The most extraordinary October snowstorm in over two centuries hit the Northeast U.S. Saturday. Not since the infamous snow hurricane of 1804 have such prodigious amounts of snow been recorded in New England and, to a lesser extent, in the mid-Atlantic states. In fact, the snowfall, in most cases, has exceeded that of even the great October snow of 1804.
Christopher C. Burt • 10:15 PM GMT on October 30, 2011
Tropical Storm Rina is being ripped apart by strong upper-level southerly winds creating 30 knots of wind shear over the storm. Visible satellite loops show that the low-level circulation of Rina is just a naked swirl over Cancun, on the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. The shear has torn away Rina's heavy thunderstorms so that they lie about 200 miles to the northeast of the center. Wind shear should be able to destroy the circulation of Rina by Saturday.
JeffMasters, • 2:34 PM GMT on October 28, 2011
Tropical Storm Rina has taken a beating in the past 48 hours. Between a mass of dry air to its west and strong southerly wind shear, Rina has not been able to overcome its environment. At 5pm EDT, Rina had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and was moving north at 7 mph. At 3:30pm EDT, Rina was located about 50 miles south of Cozumel.
angelafritz • 9:19 PM GMT on October 27, 2011
Hurricane Rina continues to decay, thanks to strong upper-level southerly winds that have created 20 knots of wind shear and torn into the south side of the storm. A NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft is in Rina, and found top winds of 71 mph at the surface, suggesting that Rina is on the verge of becoming a tropical storm. Visible satellite loops show that Rina is just a shell of its former self, with just a small mis-shapen lump of heavy thunderstorms near the center, no eye, and little in the way of spiral bands.
JeffMasters, • 2:14 PM GMT on October 27, 2011
Hurricane Rina has unraveled a bit since yesterday afternoon, but still packs category 1 winds of 85 mph. Rina is moving steadily to the northwest at 6 mph, and the center of the hurricane is expected to reach the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula Thursday afternoon. The most recent Hurricane Hunter mission, which ended at 4:30pm EDT, found maximum surface winds around 85 mph, and a minimum central pressure of 976mb.
angelafritz • 9:12 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
Hurricane Rina continues slowly west-northwest at 5 mph towards Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds. Recent satellite intensity estimates suggest Rina has peaked in intensity, and may have weakened slightly since the last hurricane hunter mission. The eye is no longer visible on visible satellite loops, and the storm has a distinctly lopsided appearance, which are both signs that Rina may be weakening.
JeffMasters, • 1:48 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
Hurricane Rina is now a strong category 2, and is slowly moving west-northwest toward Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula. Rina is packing winds of 110 mph and is crawling west at a 3 mph. Cancun radar shows some showers approaching the peninsula. Since this morning, satellite imagery has shown Rina becoming slightly more organized, and outflow has increased on all sides of the hurricane.
angelafritz • 9:16 PM GMT on October 25, 2011
Hurricane Rina is now a Category 2 storm, headed slowly west-northwest at 3 mph towards Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The hurricane hunters found Rina's eyewall had a gap in it during their 4:32 am EDT eye penetration this morning, probably caused by the moderate wind shear the storm has experienced over the past day. It is unlikely that Rina will be able to "bomb" and undergo rapid intensification unless it can close off this gap in the eyewall. Category 3 is probably the strongest Rina will get.
JeffMasters, • 1:52 PM GMT on October 25, 2011
Rina is now a hurricane, just 21 hours after becoming a tropical depression. An Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft found winds of 75 mph--Category 1 hurricane strength--at 1:40 pm EDT in the north eyewall of Rina. On their second pass through the eye at 3:30 pm EDT, the winds were about 5 mph less, but the central pressure had fallen 2 mb to 989 mb.
JeffMasters, • 7:59 PM GMT on October 24, 2011
Tropical Storm Rina formed in the Western Caribbean Sea just off the coast of Honduras last night, and is headed north-northwest towards Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Rina's formation brings this year's tally of named storms to seventeen, making it the 7th busiest Atlantic hurricane season since record keeping began in 1851. Only 2005, 1933, 1995, 1887, 2010, and 1969 had more named storms.
JeffMasters, • 1:49 PM GMT on October 24, 2011
A region of disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean has become more organized this morning, and is close to tropical depression status. A hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate at 2 pm EDT to see if a tropical depression has formed. The system is located just offshore from the Nicaragua/Honduras border, and is bringing heavy rains to northeastern Honduras.
JeffMasters, • 3:21 PM GMT on October 23, 2011
A region of disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean (Invest 96L) is bringing heavy rains to coastal Nicaragua and Honduras, and has the potential to develop into a tropical depression Sunday or Monday. The models are less enthusiastic today about developing 96L into a tropical depression than they were yesterday. The hurricane hunter mission scheduled for today was cancelled due to the lack of development of 96L; the mission has been re-scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
JeffMasters, • 2:55 PM GMT on October 22, 2011
A region of disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean (Invest 96L) is bringing heavy rains to coastal Nicaragua, and has the potential to develop into a tropical depression this weekend. Some rotation is apparent on satellite images, and pressures are starting to fall in the Western Caribbean. The models are split on whether 96L will stay trapped in the Caribbean, or potentially move north and hit Cuba next week.
JeffMasters, • 5:14 PM GMT on October 21, 2011
The Southern Plains should prepare for continued drier and warmer than average weather, while the Pacific Northwest is likely to be colder and wetter than average from December through February, according to the annual Winter Outlook released October 20 by NOAA. This is the type of winter a La Niña typically brings, and La Niña is expected to remain solidly entrenched throughout the coming winter and into spring.
JeffMasters, • 4:17 PM GMT on October 20, 2011
September 2011 was the globe's 8th warmest September on record, according to NOAA. NASA rates the top ten warmest Septembers since 1880 as having all occurred in the past ten years. September 2011 in the U.S. was the 21st warmest in the 117-year period of record. Thirteen states in the West and Northeast had top-ten warmest Septembers on record, and one state, Mississippi, had a top-ten coolest September. Eleven states from Louisiana to New York experienced a top-ten wettest September.
JeffMasters, • 1:41 PM GMT on October 19, 2011
A large low pressure system off the Florida Gulf Coast, Invest 95L, is bringing heavy rains to Southwest Florida. Key West Naval Air Facility has recorded 14.41" since Saturday from 95L. NHC has dropped their odds of it developing into a tropical depression to 10%. 95L will bring heavy rains of 2 - 3 inches to Southwest Florida today. A week of torrential rains across Central America have triggered extreme floods and landslides that have killed 84 people.
JeffMasters, • 1:43 PM GMT on October 18, 2011
A large low pressure system centered about 100 miles north of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula is bringing heavy rains to Western Cuba and South Florida. Key West Naval Air Facility recorded 9.72" since Saturday. There is no evidence of a well-formed surface circulation trying to develop. The storm should turn to the northeast by Tuesday afternoon, and move into the west coast of Florida on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning between Fort Myers and St. Marks.
JeffMasters, • 2:12 PM GMT on October 17, 2011
A large low pressure system centered over the eastern Yucatan peninsula, near Mexico's Cozumel Island (Invest 95L), is bringing heavy rains to Western Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula. Satellite loops show that 95L does not have a well-formed surface circulation, but the storm does have a respectable amount of heavy thunderstorm activity that is increasing in intensity and areal coverage.
JeffMasters, • 4:17 PM GMT on October 16, 2011
In the Western Caribbean, a large area of disturbed weather associated with a low pressure system is bringing heavy rains to Western and Central Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Rainfall amounts of 5 - 10 inches have fallen over Central Cuba from this storm.
JeffMasters, • 3:02 PM GMT on October 15, 2011
Heavy rains in Thailand during September and October have led to extreme flooding that has killed 283 people and caused that nation's most expensive natural disaster in history, at $3.9 billion. The previous record was the $1.3 billion price tag of the November 27, 1993 flood. Floodwaters have damaged approximately 10% of the nation's rice crop.
JeffMasters, • 2:03 PM GMT on October 14, 2011
Tropical Depression Jova continues to dump torrential rains over Mexico's coastal mountains. Flooding and mudslides from Jova have killed 3 people in Mexico. Jova's dumped 14.74" of rain on Coquimatlan on Tuesday. Another significant rainfall threat is Tropical Depression 12-E, which moved inland near the Mexico/Guatemala border yesterday afternoon. TD-12E is being blamed for the deaths of thirteen people in Guatemala, due to flooding, mudslides, and electrocutions from downed power lines.
JeffMasters, • 10:18 AM GMT on October 13, 2011
Hurricane Jova slowly moved ashore over Mexico's Pacific coast at 10 pm PDT last night as a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds. Jova was the strongest hurricane to hit Mexico's Pacific coast since Hurricane Jimena hit Baja as a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds in 2009. Jova is moving very slowly and is expected to stall out over the coast on Thursday, which will lead to extremely heavy rains over the coastal mountains of Mexico. These rains may accumulate to twenty inches in some spots.
JeffMasters, • 1:43 PM GMT on October 12, 2011
Rain bands from powerful Category 3 Hurricane Jova are already deluging the southwest coast of Mexico as the storm heads towards landfall late this afternoon between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. Jova's interaction with the high mountains of Mexico will probably knock it down to a Category 2 storm with 100 - 105 mph winds by landfall. Jova's very heavy rains of 6 - 12 inches are the primary threat from the storm.
JeffMasters, • 1:42 PM GMT on October 11, 2011
Hurricane Jova continues to intensify, and the Category 3 storm is expected to hit near Manzanillo on Mexico's southwest coast Tuesday afternoon. If Jova maintains its current central pressure of 960 mb until landfall, it will rank as one of the ten most intense Pacific hurricanes to hit Mexico since record keeping began in 1949. A large swath of Mexico will see very heavy rains of 5 - 10 inches, and these rains are capable of causing high loss of life due to heavy flooding and mudslides.
JeffMasters, • 1:54 PM GMT on October 10, 2011
A large extratropical low pressure system with heavy rain and gale-force winds is centered over the Northwest Bahamas. The low will cross over the Florida Peninsula today. The west side of this low also has a large amount of dry air, which is limiting precipitation amounts along the Gulf of Mexico coast, but the east side has plenty of tropical moisture. Radar-estimated rainfall amounts since Friday are already in excess of ten inches just inland along the Central Florida coast.
JeffMasters, • 5:36 PM GMT on October 09, 2011
A large low pressure system with heavy rain is developing this morning over Cuba, South Florida, and the Bahamas. The counter-clockwise flow around this low is bringing strong winds and heavy rains to much of the Florida coast. Radar-estimated rainfall amounts are already in excess of four inches along a stretch of Florida coast from West Palm Beach to Daytona Beach. Much of the region, including Cocoa Beach, is under a flood watch, high surf advisories, and a high wind watch for wind gusts of 45 - 55 mph.
JeffMasters, • 1:01 PM GMT on October 08, 2011
A large low pressure system with heavy rain is expected to develop over Cuba, South Florida, and the Bahamas on Saturday. The counter-clockwise flow around this low will bring strong winds and heavy rains to much of the Florida coast on Saturday, and these conditions will spread northwards to Georgia by Sunday and South Carolina by Monday. I doubt that this storm will acquire enough organization to evolve into a subtropical storm that gets a name.
JeffMasters, • 2:24 PM GMT on October 07, 2011
A large low pressure system with heavy rain is expected to develop over Cuba and South Florida on Saturday. The counter-clockwise flow around this low will bring strong winds and heavy rains to much of the Florida coast on Saturday, and these conditions will spread northwards to Georgia by Sunday and South Carolina by Monday. The storm may evolve into a subtropical storm that gets a name by Monday or Tuesday, but the potential location of such a storm is still murky.
JeffMasters, • 3:15 PM GMT on October 06, 2011
A large low pressure system with heavy rains is expected to develop over Cuba and South Florida on Saturday. The counter-clockwise flow around this low will bring strong winds and heavy rains to much of the Florida coast on Saturday, and these conditions will spread northwards to Georgia by Sunday and South Carolina by Monday. Up to 7 inches of rain can be expected along the east coast of Florida by Monday morning.
JeffMasters, • 3:29 PM GMT on October 05, 2011
An unprecedented ozone hole opened in the Arctic during 2011, researchers reported this week in the journal Nature. Massive ozone destruction of 80% occurred at altitudes of 18 - 20 kilometers in the Arctic during spring, resulting in Earth's first known case of twin ozone holes, one over each pole. During late March and portions of April, the Arctic ozone hole was positioned over heavily populated areas of Western Europe, allowing large levels of damaging ultraviolet rays to reach the surface.
JeffMasters, • 2:01 PM GMT on October 04, 2011
A weakening Tropical Storm Ophelia passed over Southeast Newfoundland this morning, bringing tropical storm force winds and heavy rains. Ophelia's center passed over Cape Race at about 10:30 am local time, and that station measured sustained winds of 41 mph, gusting to 61 mph. Ophelia's highest winds were recorded at Sagona Island on the south shore of Newfoundland, where sustained winds of 53 mph, gusting to 59 mph, occurred at 9:30 am local time.
JeffMasters, • 2:15 PM GMT on October 03, 2011
Hurricane Ophelia is steaming north-northeastwards towards Newfoundland, Canada, as a weakening Category 2 hurricane with 110 mph winds. With wind shear expected to increase today and Ophelia about to pass over waters too cold to support a hurricane, the hurricane's eyewall should collapse tonight, resulting in rapid weakening just before the storm arrives in Newfoundland Monday morning.
JeffMasters, • 3:30 PM GMT on October 02, 2011
Hurricane Ophelia is steaming northwards to the east of Bermuda as a powerful Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. Radar out of Bermuda shows that rain bands from Ophelia are beginning to affect the island, though as of noon Saturday, the Bermuda airport has reported just one brief rain shower and a peak wind gust of 21 mph. Bermuda has a 19% chance of receiving tropical storm force winds of 39 mph. Cape Race, Newfoundland has a 47% chance of receiving tropical storm force winds on Monday.
JeffMasters, • 4:50 PM GMT on October 01, 2011