U.S. gets unusually boring January weather; Thursday storm to ease Midwest drought

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:59 PM GMT on February 16, 2013

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After an unusually intense period of extreme weather during 2011 and 2012, the U.S. had its quietest month in nearly two years during January 2013, according to NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI). The index tracks the percentage area of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top-10% and bottom-10% extremes in temperature, precipitation, and drought. The CEI during January 2013 was 14%, which was the lowest since the 12% value during February 2011. On average, about 20% of the contiguous U.S. experiences top-10% extreme weather as defined by the CEI. In 2012, just two months (October and February) had below-average CEI, so the weather of January 2013 was a welcome relief from our recent "new normal" of increased extreme weather. Of course, the month wasn't completely without notable weather--the tornado outbreak of January 29 - 30 generated 57 tornadoes, the second largest January tornado outbreak on record. January 2013 ranked as the 39th warmest January since 1895, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in their latest State of the Climate report. Utah and Nevada had a top-ten coldest January; no states had a top-ten warmest January. The January warmth was enough to make the 12-month period ending in January 2013 the warmest such period for the contiguous U.S., with every state being warmer than average. Sixteen states, across the central U.S. and Northeast, were record warm, and 27 additional states were top ten warm.


Figure 1. Historical temperature ranking for the U.S. for January 2013. Utah and Nevada had a top-ten coldest January, and no states had a top-ten warmest January. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

Drought conditions improve slightly; wetter weather on the way to Midwest drought region
January 2013 had slightly above-average precipitation over the contiguous U.S., but there were notable wet and dry extremes. Louisiana had its wettest January on record, and Michigan, Virginia, Tennessee, and Mississippi all had top-ten wettest January weather. Florida, California, and Connecticut all had top-ten driest January weather. Heavy rains in Alabama and Georgia helped give that region no areas of exceptional drought for the first time since January 10, 2012. However, the core of the drought area over the Midwest U.S. shrank only slightly, with the area of the contiguous U.S. experiencing moderate-to-exceptional drought going from 61% on January 1 to 56% on February 12. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, issued February 7, calls for new areas of drought to develop over Florida, Texas, and California. However, some improvement in drought conditions is expected over about 40% of the drought region by April 30. The latest forecasts from the GFS and European (ECMWF) model show a modest shift in the jet stream pattern during the remainder of February, which may allow more moisture-bearing low pressure systems to pass through the main portion of the Midwest drought region. One storm for sure will arrive on Thursday, and many areas of the drought region should enjoy their their wettest day in months.


Figure 2. Drought conditions as of February 12, 2013, showed that 56% of the contiguous U.S. was in moderate or greater drought. Image credit: U.S. Drought Monitor.


Figure 3. Predicted precipitation for the 7-day period ending Saturday, February 23 at 7 pm EST. Almost the entire nation is expected to get precipitation, including the core of the drought region. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

Forward on Climate rally on February 17th in Washington, D.C. 
On Sunday, February 17, at noon EST, what is expected to be the largest climate rally in history will take place in Washington D.C. The rally is a project of the Sierra Club, 350.org, and the Hip Hop Caucus. The organizers mustered 15,000 protesters last year in D.C. to protest the potential approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline (meant to bring oil from Canada's tar sands into the U.S.) Protesting the potential approval of the pipeline will be a major focus of Sunday's rally, as well. More broadly, the rally aims to put pressure on President Obama to make good on the promises he made during Tuesday's State of the Union Address:

"But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods – all are now more frequent and more intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late….But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will."

It's about time that the President began talking about the reality of our changing climate, and the need to pursue aggressive actions to combat human-caused climate change. January 2013 was a welcome relief from the intense stretch of extreme weather our nation has suffered over the past two years. But the extreme weather of 2011 - 2012 is going to be more typical of our "new normal" of weather during the coming decades. Earth's climate is warming, and the overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that human activity is the main cause. Extreme weather events are increasing in response to the warming climate. People can take cost-effective actions to limit the damage, and our lawmakers are going to come under increasing pressure from grass-roots efforts like the Forward on Climate rally to act to slow down climate change.

I'll have a new post on Tuesday.

Jeff Masters

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#525 That plot looks like an unfinished Valentines day card.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6865
TCFA for 94S.

MSGID/GENADMIN/JOINT TYPHOON WRNCEN PEARL HARBOR HI//
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION ALERT//
RMKS/
1. FORMATION OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE IS POSSIBLE WITHIN
A 235 NM RADIUS OF 19.1S 39.6E WITHIN THE NEXT 06 TO 24 HOURS.
AVAILABLE DATA DOES NOT JUSTIFY ISSUANCE OF NUMBERED TROPICAL CY-
CLONE WARNINGS AT THIS TIME. WINDS IN THE AREA ARE ESTIMATED TO
BE 25 TO 30 KNOTS. METSAT IMAGERY AT 180100Z INDICATES THAT A
CIRCULATION CENTER IS LOCATED NEAR 19.4S 40.0E. THE SYSTEM IS
MOVING SOUTHWARD AT 06 KNOTS.
2. REMARKS: THE AREA OF CONVECTION PREVIOUSLY LOCATED NEAR 19.7S
39.9E, IS NOW LOCATED NEAR 19.4S 40.0E, APPROXIMATELY 395 NM WEST OF
ANTANANARIVO, MADAGASCAR. ANIMATED INFRARED SATELLITE IMAGERY
SHOWS FORMATIVE BANDS THAT ARE CONSOLIDATING AND WRAPPING TIGHTER
INTO A BROAD LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER (LLCC) FROM THE NORTHERN
AND EASTERN PERIPHERIES. UPPER LEVEL ANALYSIS INDICATES THE SYSTEM IS
JUST SOUTH OF A RIDGE AXIS THAT IS ENHANCING OUTFLOW ESPECIALLY ALONG
THE EASTERN FLANK; HOWEVER, MODERATE (20 KNOT) VERTICAL WIND SHEAR IS
DISPLACING THE MAIN CONVECTION FROM THE LLCC. SSTS REMAIN FAVORABLE
FOR DEVELOPMENT AT 29 TO 30 DEGREES CELSIUS. NUMERICAL MODELS
INDICATE DEVELOPMENT IS LIKELY OVER THE NEXT 24-36 HOURS, ALBEIT WITH
VARYING TRAJECTORIES. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS ARE ESTIMATED
AT 25 TO 30 KNOTS. MINIMUM SEA LEVEL PRESSURE IS ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR
1000 MB. DUE TO THE IMPROVED OVERALL STRUCTURE OF THE SYSTEM AND THE
SUSTAINED FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS, THE POTENTIAL FOR THE
DEVELOPMENT OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE WITHIN THE NEXT 24
HOURS IS UPGRADED TO HIGH.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
524. Skyepony (Mod)


The coming storm
Rising sea levels are forcing tough decisions about where and how to build near water
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
yep of course. But the lakes would warm the surrounding area if anything
I do know surrounding seas have an insulating effect... here we never get quite as cold - or as hot - as mainland FL does... I'd expect a lake to create a similar effect, at least downwind. That is, if the lake was cooler than the surrounding land, wind blowing across it would reduce temps downwind..
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 20 Comments: 24033
Quoting BahaHurican:
Wouldn't lakes influence patterns of heating / cooling?
yep of course. But the lakes would warm the surrounding area if anything
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3732
Quoting tornadodude:


I'm not great with long term forecasting.

But, so far it seems like we have had a very active pattern. If this continues, we would likely see a very active severe weather season in the Midwest and Southeast.

However, the plains will likely suffer again as moisture is an issue. It's been incredibly dry in parts of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, and the Dakotas. Luckily the northern plains have been getting some snow storms this winter. If we can get a few more systems in the southern plains we will hopefully put a dent in the drought. It will probably take some severe weather to break the drought, but it's pretty bad.


Definitly the drought situation will be important to watch.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Wouldn't lakes influence patterns of heating / cooling?


Lakes definitely would. Much like the ocean does.
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8425
Quoting Astrometeor:


I have the same situation sorta. I live in a wooded area, yet some 10 miles away from Nashville and I am often colder than them by 4-6 degrees. I wake up in the morning, put on a jacket, get downtown, take off the jacket just because the temps are so different.
microscale meteorology is interesting
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3732
Wouldn't lakes influence patterns of heating / cooling?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 20 Comments: 24033
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I've looked at topographic maps and it doesn't really seem like my area is lower than the warmer areas I'm comparing my temp too. The area is heavily wooded with scattered pastures with lakes all around me. Now it's 35 here and 45 at TPA lol


I have the same situation sorta. I live in a wooded area, yet some 10 miles away from Nashville and I am often colder than them by 4-6 degrees. I wake up in the morning, put on a jacket, get downtown, take off the jacket just because the temps are so different.
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Quoting Jedkins01:



Yeah I would imagine cold days in the plains would be rough, all that wind, yuck.

I prefer forests.
Quoting Jedkins01:



That is strange, are you in a low spot? Maybe the soil is particularly sandy in your area.

I know the temp back at my house in Pinellas will be similar to Clearwater and Tampa on CAA nights but on radiational cooling nights it will be several degrees cooler. I'll have to check with my parents but most likely we'll at least get close to freezing(33-34) with frost, maybe even freezing, even though overall no frost or freeze is expected in Pinellas. I live in a sandy area that is low ground there and a a lot less human development than most of Pinellas, which accounts for it getting colder.
I've looked at topographic maps and it doesn't really seem like my area is lower than the warmer areas I'm comparing my temp too. The area is heavily wooded with scattered pastures with lakes all around me. Now it's 35 here and 45 at TPA lol
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3732
Quoting tornadodude:


nobody gets my satire :(


Yes, that happens. Sometimes you have to be blunt.....
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6865
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
tornadodude, how do you see the 2013 U.S severe season in terms of being active with what has occured so far with the pattern?


I'm not great with long term forecasting.

But, so far it seems like we have had a very active pattern. If this continues, we would likely see a very active severe weather season in the Midwest and Southeast.

However, the plains will likely suffer again as moisture is an issue. It's been incredibly dry in parts of Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, and the Dakotas. Luckily the northern plains have been getting some snow storms this winter. If we can get a few more systems in the southern plains we will hopefully put a dent in the drought. It will probably take some severe weather to break the drought, but it's pretty bad.
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8425
Quoting tornadodude:


This is a weather blog.



I will post what evere I want in here un less I am told other waise from the mods or admins
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
tornadodude, how do you see the 2013 U.S severe season in terms of being active with what has occured so far with the pattern?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Space discussion is allowed.


nobody gets my satire :(
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8425
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Could you be a little more specific? Maybe a date?


Minnesota Climatology Working Group State Climatology Office

Early Winter Storm: October 3-5, 2012

An early October snow storm hit Northeast North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota from October 3rd-5th, 2012. This winter storm produced heavy, wet snow and wind gusts in excess of 40 mph. As of 3PM on Thursday, October 4th, the highest snowfall total found was 14 inches was recorded 10 miles NNW of Badger in Roseau County.


EDIT: The forecast for areas in the Blizzard warning through Monday are up to 10 inches
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ok here the link too NBC 6


Link
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Quoting RobDaHood:


That's odd.
Have been sitting on the deck since 4 pm, halfway between JAX and Key West. Haven't seen anything more than stars.

Why would you call the CG if you saw a meteor? Unless it was one like the one in Russia.



yes this is odd
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadodude:


This is a weather blog.
Space discussion is allowed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:
#BREAKING 'Meteor Shower' Lights Up Night Sky Across Florida: Coast Guard


Coast Guard is flooded with calls from Jacksonville to Key West of what could be meteor shower. No injuries reported (NBC 6)


That's odd.
Have been sitting on the deck since 4 pm, halfway between JAX and Key West. Haven't seen anything more than stars.

Why would you call the CG if you saw a meteor? Unless it was one like the one in Russia.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tornadodude:


That's what I said, it doesn't look great for severe weather.

I agreed with him.


Oh, Okay, TA tried to explain it too me, I guess I am just confused on the topic.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:
#BREAKING 'Meteor Shower' Lights Up Night Sky Across Florida: Coast Guard


Coast Guard is flooded with calls from Jacksonville to Key West of what could be meteor shower. No injuries reported (NBC 6)


This is a weather blog.
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8425
#BREAKING 'Meteor Shower' Lights Up Night Sky Across Florida: Coast Guard


Coast Guard is flooded with calls from Jacksonville to Key West of what could be meteor shower. No injuries reported (NBC 6)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Astrometeor:


I thought TropicalAnalyst said that the severe weather potential on Thursday wasn't good. If it was, he would be talking about it, not moving on to next week.


That's what I said, it doesn't look great for severe weather.

I agreed with him.
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8425
Quoting Dakster:
Hey Taz... Thought I would post this, just for you.

"The coldest temperature ever recorded was minus 128.6 degrees F in at the Russian research station in Vostok, Antarctica, on July 21, 1983."

And yes, +40F in Florida is cold to us Floridians. Weird, but when I am in the Northern US, the cold doesn't seem to bother me as much as it does here. I guess because here it is a humid, bone chilling cold, and one that you just don't think is possible here.



ouch now -128 be low is way too cold in fac you can be killed in sacs in that kind of cold
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Dakster:
Hey Taz... Thought I would post this, just for you.

"The coldest temperature ever recorded was minus 128.6 degrees F in at the Russian research station in Vostok, Antarctica, on July 21, 1983."

And yes, +40F in Florida is cold to us Floridians. Weird, but when I am in the Northern US, the cold doesn't seem to bother me as much as it does here. I guess because here it is a humid, bone chilling cold, and one that you just don't think is possible here.
40's don't really bother us here unless strong winds come with it.40's in Alaska is spring time.Lol.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 19594
Quoting nymore:
That must be why. Now come to think of it maybe not. It seems they also did not name the first one when it produced over a foot of snow. Care to take another stab at it.

Could you be a little more specific? Maybe a date?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34483
Quoting tornadodude:



I agree about Thursday, keeps trending worse and worse for severe weather potential. If I had the time I would drive out to West Texas for some LP High based supercells on Wednesday


I thought TropicalAnalyst said that the severe weather potential on Thursday wasn't good. If it was, he would be talking about it, not moving on to next week.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hey Taz... Thought I would post this, just for you.

"The coldest temperature ever recorded was minus 128.6 degrees F in at the Russian research station in Vostok, Antarctica, on July 21, 1983."

And yes, +40F in Florida is cold to us Floridians. Weird, but when I am in the Northern US, the cold doesn't seem to bother me as much as it does here. I guess because here it is a humid, bone chilling cold, and one that you just don't think is possible here.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It doesn't. But it does when asking why The Weather Channel hasn't named it.
That must be why. Now come to think of it maybe not. It seems they also did not name the first one when it produced over a foot of snow. Care to take another stab at it.
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Quoting Jedkins01:



Yeah I would imagine cold days in the plains would be rough, all that wind, yuck.

I prefer forests.


Yeah it's amazing how quickly it can change. Was 25 and snowing with a north wind Friday night, today, warm SE wind, hit 71

All depends on which way the wind blows for us. it's always north or south haha
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8425
Quoting tornadodude:


I was in Orlando a few weeks ago, was hit 80, that was a nice break from the chilly Oklahoma wind haha





Yeah I would imagine cold days in the plains would be rough, all that wind, yuck.

I prefer forests.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
my immediate neighborhood is somehow always MUCH cooler on nights like this. My low is usually 6-10 deg lower than downtown Tampa, and 2-4 degrees cooler than anywhere within 1 mile of me. I live in a very rural area, mostly forested, so that can account for some of the temp anomalies, but should not result in such a large difference. Right now I am sitting at six degrees cooler than a CWOP station 1.2 miles away.



That is strange, are you in a low spot? Maybe the soil is particularly sandy in your area.

I know the temp back at my house in Pinellas will be similar to Clearwater and Tampa on CAA nights but on radiational cooling nights it will be several degrees cooler. I'll have to check with my parents but most likely we'll at least get close to freezing(33-34) with frost, maybe even freezing, even though overall no frost or freeze is expected in Pinellas. I live in a sandy area that is low ground there and a a lot less human development than most of Pinellas, which accounts for it getting colder.
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Quoting Seattleite:


Where are you located, and what type of warnings are you under? Stay safe!
southern new brunswick we have a winter storm warning on us currently but it should have been upgraded to a blizzard warning
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Quoting Jedkins01:


wow, 71, impressive, this is the last cold day/night. Up to 63 tomorrow and then low 70's mid week and mid 70's by late week. Nights will still be chilly as they often are in Tallahassee, but it will warm up nicely, I'm glad. I'm over the cold by the later half of February. The end of February and beginning of March means Spring for Floridians and I'm used to it. Besides, spring break starts March 8th and I'll be happy to return home for a week to the Tampa Bay area, and get some sun by the ocean in mostly likely 80's by then :)


I was in Orlando a few weeks ago, was hit 80, that was a nice break from the chilly Oklahoma wind haha


Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8425
Quoting tornadodude:


It was 71 here today, but it won't be 71 tomorrow.
Shhh your making the Floridians jealous.They're in temperature hunting season right now(searching for highs in the 70's and 80's again)
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 19594
Quoting tornadodude:


It was 71 here today, but it won't be 71 tomorrow.


wow, 71, impressive, this is the last cold day/night. Up to 63 tomorrow and then low 70's mid week and mid 70's by late week. Nights will still be chilly as they often are in Tallahassee, but it will warm up nicely, I'm glad. I'm over the cold by the later half of February. The end of February and beginning of March means Spring for Floridians and I'm used to it. Besides, spring break starts March 8th and I'll be happy to return home for a week to the Tampa Bay area, and get some sun by the ocean in mostly likely 80's by then :)
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Quoting Jedkins01:



It was 23 officially this morning per NWS, now does 25 sound like as much of a stretch now?


It was 71 here today, but it won't be 71 tomorrow.
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8425
Quoting BahaHurican:
U do realize that now u've given up winter, it will now snow in DC... lol
Nah Baha.When the cold is around the parcipitation is not.Thus limiting the potential for snow.Somethig we've seen repeatly this winter.Over and over.I don't expect that to change.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 19594
Temp is dropping steadily in St John's County



Exposed outdoors pipes are wrapped and several plants covered up. It may get below freezing here prior to midnight at the rate we're going. May be looking at 8-10 hours of sub-freezing temps. And to think, I have family down from Jersey and have a 10:30 tee time at the links tomorrow. Can't say I'm looking forward to the front 9.

... Hard freeze warning remains in effect from midnight tonight to
9 am EST Monday...

* temperature... lows in the mid 20s inland to near 30 along the
coast. Sub-freezing temperatures are expected for 8 to 10
hours inland.

* Freeze impacts... cold temperatures will likely damage or kill
crops and other sensitive vegetation if not properly
protected.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

Those with agricultural interests in the warned area are advised
to harvest or protect tender vegetation. Also... potted plants
normally left outdoors should be covered or brought inside away
from the cold.

A hard freeze warning means that temperatures less than
27 degrees are expected for at least 2 hours.
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Quoting Jedkins01:



Yeah its because CAA events are more large scale like you said and don't require as much resolution.

The other issue is that models base more of their output for surface temps on height falls or height rises and what 850 mb readings are over a region.
That combined with models inability to accurately for see mesoscale changes and things like sandy soil losing more heat on dry cold nights are all reasons for less impressive performance on radiational cooling events.

Forecasters should know better though, yet they often fall for it as well. The last few days they had this morning rather than tomorrow morning as the colder night but I knew that wasn't going to be the case.
my immediate neighborhood is somehow always MUCH cooler on nights like this. My low is usually 6-10 deg lower than downtown Tampa, and 2-4 degrees cooler than anywhere within 1 mile of me. I live in a very rural area, mostly forested, so that can account for some of the temp anomalies, but should not result in such a large difference. Right now I am sitting at six degrees cooler than a CWOP station 1.2 miles away.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3732
Quoting washingtonian115:
That looks more spring like than ever.Glad I gave up I winter when I did.
U do realize that now u've given up winter, it will now snow in DC... lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 20 Comments: 24033
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
TWC needs to name fewer storms. They name too many run of the mill events. If they name tomorrow's system it will be a bad move. If the idea is going to work they need to limit it to the big storms that people will remember, at least for the first couple years that they name them. Honestly the only ones I can remember from this year are "Athena" (mostly because it was the first one and affected my area), "Euclid", and "Nemo".

Thank you! I was wondering if they were going to limit the number of storms named because they might run out at this rate....
Member Since: February 13, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 3906
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think I'll start focusing on next week's storm instead of Thursday's. I just don't like the setup.

Next Monday, ECMWF depiction:



GFS disagrees...which may be a good thing.
That looks more spring like than ever.Glad I gave up I winter when I did.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 19594
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think I'll start focusing on next week's storm instead of Thursday's. I just don't like the setup.

Next Monday, ECMWF depiction:



GFS disagrees...which may be a good thing.



I agree about Thursday, keeps trending worse and worse for severe weather potential. If I had the time I would drive out to West Texas for some LP High based supercells on Wednesday
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8425
Here in New Mexico its so dry everyone's skin it itching off.
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Quoting tornadodude:


I could see 30 for Tallahassee, but to me 25 might be a stretch



It was 23 officially this morning per NWS, now does 25 sound like as much of a stretch now?
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Quoting Thecanadian:
Wow crazy here ! winds gusting to 95 km hour and snowing blizzard conditions pressure at 968 mb where i am this is worse than nemo


Where are you located, and what type of warnings are you under? Stay safe!
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
yeah that's true most of the time, I've noticed. I think the models perform worse with radiational cooling events than with CAA events because the model resolution isn't good enough to take into consideration cold pockets and warm pockets caused by lakes, streams, swamps, etc. whereas with caa events there is good mixing over a region and therefore a high resolution isn't required



Yeah its because CAA events are more large scale like you said and don't require as much resolution.

The other issue is that models base more of their output for surface temps on height falls or height rises and what 850 mb readings are over a region.
That combined with models inability to accurately for see mesoscale changes and things like sandy soil losing more heat on dry cold nights are all reasons for less impressive performance on radiational cooling events.

Forecasters should know better though, yet they often fall for it as well. The last few days they had this morning rather than tomorrow morning as the colder night but I knew that wasn't going to be the case.
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Quoting nymore:
As I pointed out it will be the third blizzard for them with no name. Since when does amount of snow have to do with a blizzard. A blizzard is a blizzard whether it is 6 inches or 36 inches.

It doesn't. But it does when asking why The Weather Channel hasn't named it.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34483

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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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