U.S. has a cool and very dry March; severe weather outbreak likely today

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:08 PM GMT on April 17, 2013

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It was another relatively quiet month for weather extremes in the U.S. during March 2013, said NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in their latest State of the Climate report. The month ranked as the 43rd coolest March in the 119-year record for the contiguous U.S., and was the coolest March since 2002. This is in stark contrast to what happened in 2012, when the U.S. had its warmest March on record. Eleven states, mostly in the Southeast, experienced a top-ten coolest March on record in 2013. Remarkably, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and North Carolina had March 2013 temperatures that were cooler than in January 2013. California, Nevada, and Arizona had a top-ten warmest March. The pattern of warmth in the west and cool conditions in the east was due to the fact that the jet stream was stuck in a large loop that allowed cold air to spill out of Canada into the Southeast U.S., and warm air to flow northward over the southwestern states. We can describe the jet stream behavior using the Arctic Oscillation (AO) Index, which is a measure of pressure patterns across the Arctic. During March 2013, the monthly-averaged AO index reached its most negative March value since records began in 1950.

According to NOAA's U.S. Climate Extremes Index (CEI), which tracks the percentage area of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top-10% and bottom-10% extremes in temperature, precipitation, and drought, the year 2013 has been below average for extremes. The CEI during January - March 2013 was 15%, and on average, about 20% of the contiguous U.S. experiences top-10% extreme weather as defined by the CEI.


Figure 1. Historical temperature ranking for the U.S. for March 2013. Eleven states, mostly in the Southeast, had a top-ten coldest March, and California, Nevada, and Arizona had a top-ten warmest March. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).


Figure 2. Historical precipitation ranking for the U.S. for March 2013. Although only two states had a top-ten driest March--Wyoming and Louisiana--just eight states were wetter than average, making March 2013 the 5th driest March on record for the U.S. as a whole. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

Fifth driest March on record in the U.S.
Although only two states had a top-ten driest March in 2013--Wyoming and Louisiana--just eight states were wetter than average, making March 2013 the 5th driest March on record for the U.S. as a whole. Thanks to three major winter storms that crossed the Great Plains during the first half of April, there should be a notable improvement in drought conditions over much of the core U.S. drought region when Thursday's Drought Monitor report is issued, though. The most recent report from April 9 showed a big reduction of the area in the worst drought category, "Exceptional", from 5% to 3%, during the first week of April. About 51% of the U.S. is still in moderate or greater drought. According to data from the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the March snow cover extent for the contiguous U.S. was the 10th largest March snow cover extent in the 47-year period of record. However, snowpack, an important water resource in the West, was below-normal in the Sierra Nevada Mountains as well as the Central and Southern Rockies.


Figure 3. Severe weather outlook for Wednesday, April 17, calls for a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather over much of Oklahoma, and portions of surrounding states. The main threat appears to be large hail, but there may also be a few strong EF-2 and EF-3 tornadoes. You can follow today's severe weather outbreak from our Severe Weather page, and wunderblogger Lee Grenci has a detailed post on today's severe weather threat.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting allancalderini:
How many Tornadoes have been record so far today?


I'm not sure how many exactly. But, I think there have been few of them confirmed so far.
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539. etxwx
For news on the fertilizer plant explosion:
Waco Herald Tribune

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Got a long day tomorrow, I'm out for the night.

Stay safe out there!
Member Since: July 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1183
Atlantic MDR sea surface temperatures should rise quite a bit for the remainder of the month as trade winds lessen.





They've already started...

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5 Under-Covered Stories From New Pulitzer Winner InsideClimate News

Posted by Brian Clark Howard of National Geographic News on April 16, 2013

(Updated on April 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm)

The 2013 Pulitzer Prizes were announced this week (see the photo winners). Among the journalism winners were familiar names like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Sun Sentinel, and InsideClimate News. Wait, who?

InsideClimate News is a five-year old, Brooklyn-based website that focuses on climate change and environmental reporting. The online masthead lists eight staff members plus a handfull of contributors. Among them are Lisa Song, Elizabeth McGowan, and David Hasemyer, who together won this year’s Pulitzer for national reporting for their series 
”Dilbit Disaster: Inside the Biggest Oil Spill You’ve Never Heard Of.”

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Quoting HrDelta:
Haven't popped in in a while. However, I do think I need to say there has been a blast at a Fertilizer Manufacturer in West, Texas.

This big.



Sounds bad according to police scanner.

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no offense to anyone or anything related to WU...

I hope these "blog maintenances" won't happen during a serious time during the hurricane season...
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Quoting HrDelta:
Haven't popped in in a while. However, I do think I need to say there has been a blast at a Fertilizer Manufacturer in West, Texas.

This big.

Oh my :O
Member Since: February 13, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 3724
How many Tornadoes have been record so far today?
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SST anomalies in the Nino 3.4 region have warmed recently:

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Community Maintenance: The blogs will be undergoing maintenance this evening after 11:00pm Eastern. It may take several hours for the repairs to be complete. We apologize for the inconvenience.


T-38 MINS
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Just heard there was an explosion in West, Texas at a fertilizer plant. Sound pretty bad right now.


Hey Blue..we don't see you around here much..(at least to me)
how ya been?
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Just heard there was an explosion in West, Texas at a fertilizer plant. Sound pretty bad right now.

EDIT: Ninja'd
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Haven't popped in in a while. However, I do think I need to say there has been a blast at a Fertilizer Manufacturer in West, Texas.

This big.

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Quoting MississippiWx:
Still could be a few more tornadoes tonight, but overall today was a bust. Saw it mentioned several times today that storms were interfering with one another and that seems to be the theme for today. Tomorrow could be a bigger outbreak, but that wouldn't take much.



It seems yet another year is unfolding where the plains are not tornado alley again, of course there is a long time yet left to determine if it will really be the case again. It has been so far though.
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AT 852 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS AND STORM
SPOTTERS WERE TRACKING A CONFIRMED TORNADO LOCATED NEAR GRANDFIELD...
MOVING EAST AT 30 MPH.
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TORNADO WARNING
OKC031-033-141-180215-
/O.NEW.KOUN.TO.W.0009.130418T0142Z-130418T0215Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
842 PM CDT WED APR 17 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHEASTERN TILLMAN COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST OKLAHOMA...
EXTREME SOUTHWESTERN COMANCHE COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST OKLAHOMA...
WEST CENTRAL COTTON COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST OKLAHOMA...

* UNTIL 915 PM CDT

* AT 838 PM CDT...A THUNDERSTORM WITH A HISTORY OF PRODUCING
TORNADOES WAS LOCATED NEAR LOVELAND. DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED THE MOST
DANGEROUS PART OF THIS STORM MOVING EAST AT 25 MPH TOWARD
THE LOVELAND AND GRANDFIELD AREAS.

IN ADDITION TO A TORNADO...LARGE DESTRUCTIVE HAIL UP TO TENNIS BALL
SIZE IS EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
GRANDFIELD...CHATTANOOGA...FAXON...LOVELAND AND COOKIETOWN.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW IN A STORM SHELTER OR AN INTERIOR ROOM OF A STURDY
BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS.

THE TORNADO WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT TO SEE IN THE DARK. DO NOT WAIT.
TAKE COVER NOW.
&&

LAT...LON 3428 9884 3448 9859 3425 9843 3421 9879
TIME...MOT...LOC 0140Z 248DEG 23KT 3425 9876

$$
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Still could be a few more tornadoes tonight, but overall today was a bust. Saw it mentioned several times today that storms were interfering with one another and that seems to be the theme for today. Tomorrow could be a bigger outbreak, but that wouldn't take much.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10189


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0507
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0821 PM CDT WED APR 17 2013

AREAS AFFECTED...CNTRL IL INTO PORTIONS OF CNTRL/NRN INDIANA

CONCERNING...TORNADO WATCH 118...

VALID 180121Z - 180245Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR TORNADO WATCH 118 CONTINUES.

SUMMARY...THE SVR THREAT CONTINUES ACROSS REMAINING VALID PORTIONS
OF WW118.

DISCUSSION...IN NRN INDIANA...ONE CLUSTER OF WAA-RELATED CONVECTION
CONTINUES TO ADVANCE NWD/EWD AWAY FROM ANY RESIDUAL BOUNDARY-LAYER
BUOYANCY RESIDING S OF A QUASI-STATIONARY FRONT STRETCHING FROM
W-CNTRL OHIO WWD INTO CNTRL IL AND CNTRL MO. ASIDE FROM A RISK FOR
MARGINALLY SVR HAIL...THIS ACTIVITY SHOULD WEAKEN AS IT BECOMES
INCREASINGLY ELEVATED...AND BUOYANCY ATOP THE SFC COLD DOME WEAKENS
WITH NOCTURNAL COOLING.

ADDITIONAL CLUSTERS OF CONVECTION UPSTREAM ACROSS NERN MO...W-CNTRL
IL...AND SERN IA WILL CONTINUE SPREADING ENEWD...POTENTIALLY
ORGANIZING INTO ONE OR MORE ORGANIZED LINES OF STORMS. THIS ACTIVITY
WILL LIKELY REMAIN ELEVATED TO THE N OF THE SFC FRONT...WHERE STRONG
STATIC STABILITY IS NOTED IN THE LOWEST 1 KM AGL PER THE ILX 00Z
RAOB. NEVERTHELESS...STRONG 0-6-KM SHEAR WILL MAINTAIN ORGANIZED
CONVECTION...WITH SVR HAIL BEING THE PRIMARY CONCERN. HOWEVER...SVR
WINDS CANNOT BE RULED OUT IF DOWNDRAFTS CAN PENETRATE THROUGH THE
STABLE LAYER TO THE SFC...ESPECIALLY WITH ELEVATED BOWING LINE
SEGMENTS/SUPERCELLS. VERY SMALL TEMPERATURE-DEWPOINT SPREADS IN THE
LOW LEVELS...AND ONLY MODEST MID-LEVEL LAPSE RATES...WILL GREATLY
MITIGATE SUCH POTENTIAL.

..COHEN.. 04/18/2013
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Community Maintenance: The blogs will be undergoing maintenance this evening after 11:00pm Eastern. It may take several hours for the repairs to be complete. We apologize for the inconvenience.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
South Texas is trying to get in on the action. Impressive storm to be so far away from the main upper level support.



I'm in love with that storm. It's so lonely I wish I could help it out.
Member Since: July 18, 2010 Posts: 50 Comments: 1856
South Texas is trying to get in on the action. Impressive storm to be so far away from the main upper level support.

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Another confirmed tornado, just southeast of Davidson, Oklahoma. Power flashes and trees down.
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No more moderate risk.







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So the blog is going off at 11:00 PM tonight for a few hours. Everybody better say what they want now.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
#503 that picture is beautiful.

John Keats wrote "A thing of beauty is a joy forever"

Perhaps more perceptive Rainer Maria Rilke when she wrote "Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror"


A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror.

Hey that rhymes. I'm gonna have to write that one down.


I thought that was Fred Sanford.
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Quoting Minnemike:
is this thing kickin up dust storms in extreme west Texas and New Mexico?
Loop


It seems so.
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#503 that picture is beautiful.

John Keats wrote "A thing of beauty is a joy forever"

Perhaps more perceptive Rainer Maria Rilke when she wrote "Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror"


A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror.

Hey that rhymes. I'm gonna have to write that one down.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Well then.


A tornado was reported with that storm.

Now tornado warned.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7940
is this thing kickin up dust storms in extreme west Texas and New Mexico?
Loop
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Well then.

That's a pretty good hook echo...
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Well then.

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Here is is. The deadliest F1 tornado in the US.
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Quoting mitthbevnuruodo:


Thanks for that ncstorm...I know little about how severe thunderstorms/tornado echos etc, and had been wondering with the radars being posted, trying to see the circulations being talked about. Cheers


You're welcome!
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Quoting Slamguitar:


Here's some recent deadly nocturnal tornadoes, but I can't find a percentage of deaths at night compared to day tornadoes:

Edgewater, Ala.: April 8, 1998 / 32 fatalities
Riegelwood, N.C.: November 15, 2005 / 8 fatalities
Greensburg, Kan.: May 4, 2007 / 10 fatalities
Newbern, Tenn.: April 2, 2006 / 16 fatalities

*Back to studying*


NC tornado happened around 7am that morning..kids were waiting at the bus stop when it happened..
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


Water rescues? What happened?

I remember reading about a weak tornado in the 1970s in Kansas that flipped over a large boat and killed a lot of people. I want to say it is the deadliest
F1 or F2 tornado in the US.
Flash Flooding... A tornado hit part of the town and they have received lots of rain
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Quoting Slamguitar:


Here's some recent deadly nocturnal tornadoes, but I can't find a percentage of deaths at night compared to day tornadoes:

Edgewater, Ala.: April 8, 1998 / 32 fatalities
Riegelwood, N.C.: November 15, 2005 / 8 fatalities
Greensburg, Kan.: May 4, 2007 / 10 fatalities
Newbern, Tenn.: April 2, 2006 / 16 fatalities

*Back to studying*



ionic, covalent. Valence. Redox. double C bond strong, triple C bond weak.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

Yeah, it's moving a bit more right than I had originally thought. May need to get south in a hurry.
Didn't see this earlier and don't know where you are now. Looks like a third cell heading toward Lawton. If you head east toward Marlow then N on hwy 81, it'll be pretty easy to turn N and East from there and follow as they roll NE. Just watch for right turners.
Signed,
Your pseudo-mother, Barefoot

Getting some SE wind gusts to 42 mph and occasional lightning here in the Heart of Oklahoma. The first cell, Alphonse, is moving NE toward Middleburg area and the town of Blanchard. Beell apparently did some damage at the Firestone plant in Lawton. Flash flood warnings now.

See ya.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Nighttime tornadoes are 2.5 times more likely to kill a person as opposed to those that occur during the day.


I saw that, but can't locate the source. Just says "Researchers found..."
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Quoting Doppler22:
Poor Lawton... they have tornado damage and there are also water rescues taking place in the Lawton area as well


Water rescues? What happened?

I remember reading about a weak tornado in the 1970s in Kansas that flipped over a large boat in a lake and killed a lot of people. I want to say it is the deadliest
F1 or F2 tornado in the US.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:



I was wondering if someone had statistics to back up my assumption. Or refute it.

Nighttime tornadoes are 2.5 times more likely to kill a person as opposed to those that occur during the day.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Seriously, are tornadoes deadlier at night when people can't see them and they are asleep?
I tried looking up the facts on daytime/nighttime storms. I do think nighttime is more dangerous, but I think most deaths is during daytime because more tornadoes form during the day. I may be wrong about that though, so don't take it seriously. I am sure that nighttime is more dangerous, though. The best way to protect yourself at night is to get a NOAA weather radio.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:



I was wondering if someone had statistics to back up my assumption. Or refute it.


Here's some recent deadly nocturnal tornadoes, but I can't find a percentage of deaths at night compared to day tornadoes:

Edgewater, Ala.: April 8, 1998 / 32 fatalities
Riegelwood, N.C.: November 15, 2005 / 8 fatalities
Greensburg, Kan.: May 4, 2007 / 10 fatalities
Newbern, Tenn.: April 2, 2006 / 16 fatalities

*Back to studying*
Member Since: July 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1183
Quoting Levi32:


We'll see. It's flopped from hostile, to neutral/slightly favorable, now back to hostile. I view the Euro as uncertain about what to do with the summer forecast. It needs consistency.


Last year the Euro forecast El Nino to come but we know what happened.
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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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