. They can occur at any time of the year and occur as frequently at night as in the daylight hours. As seen on our wundermap with the "go back in time" feature turned on, Friday's derecho began near Chicago in the early afternoon, then marched east-southeast, peaking in intensity over Virginia and Washington D.C. on Friday evening. The derecho was unusually intense due to the extreme heat, which helped create an unstable atmosphere with plenty of energy to fuel severe thunderstorms.


Figure 1. Radar image from our wundermap with the "go back in time" feature turned on for 11 pm EDT Friday June 29, 2012, showing the derecho over Washington D.C. and Baltimore. Click on the "hour" button above the wundermap to advance the time by one hour to watch the progress of the derecho across the country.


Figure 2. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) logged 871 reports of damaging winds on Friday. Twenty one of these reports were for winds over 80 mph. The highest wind gust was in Oswego, Illinois: 92 mph.



Figure 3. A dramatic change in the weather in Buckeye land: the temperature at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio dropped from 97°F to 68° after passage of Friday's derecho. The storm brought a wind gust of 82 mph to campus, and 0.86" of rain.

Historic heat wave topples Dust Bowl-era extreme heat records
A historic heat wave on a scale and intensity not seen in the U.S. since the great heat waves of the 1930s Dust Bowl era set new all-time heat records for at least ten major cities Friday. According to wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt, fifteen of the 303 major cities he maintains records for on the wunderground extremes page have set all-time heat records in the past four days. The only year with more all-time heat records is 1936, when 61 cities set all-time heat records. In 2011, which had the 2nd warmest summer in U.S. history, only ten of the 303 cities set all-time heat records during the entire summer. With the the hottest month of the year (July) still to come, 2012 threatens to rival the great Dust Bowl summer of 1936 for extreme heat.

All-time records for any date tied or broken on Friday:

109° Nashville, TN (old record 107° 7/28/1952
109° Columbia, SC (old record 107° on two previous occasions)
109° Cairo, IL (old record 106° on 8/9/1930)
108° Paducah, KY (ties same on 7/17/1942
106° Chattanooga, TN (ties same on 7/28/1952)
105° Raleigh, NC (ties same on 8/21/2007 and 8/18/1988)
105° Greenville, SC (old record 104° 8/10/2007 although 106° was recorded by the Signal Service in July 1887)
104° Charlotte, NC (ties same on 8/9 and 10/2007 and 9/6/1954)
102° Bristol, TN (ties same on 7/28/1952-this site now known as `Tri-State Airport')
109° Athens, GA. This is just 1° shy of the Georgia state record for June of 110° set at Warrenton in 1959.

All-time state June heat records set Friday:

113° Smyrna, TN (old record 110° in Etowah in June 1936)
109° Cairo, IL (old record 108° in Palestine in June 1954)

Also of note: Atlanta, GA hit 104° (its all-time June record), and just 1° shy of its all-time record of 105° set on 7/17/1980. The forecast for Atlanta on Saturday calls for a high of 105°F, which would tie for the hottest day in the city's history.

Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has a new post called The Amazing June Heat Wave of 2012 Part 1: The West and Plains June 23 - 27 summarizing the early portion of this week's historic heat wave. He plans to make a follow-up post on Sunday summarizing the records set on Friday and Saturday.

Relatively quiet in the Atlantic
An area of heavy thunderstorms, associated with an upper level low pressure system, has developed in the Gulf of Mexico along the Texas coast. This disturbance will probably move ashore over Texas before development into a tropical depression can occur, and NHC is giving it a 0% chance of development. The tropical wave approaching the Lesser Antilles (Invest 97L) has dissipated due to dry air, and is no longer a threat. None of the reliable computer models are developing anything during the next seven days.

Jeff Masters

Chicago Shelf (LarrySmit)
Chicago Shelf
Summer Heat (gardner48197)
Summer Heat
Smokey Clouds (LarrySmit)
Asperatus Clouds
Smokey Clouds
And the Sky Opened Up! (webgal)
Much needed thunderstorms came through west-central Illinois late this evening. The lightning was absolutely incredible!
And the Sky Opened Up!

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Quoting WxGeekVA:


'tis another good one related to the heat and crazy storms.



I'm pretty sure Satan payed a visit to the Tampa Bay area last Sunday too. Heck we already had 6 or 7 tornadoes touch down in the area before the SPC finally sluggishly caught up and issued a tornado watch. Thankfully the NWS here did great and was all over the severe threat even though the SPC failed to see the event coming despite ridiculous helicity setting up over us Saturday night and Sunday morning. That was the first time I've ever came across freshly done tornado damage while driving around n the storm, only 2 miles from my house, crazy day indeed.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Tell me, do you even have an ounce of evidence that it is possible or is occurring, or do you at least have a decent argument? Common man, let me guess, they also have anti-gravity and light sabers too, or they are secretly planning to terraform mars?

Don't get sucked into that stuff...



Check here
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Quoting PedleyCA:


90's are OK, I can deal with those. It is all this other freak weather, flooding and Derechos. Just don't need all the destruction. I am glad we don't have any of that out on the West Coast.


Down here in Florida we don't really get much of what's known as a derecho, because it requires a large expanse of continental air mass, and a lot of cold air aloft atop a very hot surface, oh and strong winds above the surface too. Although I have seen a lot of severe thunderstorms do damage around here, we had an 80+ mph gust even last spring and another one a couple years ago in the summer that tore this area up pretty good, but they aren't widespread lines like a derecho.
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'tis another good one related to the heat and crazy storms.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3477
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Oh, so the government controls the weather?

Please enlighten me on why then they let a derecho badly damage parts of the Washington DC area.



They have to allow some damage to their area to not make it obvious, you know, the old self destruction excuse ;)
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Quoting RTSplayer:
1131:

Mighty convenient that this system covered the entire state of Georgia in moderate to heavy rains, just in time to bust the droughts, now isn't it?

Makes you think about whether our government's weather control experiments have become more successful than we'd been led to believe...

Perhaps "Debby" was meant to come here, but the system didn't have quite enough control...so now they sent a second attempt...
Normally I find your posts highly informative and logical. But now you're stooping to baseless conjecture? Seriously dude, you're better than this.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


No thanks, I'll take my 90's in Florida...


90's are OK, I can deal with those. It is all this other freak weather, flooding and Derechos. Just don't need all the destruction. I am glad we don't have any of that out on the West Coast.
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Anyway, the relevance of the HAARP facility was crucial to the Cold War and other "Regime Change" war situations.

If you can control the weather, at least partially, then you can plan and execute military strikes more effectively, particularly Navy and Air Force maneuvers, or if you get enough control, you could use the Weather itself as a weapon...eventually...

Other countries could be doing this stuff to US right now, for all we know...
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This is the last derecho the DC area had back in 2008, June 4th. I remember it because we lost power for 3 days and I got off from school because of it.

Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3477
I guess their thinking at the TWC is that they've been covering it most the day and it has calmed down quite a bit. Line moving into the Virginia and West Virginia hasn't been informed of this yet though. Almost 1000 reports again by the time this is done. Tomorrow going to be more, where's it going today watching. Hope if the Carolina's get a repeat it's not as strong as today's storms. Chicago straight line wind event topped out at ninety mph. No injuries reported, so that was lucky.
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Quoting RTSplayer:


1) My post implies only partial control.

2) The government doesn't care if a tree falls on grandma's house. They do care if a drought causes hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in damages to crops, livestock, reservoirs, or other economic assets. One billion saved > ten million lost, at least when only dollars matter.


Tell me, do you even have an ounce of evidence that it is possible or is occurring, or do you at least have a decent argument? Common man, let me guess, they also have anti-gravity and light sabers too, or they are secretly planning to terraform mars?

Don't get sucked into that stuff...
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Quoting kipperedherring:
It was a demonstration of power to show the station is fully operational...


That's no moon...

Quoting RTSplayer:


1) My post implies only partial control.

2) The government doesn't care if a tree falls on grandma's house. They do care if a drought causes hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in damages to crops, livestock, reservoirs, or other economic assets. One billion saved > ten million lost, at least when only dollars matter.


Well from what I can tell there is several tens of millions maybe 100 million dollars of damage in my county alone, so I'm guessing dollars are going to matter in this case. It might even have a chance of being a billion dollar disaster by the end of all of the cleanup.
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3477
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Oh, so the government controls the weather?

Please enlighten me on why then they let a derecho badly damage parts of the Washington DC area.


1) My post implies only partial control.

2) The government doesn't care if a tree falls on grandma's house. They do care if a drought causes hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in damages to crops, livestock, reservoirs, or other economic assets. One billion saved > ten million lost, at least when only dollars matter.

3) I believe the HAARP facility is known to operate at least one device that uses EM to try to modify the motions of high and low pressure systems, as do several other countries have such facilities, including Russia. They have been developing this technology for decades going back to the heart of the cold war.
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1142. 7544
hmmmm how far south can this mess go looks to be moving due south at a good clip anyone know
Link
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RTS your really on to something. The Weather Channel could run a little caption on the bottom. Severe Weather is going on somewhere, please look out your window for further updates. Enjoy your regularly scheduled programming.
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Quoting PedleyCA:


Bet a lot of people would line up for some of that weather right now.


No thanks, I'll take my 90's in Florida...
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Quoting RTSplayer:
1131:

Mighty convenient that this system covered the entire state of Georgia in moderate to heavy rains, just in time to bust the droughts, now isn't it?

Makes you think about whether our government's weather control experiments have become more successful than we'd been led to believe...

Perhaps "Debby" was meant to come here, but the system didn't have quite enough control...so now they sent a second attempt...


Oh, so the government controls the weather?

Please enlighten me on why then they let a derecho badly damage parts of the Washington DC area.

Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3477
Quoting KoritheMan:

There. Was that hard?


Not at all :) It's starting to thunder, so I may have need to say it again tonight.
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Quoting Jedkins01:



Balmy? That's downright cold...


Bet a lot of people would line up for some of that weather right now.
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Watching and waiting...
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3477
1131:

Mighty convenient that this system covered the entire state of Georgia in moderate to heavy rains, just in time to bust the droughts, now isn't it?

Makes you think about whether our government's weather control experiments have become more successful than we'd been led to believe...

Perhaps "Debby" was meant to come here, but the system didn't have quite enough control...so now they sent a second attempt...
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Quoting RTSplayer:


Semi-realistic scenario circa 2100 after a few degrees worth of AGW...


30 inch per hour rain rates, 1000 mph tornadoes and 500 mph hurricanes, 11.9 trillion volt lightning strikes that vaporize buildings...
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Yep, I'm here. A balmy 58.3°F after an overnight low of 39°F.



Balmy? That's downright cold...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Have you noticed there is no way to contact them?


Link
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if there's any "good" news about tonight's severe weather it's that most of it appears to be Derecho-style straight line winds, rather than tornadic, rotating cells.

I doubt that'll be any consolation to anyone who has a tree fall on their house or car.

this is pretty epic in Georgia and S. Carolina, and otherwise very widespread in other parts of the S.E states.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Chuck Norris

Nope, not worthy of my name. Not bad though.
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1126. nigel20
Quoting DDR:
Good evening nigel
i like the barbados radar more :)

Hey DDR...agreed.
here you go...

Quoting PedleyCA:


Hows your weather. Weather here is nice. between 61.0F and 87.3F

Hey Pedley...it is still pretty hot and dry in the eastern section of Jamaica though we had some light showers today, but it still wasn't enough to lift the water restrictions.
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8350

Quoting kipperedherring:
I hope you're right, I sincerely do. For me, I can't shake a feeling of strong foreboding about this whole thing...
Foreboding of what?
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Quoting RTSplayer:
I got the perfect alibi for the NHC's repeatedly busted forecast with Debby, although it doesn't apply to people such as myself and Levi who screwed up.


All NHC needs to do now is blame the Republicans and Tea Party in congress for cutting funding to the NWS.

They could say something like this:

"We weren't able to make the best forecast because we didn't have the funds to do the missions we would liked to do to collect the best data. This is all the Tea Party's fault."


or screw the euro in favor of the GFS physics upgrades ;)
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Quoting goosegirl1:


Ok, I'll try it... DOOOOOM!
There. Was that hard?
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Quoting RTSplayer:
Nevermind.

They aren't even covering the severe weather. They are too interested in the regularly scheduled programming.

"We are sorry, but if you want to know the weather, look outside. lol. We're a news and documentary show now." - spox...

Have you noticed there is no way to contact them?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
Nevermind.

They aren't even covering the severe weather. They are too interested in the regularly scheduled programming.

"We are sorry, but if you want to know the weather, look outside. lol. We're a news and documentary show now." - spox...
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Quoting nigel20:
Good evening everyone!

Antilles radar


Hows your weather. Weather here is nice. between 61.0F and 87.3F
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1118. DDR
Good evening nigel
i like the barbados radar more :)
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BRB.

I'm going to go see who's having a heart attack right now on TWC...
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1116. Skyepony (Mod)
The storms eventually caused 250,000 ComEd customers to lose power and more than 60 kayakers had to be rescued from the Chicago River. By 8:45 p.m., 155,000 customers were still without power.

Nearly 200 calls of fallen trees and branches poured into Chicago’s 911 center, along with 50 calls of downed wires and 35 street light outages.
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1115. nigel20
Good evening everyone!

Antilles radar
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8350
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
Quoting KoritheMan:

Aw come on. It's more fun to say doom and you know it! :|


Ok, I'll try it... DOOOOOM!
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I got the perfect alibi for the NHC's repeatedly busted forecast with Debby, although it doesn't apply to people such as myself and Levi who screwed up.


All NHC needs to do now is blame the Republicans and Tea Party in congress for cutting funding to the NWS.

They could say something like this:

"We weren't able to make the best forecast because we didn't have the funds to do the missions we would liked to do to collect the best data. This is all the Tea Party's fault."
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Quoting tropicfreak:


I wasn't really expecting it to weaken. Typically with storms that come from the west... they start off strong but when they pass over the mountains they significantly weaken but once they pass over the Blue Ridge and into the western Peidmont they being to reintensify and by the time they reach I-95 they may be severe. I was never expecting a weak line. I do not want to deal with another storm... done with it.


That's the normal pattern, but it's not all that uncommon for derechos to hold together thru the mountains, especially in late June/early July. This heat is helping provide fuel as well. Stay safe everyone, maybe this one will just bring some cool air and rain.
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Quoting kipperedherring:
What do you make of this Caicos? Also Koritheman, I believe we'll need your input here as well...
Sounds every bit positive. I'm all for scientific advancement.
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1108. hahaguy
Quoting KoritheMan:


Evening, Brian. Good to see a familiar face. I hope you are doing well.


Good to see you too Kori. All is well here.
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Quoting goosegirl1:


Probably not doom, but inconvenience,


Aw come on. It's more fun to say doom and you know it! :|
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Quoting KoritheMan:

That's what I want to know. I don't think I could do it. XD


I miss him as a met here in Central VA. The CBS 6 weather team has always been awesome! They aren't conservative but they aren't aggressive either with their forecasts.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Chuck Norris



It'd be so bad, they'd retire the letter from the alphabet.

"We shall never use any names beginning with 'anyletter' again."
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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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