Winter isn't over yet, Active tornado season already, TCR for Sandy released
Potential snowstorm for parts of the Great Lakes, Mid West, and Northeast next week
The winter of 2012-2013 is over half way done and it has had some winter storms, including the record-breaking blizzard that hit the NE last week named "Nemo". That storm dropped up to 40" of snow and brought wind gusts up to hurricane force including a 76mph gust at Logan Airport. Some cities broke their all time highest snowfall records and others got top-5 snowfalls. Over 600,000 people were without power at one point and some are still without power. Some schools are just reopening after having roads snow-covered and unnavigable. This intense nor'easter was the result of a clipper system and a southern low phasing together off the New England coast. The nor'easter began to develop a shallow warm-core as it moved offshore of New England before becoming cold-core again. Besides "Nemo", there haven't been a lot of major winter storms. This has caused numerous cities to be in snow-droughts, besides cities in the Northeast and a select few in the South and Mid-west like Detroit, MI. For me, my snowfall has been above average for the year, better than last winter.
Looking at the GFS and ECMWF, there looks to be a couple more winter storms in the next two weeks. Areas in the northern Ohio Valley, Mid West, and Great Lakes should see mostly snow, with the mid Ohio Valley seeing a mix, and areas south of that seeing rain. The first storm, the weaker, should occur in the 3-6 day time frame. This storm could bring several inches of snow to the Great Lakes and northern Ohio Valley per the GFS and Euro. Areas to the south and east of the low will see mostly rain. The next storm, the stronger one, will occur in the 6-9 day period. This storm has the potential to bring substantial snowfall amounts to parts of the Mid-West, Great Lakes, and Northeast. Right now, it looks like a good swath of 6"+ of snow is possible, but this could certainly change. Precipitation type is difficult to determine right now in the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic, dependent on the track and intensity of the low pressure. The South should see rain and thunderstorms. The GFS has shown three different solutions on this storm. There is the southern track, a northern track, and a track in-between the two. The southern track features a weaker low and less GPF, but with cold air working farther south leading to snow farther south. Winds wouldn't be super strong with this solution. The track would be from Kansas to the Ohio river area and follow that into the Northeast(see map). The northern track would bring a stronger low pressure with higher GPF across a larger area. Warmer, moister air would work farther north leading to a mix/rain farther up in the Ohio Valley. Winds would cause blowing and drifting snow in the southern Great Lakes. This would track through the southern Great Lakes into New England and out(see map). The 3rd solution tracks in the northern Ohio Valley into New England(see map). The low would have a decently low pressure and good amount of moister to work with. Since it is still a good ways away out, it is unclear which track will win out and what areas ill get snow, mix, or rain. The models need to be watched for further trends and developments.
Active 2013 tornado season, already?
The 2013 tornado season has got off to an active start. So far, there have been 74 confirmed tornadoes in 2013 with one fatality. The strongest tornado was on February 10th when a 170mph EF4 tornado tore through Hattiesburg, MS and surrounding areas. 82 people were injured by this tornado and many houses/businesses were destroyed with lots more damaged. Several counties, Forrest, Lamar, Lawrence, and Marion Counties, are under State of Emergencies due to the amount of damage. Schools are closed, roads are closed, and lives are changes forever in Hattiesburg. Here, a high school and surrounding facilities were heavily damaged to destroyed. In Petal, MS, an ACE Hardware store was destroyed with metal beams twisted. This is the second violent tornado, EF4+, in that area this early in the year. 7 other tornadoes have been confirmed in this outbreak. Another outbreak, on January 29th-30th, produced 56 tornadoes with 1 tornadic fatality and 25 injuries. This was the first tornadic fatality since Tropical Storm Debby on June, 24th 2012. The one fatality was caused by an EF3 tornado in Adairsville, Georgia. During its 21.8 mile path, far over 300 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed with 17 injuries. At first controversial, 100 cars were flipped over on Interstate 75 in Adairsville. Both of these outbreaks had similar conditions like CAPE, moister, temperatures, and wind shear. If these conditions persist/ get worse as we get into spring, then we could have a continuity active tornado season. This would be different than last year, which also saw an active start, but finished off with record quietness. Hopefully there isn't too much violent tornadoes or tornado fatalities.
Major Hurricane Sandy's TCR released
Hurricane Sandy was one of the worst hurricane ever to strike the northeastern United States. Over $50 billion of damage were done, 147 direct deaths with more indirect deaths, hundreds of thousands of homes/businesses destroyed, millions left without power, extreme storm surge in parts of NE, up to 3' of snow in the Appalachian mountains, record-breaking tropical storm wind field, and many more statistics. The Tropical cyclone report, found here, is 157 pages long and is the longest TCR ever. Some changes include an upgrade to category 3, major hurricane status which isn't surprising, at her Cuba landfall and an upgraded to a category 2 of the DelMarVa coast. The post-tropical cyclone landfall was confirmed in the report, also not a surprise to me. Sandy had lost all of here deep convection over here center and cyclone analysis showed here being post-tropical. Sandy will be in the memories of people in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic forever. I am working on my TCR's and will, at least try, to get Sandy's out with my update.
Have a lovely Valentines day everyone and I'll have a new winter storm update in the next few days.