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Extreme Drought to Extreme Flood: Weather Whiplash Hits the Midwest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:42 PM GMT on April 19, 2013

It seems like just a few months ago barges were scraping bottom on the Mississippi River, and the Army Corps of Engineers was blowing up rocks on the bottom of the river to allow shipping to continue. Wait, it was just a few months ago--less than four months ago! Water levels on the Mississippi River at St. Louis bottomed out at -4.57' on January 1 of 2013, the 9th lowest water level since record keeping began in 1861, and just 1.6' above the all-time low-water record set in 1940 (after the great Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s.) But according to National Weather Service, the exceptional April rains and snows over the Upper Mississippi River watershed will drive the river by Tuesday to a height 45 feet higher than on January 1. The latest forecast calls for the river to hit 39.4' on Tuesday, which would be the 8th greatest flood in history at St. Louis, where flood records date back to 1861. Damaging major flooding is expected along a 250-mile stretch of the Mississippi from Quincy, Illinois to Thebes, Illinois next week. At the Alton, Illinois gauge, upstream from St.Louis, a flood height of 34' is expected on Tuesday. This would be the 6th highest flood in Alton since 1844, and damages to commercial property in the town of Alton occur at this water level. In addition, record flooding is expected on at least five rivers in Illinois and Michigan over the next few days. A crest 1.5' above the all-time record has already occurred on the Des Plaines River in Chicago. This river has invasive Asian Carp that could make their way into Lake Michigan if a 13-mile barrier along the river fails during an extreme flood. Fortunately, NPR in Michigan is reporting today that U.S. Army Corps of Engineers crews stationed along the 13-mile Asian carp barrier have seen no evidence of the fish breaching the structure, and it would have taken a flood much larger than today's record flood to breach the structure. A crest on the Grand River in Grand Rapids, Michigan nearly 4' above the previous record (period of record: at least 113 years) is expected this weekend. At this flood level, major flooding of residential areas is expected, though the flood wall protecting downtown Grand Rapids will keep the commercial center of the city from flooding.


Figure 1. The rains that fell in a 24-hour period ending at 7 am EDT Thursday, April 18, 2013 over Northern Illinois were the type of rains one would expect see fall only once every 40 years (yellow colors), according to METSTAT, Inc. (http://www.metstat.com.) METSTAT computed the recurrence interval statistics based on gauge-adjusted radar precipitation and frequency estimates from NOAA Atlas 14 Volume 2, published in 2004 (http://dipper.nws.noaa.gov/hdsc/pfds/.) METSTAT does not supply their precipitation recurrence interval forecasts or premium analysis products for free, but anyone can monitor the real-time analysis (observed) at: http://metstat.com/solutions/extreme-precipitation-index-analysis/

Damages from the April 2013 Midwest U.S. flood in Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri are likely to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Some of the impacts at the flood levels predicted include:

St. Louis, MO:
Major flooding begins. At this level the Choteau Island Levee, protecting 2400 acres, is overtopped. Also, Lemay Park just south of Lemay Ferry Road will begin flood

Cape Girardeau, MO:
Many homes in the Cape Girardeau area are affected and evacuations may be required. Over 100,000 acres is flooded. Numerous roads are closed.

Hannibal, MO:
The Sny Island and South Quincy levees are overtopped between River Mile 315.4 and 264.3, flooding 110,000 acres. The South River levee is overtopped between River Mile 320.5 and 312.1, flooding 10,000 acres.

Quincy, IL:
Missouri Highway 168 east of Palmyra near the BASF plant closes; Quincy Waterworks inundated.

Note that sandbagging efforts may be able to prevent some of these flooding impacts from occurring. Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt discusses the latest rainfall and flooding records from this week's epic storm in his latest post. He plans on an update Friday afternoon.


Figure 2. Water levels on the Mississippi River at St. Louis are predicted to crest at 39.5', near major flood stage, on Tuesday. This would be the 8th greatest flood in history at St. Louis. Records at the St. Louis gauge to back to 1861. Image credit: National Weather Service.


Figure 3. Water levels on the Mississippi River at St. Louis bottomed out at -4.57' on 01/01/2013, the 9th lowest water level since record keeping began in 1861, and just 1.6' above the all-time low-water record set in 1940, after the great Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s. Image credit: National Weather Service.

Flood-Drought-Flood Weather Whiplash
Residents along the Mississippi River have experienced a severe case of flood-drought-flood weather whiplash over the past two years. The Mississippi reached its highest level on record at New Madrid, Missouri on May 6, 2011, when the river crested at 48.35'. Flooding on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers that year cost an estimated $5 billion. The next year, after the great drought of 2012, the river had fallen by over 53' to an all time record low of -5.32' on August 30, 2012. Damage from the great drought is conservatively estimated at $35 billion. Next Tuesday, the river is expected to be at flood stage again in New Madrid, 40' higher than the August 2012 record low. Now, that is some serious weather whiplash. I'm often asked about the seemingly contradictory predictions from climate models that the world will see both worse floods and worse droughts due to global warming. Well, we have seen a classic example in the Midwest U.S. over the past two years of just how this kind of weather whiplash is possible. A warmer atmosphere is capable of bringing heavier downpours, since warmer air can hold more water vapor. We saw an example of this on Thursday morning, when an upper air balloon sounding over Lincoln, Illinois revealed near-record amounts of moisture for this time of year. The precipitable water--how much rain could fall if one condensed all the water vapor in a column above the ground into rain--was 1.62", just barely short of the Illinois April record for precipitable water of 1.64" set on April 20, 2000 (upper air records go back to 1948.) Thursday's powerful low pressure system was able to lift that copious moisture, cool it, and condense it into record rains. So how can you have worse droughts with more moisture in the air? Well, you still need a low pressure system to come along and wring that moisture out of the air to get rain. When natural fluctuations in jet stream patterns take storms away from a region, creating a drought, the extra water vapor in the air won't do you any good. There will be no mechanism to lift the moisture, condense it, and generate drought-busting rains. The drought that ensues will be more intense, since temperatures will be hotter and the soil will dry out more.

The new normal in the coming decades is going to be more and more extreme flood-drought-flood cycles like we are seeing now in the Midwest, and this sort of weather whiplash is going to be an increasingly severe pain in the neck for society. We'd better prepare for it, by building a more flood-resistant infrastructure and developing more drought-resistant grains, for example. And if we continue to allow heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide continue to build up in the atmosphere at the current near-record pace, no amount of adaptation can prevent increasingly more violent cases of weather whiplash from being a serious threat to the global economy and the well-being of billions of people.


Video 1. One person was hospitalized after a sinkhole swallowed three cars in the South Deering neighborhood on the Southeast Side of Chicago on Thursday, April 18, 2013. Witnesses said the hole opened up around 5 a.m. at 9600 South Houston Avenue, quickly growing from about 20 feet to about 40 feet. First two cars slid in, then a third as the hole widened, witnesses said. A fourth vehicle was towed from the edge as it was about to fall inside. The sinkhole was due to heavy flooding that broke a water main built in 1915.

Related Science
A 2010 study by Duke University scientists suggests that global warming is the main cause of a significant intensification in the Bermuda High that in recent decades has more than doubled the frequency of abnormally wet or dry summer weather in the Southeast United States. Thus, the Southeast U.S. may see greater than its share of "Weather Whiplash"--extreme droughts followed by extreme floods--in coming decades. Joe Romm at climateporgress.org has a post discussing the paper, with links to examples of how the Southeast U.S. has seen both extreme droughts and extreme floods since 2005.


Jeff Masters

Underpass flooding (aerojad)
Belmont St. at the Metra train station.
Underpass flooding

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

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Quoting Jedkins01:


Oh yes what was I thinking!










Hey guys how did you get a pic of me wearing my tin foil hat?
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P.S. looking at those flooded car pictures in the blog, it seems time to invent airbags that double as floatation devices...for cars.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang may have had the right idea.
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From today!!
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Happy Earth Day folks. Got some desent rains this week end. 2 day total 1.42 inches at my house in Fort Myers FL
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Happy Earth Day!
Yes, everyday is pretty much Earth day around here but I hope this one is great all the same.

Some good rain over the weekend has us green around here.

Is 1.6" alot of precipitable moisture? We get that much rain on an average afternoon in Florida. Should it be 1'6"? THAT would be impressive and near some of our records here.
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Quoting beell:


Here ya go, Tom. A start anyway.
Geo-microwave Sounder/GeoSTAR
Development and PATH (Precipitation All
Weather Temperature and Humidity
Soundings) Status | March 7th, 2012


The hopes and dreams rest on placing a sounder aboard a geostationary satellite as opposed to the polar MSU/AMSU system in use today. That would resolve the refresh (temporal) problem. AMSU has a resolution of about 50 km for temperature and 15km for vapor compared to 50km/25km for the baseline rendition of GeoSTAR.

At one time, it was thought that the GeoSTAR system would fly with GOES-R. Not sure if this will happen. Last I heard, GOES-R will launch in 2015.

I'm sure nrt can provide a ton more information but he may have dozed off...
:-)


Only additional info I have is an update to the information you linked. Presentation at this year's Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference "Progressing toward a Geostationary Microwave Sounder Mission" CAUTION: 137 MB Powerpoint file. States technology could be ready for a 2018 mission.
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Do you know what resolution microwave soundings operate at? Or where I could find more information on the resolution of current microwave sounders? Putting a microwave sounder on a GOES satellite would greatly improve temporal resolution but would the spatial resolution make it even worth it? I know the next generation of GOES satellites won't even have an infrared sounder. Which is really a waste in my opinion. Fortunately, METEOSAT's third generation satellites will have infrared sounders. First one wont be launched until 2020, however.

Improving the resolution (temporal and spatial) of atmospheric soundings from remote sensing systems (satellites) is huge. I honestly think it's going to be the only way we will significantly improve data assimilation and model forecasts in general. Improving resolution, physics, and assimilation techniques will also help, but as far as observational improvement goes it's really up to the satellites.


Best source may be NRL Monterey Satellite Training.
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John Seach ‏@johnseach
2 volcanoes in #Chile on raised alert level.
#Lascar and Laguna del Maule.
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John Seach @johnseach
#Soputan volcano, #Sulawesi, Indonesia raised to level 3 alert (out of maximum 4).

John Seach @johnseach 24m
Five earthquakes 89 km south of #Semisopochnoi volcano, Alaska.

John Seach @johnseach
Pilot report of ash emission from #Antuco volcano, #Chile, not confirmed by visual observations under clear skies.
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Good Morning everyone over the other side of the Pacific.
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Very heavy rains in Jacksonville this morning. Radar est. of 2" to 4" already across the westside of the city.

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Quoting islander101010:
remember yrs ago we were writing about the records for rainfall from a cyclone in the atlantic. citing one book from herbert i read back in the 70s said number 1 was the leftoves of the flagler railrd cat 5 that drenched w.cen.florida . many on this blog said i was wrong citing wikipedia. well wiki is not fact jack! need other sources for this character to believe.


Some on here think they know everything.
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remember yrs ago we were writing about the records for rainfall from a cyclone in the atlantic. citing one book from herbert i read back in the 70s said number 1 was the leftovers of the 1935 flagler railrd cat 5 that drenched w.cen.florida . many on this blog said i was wrong citing wikipedia. well wiki is not fact jack! this was pointed out just the other day from a professor friend of ours. need other sources for this character to believe otherwise.
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1122. LargoFl
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1121. LargoFl
THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST
FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

...THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS WITH SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS SHOWERS ARE
EXPECTED FROM THIS MORNING THROUGH EARLY EVENING. THE MAIN
THREATS WILL BE DEADLY CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING STRIKES...SMALL
HAIL...WIND GUSTS OF 40 TO 50 MPH...AND MINOR FLOODING OF LOW
LYING AREAS.
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Quoting VR46L:



Good Morning all !!


Ped it must be 3 or 4 am !On a lil early to be so chirpy!!

Oh 55 here ..


Yes, 4:30 (PST)
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Another stormy day on tap.

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
344 AM EDT MON APR 22 2013

.DISCUSSION...
TODAY-TONIGHT...
WEAK STATIONARY FRONT EXTENDING FROM THE NRN BAHAMAS TO BERMUDA
MARKED BY THE AXIS OF AN INVERTED TROF IN THE H100-H85 WIND FIELD.
THE COMBINED PRESENCE OF THE ASCENDING RIGHT REAR QUAD OF A 100KT
H30-H30 JET STREAK LIFTING OVER THE CAROLINA COAST AND THE ASCENDING
LEFT FRONT QUAD OF A 90KT ZONAL JET STREAK OVER THE WRN GOMEX
RESULTING IN STRONG MID/UPR LVL DYNAMIC LIFT OVERHEAD. THIS WILL
INDUCE A NEW SFC LOW OUT OF THE AFOREMENTIONED INVERTED TROF.

TRICKY WIND FCST TODAY AS THE SFC LOW DVLPS AND CONSOLIDATES N OF
THE BAHAMAS. HOWEVER...A TIGHT SFC PGRAD OVER GA AND THE CAROLINAS
WILL NOSE ITS WAY DOWN THE FL PENINSULA TONIGHT AS THE LOW LIFTS NE
AND BEGINS TO INTERACT WITH A STRONG HI PRES RIDGE BLANKETING THE
ERN CONUS. BAND OF DEEP MOISTURE IN PLACE OVER THE CENTRAL/SRN
PENINSULA WITH 00Z PWATS BTWN 1.8"-1.9"...WILL NOT NEED MUCH TO
SPARK SCT/NMRS SHRAS.


RADAR IMAGERY ALREADY SHOWS WIDESPREAD LIGHT RAIN S OF THE I-4
CORRIDOR WITH ISOLD EMBEDDED CONVECTION. WHILE THE BACK EDGE OF THE
MOISTURE BAND WILL GRADUALLY WORK ITS WAY INTO THE ERN PENINSULA
THRU THE DAY...PRECIP LOOKS LIKE A GOOD BET AREAWIDE. STRONG
CONVECTION CANNOT BE RULED OUT WITH H50 TEMPS BTWN -11C AND -13C...
CAPE VALUES BTWN 1500-2000 J/KG...AND S/SERLY WINDS THRU THE
H100-H85 LYR BCMG SW THRU THE H85-H70 LYR
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1118. LargoFl
Good Morning Folks!..finally got some good rain last night..everything is wet outside...have a great day everyone
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2.20" of rain yesterday and last night here on the northside of Orlando with a whopping 5.80" here in Longwood now for the month of April which is amazing as April only averages 2.20".

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1116. VR46L
Quoting PedleyCA:
Good Morning!! (or) 57.1F here this morning and clear. Up early for an errand.



Good Morning all !!


Ped it must be 3 or 4 am !On a lil early to be so chirpy!!

Oh 55 here ..
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Happy Earth Day folks.

I'm holding my breath here to see if the frost we had last night affected my fig and mulberry trees. Last year after three weeks of early spring and then a 27 degree morning, all the figs and mulberries were set back about 6 weeks. Thankfully, we didn't get quite that low last night.
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Good Morning!! (or) 57.1F here this morning and clear. Up early for an errand.
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Mornin' all.
Furtunately the heavy rain stayed offshore of the Keys. We ended the night with just over an inch. Probably still had some minor flooding in Key West. Won't know 'till the news at 7:30.
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1112. beell
Morning, bappit & Tom,

Proof of concept and sense of humor from the link @ 1089.


click to open in new window
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Good morning. Big high pressure area dominating the Northeast this morning, the barometer is 30.66 at my house, looks like a nice day setting up!
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Good morning to all,evening Aussie.

A few showers will move thru PR and adjacent islands today and tomorrow but a big increase in moisture will occur by mid-week when a trough moves nearby.


AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
353 AM AST MON APR 22 2013

.SYNOPSIS...SHORTWAVE RIDGE WILL BUILD OVR THE AREA TODAY AND TUE.
TROUGH WILL AMPLIFY ACROSS THE SW ATLC INTO THE GREATER ANTILLES
MID WEEK BRINGING ACTIVE WEATHER.

&&

.DISCUSSION...UNDER SHORTWAVE RIDGE ALOFT EXPECT FAIR WEATHER
CONDITIONS TODAY AND TUE. MOISTURE SURGES LATE TUE NIGHT AS SRN
STREAM TROF OVR THE SW ATLC AMPLIFIES INTO THE GREATER ANTILLES.
GLOBAL MODELS REMAIN AT ODDS WITH THIS TROUGH WITH THE GFS BEING
WEAKER AND MORE PROGRESSIVE WHILE THE ECMWF BEING MORE AMPLIFIED
AND SLOWER INDICATING EVENTUAL DEVELOPMENT INTO ANOTHER DEEP
CUTOFF LOW THAT IS VERY SLOW TO MOVE ACROSS THE AREA MID TO LATE
WEEK. WHILE MOISTURE DOES NOT LOOK THAT IMPRESSIVE WITH PWAT
VALUES BARELY REACHING THE 50TH PERCENTILE FOR THIS TIME OF THE
YEAR...LIFT AND INSTABILITY ARE WITH LOCAL AREA EXPECTED TO BE
UNDER STRONG UPPER LEVEL DIVERGENCE AND VERY UNSTABLE CONDITIONS
WITH H5 TEMPS AOB -10C WHICH IS TWO STANDARD DEVIATIONS BELOW
NORMAL. WED LOOKS TO BE THE MOST ACTIVE DAY BUT THIS COULD EXTEND
INTO THU-FRI IF THE MORE AGRESSIVE ECMWF VERIFIES. SPRING TIME IS
THE TIME OF THE YEAR FOR CUTOFF LOWS AND LATE APRIL CAN HAVE SOME
PRETTY STRONG THUNDERSTORMS SO THE ECMWF SOLUTION CAN`T BE
COMPLETELY IGNORED. THE STEERING FLOW IS EXPECTED TO BECOME QUITE
WEAK WED SO EXPECT THUNDERSTORMS TO FORM INLAND AND BE VERY SLOW
MOVERS WITH AN EASTWARD DRIFT AS STEERING WINDS BECOME FROM THE
WEST AND MORE FROM THE NORTH THU-FRI WITH TSTMS BEING CAPABLE OF
PRODUCING LOCALIZED HEAVY RAINFALL AND POSSIBLE SMALL HAIL DUE TO
VERY COOL MID LEVEL TEMPERATURES. BY SAT...THE ECMWF SHOWS CUTOFF
LOW PUSHING EAST OF THE AREA WITH UPPER LEVEL CONVERGENCE AND
INCREASING SUBDSIDENCE/WARMING MID-LEVEL TEMPERATURES.
OVERALL...EXPECT AN IMPROVEMENT IN WEATHER CONDITIONS SAT THROUGH
EARLY NEXT WEEK.

&&

.AVIATION...VFR CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO PREVAIL AT ALL TAF SITES
THROUGH THE FORECAST...WITH EAST NORTHEAST WINDS AT 15 TO 20 KNOTS.
A VCSH POSSIBLE AT JMZ AFT 22/16Z.

&&

.MARINE...SEAS MAINLY 3-5 FT AND WINDS UP 20KT DIMINISHING TO
15-KT MID WEEK.

&&

.CLIMATE...APRIL 2013 CURRENTLY RANKS AS THE THIRD WARMEST APRIL
ON RECORD AT THE LUIS MUNOZ MARIN INTL AIRPORT IN SAN JUAN WITH
AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 81.4 DEGREES F. IN ADDITION...2013
REPRESENTS THE TENTH DRIEST START TO A YEAR AT CHRISTIANSTED
AIRPORT IN SAINT CROIX WITH 4.92 INCHES OBSERVED SO FAR.

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
SJU 86 75 84 75 / 20 30 30 20
STT 85 76 86 76 / 20 30 30 10
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Quoting bappit:

I would be interested in the source of your information--not that I doubt you. I like to follow up on things. Other people on the blog may want to follow up, too. This type of imagery would be a valuable capability in many ways. Since they've been thinking about how to do it for about thirty years (see Beell's link), it would be good to see it come to fruition.
No problem -- GOES-R instruments are pretty well documented so there are lots of places you can read about it. There is no mention of a sounder on the GOES GOES-R mission homepage, NASA GOES-R mission homepage, nor the GOES-R wikipedia page.

Initially, however, there were plans to include a sounder. Originally the fourth generation of GOES satellites (which includes GOES R-U to be launched from 2015 to 2024, see image below) were supposed to include a Hyperspectral Environmental Suite (HES). HES would've been the legacy instrument to the infrared sounder which has been aboard the last 8 GOES satellites (GOES 8-15). HES would've provided a dramatic increase in spatial, spectral and temporal resolution over previous infrared sounders aboard GOES satellites providing for better temperature and moisture profiles of the atmosphere (critical for models). Unfortunately, HES was cut from the GOES-R satellite in September 2006. It's really a shame to see such a product get cut out. You can read more about HES here. Hopefully HES, or some similar instrument, will get strapped on to later GOES satellites in the fourth generation.

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With his time in eastern time and yours in Z, that change in date means I can narrow it down to a four window in which you created your account: between 8 pm and midnight EDT. :P

Regarding the system to form off the east coast, all the models are showing a warm core, but it still looks frontal in nature (asymmetric) and only warm core in the lower levels of the troposphere (shallow towards the bottom right on the phase diagram). Because of these factors, I doubt it will have enough of a barotropic presence to be classified as subtropical, even if the more aggressive of the recent model runs were to verify.

00Z CMC Phase-Space Analysis
00Z GFS Phase-Space Analysis
00Z UKMET Phase-Space Analysis
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


hand me some Aussie...

might want to look at this again...April 22



alright..gnite everyone, 3:10 AM here

I think there may be more older guys in here that may have to problem, I don't have any problem arriving to early at the station.

This is what I see...


Sleep well my friend. Congrats on your 2 years here.
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Quoting AussieStorm:


Member Since: April 23, 2011
Your a little bit early, there is medication for that you know. LOL


hand me some Aussie...

might want to look at this again...April 22



alright..gnite everyone, 3:10 AM here
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1105. bappit
Quoting TomTaylor:
Thanks beell

As far as I'm aware there are approved plans to include a microwave sounder on any of the upcoming GOES missions (that is through at least 2030). They were considering an infrared sounder for the fourth generation of GOES satellites (GOES R-U) but that idea was abandoned a while ago due to budget constraints. Hopefully something will change and we can get a sounder up there but it's hard to get a bigger budget when our economy sucks. Not to mention satellite missions tend to exceed their budget as it is.

I would be interested in the source of your information--not that I doubt you. I like to follow up on things. Other people on the blog may want to follow up, too. This type of imagery would be a valuable capability in many ways. Since they've been thinking about how to do it for about thirty years (see Beell's link), it would be good to see it come to fruition.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
Today is my WU 2nd anniversary and Earth Day, I'm discussing both in a new blog


Member Since: April 23, 2011
Your a little bit early, there is medication for that you know. LOL
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Quoting ChillinInTheKeys:
I was hoping for a little more rain, but this could really make a mess of things. Some rainfall totals are over 9" and climbing offshore. If this holds together we will probably have serious flooding in Key West. The EPA doesn't let storm drains dump into the ocean like in the past so...



Hey take whatever you can get :)

The Tampa Bay area is finally getting some, heavy showers are developing around there.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
I was hoping for a little more rain, but this could really make a mess of things. Some rainfall totals are over 9" and climbing offshore. If this holds together we will probably have serious flooding in Key West. The EPA doesn't let storm drains dump into the ocean like in the past so...

Edit: Changed image from active radar to rainfall totals:

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Quoting beell:


Here ya go, Tom. A start anyway.
Geo-microwave Sounder/GeoSTAR
Development and PATH (Precipitation All
Weather Temperature and Humidity
Soundings) Status | March 7th, 2012


The hopes and dreams rest on placing a sounder aboard a geostationary satellite as opposed to the polar MSU/AMSU system in use today. That would resolve the refresh (temporal) problem. AMSU has a resolution of about 50 km for temperature and 15km for vapor compared to 50km/25km for the baseline rendition of GeoSTAR.

At one time, it was thought that the GeoSTAR system would fly with GOES-R. Not sure if this will happen. Last I heard, GOES-R will launch in 2015.

I'm sure nrt can provide a ton more information but he may have dozed off...
:-)
Thanks beell

As far as I'm aware there are approved plans to include a microwave sounder on any of the upcoming GOES missions (that is through at least 2030). They were considering an infrared sounder for the fourth generation of GOES satellites (GOES R-U) but that idea was abandoned a while ago due to budget constraints. Hopefully something will change and we can get a sounder up there but it's hard to get a bigger budget when our economy sucks. Not to mention satellite missions tend to exceed their budget as it is.
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Today is my WU 2nd anniversary and Earth Day, I'm discussing both in a new blog
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1099. bappit
Quoting Jedkins01:
Link


Interesting article about ice cores...

And another one as well:


Link

Yup. An interesting article for sure. Thanks.

Edit: A bit of what it says:

"The researchers zeroed in on the Northern Hemisphere%u2019s temperature outlier, Greenland ice cores, and found that the conversion of oxygen isotope ratio to temperature typically used on the ice cores did not account for the sort of crash climate change occurring during the Younger Dryas. It assumes prevailing winds and jet streams and storm tracks are providing the moisture for Greenland precipitation from the Atlantic Ocean.

"%u201CThe Laurentide ice sheet, which covered much of North America down into the northern United States, is getting smaller as the Younger Dryas approaches,%u201D Carlson says. %u201CThat%u2019s like taking out a mountain of ice three kilometers high. As that melts, it allows more Pacific Ocean moisture to cross the continent and hit the Greenland ice sheet.%u201D

"The two oceans have distinctly different ratios of oxygen isotopes, allowing for a different isotope ratio where the water falls as snow."

Upshot is that the Greenland ice cores have been misinterpreted as being colder than it actually was.
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Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1097. bappit
Quoting beell:


Here ya go, Tom. A start anyway.
Geo-microwave Sounder/GeoSTAR
Development and PATH (Precipitation All
Weather Temperature and Humidity
Soundings) Status | March 7th, 2012


The hopes and dreams rest on placing a sounder aboard a geostationary satellite as opposed to the polar MSU/AMSU system in use today. That would resolve the refresh (temporal) problem. AMSU has a resolution of about 50 km for temperature and 15km for vapor compared to 50km/25km for the baseline rendition of GeoSTAR.

At one time, it was thought that the GeoSTAR system would fly with GOES-R. Not sure if this will happen. Last I heard, GOES-R will launch in 2015.

I'm sure nrt can provide a ton more information but he may have dozed off...
:-)

A bodacious link on the subject. Looks like someone's been thinking about this for quite some time. The powerpoint mentions people have thought about it since the 1980's.

"1980s: NOAA has been interested in Geo - microwave sounder. Large antenna, accommodation on s/c and scanning were considered problems. Dr Fred Moser NWS/Storm Center and Dr. Norm Grody/ORA were active."
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FLOOD WATCH
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HONOLULU HI
542 PM HST SUN APR 21 2013

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR KAUAI AND NIIHAU FROM 6 AM TODAY THROUGH
6 AM HST TUESDAY...

.DEEP MOISTURE STALLED NEAR KAUAI...COMBINED WITH SOME UPPER
LEVEL SUPPORT WILL BRING THE POSSIBILITY OF HEAVY RAIN AND
THUNDERSTORMS THROUGH AT LEAST MONDAY NIGHT.

HIZ001>004-221645-
/O.CON.PHFO.FF.A.0006.000000T0000Z-130423T1600Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000 Z.OO/
NIIHAU-KAUAI WINDWARD-KAUAI LEEWARD-KAUAI MOUNTAINS-
542 PM HST SUN APR 21 2013

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE MONDAY
NIGHT...

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* KAUAI AND NIIHAU.

* THROUGH LATE MONDAY NIGHT.

* AN APPROACHING COLD FRONT WILL PRODUCE HEAVY SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS THAT WILL BRING INCREASED POTENTIAL FOR FLASH
FLOODING OVER KAUAI AND NIIHAU.

* HEAVY OR PERSISTENT RAINS WILL CAUSE STREAMS TO RISE...EVEN IN
AREAS WHERE RAIN IS NOT OCCURRING. HEAVY RAIN WILL PRODUCE
SLICK ROADWAYS AND REDUCE VISIBILITY...MAKING DRIVING
HAZARDOUS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD
TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS VERY DANGEROUS. REMEMBER
THAT IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE RAINING HEAVILY WHERE YOU ARE FOR
FLASH FLOODING TO OCCUR.

AVOID CAMPING OR HIKING NEAR STREAMS AND LOW LYING FLOOD PRONE
AREAS.

MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE IMMEDIATE
ACTION IF FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS ARE ISSUED.

&&

$$

WROE
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1095. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1094. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1093. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting SPLbeater:


How pathetic.
the logo is clickable as a matter of fact i will even post a link within the quote


Every Day is Earth Day

Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Link


Interesting article about ice cores...

And another one as well:


Link
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
AccuWeather.com ‏@breakingweather 23m
Colorado Avalanche kills five on Saturday afternoon. Find out more.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1089. beell
Quoting TomTaylor:
Do you know what resolution microwave soundings operate at? Or where I could find more information on the resolution of current microwave sounders? Putting a microwave sounder on a GOES satellite would greatly improve temporal resolution but would the spatial resolution make it even worth it? I know the next generation of GOES satellites won't even have an infrared sounder. Which is really a waste in my opinion. Fortunately, METEOSAT's third generation satellites will have infrared sounders. First one wont be launched until 2020, however.

Improving the resolution (temporal and spatial) of atmospheric soundings from remote sensing systems (satellites) is huge. I honestly think it's going to be the only way we will significantly improve data assimilation and model forecasts in general. Improving resolution, physics, and assimilation techniques will also help, but as far as observational improvement goes it's really up to the satellites.


Here ya go, Tom. A start anyway.
Geo-microwave Sounder/GeoSTAR
Development and PATH (Precipitation All
Weather Temperature and Humidity
Soundings) Status | March 7th, 2012


The hopes and dreams rest on placing a sounder aboard a geostationary satellite as opposed to the polar MSU/AMSU system in use today. That would resolve the refresh (temporal) problem. AMSU has a resolution of about 50 km for temperature and 15km for vapor compared to 50km/25km for the baseline rendition of GeoSTAR.

At one time, it was thought that the GeoSTAR system would fly with GOES-R. Not sure if this will happen. Last I heard, GOES-R will launch in 2015.

I'm sure nrt can provide a ton more information but he may have dozed off...
:-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SPLbeater:


How pathetic.



are you sure your not the one thats pathetic
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SPLbeater:


How pathetic.


you do realize that's between WU and TWC?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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Category 6™

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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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