Europe braces for destructive weekend winter storm

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:05 PM GMT on February 24, 2010

A large but disorganized extratropical storm located over the middle-Atlantic Ocean is expected to move rapidly eastwards towards Spain over the next two days. As the storm approaches Spain on Friday, it is expected to tap into a cold polar airmass to its north and rapidly intensify into a meteorological "bomb"--a mighty winter cyclone with hurricane force winds. Though sea surface temperatures off the coast of Spain are about 1°C below average, the waters of 12 - 16°C will provide plenty of moisture and energy to the powerful storm, which may end up rivaling last year's Winter Storm Klaus in intensity. Klaus, which hit northern Spain and southwest France January 23 - 25, was Earth's most costly natural disaster of 2009, causing $5.1 billion in damage and killing 26. Klaus peaked in intensity at 967 mb, and brought wind gusts of 120 mph (193 km/hr) to Formiguères, France, 125 mph (200 km/hr) to Portbou, Spain, and 134 mph (216 km/hr) to Port d'Envalira, Andorra.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of the Atlantic at 8am EST Wednesday, February 24, 2010. A developing extratropical cyclone over the middle Atlantic threatens to bring hurricane-force wind gusts to Spain and Portugal on Saturday. Meanwhile, a snowstorm over the New England is dumping heavy snows there. Image credit: NASA GSFC GOES project.

This Saturday's storm is expected to follow a track very similar to Klaus, reaching maximum intensity at 18 GMT Saturday as it passes just north of Spain and Portugal (Figure 2). If the storm tracks near or over the northwest corner of Spain as most of the models are predicting, the cyclone's powerful cold front will likely bring sustained winds of 50 - 60 mph with damaging hurricane-force wind gusts and flooding rains to northern Spain and Portugal. The latest 06Z (1am EST) run of the GFS model predicts that this weekend's storm will bottom out at a pressure of 968 mb, about the same minimum pressure achieved by last year's destructive Winter Storm Klaus (967 mb). The latest 06Z run of the Navy NOGAPS model is more aggressive, deepening the storm into a 948 mb monster that misses Spain by several hundred miles, but comes ashore over Ireland Sunday morning with a pressure of 956 mb. This is a central pressure typically found in Category 2 hurricanes! (Note, though, that extratropical systems generally do not generate winds as strong as a hurricane with a similar central pressure, since extratropical storms do not form an eyewall with extreme winds like a hurricane does). The NOGAPS is currently an outlier, though, and the other models such as the ECMWF, Canadian, and UKMET do not foresee the storm getting that intense. Even so, this weekend's storm has the potential to be a multi-billion dollar weather disaster for Europe.




Figure 2. Forecast from the 1am EST 2/24/10 run of the GFS model for 18 GMT Saturday for mean sea level pressure and 6-hour precipitation (top) and surface winds (bottom). The GFS is predicting that Saturday's storm will peak in intensity at this time with a pressure below 968 mb. Sustained winds of 70 - 75 mph (yellow green colors in bottom plot) are expected just offshore of Portugal. Images generated using our wundermap for Spain with the "model" layer turned on.

The winter storm-fest continues for the U.S.
This winter's relentless winter storm-fest over the U.S. continues this week, with a powerful cyclone over the Northeast U.S. expected to bring 2 - 3 feet of snow to the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont. The storm is wrapping in too much warm air to bring heavy snow to the major cities along the coast, where most of the precipitation will fall as rain. Next Tuesday, a powerful low pressure system is expected to bring heavy rains to Florida, with the possibility of snow falling in northern Georgia and surrounding regions.

Next post
My next post will be Thursday or Friday.

Jeff Masters

Tons (jgo)
Stormy weather in Porto, Portugal. Actually all north coast of Portugal is on the alert. Tons of water in this wave.
Tons

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440. clinton had a totally balanced budget. bush jr put it in the toilet. but then, clinton was doing his mistress not the nation.
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448. IKE
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
The 0Z GFS lost our storm for next week I see.


I think the GFS is having issues with next weeks system. It's doing the same on the 6Z run.

Meanwhile the 00Z ECMWF...UKMET and CMC and NOGAPS all show an impressive system early next week.


00Z ECMWF.


00Z UKMET.


00Z CMC.


00Z NOGAPS.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting SouthALWX:

Like I said, depends on how you define "land" =P

The bulk mass which defines the natural heat sink, as opposed to physical fluids or misstatements. Nothing to see here, move along
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The pizza guy prolly had a problem of some sort with the credit card company in the past.
Just a guess.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
The 0Z GFS lost our storm for next week I see.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


Sorry, verbage wreck. Nothing to see here, move along. :)



LMAO!!
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Quoting tornadodude:
Lol


LOL.
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Quoting CycloneOz:
But what if the owner of the pizza place "was forced" to accept AMEX, even though his idiot reasoning made no sense to the rest of us.

Every single time he'd pay that $2, he would be completely upset about it. His pursuit of happiness quashed like a bug.

Even idiots deserve to be happy! :)


Assuming $20 a pie for ease of math, he's only paying $0.20 a pie. Brilliant decision by that owner. LOL.

It's $2 per YEAR.
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Quoting CycloneOz:
But what if the owner of the pizza place "was forced" to accept AMEX, even though his idiot reasoning made no sense to the rest of us.

Every single time he'd pay that $2, he would be completely upset about it. His pursuit of happiness quashed like a bug.

Even idiots deserve to be happy! :)


A little humor before bed.

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Lol
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:


I promise you that when they got the calendar to the point where there was an alignment with the center of the galaxy, they thought it was a good place to stop...and it was.

It was a remarkable feat they achieved!


Lol that's a safe bet. If you're wrong I don't expect you to care too much at that point =P
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As follow up to 432, multiply that by the number of people that actually get it, in terms of economic democracy. Although, sadly, too many in this world have lost that perspective.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


And Chu just said today that we're going to use less energy so that other countries can catch up to us. OMG...what a nightmare.

Exactly ... it's pretty straight forward. If we aren't careful, history will repeat itself. We started as a rebellion (thats common in history) we had a civil war (next step in history) we experience rapid growth and supremacy (typical of a historical empire) and then what happens? Internal strife leaves you open to foreign invasion. We've seen this already ... rather than a full on attack, we are simply losing a war of attrition. We increase our debt, limit our own rights, protect those who can protect themselves, and over extend our military force *cough* napoleon *cough* ...
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Quoting SouthALWX:
Oh I agree 100% on that. Legislation like is going on here is only going to serve to encourage law breakers. When we take the purchasing power away from citizens, we leave ourselves unarmed against those who choose to keep their power (by breaking the law) it's the same concept as to why the right to bare arms is an intrinsic fundamental in the US constitution. Im not going to argue that AGW is false 100% because I dont know. I will argue that regardless we as a people can't change our way of life instantly without consequence. That consequence being losing our place as a world power to a country who ignored our laws and chose to industrialize to the full capability.


Well said. People in a free society have much greater influence through their pocketbooks. That is the key. Larger the govt becomes, less that power is. And it applies to all. No matter the income level, you can choose where to spend that income.

Perfect micro-economic example is a pizza joint in town. Have to say, probably the best pizza in town. However, they do not accept Amex (pet peeve of mine and the proprietors are the ones that lose). That equals me not patronizing them. Will never understand it as a business owner myself, but why? An extra 1%?

OK. Let's do the math. Say $200 per year on pizza (probably more, but conservative). I buy it elsewhere. So, for $2, that establishment is giving up how much in profit?

Idiots. Period.
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Best part about it ... If the world does end in 2012 atleast there won't be any "I told you so"'s
what if it was a coincidence? Thats gunna haunt me until then now ... because if it was a coincidence I won't be around to check and see -.-
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Quoting transitzone:

Mass of the earth minus mass of hydrosphere minus mass of atmosphere

Like I said, depends on how you define "land" =P
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Quoting SouthALWX:
Websters
1 a : the solid part of the surface of the earth
Considering the earth is molten for a good percentage ... I think "land" is much less than the 99.98 or whatever you suggested :) Details.

Mass of the earth minus mass of hydrosphere minus mass of atmosphere
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Oh I agree 100% on that. Legislation like is going on here is only going to serve to encourage law breakers. When we take the purchasing power away from citizens, we leave ourselves unarmed against those who choose to keep their power (by breaking the law) it's the same concept as to why the right to bare arms is an intrinsic fundamental in the US constitution. Im not going to argue that AGW is false 100% because I dont know. I will argue that regardless we as a people can't change our way of life instantly without consequence. That consequence being losing our place as a world power to a country who ignored our laws and chose to industrialize to the full capability.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Personally, I think it's funny that you guys constantly debate about climate issues. In all reality, those who believe in man-made climate change are not going to budge towards the natural alteration of the climate and those who believe in the natural alteration are not going to budge towards the man-made theory. Nothing is going to be convincing until either we all start drowning from the ice caps being completely melted or the globe starts cooling again. Why then must there be constant debates on this subject?? We have plenty of other weather phenomena that is current and happening now or about to happen.

Of course, that's just my opinion. :-)


No one will drown. Been used over and over and over and over, but never happens. I'm only 8 ft above sea level. Not worried in the least.

And, if we can affect it so much, should be a piece of cake to correct. Although, imo, there is nothing to correct in terms of GW. It is nature.

Now, I have started thinking about conserving fossil fuels (if they can, in fact, warm the planet) for the ice age that will occur in 2K-4K years from now.

Not debatable other than timing. Only a matter of when, not if.
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Well that's not the same argument OZ. That argument has nothing to do with the truth of AGW. That lies in personal freedoms that should be guaranteed regardless of AGW ....
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Websters
1 a : the solid part of the surface of the earth
Considering the earth is molten for a good percentage ... I think "land" is much less than the 99.98 or whatever you suggested :) Details.
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I do feel for the folks that spent all the time and energy gathering the data at GISS.

But, same as I felt sentimental when Smith-Corona closed its doors, satellite is the future.

Those that want to hold on to their typewriter have every right to do so, but I've moved on to the PC.

Goodnight.
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Quoting transitzone:

Well, no. Its about 30% land surface. Land mass is about 99.98% of Earth's mass

Lol well that depends how you define "land"
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Quoting MississippiBoy:

Hey Keeper how strong do you think the low that the models are predicting to form in the Gulf of Mexico will be?I know we have a small one comeing on Friday.
yes the first is secondary the second is prime bombs as it exits ne fla coast with trailing straight line cold front all pullin ene with a cold blast follow building rtn flow first strong spring flow
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Quoting CycloneOz:
The earth is 30% land mass.

Well, no. Its about 30% land surface. Land mass is about 99.98% of Earth's mass
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Personally, I think it's funny that you guys constantly debate about climate issues. In all reality, those who believe in man-made climate change are not going to budge towards the natural alteration of the climate and those who believe in the natural alteration are not going to budge towards the man-made theory. Nothing is going to be convincing until either we all start drowning from the ice caps being completely melted or the globe starts cooling again. Why then must there be constant debates on this subject?? We have plenty of other weather phenomena that is current and happening now or about to happen.

Of course, that's just my opinion. :-)

I agree. Like I said, nothing will be done until it's too late to fix. Or we'll continue to do nothing until we find out we were fine. Thats the reality of a globalized industrial world. theres really no point in arguing it. If you believe that the people of the world will willingly give their wealth to protect their posterity 100+ years in the future then you need a history lesson.
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Personally, I think it's funny that you guys constantly debate about climate issues. In all reality, those who believe in man-made climate change are not going to budge towards the natural alteration of the climate and those who believe in the natural alteration are not going to budge towards the man-made theory. Nothing is going to be convincing until either we all start drowning from the ice caps being completely melted or the globe starts cooling again. Why then must there be constant debates on this subject?? We have plenty of other weather phenomena that is current and happening now or about to happen.

Of course, that's just my opinion. :-)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:


My point exactly. But the government will fix things, huh? LOL! Same Kool-Aid, different flavor.
remember your only free as long as you do what your told
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And what in the world can we do to "fix it?"

Exactly. Did you not follow the Ark reference? An ark is made to survive a catastrophe, not fix it.
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Quoting tornadodude:
Who Cares!?!?!?

We have 2012 to worry about!!!

hehe


LOL.
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Who Cares!?!?!?

We have 2012 to worry about!!!

hehe
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:
Spathy, as I said to Cyclone. You are taking the whole issue PERSONALLY.
It is unrealistic to not give a crud about anything but YOU.
You are correct when you say you have Rights. But your actions affect ME. And I also have rights.
And there is a 50% chance, that I may be correct in my beliefs. And a 50% chance that you are wrong.


I disagree. My actions don't affect you one bit. The actions in you local ecosystem do.
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Good night to all
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me personally I think Ive got my opinion out there. The opinion that any opinions mean squat when compared to facts. Facts are we don't know. I may lean to the side who thinks it's improbable that we are the driving factor in the climate, but I can't disprove it. We may be, I don't know. But Ive said it before and Ive said it again. If we are the cause then we won't know without a shadow of a doubt until it's too late to fix it. Flip the coin over and you will see that economically we won't and shouldn't act until we are sure without a shadow of a doubt. Add these together and you get this: An Ark not a dam. We need to be real here. Ideals didn't work in the past and they damn sure don't work now. A perfect world is unobtainable. What we do is this: invest in technology and infrastructure that allows us to survive through a climate catastrophe but at the same time provides a more productive economic system regardless.
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Quoting MississippiBoy:

Yeah but it all sounds like a bunch of hog wash,that is global warming,to me.The good lord has taken care of it all these years and he will cont. to untill he comes again.
good lord now thats the biggest scam since the beginning of time if i ever seen one
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399.
AMEN

I am going to bed.
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Quoting tornadodude:
just sayin'

all the GW convo is technically off topic ;)

Yeah but it all sounds like a bunch of hog wash,that is global warming,to me.The good lord has taken care of it all these years and he will cont. to untill he comes again.
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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