Historic 2012 U.S. drought: 6th greatest on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 10:59 PM GMT on July 16, 2012

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The great drought of 2012 is upon us. The percentage area of the contiguous U.S. covered by moderate or greater drought increased to 56% by the end of June, and ranked as the sixth largest drought since U.S. weather records began in 1895, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in their monthly State of the Climate drought report on Monday. The last time more of the U.S. was in drought occurred in December 1956, with 58%. June 2012 ranked as the 10th greatest U.S. drought on record, when considering the percentage area of the U.S. in severe or greater drought (33%.)


Figure 1. June 2012 ranked in sixth place for the greatest percent area of the contiguous U.S. covered by moderate or greater drought, since record keeping began in 1895. Graphic created from data from NOAA's National Climatic Data Center.

The forecast: hot and dry with increasing drought
The great drought of 2012 is going to steadily worsen during the remainder of July. Recent runs of the global computer forecast models predict a continuation through the end of July of the large-scale jet stream patterns that have brought the U.S. its hot, dry summer weather. The most extreme heat will tend to be focused over the center portion of the county. That was certainly the case Monday, with temperatures near or in excess of 100° observed from South Dakota to Michigan. High temperatures near 100°F are expected in Chicago and Detroit on Tuesday, and over much of the Midwest.


Figure 2. Comparison of drought between June 2012 (top) and June 1988 (bottom) shows that drought conditions covered a similar proportion of the contiguous U.S., but the spatial patterns were different. The 2012 drought is especially intense over the Southwest U.S., but in 1988, this region experienced a very active summer monsoon season that kept the region moist. However, in 1988, the Northern Plains were much drier than in 2012. Image credit: NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory.

A multi-billion dollar drought disaster underway
Agronomists and drought experts are comparing the scale and intensity of the 2012 drought to the 1988 drought. With the forecast offering little optimism, the costs of the 2012 drought are certain to be many billions of dollars, and the disaster could be one of the top ten most expensive weather-related disasters in U.S. history. Droughts historically have been some of the costliest U.S. weather disasters. A four-year drought and locust plague from 1874 - 1877 cost $169 billion (2012 dollars), and was arguably the most expensive weather related disaster in U.S. history (see Jeffrey Lockwood's 2004 book, Locust.) The costs of the great Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s, which displaced 2.5 million people, are incalculable. The costs of government financial assistance alone were $13 billion in 2012 dollars (Warrick, 1980.) The 1988 drought cost $78 billion (2012 dollars), the second most expensive weather disaster since 1980, behind Hurricane Katrina.

The associated heat wave of the great drought of 2012 is also a major concern. The heat waves associated with the great droughts of 1980 and 1988 killed between 7,500 - 10,000 people, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. The heat waves of the 1930s are blamed for 5,000 deaths. The death toll from the 2012 heat wave is approaching 100, including 23 in Chicago, up to 19 in Wisconsin, 18 in Maryland, 17 in St. Louis, and 9 in Philadelphia. The toll will undoubtedly grow as more heat-related deaths are discovered, and as the heat continues.


Figure 3. The U.S. has seen twelve weather-related disasters costing at least $15 billion since 1980, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. Two of the top three most expensive disasters have been droughts.

Tornadoes kill one, injure ten in Poland
A series of rare tornadoes hit northern and western Poland over the weekend, killing one and injuring ten. At least 100 homes were destroyed, and one of the twisters measured 1 km (0.6 miles) in diameter. Tornadoes are quite rare in Poland. According to the publication, An updated estimate of tornado occurrence in Europe by Nikolai Dotzek (2003), Poland reports about two tornadoes per year, and probably has two more per year that are unreported. Thanks go to wunderground member beell for posting this link.


Video 1. Raw footage of the weekend tornadoes that hit Poland.

Jeff Masters

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There are now 156 days until the 2012 Winter Solstice
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Quoting pottery:

Sorry to say this, but...

GOOD !

:):))
Please don't be sorry..... Palm Beach county here....
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Quoting Minnemike:
that is correct, porcelain is non-conductive.

A mile of air would seem to be nonconductive but it does not matter.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5935
Seems to be a setup where storms will come from LA and into E and SE TX with the clock wise rotation of the ridge. We will be on the southern edge of this ridge and storms ride the ring of fire

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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Things dont look promising for Tropical Developments in the North Atlantic basin for the rest of July.


Sorry to say this, but...

GOOD !

:):))
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Quoting jeffs713:

Actually, that farmland is likely incredibly rich now, due to the silt and new soil dropped in by the flood. Remember, most of the Mississippi River valley is so fertile because of the periodic flooding.


The overwhelming majority of farmland along the Mississippi River did not flood. A system of levees in place that is maintained by local entities and overseen by the US Army Corps of Engineers greatly reduces the chance of this happening. It would take numerous levee breaches for large areas of farmland along the river to flood, and this did not occur last year.

Although the farmland derived much of its fertile quality from periodic flooding, this is not so much the case anymore. Farmer's typically use fertilizer and crop rotation strategies to sustain arable land.
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...DISCUSSION...

GULF OF MEXICO...
AN UPPER LEVEL CYCLONIC CIRCULATION OVER NE FLORIDA CONTINUES TO
DOMINATE THE ERN GULF THIS AFTERNOON...SUPPORTING A SURFACE
TROUGH ANALYZED FROM 30N83W TO 26N86W. THIS SYSTEM IS GENERATING
SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS FROM 25N-29N E OF 87W.
SIMILAR CONVECTION IS FOUND WITHIN 170 NM OFF THE WRN GULF COAST
FROM TAMPICO MEXICO TO MATAGORDA BAY TEXAS. THE ACTIVITY IN THIS
REGION IS ASSOCIATED TO A NARROW UPPER LEVEL TROUGH EXTENDING
ACROSS N-CENTRAL TEXAS TO NE MEXICO. SHORT RANGE COMPUTER MODELS
SUGGEST THE RAIN ACTIVITY OVER THE ERN GULF WILL BEGIN TO IMPACT
THE COASTAL WATERS OF MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA DURING THE NEXT 24
HOURS. FAIR WEATHER IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN CONSTANT ACROSS THE
REMAINDER OF THE GULF WITH A FEW SHOWERS/ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS
TRAVELING WEST ACROSS THE BAY OF CAMPECHE DURING THE FORECAST
PERIOD.

CARIBBEAN SEA...
A WEAK UPPER LEVEL CYCLONIC CIRCULATION IS NOTED OVER THE
YUCATAN CHANEL ON WATER VAPOR IMAGERY. THIS FEATURE IS HELPING
TO GENERATE A FEW SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE FAR NW
CARIBBEAN BASIN W OF 83W TO INLAND ACROSS THE YUCATAN PENINSULA
N OF 18N. TO THE E OF THIS AREA OF CONVECTION...A TROPICAL WAVE
MOVES ACROSS THE WATERS S OF CUBA AND W OF JAMAICA WITH VERY
LIMITED CONVECTION DUE TO SAHARAN DUST ALOFT IN THE VICINITY OF
THE WAVE NOTED ON METEOSAT-9. THE REMAINDER OF THE DISCUSSION
AREA IS UNDER FAIR WEATHER ASSOCIATED TO AN UPPER LEVEL ANTI
CYCLONE CENTERED OVER THE SW CARIBBEAN AND A DRY UPPER LEVEL
TROUGH E OF 72W. MODERATE TO FRESH EASTERLY TRADE WINDS ARE
OBSERVED ACROSS THE AREA WITH SOME STRONGER WINDS GUSTING TO
NEAR GALE FORCE CRITERIA OVER THE COASTAL WATERS NEAR COLOMBIA.
THE FAIR WEATHER OVER THE ERN CARIBBEAN IS FURTHER ENHANCED BY
SAHARAN DUST ALOFT NOTED ON METEOSAT-9.

ATLANTIC OCEAN...
AN UPPER LEVEL LOW IS CENTERED INLAND OVER THE FAR NE FLORIDA
PENINSULA CONTINUES TO GENERATE SCATTERED SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS N OF 25N W OF 75W INCLUDING THE NW BAHAMAS. AN
UPPER LEVEL ANTI-CYCLONE OVER THE ISLAND OF CONTINUES TO SUPPORT
A NEARLY STATIONARY 1021 MB HIGH AROUND 26N66W...EXPECTED TO
START DRIFTING N DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS. THE SOUTHERN
EXTENSION OF A WEAKENING SURFACE TROUGH AXIS ENTERS OUR REGION
FROM 32N52W TO 27N54W SUPPORTING A FEW ISOLATED SHOWERS IN THE
VICINITY OF A SURFACE TROUGH. THIS FEATURE IS EXPECTED TO
DISSIPATED OVER THE NEXT 6-9 HOURS. OTHERWISE...A LARGE AREA OF
HIGH PRESSURE DOMINATES THE REMAINDER OF THE ATLC DISCUSSION
AREA ANCHORED BY A 1031 MB HIGH CENTERED WELL E OF THE IBERIAN
PENINSULA NEAR 41N19W. THE WEATHER IN THIS REGION IS FURTHER
ENHANCED BY A LAYER SAHARAN DUST ALOFT NOTED ON METEOSAT-9 E OF
50W.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT
WWW.HURRICANES.GOV/MARINE

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36829
Quoting Neapolitan:
Now this one is a test:

BEGIN
HPC_ATCF
invest_al822012.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201207171925
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
TEST, AL, L, , , , , 82, 2012, TD, O, 2012071718, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL822012
AL, 82, 2012071700, , BEST, 0, 383N, 560W, 25, 1006, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 82, 2012071706, , BEST, 0, 387N, 557W, 25, 1006, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 82, 2012071712, , BEST, 0, 392N, 554W, 25, 1006, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 82, 2012071718, , BEST, 0, 398N, 552W, 25, 1006, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1008, 150, 0, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, TEST, D,
You passed
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Lot's of storms all around Florida.......Rumbling here in Palm Beach county... This is more important than the finals of the "Next Food Network Star" Or kinda close
..yes alot of storms today
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36829
Now this one is a test:

BEGIN
HPC_ATCF
invest_al822012.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201207171925
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
TEST, AL, L, , , , , 82, 2012, TD, O, 2012071718, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL822012
AL, 82, 2012071700, , BEST, 0, 383N, 560W, 25, 1006, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 82, 2012071706, , BEST, 0, 387N, 557W, 25, 1006, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 82, 2012071712, , BEST, 0, 392N, 554W, 25, 1006, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 82, 2012071718, , BEST, 0, 398N, 552W, 25, 1006, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1008, 150, 0, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, TEST, D,
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13455
Lot's of storms all around Florida.......Rumbling here in Palm Beach county... This is more important than the finals of the "Next Food Network Star" Or kinda close
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Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10965
Things dont look promising for Tropical Developments in the North Atlantic basin for the rest of July.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13992
Quoting guygee:


Look for the USGS and the Army Corps of Engineers online sites, they have historical data on river levels. The concept of "normal" really only applies for man-made or dredged channels, or for natural rivers on the scale of a couple of decades. A natural river will silt over in places, islands will form, and the course of the river will change over time. If the river flow is constrained by levees, then the "normal" levels tend to rise over time.


The USGS page indicates the percentiles as a function of discharge, not stage. As such, changes in river course and depth due to sedimentation and flood mitigation efforts should be accounted for in changes to the site's rating curve. It is stage that needs to be used with a grain of salt when comparing events from more than a few decades prior.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36829
Quoting islandgirls:


I'm lost. Where is this?


Middle of the Atlantic.

This really isn't even worth invest designation. It's just a cold-core low that doesn't have a chance to transition.

Might just be a test...who knows.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36829
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Quoting LargoFl:
...looks like Georgia is getting the storms also
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36829
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36829
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Pathetic.

That's all I have to say.

(They didn't event get the numbering right)



I'm lost. Where is this?
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I had to turn the lamp on over my computer...... It is 3:18 pm. and I cannot see without light... Must be something going on outside.
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Here's my new blog: POSSIBLE TROUBLE Link
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36829
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36829
alot of warnings out there folks,be aware of the weather around you, way too many warnings to post them all here..............................SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
FLC065-123-172000-
/O.NEW.KTAE.SV.W.0279.120717T1900Z-120717T2000Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
300 PM EDT TUE JUL 17 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TALLAHASSEE HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
SOUTHWESTERN JEFFERSON COUNTY IN FLORIDA...
WESTERN TAYLOR COUNTY IN FLORIDA...

* UNTIL 400 PM EDT

* AT 257 PM EDT...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS DETECTED A LINE OF
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THESE STORMS WERE LOCATED
ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM 21 MILES NORTHWEST OF PERRY TO
PERRY...AND MOVING SOUTH AT 15 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
FANLEW...HELLS HALF ACRE...ECONFINA...SCANLON...ADAMS BEACH AND
DEKLE BEACH.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS IS A DANGEROUS STORM. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH...PREPARE
IMMEDIATELY. PEOPLE OUTSIDE SHOULD MOVE INSIDE A STRONG BUILDING BUT
AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

CONTINUOUS CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING IS OCCURRING WITH THIS STORM.
LIGHTNING IS ONE OF NATURES NUMBER ONE KILLERS. REMEMBER...IF YOU
CAN HEAR THUNDER...YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO BE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36829
Quoting spathy:
Arggggg
Please remind me not to liken one blogger to another.
I hate to be so self absorbed but thats creepy.
Oh wait!
Please Say Later Cause Vacationing!

Is that you farking with my head?
spathy.Had no idea what you just said, BUT , as I say to my children...You are absolutely correct
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Sunspot 1520 is saying goodbye this afternoon... It produced a long duration M 1.8 flare and a massive CME which thankfully appears to be mostly aimed away from Earth... Proton levels jumped though and a minor radiation storm is occurring...



You can see the video of the blast here.

This is the same region that produced the X class flare and CME which caused a brilliant northern lights display farther south than usual.
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FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
251 PM EDT TUE JUL 17 2012

A RIVER FLOOD WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR...THE CYPRESS CREEK
AT WORTHINGTON GARDENS.

THUNDERSTORMS WITH HEAVY RAIN FELL OVER THE CYPRESS CREEK THIS AFTERNOON
AND BROUGHT THE WATER LEVELS UP TO FLOOD STAGE. MINOR FLOODING IS
EXPECTED FOR THIS AFTERNOON. BY THIS EVENING THE WATER LEVEL IS EXPECTED
FALL BELOW FLOOD STAGE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

DO NOT DRIVE CARS THROUGH FLOODED AREAS...

STAY TUNED TO DEVELOPMENTS BY LISTENING TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO.

&&

FLC101-180400-
/O.NEW.KTBW.FL.W.0020.120717T1902Z-120718T0400Z/
/WRGF1.1.ER.120717T1902Z.120717T2000Z.120717T2200 Z.NO/
251 PM EDT TUE JUL 17 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAMPA FL HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WARNING FOR
THE CYPRESS CREEK AT WORTHINGTON GARDENS.
* FROM THIS AFTERNOON UNTIL LATE TONIGHT.
* AT 2 PM TUESDAY THE STAGE WAS...7.9 FEET.
* MINOR FLOODING IS FORECAST.
* FLOOD STAGE IS 8.0 FEET.
* CYPRESS CREEK WILL RISE ABOVE FLOOD STAGE BY LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND
CONTINUE TO RISE TO NEAR 8.1 FEET BY LATE THIS AFTERNOON. THE RIVER WILL
FALL BELOW FLOOD STAGE BY THIS EVENING.
* IMPACT...AT 8.0 FEET...FLOODING BEGINS AT THE RECREATION AREA ON
STATE ROAD 54.

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36829
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


And didn't get a mention at TWO.


never had even a 0%
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9719
............say stormtracker, looks like all the storms around me are moving inland,they are warning now of excessive lightning and possible funnel clouds...be careful out there
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36829
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Pathetic.

That's all I have to say.

(They didn't event get the numbering right)



And didn't get a mention at TWO.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13992
Quoting RitaEvac:


I'm sure it does. In the old days when I worked at NWS you had to actually record yourself for the NOAA radio forecasts. There was button to push to send it out the world (the public) once you decided it was good to go
...........Do you happen to remember the word "FIBI"?
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Pathetic.

That's all I have to say.

(They didn't event get the numbering right)

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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


that would be cool if it actually existed :)


I'm sure it does. In the old days when I volunteered at NWS you had to actually record yourself for the NOAA radio forecasts. There was a button to push to send it out to the world (the public) once you decided it was good to go
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Haven't looked at the local radar, but sure is raining hard here in Palm Beach county
..alot of lightning down there also
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36829
Haven't looked at the local radar, but sure is raining hard here in Palm Beach county
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Good, cuz it's automatic termination if accidentally pressed


that would be cool if it actually existed :)
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9719
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
The NHC just likes to mess with our minds.

Good afternoon everyone.
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Quoting wxchaser97:
Nope, category, i win.
Dammit Jim
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I bet the NHC faculty are just really bored.
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Rita.......I saw that button years I go...... I never got the nerve to push it.....Such a wimp I am


Good, cuz it's automatic termination if accidentally pressed
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Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Never was to good at tests........but I did win my 1st grade speeling bee............I spelled the word "catagory" correctly.. Did I get it right this time?
Nope, category, i win.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
Quoting RitaEvac:
There's a button at the NHC that says "Send to whole world?" and looks like it got pushed
Rita.......I saw that button years I go...... I never got the nerve to push it.....Such a wimp I am
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There's a button at the NHC that says "Send to whole world?" and looks like it got pushed
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sorry that this is kinda off topic

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1482
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1258 PM CDT TUE JUL 17 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...WI

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE

VALID 171758Z - 172000Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...40 PERCENT

SUMMARY...AREAS OF CNTRL AND NRN WI ARE BEING MONITORED FOR A
POSSIBLE WATCH THIS AFTERNOON. LATEST INDICATIONS ARE THAT AT LEAST
ISOLATED STORMS MAY DEVELOP ALONG AND NORTH OF A STALLED FRONT IN
THE NEXT FEW HOURS.

DISCUSSION...SURFACE ANALYSIS REVEALS A WEST-TO-EAST FRONTAL ZONE
STALLED ACROSS SCNTRL WI WITH VERY WARM AND INCREASING UNSTABLE
CONDITIONS DEVELOPING WITHIN A STRONGLY CAPPED AIRMASS COINCIDENT
WITH THE FRONTAL POSITION. A FEW SCATTERED TSTMS CONTINUE WELL NORTH
OF THE SURFACE FRONT...ACROSS NRN WI...AS PART OF A WEAK MCV THAT
WAS GENERATED FROM CONVECTION ACROSS THE DAKOTAS YESTERDAY
AFTERNOON. ON THE LARGE SCALE...LIFT ACROSS THE FRONTAL ZONE WILL
LIKELY BE AIDED BY SLOPED ASCENT ASSOCIATED WITH THE RIGHT ENTRANCE
REGION OF A MODESTLY STRONG MID/UPPER JET SITUATED ACROSS SRN LAKE
SUPERIOR. EVEN WITH THIS FAVORABLE PATTERN OF BACKGROUND
ASCENT...PRONOUNCED MID LEVEL EML PLUME AND RESULTANT CAPPING WILL
BE DIFFICULT TO COMPLETELY ELIMINATE TO ALLOW WIDESPREAD
SURFACE-BASED STORM INITIATION...AT LEAST IN THE SHORT-TERM.

HOWEVER...IT DOES APPEAR THAT ANOTHER HOUR OR TWO OF STRONG HEATING
IN THE PRESENCE OF PERSISTENT LOW LEVEL CONVERGENCE AND BACKGROUND
ASCENT NEAR THE BOUNDARY COULD CONTRIBUTE TO AT LEAST ISOLATED STORM
DEVELOPMENT. FORECAST SHEAR PROFILES NEAR AND NORTH OF THE FRONT ARE
SUPPORTIVE OF SUPERCELLS WITH SOME HAIL POTENTIAL. IF SURFACE-BASED
DISCRETE STORMS CAN TAKE FORM NEAR THE FRONT AND POSSIBLY INTERACT
WITH LAKE/BAY BREEZES...ENHANCED SR SHEAR COULD BRIEFLY BOOST
TORNADO POTENTIAL. ANY CONVECTION ABLE TO FORM OVER THE WARM SECTOR
COULD ALSO POSE A THREAT FOR DAMAGING WINDS.

IF GREATER CERTAINTY REGARDING INITIATION...STORM COVERAGE AND
INTENSITY IS FORTHCOMING THIS AFTERNOON...A WATCH MAY BE NEEDED
ACROSS THE REGION.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927

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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.