Superstorm Sandy and the importance of polar orbiting satellites in forecasting

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:19 PM GMT on January 03, 2013

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On the 23rd of October, the 18th named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, Tropical Storm Sandy, was born in the Central Caribbean. As is common for late-season storms in the Caribbean, Sandy moved northwards across Cuba. The official forecasts from the National Hurricane Center issued on October 23 called for Sandy to turn to the northeast after crossing Cuba, and head into the Central Atlantic. This forecast was based on the output from five of our top six computer models, which all predicted that an upper-level low pressure system in the Central Atlantic would be strong enough to pull Sandy northeastwards. However, the global weather forecast model run by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) showed a disturbing possibility: the upper-level low pressure system in the Central Atlantic would not be strong enough to turn Sandy to the northeast. The hurricane would instead get caught up in the flow associated with a trough of low pressure approaching the U.S. East Coast, and Sandy would get slung into New York or New Jersey on October 29. While the ECMWF model was the best performing model for tracking Atlantic hurricanes in both 2010 and 2011, and had done very well again so far in 2012, the American GFS model had outperformed the ECMWF model several times during the 2012 season. NHC elected to discount the ECMWF forecast for Sandy as an outlier, and went with the forecast from the GFS and other models. By October 25, it was clear that the ECMWF model had the right idea all along. More models were now showing the turn towards New York, and the official NHC forecast now called for Sandy to make landfall in New York or New Jersey on October 29. The ECMWF model's early forecast of a track for Sandy into the Northeast was critical for allowing additional time for residents to prepare for arrival of the devastating storm. So what enabled the ECMWF model to make such an excellent forecast for Sandy, six days in advance?


Figure 1. This image uses the model output from the ECMWF experiment, showing where Sandy was predicted to be located five-days out with the normal satellite data inputs into the model (left) and without any polar-orbiting satellite data (right). Both position and intensity forecasts were affected--Sandy stays out to sea without the polar-orbiting satellite data, and the closer isobar lines encircling the storm also imply a more organized and stronger system. Image credit: NOAA.

Polar satellite data: a key to ECMWF model success
The ECWMF has a very sophisticated technique called "4-D Var" for gathering all the current weather data over the Earth and putting the data on a 3-dimensional grid that is then used as the initial "reality" of the current weather for the model to use for its forecast. The old expression, "garbage in, garbage out" is a truism for weather forecast models. If you don't properly characterize the initial state of the atmosphere, the errors you start off with will grow and give a lower-quality forecast. Data from geostationary satellites, which sit continuously at one spot above the globe, are easy to assimilate, and all the models use this data. However, the ECMWF model's superior technique used to assimilate the initial data allows inclusion of data from a large number of polar-orbiting satellites, which the other models cannot do as well. Polar-orbiting satellites orbit Earth at an altitude of 540 miles twice per day, circling from pole to pole. Their data is difficult to use, since the it is only available twice per day at each spot on the Earth, and the time of availability is different for each location. According to an email I received from Jean-Noël Thépaut, the chief of the Data Division of the Research Department at the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, the ECMWF model uses data from at least fourteen polar orbiting satellites: N-15, N-19, N-19, N-17 (ozone SBUV instrument only), Metop-A, AQUA, NPP (ATMS instrument only), AURA (ozone OMI data only), F-17, TRMM (TMI data), COSMIC, GRACE-A, TERRASAR, and the GPSRO data on top of METOP-GRAS. The data of most importance is the data collected in the infrared and microwave wavelengths, as well as atmospheric density data obtained via GPS radio occultation (as a polar orbiting satellite goes over the horizon, the GPS signals from the satellite get bent by Earth's atmosphere, with the amount of bending proportional to the density of the atmosphere. This GPS Radio Occultation data is gathered from eight polar orbiting satellites, and fed into both the ECMWF and GFS models.) You can find a nice summary of the impacts of polar orbiting satellite data on weather prediction models at this link.)


Figure 2. Forecast track error for four of our top models used to predict Hurricane Sandy, for their runs that began at 00Z October 25, 2012. By this time, the GFDL model had joined the ECMWF in predicting that Sandy would make landfall in Southern New Jersey in five days. The GFS and HWRF models made good 1 - 3 day forecasts, but failed to anticipate Sandy's north-northwestward turn towards the U.S. coast. Image credit: Morris Bender, NOAA/GFDL.

As originally reported by the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang, then confirmed in a NOAA press release, a study done by ECMWF research scientist Tony McNally found that if the ECMWF model did not have all of the data from the fourteen polar orbiting satellites, the five-day forecast of the model for Hurricane Sandy would have shown Sandy missing the Northeast U.S. This brings up a concern, since the U.S. polar orbiting satellite program is behind schedule. As explained by Andrew Freedman of Climate Central, the program is plagued by mismanagement, billions in cost overruns, and technical development challenges. The next polar orbiting satellite is not scheduled to be launched until 2017, and one or more of the existing polar orbiting satellites are expected to fail before then. This will result in a degradation of our ability to observe and predict the weather, and may result in poorer forecasts for storms like Hurricane Sandy. Given that the ECMWF model used data from fourteen polar orbiting satellites, the failure of just one satellite may not have made a significant difference in its forecast for Sandy. But if we lose several of these key satellites by 2017, our hurricane forecasts in 2017 may be worse than they were in 2012. To figure out how to cope with the loss of satellite-derived data, NOAA is conducting a Gap Risk Study that seeks ideas from researchers and the public on how NOAA can preserve the quality of its weather model forecasts in the event of the failure of one or more polar orbiting satellites in the coming years.


Figure 3. A tanker rests on the southern shore after being swept onto land by a storm surge due to Superstorm Sandy, Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, in the Staten Island borough of New York. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

Links
Eric Berger of the Houston Chronicle has an interview with Jean-Noël Thépaut, chief of the Data Division of the Research Department at the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, on why the European model did so well with Hurricane Sandy.

Jeff Masters

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1048. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Darwin Tropical Cyclone Warning Center
Tropical Cyclone Advisory
TROPICAL LOW 05U
9:00 PM CST January 7 2012
=========================================

At 8:00 PM CST, Tropical Low (999 hPa) was located near 11.1S 120.9E or 780 km north of Broome has 10 minute sustained winds of 25 knots. The low is reported as moving west at 4 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.0/2.0/D0.5/24 HRS

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
12 HRS: 11.7S 119.5E - 40 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Cyclone)
24 HRS: 12.0S 118.1E - 45 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Cyclone)
48 HRS: 13.1S 116.9E - 75 knots (CAT 3/Severe Tropical Cyclone)
72 HRS: 15.3S 115.3E - 95 knots (CAT 4/Severe Tropical Cyclone)

Additional Information
======================
Position extrapolated based on 0927Z microwave and 0830Z visible MTSAT image, south of Sumba Island. low level circulation center was partially exposed with slightly improved curvature. Latest IR analysis yields 0.3 curved band, DT=2.0. MET and PAT agree. Moderate northeast wind shear has limited the development rate to T0.5/day.

The environment is favorable for further development with deep moisture, upper divergence and vigorous westerly monsoonal flow to the north. Intensification is expected to return to the standard rate as the system becomes more organized and moves closer to the upper ridge axis. Tropical cyclone formation is expected late Tuesday or early Wednesday, then a steady intensification later in the week as the tropical cyclone moves further southwest.

The tropical cyclone is forecast to move closer to the Western Australia coast later in the week under the influence of an approaching upper trough, but its longer term movement is uncertain.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44900
1047. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Reunion RSMC
Tropical Cyclone Outlook
16:00 PM RET January 7 2013
=============================

Multispectral satellite imagery shows no more obvious center in the area. Low level circulation is now organized clockwise around an elongated shear line existing along 12S axis from 81E to 85E. Environmental conditions are unfavorable for a significant deepening in relationship with the both constraint of an easterly vertical wind shear and a bad low level convergence (equatorward westerly flow remains very zonal).

Convective Activity remains fluctuating for several days and mainly extends in the western part of this shear line.

In this area, ECMWF and GFS NWP models keep on deepening a low on and after Wednesday as monsoon flow converges back with the trade winds flow. This model forecast low is then expected to track globally south-westwards on the steering influence of the low to mid levels subtropical ridge and should then take benefit on a weakening vertical wind-shear below the upper level ridge and on a better low level convergence (more direct monsoon flow and powerful subtropical highs southward). Intensification should then begin thanks to this favorable environmental conditions.

For the next 72 hours, potential for development of a tropical depression east of the basin remains poor.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 50 Comments: 44900
1046. MahFL
Remember folks, bush fires and wild fires are part of the Earths natural cycle, they are needed. It's tough luck if your home is burnt to the ground....
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It is pretty bad when the lowest fire threat level on the map is Very High.

On the good side, I think Aussie and I had the same temperatures at the same time. Just mine were in the early morning, on the other side of the earth, and in Fahrenheit.
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Tasmanian Bush fire Photo's.



























Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

This person predicted a magnitude 7.5 earthquake off the coast of Alaska three weeks ago. Timing was a bit off, but he/she nailed location and strength.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Anyone could predict a big quake on any active area. But to give a specific time frame is just loony. I predict in the next month there will be a 6.0 quake off the coast of Japan and in Vanuatu. as I said, anyone can do it, it's just the time frame people put to there prediction.

I think the tweeter is @Quakeprediction or something like that.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting AussieStorm:
Why do people make such bold predictions??

Japan Earthquakes %u200F@earthquakejapan
EARTHQUAKE WARNING (7.2 to 7.7) earthquake is likely within 400 kilometers of Tokyo, Japan next 24 hours.


This prediction was made 13hrs ago. If nothing happens in the next 11hrs, this person is a goof-ball.

Somebody predicted a magnitude 7.5 earthquake off the coast of Alaska three weeks ago. Timing was a bit off, but he/she nailed location and strength.

Not sure if it was this user (@earthquakejapan) or not.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31575
Good morning. Plenty of surfers yesterday in Rincon Puerto Rico.

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Quoting aislinnpaps:
Well, the car has been warming to defrost the heavy ice on it, it's 36 degrees here, 33 with wind chill. I guess my classroom is waiting for me. The first day back is always the hardest. Everyone have a great Monday. Aussie, enjoy your Tuesday!

I am not going to enjoy my Tuesday, I'll melt in it.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Well, the car has been warming to defrost the heavy ice on it, it's 36 degrees here, 33 with wind chill. I guess my classroom is waiting for me. The first day back is always the hardest. Everyone have a great Monday. Aussie, enjoy your Tuesday!
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Worst fire conditions in decades to hit NSW
Posted: 07/01/2013
The NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons has declared a state-wide Total Fire Ban for NSW as the State braces for one of its worst fire danger days on record.



The Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Ranges have a fire danger rating of Catastrophic. Widespread areas of the State have a fire danger rating of Extreme.

This is one of the worst fire danger days on record for NSW.

I cannot say it more plainly: the risk is real and potentially deadly. People need to act now, Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

If you live in bush land or an isolated area where there is a Catastrophic Fire Danger Rating your only option is to leave early. You could move to a built up area, away from bush land, such as the centre of a town.

However, people living in built up areas, well away from bush land, with minimal exposure to vegetation, should monitor conditions and follow their Bush Fire Survival Plan, Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

More generally, the NSW RFS advises people to:
Prepare a Bush Fire Survival Plan and act on it. It is not too late to do a plan tonight;
Find out where their Neighbourhood Safer Place (place of last resort) is located;
Stay informed via local media, news websites, plus the RFS website, Facebook page and Twitter feed;
Do not travel into any bush fire prone areas; and
Avoid being in a bush fire prone area in the heat of the day.
The NSW RFS is working with local authorities, including NSW Police, to identify and where appropriate, relocate, at risk persons within the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Ranges. These at risk people may include:
Hospitals and nursing homes;
National Parks, camping grounds and caravan parks;
Education and child care facilities;
Recreational facilities operated by the Department of Sport and Recreation; and
Correction Centres and Juvenile Detention Centres.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons said that the NSW RFS has been preparing for some time for these difficult and dangerous fire conditions.

We have all our RFS volunteers, trucks and tankers on standby, plus the firefighters and resources of Fire and Rescue NSW, National Parks and Forests NSW. Literally thousands of firefighters are on alert for tomorrow.

Around 100 aircraft are ready, including two Air-Cranes.

Our advice to people is to be prepared, stay informed and take action, Commissioner Fitzsimmons said.

Further information, including Bush Fire Survival Plans, details of Neighbourhood Safer Places and the latest Fire Danger Ratings, can be found on the NSW RFS website www.rfs.nsw.gov.au.

People are also encouraged to follow the NSW RFS Facebook page and Twitter account @NSWRFS to get the latest fire information.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Oh!! Now I'm hungry! I know it's Turkish, though I only know it in Germany. They are soooo good! My kids keep saying they should set up a stand here, they'd make a mint of money with them. Thank you.
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1036. barbamz
Quoting aislinnpaps:
Barbamz, have a dner for me one of these days. I still miss those.




O.K., lol, though it's turkish originally.

Dner article on wikipedia
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Fiji pro-actively preparing for disasters: minister.

Fiji suffered less damage from Cyclone Evan because of better preparation, says the country's interim Minister for National Disaster Management.

A state of disaster was declared after Evan hit the Pacific island nation last month, causing widespread damage to several cities and forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.

Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu says preparations began as soon as the cyclone watch was started by the Fiji Weather Service.

He told Radio Australia's Fiji is putting less emphasis on recovering from disasters, and more on minimising the risk of damage.

Lieutenant Colonel Seruiratu says it's not just luck that saw Fiji escape with less damage than Samoa.

"It is a need for us to shift from a culture of reaction to a culture of prevention," he said.
"We need to be proactive, and we need to do a lot of planning and we need to do a lot of analysis because if we prepare, well then obviously, the cost and the damage can be minimised."

Fiji authorities are still working to restore electricity and water supplies in the cyclone-damaged Western Division and some island communities.

In Samoa, Cyclone Evan killed five people and displaced more than 4,000 thousand before hitting Fiji.

At least 12 people are still missing in Samoa in the wake of the devastating cyclone.

© ABC 2013
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting barbamz:


Hey Aussi, I wish I could send some or our moderate winter temperatures to Sydney right now, so you and your country fellows could have a convenient night with sleep.

Thanks, It's not meant to get below 30°C(86°F) till the change around 2-3am Wednesday morning. Needless to say, I'll be going to bed once it blows through.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Barbamz, have a döner for me one of these days. I still miss those.
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1032. barbamz
Quoting AussieStorm:

Hey Barbamz, I was watching the downhill skiing the other night, it was from Germany. Very foggy and the only snow looked like it was man-made, everywhere else was green trees and brown ground.


Hey Aussi, I wish I could send some or our moderate winter temperatures to Sydney right now, so you and your country fellows could have a convenient night with sleep.
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1031. barbamz
Check out this horrible story from China (including the journalistic and political aftermath) on Spiegel English, if you like. Last night there has been a discussion on our blog about the social, economic and ecological conditions in China.


Quote from the article:

Impoverished Province

On that Nov. 15, the city of Bijie, about 1,800 kilometers (1,118 miles) southwest of Beijing, was cloaked in the cool, dense fog for which Guizhou, one of China's poorest provinces, is notorious. It began to drizzle in the afternoon and the temperature fell to 6 degrees Celsius (43 degrees Fahrenheit), the coldest it had been so far that autumn.

A pedestrian noticed five boys playing soccer on the sidewalk along Huandong Lu, a wide street on the city's outskirts. The children, between 9 and 13 years old, were skipping school and had been hanging out in the neighborhood for days. They were wearing filthy parkas and thin cotton trousers, and one of them had no socks. They spent their days in an underpass at the entrance to the local university, begging for money from students, and at night they had slept in a makeshift hut they had built with rubble and tarps on a construction site.

But on the night of Nov. 15, it was so cold that they hit upon a different idea. They climbed into one of five dumpsters, each of them measuring about two by one meters (six by two feet), standing next to the road. Then they lit a fire in the dumpster and closed the four lids from the inside.

At 7:30 the next morning, garbage collector Sun Qingying opened one of the lids. She is 83, lives with her husband in a hut across the street and begins her daily work, as always, at the five dumpsters on Huandong Lu. She retrieved a few pieces of coal from the first dumpster and two plastic bottles from the second one. When she opened the third container, she was initially confronted with the acrid smell of fire, and then she made out five lifeless children lying next to each other. One of them had white foam coming from his mouth and nose. Sun tried to revive the children with a stick, but they didn't wake up. "They're dead! They're dead!" she screamed. A passerby called the police.

(more see link above)

Back to work. Greetings to everyone. And good luck to Australia concerning the heat and the wildfires.
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G'morn ladies a gents. Aussie! I tried to read the link in 1024, Wayyyyy too heavy for my sleep clogged brain this early. I'll make coffee then try again.

40.1F on da Bayou Grande this am.
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Quoting barbamz:


Nothing, to be true. Not much of a winter in most parts of Germany the last weeks. But there is some hope for the next weekend.
Have a nice day in school. Hope the pupils behave well.

Hey Barbamz, I was watching the downhill skiing the other night, it was from Germany. Very foggy and the only snow looked like it was man-made, everywhere else was green trees and brown ground.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting barbamz:


Nothing, to be true. Not much of a winter in most parts of Germany the last weeks. But there is some hope for the next weekend.
Have a nice day in school. Hope the pupils behave well.


Thanks, Barbamz. We were just talking about there this weekend and wondering. My son was talking about two years ago when they had so much snow. One of these days I hope to get back.
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1027. barbamz
Quoting aislinnpaps:
Afternoon, Barbamz, how much snow do you guys have?


Nothing, to be true. Not much of a winter in most parts of Germany the last weeks. But there is some hope for the next weekend.
Have a nice day in school. Hope the pupils behave well.
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Afternoon, Barbamz, how much snow do you guys have?
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Good morning, everyone. Evening, Aussie. It's back to school this morning, though I've loved my vacation time. They're forecasting several inches of rain for us this week, of course. That means no recess for the kids this week and a couple of extra days to dry the playground out before they'll be able to play outside.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
I not too familiar with the weather in Australia...know though there is a big desert playing a role in weather...temperature, himidity-wise (etc)...

not so sure about wind, pressure etc. patterns. Big storm from the Antarctic hit the Island.

Most tropical/humid weather occurs in the north and east side (e.g. Yasi). There is a lot of vegetation, also in the extreme south and all east coast, also in Tasmania.

...that's as far as I know about Australian climate Aussie.


Good enough. lol

_________________________________________________ _____________________________________________

Negative temperatures do not exist

_________________________________________________ _____________________________________________


Link

Climate Science Introduction

There is a great deal of confusion among policy makers and the public (see %u201CMediarology%u201D) about many aspects of the science of climate change some of which, it should be said, carry large degrees of uncertainty. However, numerous other aspects are actually scientifically well-established. This combination of high certainty and deep uncertainty is the backdrop against which we must codify our understanding into models of the climate system which include as many relevant components of the Earth atmosphere system as possible, comprising the atmosphere, oceans, snow-ice fields, and soils-ecosystems subsystems. These subsystems are represented by sub-models, which are linked into an Earth systems model, which can be used to project the possible effects and impacts of human activities on future climate %u2014 the problem confronting decision makers at all scales, from the individual level to countrywide or international scales.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
1023. LargoFl
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1022. LargoFl
Quoting barbamz:
Morning everybody. Lots of rain in the northeastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. Usually rain is very much welcome there (drought in the last years in Israel and neighbouring countries).



Chaos in Israel as rain and winds pound the country

By SHARON UDASIN, MELANIE LIDMAN
LAST UPDATED: 01/07/2013 10:17

Stormy weather causes heavy traffic, shuts down roads, causes damage; snow possible in capital Wednesday, forecasters say.

This weekend’s thunderstorms and torrential winds are just the beginning of what will likely be a very wet and perhaps even snowy week.

People should brace themselves for large amounts of rainfall in the next few days, as well as very strong winds – particularly on Monday morning – and snowfall later this week in Jerusalem, Porat said. The snow, he said, is expected from Wednesday afternoon through noon on Thursday.

The weekend’s rainfall wreaked havoc on part’s of the central region, with the Herzliya train station shut down until further notice due to massive flooding. After a nearby stream overflowed into the station, leading to the collapse of the drainage system, the station’s underground passage and the entire area around the site were flooded – including nearby roads and the parking lot, Israel Railways said.

Israel Railways is operating a pump to drain the area in an effort to resume normal service as soon as possible, but until then, will provide alternative transportation between the Herzliya Station and the Tel Aviv Savidor Central Station in both directions.

Meanwhile, the Kinneret basin is seeing continued improvement in its water levels. As of Sunday morning, the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) was 211.82 meters below sea level, 3.02 meters away from being full, according to Water Authority data. During the month of December alone, the water level rose by 50 centimeters, beginning January at 211.90 meters below sea level.

The Water Authority’s Hydrological Services called this rise “exceptional,” the biggest December rise since 1994. Half of that increase occurred over the course of three days, during the heavy rain that occurred from December 20 to 23.

In the capital, not only was it raining, but residents are anticipating the possible arrival of a winter wonderland – for the second year in a row.

The Jerusalem Municipality ramped up preparation for the storm expected to slam into the city this week, with winds of more than 80 kilometers per hour and perhaps snow. The city recommended that people check their heating systems to ensure they are working properly and make sure there are no leaks in their roofs or windows.

The capital could experience snow on Wednesday afternoon if the storm retains its strength over the coming days.

Jerusalem has only experienced snow once in the past three years – last year. Ahead of the storm, the municipality will increase the number of operators answering the city hotline, *106, who can respond to storm-related inquires including regarding downed trees.

Source: The Jerusalem Post
..Good Morning, hope not too much flooding there..stay safe
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1021. barbamz
Morning everybody. Lots of rain in the northeastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. Usually rain is very much welcome there (drought in the last years in Israel and neighbouring countries).



Chaos in Israel as rain and winds pound the country

By SHARON UDASIN, MELANIE LIDMAN
LAST UPDATED: 01/07/2013 10:17

Stormy weather causes heavy traffic, shuts down roads, causes damage; snow possible in capital Wednesday, forecasters say.

This weekend's thunderstorms and torrential winds are just the beginning of what will likely be a very wet and perhaps even snowy week.

People should brace themselves for large amounts of rainfall in the next few days, as well as very strong winds particularly on Monday morning and snowfall later this week in Jerusalem, Porat said. The snow, he said, is expected from Wednesday afternoon through noon on Thursday.

The weekend's rainfall wreaked havoc on parts of the central region, with the Herzliya train station shut down until further notice due to massive flooding. After a nearby stream overflowed into the station, leading to the collapse of the drainage system, the station's underground passage and the entire area around the site were flooded including nearby roads and the parking lot, Israel Railways said.

Israel Railways is operating a pump to drain the area in an effort to resume normal service as soon as possible, but until then, will provide alternative transportation between the Herzliya Station and the Tel Aviv Savidor Central Station in both directions.

Meanwhile, the Kinneret basin is seeing continued improvement in its water levels. As of Sunday morning, the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) was 211.82 meters below sea level, 3.02 meters away from being full, according to Water Authority data. During the month of December alone, the water level rose by 50 centimeters, beginning January at 211.90 meters below sea level.

The Water Authority's Hydrological Services called this rise exceptional,the biggest December rise since 1994. Half of that increase occurred over the course of three days, during the heavy rain that occurred from December 20 to 23.

In the capital, not only was it raining, but residents are anticipating the possible arrival of a winter wonderland for the second year in a row.

The Jerusalem Municipality ramped up preparation for the storm expected to slam into the city this week, with winds of more than 80 kilometers per hour and perhaps snow. The city recommended that people check their heating systems to ensure they are working properly and make sure there are no leaks in their roofs or windows.

The capital could experience snow on Wednesday afternoon if the storm retains its strength over the coming days.

Jerusalem has only experienced snow once in the past three years last year. Ahead of the storm, the municipality will increase the number of operators answering the city hotline, *106, who can respond to storm-related inquires including regarding downed trees.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

------------------------

Edit: Live-Blog with a lot of photos from the unusual wet and stormy weather in Israel right now:

Roads close due to flooding, as intense rain pelts Israel from north to south
Public transportation delays and traffic jams reported throughout the country; Herzliya train station closed; Tel Aviv%u2019s Ayalon River overflows
By Times of Israel staff January 7, 2013, 9:22 am
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1020. LargoFl
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1019. LargoFl
Quoting indianrivguy:
Mornin' Largo!

Evening Aussie!
hI AND GOOD MORNING!.. so much for that 70% rain yesterday, i hardly got enough to even wet the street lol
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Mornin' Largo!

Evening Aussie!
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1017. LargoFl
be somewhat careful tomorrow Texas,heed your warnings..
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1016. LargoFl
got enough rain here to wet the street gee..........
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1015. LargoFl
Good Morning folks!..7-day for Tampa Bay area....
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1014. LargoFl
Good Morning Aussie!..109 whew thats hot..does that kind of temp last very long? or is that a bit unusual for you there?
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I not too familiar with the weather in Australia...know though there is a big desert playing a role in weather...temperature, himidity-wise (etc)...

not so sure about wind, pressure etc. patterns. Big storm from the Antarctic hit the Island.

Most tropical/humid weather occurs in the north and east side (e.g. Yasi). There is a lot of vegetation, also in the extreme south and all east coast, also in Tasmania.

...that's as far as I know about Australian climate Aussie.
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14871
Quoting AussieStorm:

Hey Mate! How is it at your place. Here it's a scorcher, and worse tomorrow. I don't mind hot weather but now 109F is a bit to hot.


UFFF!!! 109???
Although I come from a tropical country in Central America (high temps average 70-95F)..Can't handle very well over 100 outside without constantly getting water.
2 years ago here in NYC we got close to 110F... so you have an idea.

In general... i'll undoubtedly prefer the chill.
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14871
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


??? another one? They had a strong 7.something earlier this year (or late last year)...
seriously...

BTW...Hi Aussie (IKD why but you're the only one I greet on this blog and IDK why Im saying it now)

Hey Mate! How is it at your place. Here it's a scorcher, and worse tomorrow. I don't mind hot weather but now 109°F is a bit to hot.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Northern Tasmanian fires flare again



A fire at Montumana in the North West of Tasmania is threatening homes inland from Rocky Cape National Park. A fire between Bicheno and the Freycinet Peninsula and one west of Epping Forest on the Midland Highway are continuing to provide difficulties for fire fighters and cause road closures.

A large number of bushfires remain uncontrolled around Tasmania, with one on the North West Coast at Montumana now listed as an emergency warning.
The fire is threatening houses at the small community of Mawbanna, although the Tasmanian Fire Service(TFS) is endeavouring to establish a containment line.
Andrew McGuiness from the TFS said the brigades that are in attendance are having challenges with flukey winds in the area.
"The specific areas up there people need to be vigilant are Sisters Beach, Rocky Cape, Montumana and Mawbanna."
There is a community fire refuge established at the Stanley Recreation Centre, but depending how containment efforts go this evening.
At 6PM tonight there were around 20 people taking shelter there, having left their homes.
Fire fighters are still experiencing breakouts of the fire, but are hopeful that they can contain the fire this evening.
Mawbanna Road from Dip Road to Newhaven Road remains closed.
Watch and Acts in the North

The fires at Bicheno on the East Coast, and Epping Forest on the Midland Highway, continue to cause concern, and are both listed as Watch and Act alerts.
A large grassfire at Barton Road, Epping Forest continues to cast embers, smoke and ash on Isis Road, Valleyfield Road, Macquarie Road through to Campbell Town .
Barton Road from the Midlands Highway and Valleyfield Road from Barton Road to Macquarie Road are both closed.
At the Tasman Highway south of Bicheno there are road closures on Freindly Beaches Road, Courland Bay Road, Tar Hill Fire Trail, Harveys Farm Road and Coles Bay Road.
Embers, smoke and ash may fall on Coles Bay Road south of Apsley River and the Tasman Highway south of Bicheno.
Weather

Although scattered rain is forecast to fall beginning in the west tomorrow morning, the Bureau of Meterology says there is a Very High Fire Danger for eastern Tasmania on Tuesday.
Scattered showers developing about the west, Central Plateau and far south during the morning, with isolated showers about the remainder of the south and possibly about the east coast for a period during the day.
Showers falling as snow about the higher peaks late.
Fine elsewhere apart from areas of morning smoke.
Light to moderate northwesterly winds freshening ahead of a cold, fresh to strong southwesterly change during the day.
The Tasmania Fire Service has declared a total fire ban for Tuesday 08 January for the whole of Tasmania.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
and that one...
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14871
I'll be looking at that one then...lol
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14871
Quoting AussieStorm:
Why do people make such bold predictions??

Japan Earthquakes %u200F@earthquakejapan
EARTHQUAKE WARNING (7.2 to 7.7) earthquake is likely within 400 kilometers of Tokyo, Japan next 24 hours.


This prediction was made 13hrs ago. If nothing happens in the next 11hrs, this person is a goof-ball.


??? another one? They had a strong 7.something earlier this year (or late last year)...
seriously...

BTW...Hi Aussie (IKD why but you're the only one I greet on this blog and IDK why Im saying it now)
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14871
The NSW Rural Fire Service (@NSWRFS) advises that ALL NSW national parks will be closed tomorrow due to the conditions.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Why do people make such bold predictions??

Japan Earthquakes ‏@earthquakejapan
EARTHQUAKE WARNING (7.2 to 7.7) earthquake is likely within 400 kilometers of Tokyo, Japan next 24 hours.


This prediction was made 13hrs ago. If nothing happens in the next 11hrs, this person is a goof-ball.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932


TROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION BULLETIN
Issued at 2:43 pm WST on Monday 7 January 2013
BY THE BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY
TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING CENTRE DARWIN

Tropical Low was located at 2 pm WST near 11.4S 120.9E, that is 740 km north of
Broome and moving west southwest at 15 kilometres per hour.

The tropical low is located southwest of Timor and is expected to develop
further as it moves in a generally southwest direction, reaching cyclone
intensity on either Tuesday or Wednesday well north of the Australian mainland.
On Thursday the system may take a more south southwest track and approach the
west Pilbara coast.

The developing tropical low is not expected to affect the WA coast in the next
48 hours.

The next Information Bulletin will be issued at 9 pm WST.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting PlazaRed:

I am sure that if somebody came along and offered to take the branch clippings away, they would gladly give them away free.
The wood seems to burn quite well green and in fact when there are forest fires in the summer the trees explode in quite a spectacular fashion. The wood may also have a high oily content.
I have used olive oil to run my van on as its cheaper here than gas or diesel. It smells a bit like a potato chip fryer in the exhaust.
The local brick factory uses olive oil to run its brick furnaces. I supose in US dollars its about $3 dollars a liter or $1.60 a pint here, for the good stuff. I know you pay a lot more for it in some parts of the world, the cheap stuff is about $1 a lite I think from the factories, a lot cheaper than diesel in Europe.


Hmmm, do you have a regular engine or did you have to do something to it?! I don't think olive oil is cheaper in the UK than petrol...despite how much petrol is these days...is £1.30 a litre now...though not much more than the cheap olive oil brands LOL
Member Since: October 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 841
Quoting Bobbyweather:
Did anyone know that Sonamu means 'pine tree' in Korean?

we do now.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Did anyone know that Sonamu means 'pine tree' in Korean?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

I'm forgetting what rain is like also. it's been a while. These long very hot days are killing my sleep. Too hot during the day to sleep and still to hot at night to sleep properly. Tuesday is meant to be 109°F, the last time it was this hot was on the 1st of January 2006. My daughter wasn't even a month old and my wife had her mother and sister here from the Philippines. On that day it got to 112.6°F. The garden at my old place didn't fair to well after that day, the heat burnt to leaves of most of my plants.

_________________________________________________ _____________________________________________

Just Issued....

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
New South Wales

Fire Weather Warning
for the Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Far South
Coast, Monaro Alpine, Southern Ranges, Central Ranges, Lower Central West
Plains, Southern Slopes, Eastern Riverina, Southern Riverina, Northern Riverina
and Far Western fire areas.

Issued at 4:02 pm EDT on Monday 7 January 2013.

Weather Situation
Continued hot to very hot, dry and windy conditions ahead of a gusty south to
southwesterly change over southern and central New South Wales will result in a
Catastrophic to Extreme Fire Danger Rating for most of the southeast of the
state, and a Severe Fire Danger Rating for the northwest inland on Tuesday.

For Tuesday 8 January:

Catastrophic Fire Danger is forecast for the following fire areas:
Illawarra/Shoalhaven and Southern Ranges
The NSW Rural Fire Service warns that any bush fire that starts has the
potential to cause significant loss of life and destroy many homes.

Extreme Fire Danger is forecast for the following fire areas:
Greater Sydney Region, Monaro Alpine, Central Ranges, Lower Central West
Plains, Southern Slopes, Eastern Riverina, Southern Riverina and Northern
Riverina
The NSW Rural Fire Service warns that any bush fire that starts has the
potential to cause loss of life and destroy many homes.

Severe Fire Danger is forecast for the following fire areas:
Greater Hunter, Far South Coast and Far Western
The NSW Rural Fire Service warns that any bush fire that starts has the
potential to threaten lives and destroy homes.


THAT'S HOT! And scary with the fire danger. 2011 was hot and dry, but not that hot. We did have an immense amount of wildfires and the drought, not including the fires, killed over half a billion trees in just the eastern part of the state. That's highly unusual for this part of TX. I hope y'all get some relief soon. We're supposed to get a lot of rain this week across the state. A lot of people here have forgotten what rain is too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Doesn't look like a whole ton of rain coming for southern Australia either.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
;)


I'm forgetting what rain is like also. it's been a while. These long very hot days are killing my sleep. Too hot during the day to sleep and still to hot at night to sleep properly. Tuesday is meant to be 109°F, the last time it was this hot was on the 1st of January 2006. My daughter wasn't even a month old and my wife had her mother and sister here from the Philippines. On that day it got to 112.6°F. The garden at my old place didn't fair to well after that day, the heat burnt to leaves of most of my plants.

_________________________________________________ _____________________________________________

Just Issued....

Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
New South Wales

Fire Weather Warning
for the Greater Hunter, Greater Sydney Region, Illawarra/Shoalhaven, Far South
Coast, Monaro Alpine, Southern Ranges, Central Ranges, Lower Central West
Plains, Southern Slopes, Eastern Riverina, Southern Riverina, Northern Riverina
and Far Western fire areas.

Issued at 4:02 pm EDT on Monday 7 January 2013.

Weather Situation
Continued hot to very hot, dry and windy conditions ahead of a gusty south to
southwesterly change over southern and central New South Wales will result in a
Catastrophic to Extreme Fire Danger Rating for most of the southeast of the
state, and a Severe Fire Danger Rating for the northwest inland on Tuesday.

For Tuesday 8 January:

Catastrophic Fire Danger is forecast for the following fire areas:
Illawarra/Shoalhaven and Southern Ranges
The NSW Rural Fire Service warns that any bush fire that starts has the
potential to cause significant loss of life and destroy many homes.

Extreme Fire Danger is forecast for the following fire areas:
Greater Sydney Region, Monaro Alpine, Central Ranges, Lower Central West
Plains, Southern Slopes, Eastern Riverina, Southern Riverina and Northern
Riverina
The NSW Rural Fire Service warns that any bush fire that starts has the
potential to cause loss of life and destroy many homes.

Severe Fire Danger is forecast for the following fire areas:
Greater Hunter, Far South Coast and Far Western
The NSW Rural Fire Service warns that any bush fire that starts has the
potential to threaten lives and destroy homes.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932

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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.