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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Quoting whitewabit:


Either way there will be 6 more weeks of winter ..


I asked because I was curious, not because I believe Phil can predict anything. Thanks =|
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160. SuzK
Quoting JustPlantIt:
WHAT!!! I think it is called "hell freezing over". No this can't be true.


I think it means the pole/poles are melting for one reason or another (or both). The Younger Dryas Event, a melting event of 12,000 or so years previous, took 5-10 years to occur and then everything changed in a hurry. It can happen, we might get to be the witnesses. Of what? Depends on other forces. The solar system is currently entering an energy field, called amusingly by scientists 'The Fluff'. The entire solar system has been heating, not just the Earth. It's just so exciting to me that humans picked this time, the past 200 years, to unbalance the chemistry of our atmosphere by loading it with heavy metals, carbon dioxide, methane and human detritus. Yes, there are so many humans that the predominant dust high in the atmosphere has human DNA. Interesting times for all mankind now!
Member Since: October 8, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
Quoting ihave27windows:
This has probably been asked but, will Phil see his shadow tomorrow?



Either way there will be 6 more weeks of winter ..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormchaser43:
Interesting. Turns out I may need smaller thongs afterall. Hell, at the rate we're going, I won't be wearing anything...

Link

Report shows UN admitting solar activity may play significant role in global warming?

The Earth has been getting warmer -- but how much of that heat is due to greenhouse gas emissions and how much is due to natural causes?

A leaked report by a United Nations’ group dedicated to climate studies says that heat from the sun may play a larger role than previously thought.

“[Results] do suggest the possibility of a much larger impact of solar variations on the stratosphere than previously thought, and some studies have suggested that this may lead to significant regional impacts on climate,” reads a draft copy of a major, upcoming report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPC


Read more: Link
Since Fox ix so adept at cherry-picking via omission, let's add the surrounding for context:

"These new [UV] measurements...are unlikely to alter estimates of the maximum absolute magnitude of the solar contribution to [radiative forcing], which remains small... However, they do suggest the possibility of a much larger impact of solar variations on the stratosphere than previously thought, and some studies have suggested that this may lead to significant regional impacts on climate...that are not necessarily reflected by the RF metric..."

So, a pre-publication draft of a report contributed to by a large and disparate group of scientists and fossil fuel-friendly politicians--and "leaked" by someone who promised not to release anything until publication--contains a passage that states that solar forcing, which is small compared to anthropogenic forcing, may contribute more to regional climates than previously thought--and this is enough to make someone change their beachwear?

Wow. What's going to happen when the actual report is published? ;-)

At any rate, the linked-to Fox piece is especially funny in that the chosen rebuttal witness is himself a well known and thoroughly discredited denialist, Patrick Michaels. Which brings up the point: why do you suppose it is that Fox steadfastly refuses to give voice to even a single one of the many thousands of credible scientists who support climate change theory, choosing to focus instead on the same dozen or so hard-core, fossil-fuels-uber-alles denialists?

Anyone?

Anyone?
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The earth seems a little unsettled in the Santa Cruz island area lately, several moderate earthquakes in the past few days. They just had the largest one yet, a magnitude 6.7 quake:

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All I wanted was JUST 15 minutes to see the weather. Not tonight.
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It's incredibly dry across a great majority of the USA right now.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34483
Quoting SuzK:


This, exactly. There are many other Native North and South American traditions that say the end draws near when the 'seasons get confused', which I believe is the same thing. Snow in Naples Florida? Yes, but in January OR June.
WHAT!!! I think it is called "hell freezing over". No this can't be true.
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Quoting JustPlantIt:
Wish it were plain... try frozen pipes, got news today that my other nightmare house has them. $$$$$$$$ New tenants discover those this am. Lucky me.


We always want the opposite of what we have.
Sorry bout your pipes =/
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Quoting ihave27windows:
All I can say, is that my life is pretty plain......

We have had a very warm January, and I wish my life/weather wasn't quite so plain!

......I like watchin' the puddles gather rain.

;)
Wish it were plain... try frozen pipes, got news today that my other nightmare house has them. $$$$$$$$ New tenants discover those this am. Lucky me.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormchaser43:
Interesting. Turns out I may need smaller thongs afterall. Hell, at the rate we're going, I won't be wearing anything...

Link

Report shows UN admitting solar activity may play significant role in global warming?

The Earth has been getting warmer -- but how much of that heat is due to greenhouse gas emissions and how much is due to natural causes?

A leaked report by a United Nations’ group dedicated to climate studies says that heat from the sun may play a larger role than previously thought.

“[Results] do suggest the possibility of a much larger impact of solar variations on the stratosphere than previously thought, and some studies have suggested that this may lead to significant regional impacts on climate,” reads a draft copy of a major, upcoming report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPC


Read more: Link
Yay.. make my day and post those thong pics!!! LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormchaser43:
Interesting. Turns out I may need smaller thongs afterall. Hell, at the rate we're going, I won't be wearing anything...

Link

Report shows UN admitting solar activity may play significant role in global warming?

The Earth has been getting warmer -- but how much of that heat is due to greenhouse gas emissions and how much is due to natural causes?

A leaked report by a United Nations’ group dedicated to climate studies says that heat from the sun may play a larger role than previously thought.

“[Results] do suggest the possibility of a much larger impact of solar variations on the stratosphere than previously thought, and some studies have suggested that this may lead to significant regional impacts on climate,” reads a draft copy of a major, upcoming report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPC


Read more: Link


I will not waste our time by going into the finer talking points about Alec Rawls. Or Fox News. Or Anthony Watts.

Here is something that Alec Rawls overlooks. CO2 is a greenhouse gas and even IF the sun has gained in intensity for the past few decades(It has not), then the continuous adding of CO2 into the atmosphere will only capture more of this heat. The Laws of Physics have not changed.

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This has probably been asked but, will Phil see his shadow tomorrow?

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Do Not Believe Everything You See

Riverside, California (Airport)
Updated: 12 min 29 sec ago
Clear
96 °F
Clear
Humidity: 10%
Dew Point: 31 °F
Wind: 4 mph from the WNW
Pressure: 30.06 in (Falling)
Visibility: 10.0 miles
UV: 4 out of 16
Pollen: 8.10 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!
Clouds:
Clear -
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 817 ft


This location has been intermittent lately. I thought they fixed it. Maybe they did. But the could have closed up the enclose when they were done.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6865
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
I screwed it up???


But if the offer's shunned you might as well be walkin' on the sun
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Quoting ihave27windows:
All I can say, is that my life is pretty plain......

We have had a very warm January, and I wish my life/weather wasn't quite so plain!

......I like watchin' the puddles gather rain.

;)


And all I can do is just pour some tea for two
And speak my point of view but it's not sane
It's not sane
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Walkin' On The Sun
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6865
Quoting nymore:
Not quite the lyric but i'll work with it.

So don't delay act now supplies are running out
Allow if you're still alive six to eight years to arrive
And if you follow there may be a tomorrow
I screwed it up???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
All I can say, is that my life is pretty plain......

We have had a very warm January, and I wish my life/weather wasn't quite so plain!

......I like watchin' the puddles gather rain.

;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
It gets so freekin hot here in south Florida...But we all love it

"But if you offer the shun, You might as well be walkin' on the sun"
Not quite the lyric but i'll work with it.

So don't delay act now supplies are running out
Allow if you're still alive six to eight years to arrive
And if you follow there may be a tomorrow
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
140. SuzK
Quoting FLWaterFront:


Expect a heavy snow event to hit in Naples, Florida in the not-too-distant future.

The Miccosukee tribe of Native Americans, who inhabit the Everglades region, have a tradition which states that the signal which portends the end of this current civilization will be when heavy snow falls on their home lands.

WIth climate change and regardless of which direction the overall global temperature scheme is headed in, more and more extreme and "unprecedented" events can be expected. So don't be surprised when the day comes that the Neapolitan area becomes the "Snowipolitan" area.


This, exactly. There are many other Native North and South American traditions that say the end draws near when the 'seasons get confused', which I believe is the same thing. Snow in Naples Florida? Yes, but in January OR June.
Member Since: October 8, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
Quoting Neapolitan:
Oh Winter, wherefore art thou?

cpc

cpc

(Perhaps it'll pay another brief visit after Valentine's Day?)

Whatever the temperature, the long range models continue to suggest at least the middle of the month will feature above (to in some cases much above) precipitation for the eastern 2/3s of the United States. Too bad it's not going to occur steadily across the locations it's actually, er, needed in earnest. Just a glancing blow it seems.

CPC depicts above average chances of above average rainfall in their 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks:



Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34483
It gets so freekin hot here in south Florida...But we all love it

"But if you offer the shun, You might as well be walkin' on the sun"
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Quoting ihave27windows:


Can you imagine no love, pride, deep fried chicken? =)
Don't forget Soy Latte
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Looks cold-core to me.




It is.
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For all those wondering where the winter weather is, look no further than the "lake effect machines" supported by our Great lakes. Oswego, on the SE shore of Lake Ontario is having one of those days. Here is a link to a webcam from Oswego state University. If the camera is in motion, it means that it is being controlled by someone else at that time. Just follow the directions on how to control the camera. If you are lucky, you can see some squalls over the warters of Lake Ontario. Periodically, it comes on shore. Oh, do I miss the days of being a student in such a winter wonderland playground.

Link
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Quoting nymore:


Did you make it to the milky way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there


Can you imagine no love, pride, deep fried chicken? =)
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Fellow bloggers, thank you for the interesting tidbits of Florida history posted here in the comments. It's nice to learn, and hear stories from the locals.

CRS
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Drops of Jupiter
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6865
130. SuzK
'P.S Punxsutawney Phil won't see his shadow, so you'll have an early Spring.'


Up here in NE Pennsylvania the Susquehanna River seems to have thawed quite early, 2nd year in a row with no spring thaw flooding. I live 500 feet from the Little Nescopeck, a tributary creek of the Susquehanna, that flash floods shin deep semi-regularly through the yard. We have had remarkably little precip in the last 6 months, so this last inch of rain is completely perked through the soil! The feeder streams didn't break a sweat, there is still a little ice there even though its flowing almost at a babble. The wind helped dry things too! Whether Spring is early again remains to be seen. It would be sad to lose all the apples again this year, regardless.
Member Since: October 8, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 114
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Tell me, did you sail across the sun


Did you make it to the milky way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
128. VR46L
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Are we allowed to talk about the Super Bowl or not... Sure don't want to get in trouble?


True , I don't know ! Super Sunday was mentioned in the blog...


Anyways

even though the low in the central Atlantic will hardly come to anything its kind cute

Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 7130
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



Thanks for that Keeper, it explains a lot!
They are moaning about a "cold snap" coming as they call it.
I moved away from things like that over 20 years ago.
PlazaRed.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Oh Winter, wherefore art thou?

cpc

cpc

(Perhaps it'll pay another brief visit after Valentine's Day?)
OK.Bye
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This comment has been written on an iPad 4.

(Sorry for the off topic comment but I was unable to contain my excitement after receiving the beautiful thing today and I just had to express it somewhere.)

Here's something relating to weather :)

It's 11 F as I write this. Expected to get down to 0 F tonight. Supposed to be below average for the next 7 days! Looking like a very sunny stretch, though.

(I feel less guilty now.)

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Tell me, did you sail across the sun
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Oh Winter, wherefore art thou?

cpc

cpc

(Perhaps it'll pay another brief visit after Valentine's Day?)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The number of tornadoes confirmed following the January 29-30 tornado outbreak is up to 43. This makes the event the third largest January tornado outbreak in recorded history.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34483
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 192 Comments: 59626
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Are we allowed to talk about the Super Bowl or not... Sure don't want to get in trouble?
Here are the latest lines.

Line
Ravens 3.5
49ers -3.5

Money line
Ravens 145
49ers -165

Over/Under 47.5

Kinda liking the line and the money line is very interesting to me, but have yet to place my wager.

Cloudy and still cold -7F, Chill -17F
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Many of you know I grew up in Xenia Ohio, and that I survived the Xenia tornado of April 3rd, 1974.... BUT, If I may, Jack Harbaugh(yes, Jim and John's dad) lived in Xenia, and was head coach for the Xenia Bucks in 1966 and 1967... AND, My cousin ML used to babysit The little boys (Jim & John) Ok, I'm done
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Quoting ChillinInTheKeys:


Indian Key became the first Dade County seat (It's now in Monroe County) in 1836. It's a very tiny island, I'd guess a couple of acres. What suprised me the first time I visited there is that it actually had many streets and avenues. They used it as an outpost for wrecking.

Edit: If you plan to visit, you'll need a boat. It's located about a mile South of US 1 around Mile Marker 76 or 77.



Yea, Jacob Houseman talked his buddy Col. Richard Fitzpatrick, who was a Commissioner in Monroe County and a State Legislator into carving a new County out of a portion of Monroe making sure Indian Key was in the "new" County. This was done to circumvent the Key West wrecking courts, so he could have his own way. Timing is everything. When Fitzpatrick arrived in Tallahassee, his fellow Legislators figured it must be okay because he was a Commissioner in the County losing territory and it went through very easily. It just so happened, that just a week or so before this, Major Dade had ignored warnings that he and his command would be massacred, and then went out and got massacred. They were proud to call the "new" County Dade.
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Looking ahead towards the Atlantic H-Season in 2013, here are a few portions of the Tuesday Aussie-Mets Enso outlook. Anything can happen between now and the Atlantic Summer but we often swing from Neutral into El Nino or La Nina, in opposite cycles, so there may be a possibility of a 2013 La Nina Atlantic season with high numbers again (for the 4th year in a row)......How many majors as opposed to a recent rash of minors and tropical storms remains to be seen... Getting harder and harder to predict what the "typical" year or season will look like and/or which new modern day records will be topped or equalled; i.e. One of the most unusual weeks of January weather in U.S. history has drawn to a close

ENSO neutral for early 2013
Issued on Tuesday 29 January 2013 | Product Code

El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators in the tropical Pacific remain at neutral levels. Current observations and model predictions indicate this neutral pattern is likely to continue into the southern hemisphere autumn.

While the last several weeks have seen a cooling of the waters in the tropical Pacific, climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggest this trend will reverse over the coming months, and hence an ENSO-neutral state is expected to persist well into the southern hemisphere autumn. Mid-summer is typically too early for ENSO events to become established, rather autumn is the time of year when events typically start or end. A clearer indication of Pacific Ocean conditions for 2013 will emerge over the next few months.



Prayers to those affected by the recent severe weather outbreak in the US (including the families of any deceased).

Have a Safe Weekend Everyone...........WW.
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Are we allowed to talk about the Super Bowl or not... Sure don't want to get in trouble?
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Quoting PedleyCA:


Oh, Cr**, Today is going to be HOT... I hope that was a typo on their part.
Must have been a "hot flash" from a female weatherperson...Know the feeling
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Indian Key.



Got to run. Flying to Atlanta At 5:40. Spending a couple of weeks just North of Ellijay, Georgia. They just issued a winter weather advisory for 1" of snow tomorrow. Will be a nice change of weather.
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Quoting PlazaRed:

Well thanks for the Masters blog of the Friday.
We got about 25/C, today but its crashed to 12/C now.
Those in our frozen north where life is hard and water can occasionally solidify are expecting a decant of the frozen white stuff we all fear and loath here in the south.
No doubt there will be the usual bending and twisting of motorized metal along with the attendant moaning about the cost of heating and how difficult life is.
Here I may have to close the north facing windows a trifle during the coming cold snap of Europes weekend of discontent and dire chill.
Good news to hear that the river is not going to dry up! Yet?


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 192 Comments: 59626
The Atlantic low is stacked directly beneath the axis of an upper-level trough. The trough will drift eastward over the next few days, but the low-level flow will carry the surface low out from underneath the trough and underneath a convergent northwesterly flow aloft, which should destroy it.

Analysis:



GFS 48-hour forecast:

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Post#102, yes, former NYC Mayor Ed Koch died at 2am eastern time this morning. He was, as you said, 88 years old--from congestive heart failure.
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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