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:


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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Quoting KoritheMan:
Can anybody say... doom?



Probably not doom, but inconvenience,
Quoting KoritheMan:
Can anybody say... doom?



Maybe not doom, but noise, inconvenience, no power or water, no air conditioning in a heat wave.... I need to stop complaining, at least we will get some rain. Many are wishing for that tonight. We really are complacent in the mid-Atlantic, as we don't often see severe storms so we tend not to handle them very well. The town I work in did not lose power this weekend, but we did lose internet service so businesses were unable to process debit and credit cards. I was surprised at the number of people who came 50 miles into Romney to get gas and supplies, then have to move on because they didn't have cash. I kept thinking "they need to read the checklists for hurricane preparedness on Wunderground! "

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Global Change Observation Mission 1st - Water "SHIZUKU" (GCOM-W1) Inserted into A-Train Orbit
July 2, 2012 (JST)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Press Release July 2, 2012 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Global Change Observation Mission 1st - Water "SHIZUKU" (GCOM-W1) Inserted into A-Train Orbit The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed that the Global Change Observation Mission 1st - Water "SHIZUKU" (GCOM-W1) was inserted into a planned position on the A-Train orbit as a result of orbit control performed on June 29, 2012. The SHIZUKU was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center at 1:39 p.m. on May 18, 2012.

The SHIZUKU is flying in front of the Aqua satellite, thus it takes the most front position in the A-Train until another National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) satellite, OCO-2 (USA) joins the constellation.

We have received a welcome message from Dr. Michael Freilich, Earth Science Division Director, of the NASA, as follows: "We are pleased to welcome JAXA and SHIZUKU as a member of the international A-Train constellation. The merging and sharing of data from multiple A-Train satellites has already led to significant advances in atmospheric science, and the addition of the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) dataset will be an important extension of the A-Train's scientific capabilities."

.........
GCOM-W carries the AMSR2 (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2), an instrument to observe water-related targets such as precipitation, water vapor, sea surface wind speed, sea surface temperature, soil moisture, and snow depth.
http://www.jaxa.jp/countdown/f21/overview/shizuku _e.html


.........

I hope this means we may have another "SCAT" type of data available

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Quoting tropicfreak:


I wonder how he held himself together throughout the whole thing.
That's what I want to know. I don't think I could do it. XD
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Quoting hahaguy:


Sounds about right.


Evening, Brian. Good to see a familiar face. I hope you are doing well.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Not sure if this has been posted yet, so I'll post it again. I found it funny.



Haha that's Aaron Justus from CBS 6 in Richmond VA. I actually know him personally and he never takes himself too seriously. He does have a sense of humor but a great meteorologist. He did this the last day of working at that station last summer. He now lives in San Diego.

I wonder how he held himself together throughout the whole thing.
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1099. hahaguy
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Marvin.


Sounds about right.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Marvin.


Chuck Norris
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Reminds me of Friday... The mets were saying they thought it would weaken but then it didn't...


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.
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Quoting allancalderini:
OMG that would truly be an epic disaster. which name did you put to that storm ?

Marvin.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31547
Quoting RTSplayer:
Fema would be like, "Sorry folks, move to Alaska...that's where we're going."


Funny thing is, that would probably actually happen.
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Fema would be like, "Sorry folks, move to Alaska...that's where we're going."
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Doom.

OMG that would truly be an epic disaster. which name did you put to that storm ?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

If that storm came to fruition, it would probably be higher than that.

Oh! Yeah it would! O_O
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Doom.



Semi-realistic scenario circa 2100 after a few degrees worth of AGW...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

If that storm came to fruition, it would probably be higher than that.


WAY higher.
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Quoting Ameister12:

1.7 trillion dollars in damage? Holy @!*%!

If that storm came to fruition, it would probably be higher than that.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31547
1088. Skyepony (Mod)
Three killed already in that NC storm.
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Man what the heck?

Are we going to get ANOTHER land-cane move off shore and become tropical over the next few days?

Hard to imagine the mass of convection moving through Georgia and the Carolinas NOT holding together over land and water.

Speaking of which, it's approaching the flood zones from Florida's experience with Debby, and has isolated 3 and 4 inch per hour rainfall rates...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Doom.


1.7 trillion dollars in damage? Holy @!*%!
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Quoting washingtonian115:
When it comes to disasters like this as a community we have to pull together.That's what makes us better in the future.Americans have always pulled together in these types of situations.It's the american spirit.


If I get an opportunity to chase a major hurricane this year (Debby sucked), I will make sure to help the victims in any way I can. I think I'd go home feeling guilty otherwise.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Imagine the ACE such a storm would have.

103.76 units.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31547
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Doom.



Imagine the ACE such a storm would have.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


How considerate of you. :)
When it comes to disasters like this as a community we have to pull together.That's what makes us better in the future.Americans have always pulled together in these types of situations.It's the american spirit.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16439
It's Grothar's bday?

Happy... how many does this make? Is three trillion a fair estimate?
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Quoting KoritheMan:
Can anybody say... doom?


Doom.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31547
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Happy Birthday Gro...



*lol* Good one Geoffrey....and a Happy b'day to you, Grothar!!

Other than two 50-drop showers today, my mango tree is dropping more fruit than water.

We could really handle some decent rain over here.

Lindy
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Me and hubby have been busy all afternoon long.We've taken some neighbors that don't have power to cooling centers(Lucky I have a van).Hopefully power is restored to them soon.


How considerate of you. :)
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1076. Skyepony (Mod)
That's big hail...
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Me and hubby have been busy all afternoon long.We've taken some neighbors that don't have power to cooling centers(Lucky I have a van).Hopefully power is restored to them soon.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16439
1074. jpritch
Hail from a couple of hours ago in Chillicothe, Ohio.
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It looks weaker, but Friday's did too for a while. I'll be watching it as it goes over the mountains.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
Can anybody say... doom?


Nope. Nobody can.
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Can anybody say... doom?

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Quoting goosegirl1:


Unfortunately, that's for tonight, after midnight. Here it comes again: (
Wha?.Noooooooooo.People can't go through this again.Nature..I'm starting to hate you...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16439
Quoting goosegirl1:


Unfortunately, that's for tonight, after midnight. Here it comes again: (


Sorry, forgot to say check on noaa.gov severe storm page to get more info.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Does anybody know what date that is for the server weather event in comment 1037.


Unfortunately, that's for tonight, after midnight. Here it comes again: (
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Does anybody know what date that is for the server weather event in comment 1037.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16439
Quoting WxGeekVA:


Uh Oh Not Good... Just west of where I live too...






I'm right in the middle, hoping for the best. They don't look quite as bad as Friday's storms. I just read a report of a confirmed downburst 30 yards wide and one mile wide, with winds at 100 mph near Reedsville WV. We really don't need a repeat.
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Quoting DataPilot:


That's an AWESOME pickup line. It would have worked on me! (I'm a girl-geek.) @WxGeekVA, give it a shot.

Here in Eugene, Oregon, we have 68F and yet more drizzle. That's rotten weather for making hay, which I badly need. But after reading about the heat and storms back East, I'm not kvetching about the drizzle. Besides, cool temps and a little drizzle are not bad for the Track and Field Olympic Trials, which are finishing up right now.


Kvetching? Seriously?

*slow clap*
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Quoting AussieStorm:

speaking from experience?
When you coming to pick up this 1.125L of Jim Beam Black, it won't drink itself.


soon...pinned down at the moment by horrile lightening
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Quoting aspectre:
995 WxGeekVA: ...this girl I met at weather camp last year at Penn State. I wish she didn't live halfway across the country...
1011 WxGeekVA: I'm going out stormchasing next spring there, so I want to hang with her then. I hope it works out, I like everything about her. Sucks I only got to hang for a week last time.

Just remember, "Brains. I want your brains. Brains..." ain't a good pickup line.


That's an AWESOME pickup line. It would have worked on me! (I'm a girl-geek.) @WxGeekVA, give it a shot.

Here in Eugene, Oregon, we have 68F and yet more drizzle. That's rotten weather for making hay, which I badly need. But after reading about the heat and storms back East, I'm not kvetching about the drizzle. Besides, cool temps and a little drizzle are not bad for the Track and Field Olympic Trials, which are finishing up right now.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

other than cold, drinking a cuppa tea, also looking after 3 kids as it's school holidays and dealing with to many health problems, I'm 100% perfect.

How are you?

Health problems? That's fantastic (sarcasm). Well, It's been extremely hot and the rain we got today and Friday isn't helping, so I've been cooped up in my house all week and I'm bored. Typical summer in Ohio.
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Quoting presslord:

and remember: whenever you see a really hot girl...some guy somewhere is just sick of her crap

speaking from experience?
When you coming to pick up this 1.125L of Jim Beam Black, it won't drink itself.
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Quoting aspectre:
995 WxGeekVA: ...this girl I met at weather camp last year at Penn State. I wish she didn't live halfway across the country...
1011 WxGeekVA: I'm going out stormchasing next spring there, so I want to hang with her then. I hope it works out, I like everything about her. Sucks I only got to hang for a week last time.

Just remember, "Brains. I want your brains. Brains..." ain't a good pickup line.
and remember: whenever you see a really hot girl...some guy somewhere is just sick of her crap
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Not sure if this has been posted yet, so I'll post it again. I found it funny.



I'm going to guess 634/49 for Wednesday. The GFS Ensembles agree with me.
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Quoting aspectre:
995 WxGeekVA: ...this girl I met at weather camp last year at Penn State. I wish she didn't live halfway across the country...
1011 WxGeekVA: I'm going out stormchasing next spring there, so I want to hang with her then. I hope it works out, I like everything about her. Sucks I only got to hang for a week last time.

Just remember, "Brains. I want your brains. Brains..." ain't a good pickup line.


Unless you're a zombie.. and I think I see what you did there...
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Quoting Ameister12:

Hey, Aussie. How you doing?

other than cold, drinking a cuppa tea, also looking after 3 kids as it's school holidays and dealing with to many health problems, I'm 100% perfect.

How are you?
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Not sure if this has been posted yet, so I'll post it again. I found it funny.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31547

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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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