Wild weather week ends; Mississippi River rises out of danger zone

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:44 PM GMT on February 01, 2013

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One of the most unusual weeks of January weather in U.S. history has drawn to a close, and residents of the Southeast are cleaning up after a ferocious 2-day outbreak of severe weather. NWS damage surveys have found that at least 42 tornadoes touched down on January 29 - 30, making it the 3rd largest January tornado outbreak since records began in 1950. Here are the largest January tornado outbreaks since 1950:

129 1/21 - 1/22 1999
50 1/7 - 1/8 2008
42 1/29 - 1/30 2013
40 1/9 1/10 1975

As wunderground's Angela Fritz wrote in her blog today, the powerful tornado that ripped through Adairsville, Georgia, northwest of Atlanta, at 11:19 am EST Thursday morning, killing one person, has been rated a high-end EF-3 with 160 mph winds. At least seven other tornadoes in the outbreak were EF-2s. Damaging winds reports for the 2-day period numbered 597, the highest 2-day January total since NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) began tabulating these in 2000. The severe weather outbreak was fueled an air mass that set many all-time January records for warmth and moisture, as detailed by our weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, in his latest post, A Wild Ride Weather-wise for the Eastern Half of the U.S. the past Four Days.


Figure 1. Damage to the Daiki Corporation factory in Adairsville, GA, after the January 30, 2013 EF-3 tornado. Image credit: Dr. Greg Forbes, TWC.


Figure 2. Severe weather reports for the month of January; 597 reports of damaging winds were recorded January 29 - 30. Image credit: NOAA/SPC.

Mississippi River rising
This week's storm brought widespread rains of 1 - 2" to Missouri and Illinois, along the drainage basin of the stretch of the Mississippi River that was so low as to threaten to stop barge traffic. Happily, the rains have caused the river to rise by more than seven feet over the past week, along the stretch from St. Louis to Thebes, Illinois. Thanks to this much-needed bump in river levels, plus the future run-off that will occur from the snows that have accumulated in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, I expect no potential low water closures of the Mississippi until June at the earliest. According to today's newly-released Drought Monitor, though, the area of the contiguous U.S. in moderate or greater drought remained unchanged at 58% this week. It will be dry across the core of the drought region for at least the next week; the GFS model is predicting that the next chance of significant precipitation for the drought region will be Saturday, February 9. Don't bet on this happening, though, since the model has been inconsistent with its handling of the storm. The drought has killed hundreds of thousands of trees across the Midwest, and many more will succumb during the next few years. According to Brian Fuchs, a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center, drought was present in at least isolated spots in all 50 states of the U.S. for the first time in history during 2012.


Figure 3. The water level in the Mississippi River at St. Louis was at -4' early this week, just above the all-time record low of -6.2' set in 1940. However, rains from this week's storm have raised water levels by seven feet. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.


Figure 4. The liquid equivalent of melting all the snow on the ground present on February 1, 2013. Widespread amounts of water equivalent to 0.39" - 2" of rain are present over Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, which is near average for this time of year. When this snow melts, it will raise the level of the Mississippi River and aid barge navigation. Image credit: NOAA/National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center.

Links
Adairsville Tornado Recap, Photos, and Video from Angela Fritz

A Wild Ride Weather-wise for the Eastern Half of the U.S. the past Four Days by wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt.

Tornado Expert Sees "Staggering" Damage in Georgia



Have a great Groundhog's Day and Super Sunday, everyone!

Jeff Masters

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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
Quoting Skyepony:
$50 billion recovery assistance package approved Thursday for Sandy recovery. Transparency with funds is being urged..
Too late. The hogs have already been slopped. And that is an apolitical comment. Both Dems and Republicans are guilty of larding up such legislation.
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Go Ravens, Momma needs a new pair of shoes. I'm sure

Ravens plus 4.5 and 170 on the money line
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Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone!
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The New River in Montgomery/Giles/Pulaski Counties, Virginia is receding after giving us the worst flood in the last 20 years. This was water from the heavy rains of Wed pm and Thurs am last whicn was collected behind and overflowing the dam on Clator Lake in Pulaski Co. Residents along our road across the peak which form the northern boundary between Montgomery and Giles Co were evacuated. The many cars parked in a Radford University lot were almost completely underwater. Anyone unfamiliar with the topography here would not expect a flood as we have had here in the Appalachian Mountain.
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Quoting indianrivguy:


Prolly depends on where you are. It has been very nice for two days here in Jensen Beach. Clear and coolish but fresh. Talked to a delivery lady that said it was 33f in Hernando Beach, that's time to move further south weather. :)
I had 32.9 in Zephyrhills this morning.
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I remember this bombogenesis... it was quite amazing.
Link
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Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:


I guess I'm the only one who's going to miss the pleasantly cool weather we've been having recently.


Prolly depends on where you are. It has been very nice for two days here in Jensen Beach. Clear and coolish but fresh. Talked to a delivery lady that said it was 33f in Hernando Beach, that's time to move further south weather. :)
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2503
Wind advisory will be in effect for parts of the Big Island, Haleakala summit on Maui, and Lanai starting tonight through tomorrow.
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Quoting LargoFl:
Yesss..Get that cold out of here...


I guess I'm the only one who's going to miss the pleasantly cool weather we've been having recently.
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Quoting Civicane49:
Typically peaceful weather in my area:



Same as in PR with a beautiful blue sky in San Juan.



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Typically peaceful weather in my area:

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THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK COVERS NORTHERN...WESTERN...
CENTRAL...AND SOUTHERN OKLAHOMA...AND WESTERN NORTH TEXAS.

.DAY ONE...THROUGH TONIGHT...

THUNDERSTORM OUTLOOK...
THUNDERSTORMS ARE NOT EXPECTED THROUGH TONIGHT.

DISCUSSION...
MOISTURE WILL GRADUALLY INCREASE AS SOUTH WINDS RETURN AHEAD OF A
COLD FRONT. TONIGHT...SOME SHOWERS MAY DEVELOP BUT THUNDERSTORMS
ARE UNLIKELY DUE TO LIMITED INSTABILITY.

PROBABILITY TABLE...
VALID THROUGH 700 AM CST MONDAY FEB 4.
PROBABILITY OF THUNDERSTORMS OCCURRING IN THE
NWS NORMAN COUNTY WARNING AREA...LESS THAN 5 PERCENT.

OTHER HAZARDOUS WEATHER...
BREEZY SOUTH WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY WILL ELEVATE FIRE DANGER THIS
AFTERNOON...ESPECIALLY IN WESTERN OKLAHOMA AND ADJACENT AREAS OF
NORTH TEXAS.

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

THUNDERSTORM OUTLOOK...
A COOL FRONT WILL BRING A CHANCE OF SHOWERS LATE WEDNESDAY INTO
THURSDAY. THUNDERSTORM CHANCES WILL INCREASE LATE FRIDAY
INTO SATURDAY AS A LARGE STORM SYSTEM APPROACHES.

OTHER HAZARDOUS WEATHER...
NONE.

THE NEXT SCHEDULED HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK WILL BE ISSUED BY 5 AM
MONDAY.
$$
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looks like Texas gets some good rain next week.....
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An upper level low east of Hawaii:

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Felleng no longer has deep convection over the center on satellite imagery, due to cold waters and high westerly vertical wind shear. I believe that the system is no longer a tropical cyclone since there's no convection near the center for several hours.

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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Looks like the next severe weather event there.


Yep
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Quoting Civicane49:
GFS and ECMWF at 192 hours:





Looks like the next severe weather event there.
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GFS and ECMWF are predicting a storm system to bring severe weather over the eastern half of CONUS by early next week:



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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
MesoWest Jurupa Valley CA US SGXWFO, Riverside, California (PWS)
Updated: 48 min 47 sec ago
Scattered Clouds
69 °F
Scattered Clouds
Humidity: 53%
Dew Point: 51 °F
Wind: 3 mph Variable
Wind Gust: 8.0 mph
Pressure: 30.06 in (Steady)
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 4 out of 16
Pollen: 7.80 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!
Clouds:
Few 3000 ft
Scattered Clouds 18000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 794 ft

This is the PWS up the road from me. I currently have 71.3° here.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5636
433. Skyepony (Mod)
$50 billion recovery assistance package approved Thursday for Sandy recovery. Transparency with funds is being urged..
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432. Skyepony (Mod)
Winners & losers from the recent weather..

em>Earlier this month, Cargill Beef said it's closing one of its Texas plants because of a prolonged drought in the state that thinned cattle herds to their lowest level in 60 years. As a result, 2,000 workers had to relocate to another plant or find new jobs.

"climate-change effects on agriculture will have consequences for food security" and food processing, storage, transportation and retailing. And that can affect jobs.

Climate change threatens human health and well-being -- wildfires; decreased air quality; diseases transmitted by insects, food and water, according to the draft report. So public health actions such as preparedness and prevention become paramount.

The biggest and most positive effect on employment will come from "initiatives to address and reverse climate change," Challenger says. These include "the development of new renewable energy sources and the manufacture of more energy-efficient transportation."

The latest green job statistics from 2010 show the United States has produced 3.1 million green jobs.

The construction industry "is rife for green jobs," Challenger says. And utilities and manufacturing have high potential "since equipment to harness and distribute energy more efficiently is being built nationwide."
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431. Skyepony (Mod)
UK~ Investigators were today still trying to identify the source of a pollution spill that may yet kill thousands of seabirds along a stretch of the South Coast from West Sussex to Cornwall. Hundreds of birds were washed ashore over the weekend covered with a sticky, oily substance. Experts say a change in the wind direction yesterday blew many birds out to sea and it is feared they will die of cold and exhaustion. The affected birds, mostly guillemots, are now being treated at RSPCA centres. An illegal dumping of cargo oil at sea may be behind the problem.

More inclusive article here.
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Partly Cloudy

90°F

32°C

Humidity22%
Wind SpeedVRBL 3 MPH
Barometer30.11 in (1017.7 mb)
Dewpoint46°F (8°C)
Visibility10.00 mi
Heat Index87°F (31°C)

Last Update on 03 Feb 10:53 am PST

Current conditions at

Riverside, Riverside Municipal Airport (KRAL)

Personal Weather Station (about 1 km SW)

Airport Area, Riverside, California (PWS)
Updated: 2 sec ago
Scattered Clouds
74.7 °F
Scattered Clouds
Humidity: 23%
Dew Point: 35 °F
Wind: 3.1 mph
Wind Gust: 3.1 mph
Pressure: 29.29 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 76 °F
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 4 out of 16
Pollen: 7.80 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!
Clouds:
Few 3000 ft
Scattered Clouds 18000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 748 ft
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5636
Snow..Whazzat?...........
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Quoting PedleyCA:
Things are all screwy at the Airport (KRAL). They are reporting 81 and while that is a nice Temperature, that is already 8-9 degrees over the forecast and it is as of 8:53PST. I have a more subdued 63.9 here @9:18PST I am 2 miles from the airport. Whoever they let work on their equipment the other day didn't do it correctly or used bad parts. Or maybe he left the enclosure open. That last one would be too funny. Yesterday their reported High was 89 but the number that ended up on the History page was 77 which was closer to correct. They didn't fix the page for 2/1 which still says it was 96 when it about the same as yesterdays. Hard to get a correct temperature around here as the PWS are sometimes erratic and sometimes just down for long periods of time. Is there a link at the NWS to report suspect readings?

Chances are, the Hydrometeorological Technician (HMTs) on shift or the Observation Program Leader (OPL) knows about it, because they typically are watching these sorts of things. We have a station here in southeast Louisiana that typically reports hot, especially in the summer. It's widely known to do that and is usually just disregarded.
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well it's sunny here now... just half an inch of snow from last night
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Quoting SuzK:


Is it me, or, on your maps, are the Great Lakes warmer on January 31 than Jan 3? That seems funny to me in the dead of winter, esp with 98% of the world showing a bit cooler. Also interesting, the heat in the northern Atlantic had barely changed from 1-3 to 1-31. And see how the flow of heat (orange) appears at the Lakes, disappears under the continent, but shows up again, extending east into the Northern Atlantic.


Your intuition about the lakes serves correct according to the Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis. Although those are anomalies, it's still too low of a resolution to derive anything about the Great Lakes from those maps.



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Quoting hydrus:
I have been swamped with work and taking care of Mom. We made out well with the last system. Significant tree damage is widespread through out Mid-TN. The next system that may produce some severe weather is a week or so away. So its Fresca and the barbie today...:)
ok glad to see your ok Hydrus, that was some really bad weather there..take care
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423. SuzK
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific have done a lot of cooling in the month of January overall. Values across Nino 3.4 rose above -0.5C last Monday, but should be back down tomorrow.

January 3, 2013:



January 31, 2013:



Is it me, or, on your maps, are the Great Lakes warmer on January 31 than Jan 3? That seems funny to me in the dead of winter, esp with 98% of the world showing a bit cooler. Also interesting, the heat in the northern Atlantic had barely changed from 1-3 to 1-31. And see how the flow of heat (orange) appears at the Lakes, disappears under the continent, but shows up again, extending east into the Northern Atlantic.
Member Since: October 8, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 97
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


Does the warming on either side of Argentina/Chile point at all toward equatorial cooling?
Or are they not at all related?

I don't think it has much of an influence. In 2009, both the waters east of Chile and waters in the equatorial Pacific were above average.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31342
Quoting LargoFl:
Has Hydrus been on since this day?..............
I have been swamped with work and taking care of Mom. We made out well with the last system. Significant tree damage is widespread through out Mid-TN. The next system that may produce some severe weather is a week or so away. So its Fresca and the barbie today...:)
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Things are all screwy at the Airport (KRAL). They are reporting 81 and while that is a nice Temperature, that is already 8-9 degrees over the forecast and it is as of 8:53PST. I have a more subdued 63.9 here @9:18PST I am 2 miles from the airport. Whoever they let work on their equipment the other day didn't do it correctly or used bad parts. Or maybe he left the enclosure open. That last one would be too funny. Yesterday their reported High was 89 but the number that ended up on the History page was 77 which was closer to correct. They didn't fix the page for 2/1 which still says it was 96 when it about the same as yesterdays. Hard to get a correct temperature around here as the PWS are sometimes erratic and sometimes just down for long periods of time. Is there a link at the NWS to report suspect readings?
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5636
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific have done a lot of cooling in the month of January overall. Values across Nino 3.4 rose above -0.5C last Monday, but should be back down tomorrow.

January 3, 2013:



January 31, 2013:



Does the warming on either side of Argentina/Chile point at all toward equatorial cooling?
Or are they not at all related?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific have done a lot of cooling in the month of January overall. Values across Nino 3.4 rose above -0.5C last Monday, but should be back down tomorrow.

January 3, 2013:



January 31, 2013:

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31342
417. VR46L


Hello Folks !!

Nice temps posted by Largo and Pedley

Slightly Jealous of yous.

Mindya its a positively balmy 50░F here shame about the mist .
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6811
Quoting PedleyCA:


Last time I saw Hydrus was 2/1

25. hydrus 3:25 PM GMT on February 01, 2013


Thanks Pedley..
Largo was asking about him..
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Oh, please let this pan out...

GFS for next Sunday


(Click to embiggen)

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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


which was after the tornados anyway.


Right, he posted when we were discussing the loss of the Shuttles....
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5636
Quoting PedleyCA:


Last time I saw Hydrus was 2/1

25. hydrus 3:25 PM GMT on February 01, 2013


which was after the tornados anyway.
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Quoting pcola57:


Haven't seen Hydrus yet Largo..


Last time I saw Hydrus was 2/1

25. hydrus 3:25 PM GMT on February 01, 2013
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5636
I will welcome this warmup across the eastern third. Also some cold in the western third.



Warm in the NE after that.

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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.