We're changing our WunderBlogs. Learn more about this important update on our FAQ page.

Storm battering California sets record low pressure mark

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:53 PM GMT on January 21, 2010

One of the most powerful low pressure systems since record keeping began in the 1800s slammed the West Coast yesterday with hurricane-force wind gusts, large hail, and torrential rains that have created flash floods and dangerous debris flows. The storm, centered just offshore near the Oregon/California border this morning, set an all-time record for the lowest pressure ever recorded along the southern Oregon coast yesterday. Medford, Oregon hit a pressure of 978 mb (28.88") yesterday afternoon, beating their old lowest ever pressure of 28.93" set in 1995. Northern California came close to setting a new record for lowest pressure as well, as Eureka, California hit 980 mb (28.93"), nearly matching the old record of 979 mb (28.91") set on Feb 22, 1891.


Figure 1. Huge waves up to fifteen feet high slam ashore yesterday on Agate Beach, in Northern California. Image credit: wunderphotographer Tsurai.

The storm, the latest and strongest of a series of El Niño-fueled storms to assault California this week, is expected to bring heavy rains of 1 - 3 inches over much of of the state today, wind gusts of up to 45 mph near the coast, and heavy snows of 1 - 2 feet to the Sierras. Arizona is expected to receive heavy rains of up to five inches from the storm. The storm will wind down by Friday, and California will have brief respite Saturday, before the next storm hits on Sunday and Monday. Sunday's storm should be much weaker, and the state will get a chance to dry out Wednesday and Thursday. However, another parade of storm is forecast to impact the state beginning on Friday the 29th, according to the latest long-range forecasts of the GFS and ECMWF models.

Severe weather in central California
The cold front associated with the strong low swept inland yesterday afternoon over central California, triggering heavy thunderstorms that brought hail and heavy rains in excess of two inches to some locations. A rare tornado warning was issued for Morgan Hill in the San Francisco Bay area at 2:02pm, when Doppler radar revealed a rotating thunderstorm. No touchdown of a tornado occurred, though 1-inch hail was observed in Morgan Hill. The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has placed Los Angeles and San Diego in the "Slight Risk" region for severe weather today. The primary severe weather risk will be damaging thunderstorm winds, though a few tornadoes and waterspouts may also occur.

Snowfall amounts of 1 - 2 feet were recorded in the Sierra Mountains yesterday, with up to 4 1/2 feet of snow expected to fall by the time the storm ends on Saturday. Some precipitation amounts from the storm, for the 4-day period ending at 4am PST today:

Major Cities:

Los Angeles 2.80
San Francisco 3.49
Sacramento 2.35
Eureka 2.78
San Diego 1.65
Fresno 1.33

Sierra Nevada sites:

Chilkoot Meadow 7.08
Kaiser Point 6.60
Tenaya Lake 6.54
Graveyard Meadow 5.64
Tamarack Summit 5.36
Yosemite Village 4.04

Tornadoes, severe weather in the South
Tornadoes tore through Texas and Louisiana yesterday, with one twister destroying several homes and businesses near in Waskom, Texas, near the Louisiana border. Fourteen tornado reports were received yesterday by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). SPC has placed portions of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Florida under their "Slight Risk" region for severe weather today. Already, there have been tornado warnings posted this morning for the Florida Panhandle, and southern Georgia.


Figure 2. Radar reflectivity from the Shreveport, LA radar last night shows the classic hook echo of the tornado that tore through Waskom, Texas.

Portlight successfully gets much-needed water filtration systems and medical supplies into Haiti
Portlight.org, the disaster-relief charity that has sprung up from the hard work and dedication of many members of the wunderground.com community, has successfully shipped medical equipment and a water filtration unit capable of supplying the needs of 3,500 people per day to the Dominican Republic, where was trucked to Haiti via road. These supplies have now made it to the earthquake zone, and have been targeted to go to those with disabilities, or who are living in areas where the main aid efforts have forgotten. Portlight is working through the local Catholic Church, which is probably best positioned to deliver private aid donations to those in need. Paul Timmons, leader of the Portlight relief efforts, wrote this to me yesterday:

Thanks to Wunderground blogger Dak Simonton (Dakster) we were made aware of Richard Lamarque, a Haitian expatriate and 15 year veteran of the Miami Police Department who was planning to go back to Haiti this week to look for family members and to help with recovery efforts. Our on scene coordinator, Richard Lamarque, will be leaving for Haiti in a few days. He is from there, is well connected there, and has a skill set and life experiences which will be invaluable to our work there.

We want this to be a uniquely Weather Underground community initiative. We will place WU signage on the truck...and we will be able to post photos of it at work in Haiti.

The Weather Underground community has been the genesis of our efforts. And the WU truck will be a long term, tangible symbol of the generosity of the WU community.



Figure 3. Walkers and medical supplies for Haiti getting ready to ship from the Portlight warehouse in Atlanta.

Thanks to the generosity of its donors, Portlight has been able to fund purchase of the truck for Richard Lamarque. Please visit the Portlight.org blog to learn more. Floodman's blog has the latest info on Portlight's plan for Haitian relief. The Reeve Foundation, founded by Christopher and Dana Reeve has awarded Portlight Strategies a $10,000 Quality of of Life grant to assist in the relief efforts in Haiti. This is very big and will allow Portlight to pursue more aggressive relief efforts over the course of the next few weeks.

For those of you more interested in helping out with the long-term rebuilding of Haiti's shattered infrastructure from the quake, I recommend a contribution to Lambi Fund of Haiti, a charity that is very active in promoting reforestation efforts, use of alternative fuels, and infrastructure improvements at a grass-roots level in Haiti. I've developed a great respect for the work they do in the country in the five years I've been a supporter.

Next post
My next post will be Friday.

Jeff Masters

Challenged (Tsurai)
Sometimes the hardest part of surfing up here in the Humboldt Nation is just getting safely into the water
Challenged
Rain and wind in San Diego (photoandy)
It has been a series of three strong storms already, and one more (the strongest) tomorrow. Good. We need water.
Rain and wind in San Diego

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

Log In or Join

You be able to leave comments on this blog.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 222 - 172

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8Blog Index

wow looking at it in a slower frame rate shows one vortex near due east of Gainesville and shows another one later.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Flooding is again a concern on Thursday for people living along the coast. Many homes have already been inundated with rain, and entire city blocks are under water.
The northbound lanes of Lakewood Boulevard are closed near the Long Beach Airport, between Willow and Spring streets, because so much rain water collected in the Lakewood Boulevard underpass. Crews, sweepers and even people with brooms have been trying to clear out the water all morning long on Thursday.

Storm drains have been overwhelmed during this week's downpours, causing major flooding at many intersections
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:
215, perfect example of "you don't need a tornado watch to have tornadoes".


that map self updates, cool
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:


Which storm?


NE Fla storm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ElConando:
nexrad shows a vortex in the last frame.


Which storm?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
215, perfect example of "you don't need a tornado watch to have tornadoes".
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
nexrad shows a vortex in the last frame.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
214. jipmg
lots of scattered strong storms erupting in the gulf..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
yo Hydrus, you on? got a couple tornado warnings near you
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Floodman:


They say "Vereor goat" (damn, my Latin is rusty)

LOL! Je regret, ma francais est tres pauvre.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting reedzone:
Why is there NOT a tornado watch for Central Florida? Those storms are now lining up on the bottom of the watch. They need to issue a new watch south.. The SPC has done a sloppy job with this so far today.

i've been thinking similar thoughts about the watch box near Tennessee.. that should be east a bit imo, been looking that way all day. but i am only viewing loops and not looking at the numbers...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting jeffs713:

Remember, if you can't see how deep it is, don't drive through it. (basically, if its above the curb, don't bother. Just turn around.)


best advice of the day
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
Amy,

Melwerle's husband is in the NAVY...SOS...Semper-whatever-they-say! Gee, what DO they say? Besides "Fear the Goat!"


They say "Vereor goat" (damn, my Latin is rusty)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting NRAamy:
I remember a few years ago a hillside in Laguna let go and several homes went down with it.

I lived right by there...Blue Bird Canyon...it was ugly....I heard the CRACK as the hill gave way....

Jerry, I'm ok, just scared out of my mind....I DON'T want to attempt to drive home....I'm afraid I'm going to get stuck in a lake that wasn't there yesterday....

Remember, if you can't see how deep it is, don't drive through it. (basically, if its above the curb, don't bother. Just turn around.)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
West of Healdsburg, Ca (northern)

42°F
(6°C)
Humidity: 97 %
Wind Speed: NW 2 MPH
Barometer: 28.88 in (N/A mb)
Dewpoint: 41°F (5°C)
Wind Chill: 42°F (6°C)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jeff9641:
Could be a tornado as this storm NW of Tampa comes ashore one hell of a hook echo with that particular storm.


Looks to be heading to Pasco County maybe - New Port Richey area perhaps.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
200. CaneWarning
8:54 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
It just got dark in Tampa. Who turned out the lights?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
198. tornadodude
8:48 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
TORNADO WARNING
TNC027-111-169-212115-
/O.NEW.KOHX.TO.W.0001.100121T2044Z-100121T2115Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NASHVILLE TN
244 PM CST THU JAN 21 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NASHVILLE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN TROUSDALE COUNTY IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE...
NORTHWESTERN CLAY COUNTY IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE...
MACON COUNTY IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE...

* UNTIL 315 PM CST

* AT 235 PM CST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO 8 MILES
SOUTHWEST OF LAFAYETTE...OR NEAR HARTSVILLE...MOVING NORTHEAST AT
35 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
LAFAYETTE BY 250 PM CST...
RED BOILING SPRINGS BY 300 PM CST...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BASED ON DOPPLER RADAR...IT MEANS
THAT STRONG ROTATION HAS BEEN DETECTED IN THE STORM. A TORNADO MAY
ALREADY BE ON THE GROUND...OR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP SHORTLY. IF YOU
ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS DANGEROUS STORM...MOVE INDOORS AND TO THE
LOWEST LEVEL OF THE BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS. IF DRIVING...DO
NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER A HIGHWAY OVERPASS.

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT. GET UNDER A
WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF STURDY FURNITURE. IF NO BASEMENT IS
AVAILABLE...SEEK SHELTER ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE BUILDING IN AN
INTERIOR HALLWAY OR ROOM SUCH AS A CLOSET. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO
COVER YOUR BODY AND ALWAYS STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

&&

LAT...LON 3664 8599 3663 8568 3642 8592 3643 8598
3639 8597 3639 8598 3639 8603 3636 8607
3646 8620 3664 8601
TIME...MOT...LOC 2044Z 222DEG 31KT 3647 8603

$$

BOYD




Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
191. AwakeInMaryland
8:42 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
Amy,

Melwerle's husband is in the NAVY...SOS...Semper-whatever-they-say! Gee, what DO they say? Besides "Fear the Goat!"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
190. CaneWarning
8:40 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
You don't need a tornado watch to have tornadoes.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
188. CaneWarning
8:39 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
Quoting Floodman:


only for a very few; the orphanages are still without food and w2ater, the old, the infirm and the disabled still don't have anyone helping to get them fed...there are a few bright spots, but overall, the future is pretty grim in the near term


It's good that they are trying to get back to "normal" though. They have a long recovery ahead.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
187. eyesontheweather
8:39 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
Quoting CaneWarning:


Turn around, don't drown.
I don't blame ya for being scared. Driving in LA is crazy. If you are on a road you are at the mercy of all drivers on the road. Think of sheep blindly following one another and that is what it is like on those freeways especially if you are in an inside lane, you can't stop, you can't get over and oh yeah most everybody drives with the proverbial long finger pointed skyward and a phone attached to the ear
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
184. Floodman
8:36 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
Quoting CaneWarning:
It seems like things are improving in Haiti. Shops and banks are reopening in Port-Au-Prince.

Link


only for a very few; the orphanages are still without food and w2ater, the old, the infirm and the disabled still don't have anyone helping to get them fed...there are a few bright spots, but overall, the future is pretty grim in the near term
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
183. WaterWitch11
8:35 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
Quoting Patrap:
Pacific Current Enhanced Infrared Satellite Image


can i make this go into the future? i'll start pushing buttons. thanks patrap! never mind i see that you can't.

where's that future button when you need it! lol
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
182. reedzone
8:35 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
Why is there NOT a tornado watch for Central Florida? Those storms are now lining up on the bottom of the watch. They need to issue a new watch south.. The SPC has done a sloppy job with this so far today.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
181. Floodman
8:34 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
Quoting NRAamy:
I remember a few years ago a hillside in Laguna let go and several homes went down with it.

I lived right by there...Blue Bird Canyon...it was ugly....I heard the CRACK as the hill gave way....

Jerry, I'm ok, just scared out of my mind....I DON'T want to attempt to drive home....I'm afraid I'm going to get stuck in a lake that wasn't there yesterday....


Listen to the traffic reports and try Google Earth traffic; that might be a help. Remember that slow moving water tends to be deeper than it appears
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
180. CaneWarning
8:33 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
Quoting Jeff9641:


The winds at times must be gusting to near 40mph. Sky just turned dark here and rain is coming my way.


Yes, 40 mph wouldn't be out of the question. I can literally hear the wind. That doesn't happen too often for me.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
179. CaneWarning
8:32 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
It seems like things are improving in Haiti. Shops and banks are reopening in Port-Au-Prince.

Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
178. tornadodude
8:32 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
Quoting CaneWarning:


Turn around, don't drown.


Hippos can swim ;)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
176. CaneWarning
8:30 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
Quoting NRAamy:
I remember a few years ago a hillside in Laguna let go and several homes went down with it.

I lived right by there...Blue Bird Canyon...it was ugly....I heard the CRACK as the hill gave way....

Jerry, I'm ok, just scared out of my mind....I DON'T want to attempt to drive home....I'm afraid I'm going to get stuck in a lake that wasn't there yesterday....


Turn around, don't drown.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
175. CaneWarning
8:28 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
Quoting Jeff9641:
Tornado Warning about to expire in Volusia County. Storms are breaking out all over the place here north of Orlando. Looks like summer the way these storms are building. I think we will see some tornadoes C FL this afternoon and evening. Conditions are very favorable right now. Temp 84 with 68 dewpoint and strong S winds of 20 to 25mph.


Tampa's discussion says isolated tornadoes are possible. I believe it too. The conditions seem to be favorable. It's very windy, and I've noticed the winds seem to be shifting direction.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
174. NRAamy
8:28 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
I remember a few years ago a hillside in Laguna let go and several homes went down with it.

I lived right by there...Blue Bird Canyon...it was ugly....I heard the CRACK as the hill gave way....

Jerry, I'm ok, just scared out of my mind....I DON'T want to attempt to drive home....I'm afraid I'm going to get stuck in a lake that wasn't there yesterday....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
172. Floodman
8:26 PM GMT on January 21, 2010
Amy, how are you?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 222 - 172

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8Blog Index

Top of Page
Ad Blocker Enabled

Category 6™

About

Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Mountain wave clouds over Labrador
Mountain wave clouds over Labrador
Mountain wave clouds over Labrador
Labrador ice