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2013 June

New Orleans' Achilles Heel: a Storm Surge on the Mississippi River?

JeffMasters, • 7:23 PM GMT on June 27, 2013

Quarterback Obama's New Climate Change Game Plan

The measures that Obama proposed in his speech are significant steps that will help fight climate change. The directive to the EPA to move forward to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants--the source of 40% of our nation's CO2--is particularly significant. It's great to see our quarterback showing the guts to make some riskier plays, and try and make a first down.

JeffMasters, • 1:29 PM GMT on June 26, 2013

President Obama Delivering Major Climate Change Speech Today

At 1:55pm today, Tuesday June 25th, President Obama will speak at Georgetown University on the growing threat of climate change. It's the first formal speech he's given on the issue since he was elected in 2008. Obama is expected to announce the regulation of new and existing power plants by the EPA to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and other climate-friendly initiatives that do not require Congressional approval.

JeffMasters, • 1:19 PM GMT on June 25, 2013

Calgary Flood May be Canada's Most Expensive Flood in History

The massive floods that devastated Calgary, Canada late last week have raced downstream, and are now bringing the highest flood waters ever recorded to Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada's 5th largest city (population 67,000.) The flood peaked early Monday morning in Medicine Hat, which had evacuated 10,000 residents in anticipation of the flood. The homes of nearly all of the residents evacuated have received flood damage.

JeffMasters, • 1:53 PM GMT on June 24, 2013

Over 500 Killed in India's Monsoon Floods

Earth's deadliest natural disaster so far in 2013 is the deadly flooding in India's Himalayan Uttarakhand region, where torrential monsoon rains have killed at least 556 people, with hundreds more feared dead. At least 5,000 people are missing. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, Uttarakhand received more than three times (329%) of its normal June rainfall from June 1 - 21, and rainfall was 847% of normal during the week June 13 - 19.

JeffMasters, • 4:25 PM GMT on June 21, 2013

May 2013 Earth's 3rd Warmest May; Central European Floods Cost $22 Billion

May 2013 was the globe's 3rd warmest May since records began in 1880. The Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during May 2013 was the 3rd lowest in the 47-year period of record. Unusually low May snow cover allows the Arctic to heat up much more rapidly than usual, decreasing the temperature difference between the Equator and the Arctic, potentially leading to extreme jet stream configurations, like the one that contributed to the $22 billion Central European floods this month.

JeffMasters, • 5:07 PM GMT on June 20, 2013

Tropical Storm Barry Hits Mexico With 45 mph Winds

Tropical Storm Barry made landfall near Veracruz, Mexico at 8 am CDT on Thursday, June 20, as an unremarkable tropical storm with top winds of 45 mph. Heavy rain will be the main threat from Barry, and up to ten inches are expected to fall in some mountainous regions as Barry pushes inland and dissipates over the next day. Satellite loops show that Barry is a small storm, and its heavy rains will affect only a modest area of Mexico.

JeffMasters, • 2:37 PM GMT on June 20, 2013

Tropical Storm Barry Forms

Data from the Air Force Hurricane Hunters this afternoon indicates that Tropical Storm Barry has formed in the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico. The aircraft measured winds at their flight level of 1000 feet as high as 47 mph, which implies winds of at least 40 mph at the surface. Barry has a small but growing area of heavy thunderstorms, as seen on satellite loops. The thunderstorms are steadily showing more organization this afternoon, and low-level spiral bands have begun to appear.

JeffMasters, • 7:49 PM GMT on June 19, 2013

Baked Alaska: 98° Reading Ties All-Time State Heat Record

An intense ridge of high pressure, part of an extreme jet stream pattern that has become "stuck" in place for many days, is creating the state's hottest heat wave in 44 years this week. Numerous cities in Alaska have recorded their all-time hottest temperatures on record, and according to wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, the unofficial 98° measured at Bentalit Lodge on Monday, June 17, ties the record for the hottest reliably measured temperature in state history.

JeffMasters, • 5:21 PM GMT on June 19, 2013

TD 2 Slowly Organizing, Headed Towards Veracruz, Mexico

Tropical Depression Two is slowly spinning west-northwest across the extreme southern Gulf of Mexico at 9 mph. The storm has a small area of heavy thunderstorms that are slowly showing more organization this morning, but the storm has little low-level spiral banding, poor upper-level outflow, and is fighting dry air on its west side. However, I expect TD 2 will have enough time to become Tropical Storm Barry before making landfall on Thursday near Veracruz.

JeffMasters, • 1:50 PM GMT on June 19, 2013

Tornado Hits Denver International Airport

An EF-1 tornado ran directly over the weather station at Denver International Airport, which recorded a wind gust of 97 mph. Remarkably, the weather station was not destroyed, and continued to transmit data after the tornado had passed. There was no major damage reported at the airport.

JeffMasters, • 12:35 AM GMT on June 19, 2013

TD 2 Crossing the Yucatan, Bringing Heavy Rains

Tropical Depression Two is slowly spinning west-northwest across Belize after making landfall late Monday afternoon in southern Belize. The storm is bringing heavy rain to Belize, Northern Guatemala, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The center of TD 2 will remain over land all day Tuesday, but TD 2's west-northwest track may be able to bring the storm over the Gulf of Mexico's southern Bay of Campeche on Wednesday--if the storm hasn't dissipated by then.

JeffMasters, • 1:44 PM GMT on June 18, 2013

Tropical Depression Two Forms Near Belize

Tropical Depression Two has formed in the extreme Southwest Caribbean, about 60 miles east of the coast of Belize. The storm is bringing heavy rain to Belize, and has produced up to 6 - 8" inches of rain over eastern Nicaragua and Honduras, according to satellite estimates. The center of circulation will be over water for about 4 - 6 hours today, before moving ashore over Belize. This may be enough time for the storm to become Tropical Storm Barry with 40 mph winds.

JeffMasters, • 3:21 PM GMT on June 17, 2013

93L drenching Belize, May Have Time to Develop

A well-organized tropical disturbance (93L) is centered over the northwest coast of Honduras, and is moving west-northwest at 12 mph. The storm is bringing heavy rain to Belize, and has produced up to 6 - 8" inches of rain over eastern Nicaragua and Honduras. The wave's center of circulation will move over water for about 4 - 6 hours this afternoon, before moving ashore over Belize. This may be long enough for 93L to become a tropical depression or tropical storm.

JeffMasters, • 2:41 PM GMT on June 17, 2013

Caribbean Disturbance Little Threat to Develop

A concentrated area of heavy thunderstorms has developed over the Southwest Caribbean near the coast of Nicaragua in association with a tropical wave that is moving slowly west northwest towards Nicaragua and Honduras. Wind shear is a high 20 - 30 knots, which will keep any development slow. There is no indication that this system will affect the U.S.

JeffMasters, • 2:20 AM GMT on June 16, 2013

Colorado's Costliest Fire in History Kills 2; Severe Thunderstorms Pound Mid-Atlantic

Two people are dead in the Colorado Springs area due to the Black Forest fire, which continues to rage virtually unchecked about five miles northeast of Colorado's second largest city (population 400,000.) The fire' had burned through 15,700 acres by late Thursday afternoon, and was 5% contained. Over 38,000 people in 13,000 homes had been evacuated.

JeffMasters, • 3:51 AM GMT on June 14, 2013

Severe Thunderstorms Rip From Chicago to Baltimore

It was a wild weather night over much of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday, as tornadoes and an organized complex of severe thunderstorms known as a bow echo brought damaging winds to a large swath of the country. There were twelve preliminary reports of tornadoes in Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio, but no major damage or injuries.

JeffMasters, • 2:55 PM GMT on June 13, 2013

Record heat fuels destructive fires in drought-baked Colorado

Destructive wildfires erupted in three locations in drought-baked Colorado on Tuesday, fanned by strong winds and the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the state so early in the year. The mercury soared to 100°F in Denver on Tuesday, their earliest 100° day on record. At Lamar in Southeast Colorado, the mercury soared to 111°.

JeffMasters, • 1:42 PM GMT on June 12, 2013

Extreme Jet Stream Pattern Triggers Historic European Floods

A historic multi-billion dollar flood disaster has killed at least eighteen people in Central Europe after record flooding unprecedented since the Middle Ages hit major rivers in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Slovakia over the past two weeks. The Danube River in Passau, Germany hit the highest level since 1501.

JeffMasters, • 2:48 PM GMT on June 09, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea Spreading Heavy Rains to U.S. East Coast

Tropical Storm Andrea is rapidly losing it tropical characteristics as is barrels north-northeastwards up the U.S. East Coast, but it still has plenty of tropical moisture that is bringing heavy rains. Heavy rains of 2 - 4" are expected along a swath from South Carolina to New England from Andrea over the next two days. Pine Ridge, NC has received 6.5" of rain from Andrea, and New River MCAS, North Carolina picked up 2" of rain as of 9 am EDT this morning, along with a wind gust of 47 mph at 3:18 am.

JeffMasters, • 1:39 PM GMT on June 07, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea hits Florida

Tropical Storm Andrea made landfall near 5:40 pm EDT in the Big Bend region of Florida as a tropical storm with 65 mph winds. Andrea had a busy day Thursday in Florida, dumping heavy rains, spawning ten tornadoes, and bringing a storm surge of up to 4.5' to the coast. While the Hurricane Hunters did measure sustained winds of 65 mph over the ocean shortly before landfall, very few land stations recorded sustained winds in excess of tropical storm force, 39 mph.

JeffMasters, • 11:19 PM GMT on June 06, 2013

Andrea Intensifies to a 60 mph Tropical Storm, Spawns 5 Tornadoes in Florida

An Air Force hurricane hunter plane flying through Andrea near 3 am EDT found that a strong band of heavy thunderstorms with moderate turbulence and intense lightning had wrapped partway around the center, and Andrea had intensified into a respectable tropical storm with 60 mph sustained winds and a central pressure of 997 mb. The intensification occurred despite the presence of a large area of dry air to the storm's west, and high wind shear of 25 knots.

JeffMasters, • 1:30 PM GMT on June 06, 2013

Tropical Storm Andrea Forms in Gulf of Mexico

The Atlantic has its first named storm of the 2013 hurricane season: Tropical Storm Andrea. An Air Force hurricane hunter plane was able to locate a closed center of circulation, and found surface winds of 40 mph in the large area of thunderstorms on the east side of the center. Satellite loops show that Andrea is a lopsided storm, with center of circulation exposed to view, due to a large region of dry air that covers the entire Central and Western Gulf of Mexico.

JeffMasters, • 11:15 PM GMT on June 05, 2013

Gulf Distubance 91L More Organized, Headed Towards Florida

Tropical disturbance 91L in the Southeast Gulf of Mexico has gotten more organized over the past day, and the Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to fly their first mission of 2013 this afternoon to see if the storm is becoming a tropical depression. Buoy 42003 near the heaviest thunderstorms of 91L measured sustained winds of 33 mph, gusting to 41 mph this morning at 2 am EDT.

JeffMasters, • 5:21 PM GMT on June 05, 2013

Largest Tornado on Record: the May 31 El Reno, OK EF-5 Tornado

The largest tornado in recorded history was Friday's May 31, 2013 EF-5 tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma, the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma announced on Tuesday. The EF-5 re-classification was based upon Doppler radar data taken by Oklahoma University's mobile RaXPol radar. The radar recorded winds close to the surface of up to 295 mph.

JeffMasters, • 9:54 PM GMT on June 04, 2013

Little Change to 91L; Amateur Storm Chaser Killed in May 31 El Reno, OK Tornado

There has been little change to tropical disturbance 91L in the Southeast Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean. Satellite loops show a large area of heavy thunderstorms with poor organization, and there is no evidence of an organized surface circulation trying to form. Wind shear is a high 30 knots, and is forecast to remain high, 20 - 30 knots, today, so any development should be slow to occur.

JeffMasters, • 2:59 PM GMT on June 04, 2013

Invest 91L Bringing Heavy Rains to Florida, Cuba, and Mexico

The Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1, and we already have a threat to discuss. A trough of low pressure has developed over the Western Caribbean, Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and Southeast Gulf of Mexico, and is dumping heavy rains over the area. Hurricane Barbara has contributed moisture to this disturbance, which has been designated 91L by NHC.

JeffMasters, • 3:44 PM GMT on June 03, 2013

Tornado Scientist Tim Samaras and Team Killed in Friday's El Reno, OK Tornado

Veteran tornado scientist Tim Samaras, his son, environmental photographer Paul Samaras, 24, and meteorologist Carl Young, 45, died while chasing Friday's EF-3 tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma. The tornado killed at least nine people, in total. "Thank you to everyone for the condolences. It truly is sad that we lost my great brother Tim and his great son, Paul," said the brother of Tim Samaras, Jim Samaras, on Tim's Facebook page.

JeffMasters, • 5:43 PM GMT on June 02, 2013

A Night of Tornado Chaos in Oklahoma City: 9 Killed, 71 Injured

It was a terrifying evening of tornado chaos and extreme atmospheric violence in the Oklahoma City area on Friday. Three tornadoes touched down near the city, killing nine, injuring at least 71, and causing widespread destruction. Huge hail up to baseball-sized battered portions the the metro area, accompanied by torrential flooding rains, widespread damaging straight-line winds, and lightning that flashed nearly continuously.

JeffMasters, • 7:21 PM GMT on June 01, 2013