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Potentially historic winter storm poised to impact 100 million Americans

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 3:16 PM GMT on January 31, 2011

A huge and potentially historic winter storm is taking shape over the Southern Plains today. By the time the storm exits New England on Wednesday night, as many as 50 million Americans may see heavy snows of at least 6 inches or dangerous ice accumulations of 1/4" or more from the massive storm, and 100 million will be affected by the storm. A potent jet stream with strong winds will dive southwards over the central U.S. today, allowing a cold Arctic airmass to spill southwards out of Canada. In front of this cold air, a flow of very warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico will surge northwards, providing copious moisture to fuel snowfall amounts that will likely approach two feet across portions of Iowa and Illinois on Tuesday. The storm could be Chicago's biggest blizzard since January 1999, when a storm dumped 21.6" of snow. Accompanying the heavy snow on Tuesday will be strong winds gusting to 40 mph in Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana, and a blizzard watch is posted for Chicago. Strong winds in Chicago are expected to generate 14 - 18 feet waves on Lake Michigan, with occasional waves up to 25 feet. A significant coastal flooding event is possible for Chicago, with beach erosion and flooding along Lake Shore Drive. Many major cities will likely receive over 8 inches of snow from the storm, including Kansas City, St. Louis, and Detroit. Perhaps of greater concern is the potential for a major ice storm along a swath from Northwest Oklahoma to Massachusetts. Widespread freezing rain is expected to bring over 1/4" of ice to many major cities, including St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. Some regions could see up to an inch of ice, and widespread power outages due to toppled power lines are likely for millions of people. Damages exceeding $1 billions are possible from this ice storm. In addition, the storm's powerful cold front will bring the potential for severe thunderstorms to the deep South. The NOAA Storm Prediction Center is giving Louisiana and surrounding states a "slight risk" of severe weather on Tuesday, and severe thunderstorms with damaging winds are likely Tuesday afternoon in this region.


Figure 1. Probability of receiving at least 1/4" of ice for the 24 hours ending at 7am EST on Wed Feb 2, 2011. Image credit: NOAA.

Very dangerous Tropical Cyclone Yasi headed for Australia's flooded Queensland
With February nearly upon us, the traditional peak of the Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone season is here, and the waters surrounding Australia have been exceptionally active over the past week. We had the year's first two Category 4 tropical cyclones last week, Tropical Cyclone Wilma and Tropical Cyclone Bianca. Wilma passed over American Samoa as a strong tropical storm, and hit Tonga as a Category 3 storm, causing substantial damage to the islands, but no deaths or injuries. Wilma brushed New Zealand, bringing flooding and landslides to the North Island, and was the strongest tropical cyclone to affect that country in fourteen years, according to weatherwatch.co.nz. Tropical Cyclone Bianca skirted the west coast of Australia and dissipated before making landfall. Tropical Cyclone Anthony hit flood-ravaged Queensland, Australia, over the weekend, as a weak tropical storm with 40 - 50 mph winds. Fortunately, Anthony dropped only modest amounts of rain, and no new flooding disaster occurred in Queensland, which is struggling to recover from record floods. As reported in the latest Australian Bureau of Meteorology climate statement and flood summary, the past four months (September - December) have been the rainiest such period in Queensland's history, and the resulting flooding disaster has been Australia's most expensive natural disaster in history.

Queensland is in serious danger of renewed extreme flooding this week from Tropical Cyclone Yasi. Yasi has intensified to a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds, and is undergoing a period of rapid intensification that is expected to take it to Category 4 strength. Yasi is expected to hit Queensland on Wednesday, probably as a major Category 3 or stronger storm. In addition the storm's damaging winds and storm surge, Yasi will bring torrential rains. The GFS model is predicting that Yasi will dump 5 - 10 inches of rain over a large swath of Queensland, which would likely cause destructive flooding.

One positive note: the European Center model was remarkably accurate predicting the formation of Yasi over a week in advance, so Queensland has had plenty of time to prepare for the arrival of the storm.


Figure 3. Tropical Cyclone Yasi at 23:20 GMT on January 30, 2011. At the time, Yasi was a Category 1 storm with 75 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Jeff Masters

Winter Weather

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

501. IKE
PRELIMINARY EXTENDED FORECAST DISCUSSION
NWS HYDROMETEOROLOGICAL PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
358 AM EST TUE FEB 01 2011

VALID 12Z SAT FEB 05 2011 - 12Z TUE FEB 08 2011

AN AMPLIFIED ERN PAC RIDGE AND DOWNSTREAM E-CNTRL CANADA/CNTRL
CONUS MEAN TROF CONFIGURATION IS FCST TO CONTINUE THRU THE MEDIUM
RANGE PERIOD. WITHIN THIS LARGE SCALE PATTERN THERE WILL BE TWO
PRIMARY SYSTEMS OF INTEREST. THE FIRST WILL BE LOW PRESSURE
TRACKING NEWD FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO AND ALONG THE EAST COAST FRI
INTO THE WEEKEND... INFLUENCED BY A COMBINATION OF ENERGY EJECTING
FROM THE SRN PLAINS AND SOME NRN STREAM FLOW. THEN DURING THE
SECOND HALF OF THE PERIOD... UPSTREAM ENERGY REINFORCING THE MEAN
NOAM TROF WILL PUSH ANOTHER STRONG COLD FRONT THRU THE PLAINS INTO
THE ERN STATES. MODELS AND ENSEMBLES SHOW MEANINGFUL SPREAD WITH
BOTH FEATURES.

WITH THE WAVE TRACKING ALONG THE EAST COAST THE
ECMWF/UKMET/CANADIAN AND 00Z GEFS/12Z ECMWF ENSEMBLE MEANS FORM A
LOOSE CLUSTER THAT ARGUES AGAINST THE DEEPER AND FASTER 00Z GFS
SCENARIO. GFS RUNS OVER MULTIPLE DAYS HAVE BEEN ON THE FAST EDGE
OF GUIDANCE FROM THE SHORT RANGE INTO THE MEDIUM RANGE. WHILE
THERE HAS BEEN SOME TRENDING AWAY FROM SLOWER SOLNS IN THE SHORT
RANGE... BIASES CONTINUE TO FAVOR TIMING CLOSER TO THE NON-GFS
CONSENSUS.

THE GFS LIKEWISE LEANS TO THE FAST EDGE OF GUIDANCE WITH THE
UPSTREAM SYSTEM HEADING INTO THE EAST LATE IN THE PERIOD AND IS
THUS CONSIDERED A LOWER PROBABILITY OPTION. IN ADDITION TO TIMING
OF THE COLD FRONT THERE IS ALSO UNCERTAINTY OVER HOW MUCH SFC LOW
DEVELOPMENT MAY OCCUR FROM THE MS VALLEY NEWD THRU THE GRTLKS INTO
SERN CANADA DURING DAYS 6-7 MON-TUE. GFS RUNS HAVE VARIED
CONSIDERABLY OVER THE PAST DAY WITH THE 00Z GFS STRONGER THAN
PREVIOUS RUNS. ON THE OTHER HAND THE 00Z ECMWF HAS ADJUSTED
WEAKER FROM PREVIOUS TWO RUNS THAT DEVELOPED VERY DEEP LOWS. NOT
SURPRISINGLY GEFS/ECMWF ENSEMBLES ARE SUFFICIENTLY DIVERSE TO
YIELD FAIRLY WEAK SOLNS IN THEIR MEANS. PREFER TO FOLLOW A
CONSERVATIVE APPROACH CLOSER TO THE ENSEMBLE MEANS IN LIGHT OF
GUIDANCE SPREAD/CONTINUITY CHANGES AT SUCH A DISTANT TIME FRAME.

BASED ON THE ABOVE ASSESSMENT THE DAYS 3-7 FCST STARTS WITH A
50/30/20 BLEND OF THE 12Z ECMWF ENSEMBLE MEAN/00Z GEFS MEAN/00Z
ECMWF. THIS SOLN EMPHASIZES THE MOST AGREEABLE ASPECTS OF THE
LARGE SCALE PATTERN AND ACCOUNTS FOR THE 00Z ECMWF COMPARING
SOMEWHAT BETTER TO CONSENSUS THAN THE GFS. 00Z ECMWF WEIGHTING IS
LIMITED DUE TO ITS SLOWER TIMING OF THE NRN PLAINS-GRTLKS TROF
DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THE PERIOD AND PREFERENCE TO LEAN AWAY
FROM ANY SPECIFIC OPERATIONAL SOLN LATER IN THE FCST.

RAUSCH
hi ike!! :)

55º here, fogged in like being surrouneded by cotton candy. The street light are but a glow, fuzzy eyesight and surreal...

will we be spared the next cold snap? I think we will.
505. IKE

Quoting aquak9:
hi ike!! :)

55º here, fogged in like being surrouneded by cotton candy. The street light are but a glow, fuzzy eyesight and surreal...

will we be spared the next cold snap? I think we will.
Looks like the one next week(in about 8 days), may not miss us. Unbelievable winter.

Here's my forecast for later this week....

Wednesday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers, mainly after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 36. North wind around 5 mph.

Thursday: A 50 percent chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 45. North wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Thursday Night: Rain likely. Cloudy, with a low around 39. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Friday: Rain likely. Cloudy, with a high near 50. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Friday Night: A 40 percent chance of rain. Cloudy, with a low around 41.
506. IKE
Super Bowl weather now....

Dallas Love, Texas (Airport)
Updated: 22 min 35 sec ago







Light Thunderstorms and Snow

27 °F
Light Thunderstorm Snow Ice Pellets
Mist



Windchill:
10 °F

Humidity:
80%

Dew Point:
21 °F

Wind:
31 mph
from the NW




Wind Gust:
40 mph

Pressure:
29.92 in (Steady)

Visibility:
2.0 miles

UV:
0 out of 16

Pollen:
6.80 out of 12
Pollen Forecast new!

Clouds:

Scattered Clouds 800 ft
Mostly Cloudy 1300 ft
Overcast 1900 ft
(Above Ground Level)

Elevation:
486 ft
ike I looked at my long range, errr well OUR long range. Precip I can agree with, possiblity of thunderstorms, winds, I can agree with...even temps in the upper thirties where you are.

But I don't see another hard freeze event.

But I can't see the streetlights this morning, either, hahaha
508. IKE
When you see the blue(zero degree line), south of the Florida panhandle...out into the GOM...that's cold..as cold as I've seen it all winter....


Quoting aquak9:


no wonder you ran away from home.
the character might be running back this summer when a cat 3 or 4 is bearing down on the south florida
Wind Advisory, Dense Fog Advisory

Statement as of 5:05 AM CST on February 01, 2011

... Dense fog advisory remains in effect until 9 am CST this
morning...

... Wind Advisory in effect from noon today to 6 PM CST this
evening...

The National Weather Service in New Orleans has issued a Wind
Advisory... which is in effect from noon today to 6 PM CST this
evening. A dense fog advisory remains in effect until 9 am CST
this morning.

Areas of dense fog will prevail across coastal areas of southern
Mississippi and southeast Louisiana and adjacent bodies of waters
through mid morning. Visibilities should begin to improve as the
deepening surface low in Texas will increase winds across the
area by early this afternoon. Winds will be increasing throughout
the afternoon to 20 to 25 mph with gusts to near 35 mph. Winds
will be especially strong near the coast and across elevated spans
over bodies of water.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A dense fog advisory means visibilities will frequently be
reduced to less than one quarter mile. If driving... slow down...
use your low beam headlights... and leave plenty of distance ahead
of you.

A Wind Advisory means that winds of 35 mph are expected. Winds
this strong can make driving difficult... especially for high
profile vehicles. Use extra caution.










Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
613 am CST Tuesday Feb 1 2011







Short term...very active difficult forecast in store for the
region. Severe weather still looks probable for today while winter
weather concerns are starting to increase for our extreme NE which
does include the Baton Rouge metropolitan. Fog...winds...and marine
concerns are also abundant in the first 36 hours of the forecast.


The major player for todays weather which will bring US our severe and
be an historic...yes historic winter storm...for the plains and middle
MS valley is really wrapping up impressively in Texas right now. Surface low
is deepening quickly with slope down to 1002mb near crp at 10z. WV/infrared
satellite image shows a nice baroclinic Leaf developing over the
plains.


For today and tonight...not much has changed in the thinking and
severe weather is still probable today although widespread severe
weather is not anticipated. Things will get going very quickly
beginning around midday. The main system is swinging through the Southern
Plains right now and will become negatively titled as it moves into
the Lower/Middle MS valley. The surface low will deepen and move to the NE
through the lower MS valley. The surface low appears to be trending a
tad further south and this will translate into stronger surface winds
over the land and thus we have issued a wind advection for the entire County Warning Area
for this afternoon. As the surface low moves into northern MS/eastern Arkansas it will drive
a cold front through la and should be on the doorstep of our County Warning Area
right around 18z. This is going to be a very progressive system that
will drive the cold front completely through the County Warning Area during the afternoon
and should be well into the Gulf by sunrise Wednesday morning. There will
be rain showers and thunderstorms and rain ahead of the front some severe but more on that later.
As soon as the front moves through much colder air will quickly move
in behind it with temperatures likely falling between 25 to 40 degrees from
highs today and lows tomorrow morning. Lows will fall below freezing
for much of the County Warning Area north of the I 10/12 corridor and in the extreme
northwest lows could fall into the lower 20s for a few hours so a hard
freeze warning has been issued for the extreme northwest. In addition we
may have to look at a wind chill advection for some areas tonight.


As for strong/severe risk...there is concern that the risk may be
increasing for all of the region now and not just the northwest. Dewpoints
have risen dramatically in the Gulf with 65-68 readings over much of
the northern Gulf and even a few 70 dewpoints further out in the Gulf. If
those dewpoints can move inland then the likelihood of the marine
layer inhibiting severe weather will be far less. To keep from getting
into all of the details I will try to keep this short part
short...instability is still the main issue today with showalters
near -3 and MLCAPE up to 500 j/kg. The synoptic pattern is still
very favorable...and dynamically things are quite impressive. The
kinematic field is off the chart with helicity values well above what
is needed. The winds veer all the way from the surface to 700 mb so Mode is
not much of an issue. If convection fires ahead of the front then
the tornado risk will increase but if convection remains mostly
confined to right ahead of the front then damaging straight line
winds will be the primary concern but tornadoes are still possible.
Heavy rain is still an issue as abundant moisture is in place.


Wednesday will be quiet but cold and blustery as winds from the northwest to north
possibly gusts to near 25 miles per hour. Highs may remain near 40 in the far
north and with these winds it will feel much colder. With highs not
climbing much and h925 temperatures remaining below freezing for the northern
3rd/half of the County Warning Area it could set the stage for winter weather Thursday
and Friday.


Long term...the main concern in the extended is the threat of
winter weather possibly as early as Thursday morning and remaining in play
through Friday night. The models are in general agreement but there is
enough differences in the details that cause major problems with
what we could see in the northwestern 3rd/quarter of the County Warning Area. The GFS is the
least impressive from a winter weather standpoint while the 00z NAM
had a full blown ice storm for mcb and btr. The European model (ecmwf) was right in
the model hinting at a better chance of winter weather in the far northwest
than the GFS. The sref was in more agreement with the NAM and European model (ecmwf)
and the Canadian appears to be more inline with the 00z as well with
possible ice storm. First off we will say confidence is low but it
is increasing that we will see some type winter precipitation in the far northwest.


Thursday through Friday night...this is the big problem area in the
forecast. Cold air will already in place in the ll and at the surface
but as a surface low develops in the Gulf 850 mb temperatures will begin to warm.
We will still be entrenched in SW flow carrying Pacific moisture. The
elongated l/west trough will start to finally push east late Thursday
keeping the area under broad lift over the entire region Thursday through
Friday. Precipitation looks to return to the region as early as Thursday morning.
The problem we have is north of a line from Baton Rouge to Mount
Herman. Dewpoints will be well below freezing and h925 temperatures look to
range from -4 to 0. Snow does not look likely as the forecast soundings show
a rather thick warm layer(about 3-6k feet think) with temperatures as high as
3c just above h9. This would suggest partial melting if not complete
melting before moving back in the cold air. Further now into southwestern MS
the warm layer is not quiet as thick so partial melting may be the
main player there. With wet bulbing taking place and dewpoints not
forecast to get out of the 20s and h925 temperatures expected to remain
below freezing after the cold front today through 12/15z Friday there
is a very good chance we will see sleet and even possibly freezing
rain. I believe the models are well overestimating the surface temperature with
the amount of precipitation they are trying to develop and dewpoints in the
20s. This is still 3-4 days away so we will be watching this very
close. An Special Weather Statement should be issued later this morning/today and we could
end up needing some type of winter weather watch Wednesday for the far
NE.
513. IKE

Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Statement as of 6:33 AM CST on February 01, 2011


The National Weather Service in League City has issued a

* Severe Thunderstorm Warning for...
Brazoria County in southeast Texas...
Chambers County in southeast Texas...
Fort Bend County in southeast Texas...
Galveston County in southeast Texas...
Harris County in southeast Texas...
southeastern Jackson County in southeast Texas...
Liberty County in southeast Texas...
Matagorda County in southeast Texas...
eastern Montgomery County in southeast Texas...
Polk County in southeast Texas...
San Jacinto County in southeast Texas...
eastern Trinity County in southeast Texas...
southeastern Walker County in southeast Texas...
southeastern Wharton County in southeast Texas...

* until 730 am CST

* at 628 am CST... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a
line of severe thunderstorms. These storms were located along a
line extending from 10 miles south of Corrigan to Palacios... moving
east northeast at 50 mph. These storms have a history of producing
wind damage.

* Locations in the Severe Thunderstorm Warning include but are not
limited to Tiki Island... the medical center... splashtown... Smith
Point... Sargent... Rollover Pass... reliant park... Port Bolivar...
Moody Gardens... minute maid Park... Lake Livingston State Park...
Kemah boardwalk... Johnson space center... Hooks Airport... hobby
Airport... La Marque... Kingwood... Kemah... Katy... Jones
Creek... Jersey Village... Jacinto City... Hunters Creek
Village... Humble... Houston... Holiday Lakes... Hitchcock...
Highlands... Hedwig Village... Galena Park... Friendswood... Fresno...
Freeport... First Colony... El Lago... Dickinson... Deer
Park... Dayton... Danbury... Daisetta... Cut and Shoot... Crosby...
Conroe... Clute... Cloverleaf... Cleveland... Clear Lake
Shores... Channelview... Bunker Hill Village... Brookside
Village... Brazoria... Boling-Iago... Bellaire... Baytown... Bayou
Vista... Bay City... Barrett... Bacliff... Angleton... Anahuac... Ames...
Alvin and Aldine.

Please report severe weather to the County sheriff... local police...
or department of public safety and ask them to relay your report to
the National Weather Service.

Lat... Lon 2936 9478 2937 9479 2953 9451 2954 9480
      2978 9474 2970 9496 2910 9514 2934 9473
      2933 9473 2850 9617 2852 9620 2860 9599
      2875 9646 3131 9494 3104 9461 3048 9472
      2957 9436
514. IKE
02/01/2011 0633 am

3 miles WSW of Humble, Harris County.

Thunderstorm wind gust m0.00 mph, reported by ASOS.


            Bush Intercontinental Airport reported wind gust of 46
            knots or 53 mph.
Morning all. Albuquerque foothills have 3-4 inches of snow on the ground and more on the way, but the big story here is the predictions of the coldest temperatures in 50 years for some parts of the state of NM. Albuquerque seems to go below zero about every 20 years lately-January 1971 being the classic with a week of historic lows including -17, the all-time record for the city. Christmas 1990 gave us 3 days of below zero nighttime temps down to -7. The prediction is for -2 to -6 for Albuquerque for Wed. night. Being in February is also very unusual for a storm this strong and cold. After a warm 3/4 of December, we had a very cold January, but it did moderate the second half of the month. Now Feb is off to a very unusual extremely cold start. Highs will be 30-40 degrees below normal.
Where is spring?????

Quoting IKE:
When you see the blue(zero degree line), south of the Florida panhandle...out into the GOM...that's cold..as cold as I've seen it all winter....


516. Jax82
4 inches an hour, amazing.

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL
318 AM CST TUE FEB 1 2011

...BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO
3 PM CST WEDNESDAY...

A BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO
3 PM CST WEDNESDAY.

* TIMING...ACCUMULATING SNOW WILL DEVELOP AROUND THE INTERSTATE 80
CORRIDOR DURING THE EARLY TO MID AFTERNOON...SPREADING NORTH TO
THE WISCONSIN STATE LINE BY MID TO LATE AFTERNOON. THE MOST
SIGNIFICANT SNOW MAY COME IN A COUPLE OF WAVES...WITH THE FIRST
WAVE LATE THIS AFTERNOON INTO EARLY THIS EVENING...FOLLOWED BY A
SECOND WAVE OF INTENSE SNOW LATER THIS EVENING INTO THE
OVERNIGHT. ACCUMULATING LAKE EFFECT SNOW SHOWERS WILL CONTINUE
OVER NORTHEAST ILLINOIS WEDNESDAY MORNING...SPREADING INTO
NORTHWEST INDIANA WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON.

* ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW WILL BE HEAVY AT TIMES WITH ACCUMULATION
RATES OF 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR LIKELY. STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL OF
10 TO 18 INCHES IS LIKELY TOWARD ROCKFORD AND DIXON. THE
HEAVIEST SNOWFALL TOTALS ARE LIKELY DOWNWIND OF LAKE MICHIGAN IN
THE CHICAGO METROPOLITAN AREA INTO NORTHWEST INDIANA WHERE 12 TO
20 INCHES OF SNOW IS LIKELY...WITH ISOLATED AMOUNTS OF AROUND 2
FEET POSSIBLE.

* WINDS...NORTHEAST WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 20 TO 35 MPH BY LATE
THIS AFTERNOON. WIND GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH WILL BE POSSIBLE BY
EVENING WITH GUSTS OF 40 TO 50 MPH LIKELY TONIGHT. EVEN STRONGER
WINDS ARE LIKELY NEAR THE IMMEDIATE LAKESHORE WITH SUSTAINED
WINDS OF 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS BETWEEN 50 AND 60 MPH.

* BLIZZARD CONDITIONS...THE STRONG WINDS ALONG WITH BLOWING AND
OCCASIONALLY HEAVY FALLING SNOW WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO NEAR
ZERO AT TIMES...PARTICULARLY TONIGHT.

* THUNDERSTORMS...ISOLATED SNOW PRODUCING THUNDERSTORMS ARE
EXPECTED TO DEVELOP TONIGHT...RESULTING IN LOCALLY VERY INTENSE
SNOWFALL RATES. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON TO SEE SNOWFALL RATES IN
EXCESS OF 4 INCHES PER HOUR IN THUNDERSNOW MAKING TRAVEL NEARLY
IMPOSSIBLE.

* TRAVEL...ROAD CONDITIONS WILL RAPIDLY DETERIORATE DURING THE MID
TO LATE AFTERNOON AS SNOW DEVELOPS FROM SOUTH TO NORTH ACROSS
THE AREA. TRAVEL IS EXPECTED TO BECOME TREACHEROUS BY LATE
AFTERNOON...AND DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS BY EARLY EVENING AS WINDS
INCREASE RESULTING IN WHITE OUT CONDITIONS. SNOWFALL RATES WILL
BE SO INTENSE AT TIMES THAT ROAD CREWS WILL BE UNABLE TO KEEP
EVEN PRIMARY ROADS AND HIGHWAYS CLEARED. UNNECESSARY TRAVEL
SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH EARLY
WEDNESDAY MORNING AS MORE THAN HALF OF THE FATALITIES IN PREVIOUS
ILLINOIS BLIZZARDS HAVE OCCURRED AS A RESULT OF TRAFFIC
ACCIDENTS. BEFORE MAKING THE DECISION TO TRAVEL...CONSIDER IF
GETTING TO YOUR DESTINATION IS WORTH PUTTING YOUR LIFE AT RISK.

* POWER OUTAGES...THE COMBINATION OF STRONG AND GUSTY WINDS ALONG
WITH POSSIBLY HEAVY WET SNOW STICKING TO POWERLINES COULD RESULT
IN POWER OUTAGES. DUE TO THE PROLONGED NATURE OF VERY ADVERSE
CONDITIONS...PLAN ACCORDINGLY FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF A PROLONGED
DISRUPTION IN COMMERCIAL POWER.

* OTHER IMPACTS...THE HEAVY NATURE OF THE SNOW WILL MAKE SHOVELING
EXTREMELY DIFFICULT...AND POTENTIALLY DEADLY. DURING AND
IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE BLIZZARD OF 1999 OVER 40 PEOPLE IN THE
CHICAGO AREA ALONE LOST THEIR LIVES TO HEART ATTACKS WHILE
SHOVELING THE HEAVY SNOWFALL. IF YOU MUST SHOVEL THE SNOW...TAKE
FREQUENT BREAKS INDOORS AND DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE TASK AT
HAND.

517. Jax82
I can imagine some heavy snow out there.

Good morning.

Looks like Ole Man Winter's got his game face on.
521. Jax82
You can see in the precipitable water loop the feed of moisture coming from the GOM.

522. beell


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0065
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0646 AM CST TUE FEB 01 2011

AREAS AFFECTED...FAR E TX...NRN/CNTRL LA...WCNTRL MS...SRN AR

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE

VALID 011246Z - 011445Z

STRONG PV-ANOMALY WAS MOVING INTO E TX/SRN OK AT DAYBREAK. INTENSE
LARGE-SCALE AND MESOSCALE FORCING ALONG THE ADVANCING COLD FRONT HAS
RESULTED IN AN INTENSIFYING SQUALL LINE OVER FAR E TX. 12Z SHV
SOUNDING SUGGESTS THAT STORMS ARE LIKELY SLIGHTLY ELEVATED WITH
ABOUT AN 800 METER STABLE BOUNDARY LAYER. HOWEVER...RECENT
STRENGTHENING OF STORMS AND MOISTENING OF THE BOUNDARY LAYER
IMMEDIATELY AHEAD OF THE LINE MAY BE SUFFICIENT TO ALLOW DAMAGING
WIND GUSTS TO ACCOMPANY THE STORMS. MEANWHILE...E OF THE LINE...E-W
ORIENTED WARM ADVECTION DERIVED BANDS OF STORMS WERE
DEVELOPING...PRIMARILY OVER SRN AR AND NRN LA. MID-LEVEL LAPSE
RATES AND EFFECTIVE DEEP LAYER SHEAR WERE SUFFICIENT FOR HAIL
PRODUCTION WITH THESE STORMS.

IF STORMS CONTINUE TO THRIVE/INTENSIFY...PARTICULARLY THE SQUALL
LINE...A WW MAY BECOME NECESSARY
.

..RACY.. 02/01/2011
Evening all...
Still baking hot here in Sydney. Currently @ 00:30 02/02/2011 33.5C with 26% Humidity.
The wind is starting to pick up at Willis Island. Highest wind reading so far are 41kts gusting to 47kts. I'm guessing that was from the 1st squall line that past at 21:52. Current 10mins wind is 35kts gusting to 47kts with 1001.3hPa
The next squall line will pass within the next hour, and wouldn't be surprised if its stronger.
Here is a time line that updates by Local news paper.
524. IKE
Cold front has gone through Houston,TX. now. Temps are in the 40's in H-town....


My school still has no snow days.

Gonna be stuck in there guys, it'll be fun!
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IDQP0005
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
Queensland
Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre

Media: The Standard Emergency Warning Signal should NOT be used with this
warning.

TOP PRIORITY
TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 9
Issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, Brisbane
Issued at 10:59pm EST on Tuesday the 1st of February 2011

A Cyclone WARNING is current for coastal areas from Cape Melville to Sarina,
extending inland to east of Croydon to Hughenden.

A Cyclone WATCH is current for coastal areas from Lockhart River to Cape
Melville, and in the tropical interior north of Winton to Sarina.

At 10:00 pm EST Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi, Category 4 was estimated to be
810 kilometres east northeast of Cairns and 820 kilometres northeast of
Townsville moving west southwest at 30 kilometres per hour.

YASI IS LARGE AND POWERFUL TROPICAL CYCLONE AND POSES A SERIOUS THREAT TO NORTH
QUEENSLAND COMMUNITIES

The Cyclone will continue to intensify and move in a west-southwesterly
direction overnight and during Wednesday.

DAMAGING WINDS with gusts to 90 km/hr are expected to develop on coastal islands
during Wednesday morning, then extend onto the coast during the day, and further
inland across the northern tropical interior overnight.

Between Cooktown and Ingham these winds will become DESTRUCTIVE with gusts in
excess of 125km/hr on Wednesday afternoon and VERY DESTRUCTIVE with gusts above
200 km/hr between Port Douglas and Cardwell during the evening as the cyclone
approaches. These VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds will extend onto the coastal ranges
including the Atherton Tablelands on Wednesday evening.

As the centre approaches and crosses the coast SEA LEVELS between Cairns and
Townsville will rise significantly above the normal tide with DAMAGING WAVES,
STRONG CURRENTS and FLOODING of low lying areas in coastal parts.

FLOODING RAINS will develop from Cooktown to Sarina during Wednesday afternoon
and then extend inland overnight.

People between Cape Melville and Sarina, extending inland to east of Croydon to
Hughenden should immediately commence or continue preparations, especially
securing boats and property.
- For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster
Management Services website [www.disaster.qld.gov.au]
- For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service [SES] on
132 500 [for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on
buildings or roof damage].

People between Lockhart River and Cape Melville, and in the tropical interior
north of Winton to Sarina should consider what action they will need to take if
the cyclone threat increases.
- Information is available from your local government
- For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster
Management Services website [www.disaster.qld.gov.au]
- For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service [SES] on
132 500 [for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on
buildings or roof damage].

Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi at 10:00 pm EST:
.Centre located near...... 15.0 degrees South 153.1 degrees East
.Location accuracy........ within 35 kilometres
.Recent movement.......... towards the west southwest at 30 kilometres per hour
.Wind gusts near centre... 260 kilometres per hour
.Severity category........ 4
.Central pressure......... 940 hectoPascals


Please ensure that neighbours have heard and understood this message,
particularly new arrivals or those who may not fully understand English.

The next advice will be issued by 2:00 am EST Wednesday 02 February.

This warning is also available through TV and Radio Broadcasts; the Bureau's
website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 212. The Bureau and the State
Emergency Service would appreciate this warning being broadcast regularly.
TC Yasi

Rainbow Image




Quoting IKE:
Cold front has gone through Houston,TX. now. Temps are in the 40's in H-town....




was watching the local weather about 6:20 am this morning and the bush airport was at 68 °F while Tomball just 15 miles to the northwest was reading 38 °F
the respective wind chills were 70 °F and 33 °F

it's such an amazing windy storm.
Had to edit, image stretched the blog. Don't know why.
My post is missing the plus, -, !, and Hide buttons.
Deleting the radar image doesn't seem to work either.
Very strange.
Will try closing browser and come back later.
530. IKE

Quoting oddspeed:


was watching the local weather about 6:20 am this morning and the bush airport was at 68 °F while Tomball just 15 miles to the northwest was reading 38 °F
the respective wind chills were 70 °F and 33 °F

it's such an amazing windy storm.
I see a TVS on the Houston radar. It is an incredible system. Snow amounts forecast in SL,MO. and Chicago are unbelievable.
CNN is announcing that icing caused by winter storm has forced closure of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
don't know whether to be more amazed at Yasi, or the snow/ice.

I think Yasi wins, but not by much.
Quoting aquak9:
don't know whether to be more amazed at Yasi, or the snow/ice.

I think Yasi wins, but not by much.

I'd agree. The U.S. storm will likely be a major inconvenience for millions--but Yasi has the potential to be a true killer.
30,000 ordered to evacuate as Cairns prepares for Cyclone Yasi

THOUSANDS of people have been ordered to evacuate their homes in Machans Beach, Holloways Beach, Yorkeys Knob, Port Douglas, Bramston Beach and the CBD.


Residents must be out of their homes by 8am tomorrow and are advised to find shelter with friends or family.

As a last resort for people without alternative accommodation temporary evacuation centres are being set up.

These centres are located at Babinda RSL, James Cook University, Trinity Beach State School, Redlynch State College, Mossman Community Indoor Sports Centre, Woree High and Earlville Shopping Centre.

Smithfield State High will no longer offer temporary accommodation for evacuees. Trinity Beach State has been added in its place, along with Earlville Shopping Centre.

Premier Anna Bligh said severe cyclone Yasi – which intensified from a tropical low to a category 3 system and is predicted to rise to at least a category 4 or 5 – posed a “very serious threat.
Severe tropical cyclone Yasi is on track for a direct hit on Cairns, forecasters say.

But with the cyclone not expected to make landfall until about 1am (AEST) on Thursday, that could still change.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Ann Farrell said the latest modelling showed a direct hit on Cairns was one of the more likely scenarios.

The latest tracking map, issued at 5pm (AEST), marks out the range of possible landfall sites, from as far north as Cooktown to as far south as Townsville.

It features a central track which Ms Farrell said was ""One of the more likely tracks" - a line taking Yasi directly into Cairns.

The grey zone around that central track shows the spread of possible tracks it could take," she explains.
"The further you get away (from that central track) the less likely the possibility.``

At about 5pm (AEST), Yasi was a category four storm situated about 1020km east, northeast of Cairns moving westward at about 34km/h.

"It's continuing to intensify,`` Ms Farrell said.

She said Yasi was still expected to be a category four, with winds gusts of 250km/h or greater, when it made landfall but a category five could not be ruled out.

"It is possible it could reach category five intensity and that would push winds up to around the 300km/h mark.``

Ms Farrell said there were too many variables at play yet to say how big the storm surge would be, including the level of the tide, and the shape of the coastline.

But if the cyclone came in around Cairns it would be some hours after the high tide there at 9pm (AEST) on Wednesday night.

"The area that tends to get the peak of that surge is to the south of the landfall site," she said.

"That's where the winds are pushing in towards the coast."

She said the bureau was updating its advice every three hours, and as time ticked away forecasters should get a much more precise handle on what Yasi was likely to do.

She urged people looking at the bureau`s maps not to look simply at the eye of the cyclone, but at the broader rings which showed the spread of gale force winds.

"From tomorrow morning those winds will be experienced initially on the outer islands ... And progressively throughout the day, as it approaches, then various parts of the coast will start to feel that impact during the day tomorrow."
Quoting rossclick:
I now live in SFL, but this is what my parents can expect over the next few days back in Indiana
Aren't we glad to be living in this beautiful, warm State? I feel sorry for all the folks going through this winter storm. Stay safe everyone!
hi nea, hi aussie

But Aussie...there aren't really a lotta highways...are they encouraged to head south or west?
I can only use this computer for a minute
I am in DALLAS working PRE SHOW Super Bowl
This is a very dangerous situation.
Winds are gusting to 50 mph
We've had SLEET and now SNOW
Driving is treacherous
Lots of accidents
Even their salt trucks have turned over
Dallas is trying to be prepared but this
is really bad
Airport is closed
Schools are closed
Power outages
But dang the super bowl shows go on
Be Safe To All Who Are in this area
Gotta go
Quoting aquak9:
hi nea, hi aussie

But Aussie...there aren't really a lotta highways...are they encouraged to head south or west?

they are just saying get out any way you can.

Cairns airport to close Wednesday morning
The Cairns airport is shutting down all services tomorrow morning at 10 am, in preparation for Tropical Cyclone Yasi.

At 10am all operations at Cairns Airport will cease until further notice.

Both terminals will be off-limits to the public.
Complete Update






Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Brisbane
Tropical Cyclone Advice #9
SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE YASI (14U)
11:00 PM EST February 1 2011
=========================================

At 10:00 PM EST, Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi, Category Four (940 hPa) located 15.0S 153.1E, or 810 km east northeast of Cairns and 820 km northeast of Townsville has 10 minute sustained winds of 100 knots with gusts of 140 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west southwest at 18 knots.

Hurricane Force Winds
======================
40 NM from the center

Storm Force Winds
=================
120 NM from the center in southern quadrant
60 NM from the center in northwestern quadrant
90 NM from the center in northeastern quadrant

Gale Force Winds
===============
250 NM from the center in southern quadrant
160 NM from the center in northeastern quadrant
120 NM from the center in northwestern quadrant

Dvorak Intensity: T6.0/6.0/D1.0/24HRS

YASI IS LARGE AND POWERFUL TROPICAL CYCLONE AND POSES A SERIOUS THREAT TO NORTH QUEENSLAND COMMUNITIES

The Cyclone will continue to intensify and move in a west-southwesterly direction overnight and during Wednesday.

DAMAGING WINDS with gusts to 90 km/hr are expected to develop on coastal islands during Wednesday morning, then extend onto the coast during the day, and further inland across the northern tropical interior overnight.

Between Cooktown and Ingham these winds will become DESTRUCTIVE with gusts in excess of 125km/hr on Wednesday afternoon and VERY DESTRUCTIVE with gusts above 200 km/hr between Port Douglas and Cardwell during the evening as the cyclone approaches. These VERY DESTRUCTIVE winds will extend onto the coastal ranges including the Atherton Tablelands on Wednesday evening.

As the centre approaches and crosses the coast SEA LEVELS between Cairns and Townsville will rise significantly above the normal tide with DAMAGING WAVES, STRONG CURRENTS and FLOODING of low lying areas in coastal parts.

FLOODING RAINS will develop from Cooktown to Sarina during Wednesday afternoon and then extend inland overnight.

Tropical Cyclone Watches/Warnings
==================================
A Cyclone WARNING is current for coastal areas from Cape Melville to Sarina, extending inland to east of Croydon to Hughenden.

A Cyclone WATCH is current for coastal areas from Lockhart River to Cape Melville, and in the tropical interior north of Winton to Sarina.

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
12 HRS: 16.1S 149.6E - 105 knots (CAT 4)
24 HRS: 17.1S 146.0E - 105 knots (CAT 4)
48 HRS: 19.6S 140.0E - 30 knots (TROPICAL LOW)
72 HRS: 21.5S 135.4E - 25 knots (TROPICAL LOW)

Additional Information
=======================

Yasi has intensified in the last 6 hours. The environment of low shear and good upper level outflow, assisted by an upper low to the south, is conducive to maintaining current intensity. There is the possibility of some further intensification before landfall.

Dvorak intensity based on eye pattern [EIR B surround, OW eye] giving DT=6.0, consistent with adjusted MET. Mean winds estimated at 100 knots.

Forecast motion is steady to the west southwest with a persisting mid-level ridge to the south. Models are quite consistent with the forecast motion.

The combined factors of being intense, large, and motion at 18 knots are conducive for greater wave/swell generation to the south of of the forecast track.

With the expectation of being a large and intense system, cyclone intensity may be maintained further inland than normal.

The next tropical cyclone advice on Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi will be issued at 15:00 PM UTC..
Quoting EmmyRose:
I can only use this computer for a minute
I am in DALLAS working PRE SHOW Super Bowl
This is a very dangerous situation.
Winds are gusting to 50 mph
We've had SLEET and now SNOW
Driving is treacherous
Lots of accidents
Even their salt trucks have turned over
Dallas is trying to be prepared but this
is really bad
Airport is closed
Schools are closed
Power outages
But dang the super bowl shows go on
Be Safe To All Who Are in this area
Gotta go

Thanks for the update. Go Packers!
Quoting IKE:

I see a TVS on the Houston radar. It is an incredible system. Snow amounts forecast in SL,MO. and Chicago are unbelievable.
It was 70 degrees here inside the 610 loop of Houston when I left for work around 5:45 this morning. It is now 41 degrees with a wind chill around 31. TWC hourly forecast doesn't have it drop below 50 until after 11am! haha
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Thanks for the update. Go Packers!


GO SALT TRUCKS!
Major winter weather event for coastal TX Friday
well iam as ready as iam gonna be
6 salt boxes are full
3 snowblowers primed and ready to go
2 plow pickup trucks fueled and waiting
i do a half a day then sleep till late this evening
to pull an all nighter on snow removal duty

now we wait
548. IKE

Quoting BenInHouTX:
It was 70 degrees here inside the 610 loop of Houston when I left for work around 5:45 this morning. It is now 41 degrees with a wind chill around 31. TWC hourly forecast doesn't have it drop below 50 until after 11am! haha
LOL....wrong!


another possible cyclone?
Quoting RitaEvac:
Major winter weather event for coastal TX Friday
Yeah. Eric Berger of the Chronicle pointed out that the NWS forecast is calling for some areas south of I-10 to get 1 to 3 inches of snow Friday morning.
Arctic front way ahead of schedule,

1-3 inches is the conservitive side, the high end is 6-8 inches but they wont go there yet!
553. IKE

Quoting RitaEvac:
Arctic front way ahead of schedule,

1-3 inches is the conservitive side, the high end is 6-8 inches but they wont go there yet!
That would be incredible.
Quoting BenInHouTX:
It was 70 degrees here inside the 610 loop of Houston when I left for work around 5:45 this morning. It is now 41 degrees with a wind chill around 31. TWC hourly forecast doesn't have it drop below 50 until after 11am! haha

This is one of the fastest temperature drops i have ever witnessed first hand.... 30 degrees drop in about 30 minutes.
Ike that would be a blizzard for gulf coast residents if those kind of amounts happened
556. IKE

Quoting RitaEvac:
Ike that would be a blizzard for gulf coast residents if those kind of amounts happened
And then another arctic front the early to middle portion of next week.
Its Winter.

It gets cold ,and come Thurs Friday a Gulf Low is going to Tozz some Moisture over a Large area along the GOM Coast and inland.

Stay Tuned..

Itsa gonna get dicey for a lotta folk.
I stood outside at work in TX City and it was muggy, damp and humid with strong southerly winds, then you could see the black skies as they came in and heard the wind off in the distance beginning to roar and then wham it hits you quick and all that foggy/humid air is gone and a sharp coolness hits
Quoting EmmyRose:
I can only use this computer for a minute
I am in DALLAS working PRE SHOW Super Bowl
This is a very dangerous situation.
Winds are gusting to 50 mph
We've had SLEET and now SNOW
Driving is treacherous
Lots of accidents
Even their salt trucks have turned over
Dallas is trying to be prepared but this
is really bad
Airport is closed
Schools are closed
Power outages
But dang the super bowl shows go on
Be Safe To All Who Are in this area
Gotta go


EMMY I LOVE YOU!!!!!
I have no idea about next week, I've been so in tuned about this event, haven't even looked at models for next week, and Pat the BP refinery in TX City is for sale, so lots of breaking news in my region
Quoting oddspeed:

This is one of the fastest temperature drops i have ever witnessed first hand.... 30 degrees drop in about 30 minutes.
The fastest drop witnessed for me as well.
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
well iam as ready as iam gonna be
6 salt boxes are full
3 snowblowers primed and ready to go
2 plow pickup trucks fueled and waiting
i do a half a day then sleep till late this evening
to pull an all nighter on snow removal duty

now we wait



Morning folks.

Good luck, Keep.
Quoting oddspeed:

This is one of the fastest temperature drops i have ever witnessed first hand.... 30 degrees drop in about 30 minutes.

the temp here between sunday 33C(91.4F) and monday 24C (75.2F) or 9C(48.2F)

I see Yasi on radar. Yasi will move right over this radar site, just hope it stays online.
Current Mesoscale Discussions
Updated: Tue Feb 1 14:00:03 UTC 2011



MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0065
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0646 AM CST TUE FEB 01 2011

AREAS AFFECTED...FAR E TX...NRN/CNTRL LA...WCNTRL MS...SRN AR

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE

VALID 011246Z - 011445Z

STRONG PV-ANOMALY WAS MOVING INTO E TX/SRN OK AT DAYBREAK. INTENSE
LARGE-SCALE AND MESOSCALE FORCING ALONG THE ADVANCING COLD FRONT HAS
RESULTED IN AN INTENSIFYING SQUALL LINE OVER FAR E TX. 12Z SHV
SOUNDING SUGGESTS THAT STORMS ARE LIKELY SLIGHTLY ELEVATED WITH
ABOUT AN 800 METER STABLE BOUNDARY LAYER. HOWEVER...RECENT
STRENGTHENING OF STORMS AND MOISTENING OF THE BOUNDARY LAYER
IMMEDIATELY AHEAD OF THE LINE MAY BE SUFFICIENT TO ALLOW DAMAGING
WIND GUSTS TO ACCOMPANY THE STORMS. MEANWHILE...E OF THE LINE...E-W
ORIENTED WARM ADVECTION DERIVED BANDS OF STORMS WERE
DEVELOPING...PRIMARILY OVER SRN AR AND NRN LA. MID-LEVEL LAPSE
RATES AND EFFECTIVE DEEP LAYER SHEAR WERE SUFFICIENT FOR HAIL
PRODUCTION WITH THESE STORMS.

IF STORMS CONTINUE TO THRIVE/INTENSIFY...PARTICULARLY THE SQUALL
LINE...A WW MAY BECOME NECESSARY.

..RACY.. 02/01/2011


ATTN...WFO...MEG...JAN...LIX...LZK...LCH...SHV...

LAT...LON 33929394 34419223 33739023 32369016 31299090 30669231
30529269 30879448 31909411 33929394
02/02/2011
12:30am
Temp: 28.2c
Air temp: 21.5c
Dew point: 23.6c
Humidity: 76%
Wind Direction: SSE
10min speed: 65km (35kts)
Gusts 80km: (43kts)
Pressure: 998.9hPa
Rainfall: 9.0mm
I put some data on TC Yasi on the front page. Please feel free to contribute more info so I can add it. This is shaping up to be a horrible and historic storm for the region. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Australia! Hey Aussie, where are you in relation to projected Yasi landfall?
yasi is a fast mover
572. IKE
NEW BLOG!
Quoting hurricanejunky:
I put some data on TC Yasi on the front page. Please feel free to contribute more info so I can add it. This is shaping up to be a horrible and historic storm for the region. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Australia! Hey Aussie, where are you in relation to projected Yasi landfall?

Hey, i am well over 1000miles away from Cairns