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

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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
Note:

In my (now old) hurricane score list I had 88 listed...now some new entries have bumped the total count to 91.
I'll display the new chart this Saturday with the 3 new entries...who else would like to participate... ?

my goal is to reach 100...just 9 to go.
Did you see my forecast? It is 17-9-3.
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Like I pointed out earlier...not only did it look mean, but tornadic.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4543
Quoting Levi32:


Yeah, it's a warm-core hybrid low. You can tell because of the warm thickness contours closed around the surface low. There's no temperature gradient at the center.

That said, it's the CMC, and it's usually crazy.

However, it is worth noting that the setup for this event is a frontal split (not a trough split, but the tail of the front splits off), that, if this were June instead of April, would indeed be a concern for tropical troubles.


Yeah, definitely getting closer to tropical, but not there yet. It starts out purely baroclinic when it ejects off the east coast but it does begin to acquire a low-level warm core, and not by seclusion either, but by latent heat release from running the Gulf Stream (or at least so the CMC depicts). Like Levi said, if it were June instead of April, then it probably wouldn't be so caught up in the mid-latitude flow and it might have a real chance. As the forecast stands now though, it's still too caught up in the jet stream to become a tropical entity. Maybe subtropical?

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Quoting SPLbeater:


Just saw that, dang. Im right in the middle of the 30%.

Not good.


And in contrast, I wish I was there.

I love watching the trees thrash in the wind as lightning lights up the sky every second and rain pounds down.
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Quoting SPLbeater:

Look at that cell west of Durham....kinda mean lookin.


It just went tornado warned.
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RALEIGH NC
330 PM EDT FRI APR 19 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RALEIGH HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
EAST CENTRAL ALAMANCE COUNTY IN CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA
NORTHERN ORANGE COUNTY IN CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA

* UNTIL 400 PM EDT

* AT 326 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
TORNADO OVER SAXAPAHAW...OR 7 MILES SOUTHEAST OF GRAHAM...MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 45 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
MEBANE...
EFLAND...
SCHLEY...CARR...

THIS INCLUDES INTERSTATE 85 BETWEEN EXITS 153 AND 161.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...VEHICLE OR
OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS
AVAILABLE LIE DOWN IN A LOW LYING AREA. PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING
DEBRIS.

PLEASE REPORT SEVERE WEATHER TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TO YOUR
LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.THEY WILL RELAY YOUR REPORT TO THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 900 PM EDT FRIDAY EVENING FOR
CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA.

&&

LAT...LON 3625 7916 3624 7915 3624 7895 3591 7926
3597 7941 3625 7925 3625 7921
TIME...MOT...LOC 1930Z 216DEG 40KT 3601 7928

$$

10
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Quoting ncstorm:
SPC updated the Wind Threat



Just saw that, dang. Im right in the middle of the 30%.

Not good.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4543
DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0209 PM CDT FRI APR 19 2013

VALID 192000Z - 201200Z

...THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS FROM SERN GA NWD INTO ERN PA
AND NJ...

...SYNOPSIS...
AN ELONGATED BUT INTENSE UPPER LEVEL JET WILL CONTINUE TO ADVANCE
EWD AND OVERSPREAD THE MID ATLANTIC REGION...WITH DIFFLUENT FLOW
ALOFT. AT THE SURFACE...A SHARP LOW PRESSURE TROUGH WILL CONTINUE TO
DEEPEN IN THE LEE OF THE APPALACHIANS...WITH COLD FRONT ADVANCING TO
THE COAST LATER THIS EVENING.

AHEAD OF THE FRONT...HEATING AND MOISTURE ADVECTION WILL CONTINUE TO
DESTABILIZE THE ATMOSPHERE...WITH FORCING AND SHEAR BOTH FAVORABLE
FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS.

...MID ATLANTIC REGION...
LATEST SURFACE ANALYSIS SHOWS WIDESPREAD 2 TO 3 MB 2-HR PRESSURE
FALLS FROM SC NWD INTO PA AHEAD OF THE FRONT. PRESSURE RISES OF
SIMILAR ABSOLUTE MAGNITUDES ARE PRESENT BEHIND THE FRONT FROM WRN
NC/VA INTO WV AND WRN PA.

AS THE FRONT PROGRESSES E...FORCING SHOULD INTERACT WITH GREATER
MOISTURE AND INSTABILITY AS WELL AS STRENGTHENING DEEP LAYER SHEAR.
NEWD MOVING BOWING SEGMENTS PRODUCING DAMAGING WIND APPEAR
LIKELY...AS WELL AS A FEW ROTATING BOW-HEADS AND/OR ISOLATED
TORNADOES. THE HIGHEST RELATIVE THREAT AREA WILL BE WHERE THE
FORCING INTERACTS WITH THE STRONGEST INSTABILITY...ACROSS CNTRL
SC...NC...AND INTO SRN VA. THUS...HAVE INCREASED SEVERE WIND
PROBABILITIES TO A 30 PERCENT.
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SPC updated the Wind Threat

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Quoting FunnelVortex:


1016, that low is a wuss.

look, the cmc is way off for this time of year. But dont worry, the tropics will heat up soon
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SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BLACKSBURG VA
325 PM EDT FRI APR 19 2013

NCC169-171-VAC063-067-089-141-192015-
/O.CON.KRNK.SV.W.0012.000000T0000Z-130419T2015Z/
SURRY NC-STOKES NC-PATRICK VA-FLOYD VA-FRANKLIN VA-HENRY VA-
325 PM EDT FRI APR 19 2013

...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 415 PM EDT
FOR NORTHEASTERN SURRY COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA...
NORTHWESTERN STOKES COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA...
PATRICK COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA...
EXTREME SOUTHEASTERN FLOYD COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA...
SOUTHWESTERN FRANKLIN COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL VIRGINIA...
NORTHWESTERN HENRY COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL VIRGINIA...

AT 321 PM EDT...DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM
CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS
OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR VADE MECUM...OR 5 MILES SOUTH
OF FRANCISCO...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 45 MPH.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
ROCKY MOUNT... BASSETT...
FERRUM... FRANCISCO...
STUART... WOOLWINE...
DANBURY... WESTFIELD...
WOODVILLE... OAK LEVEL...
SANVILLE... ENDICOTT...
ARARAT... COLLINSTOWN...
BUFFALO RIDGE... MEADOWS OF DAN...
CRITZ... CHARITY...
LAWSONVILLE... VADE MECUM...
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Quoting ncstorm:
12z Euro..has an open low



1016, that low is a wuss.
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Quoting SPLbeater:

Look at that cell west of Durham....kinda mean lookin.


I've seen meaner
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12z Euro..has an open low

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Look at that cell west of Durham....kinda mean lookin.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4543


Gulf stream heating up.
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Oh snap.. I'm under a tornado watch.

oboioboioboi

._.

*is somewhat scared*
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SSTs of around 82 degrees Fahrenheit (give or take a few) are beginning to work their way into the gulf.
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I'm basically under a tornado watch! First one of the year!   (Not my county but I am not far from the Mason Dixon Line and most storms that rumble in Maryland, rumble near me as well)
Member Since: February 13, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 3906
Quoting Levi32:


Yeah, it's a warm-core hybrid low. You can tell because of the warm thickness contours closed around the surface low. There's no temperature gradient at the center.

That said, it's the CMC, and it's usually crazy.

However, it is worth noting that the setup for this event is a frontal split (not a trough split, but the tail of the front splits off), that, if this were June instead of April, would indeed be a concern for tropical troubles.


Levi, i would not be surprised if the same situation sets up in june or july.....
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Okay, it's April 19th right?

WOW!!!
Gotta report this, just observed SLEET fall for about 2 minutes here at Houma LA at 1:45 PM!
Radar link...
Size 1/8"-1/4"... All sleet no rain...
Have had brief sleet mixed with light rain over Terrebonne and Lafourche over past 3 hrs with the last of the precip shield lifting NE...

Those of you to the E / NE might want to look as colder air aloft catches up to it... esp if radar appears to show patches of bright banding...

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The JMA model for precipitation has plenty in the MDR area for June,July and August.

Tropical Tidbits Tweeter

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Quoting Levi32:


Yeah, it's a warm-core hybrid low. You can tell because of the warm thickness contours closed around the surface low. There's no temperature gradient at the center.

That said, it's the CMC, and it's usually crazy.

However, it is worth noting that the setup for this event is a frontal split (not a trough split, but the tail of the front splits off), that, if this were June instead of April, would indeed be a concern for tropical troubles.



Yeeaah..I got one right..LOL
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84HR 12Z GFS SC

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Quoting ncstorm:
12z CMC..I posted this in the last blog but the CMC with two runs has this on the east coast..warm core..I'm sure 1900 will shoot me down but this isnt cold core as opposed to the other reasons I was given









Yeah, it's a warm-core hybrid low. You can tell because of the warm thickness contours closed around the surface low. There's no temperature gradient at the center.

That said, it's the CMC, and it's usually crazy.

However, it is worth noting that the setup for this event is a frontal split (not a trough split, but the tail of the front splits off), that, if this were June instead of April, would indeed be a concern for tropical troubles.

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It on the 12Z GFS too!!
Quoting ncstorm:
12z CMC..I posted this in the last blog but the CMC with two runs has this on the east coast..warm core..I'm sure 1900 will shoot me down but this isnt cold core as opposed to the other reasons I was given







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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
Note:

In my (now old) hurricane score list I had 88 listed...now some new entries have bumped the total count to 91.
I'll display the new chart this Saturday with the 3 new entries...who else would like to participate... ?

my goal is to reach 100...just 9 to go.
You can put me down for a triple-double! That's right - 10 majors!













Just kidding.......I don't have a fraction of the knowledge that most of you do, and will proceed to get back to lurking........
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1711 MANSFIELD NEWTON GA 3352 8373 APPEARANT TORNADO HIT MANSFIELD ... ALSO OBSERVED CLEARLY ON ATLANTA TDWR RADAR. FINAL RATING AND DETERMINATION PENDING DAMAGE SURVEY. SIX TO EIGHT HOMES WITH MAJOR DAMAG (FFC)

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109. VR46L
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12z CMC..I posted this in the last blog but the CMC with the past two runs has this on the east coast..warm core..I'm sure 1900 will shoot me down but this isnt cold core as opposed to the other reasons I was given







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107. VR46L



URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 131
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
230 PM EDT FRI APR 19 2013

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
CENTRAL AND EASTERN MARYLAND
NORTH-CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA
CENTRAL AND EASTERN VIRGINIA
EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA PANHANDLE
COASTAL WATERS

* EFFECTIVE THIS FRIDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 230 PM UNTIL
1000 PM EDT.

* PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE...
SEVERAL TORNADOES POSSIBLE
SEVERAL DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH POSSIBLE
A FEW LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 1 INCH IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE

THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 70 STATUTE
MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 15 MILES EAST OF DANVILLE
VIRGINIA TO 40 MILES NORTH NORTHWEST OF BALTIMORE MARYLAND. FOR
A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH
OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU1).

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

REMEMBER...A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR
TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

&&

OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...CONTINUE...WW 129...WW 130...

DISCUSSION...TSTMS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE IN COVERAGE AND
INTENSITY EAST OF THE HIGH TERRAIN THIS AFTERNOON AS REGION IS
INFLUENCED BY A MIDLEVEL JET STREAK LIFTING POLEWARD THROUGH THE TN
VALLEY. WHILE MIDLEVEL LAPSE RATES ARE POOR...DAYTIME HEATING
COUPLED WITH BOUNDARY LAYER DEWPOINTS IN THE LOW TO MID 60S WILL
YIELD MLCAPE VALUES OF 500-1000 J/KG. THIS INSTABILITY WILL ALIGN
WITH A STRONGLY SHEARED KINEMATIC ENVIRONMENT WHICH WILL PROMOTE
ORGANIZED STORM MODES...INCLUDING SUPERCELL AND LEWP STRUCTURES
CAPABLE OF DAMAGING WINDS AND A FEW TORNADOES.

AVIATION...TORNADOES AND A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL
SURFACE AND ALOFT TO 1 INCH. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE WIND
GUSTS TO 60 KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO 400.
MEAN STORM MOTION VECTOR 24040.


...MEAD
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:


Any severe weather in FL will likely be across the FL Penisula as the atmosphere down here is very unstable as temps are already near 90 with dewpoints around 70.



Not to mention surrounded by warm water.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


Now I know who all of them are...thanks
all of those NHC advisories...
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14876
Take a look at Lee Grenci's blog about climbing weather for Mt.Everest.

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Dont worry, I dont think this will be very bad Wash.
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very windy
Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 161 Comments: 134370
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14876
Quoting WxGeekVA:


I'm chasing if I get the chance.
I don't think conditions will be that prime for a tornado perhaps a strong thunderstorm.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
compare march april 2013 and 2012/2013 april





Mmm... toasty.
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69 yqt1001: I just lost my power for about 10 minutes because of a snowstorm.
So much for the 10C highs we usually get this time of year


Still ThunderBay,Ontario? Or are you the one who moved east?
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Quoting washingtonian115:
What cheering news to come and here :).SARCASM:HIGH.


I'm chasing if I get the chance.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
Just out of curiosity, what is the water levels on the Mississippi river scaled to? Obviously 0 feet does not mean no water or no flow since we were having negative river heights earlier this year. What is the reason 0 feet is where it is at, because I have a hard time believing that it is completely arbitrary.
Posted on it back in Dec/Jan, means about 14' deep around Eads bridge. Goes back to 1860s I believe. All numbers arbitrary, why so many different flood stage levels up and down river. Barges needed around 9', so why when at -5' they have to stop traffic.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
hey wash

Quoting WxGeekVA:



MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0533
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1227 PM CDT FRI APR 19 2013

AREAS AFFECTED...MUCH OF CENTRAL/ERN VA AND MD INCLUDING DC/BWI
METRO AREA INTO SERN PA

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...TORNADO WATCH LIKELY

VALID 191727Z - 191830Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...80 PERCENT


SUMMARY...TSTMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP BETWEEN 18-19Z OVER THE
HIGHER TERRAIN OF WRN VA INVOF THE BLUE RIDGE MTNS AND SPREAD ENEWD
ACROSS VA/MD AND POSSIBLY INTO SERN PA THIS AFTERNOON. ENVIRONMENT
IS CONDUCIVE FOR BOTH DAMAGING WINDS AND A TORNADO THREAT. TORNADO
WATCH WILL BE COORDINATED FOR ISSUANCE EARLY THIS AFTERNOON.

DISCUSSION...TRENDS IN RECENT VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATED
BREAKS IN CLOUDS ALONG AND EAST OF THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS
RESULTING IN SURFACE HEATING/WARMING TEMPERATURES WITHIN A MOIST
BOUNDARY LAYER. ADDITIONAL HEATING WILL SUPPORT FURTHER
DESTABILIZATION WHILE STRENGTHENING DEEP LAYER SHEAR SUGGESTS TSTMS
THAT DEVELOP OVER THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS AND ADVANCE INTO THE
DISCUSSION AREA WILL INCREASE IN INTENSITY. STRENGTHENING DEEP
LAYER WIND FIELDS WILL PROVE FAVORABLE FOR STORMS TO BECOME
ORGANIZED WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR SUPERCELLS AND LEWP STRUCTURES.


..PETERS/MEAD.. 04/19/2013


ATTN...WFO...PHI...AKQ...CTP...LWX...RNK...

LAT...LON 36608035 39697814 40217644 40037557 38937608 37667645
36537712 36608035
What cheering news to come and here :).SARCASM:HIGH.
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wow!!
Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 161 Comments: 134370
Quoting Jedkins01:
I'm surprised there is a severe thunderstorm watch for my area now, severe parameters don't look very good in north Florida right now. We should pick up some decent rains but to me large scale lift and lapse rates look rather weak for a significant squall line.

Moisture levels again are very high but there isn't very much lift to get a serious squall line going.


However, maybe they see something I don't, time will tell. I hope the severe watch does verify though, I'd like to see some good action today :)

I think we'll get nice fun line of thunderstorms, but I'm not sure about anything very strong to severe, we'll see.



Any severe weather in FL will likely be across the FL Penisula as the atmosphere down here is very unstable as temps are already near 90 with dewpoints around 70.

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that possible tornado watch is close to my location...
My forecast call for severe thunderstorms today...
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14876
hey wash

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MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0533
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1227 PM CDT FRI APR 19 2013

AREAS AFFECTED...MUCH OF CENTRAL/ERN VA AND MD INCLUDING DC/BWI
METRO AREA INTO SERN PA

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...TORNADO WATCH LIKELY

VALID 191727Z - 191830Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...80 PERCENT


SUMMARY...TSTMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP BETWEEN 18-19Z OVER THE
HIGHER TERRAIN OF WRN VA INVOF THE BLUE RIDGE MTNS AND SPREAD ENEWD
ACROSS VA/MD AND POSSIBLY INTO SERN PA THIS AFTERNOON. ENVIRONMENT
IS CONDUCIVE FOR BOTH DAMAGING WINDS AND A TORNADO THREAT. TORNADO
WATCH WILL BE COORDINATED FOR ISSUANCE EARLY THIS AFTERNOON.

DISCUSSION...TRENDS IN RECENT VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATED
BREAKS IN CLOUDS ALONG AND EAST OF THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS
RESULTING IN SURFACE HEATING/WARMING TEMPERATURES WITHIN A MOIST
BOUNDARY LAYER. ADDITIONAL HEATING WILL SUPPORT FURTHER
DESTABILIZATION WHILE STRENGTHENING DEEP LAYER SHEAR SUGGESTS TSTMS
THAT DEVELOP OVER THE CENTRAL APPALACHIANS AND ADVANCE INTO THE
DISCUSSION AREA WILL INCREASE IN INTENSITY. STRENGTHENING DEEP
LAYER WIND FIELDS WILL PROVE FAVORABLE FOR STORMS TO BECOME
ORGANIZED WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR SUPERCELLS AND LEWP STRUCTURES.


..PETERS/MEAD.. 04/19/2013


ATTN...WFO...PHI...AKQ...CTP...LWX...RNK...

LAT...LON 36608035 39697814 40217644 40037557 38937608 37667645
36537712 36608035
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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