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U.S. had most extreme spring on record for precipitation

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 2:20 PM GMT on June 14, 2011

Nature's fury reached new extremes in the U.S. during the spring of 2011, as a punishing series of billion-dollar disasters brought the greatest flood in recorded history to the Lower Mississippi River, an astonishingly deadly tornado season, the worst drought in Texas history, and the worst fire season in recorded history. There's never been a spring this extreme for combined wet and dry extremes in the U.S. since record keeping began over a century ago, statistics released last week by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reveal. Their Climate Extremes Index (CEI) looks at the percentage area of the contiguous U.S. experiencing top 10% or bottom 10% monthly maximum and minimum temperatures, monthly drought, and daily precipitation. During the spring period of March, April, and May 2011, 46% of the nation had abnormally (top 10%) wet or dry conditions--the greatest such area during the 102-year period of record. On average, just 21% of the country has exceptionally wet conditions or exceptionally dry conditions during spring. In addition, heavy 1-day precipitation events--the kind that cause the worst flooding--were also at an all-time high in the spring of 2011. However, temperatures during spring 2011 were not as extreme as in several previous springs over the past 102 years, so spring 2011 ranked as the 5th most extreme spring in the past 102 years when factoring in both temperature and precipitation.


Figure 1. Nine states in the U.S. saw their heaviest precipitation in the 117-year record during spring 2011, with record-breaking precipitation concentrated in the Pacific Northwest and along the Ohio River. Seven other states had top-ten wettest springs. Texas had its driest spring on record, and New Mexico and Louisiana had top-ten driest springs. When compared with Figure 2, we see that this is a classic winter La Niña pattern, but at extreme amplitude. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.


Figure 2. La Niña events since 1950 have brought wetter than average conditions to the Pacific Northwest and Ohio River Valley in winter, and drier than average conditions to the South in both winter and spring. Spring 2011 (Figure 1) had a pattern very similar to the classic winter La Niña pattern (left image in Figure 2.) Image credit: NOAA Climate Prediction Center.


Figure 3. The percent area of the Contiguous U.S. experiencing much above average heavy 1-day precipitation events in spring 2011 hit a record high, nearly 16%. The 102-year average is 9%. The previous record of 15.5% was set in 1964. Heavy springtime 1-day precipitation events in the U.S. have been increasing since 1960, in line with measured increases in water vapor over the U.S. due to a warming climate. See also Figure 4 below. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.


Figure 4. Percent increase in the amount falling in heavy precipitation events (defined as the heaviest 1% of all daily events) from 1958 to 2007, for each region of the U.S. There are clear trends toward more very heavy precipitation events for the nation as a whole, and particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. Climate models predict that precipitation will increasingly fall in very heavy events, similar to the trend that has been observed over the past 50 years in the U.S. Image credit: United States Global Change Research Program. Figure updated from Groisman, P.Ya., R.W. Knight, T.R. Karl, D.R. Easterling, B. Sun, and J.H. Lawrimore, 2004: Contemporary changes of the hydro-logical cycle over the contiguous United States, trends derived from in situ observations. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 5(1), 64-85.

What caused this spring's extremes?
During a La Niña episode in the Eastern Pacific, when the equatorial waters cool to several degrees below average, abnormally dry winter weather usually occurs in the southern U.S., and abnormally wet weather in the Midwest. This occurs because La Niña alters the path of the jet stream, making the predominant storm track in winter traverse the Midwest and avoid the South. Cold, Canadian air stays north of the jet stream, and warm subtropical air lies to the south of the jet, bringing drought to the southern tier of states. La Niña's influence on the jet stream and U.S. weather typically fades in springtime, with precipitation patterns returning closer to normal. However, in 2011, the La Niña influence on U.S. weather stayed strong throughout spring. The jet stream remained farther south than usual over the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, and blew more strongly, with wind speeds more typical of winter than spring. The positioning of the jet stream brought a much colder than average spring to the Pacific Northwest, with Washington and Oregon recording top-five coldest springs. Spring was not as cold in the Midwest, because a series of strong storms moved along the jet stream and pulled up warm, moist Gulf of Mexico air, which mixed with the cold air spilling south from Canada. The air flowing north from the Gulf of Mexico was much warmer than usual, because weaker winds than average blew over the Gulf of Mexico during February and March. This reduced the amount of mixing of cold ocean waters from the depths, and allowed the surface waters to heat up. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Gulf of Mexico warmed to 1°C (1.8°F) above average during April--the third warmest temperatures in over a century of record keeping (SST anomalies were a bit cooler in May, about 0.4°C above average, due to stronger winds over the Gulf.) These unusually warm surface waters allowed much more moisture than usual to evaporate into the air, resulting in unprecedented rains over the Midwest when the warm, moist air swirled into the unusually cold air spilling southwards from Canada. With the jet stream at exceptional winter-like strengths, the stage was also set for massive tornado outbreaks.


Figure 5. A La Niña-like positioning of the jet stream, more typical of winter than spring, brought much colder air than normal to the Pacific Northwest and Upper Midwest during the spring of 2011. Washington and Oregon had top-five coldest springs, and near-record snowfalls and snow packs were recorded in portions of the Northern Rockies and Northern Plains. South of the mean position of the jet stream, top-ten warmest springs were recorded in Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana. Image credit: NOAA/NCDC.

Was climate change involved?
Whenever an unprecedented series of extreme weather events hit, it is natural to ask how climate change may be affecting the odds of these events, since our climate is undergoing unprecedented changes. This spring's unusual precipitation pattern--wet in the Northern U.S., and dry in the South--does fit what we'd expect from a natural but unusually long-lived winter La Niña pattern (Figure 2). However, it also fits the type of precipitation pattern climate models expect to occur over the U.S. by the end of the century due to human-caused warming of the climate (though shifted a few hundred miles to the south, Figure 6.) This drying of the Southern U.S. and increased precipitation in the Northern U.S. is expected to occur because of a fundamental shift in the large scale circulation of the atmosphere. The jet stream will retreat poleward, and rain-bearing storms that travel along the jet will have more moisture to precipitate out, since more water vapor can evaporate into a warmer atmosphere. The desert regions will expand towards the poles, and the Southern U.S. will experience a climate more like the desert regions of Mexico have now, with sinking air that discourages precipitation. A hotter climate will dry out the soil more, making record intensity droughts like this year's in Texas more probable. So, is it possible that the record extremes of drought and wetness this spring in the U.S. were due to a combination of La Niña and climate change. It is difficult to disentangle the two effects without doing detailed modelling studies, which typically take years complete and publish. One weakness in the climate change influence argument is that climate models predict the jet stream should retreat northwards and weaken due to climate change. Indeed, globally the jet stream retreated 270 miles poleward and weakened during the period 1970 - 2001, in line with climate model expectations. Thus, a stronger and more southerly jet stream over the U.S. during the spring is something we should expect to see less and less of during coming decades.


Figure 6. The future: simulated change in precipitation during winter and spring for the years 2089 - 2099 as predicted by fifteen climate models, assuming we continue high emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide. Confidence is highest in the hatched areas. Compare with Figure 7, the observed change in precipitation over the past 50 years. Image credit: United States Global Change Research Program.


Figure 7. U.S. annual average precipitation has increased by about 5% over the past 50 years, but there has been pronounced drying over the Southeast and Southwest U.S. Even in these dryer regions, though, heavy precipitation events have increased (see Figure 4.) Thus, rainfall tends to fall in a few very heavy events, and the light and moderate events decrease in number. Image credit: United States Global Change Research Program. Data plotted from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushc n/.

Keep in mind, though, that climate models are best at describing the future global average conditions, and not at predicting how climate change might affect individual continents--or at predicting how rare extreme events might change. Major continent-scale changes in atmospheric circulation are likely to result over the coming few decades due to climate change, and I expect the jet stream will shift farther to the south in certain preferred regions during some combination of seasons and of the natural atmospheric patterns like La Niña, El Niño, and the Arctic Oscillation. For example, there has been research published linking recent record Arctic sea ice loss to atmospheric circulation changes in the Arctic Oscillation that encourage a southwards dip of the jet stream over Eastern North America and Western Europe during late fall and winter. Until we have many more years of data and more research results, we won't be able to say if climate change is likely to bring more springs with a circulation pattern like this year's.

One thing we can say is that since global ocean temperatures have warmed about 0.6°C (1°F) over the past 40 years, there is more moisture in the air to generate record flooding rains. The near-record warm Gulf of Mexico SSTs this April that led to record Ohio Valley rainfalls and the 100-year $5 billion+ flood on the Mississippi River would have been much harder to realize without global warming.

I'll have a new post by Thursday.

Jeff Masters

Climate Change Climate Summaries

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

1501. Patrap


Good morning!

The ocean's been so flat the last couple of days you could paddle a canoe. This is a pic of the intracoastal taken about 3 minutes ago...

Good Morning, at least 100 every day this month so far but I am reading positive Texas Weather News for the first time in months, will it be true?

THE UPPER RIDGE BEGINS TO SLIDES EAST EARLY NEXT WEEK AS AN UPPER
TROF DIPS INTO THE CENTRAL ROCKIES. THIS WILL RESULT IN A GRADUAL
INCREASE IN LOW GULF LEVEL MOISTURE...AND SLIGHT INCREASES IN
RAIN CHANCES AS SUBSIDENCE FROM THE RIDGE DIMINISHES. THE SEA
BREEZE ACROSS THE EASTERN COUNTIES AND THE DRY LINE OUT WEST
SHOULD BE MORE ACTIVE EACH AFTERNOON/EVENING STARTING ON TUESDAY.
LONG RANGE MODELS CONTINUE TO SHOW GOOD CONSISTENCY TOWARD THE
MIDDLE AND LATTER PART OF NEXT WEEK WITH TEXAS ON THE WESTERN
PERIPHERY OF THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE...ALLOWING FOR MUCH DEEPER
MOISTURE ACROSS THE REGION. APPEARS WIDESPREAD MUCH NEEDED
MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY RAINS POSSIBLE WITH THIS PATTERN THAT
COULD PERSIST INTO NEXT WEEKEND
Good morning, morning people.

Naples picked up a whopping 0.13" of rain yesterday. Better than the 0.00" we've been getting, but we're still down 3.18" for the month and 11.05" for the year. I suppose the only good news is that as the newer, drier years are added into the record, the normal will drop so much that in a few years things won't look so bad. :-\

C'mon, rain. C'mon. C'mon...
1507. IKE
SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
430 AM CDT THU JUN 16 2011

.SYNOPSIS...WEAK HIGH PRES CENTERED NEAR 27N84W WILL REMAIN
NEARLY STATIONARY ACROSS THE E GULF THROUGH FRI THEN STRENGTHEN
SLIGHTLY FRI NIGHT THROUGH SUN AS HIGH PRES BUILDS MODESTLY
ACROSS THE SW N ATLC. A TROPICAL WAVE WILL MOVE NW ACROSS THE
YUCATAN PENINSULA SAT NIGHT THROUGH SUN...SPREADING SHOWERS AND
TSTMS INTO THE S CENTRAL AND SW GULF.
1508. IKE
Drying up...like a prune in the hot June Florida sun:(


Sorry Ike, but you make get some from it but I doubt I'll see anything.
Quoting mikatnight:


Nice TOES....... Good morning
1513. IKE

Quoting PakaSurvivor:
Sorry Ike, but you make get some from it but I doubt I'll see anything.
I may get 10 drops. It's diminishing.

Oops...updated frame....I may get 30 drops!!!  Woohoo!
Good morning,

3rd morning in a row we wake up to heat and haze and smoke in the air.. you can smell the smoke here, especially in the morning.

One would think those light sprinkles that have come on and off around the area would help a little and I thought the central inland part of SoFla got some nice rain yesterday...

Oh well.. Happy Thursday...reporting from hot and humid and way too dry SE Florida.

I understand we broke a record high temp Tuesday and tied yesterday... but most of you are much hotter than we are down here.
Quoting mikatnight:
The ocean's been so flat the last couple of days you could paddle a canoe. This is a pic of the intracoastal taken about 3 minutes ago...



Good morning,

I do not see a pic?

Good morning to all. Tropical wave moved thru Puerto Rico last night causing some flood advisories to pop up in the SE and south part.But only .10 fell at the San Juan NWS station.That brings the June total to 10.66, only .30 below the all time record for the month of 10.96 inches.
1518. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT THU JUN 16 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN


................................................. .................................................. ..................

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 AM PDT THU JUN 16 2011

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

A BROAD SURFACE TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE IS LOCATED SEVERAL HUNDRED
MILES TO THE SOUTH OF GUATEMALA AND SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO. ALTHOUGH
THE ASSOCIATED SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY REMAINS SOMEWHAT
LIMITED AND DISORGANIZED AT THIS TIME...ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS
ARE CONDUCIVE FOR A GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM DURING THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THERE IS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF
THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS
IT BEGINS TO MOVE SLOWLY WEST-NORTHWESTWARD.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN
Quoting niederwaldboy:


Nice TOES....... Good morning


My wife says thanks. She stuck her gam into the frame just as I snapped the pic.

Good Morning!

The rain is being such a tease here DeLand, Fl. It's about 5 miles to the East and I can hear thunder! All I get is smoke and ashes from 5 fires that surround us. The only blessing is that the smoke acts like clouds to cool us down a bit. Weather station in the back yard reported high of 102 yesterday and 103 the day before.
1521. hydrus
NAM 84 hours out..
Convective outlook. Today: Partially eaten t-bone speak (edit: that was supposed to be "steak") with a large kidney bean to the east. Tomorrow: Shoe horn. Day 3: Slightly misshapen banana. Wow, I need more coffee.
1523. PTXer
Quoting CatfishJones:
Convective outlook. Today: Partially eaten t-bone speak with a large kidney bean to the east. Tomorrow: Shoe horn. Day 3: Slightly misshapen banana. Wow, I need more coffee.

Or something to eat!
1524. IKE
Tallahassee,FL....weather office....


SHORT TERM...
(TODAY THROUGH SATURDAY) ANOTHER HOT IS EXPECTED ACROSS THE AREA
TODAY. THE MEAN 1000-700 MB WIND CONTINUES TO GRADUALLY BACK MORE
TO A SOUTHWESTERLY DIRECTION WHICH IS A MORE FAVORABLE FLOW FOR
INLAND SEA BREEZE PENETRATION. WHILE THIS SHOULD HELP KEEP MAX
TEMPERATURES THIS AFTERNOON FROM REACHING THE ALL TIME RECORD
LEVELS THAT WE SAW YESTERDAY...UPPER 90S TO NEAR 100 DEGREES ARE
STILL EXPECTED OVER INLAND AREAS. DEWPOINTS WILL CONTINUE TO
GRADUALLY CREEP UPWARDS AS WELL...WHICH MEANS THAT HEAT INDICES
WILL REMAIN DANGEROUSLY HIGH TODAY. A HEAT ADVISORY REMAINS IN
EFFECT OVER THE LOWER APALACHICOLA RIVER AREA AND ADJACENT
COUNTIES FOR THIS AFTERNOON. AT THE LAST MINUTE...DECIDED TO
EXPAND THE HEAT ADVISORY OVER TO TALLAHASSEE AS WELL GIVEN THE
EXPECTATION OF HIGHER DEWPOINTS THIS AFTERNOON WITH SLIGHTLY LESS
MIXING. THIS TRANSLATES TO HIGHER HEAT INDICES EVEN THOUGH THE
ACTUAL TEMPERATURE WILL NOT BE AS WARM AS YESTERDAY.

IN TERMS OF CONVECTIVE CHANCES TODAY...A WEAK UPPER LEVEL SHORTWAVE
WILL APPROACH THE AREA FROM THE NORTHWEST. THIS COMBINED WITH A
CONTINUATION OF STEEP MID LEVEL LAPSE RATES AROUND 7C/KM AND PROGGED
SBCAPE OF AROUND 4000 J/KG THIS AFTERNOON WILL YIELD AN ENVIRONMENT
FAVORABLE FOR LARGE HAIL AND GUSTY WINDS...NOT UNLIKE WHAT WE SAW ON
WEDNESDAY. THE FORECAST SOUNDING SPAGHETTI ON BUFKIT FROM VARIOUS
MODELS DOES SHOW A TENDENCY FOR INVERTED-V SOUNDINGS SIMILAR TO
WEDNESDAY AS WELL...ALTHOUGH PERHAPS NOT QUITE AS EXTREME. WITH THIS
IN MIND...WILL ADD GUSTY WINDS AND LARGE HAIL INTO THE FORECAST
GRIDS FOR ANY STORMS THAT DO DEVELOP. THE 00Z NAM SOUNDING FOR TLH
VIEWED IN BUFKIT IS QUITE IMPRESSIVE FOR THIS AFTERNOON WITH A FAT
CAPE OVER 4000 J/KG...A 700-500 MB LAPSE RATE OF OVER 7.5C/KM...A
500 MB TEMPERATURE OF -11.5C...AND AN INVERTED-V SIGNATURE AT LOW
LEVELS. WHILE STORM COVERAGE IS NOT EXPECTED TO BE OVERLY WIDESPREAD
(MAX POPS AROUND 40 PERCENT)...ANY STORM THAT DOES DEVELOP MAY BE
STRONG TO SEVERE. THE HIGHEST CHANCE OF SEEING THIS ACTIVITY IS
EXPECTED TO BE ACROSS SOUTHWEST GA...SOUTHEAST AL...AND THE NORTHERN
FLORIDA COUNTIES THAT BORDER GA AND AL. THE LOWEST CHANCE LOOKS TO
BE ACROSS COASTAL AREAS WHERE THE SEA BREEZE SHOULD MOVE THROUGH
EARLIER IN THE DAY WITH A MORE SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW COMPARED TO
PREVIOUS DAYS.
Quoting PTXer:

Or something to eat!


Subconscious suggestion? Then I fear for what I see in a shoe horn.
1526. IKE

Quoting hydrus:
NAM 84 hours out..

Another teaser.

It does look like the western GOM, including Texas...may get some beneficial rains within a week or so.
1527. IKE
Tallahassee...all-time record, yesterday....GW rocks on!

WE FINALLY
MANAGED TO SURPASS THAT ELUSIVE 104-DEGREE READING TODAY TO
ESTABLISH A NEW ALL-TIME RECORD TEMP FOR TLH AT 105 DEGREES.
If I recall correctly, everthing passed south of Florida into the southern Gulf and into NE Mexico/SE Texas last year. Long range models are showing the same tendencies because of that ridge performing the same way just when a disturbance is available. I can see that some spots in Florida will not get any rain in June! Someone needs to get the pattern back to normal or the rainy season will be a season from the past.
Quoting IKE:
Tallahassee...all-time record, yesterday....GW rocks on!

WE FINALLY
MANAGED TO SURPASS THAT ELUSIVE 104-DEGREE READING TODAY TO
ESTABLISH A NEW ALL-TIME RECORD TEMP FOR TLH AT 105 DEGREES.


Sounds like a great week to head down to the springs or Alligator Point for a dip to cool down! I used to live on Lake Ella, know that humid heat well!
Quoting IKE:
Tallahassee...all-time record, yesterday....GW rocks on!

WE FINALLY
MANAGED TO SURPASS THAT ELUSIVE 104-DEGREE READING TODAY TO
ESTABLISH A NEW ALL-TIME RECORD TEMP FOR TLH AT 105 DEGREES.


Good Morning All. Yup Ike.......But the rains that followed later in the afternoon, and into the evening hours, cooled us down and a nice 72 in Tally right now....Today, another repeat of the "oven" later on in the PM followed by some strong T-storms again.
1531. Grothar
Quoting mikatnight:
Good morning!



YO!
Quoting Grothar:


YO!


Hey G-man!
1534. hydrus
Quoting Grothar:


YO!
This would be good for Texas.GFS.Link
1535. IKE

Quoting weathermanwannabe:


Good Morning All. Yup Ike.......But the rains that followed later in the afternoon, and into the evening hours, cooled us down and a nice 72 in Tally right now....Today, another repeat of the "oven" later on in the PM followed by some strong T-storms again.
I saw the rain on radar. Glad you got some....and yes, it was hot yesterday.
1536. hydrus
Quoting IKE:


Another teaser.

It does look like the western GOM, including Texas...may get some beneficial rains within a week or so.
Check out the GFS link I posted. Its worth a look. Western Caribbean percolates..
1537. hydrus
This would be interesting too..
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Good Morning, at least 100 every day this month so far but I am reading positive Texas Weather News for the first time in months, will it be true?

THE UPPER RIDGE BEGINS TO SLIDES EAST EARLY NEXT WEEK AS AN UPPER
TROF DIPS INTO THE CENTRAL ROCKIES. THIS WILL RESULT IN A GRADUAL
INCREASE IN LOW GULF LEVEL MOISTURE...AND SLIGHT INCREASES IN
RAIN CHANCES AS SUBSIDENCE FROM THE RIDGE DIMINISHES. THE SEA
BREEZE ACROSS THE EASTERN COUNTIES AND THE DRY LINE OUT WEST
SHOULD BE MORE ACTIVE EACH AFTERNOON/EVENING STARTING ON TUESDAY.
LONG RANGE MODELS CONTINUE TO SHOW GOOD CONSISTENCY TOWARD THE
MIDDLE AND LATTER PART OF NEXT WEEK WITH TEXAS ON THE WESTERN
PERIPHERY OF THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE...ALLOWING FOR MUCH DEEPER
MOISTURE ACROSS THE REGION. APPEARS WIDESPREAD MUCH NEEDED
MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY RAINS POSSIBLE WITH THIS PATTERN THAT
COULD PERSIST INTO NEXT WEEKEND


1539. hydrus
CMC still looks good for Texas..
Quoting IKE:


Another teaser.

It does look like the western GOM, including Texas...may get some beneficial rains within a week or so.
I hope you're right! They just asked for voluntary water rationing in this mornings paper for my hometown of Hitchcock (Galveston County).
1541. hydrus
Precip map does not look good for Texas on the 7 day accum. outlook..
1542. hydrus
GFS looks a little better..
1543. hydrus
No help from NOGAPS..
1544. IKE
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
423 AM CDT THU JUN 16 2011

.DISCUSSION...
NO NEW NEWS AS HOT/DRY WEATHER CONTINUES THRU THE END OF THE WEEK
AND INTO THE WEEKEND. HOWEVER WITH AN ONSHORE FLOW IN PLACE...THE
MAIN ISSUE THIS FCST PERIOD COULD BE INCREASED HEAT INDICIES WITH
THE INCREASING HUMIDITIES. WITH THE CENTER OF THE UPPER RIDGE SET
RIGHT ATOP OF THE AREA AND THE ELEVATED DWPTS...WILL HAVE TO KEEP
AN EYE ON TEMP TRENDS FRI/SAT FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF A HEAT ADVSY
FOR THIS TIME FRAME. BUT LONG RANGE MODELS ARE KEEPING HOPE ALIVE
FOR THE CHANCES OF RAIN/ RELIEF. THE STRONG UPPER RIDGE THAT WILL
BE SETTLING ACROSS THE REGION THIS WEEKEND (AND BRINGING THE VERY
HOT TEMPS) IS PROGGED TO SHIFT E/NE DURING THE EARLY PART OF NEXT
WEEK. AS THIS HAPPENS WE SHOULD SEE THE GULF OPENING UP BY DURING
THE MID/END OF NEXT WEEK AND A SIGNIFICANT SURGE OF DEEP TROPICAL
MOISTURE...MAYBE.
1545. hydrus
1546. Dakster
Good Morning. You are all making me NOT want to return to South Florida and stay on vacation in Michigan...
1547. hydrus
Gez, imagine if Vancouver won. There'd be nothing left.
1549. hydrus
It is weird to smell smoke in the rain. Several Florida fires appear to have received a good soaking. I hope the lightning that came with it doesn't spark off the patches that got passed over.
All and all, I'm looking forward to the response of the fire map to the overnight showers.

Glad to see better prospects for Texas and the heroes saving homes out west.
1551. IKE

Quoting largeeyes:
Gez, imagine if Vancouver won. There'd be nothing left.
Over a game. I bet the culprits weren't mellowed out on marijuana.

Maybe on a little alcohol?
The buoy in the gulf of guinea is showing steady water temperature drops over the last few days.
Sunspots May Disappear, Sun Going Into Unusual Quiet Mode




WASHINGTON -- Scientists are predicting that the sun is heading into an unusual and extended super quiet mode. Around 2020, sunspots may disappear for years, maybe decades.

But scientists say it is nothing to worry about. The effects from a calmer sun are mostly good. There'd be fewer disruptions of satellites and power systems. And it might mean a little less increase in global warming.

It's happened before, but not for a couple centuries.

Scientists at a solar physics conference in New Mexico unveiled their prediction based on sunspot activity, magnetic field strength and a disappearing solar jet stream.

The prediction is specifically aimed at the solar cycle starting in 2020, but experts say the sun has already been unusually quiet for about four years.
1554. IKE
5 day 12Z QPF shows hope for the peninsula of Florida....


1555. Grothar
Quoting hydrus:


Where's the rain hydrus???

1557. hydrus
Quoting HurricaneDevo:
The buoy in the gulf of guinea is showing steady water temperature drops over the last few days.
I saw that....If that trend continues, we may see some early development.jmo
1558. hydrus
30 day water temperature forecast...
NEWFLASH! Niceville Florida - It's actually raining! It's coming down like Cats and Dog with a gator or two!
Weather Satellites Defended By NASA, National Weather Service, Climate Experts

In this image provided by the US Air Force a Delta II rocket launches Feb. 6, 2009 from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif. The rocket carried a NOAA-N Prime polar-orbiting weather satellite for NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

WASHINGTON -- Business, academic and environmental leaders are stressing the importance of weather satellites in an era of tight federal budgets.

"The stakes are high and the challenge is great," at a time when extreme weather is happening more frequently, Michael Freilich, earth science director for NASA, said at a briefing at the Forum on Earth Observation.

Current earth observing satellites have outlasted their planned lifetime, he said, but they won't last forever and budget shortfalls for replacements threaten to create a gap in coverage.

Even President Barack Obama weighed in. In an interview that aired Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show, Obama said that among the things that need to be preserved in a time of budget cuts are "government functions like food safety and weather satellites."

National Weather Service director Jack Hayes said the threatened polar-orbiting satellites were vital in forecasting "Snowmageddon," the 2010 blizzard that staggered much of the Northeast.

The agency ran a "what if," analysis, Hayes explained, to see how the forecasts would have looked without satellite data and the result was a prediction that would have underestimated the snow by 50 percent, he said. Similar "what if" studies are planned for forecasts of the tornadoes that devastated Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Joplin, Mo., he said.

Most people are aware of the geostationary satellites that provide pictures of much of the globe from a high level, but the lower polar orbiting satellites not only view more of the planet in a regular progression but also collect detailed information on moisture, temperatures and other data used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration..

The polar satellites are especially important three to five days before a weather outbreak, Hayes said.

People tend to talk about forecasts in terms of extreme weather, but it's also important to collect and study data over the long term to see how things are changing in certain areas and to anticipate the future, said John Townshend of the University of Maryland.
1561. hydrus
Quoting Grothar:


Where's the rain hydrus???

The pattern is changing again. Possible morning showers for you, and we get the afternoon thunderstorms starting tomorrow. The Bermuda High is still not in its typical rainy season position..
1562. hydrus
Quoting PakaSurvivor:
NEWFLASH! Niceville Florida - It's actually raining! It's coming down like Cats and Dog with a gator or two!
If it starts raining gators I will give up storm chasing. Was almost attacked in 87...
Killer Drought worsens

If we get a storm within 10 days from now we will be ahead or on par with last year's season, even though last year was more active that this year is predicted to be.
1566. hydrus
Hi Guys, anybody got some "it's so hot..." jokes?
Actually it has cooled off considerably here in ECFL as that batch of thunderstorms from off the GA coast dropped down our way. Looks like it is headed out to sea. Was hoping it would be one of those that curve back westward and drench the state. Kind of like 93L but with more rain.
1568. hydrus
1569. FLdewey
Rain 2 days in a row... let's shoot for 3!

woop woop.
1570. hydrus
Quoting Chicklit:
Hi Guys, anybody got some "it's so hot..." jokes?
Actually it has cooled off considerably here in ECFL as that batch of thunderstorms from off the GA coast dropped down our way. Looks like it is headed out to sea. Was hoping it would be one of those that curve back westward and drench the state. Kind of like 93L but with more rain.
Its so hot, I landed a trout and it was already cooked..:) Good morning.
1571. hydrus
Low in the Western Gulf 6 days out...
Good morning, Hydrus.
It's so hot I'm afraid that if I get knocked off my bike I'll end up lying on the pavement and cooked to death!
It's so hot my chickens are laying hard boiled eggs!
Actually it is raining here right now.

Still no new news out of Fort Calhoun-Omaha-Nebraska about the nuke plant that is now surrounded by Missouri River's still rising waters.
1573. hydrus
The ECMWF is interesting. It shows a Mexico landfall and something in the Caribbean...Link
nature has been in an extreme mood of recent. watch the gfs's texas rain storm in 8-10 days. is it coming from the se? last half of june we should see the tw's become alittle stronger
Quoting hydrus:
The ECMWF is interesting. It shows a Mexico landfall and something in the Caribbean...Link


Why do I have a bad feeling that Arlene is going to form in the next couple weeks, end up in the BOC, then Mexico and not bring relief to FL or TX.
Good morning/evening all. My neck of the woods received .93 inchs of rain yesterday. WOOHOO!! Local mets are predicting 50% of rain late this afternoon/early evening! I LIKE it. I know it's only a drop in the bucket, but we will take what we can get.
1577. hydrus
Quoting clwstmchasr:


Why do I have a bad feeling that Arlene is going to form in the next couple weeks, end up in the BOC, then Mexico and not bring relief to FL or TX.
Actually, there is suppose to be a trough in the Central U.S. around the time the gulf low forms..
The Wallow Fire in Arizona/New Mexico has grown to 761 square miles (487,016 acres), and is--great news--29% contained. However, a red flag warning has been issued for today and tomorrow, so officials expect the blaze to grow more than it has over the past several days. Temps will range from the high 70s to low 90s, winds will be from the southwest at 15 to 25 with gusts of 35-45, and humidities will range from 5 to 12 percent.

And on it goes...
Quoting clwstmchasr:


Why do I have a bad feeling that Arlene is going to form in the next couple weeks, end up in the BOC, then Mexico and not bring relief to FL or TX.


Well, the drought doesn't just stop at the TX border lol. The people in Mexico need the relief just as much as we do, especially the northern half. Link So that's not bad imo.
1580. hydrus
Run down of the models.

06z GFS. 156 hrs out has a 1005 mb low in the GOMEX, moves slowly and by 180 hours is a 1003 mb ''Arlene'', ''Arlene'' then continues to drift in the GOMEX until a landfall in SE Texas at 228 hours. Semi-long range out, watch for consistency.



00z UKMET doesn't go out very far but up to 120 hours has nothing.

00z CMC has nothing but does show increased moisture in the BOC.

00z ECMWF has nothing.

00z NOGAPS shows a low in the BOC at 144 hours, not a cyclone however.

Limited model support but we'll have to watch it, it will probably grow too.
Ranking of U.S. states by D3-D4 drought percentage area.

1. Texas- 88.57%
2. Louisiana- 70.17%
3. New Mexico- 67.86%
4. Georgia- 57.33%
5. Florida- 39.83%
6. Oklahoma- 33.53%
7. Alabama- 21.61%
Sioux City Iowa is 95 miles upstream from Ft Calhoun Nebraska nuclear power station which is currently surrounded by flood water from the Missouri River.

Link

Ft. Calhoun is 55 miles north (along the same river) of Hamburg. In other words, there are flood waters for hundreds of miles along a river with a crippled nuclear power plant and its spent fuel rods yet no one is reporting on this situation except a few fringe sites.

What the heck is going on?
Quoting Chicklit:
Good morning, Hydrus.
It's so hot I'm afraid that if I get knocked off my bike I'll end up lying on the pavement and cooked to death!
It's so hot my chickens are laying hard boiled eggs!
Actually it is raining here right now.

Still no new news out of Fort Calhoun-Omaha-Nebraska about the nuke plant that is now surrounded by Missouri River's still rising waters.

Actually, your chickens are already cooked.
New invest in the EP:

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INVEST, EP, E, , , , , 92, 2011, DB, O, 2011061612, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , EP922011
EP, 92, 2011061612, , BEST, 0, 115N, 920W, 20, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
1586. kwgirl
Quoting hydrus:
If it starts raining gators I will give up storm chasing. Was almost attacked in 87...
Good morning all. Hydrus, how can you be almost attacked? Threatened, yes, attacked or not attacked, yes, but almost attacked? That's like being a little preganant. LOL
News to get the blood boiling:
Public health, tourism and the environment in Florida suffered a major loss this week when the federal government put the protection of state waters back into the hands of the very people who have polluted them — big business and its enablers in Tallahassee. In a letter to the state, the Environmental Protection Agency dropped its effort to adopt clean water standards for Florida following 13 years of foot-dragging by state officials. This is either Washington's way to force the state's hand or a decision by the Obama administration not to alienate Florida in the run-up to the 2012 election. Either way, it's a risky game of chicken with a governor and a state Legislature that have shown no regard for the environment and clean water.

A brief history: The federal government told the states in 1998 to limit nutrient pollution in rivers, lakes and coastal areas by 2004 or it would do the job for them. But 2004 came and went. Florida environmental groups sued in 2008 seeking to compel the EPA to intervene under the Clean Water Act. The agency settled the case in 2009 under an agreement it would draft the standards for Florida. After 11 years of stalling, new rules were on the way and expected this year. Then Monday, after howls of complaints from business groups and state lawmakers, the EPA said it would give Florida another chance. The agency did not agree to preapproving any rules or to surrendering its rulemaking authority entirely. But it agreed to give Florida the time to write new clean water standards of its own.

This concession was as close to an all-out surrender as they come, and it's a shame EPA lost its nerve in the face of a massive disinformation campaign. State leaders and business interests hijacked the debate by ponying up inflated estimates for what it would cost to clean up Florida's waters. The EPA agreed to a host of loopholes — exempting entire industrial operations from the clean water rules, creating a waiver process and dragging out enforcement. Still, the state went to court to protect the biggest polluters. For this, Florida gets rewarded with another chance?
We have invest 92E in EPAC!

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EP, 92, 2011061612, , BEST, 0, 115N, 920W, 20, 0, DB
HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
IAZ043-055-069-079-090-NEZ015-034-045-052-053-067 -068-091-093-
202015-

HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OMAHA/VALLEY NE
1203 PM CDT WED JUN 15 2011

...PROLONGED FLOODING EXPECTED ALONG THE MISSOURI RIVER...
RECORD RELEASES AT GAVINS POINT DAM LOCATED TO THE WEST OF YANKTON SOUTH DAKOTA WILL RESULT IN NEAR RECORD FLOODING ALONG THE MISSOURI RIVER. IN ADDITION TO THE MAINSTEM MISSOURI RIVER...TRIBUTARIES ALONG THE RIVER WILL BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO FLOODING THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER.
THE HIGH WATER LEVELS ON THE MAINSTEM WILL LIMIT THE ABILITY FOR HEAVY RAINFALL TO EFFICIENTLY EMPTY INTO THE MISSOURI RIVER.
PERSONS ALONG THESE TRIBUTARIES SHOULD REMAIN ALERT TO THIS FLOODING POTENTIAL.

THE FOLLOWING TABLE IS THE LONG-RANGE MISSOURI RIVER FORECAST...
ASSUMING NORMAL SUMMER PRECIPITATION ALONG WITH THE EXPECTED PEAK RELEASES OF 150,000 CFS FROM GAVINS POINT DAM. RECORD AND 2010 FLOOD CRESTS HAVE BEEN INCLUDED FOR REFERENCE. THIS PRODUCT WILL BE UPDATED FREQUENTLY AS THE LONG-RANGE FORECAST WILL LIKELY BE MODIFIED AS A RESULT OF RAINFALL EVENTS AND POTENTIAL ADJUSTMENTS TO RELEASES AT GAVINS POINT. ADDITIONAL RIVER FORECAST INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE HERE:

HTTP://WATER.WEATHER.GOV/AHPS2/INDEX.PHP?WFO=OAX


LOCATION FS LONG-RNG FORECAST(FT) RECORD(FT) 2010 CREST(FT)
-------- -- --------------------- ---------- --------------
SIOUX CITY 30 35 TO 37 44.28-1952 25.49

DECATUR 35 40 TO 42 43.50-1943 31.42

BLAIR 26.5 32 TO 34 33.50-1952 26.93

OMAHA 29 34 TO 36 40.20-1952 28.74

NEB. CITY 18 27 TO ABOVE 28* 27.19-1993 25.21

BROWNVILLE 33 43 TO ABOVE 44* 44.30-1993 42.89

RULO 17 25.5 TO ABOVE 27* 26.63-2010 26.63
-------- -- --------------------- ---------- --------------

FS = FLOOD STAGE

* = THE UPPER LIMIT FOR THESE SITES CANNOT BE DETERMINED DUE TO POTENTIAL UPSTREAM AND DOWNSTREAM LEVEE OVERTOPPINGS AND RAPIDLY CHANGING CHANNEL CONDITIONS.

THE LATEST RELEASE SCHEDULE FOR GAVIN`S POINT IS AVAILABLE HERE:

HTTP://WWW.NWD-R.USACE.ARMY.MIL/RCC/REPORTS/TWOUT .HTML

$$
PEARSON

Quoting Chicklit:
What the heck is going on?


maybe nothing.
Quoting Chicklit:
Sioux City Iowa is 95 miles upstream from Ft Calhoun Nebraska nuclear power station which is currently surrounded by flood water from the Missouri River.



Ft. Calhoun is 55 miles north along the same river of Hamburg. In other words, there are flood waters for hundreds of miles along a river with a crippled nuclear power plant and its spent fuel rods yet no one is reporting on this situation except a few fringe sites.

What the heck is going on?


Think of the reprecutions of the people vs. the government. If something's wrong with that site you best bet no one will find out about it until the cat is out of the bag. Long term goals toward Nuclear Power would come to a halt in this country if we had a TEPCO incident part II. The public wouldn't let it happen. Also to add to that site being located in the most fertile Grain Belt of the world if any contanimination were to occur it will send our current economy through the basement floor further crippling an already wounded country in multiple ways creating billions dollars more in damages. Then there's always that health issue with radiation exposure.
Quoting Neapolitan:
The Wallow Fire in Arizona/New Mexico has grown to 761 square miles (487,016 acres), and is--great news--29% contained. However, a red flag warning has been issued for today and tomorrow, so officials expect the blaze to grow more than it has over the past several days. Temps will range from the high 70s to low 90s, winds will be from the southwest at 15 to 25 with gusts of 35-45, and humidities will range from 5 to 12 percent.

And on it goes...
I hope they put it out already!
1593. IKE
BREAKING NEWS!

Weiner is cooked. He gawn.
Quoting IKE:
BREAKING NEWS!

Weiner is cooked. He gawn.


No way he could stay, no matter how hard he tried.
1595. hydrus
Quoting kwgirl:
Good morning all. Hydrus, how can you be almost attacked? Threatened, yes, attacked or not attacked, yes, but almost attacked? That's like being a little preganant. LOL
Good morning. I will have to tell you about it some time. Then you will understand. Things might get interesting next week if the forecast low forms in the Western Caribbean instead of the Bay of Campeche.
1596. hydrus
1597. hydrus
Quoting caneswatch:


No way he could stay, no matter how hard he tried.


The double standard is quite disturbing though since David Vitter is still in office. His "activities" make Weiner look like a choir boy...

Got that 1.5" of rain yesterday, let's see what today brings!
We have invest 92E in EPAC!

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here we go new invest!!
1600. hydrus
Quoting ILwthrfan:


Think of the reprecutions of the people vs. the government. If something's wrong with that site you best bet no one will find out about it until the cat is out of the bag. Long term goals toward Nuclear Power would come to a halt in this country if we had a TEPCO incident part II. The public wouldn't let it happen. Also to add to that site being located in the most fertile Grain Belt of the world if any contanimination were to occur it will send our current economy through the basement floor further crippling an already wounded country in multiple ways creating billions dollars more in damages. Then there's always that health issue with radiation exposure.


Head in the sand approach doesn't work with nuclear.
This stuff just won't go away.
Prevention, protection is better than letting anything leak out even if it cripples a fricking industry. This lack of attention is really peeing me off. Oh, so when it's already breached is that when people will begin to notice? Good grief. Pay attention. Even if it means no more nuclear. We're like a bunch of sheep being lead to slaughter first economically now environmentally. And for what?
1603. hydrus
Quoting PakaSurvivor:
NEWFLASH! Niceville Florida - It's actually raining! It's coming down like Cats and Dog with a gator or two!


Can you direct to Freeport please??!!
1605. emcf30
Quoting IKE:
BREAKING NEWS!

Weiner is cooked. He gawn.

Yea the porn star was the icing on the cake
Quoting hurricanejunky:


The double standard is quite disturbing though since David Vitter is still in office. His "activities" make Weiner look like a choir boy...

Got that 1.5" of rain yesterday, let's see what today brings!


Yeah, it's sick, isn't it?

Trace rainfall here yesterday. Hopefully some storms along the lines of Monday's and Tuesday's come.
Quoting Chicklit:


Head in the sand approach doesn't work with nuclear.
This stuff just won't go away.
Prevention, protection is better than letting anything leak out even if it cripples a fricking industry. This lack of attention is really peeing me off. Oh, so when it's already breached is that when people will begin to notice? Good grief. Pay attention. Even if it means no more nuclear. We're like a bunch of sheep being lead to slaughter first economically now environmentally. And for what?


I definitely agree, but unfortunately it's the top 1% income class (BIG CORPS.) that is driving all the decisions in this country/world. They have always lied, cheat, stolen anything they can get their hands on if it means more money in thier pocket, regardless of whom it may affect or kill. We need a new age revolt but most of the worlds population seems to have been dumbed down. Or maybe we were just never that smart to begin with.

Quoting Levi32:
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Thursday, June 16th, with Video


Great update, as always!
Quoting hurricanejunky:


The double standard is quite disturbing though since David Vitter is still in office. His "activities" make Weiner look like a choir boy...

Got that 1.5" of rain yesterday, let's see what today brings!

And, of course, Vitter isn't alone. Oh, well.

Did you see the video I made of your storm yesterday? it's comment #1316; I think you'll like it. ;-)
Quoting Chicklit:


Head in the sand approach doesn't work with nuclear.
This stuff just won't go away.
Prevention, protection is better than letting anything leak out even if it cripples a fricking industry. This lack of attention is really peeing me off. Oh, so when it's already breached is that when people will begin to notice? Good grief. Pay attention. Even if it means no more nuclear. We're like a bunch of sheep being lead to slaughter first economically now environmentally. And for what?


I didn't get time to watch any evening news last night. Has the story hit the mainstream yet?
OLD BLOG
Quoting Neapolitan:

And, of course, Vitter isn't alone. Oh, well.

Did you see the video I made of your storm yesterday? it's comment #1316; I think you'll like it. ;-)


Pretty cool! Sorry to hear you were blanked, you guys are over 10" in the deficit while we're only around 3-4"
depending on where you survey...
ILwthrfan

That was one of my quotes in the senior yearbook when I graduated.
There has got to be an emergency way to stop small to medium sized levee breaches.
It could be dropping sand, large containers, or logs, like they do with fire retardant from big helicopters.
Some sort of catalyst that would turn the water to a stiff gel in a 10 meter radius might do the trick. How about metal slats that could span the breach and then be rolled down like a sushi mat or roll top desk for a brief patch.
That might slow the breach to a trickle while the gap is backfilled and shored up.
This is happening with enough frequency, and disastrous costly consequences that the USACE/FEMA/Homeland folks should reallllly be looking into it.
Quoting ProgressivePulse:



Thinking of moving to Eastern Virginia in a few years. If one believes the models it may be the best decision we've ever made.


I hear Alaska will be tropical soon!!
Good Morning From America.s Left Coast at 5:17 PDT
Here at my mountain location in San Diego County, we had 1.07" of rain. Showers started again this morning bringing an additional .33" since 5am. Total 1.40, the first measurable amount of rain this summer. Still raining lightly. Thank you Paine!