Major severe thunderstorm outbreak expected; U.S. drought intensifies

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:16 PM GMT on July 26, 2012

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A dangerous outbreak of organized severe thunderstorms with strong, damaging winds is expected this afternoon from Ohio eastwards through Pennsylvania and into New England, says NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC). They have put the region, which includes Columbus, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and New York City, in their "Moderate Risk" area for severe weather, just one notch below the highest level of alert. Much of the region is also under advisories for extreme heat, with temperatures in the upper 90s expected. This extreme heat will help energize the thunderstorms by making the atmosphere very unstable. A cold front passing through the region will trigger the severe weather episode beginning around 2 pm EDT this afternoon, near the Indiana/Ohio border. This front already triggered a round of severe thunderstorms early this morning across Michigan, which knocked out power to 16,000 customers. This afternoon, severe thunderstorms may organize into a complex that features a bow-shaped echo. If such a complex brings violent straight-line winds in excess of 58 mph (93 km/hr) over a swath of at least 240 miles (about 400 km), it will be called a derecho (from the Spanish phrase for "straight ahead".) The atmosphere is not as unstable as was the case for the June 29 - 30 Mid-Atlantic and Midwest derecho, however. That storm was one of the most destructive and deadly fast-moving severe thunderstorm complexes in North American history. It killed 22 people, knocked out power to at least 3.7 million customers, and did hundreds of millions in damage.


Figure 1. Severe weather risk for Thursday, July 26, 2012, from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC).

U.S. drought intensifies
The great U.S. drought of 2012 held constant in size but grew more intense over the past week, said NOAA in their weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report issued Thursday, July 26. The area of the contiguous U.S. covered by drought stayed constant at 64% , but the area covered by severe or greater drought jumped from 42% to 46%. These are truly historic levels of drought, exceeded only during the great Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s and a severe drought in the mid-1950s. The July 2012 drought is second only to the great Dust Bowl drought of July 1934 in terms of the area of the contiguous U.S. covered by moderate or greater drought (if we assume the drought conditions measured in mid-July are representative of the entire month of July, which is a reasonable approximation given the lastest drought forecast.) The five months with the greatest percent area in moderate or greater drought, since 1895, now look like this:

1) Jul 1934, 80%
2) Jul 2012, 64%
3) Dec 1939, 60%
4) Jul 1954, 60%
5) Dec 1956, 58%

If we consider the area of the contiguous U.S. covered by severe or greater drought, drought conditions as of July 24, 2012 now rank in 3rd place:

1) Jul 1934, 63%
2) Sep 1954, 50%
3) Jul 2012, 46%
4) Dec 1956, 43%
5) Aug 1936, 43%


Figure 2. July 24, 2012 drought conditions showed historic levels of drought across the U.S., with 64% of the contiguous U.S. experiencing moderate or greater drought, and 46% of the county experiencing severe or greater drought. Image credit: U.S. Drought Monitor.

Extreme heat continues in the Heartland
St. Louis, Missouri's summer of extreme heat reached record levels on Wednesday, when the city hit 108°F. This marked the 11th day this summer in St. Louis with temperatures of at least 105°F, beating the old record of ten such days in 1934. The minimum temperature in the city fell to just 86°F, tying with July 24, 1901, as the warmest minimum temperature ever recorded in the city. St. Louis has seen just 0.53" inches of rain this month, far below the normal 3.35" it usually records by this point in July.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Neapolitan:
Come again? Two people were killed, hundreds of thousands lost power, countless trees and buildings were damaged or destroyed, states of emergency have been declared, more than 400 storm reports (mostly for win) have come in, and suspected tornadoes touched down in several areas.

Overrated? I suppose that's a subjective opinion. But it was quite a bit more than just "five minutes of hard rain"...


Lightning was the biggest issue in NYC according to the news I saw.

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Quoting Pocamocca:

Thanks man. Got a case of beer and air conditioning. I'll be good.


Just need a pool and you're set!!
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pbr kind of character
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A really nice article and research on tropical weather and droughts. Our mother earth is really fascinating. Given our drought in Texas, although I'd hate to see a large storm, a good drenching storm would be welcome for the drought and aquafers.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/1207 11111401.htm

A snippet from the article for quick reading:

Soulé and three other researchers analyzed tropical cyclones' role in reducing drought conditions in the Southeastern United States. Their work, "Drought-Busting Tropical Cyclones in the Southeastern United States: 1950-2008" was published in the March 2012 issue of the journal Annals of the Association of American Geographers.

Dr. Justin Maxwell from Indiana University was the lead author of the research article. In addition to Soulé, the other authors were Dr. Paul Knapp from UNC Greensboro and Dr. Jason Ortegren from the University of West Florida. 

They found that during the 58-year period, up to 41 percent of all droughts and at least 20 percent of droughts in three-fourths of the climate divisions in the Southeast were ended by tropical cyclone drought busters. In addition, they found that 4 to 10 percent of all rainfall in the Southeast occurred during the tropical cyclone season and that as much as 15 percent of rainfall in the Carolinas occurred from tropical cyclones.

"It turns out tropical cyclones were a very important process for ending drought," Soulé said of the time period and region studied.

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Quoting Pocamocca:

Thanks man. Got a case of beer and air conditioning. I'll be good.


Can't go wrong with that. Here's my choice of drink here.

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1444. kwgirl
Good morning all. It's warm here in the Keys but the nice calm weather is perfect for boating. I can't wait for some tropical moisture to come back from the south. Just as long as there are no howling winds with it. Has anyone noticed the difference when signing on to WU? I never had trouble before the merger, but now my malware keeps popping up to block the site. I guess there is more c--- on the site now that TWC has taken over. I guess I will have to trust it or forget this site. Since I follow WU for any weather event I will take my chances. Have a great day everyone!
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Come again? Two people were killed, hundreds of thousands lost power, countless trees and buildings were damaged or destroyed, states of curfew are in effect in some Northeast cities, states of emergency have been declared, and suspected tornadoes touched down in several areas.

Overrated? I suppose that's a subjective opinion. But it was quite a bit more than just "five minutes of hard rain"...


I saw the Tower Cam shot NEA it rained literally 5 minutes real hard then it was over.
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Quoting Pocamocca:
From the Paducah, KY NWS:

Outlooks call for heat and drought to last through rest of this summer

But first, here's today's forecast:



Stay cool brother!
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
Looks like the [DOOM] was overated for the NE US yesterday. It rained hard for 5 minutes at one of the towercams in NYC then it was all over.
Come again? Two people were killed, hundreds of thousands lost power, countless trees and buildings were damaged or destroyed, states of emergency have been declared, more than 400 storm reports (mostly for win) have come in, and suspected tornadoes touched down in several areas.

Overrated? I suppose that's a subjective opinion. But it was quite a bit more than just "five minutes of hard rain"...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 14511
This what El-Nino looks during the Fall and Winter months.

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Our Tropical Wave looks like it's smoking a cigar today as there is a puff of smoke with it now.

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Quoting vanwx:


You're way too kind. I'm going to adopt that as my motto; "AGW is just hot air" like 'acid oceans have happened before' or 'We've had dust-bowls before", or "Romans had tax problems too'. 'Galileo should be locked up',"more prison time for Voltaire', 'Columbus is doomed', etc, Thanks Pirate999


And lastly ...then I'll drop this.. A little history for you.

Indeed the roman empire did have a taxation problem. Read: http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cjv14n2-7.html

It is a well written article that reference many other noted historians.

Also, we indeed have had other "dustbowls" but let's just call them droughts since the actual dustbowl was caused by drought and other factors Including farming techniques of that era. Read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_Bowl

Also regarding drought, please educate yourself by reading: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/05081 9094701.htm

This article specializes in Colorado specifically but is germaine to the conversation that droughts have occurred before.

Regarding the others, interesting comments probably resulting from the closed mind and fear of the times when they lived. Since we are in such enlighten times I'm sure that would never be the case now and all ideas are freely taken and discussed/debated.
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A dramatic increase in sea surface anomalies just in 3 days across Nino 1&2 and Nino 3.4. Some areas are now +4C. IMPRESSIVE!
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You probably wont see this from anyone else on here but here it is folks. Welcome El-Nino to the picture. I know folks want an active hurricane season but you can kiss that good bye!

7/26/2012


7/23/2012
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1433. ncstorm


Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 17405
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Here's the final tally from yesterday:



Unfortunately there was one fatality.


Sorry to hear abut the fatality.......
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 11159
Quoting Pocamocca:

That going to equate to Florida getting increasing chances of rain?


By about mid week we should see rainy weather return.

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Here's the final tally from yesterday:



Unfortunately there was one confirmed fatality.
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Looks like the was overated for the NE US yesterday. It rained hard for 5 minutes at one of the towercams in NYC then it was all over.
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Good Morning Folks. Looks like parts of the NE did relatively well after the passage of the front yesterday. Lots of trees down, property damage, and power outages but I have not heard of any loss of life which is a great thing although some pockets/towns where strongly affected.

Things still quiet at the moment on the Atlantic side and I noticed a nice ball of convection emerging off the coast of South America near the equator at around 80W on the E-Pac side. Still part of the ITCZ monsoonal area but perhaps worth watching.

The balancing act over the next four weeks will be between the E-Pac and Atlantic basin. If things pick up again on the E-Pac side, it might remain quiet in terms of development on the Atlantic side until things calm down. If the E-pact does not flair up again over the next few weeks, we may start to see development of some of the African waves.

Just have to keep a close eye on the models, SAL issues, MJO pulses, and African waves going into August; the Cape Verde season has arrived in earnest and we now have to wait for the first storm to develop. As I mentioned yesterday it could be early-mid or late August.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 11159
Quoting ncstorm:
Good Morning..it looks like the NOGAPS is the only model seeing TC development on the atlantic side..



It brings the first tropical wave into FL next week.

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Two areas being watched in the W-Pac... JTWC is giving them both a medium development chance... We will likely see one or more TCFA's issued today.

93W



95W

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Quoting vanwx:


You're way too kind. I'm going to adopt that as my motto; "AGW is just hot air" like 'acid oceans have happened before' or 'We've had dust-bowls before", or "Romans had tax problems too'. 'Galileo should be locked up',"more prison time for Voltaire', 'Columbus is doomed', etc, Thanks Pirate999


Interesting in that you have ignore my previous posts/ comments and focused on one attributed to an author of the article. I guess this is an expected approach and anticipated response from someone of your caliber. I wold say "typical" but I think you are the minority outlier here as you seemingly cannot let go of the topic but instead continue with insults.
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0z Euro showed a nice E-Pac storm, but at the end of the run:

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Good morning... 90E is dead:

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_DEACTIVATE_ep902012.ren
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201207271132
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
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tw looks impressive structurally notice the glare off the water under it = not much wind
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Good morning.

This is the HPC morning discussion for Caribbean. At least some relief to the drought conditions that some of the islands are going thru will occur as the big wave moves thru next week.



TROPICAL DISCUSSION - INTERNATIONAL DESKS
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
723 AM EDT FRI JUL 27 2012

PRELIMINARY DISCUSSION FOR PUERTO RICO AND THE USVI. A TRAIN OF
RETROGRESSING TUTT LOWS CONTINUES ORGANIZING TO THE NORTH OF THE
ISLANDS. ONE EXTENDS OVER THE TURKS AND CAICOS/HISPANIOLA WHILE
ANOTHER EXTENDS 23S 57W. IN BETWEEN THESE SYSTEMS...AN UPPER HIGH
CENTERS OVER THE USVI/LEEWARD ISLANDS. WELL ESTABLISHED SUBSIDENCE
INVERSION CONTINUES HOLDING. OBSERVATIONS SHOW INVERSION AT 800
HPA AND VERY DRY AIR MASS ABOVE. THIS IS LIMITING THE EFFECT OF
TUTT LOWS ON CONVECTION. A WEAK TUTT-INDUCED PERTURBATION HAS
ACTIVATED BOUNDARY-LAYER SHOWERS TO THE SOUTH OF THE ISLANDS...YET
MOST WIDESPREAD SHOWERS ARE CONFINED TO THE SOUTH OF 17N.

MODELS SHOW CURRENT DRY PATTERN HOLDING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING
HRS. TUTT TO THE EAST HAS A BETTER DEFINED SIGNATURE
MID-LEVELS...AND WILL RETROGRESS WHILE IN PHASE WITH ARRIVING
TROPICAL WAVE. PWAT CONTENT WILL PEAK AT 45-50MM. EXPECT AN
INCREASE IN CONVECTION COVERAGE AND ACCUMULATIONS STARTING
SATURDAY AFTERNOON/EVENING INTO SUNDAY...YET LIGHT ACCUMULATIONS
ARE EXPECTED. A MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT WET SPELL IS ON ITS WAY FOR
MID-WEEK...AS POTENT TROPICAL WAVE ARRIVES IN FROM THE ATLANTIC.

MARINERO...DGOA/MARN (EL SALVADOR)
CANTILLO...IDEAM (COLOMBIA)
GALVEZ...HPC (USA)

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 15735
I was in the eye of all of them!!

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Quoting RussianWinter:
Something tells me we are headed for dangerous times. It has been too long without a storm, and luck doesn't last forever.

Not sure where the MJO is right now. We had a ton of lift in activity for three weeks starting a month ago when we were supposed to be 'down'.
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the.windwds.are.in.for.a.good.dose.of.needed.rain.. .nws.in.s.juan.says.this... A MUCH STRONGER TROPICAL
WAVE WILL APPROACH THE AREA ON MONDAY AND MOVE THROUGH ON TUESDAY
WITH BETTER MOISTURE THAN HAS BEEN SEEN IN SEVERAL WEEKS
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1411. ncstorm
Good Morning..it looks like the NOGAPS is the only model seeing TC development on the atlantic side..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 17405
Link
Quoting islander101010:
large.amplitude.t.w.out.there



BIG rotation.


Link


I'm amazed it can fire any convection att all. It's bone dry out there.
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large.amplitude.t.w.out.there
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1408. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51854
1407. LargoFl
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CORPUS CHRISTI TX
453 AM CDT FRI JUL 27 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CORPUS CHRISTI HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL WEBB COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS...

* UNTIL 745 AM CDT

* AT 440 AM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED
THUNDERSTORMS WITH VERY HEAVY RAINFALL ACROSS THE WARNED AREA.
DOPPLER RADAR ESTIMATED BETWEEN 3 AND 6 INCHES OF RAINFALL HAS
FALLEN ON THE FAR NORTH SIDE OF LAREDO AND RURAL AREAS TO THE NORTH.
THE LAREDO FIRE DEPARTMENT REPORTS FLOODING BEGINNING IN SOME AREAS
OF THE NORTH SIDE OF LAREDO...INCLUDING THE ISIDRIO SUBDIVISION.
FLOODING IS ALSO BEING REPORTED IN LAS LOMAS. AN ADDITIONAL 1 TO 3
INCHES IS POSSIBLE ACROSS THE CITY OF LAREDO AS WELL AS RURAL AREAS
TO THE NORTH.

* RUNOFF FROM THIS EXCESSIVE RAINFALL WILL CAUSE FLOODING TO OCCUR.
SOME CITIES AND TOWNS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE...
LAREDO...AGUILARES...BOTINES...COLUMBIA BRIDGE...LAS LOMAS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

EXCESSIVE RUNOFF FROM HEAVY RAINFALL WILL CAUSE FLOODING OF SMALL
CREEKS AND STREAMS...HIGHWAYS AND UNDERPASSES. ADDITIONALLY...COUNTRY
ROADS AND FARMLANDS ALONG THE BANKS OF CREEKS...STREAMS AND OTHER LOW
LYING AREAS ARE SUBJECT TO FLOODING.

BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE THE
DANGERS OF FLOODING. IF FLASH FLOODING IS OBSERVED ACT QUICKLY. MOVE
UP TO HIGHER GROUND TO ESCAPE FLOOD WATERS. DO NOT STAY IN AREAS
SUBJECT TO FLOODING WHEN WATER BEGINS RISING.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51854
1406. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51854
1405. LargoFl
...Good Friday morning folks...normal sunny and hot day in store for florida today and probably thru the weekend,great beach weather for sure..have a great day folks.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 51854
Quoting ilovehurricanes13:
new tropical wave got new t.storm with it and little spin to



First Wave is BIG. Starting to fire som new convection north of the center.

Will be interesting to see how it fares during the crossing. Shear looks low up until the islands but dry air probably dampering propsects.
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1403. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #3
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 11
15:00 PM JST July 27 2012
=============================================

SUBJECT: Tropical Depression In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Depression (1002 hPa) located at 12.0N 129.3E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving north northwest slowly.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.0

Forecast and Intensity
==========================

24 HRS: 14.3N 127.8E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm) - Sea East Of The Philippines
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1402. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #3
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 10
15:00 PM JST July 27 2012
=============================================

SUBJECT: Tropical Depression Near Ogasawara Waters

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Depression (1008 hPa) located at 23.6N 148.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving west northwest slowly.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.0

Forecast and Intensity
==========================

24 HRS: 24.6N 144.4E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm) - Ogasawara Waters
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


good to see Georgia getting some rain.


Yep.

Good night everyone.
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Looking at all those radars it really shows how hurricanes moving north after the gulf coast, while destructive near the shore, are so beneficial to inland areas as it brings a deluge of long soaking rains to almost the entire area north and east of where it makes landfall.
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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