Mighty North Atlantic low bombs to 930 mb

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:04 PM GMT on January 26, 2013

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In the Northern Atlantic south of Iceland, an extratropical storm that brought up to 6" of snow to Maryland on Thursday has put on a remarkable burst of rapid intensification over the past 24 hours, with the center pressure dropping 58 mb in 24 hours. The Free University of Berlin, which names all major high and low pressure systems that affect Europe, has named the storm "Jolle." This meteorological "bomb" was analyzed with a central pressure of 988 mb at 12Z (7 am EST) Friday morning by NOAA's Ocean Prediction Center, and hit 930 mb by 7 am EST Saturday morning. The storm may deepen a few more millibars today, but it is close to maximum intensity. A 930 mb central pressure is what one commonly sees in Category 4 hurricanes, and is one of the lowest pressures attained by an Atlantic extratropical storm in recent decades. Since extratropical storms do not form eyewalls, the winds of the massive Atlantic low are predicted to peak at 90 mph (Category 1 hurricane strength), with significant wave heights reaching 52 feet (16 meters.) The powerful storm brought sustained winds of 52 mph, gusting to 72 mph, to Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland at 6 pm local time Saturday. Fortunately, the storm is expected to weaken dramatically before Jolle's core hurricane-force winds affect any land areas.


Figure 1. Winter Storm Jolle, as seen at 10 am EST January 26, 2013. Three hours prior to this image, Jolle was analyzed with a central pressure of 930 mb--one of the lowest pressures in recent decades for an Atlantic extratropical storm. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

According to wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt's post on
Super Extratropical Storms, the all-time record lowest pressure for a North Atlantic extratropical storm is 913 mb, set on January 11, 1993, near Scotland's Shetland Islands. The mighty 1993 storm broke apart the super oil tanker Braer on a rocky shoal in the Shetland Islands, causing a massive oil spill.

Other notable Atlantic extratropical storms, as catalogued by British weather historian, Stephen Burt:

920.2 mb (27.17”) measured by the ship Uyir while she sailed southeast of Greenland on December 15, 1986. The British Met. Office calculated that the central pressure of the storm, which was centered some distance southeast of the ship, was 916 mb (27.05”).

921.1 mb (27.20”) on Feb. 5, 1870 measured by the ship Neier at 49°N 26°W (another ship in the area measured 925.5 mb)

924 mb (27.28”) on Feb. 4, 1824 at Reykjavik, Iceland (the lowest on land measured pressure in the North Atlantic)

925.5 mb (27.33”) on Dec. 4, 1929 by the SS Westpool somewhere in the Atlantic (exact location unknown)

925.6 mb (27.33”) on Jan. 26, 1884 at Ochtertyre, Perthshire, U.K. (the lowest pressure recorded on land in the U.K.)

For comparison’s sake, the lowest pressure measured on land during an extra-tropical storm in the United States (aside from Alaska) was 952 mb 28.10” at Bridgehampton, New York (Long Island) on March 1 during, the Great Billy Sunday Snowstorm.


Figure 2. Infrared satellite image of the North Atlantic Storm of January 11, 1993 at 0600Z when it deepened into the strongest extra-tropical cyclone ever observed on earth, with a central pressure of 913 mb (26.96”). Satellite image from EUMETSAT Meteosat-4.

Links
You can see a nice AVHRR image of the east side of the storm at the University of Bern. The raw MODIS pass is here.

The Meteorological Institute of Norway has a nice satellite animation of Jolle.

Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt's posts on Super Extratropical Storms and World and U.S. Lowest Barometric Pressure Records

Claudio Cassardo's January 23, 2013 post,
Very low minima of extratropical cyclones in North Atlantic

Read my story of what it was like to fly though a 936 mb Atlantic low pressure system on January 4, 1989.

Intense winter storms are expected to increase in number due to climate change
In my 2010 blog post, The future of intense winter storms, I discuss how evidence for an observed increase in intense wintertime cyclones in the North Atlantic is uncertain. In particular, intense Nor'easters affecting the Northeast U.S. showed no increase in number over the latter part of the 20th century. This analysis is supported by the fact that wintertime wave heights recorded since the mid-1970s by the three buoys along the central U.S. Atlantic coast have shown little change (Komar and Allan, 2007a,b, 2008). However, even though Nor'easters have not been getting stronger, they have been dropping more precipitation, in the form of both rain and snow. Several studies (Geng and Sugi, 2001, and Paciorek et al., 2002) found an increase in intense winter storms over both the North Atlantic, but Benestad and Chen (2006) found no trend in the western parts of the North Atlantic, and Gulev et al. (2001) found a small small decrease of intense winter storms in the Atlantic.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), a scientific advisory board created by the President and Congress, concluded this in their 2009 U.S. Climate Impacts Report: "Cold-season storm tracks are shifting northward and the strongest storms are likely to become stronger and more frequent". The USGRP concluded that an increase of between four and twelve intense wintertime extratropical storms per year could be expected over the Northern Hemisphere by 2100, depending upon the amount of greenhouse gases put into the air (Figure 3). If we assume that the current climate is producing the same number of intense winter storms as it did over the period 1961-2000--about 53--this represents an increase of between 8% and 23% in intense wintertime extratropical storms. Two studies--Pinto et al. (2007) and Bengtsson et al. 2006--suggest that the more intense winter cyclones will affect only certain preferred regions, namely northwestern Europe and Alaska's Aleutian Islands. At least three other studies also find that northwestern Europe--including the British Isles, the Netherlands, northern France, northern Germany, Denmark and Norway--can expect a significant increase in intense wintertime cyclones in a future warmer world (Lionello et al., 2008; Leckebusch and Ulbrich 2004; and Leckebusch et al., 2006). None of these studies showed a significant increase in the number of intense Nor'easters affecting the Northeast U.S.


Figure 3. The projected change in intense wintertime extratropical storms with central pressures < 970 mb for the Northern Hemisphere under various emission scenarios. Storms counted occur poleward of 30°N during the 120-day season beginning November 15. A future with relatively low emissions of greenhouse gases (B1 scenario, blue line) is expected to result in an additional four intense extratropical storms per year, while up to twelve additional intense storms per year can be expected in a future with high emissions (red and black lines). Humanity is currently on a high emissions track. Figure was adapted from Lambert and Fyfe (2006), and was taken from Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate, a 2009 report from the the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The USGRP began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990, which called for "a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change".

Jeff Masters

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Quoting JustPlantIt:
Ughhhh, spend the last 2 days trying to unthaw a drainpipe in my basement! 200+ old house here that empties into a pristine crick. Not the only one with this nightmare! Boiled lots and lots of water yesterday to put in the basement shower. No avail. Couldn't use salt either.... oh no... Iron pipe. Decided to come from that crick in, sawed off the pvc "L" that we inserted to try and stop hurricane 'Irene' from flooding, thought we could screw on a deterent to flooding. Naaah... didn't work. Irish wits finally about me, I got it done. Long piece of old iron, hammer away at it and about 16" in, I got a handful of the most foul smelling water ever. I loved it!!!!
Does this happen often if so I will tell you how to fix it.
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While my weather won't be extremely bipolar, it will still flip flop. A whole mess of snow, sleet, and freezing rain is expected tonight into tomorrow morning with a winter weather advisory in effect. Then tomorrow it is expected to warm into the 40s and the precip turn to all rain. Tuesday should bring highs to near 60 and have showers with even some thunder possible. Then Thursday is back to a rain snow mix with temperatures falling throught the day as highs hit the mid 40s early. After some snow Wednesday night, Thursday will be a cold windy day.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
-56 in Alaska.



-45F at my dorm right now.
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Large area of dry air south of Hawaii:

Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Talk about bipolar weather.

Kankakee, Illinois is expecting a period of sleet and freezing rain this evening. This is expected to transition to rain tonight and through tomorrow night.

By Tuesday comes the chance of heavy rainfall. Severe weather is possible on Tuesday night.

Wednesday there is a chance of snow. Wednesday night should be cloudy to overcast.

The sun is out on Thursday.


Sounds like Texas. :P
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Talk about bipolar weather.

Kankakee, Illinois is expecting a period of sleet and freezing rain this evening. This is expected to transition to rain tonight and through tomorrow night.

By Tuesday comes the chance of heavy rainfall. Severe weather is possible on Tuesday night.

Wednesday there is a chance of snow. Wednesday night should be cloudy to overcast.

The sun is out on Thursday.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32855
Our friend in the North Atlantic is still out there, but it is just a shadow of it's former self.



Where is it? You may be surprised. It's actually the swirly thing due south of Iceland at about 60*N. Phase diagrams indicate that the warm seclusion process complete, meaning it is now a fully warm core and symmetrical storm. The storm's warm core will now begin to become more shallow as the storm continues to decay.





This has been one really fun and interesting storm to watch!
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cold rtns after event

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its all most FEB
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Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Some heavy rains from the cold front are beginning to fall over Niihau and Kauai. Expect the heavy rain to move down the Hawaiian Island chain through tomorrow.

Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Ughhhh, spend the last 2 days trying to unthaw a drainpipe in my basement! 200+ old house here that empties into a pristine crick. Not the only one with this nightmare! Boiled lots and lots of water yesterday to put in the basement shower. No avail. Couldn't use salt either.... oh no... Iron pipe. Decided to come from that crick in, sawed off the pvc "L" that we inserted to try and stop hurricane 'Irene' from flooding, thought we could screw on a deterent to flooding. Naaah... didn't work. Irish wits finally about me, I got it done. Long piece of old iron, hammer away at it and about 16" in, I got a handful of the most foul smelling water ever. I loved it!!!!
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Quoting PedleyCA:


Thanks, Jedkins


No problem!

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Quoting Sfloridacat5:


Absolutely wonderful day today in South Fort Myers. Sunny, temps low 80s, low humidity, its just about pefect.


Send me some of that....
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Special weather statement for:
City of Toronto
Windsor - Essex - Chatham-Kent
Sarnia - Lambton
Elgin
London - Middlesex
Simcoe - Delhi - Norfolk
Dunnville - Caledonia - Haldimand
Oxford - Brant
Niagara
City of Hamilton
Halton - Peel
York - Durham
Huron - Perth
Waterloo - Wellington
Dufferin - Innisfil
Grey - Bruce
Barrie - Orillia - Midland
Belleville - Quinte - Northumberland
Kingston - Prince Edward
Peterborough - Kawartha Lakes
Stirling - Tweed - South Frontenac
Bancroft - Bon Echo Park
Brockville - Leeds and Grenville
City of Ottawa
Gatineau
Prescott and Russell
Cornwall - Morrisburg
Smiths Falls - Lanark - Sharbot Lake
Parry Sound - Muskoka
Haliburton
Renfrew - Pembroke - Barry's Bay
Algonquin
Burk's Falls - Bayfield Inlet.

Mixed precipitation tonight and Monday.

------------------------------------------------- --------------------
==discussion==
A low pressure system developing over Colorado will track toward
Southern Ontario tonight and Monday. Precipitation ahead of this low
will reach Windsor this evening, then the Toronto to Georgian Bay
area towards midnight, and finally the Ottawa Valley Monday morning.

Precipitation will start as snow, then change to ice pellets and
freezing rain. Precipitation will change to rain for most areas
Monday, except near the Ottawa Valley Tuesday. The main concern is
that the freezing rain may last for several hours before changing to
rain. Latest indications suggest that freezing rain warnings will
likely be issued for a large part of Southern Ontario later today or
tonight as the event draws closer.

Snow amounts with this system will vary. General amounts of 2 to
5 cm are expected south of a line from Southern Georgian Bay to
Kingston. From Parry Sound to Ottawa and Cornwall, 5 to 10 cm of
snow are forecast. The highest amounts are likely to be over the
Burk's Falls and Algonquin regions, which may see 10 to 15 cm or more
of snow.

The exact timing and amount of the precipitation will depend on the
track of the low. As this system is developing, there is some
uncertainty in the exact track of the low. Environment Canada is
monitoring this system closely and will issue further statements and
warnings as necessary.

Motorists and pedestrians are advised to be prepared for hazardous
winter travelling conditions due to the freezing rain and snow.
Untreated surfaces may become icy and slippery. Low visibility in
areas of heavier snow may also contribute to hazardous winter driving
conditions.

The public is advised to monitor future forecasts and warnings as
warnings may be required or extended.

END/KUHN/OSPC

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Well I just have to get through this last semester of liberal studies classes and then it's all major related courses the rest of the way. Taking classes like theatre and writing papers about plays to me is actually harder than physics because it's utterly boring to me and I have hard time writing 2000 words in making arguments out of material that my brain doesn't pay attention to, lol.
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Thanks, Jedkins
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Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
-56 in Alaska.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14906
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Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
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Quoting LargoFl:


Absolutely wonderful day today in South Fort Myers. Sunny, temps low 80s, low humidity, its just about pefect.
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Taking a step back..the Bigger picture.


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Quoting Skyepony:
Fairbanks scientists stunned to find intact 40,000-year-old steppe bison in the melting permafrost.

As permafrost continues to melt, I am quite sure there will be more incredible prehistoric finds. I was thinking of becoming a archeologist when I was young, and dreamed of finding one of these...
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42262
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42262
Quoting VR46L:


Thank you for your explanation. My major interest is the atlantic and systems as they leave the East Coast . I Am a novice on your winter weather.

By the way , I miss your avatar.

YW> Severe weather can occur all year round. For anyone who wants to gain understanding of these systems, following the SPC convective outlooks, mesoscale discussions and weather watches is a good place to start. Northern Atlantic systems can be similar to those that track into (add: western) North America bringing hurricane force winds and rain/snow.

BTW, a troll ate my avatar. Just as well. Makes me less noticeable.
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42262
THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR NORTHERN DELAWARE...NORTHEAST
MARYLAND...CENTRAL NEW JERSEY...NORTHERN NEW JERSEY...SOUTHERN NEW
JERSEY AND SOUTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

LINGERING SLICK SPOTS MAY EXIST ON AREA ROADS. USE CAUTION WHILE
TRAVELING.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY.

A WINTRY MIX OF PRECIPITATION INCLUDING FREEZING RAIN SHOULD
OCCUR ON MONDAY. THERE IS SOME UNCERTAINTY ABOUT THE EXTENT OF
FREEZING RAIN AS TEMPERATURES WILL BE RISING AS THE CHANGE FROM
SNOW OCCURS. SNOW ACCUMULATIONS SHOULD BE LESS THAN AN INCH AND
ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF LESS THAN A TENTH OF AN INCH ARE POSSIBLE.
PRECIPITATION MIGHT ARRIVE IN TIME FOR THE MORNING COMMUTE. PLEASE
LOOK FOR UPDATED INFORMATION LATER TODAY.

SOME LOCALLY HEAVY RAIN AND STRONG GUSTY WINDS ARE POSSIBLE WHEN
THE COLD FRONT MOVES THROUGH THE AREA WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY
NIGHT.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42262
THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR NORTH AND CENTRAL GEORGIA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT...

HAZARDOUS WEATHER IS NOT ANTICIPATED THROUGH TONIGHT

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY...

AREAS OF FOG EXPECTED TUESDAY MORNING.

...THUNDERSTORMS LIKELY WEDNESDAY...

DISCUSSION...
AN UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH AND ASSOCIATED SURFACE COLD FRONT ARE EXPECTED
TO PUSH ACROSS THE REGION BY MIDWEEK. INSTABILITY AND WIND SHEAR
VALUES APPEAR SUFFICIENT TO SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCATTERED
TO NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS ON WEDNESDAY...ESPECIALLY DURING THE
AFTERNOON AND EVENING. STRONG UPPER LEVEL SUPPORT SUGGESTS SOME
STORMS COULD BE STRONG TO SEVERE. THE HIGHEST CHANCE OF STRONG TO
SEVERE STORMS APPEARS TO BE NORTH OF A LINE FROM AMERICUS TO
WARNER ROBINS TO LOUISVILLE.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...
SPOTTER ACTIVATION WILL NOT BE NEEDED THROUGH TONIGHT.

$$
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289. beell



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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42262
(note by tomorrow night they should have a good idea)............STRONG WIND SHEAR AND FORCING ALOFT ASSOCIATED
WITH THIS STORM SYSTEM WILL RESULT IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SEVERE
THUNDERSTORMS...AS THEY DEVELOP INTO A SQUALL LINE TUESDAY EVENING AND
MARCH EAST ACROSS SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS...NORTH LOUISIANA...AND
EXTREME EASTERN TEXAS. DAMAGING WINDS...LARGE HAIL...AND ISOLATED
TORNADOES WILL BE POSSIBLE FROM THESE STORMS...WITH LOCALLY HEAVY
RAINFALL LIKELY FROM THE STRONGER STORMS AS WELL. THE SEVERE WEATHER
THREAT WILL DIMINISH FROM WEST TO EAST TUESDAY NIGHT...AS COOLER
AND MORE STABLE AIR PUSHES EAST BEHIND THE COLD FRONT.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42262
286. VR46L
Quoting Barefootontherocks:
Your terminology is incorrect. Just so there is not confusion by anyone reading the comments... Severe warnings are issued by local NWS offices as an event occurs - severe t-storm, tornado, suspected tornado. SPC identifies severe risk potential and adjusts that potential up to and during an event, and they issue severe weather watches - severe tstorm and tornado watches - as the weather becomes imminent.

A convective outlook may identify a "slight" or greater risk area in FL panhandle by Monday or later, but severe warnings will not be in the picture until and unless this severe system develops and moves that direction.

The SPC's severe risk areas have been inching west and now have spread NE. Those in the southern plains into the upper midwest and parts of the southeast would be wise to keep an eye on pending Tuesday weather. And those downstream (east) of whatever develops, keep an eye on what will head your way.


Thank you for your explanation. My major interest is the atlantic and systems as they leave the East Coast . I Am a novice on your winter weather.

By the way , I miss your avatar.

Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6998
THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR NORTH TEXAS.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.
PATCHY FOG WILL OCCASIONALLY REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO LESS THAN A MILE
OVER AREAS MAINLY ALONG AND NORTH OF INTERSTATE 20 THROUGH LATE
THIS MORNING.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY.
THERE IS A CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS NORTH TEXAS TUESDAY
THROUGH TUESDAY NIGHT. SOME STORMS COULD BECOME STRONG TO SEVERE.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42262
284. beell


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wish I could get some of that rain,dont look too good...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Wow.

The fact that this is January and we don't get the huge tornado outbreak setups just yet is something to be thankful for with this kind of jet.



Nice subtropical jet phasing.
Ever since Dr Masters wrote a blog on it, i've noticed every large severe weather event features that.
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281. beell


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Quoting hydrus:


Finally a map with the strong blue/green
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Day 3 convective outlook
National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
0224 am CST sun Jan 27 2013


Valid 291200z - 301200z


..there is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms from Texas northeast to Illinois and
east across the lower MS valley...


...
A potent high amplitude upper trough and associated cold front will
sweep east and south across the plains/Midwest and lower MS valley
from Tuesday into early Wednesday. This system could produce a
fairly widespread swath of severe weather from central and northestern
Texas...northern la...across much of Arkansas and southeastern MO...and east and south
across the MS river from Illinois to MS. While it is too early to be
overly detailed regarding the character of this event...the
size...strength...and rapid evolution of the large scale trough
system...as currently forecast...suggests the development of an
extensive and fast-moving squall line capable of producing damaging
winds across some or all of the above mentioned areas from around
middle-day Tuesday into early Wednesday.


..TX to Illinois southeast across the lower MS valley...
Prefer the somewhat slower and not so phased depiction of the upper
trough as shown by latest European model (ecmwf) and NAM through early Tuesday. These
scenarios indicate a moist but generally weak to moderately unstable
airmass will be situated from Texas northeastward across MO and into Illinois by
Tuesday afternoon. Lack of stronger instability will likely be
compensated for by relatively rapid onset of intense ascent
associated with the approach of middle/upper trough and 100kt middle level
speed maximum spreading out across the warm sector to near Arlatex by
around 00z. Deep convection will erupt along the entire length of
the sharpening cold front through the late afternoon with storms
coming under the influence of ever increasing deep-layer shear/flow.
Extensive qlcs appears likely to spread east across the middle/lower MS
valley into Tuesday night with cell motions forecast in excess of
50kt leading damaging winds. Lack of stronger cyclonic development
along the cold front suggests linear Mode should dominate but
supercells and lewps embedded in the line and near transient frontal
wave structures would pose some tornado threat with time.
Uncertainties regarding overall timing and degree of surface-based
destabilization preclude higher or significant probabilities at this
forecast range. However...future upgrade to MDT risk seems possible
if these details become clearer.


.Carbin.. 01/27/2013


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Quoting hydrus:
I,m glad it is not April. I live in Mid TN. Our local mets said we have to watch this system closely and I shall.
wow i was thinking the same thing this morning, i was glad this isnt springtime
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42262
Quoting Skyepony:
Fairbanks scientists stunned to find intact 40,000-year-old steppe bison in the melting permafrost.

thanks for that story..amazing..smelled like rotten eggs..ugh..but amazing there still could be gristle on the bones after 40,000 years..wonder if they could still get DNA from it?..scientists will be all over those remains..quickly i hope..wont last too long,now that its uncovered
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42262
Quoting LargoFl:
that sure looks powerful huh Hydrus..hope no tornado's
I,m glad it is not April. I live in Mid TN. Our local mets said we have to watch this system closely and I shall.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
BTW the NAM backed off on the surface low this time around:

This run:


Last Run:
I have a feeling that it will materialize..The next few runs should be interesting. I am still wondering if this system has a chance of going negative. The Euro has it close...
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Wow.

The fact that this is January and we don't get the huge tornado outbreak setups just yet is something to be thankful for with this kind of jet.

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Quoting hydrus:
that sure looks powerful huh Hydrus..hope no tornado's
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272. Skyepony (Mod)
Fairbanks scientists stunned to find intact 40,000-year-old steppe bison in the melting permafrost.

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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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