April in January: spring-like severe weather and record warmth in the Midwest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:19 PM GMT on January 29, 2013

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The calendar says its January, but the atmosphere looks more like April over the Midwest U.S., where a spring-like surge of warm air is interacting with a strong low pressure system to create a dangerous severe weather situation. The warm air surging northwards has already broken high temperature records for the date in Chicago, where the mercury hit 61°F at 7 am CST; a tornado watch is posted for portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas. Golf-ball sized hail fell at three locations in Oklahoma already this morning, and a wind gust of 75 mph was reported in a thunderstorm near Omega, Oklahoma. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed portions of Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma, Illinois, Indiana, and Mississippi in their "Moderate Risk" region for severe weather on Tuesday. This is the first "Moderate Risk" forecast issued during 2013. The primary threat will be damaging thunderstorm winds, but we will also see tornadoes, with the potential for a few strong EF-2 and EF-3 twisters. The surge of warm moving northwards ahead of the cold front spawning today's severe weather is bringing in warmth unprecedented for January in some locations. Monday was the hottest January day on record in Topeka, Kansas, which hit 77°F. That's 36°F above average. and 3° warmer than their previous highest January temperature. Columbia, Missouri tied its all-time warmest January temperature, 77°. Kansas City (74°F) and Wichita (74°F) both fell 1° short of tying their all-time January hottest temperature records. Balloon soundings of the atmosphere taken last night showed moisture levels in the top 5% for a January day over much of the Midwest, and several stations may set all-time rainiest January day records today. One candidate is Flint Michigan, where a heavy thunderstorm moved in at 7:30 am, dumping 0.75" of rain. With another round of thunderstorms expected tonight, Flint is poised to break its record for rainiest January day in its history--the 1.34" that fell on January 18, 1949.


Figure 1. A crazy weather day for the U.S.: our severe weather map from 10 am EST Tuesday, January 29. Severe thunderstorms were occurring in Kansas and Oklahoma, flood watches were posted for Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin, and winter weather advisories, high wind advisories, and fire weather advisories were posted in other locations.


Figure 2. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed portions of Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma, Illinois, Indiana, and Mississippi in their "Moderate Risk" region for severe weather on Tuesday. This is the first "Moderate Risk" forecast issued during 2013.

Chicago's wild January weather ride continues
Chicago's craziest January in memory got even stranger today, when a surge of warm air pushed the temperature to 61°F at 7 am, breaking the previous high temperature record of 59°F for the date. Spring-like thunderstorms, accompanied by temperatures in the mid-60s are expected this afternoon--just a week after the city recorded a high temperature of 11°F and a low of -1°F (on January 22nd.) Chicago has been above 65°F in January just once in its history--on January 25, 1950, when the mercury hit 67°F. The average January high in the Windy City is 30°F, and today will be the 4th day the city has been 20 or more degrees warmer than that during January 2013. The roller coaster goes back downhill after the cold front moves through early on Wednesday, though--Chicago's high on Friday is expected to be near 15°F, with a morning low around 5°F. Chicago has also experienced record low snowfall this winter; the city got it's first 1-inch snowstorm of the season on Friday, when 1.1" fell at O'Hare Airport. This was the latest first 1-inch snow in city history, and ended a 335-day streak without a 1-inch snowstorm, the longest such streak since records began in 1872. Chicago has managed just 2.9" of snow during the winter of 2012 - 2013, which is 16" below average.

Chicago's roller coaster of temperatures doesn't compare, though, to what happened in Nowata, Oklahoma during the period February 10 - 17, 2011. A cold air mass combined with a fresh snow pack and calm winds allowed Nowata to hit a low of -31°F on February 10, 2011--the all-time coldest temperature ever recorded in Oklahoma. Gradual warming accelerated over the next week, and temperatures peaked at a record high of 79 degrees on February 17. According to the National Weather Service in Tulsa, Okla., this 110-degree temperature rise was the greatest change within seven days in Oklahoma history.


Video 1. In this video done by Peter Sinclair for the Yale Forum on Climate Change, I offer my thoughts on the roller coaster ride of temperatures in Michigan this winter, look back at the remarkable weather of 2012, and discuss what 2013 might bring. My main concern: drought.

Jeff Masters

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566. Skyepony (Mod)
TX/AR lots of trees down, attacking houses cars, electricity..another trailer over. Barns aren't fairing well either.

0615 PM TSTM WND DMG 8 W WINNSBORO 32.96N 95.43W
01/29/2013 WOOD TX LAW ENFORCEMENT

CARPORT AND FRONT PORCH BLOWN OFF A HOUSE. A TREE FELL
THROUGH THE HOUSE AS WELL.



0720 PM TSTM WND DMG NEW BOSTON 33.46N 94.42W
01/29/2013 BOWIE TX LAW ENFORCEMENT

NUMEROUS TREES DOWN ACROSS THE COUNTY WITH AN 18 WHEELER
BLOWN OVER AS WELL.


0830 PM TSTM WND DMG 7 SSW FOUKE 33.17N 93.93W
01/29/2013 MILLER AR EMERGENCY MNGR

LARGE BARN DESTROYED AND NUMEROUS TREES DOWN ACROSS THE
AREA. A TRAILER OVERTURNED AS WELL. NEAR CR413 OFF OF
CR6.




This event is bringing on the excessive use of as well..
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Massive Tumbleweeds rolling over road in Midland TX today with gusts to 50mph

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XBZ9qYDxFs&fe atur e=player_detailpage


Wow! My impressions were that tumbleweeds were lonely and usually lived single lives (I guess it comes from the familiar desert scene where you would only see one tumbleweed streak across when it's quiet) but they look very social indeed.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
For those who missed it earlier...

If you viewed Hurricane Isaac's TCR and thought it was unusually long, you weren't mistaken. At 78 pages, Isaac is the longest report the NHC has ever written on a tropical cyclone.

This meaningless record will be broken sometime during the next two weeks when the report for Sandy comes out. It will be well over 100 pages.


Wondering if they'll upgrade Sandy to our second major hurricane.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
For those who missed it earlier...

If you viewed Hurricane Isaac's TCR and thought it was unusually long, you weren't mistaken. At 78 pages, Isaac is the longest report the NHC has ever written on a tropical cyclone.

This meaningless record will be broken sometime during the next two weeks when the report for Sandy comes out. It will be well over 100 pages.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32855
Pretty windy here in southeast Louisiana. Not too exciting so far, but perhaps that'll change. Night's still young.

Hope the less crazy people stay safe, since I know they don't want the weather.
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The weather over the next couple days will be sucky for me. The temperatures will go from the 60s (record highs) to the low 20s and teens. Precipitation will transition from heavy rain/thunderstorms to snow showers. This will cause headaches, literally and figuratively, sinus issues, and travel issues. This is probably the first time I have seen 60F temps and rain & snow used for the same day.
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557. Skyepony (Mod)
Seeing alot of sheds being blown away with this, some roofs, carports, trees & powerlines too.


0955 PM TSTM WND DMG LILBOURN 36.59N 89.61W
01/29/2013 NEW MADRID MO EMERGENCY MNGR

MOBILE HOME BLOWN OVER. NO ONE INSIDE.


0915 PM TSTM WND DMG CAPE GIRARDEAU 37.31N 89.55W
01/29/2013 CAPE GIRARDEAU MO EMERGENCY MNGR

SEMI AND TRAILER OVERTURNED DUE TO STRAIGHT LINE WINDS
ALONG HIGHWAY 25.


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Nothing here yet but gusty winds. Fastest I saw was 39mph earlier at Beaumont/Port Arthur. Latest discussion from Lake Charles...

.DISCUSSION...
SFC OBS INDICATE THAT GRADIENT WINDS REMAIN AROUND 20 MPH FROM
I-10 SOUTH TO THE COAST...THEREFORE EXTENDED/RE-ISSUED THE WIND
ADVISORY FOR THIS AREA THROUGH MIDNIGHT. ACROSS THE NRN 1/2 OF THE
AREA...WILL CERTAINLY SEE CRITERIA WINDS IN CONVECTIVE GUSTS BUT
SUSTAINED GRADIENT WINDS HAVE DROPPED BELOW 20 MPH SO ALLOWED THE
ADVISORY TO EXPIRE ON TIME.

LOCAL 88DS SHOW PLENTIFUL SHOWERS...WITH INCREASING THUNDER...
MOVING ACROSS CNTL LA. MEANWHILE REGIONAL 88DS SHOW NUMEROUS
STRONG/SEVERE STORMS ALONG THE APPROACHING COLD FRONT STRETCHING
FROM NEAR KSHV TO KLFK TO KCXO. REGIONAL 00Z SOUNDINGS SHOW AN
ATMOSPHERE MORE THAN READY FOR SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL THIS
EVENING...SFC DEWPOINTS ABOVE 20C/COPIOUS MOISTURE THROUGH 800MB/
GOOD DRY SLOT ALOFT/VERY UNSTABLE/RIDICULOUS WINDS JUST OFF THE
SFC/
HELICITY VALUES A0A 400. ABOUT THE ONLY SAVING GRACE RIGHT NOW
IS THAT NEITHER THE KPOE/KLCH 88D VWP SHOWS MUCH LOW-LEVEL VEERING
ATTM...ALTHOUGH REGIONAL 88DS SHOW THIS VEERING IS CERTAINLY
ENOUGH FOR SOLID ROTATION WITHIN CELLS. THIS WAS A LOT OF TALK TO
BASICALLY SAY THAT INHERITED GRIDS/FORECASTS ARE IN GREAT SHAPE AS
IS AND NO CHANGES WILL BE NEEDED AS FAR AS POPS/WX.
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AC is on for first time in a month I believe, it's currently lower 70s and windy, with abrupt change in less than hr here as temps are down in upper 50s up the road.

Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9686
553. etxwx
Getting some real gusty winds here in East Texas but nothing severe and no thunder or lightening. I'll be glad to get the rain and happy to miss the rest. The worst weather is farther north. Hope everyone stays safe...it looks like a nasty night ahead for some.
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552. Skyepony (Mod)
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
757 PM CST TUE JAN 29 2013

..TIME.. ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE.. ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
..REMARKS..

0705 PM TSTM WND DMG 1 SE PALESTINE 31.74N 95.62W
01/29/2013 ANDERSON TX AMATEUR RADIO

A SECTION OF METAL ROOFING WAS BLOWN OFF OF A WALMART
WAREHOUSE, AND ONTO THE ROOF OF A NEIGHBORING CHURCH.

$$
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Massive Tumbleweeds rolling over road in Midland TX today with gusts to 50mph

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XBZ9qYDxFs&featur e=player_detailpage
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9686
Time for Bed - Please Stay Safe - Sleep Well if You Can - Stay Warm - Keep Your Weather Radio ON - Hope You All Have a Safe Place to Hide for the Fray.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6251


For an animation of the double front evolution, see my blog entry.
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Quoting wxchaser97:

We've had Magnus since this morning, just saying.

Speaking of the snowy side....

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0082
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0829 PM CST TUE JAN 29 2013

AREAS AFFECTED...CNTRL/NERN KS...SERN NEB...FAR SWRN IA...EXTREME
NWRN MO

CONCERNING...HEAVY SNOW

VALID 300229Z - 300630Z

SUMMARY...A BAND OF SNOWFALL ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE CNTRL PLAINS IS
EXPECTED TO PERSIST AND PERHAPS INTENSIFY DURING THE NEXT FEW HOURS.
MDT SNOW WITH BRIEF/ISOLATED SNOWFALL RATES AROUND 1 INCH/HR ARE
POSSIBLE.

DISCUSSION...RADAR IMAGERY ACROSS THE CNTRL PLAINS CONTINUES TO SHOW
A SNOW BAND FROM CNTRL KS NEWD INTO SWRN NEB. UPPER AIR ANALYSIS
SHOWS THE 700 MB TROUGH AXIS OF THE LARGE TROUGH ACROSS THE CNTRL
PLAINS IS GENERALLY LOCATED FROM CNTRL KS NEWD INTO S-CNTRL MN. THIS
PLACES THE DEFORMATION AXIS FROM CNTRL KS NEWD INTO SERN NEB/SWRN
IA. MODEL GUIDANCE AND RECENT MESOANALYSIS SUGGESTS MOISTURE WILL
CONTINUE TO WRAP AROUND THE UPPER TROUGH INTO THE DEFORMATION AXIS
WITH THE PERSISTENCE AND PERHAPS INTENSIFICATION OF THE SNOWFALL IN
THE SNOW BAND. AS SUCH...BRIEF PERIOD WITH SNOWFALL RATES AROUND 1
INCH/HR ARE POSSIBLE.

..MOSIER.. 01/30/2013



barely go TWC site... didn't read previous comments..
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
Winter Storm Magnus

We've had Magnus since this morning, just saying.

Speaking of the snowy side....

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0082
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0829 PM CST TUE JAN 29 2013

AREAS AFFECTED...CNTRL/NERN KS...SERN NEB...FAR SWRN IA...EXTREME
NWRN MO

CONCERNING...HEAVY SNOW

VALID 300229Z - 300630Z

SUMMARY...A BAND OF SNOWFALL ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE CNTRL PLAINS IS
EXPECTED TO PERSIST AND PERHAPS INTENSIFY DURING THE NEXT FEW HOURS.
MDT SNOW WITH BRIEF/ISOLATED SNOWFALL RATES AROUND 1 INCH/HR ARE
POSSIBLE.

DISCUSSION...RADAR IMAGERY ACROSS THE CNTRL PLAINS CONTINUES TO SHOW
A SNOW BAND FROM CNTRL KS NEWD INTO SWRN NEB. UPPER AIR ANALYSIS
SHOWS THE 700 MB TROUGH AXIS OF THE LARGE TROUGH ACROSS THE CNTRL
PLAINS IS GENERALLY LOCATED FROM CNTRL KS NEWD INTO S-CNTRL MN. THIS
PLACES THE DEFORMATION AXIS FROM CNTRL KS NEWD INTO SERN NEB/SWRN
IA. MODEL GUIDANCE AND RECENT MESOANALYSIS SUGGESTS MOISTURE WILL
CONTINUE TO WRAP AROUND THE UPPER TROUGH INTO THE DEFORMATION AXIS
WITH THE PERSISTENCE AND PERHAPS INTENSIFICATION OF THE SNOWFALL IN
THE SNOW BAND. AS SUCH...BRIEF PERIOD WITH SNOWFALL RATES AROUND 1
INCH/HR ARE POSSIBLE.

..MOSIER.. 01/30/2013
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Winter Storm Magnus...just saw it (its late I know)
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535) That's IL's tornado alley. Went to school at Carbondale. First year there, I lived in a trailer S of town, scary year. Hope they just stay radar rotations, and if any touch downs occur, hope they're corn storms, as someone said earlier today (only hit fields or other open spaces).
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 789
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
I like that!!! soo sad it's too far out
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
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Temps have held in mid 50s since line came through before 6, still getting steady rain and an occasional boom here in S C IL. Fortunately, not much wind here.

All you folks to our S keep safe. This has really blown up more than most expected with warnings from S IL to N LA.
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 789
A new tornado watch has been issued for parts of Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky with the main threats being tornadoes and damaging winds. The squall line that has prompted this watch has already has multiple funnel clouds spotted and wind damage reported.
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The evolution of today's severe weather episode so far is certainly an interesting one.

We originally had the initial squall line that developed early in the morning today over central Oklahoma.

Thereafter, it seemed as if the prefrontal line (the line that started on the LA/MS border, was the dominant line, as every storm that formed on it (2 main supercells) had nader warnings on them. It then weakened quite rapidly as it entered drier air, which had yet to be modified by the strong low level jet that was residing to its west.

The line which took the longest to develop was the confluence line, which is in the middle of the other two lines. This one was dominantly supercellular for a few hours (from 6 - 10pm EST). It appears as if the southern edge of this line is remaining semi-discrete and the northern half of it has turned into an awesomely spectacular squall line with many embedded supercell structures and brief spinups.

Also of note are hail-producing storms in Central Texas. Interesting considering the cold air behind the front along the entire front.

That's all I have to say for this post :p lol.
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That squall line in S. Illinois/ SE. Missouri/ E. Arkansas is getting crazy organized. Stay safe everyone!
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Good lord.
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Very strong storms in IL popping out of nowhere.
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Quoting wxchaser97:

It is still weather so there is nothing wrong with posting it. Actually that is really looking good there. Hopefully the eye doesn't hit Madagascar.
Probably won`t.Do models are showing another tc after Felleng dissipates?
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Quoting Astrometeor:
paducah, ky. NWS map o'warnings.


When you just copy the image url of that and paste it, all that shows up is the roadways. You need an image capturing program like MWsnap, Sangit, or something else and then upload it to an image sharing site.
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Dr. Greg Forbes' TOR-CON numbers if anyone is interested can be found here:

Doom???

I got issued a 5, 50% chance of a tornado within 50 miles of my location.
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Take a look at that wind map!
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Here we go! Another round of severe weather! :)
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My brother lives in Carbondale just told him to prepare. Nasty line coming through.

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paducah, ky. NWS map o'warnings.

Warnings map

Edit: It didn't show up originally for me...:(
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Jaws theme

per request
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6251
STRONG rotation in Illinois. Murphysboro and Carbondale, take cover!

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Oooo, I can see the warnings on the edge of the radar. Anyone have a copy of the theme song from JAWS?



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Quoting JNCali:
getting ready on being up with our yellow lab about midnight.. hope the severe stuff avoids our corner of Middle TN tonight!


Yeah, not looking forward to the possibility of listening to our NOAA weather radio or the local station at 2 AM.

Hey Mother Nature, some of us would like to sleep, thanks.
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Quoting canehater1:
Gulf of Mexico Weather Conditions at 27 deg 35 min N
and 92 deg 17 min W Wind South (170 Deg T) at 30 kts gusts to 35 kts Wave Height 7 ft (avg)....


You must be at work with those coordinates. Have a Good Night.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6251
getting ready on being up with our yellow lab about midnight.. hope the severe stuff avoids our corner of Middle TN tonight!
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First time we have hit double digit tornado warnings simultaneously today.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
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Gulf of Mexico Weather Conditions at 27 deg 35 min N
and 92 deg 17 min W Wind South (170 Deg T) at 30 kts gusts to 35 kts Wave Height 7 ft (avg)....
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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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