Top U.S. weather story of 2007: the Southeast U.S. drought

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:29 PM GMT on January 01, 2008

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The year 2007 is in the record books as the driest or second driest year on record for much of the Southeastern U.S. A mere 31.85 inches of rain fell in Atlanta, Georgia, during the year, 62% of the average of 48 inches. This year's rainfall total just missed breaking the record of 31.80 inches set in 1954. Rainfall records in Atlanta go back to 1930. The drought was worse in Alabama, where Birmingham had its driest year on record--just 28.86", a full 25 inches below average, smashing the record low of 36.14" set in 1931. Huntsville was even drier--a mere 28.65"--29 inches below average. Surrounding areas of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia also experienced extraordinarily dry years (Figure 1).


Figure 1. Drought conditions in the Southeastern U.S. were at the highest level possible--exceptional drought--at the end of 2007. Image credit: NOAA.

Although the current drought is exceptional, Atlanta has had much drier 2-year periods. During the drought of 1954-1955, Atlanta received 68.23 inches of precipitation--a 28 inch deficit from the normal 2-year rainfall. The deficit for the past two years is only 16 inches, since an average amount of rain fell in 2006 (48.46 inches). Based on the climatological record, Georgia can expect a two-year drought about once in 25 years, and a drought lasting three or more years about once every 40 years. Drought is part of the natural cycle in Georgia, and it would not be a surprise to see the drought of 2007 continue until the winter of 2008. Although December 2007 saw Atlanta's first above average month of rainfall since November 2006, the coming two weeks look very dry, and the current La Nina atmospheric pattern usually brings below average rainfall.

What is causing the Georgia drought?
Two main factors are responsible for the Southeast U.S. drought. Most importantly, a persistent jet stream pattern has set up that steers storms away from the region, and into Texas instead. Texas, which suffered extreme drought in 2006, found itself awash in floods in 2007, as the jet stream pattern brought storm after storm to the state. Another contributing factor to the current Southeast drought is the absence of tropical storms and hurricanes during 2006 and 2007. These storms are an important part of the annual rainfall budget for the Southeast. For example, in 2005, 29% of Atlanta's yearly rainfall came from five tropical storms:

1.36" Arlene June 11-12, 2005
1.40" Katrina, August 29-30, 2005
5.48" Cindy, July 6-8, 2005
5.41" Dennis, July 9-12, 2005
2.94" Tammy, October 6-8, 2005


Figure 2. Over ten inches of rain fell on Atlanta in 2005 from two tropical cyclones, Dennis and Cindy. Tropical cyclones accounted for 29% of Atlanta's rainfall that year. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

There is little evidence that global warming contributed to this drought. The Southeastern U.S. has cooled by about 0.1° F over the past 100 years, even as the rest of the globe has warmed 1° F. The reasons for this lack of warming in the Southeast are not fully understood. One theory is that the cooling is due to air pollution blocking sunlight. Another theory, proposed by Georgia State Climatologist David Stooksbury, attributes the cooling to the shift from 80 percent row crops (like corn and cotton) to 60 percent forest. Land use changes like this can have a significant impact on how solar energy heats the air once it is absorbed by the soil.

Why Atlanta is vulnerable to drought
Atlanta, unlike most major cities, grew up around rail lines rather than a major body of water. Although the Chattahoochee River runs through Atlanta, the city lies on top of a watershed, with no large bodies of water upstream. The rivers and streams in the region are small, and the bedrock limits how much ground water is available. The Lake Lanier reservoir that supplies Atlanta with most of its water was constructed in the 1950s. Since that time, the population of Atlanta has quadrupled, increasing the pressure on the reservoir's limited water. Lake Lanier is at its record lowest level--more than 19 feet below average. If the drought continues into the summer of 2008, and no tropical storms arrive to break the drought, Atlanta may run out of water.

By 2030, the population of the Atlanta metropolitan area is expected to increase from 5 million to 9 million. Current water resources in the regions will be unable to support this population increase, unless planners make a concerted and expensive effort to plan ahead. The expected increase in temperatures over the coming decades due to global warming will make future droughts in the region even more severe, so Atlanta has a very tough road ahead of it.

Jeff Masters

Georgia Drought Series 2 (HurricaneIan)
Like my last series, this Series of photos concern the drought in North Georgia. These were taken at Lake Chatuge, Georgia. This is near the North Carolina Line and near a town called Hiawassee. North Georgia is experiencing a major drought. These docks are designed to float and adjust to water depth, however, now they are high and dry. The depth of these lakes varies from season to season, however, this is by far the lowest I have ever seen it. This water is not only used for drinking, this is also the primary supply of hydro-electric power for the region. The drought is causing other problems as well, the leaves are not changing properly, some look burnt and others fall off before turning. North Georgia and surrounding areas need rain in the worst way. The good news is it is raining
Georgia Drought Series 2
Scenes from Lake Lanier, GA (DadandMarcher)
Here are a few scenes from Lake Lanier in Buford, GA. We are going through a record setting drought this year. Everyday now we set a new record for the Lake level since the inception of the lake in the 1950's
Scenes from Lake Lanier, GA

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317. hondaguy
4:51 PM CST on January 02, 2008
Was wondering where the eruption was too...
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316. Thundercloud01221991
10:47 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Where is that eruption?
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315. V26R
10:41 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Bone going to have to either grab an IR shot hopefully it will stay clear enuff down there for it or wait til tomorrow for a Viz shot
Most of the times with the Big Eruptions, the IR shots can pick up the cone heat signature
(usually stands out really nicely)
Member Since: July 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1762
314. BahaHurican
5:25 PM EST on January 02, 2008
Evening everybody.

Cooler temps greeted us in Nassau this morning, and the winds have been gradually picking up all day. It's supposed to get to the low 50s tonight here. I'm sure Grand Bahama and the northern parts of Abaco will get much colder, since that 32-degree line on maps posted earlier is south of Grand Bahama. It should be an interesting night . . .
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313. franck
10:19 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Natgas...excessive speculation is the harbinger of doom.
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312. Bonedog
5:14 PM EST on January 02, 2008
got one..



grey line almost centered in the picture
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
311. sporteguy03
10:14 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Dr.Masters,
Thank you for the dry update on the drought!
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310. Bonedog
5:11 PM EST on January 02, 2008
nope nothing on MODIS :(

had a clear shot yesterday just too early

todays shows nothing either
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
309. Weather456
6:09 PM AST on January 02, 2008
Bone,,,try MODIS
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
308. Weather456
6:07 PM AST on January 02, 2008
This one of the areas that will get some heavy snow

TAHOE CITY, CA

This camera looks north from West River St. across the tracks at Historic Downtown Truckee

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
307. Bonedog
5:07 PM EST on January 02, 2008
gotta love reuters :)

looking for sat imagery now
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
306. Weather456
6:00 PM AST on January 02, 2008
Bonedog thanks...those are some awesome pictures.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
305. Bonedog
5:02 PM EST on January 02, 2008
chile 456

Llaima volcano
Conguillio National Park, about 50 miles
from the city of Temuco

Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
304. Weather456
5:59 PM AST on January 02, 2008
cool pics bonedog,,where is that volcano?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
303. Bonedog
4:57 PM EST on January 02, 2008








pictures of the eruption
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
302. NEwxguy
9:53 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
nothing in the near future V26,ridge is going to hang tuff for the east for the near future.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
301. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
9:54 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
there is always more than what meets the eye
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54398
300. davidw221
9:53 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Volcanos, we can't have volcanos, they are the reason global warming exist, along with the weakening of the polar axis, please don't report this it will take the wind out of Gore babies sail on global warming!
299. Bonedog
9:52 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
sorry V2 :(


about the weather, doesnt look like anything is going to pop. at least thats what the models show
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
298. V26R
9:50 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Okay so with this drastic Temp Differential over Southern Fla Vs the Warmer waters
Question is whether anything is going to pop up
for us up here in the NE???
Member Since: July 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1762
297. Drakoen
9:46 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
GFS 18z thursday morning forecast.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30563
296. V26R
9:45 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
BTW not sure if anyone has heard but just found out that a Volcano down in Chile
Erupted today with some nice Video on this link

Link


corrected for spelling (DUH)
Member Since: July 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1762
295. V26R
9:45 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Thanks for the reminder Bone
Once again your the bringer of Good Tidings
Member Since: July 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1762
294. Natgas
9:44 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
293. Bonedog 9:26 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
BTW end of trading.. oil at 99.57 a barrel
heating oil at 2.74 a gallon

The real issue is all of the financials, hedge funds and insurance companies that are making a killing trading the commodities up. In just 5 years, their percentage of the market is up from 17% to over 40%. These are the guys at the trading houses making 6+ figure bonuses. Now they are trading on weather. The money that is made on a bad weather forecast is staggering.
Member Since: October 26, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 0
293. Bonedog
9:26 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
all I could find is about 2006s profits :/ anyways they made more money then some small countries.

Yet we have to pay over 3 bucks a gallon.

Bunch of azzholes if you ask me.

BTW end of trading.. oil at 99.57 a barrel
heating oil at 2.74 a gallon
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
292. Bonedog
9:21 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
oops that was for last year.. lemme look again at this years
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
291. groundswell
9:21 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
10:55 am... The wind is increasing offshore and so with the wind chill it's even colder as of report time. You can see the increase in the wind and check out the 28 degree wind chill factor @ the local weather station at The Pier. At least South Florida is going to get surf, and it's likely not so freezin' cold down there...

From St. Augustine surf report-not a good day.
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 381
290. Bonedog
9:15 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
288. LakeShadow 4:17 PM EST on January 02, 2008
cant wait to see what the yearly profits are for Exxon-Mobile...


Exxon Mobil Corp. set U.S. records for annual and quarterly profits Monday as it easily topped fourth-quarter earnings forecasts.

The nation's largest oil company reported net income in the fourth quarter of $10.7 billion, or $1.71 a share, compared to $8.4 billion, or $1.30 a share, a year earlier.

Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
289. davidw221
9:19 PM GMT on January 02, 2008

NUDGED BACK PRECIP TIMING WITH THE LATE THURSDAY AFTERNOON/THURSDAY
NIGHT SYSTEM AND TWIDDLED SLIGHTLY WITH SNOW LEVELS...OTHERWISE FEW
CHANGES TO SHORT TERM GRIDS.

CLOUDS WILL GRADUALLY THICKEN AND LOWER TODAY AHEAD OF THURSDAY
NIGHT`S "OPENING ROUND" SYSTEM. THURSDAY NIGHT`S SYSTEM WILL BRING
MODEST SNOWFALL TOTALS TO THE SIERRA...WITH PERHAPS ISOLATED/MINIMAL
SNOW ADVISORY AMOUNTS NEAR THE CREST INTO FRIDAY MORNING.

FRIDAY`S SYSTEM IS STILL WELL ON TRACK TO DUMP 2 TO 4 FEET OF SNOW
IN THE SIERRA BY SATURDAY MORNING (WITH MUCH MORE BY THE TIME ALL IS
SAID AND DONE THIS WEEKEND). HOWEVER...THE MAIN STORY CONTINUES TO
BE THE EXPECTED WINDS WITH FRIDAY`S SYSTEM (THIS IS NO GARDEN
VARIETY STORM). AT LAKE TAHOE LEVEL...THE ONE THING THAT WILL SPARE
THE LAKE POSSIBLE BLIZZARD CONDITIONS FRIDAY WILL BE SNOW LEVELS.
SNOW LEVELS ARE EXPECTED TO RISE TO AROUND 7000 FEET FRIDAY
AFTERNOON ON THE HEELS OF 70-85 KT WARM ADVECTION BETWEEN 700-550 MB
(OF COURSE THIS WILL BE OFFSET BY JET DYNAMICS TRYING TO COOL THE
ATMOSPHERE). SNOW LEVELS ARE EXPECTED TO SHARPLY PLUMMET TO LAKE
LEVEL FRIDAY EVENING AS A STRONG COLD FRONT MOVES THROUGH. THIS IS
THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME FOR LAKE TAHOE...WHEN STRONG WINDS COMBINE
WITH HEAVY SNOW FOR POTENTIAL WHITEOUT CONDITIONS. THE DAYSHIFT MAY
HAVE TO CONSIDER A BLIZZARD WATCH FOR AT LEAST THE LAKE TAHOE ZONE
FOR FRIDAY NIGHT.

NOW FOR THE WIND SIDE OF THINGS FRIDAY. MESOSCALE WRF MODEL RUNS
CONTINUE TO SUPPORT POSSIBLE WIND GUSTS OVER 60 MPH FRIDAY MORNING
IN THE LEE OF THE SIERRA (ESPECIALLY RENO SOUTH TO MONO COUNTY).
THIS MAKES SENSE WITH PRECIPITATION LOADING AIDING AN ALREADY
OUTRAGEOUS SURFACE PRESSURE GRADIENT OVER WESTERN NEVADA (AT LEAST
20 MB FROM TONOPAH TO ALTURAS!) FRIDAY MORNING. DESPITE LITTLE
EVIDENCE OF A CRITICAL LAYER NEAR MOUNTAIN TOP (THE INVERSION LOOKS
TO SET UP WELL ABOVE MOUNTAIN TOP WITH THE BEST WARM ADVECTION)...AN
ANOMALOUS PRESSURE GRADIENT AND A SOUTHERLY WIND PROFILE EXCEEDING
60 KNOTS BELOW MOUNTAIN TOP SHOULD SUPPORT HIGH WINDS FOR RENO AND
MANY OTHER AREAS IN THE LEE OF THE SIERRA. STAY TUNED FOR MORE
DETAILS.

BY THE WAY...CHECK OUT OUR WINTER STORM...HIGH WIND...AND SPECIAL
WEATHER STATEMENTS FOR MORE DETAILS OF THE UPCOMING BUSY WEATHER
PATTERN AS MY TIME FOR DISCUSSION WRITING HAS RUN OUT! SNYDER

.LONG TERM...SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY...
THE DETERMINISTIC RUN OF THE GFS IS SLIGHTLY SLOWER WITH INITIAL
SYSTEM PRIOR TO THIS PERIOD AND AGREES WITH TELECONNECTIONS/SLOWER
ECMWF RUN WHICH KEEPS FLOW OVER THE CENTRAL PACIFIC FLATTER/LESS
AMPLIFIED. THE ECMWF HAS BEEN CONSISTENT WITH THIS SLOWER SCENARIO
AND IS THE PREFERRED SOLUTION THROUGH THE WEEKEND. THIS MEANS THAT
DETAIL IN FEATURES MOVING THROUGH MEAN TROUGH WILL FAVOR A SLIGHTLY
MORE NORTHERN TRACK AND CONTINUE LONGER INTO THE WEEKEND. MOIST
STEEP LAPSE RATES AND VERY COLD AIRMASS WILL FAVOR VERY GOOD SNOW
PRODUCTION. SNOW SHOWERS WILL BE ALMOST CONTINUOUS IN THE SIERRA
THROUGH SUNDAY AND POSSIBLY EARLY SUNDAY NIGHT WITH PERIODS OF
HEAVIER SNOW ASSOCIATED WITH EMBEDDED SHORTWAVES/ADDITIONAL LIFT
WHICH WILL SPILL OVER INTO LOCAL AREAS OF WESTERN NEVADA. TIMING OF
THESE SHORTWAVES AND LOCATION OF MESOSCALE BANDS ARE VERY TRICKY AT
THIS POINT. GENERALLY...SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW ARE PROBABLE FOR
LOWER VALLEYS WITH 6 TO 8 INCHES IN THE FOOTHILLS. AN ADDITIONAL
COUPLE OF FEET ARE POSSIBLE AT THE CREST ONCE THE STORM FRIDAY NIGHT
AND SATURDAY MORNING WINDS DOWN. SHORTWAVE RIDGE WILL BRING AN
OVERALL BREAK TO PRECIPITATION MONDAY AND TUESDAY ALTHOUGH SOME
LIGHT PRECIPITATION IS STILL POSSIBLE IN WARM ADVECTION...ESPECIALLY
NORTH. IT WILL REMAIN CONSIDERABLY CLOUDY AND COOL WITH TEMPERATURES
KEPT BELOW MOS BOTH DAYS. HOHMANN
&&
288. LakeShadow
9:17 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
cant wait to see what the yearly profits are for Exxon-Mobile...
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
287. CybrTeddy
9:13 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Simply Amazing, its 49 Degrees here in Tampa! And its 4 o`clock, with tonights lows in the Low 20s!
If it were to rain, it would snow in Florida at these temps.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24181
286. JVJ24601
9:10 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
St.SimonGuy, could this be the snow that the Brunswick observations are referring to? Link
285. LakeShadow
9:06 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Prosit Neujahr, Taiste.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
284. hurricane24
9:05 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
as of lower down in comments , the highest ive predicted for my area is 1030 mb and it reached 1045mb on that day and that was in summer

currently its at about 1026 and falling!
283. Drakoen
9:02 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Temperatures are already starting to drop here in to lower 50s now.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30563
282. taistelutipu
8:58 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Happy New Year to everyone here and greetings from Germany. As usual I escape the darkest time in Finland by going to Central Europe to get some sun :-) I don't have regular internet access here so I'm reading the blog only from time to time.
See you all on a more regular basis in a couple of weeks when I'm back in Finland at my computer with a broadband internet connection

Best wishes for the new year and the new hurricane season. Let's hope for an interesting and busy season without much damage.
tipsku

*going back to lurking mode*
Member Since: August 20, 2007 Posts: 12 Comments: 639
280. Cavin Rawlins
8:56 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Look at the vis picture I just posted. Just looking at it...one can construct a vertical cross section of moisture from say Houston to Tabasco in Mexico.

The moisture levels will be low near Texas and gradually increase towards Mexico. It look like a mountain slope.

If ur not into that...a another way of constructing vertical cross section is by suing upper air obs as seen below: The first one is of Lake Charles, LA...barely any moisture in the atmosphere.

Second image is Veracruz, Mexico and shows moisture in the lower to mid levels of the atmosphere.





Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
279. NEwxguy
8:54 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
276. StSimonsIslandGAGuy 8:51 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
speaking of which, oil rose over $100/bbl today.

well,I feel so much better knowing our oil country friends will have enough money to put food on their tables
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
278. Drakoen
8:53 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
000
FXUS62 KMFL 022014
AFDMFL

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
314 PM EST WED JAN 2 2008

...HARD FREEZE WARNING NOW IN EFFECT FOR NORTHWEST INTERIOR SECTIONS...
...FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FOR THE REMAINDER OF SOUTH FLORIDA EXCEPT
EAST COASTAL AREAS...


.DISCUSSION...THE STRONG COLD FRONT THAT MOVED THROUGH YESTERDAY
EVENING CONTINUES TO DIVE ACROSS THE CARIBBEAN AND ATLANTIC AS
COOL CANADIAN AIR MOVES SOUTH. ALL WE ARE LEFT WITH IS CLEAR SKIES AND
EXCELLENT COLD AIR ADVECTION. TEMPS ARE NOT EXPECTED TO RISE VERY
MUCH FOR THE REST OF THE AFTERNOON AND THEY WILL BEGIN TO CRASH
AFTER SUNSET... MUCH IN THE WAY DEW POINTS HAVE DONE THIS
AFTERNOON. ATTM THE FREEZING LINE IS EXPECTED TO REACH TO AROUND
THE TURNPIKE IN PALM BEACH... TO AROUND THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE
SUBURBS IN BROWARD... TO AROUND KROME AVE IN MIAMI DADE. THIS MAY
MAKE FROST POSSIBLE IN WIND SHELTERED AREAS EVEN IN THE EAST COAST
METROS, BUT IN WIND SHELTERED LOCATIONS ONLY AS THE WINDS ARE
EXPECTED TO REMAIN UP INTO THE 10 TO 15 MPH RANGE OVER THE METRO
AND AROUND 10 MPH INLAND. TEMPS ACROSS GLADES, HENDRY, COLLIER
WILL BE ESPECIALLY COLD TONIGHT. TEMPS ARE ONLY AROUND 50 AND WITH
DEW POINTS IN THE TEENS, CONTINUED CAA, AND CLEAR SKIES A HARD
FREEZE IS ON TAP.
AROUND SUNRISE WINDS WILL GRADUALLY SHIFT TO A
MORE NORTH-NORTHEASTWARD DIRECTION AS THE COLD CANADIAN HIGH
SLOWLY LUMBERS EAST ACROSS THE SOUTHEASTERN STATES. THIS WILL START A
MODERATING TREND FOR S FL. THIS WILL ALSO BEGIN TO INCREASE
MOISTURE AND THE RAIN CHANCES ALONG THE EAST COAST THURSDAY
MORNING... BUT ONLY INTO THE SLIGHT CATEGORY.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30563
277. NEwxguy
8:51 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Hey,Lake,good thing they played that hockey game last night and not tonight.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
275. NEwxguy
8:46 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
As I watch the cash flying out of my wallet into my oil tank.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
273. LakeShadow
8:48 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
frozen concentrated OJ, anyone?

Hordes of Buffalonians have moved to FLA to flee the cold. They visit home, however for the holidays and then return back to the South...I think that some of them may have strapped the weather to their bumpers...

I would laugh if my lips werent frozen....
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
272. Cavin Rawlins
8:45 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Simply Awesome...These events make surface analysis discussion not only easy but fun.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
271. Drakoen
8:43 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
I made a blog about the situation in Florida. Link
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30563
270. Bonedog
8:41 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 9. Wind chill values as low as -8. North wind between 15 and 20 mph.


BRRRRRR. Time to through the heater into the pond
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
268. Cavin Rawlins
8:38 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
GulfScotsman,

Happy 2008.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
267. Cavin Rawlins
8:38 PM GMT on January 02, 2008
Gulf of Tehuantepec Storm Event

By W456 on Tuesday...

Meanwhile, the associated 1043 mb high pressure system is established over the Texas Panhandle producing fair weather over the state, and the Southeastern Portion of the United States. The high is also producing northeasterly gale force winds over the Gulf behind the front. These winds will begin to impact the Isthmus of Tehuantepec with storm-force winds expected over the Gulf of Tehuantepec.

Today...
....SYNOPSIS....

GULF OF MEXICO/NORTHWEST ATLANTIC OCEAN WEST OF 50W....

The main story this morning over the region is very strong high pressure. As a cold front pushes westward into the Western Caribbean and Atlantic, the associated 1047 mb high pressure system continues to establish itself over Central Texas. The is bringing clear to partly cloudy skies over Texas, the Deep South, Southeast United States and the Gulf waters north of 28N. Broken to overcast cold air stratocumulus clouds cover the entire Gulf...gradually becoming deeper from 28N to the Coastal Plains of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula.

QuikSCAT and surface observations indicate the high pressure system is also producing very strong winds over the Gulf of Mexico in excess of 20 knots, with some wind reports as high 35 knots. These winds are making for red flag gale warnings over the entire Gulf for dangerous seas. Small craft should exercise caution. Perhaps the most extreme wind event is over the Tehuantepec Peninsula, where QuikSCAT reveals winds well near 50 knots.

by W456


This morning's Quikscat



Visible Satellite Imagery with surface wind reports in the last hour. One station is reporting 30 Knot winds on the Bay of Campeche Side of the Isthmus.



The geography of the area is the key to understanding what causes the event in the first place. You basically have a funneling effect between two mountain ranges separated by a valley which can concentrate and strengthen the winds within a narrow area.

In the map below, the Tabasco Plain separates the mountain ranges of Sierra Madre del Sur (Southern Sierra Madre) and Sierra Madre de Chiapas.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

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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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