WunderBlog Archive » Category 6™

Category 6 has moved! See the latest from Dr. Jeff Masters and Bob Henson here.

2014 February

Last Day of Winter Brings Record Cold to Midwest; More Heavy Rain in California

Friday, February 28 marked a fitting final day of meteorological winter over Michigan, which has seen one of its most severe winters in memory during 2013 - 2014. An Arctic blast of cold air poured out of Canada over the Great Lakes, bringing the coldest temperatures ever measured so late in the year to Flint (-16°F) , Gaylord (-29°F), and Houghton Lake (-29°F). The coldest spot in the country was in Michigan's Lower Peninsula city of Pellston, where the mercury plunged to a remarkable -33°F.

JeffMasters, • 4:20 PM GMT on February 28, 2014

Heavy Rains Make Modest Dent in California Drought

A very moist “Pineapple Express” atmospheric river of moisture from the Hawaiian Islands is bringing much-needed rains to nearly all of California today. As of 7 am PST Thursday, Downtown Los Angeles had received 0.97" of rain since midnight. The last calendar day when Los Angeles received more than 1" of rainfall was over two years ago--Oct. 5, 2011, when 1.15” fell. Substantial rains also fell in Central California.

JeffMasters, • 4:05 PM GMT on February 27, 2014

New Blast of Cold Air Invades Midwest U.S.

A frigid blast of Arctic air will bring some of the coldest late February temperatures seen in decades to the eastern 2/3 of the U.S. this week, with temperatures 15 - 30° below normal commonplace. The cold air isn't going anywhere fast, and will stick around through early next week. The cold blast is due to an extreme jet stream pattern we have seen before this winter--a sharp ridge of high pressure over California, and a large trough of low pressure over Eastern North America.

JeffMasters, • 3:31 PM GMT on February 26, 2014

January 2014: Earth's 4th Warmest January on Record

January 2014 was the globe's 4th warmest January since records began in 1880, according to NOAA and NASA. January 2013 global land temperatures were the 4th warmest on record, and global ocean temperatures were the 7th warmest on record. In the Southern Hemisphere, land temperatures were the warmest on record.

JeffMasters, • 1:34 PM GMT on February 24, 2014

An El Niño Coming in 2014?

The Pacific Ocean is now in a state that could favor an El Niño to develop later this Spring. That being said, it’s not a locked in solution yet as we need to monitor the atmosphere for future westerly wind bursts to help push the Western Pacific Warm Pool along.

Michael Ventrice • 2:58 PM GMT on February 21, 2014

Midwest's February Thaw to be Followed by a Return of the Polar Vortex

A major February thaw is underway across the Midwest U.S., where high temperatures are above freezing for a second consecutive day in cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, and Detroit. The welcome thaw is bringing significant melting of the heavy snowpack over the Midwest, raising flooding concerns. Much of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Indiana are covered by snows of 10 - 30" that if melted, would be equivalent to 2 - 6" of rain.

JeffMasters, • 3:27 PM GMT on February 19, 2014

NHC Adds Unnamed Subtropical Storm to 2013's Atlantic Tally

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) announced last week that the hurricane season of 2013 had one more storm that should have been named--a short-lived low that developed south of the Azores during early December, which became a subtropical storm on December 5. "Should-Have-Been-Named-Subtropical-Storm-Nestor" reached top sustained winds of 45 mph. With this addition, the 2013 Atlantic season ended with 14 tropical and subtropical storms.

JeffMasters, • 3:19 PM GMT on February 17, 2014

Snowstorm Kills 21, Drops 2' of Snow; January U.S. Temperatures Near Average

The latest blow from the Eastern United States' endless winter of 2013 - 2014 is winding down, as Winter Storm Pax scoots northeastward into Canada. Pax was the biggest Nor'easter of the winter so far, and dumped more than two feet of snow in the higher elevations of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and New York. Over a foot of snow (12.5") fell in New York City's Central Park, 12.3" in Baltimore, 11.9" at Newark, 9.8" at Philadelphia, and 6" in Washington D.C.

JeffMasters, • 3:47 PM GMT on February 14, 2014

Heavy Snow Belts East Coast; Southeast Ice Storm Leaves 700,000 Without Power

The memorable winter of 2014 continues over the Eastern U.S., where an intensifying winter storm has dumped up to a foot and a half of snow. Snowfall rates of 3" per hour have been observed in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New York this morning. A band of super-heavy snow set up over northern New Jersey, with some reports of 3 - 4" of snow falling in just 30 minutes.

JeffMasters, • 4:01 PM GMT on February 13, 2014

Dangerous Winter Storm Pounds Georgia and South Carolina

A historic Southeast U.S. winter storm is pounding Georgia and South Carolina with heavy snow and thick coatings of freezing rain. Car crashes on icy roads from the storm have already killed six people--four in Texas, and two in Mississippi--and travel will be extremely dangerous over much of the South on Wednesday. As of 9 am EST on Wednesday, freezing rain amounts as high as 1/2" had already been observed in Central South Carolina near Columbia.

JeffMasters, • 3:03 PM GMT on February 12, 2014

Dangerous Ice Storm Hitting Southern U.S.

A state of emergency has been declared for all of Alabama, Northern Georgia, Northern Mississippi, and Northern Louisiana as the South's second serious winter storm of 2014 spreads snow, sleet, and freezing rain across the region on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday night into Wednesday as much as 1" of freezing rain is expected in Augusta Georgia and Columbia, South Carolina, and widespread power outages would result if these ice amounts materialize.

JeffMasters, • 2:10 PM GMT on February 11, 2014

California's Sierras Get Over 10 Inches of Precipitation; Snow, Ice Coming to South

California's biggest rainstorm since December 2012 brought much-needed moisture to the state over the weekend, thanks to a very moist “Pineapple Express” atmospheric river of moisture from the Hawaiian Islands. The storm brought more than 2" of precipitation to most of Northern California, and more than 10" to the Northern Sierra Mountains, where as much as four feet of snow fell. Some locations saw more rain in a four-day period than they had during the previous eight months.

JeffMasters, • 4:46 PM GMT on February 10, 2014

Pineapple Express Bringing Significant Rains to Drought-Stricken California

A very moist “Pineapple Express” flow of air from the Hawaiian Islands will impact California through Sunday, likely bringing enough precipitation to make a noticeable dent in the state’s dire drought conditions (though the exceptionally dry and hard soils caused by California’s driest year in its history are forcing the heavy rains to run off faster than usual, reducing the amount of moisture that can soak into the soil.) Some locations may see more rain in a four-day period than they have had during the previous eight months.

JeffMasters, • 10:10 PM GMT on February 06, 2014

Top Ten Extraordinary Weather Videos of 2013

The year 2013 was another extraordinary one for weather extremes, with a world-record 41 billion-dollar weather disasters. With the rise of smart phones and YouTube, we now have an amazing capability to document and make available videos of disasters like these, and I present here my pick for the top ten most remarkable weather videos of 2013.

JeffMasters, • 3:51 PM GMT on February 04, 2014

Groundhog Says: 6 More Weeks of Winter

Sunday had a Super mix of winter prognostications from North America’s bevy of rodent winter prognosticators, who emerged from their burrows on Groundhog Day to offer their predictions of an early or late end to winter. America’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, in Punxsutawney, PA, saw his shadow and predicted 6 more weeks of winter.

JeffMasters, • 1:34 PM GMT on February 03, 2014