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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72. Skyepony (Mod)
1900~ The wind map doesn't have the yellows of earlier. We called that one:)
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71. Skyepony (Mod)
Cloudsat of Atlantic low.
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The warm seclusion process is well under way, with very few 1000-500 mb thickness contours crossing isobars. It'll be gradual weakening from here on out.





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Huh... funny to see how powerful this storm supposedly is when it really seems like nothing, at least by Icelandic standards, at least here in Reykjavík. Got some barely-freezing snow while I was at a concert last night and the roads were really slick, so I drove back to Hafnarfjörður at 30-50kmh instead of the usual 60-100kmh. Today it's just been occasional drizzle and average winds - I even went on a short hike in Hvalfjörður. Maybe it's just hitting primarily further east?

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Quoting PedleyCA:
Life is Good again -The Auto Racing Season started - 24 Hours of Daytona

For everyone else:

There are 126 days until
Saturday, 1 June 2013.


Enjoy the race ,the last couple of hours is on here will be watching






Met Eireann starting to hit the Panic button Warning issued for Monday ....Its going to be a long week

Weather Warning

Issued at 26 January 2013 - 18:57
Weather Advisory

There is a high probability that southwest to west winds will increase to mean speeds and gusts that have the potential to cause damage, in many parts of the country, during Monday 28th January.
Exceptionally high waves affecting Atlantic coasts, also on Monday, will bring the threat of coastal flooding at times of high tide.
Valid from 09:00 to 24:00 Monday 28/1/2013
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Quoting Tazmanian:
hi all got a new laptop


I hope your old one was completely non-functional, otherwise you should feel very guilty for wastefulness and adding to our climate problem just for a little dopamine boost from shiny new possessions. :D
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Quoting PedleyCA:
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5088 Comments: 111000

Hey Taz,
Nice count there......



thanks
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Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5088 Comments: 111000

Hey Taz,
Nice count there......
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Quoting Tazmanian:
hi all got a new laptop


i don't think there is many here taz u know they got better things to do then hang out here all day all the time

congrats on new laptop
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hi all got a new laptop
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From Nexsat View of storm

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10 Degrees next week... ARG! I want more snow :(
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A huge warm up for the beginning of next week guarantees the central and eastern portions of the United States will end up at least 1C above average despite the brutal cold that has encompassed the area for the past week.

Meanwhile, portions of the West will finish many degrees below average.



Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31340
58. whitewabit (Mod)
.. Freezing Rain Advisory in effect from 9 am to 6 PM CST
Sunday...

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a Freezing
Rain Advisory... which is in effect from 9 am to 6 PM CST Sunday.

* Timing... from mid Sunday morning until late Sunday afternoon.

* Ice accumulations... total ice accumulations of one to two tenths
of an inch can be expected.

* Impacts... the freezing rain will create icy conditions on
untreated roadways... bridges and overpasses... resulting in
hazardous driving conditions. In addition... sidewalks and
parking lots could will likely become slick... making walking
difficult.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Freezing Rain Advisory means that periods of freezing rain or
freezing drizzle will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for
slippery roads. Slow down and use caution while driving.



Auten
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Quoting MontanaZephyr:
49 Degrees in Helena this afternoon.

Green HOUSE!
Green HOUSE!
Green HOUSE!!!


Downright warm there......
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49 Degrees in Helena this afternoon.

Green HOUSE!
Green HOUSE!
Green HOUSE!!!
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Finished with 1.70 inches here.


Now up to .13 for the day. So, .72 for the year.
Did you see the question I asked you about radar in your newest blog entry?
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Quoting PedleyCA:
Getting some more rain today. On Wednesday the MTD was .03, Thursday added .19 and Friday .37 for a total of .59 Today so far .08 and barely raining.

What a time for the radar to be out of commission. Have to use San Diegos and it barely shows anything.



Looks like the shows over for today.
Finished with 1.70 inches here.
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Life is Good again -The Auto Racing Season started - 24 Hours of Daytona

For everyone else:

There are 126 days until
Saturday, 1 June 2013.
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A weak tropical cyclone has developed over the South Indian Ocean. This incipient system is forecast to move generally westward and later southwestward when it nears Madagascar. The storm is also anticipated to intensify steadily in relatively favorable conditions. The GFS and ECMWF are forecasting the cyclone to recurve just before hitting Madagascar by late next week. Some uncertainty remains whether the system will make landfall there. If the cyclone strengthens further, it will be named Felleng.



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Recent wind gust here 39 kts (North ROI)


I know is not the centre of the storm but Radar UK and Ireland

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.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


Jolle, is that its name?


Yep
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Quoting Civicane49:
Jolle is currently bringing snow and rain to Iceland and the British Isles.


Jolle, is that its name?
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Jolle is currently bringing snow and rain to Iceland and the British Isles.
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Not other word but WOW!!!!

Such an spectacular storm....
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Quoting Thrawst:
Soooo what are everyone's thoughts on this upcoming Severe Wx Outbreak? 


It may wind up as less impressive than first thought. It is possible.

1. The peak energy with the system may arrive in the Mississippi/Arkansas
area during the middle of the night or the wee hours of Wednesday morning,
and not during the maximum diurnal heating time of the afternoon.

2. By the time the maximum daytime heating could take effect, the energy with the system may be positioned over the bumpy and still-cooled ground of NE Alabama and central and East Tennessee, where the cooler and more stable air pooling over and east of the Appalachians may inhibit maximum severe Wx potential.

3. Further south and where the air will be warmer, dew points will be higher and surface instability will be greater, the upper level wind profile will not be nearly as conducive for the development of super cells and severe Wx in general. It's the infamous, "The main energy with this system passed to our north" scenario.

4. I could be totally, completely and absolutely wrong as wrong could be. We'll see.
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Quoting Thrawst:
Soooo what are everyone's thoughts on this upcoming Severe Wx Outbreak?
Two days of severe storms, according to SPC.

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A low pressure system that is situated northwest of the Hawaiian Islands should move generally eastward and bring heavy rain and possible thunderstorms to the islands by late tomorrow through early Tuesday. Flash flood watch has been issued for the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Meanwhile, there is a large area of dry air south of Hawaii.

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Quoting Thrawst:
Soooo what are everyone's thoughts on this upcoming Severe Wx Outbreak? 

Organized squall line with supercells ahead on Tuesday and a broken line on Wednesday.
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Quoting Thrawst:
Soooo what are everyone's thoughts on this upcoming Severe Wx Outbreak? 
at its peak at 1 pm wed onward till sunset

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Soooo what are everyone's thoughts on this upcoming Severe Wx Outbreak? 
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Thanks Dr. Masters.

Jolle sure is an impressive storm.

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Rock You Like A Hurricane
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It's early morning, the sun comes out
Last night was shaking pretty loud,
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Thanks Doc
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Getting some more rain today. On Wednesday the MTD was .03, Thursday added .19 and Friday .37 for a total of .59 Today so far .08 and barely raining.

What a time for the radar to be out of commission. Have to use San Diegos and it barely shows anything.



Looks like the shows over for today.
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Maximum forecast temperatures for Tuesday, January 29:



...and for Day 4, Wednesday, January 30:



Spring-lovers will be happy.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31340
Thanks for the update Doc! I love these type of extratropical storms.

In good news, the cold blast helped the Great Lakes form a healthier amount of ice.

Before the cold wave:



Most recent:

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by this time next weekend back to normal or just below winter low temps

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Thanks Belize and Florida Water Front for your answers in terms that I could understand
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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.