All Weather News

More Jaw-Dropping Weather Whiplash (tips for surviving a downtown tornado)


1 Week’s Worth of Severe Storm Reports. From heavy snow in Wyoming and Colorado to high winds in California to blowing dust over the southern Plains and flooding rains across the Midwest (green dots) and scattered tornadoes (displayed as red dots above), it was another wild week of weather; over 3200 severe storm reports according to NOAA. Map: HAMweather.

Total Storm Reports: 3204
Wind: 680
Rain: 411
Snow/Blizzard: 663
Ice: 1
Tornado: 98
Hail: 1331
Lightning: 4
Dust: 10

Downtown Tornadoes: What To Do If You’re In A High-Rise. We’ve devoted considerable attention to what you can do to lower risk if you don’t have a basement or storm shelter, but what if you’re caught in an office tower or downtown condo? There are steps you can take to dramatically lower the risk. We also dispel a nagging myth: tornadoes can’t hit cities. It’s happened repeatedly over the years, from Salt Lake City to Oklahoma City, Chicago, Louisville, Worcester, MA, even Miami. St. Louis has been struck 4 times in just the last century. Those are the topics of today’s Climate Matters segments: downtown tornadoes, and tornado safety for high-rise buildings.

* EF-1 tornadoes just hit metro Omaha. Details from WOWT-TV.


Slow-Motion Weather Map. Once again a storm is about to “cut-off” from the main belt of westerlies, prolonging drenching rains from the Lower Mississippi Valley up the Appalachians by late week, resulting in some 2-5″ rainfall amounts with flash flooding. It’s a tale of the moisture-haves out east, and the moisture-have-nots west of the Rockies. NAM Future Radar courtesy of NOAA and HAMweather.


7-Day Rainfall. NOAA guidance shows potentially torrential rains from Dallas and Little Rock to Louisville, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh as a very slow-moving storm limps across the eastern USA. Meanwhile brushfires continue to burn from Texas and New Mexico into Arizona; most of the Southwest remains bone-dry.

More Jaw-Dropping Extremes across the USA:

What May? It still looks like early March in the suburbs of Denver and Boulder, including Aurora, where heavy wet snow damaged trees (and depressed even the ski buffs). Source:Twitter.


New Mexico Wildfire Forces Evacuations, Threatens College Town. Here’s an excerpt from a story at Reuters: “A wind-fed wildfire in New Mexico raged out of control on Monday, sending heavy smoke wafting over the outskirts of a college town and forcing local authorities to warn residents of a nearby community to evacuate, the U.S. Forest Service said. The so-called Signal Peak Fire has burned 3,000 acres since erupting on Sunday in the Gila National Forest, fed by tinder-dry conditions and high winds, with gusts exceeding 25 miles per hour, according to U.S. Forest Service spokesman Brian Martinez...”

Video and story courtesy of wildfiretoday.com.


Excessive Heat Watch for Bay Area. While residents of Colorado shovel away snow and slush, the heat is building out west, increasing the potential for brushfires and water shortages. Here’s an excerpt of the Excessive Heat Watch issued by NOAA:

BUILDING HIGH PRESSURE WILL BRING RECORD OR NEAR RECORD HEAT
TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY. TEMPERATURES WILL WARM TO ABOVE NORMAL TODAY
THEN CONTINUE TO RISE TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY UNDER MOSTLY SUNNY
SKIES. PERIODS OF OFFSHORE WINDS WILL ALLOW WARM TO HOT TEMPERATURES
TO REACH ALL THE WAY TO THE COAST. PERSONS SENSITIVE TO HEAT SUCH
AS THE ELDERLY AND THOSE ON CERTAIN MEDICATIONS SHOULD PLAN
ACCORDINGLY AND PUT A PLAN IN PLACE NOW TO PREPARE FOR THE
UPCOMING HOT WEATHER. SOME COOLING MAY OCCUR NEAR THE COAST BY
THURSDAY WHILE HOT WEATHER CONTINUES INLAND. MORE COOLING IS
FORECAST FOR ALL LOCATIONS BY FRIDAY.

Probability of El Nino Rises to 65% Here is potentially more than you ever wanted to know about the developing El Nino phase of ENSO, a warming of Pacific Ocean water which will probably influence weather patterns the latter half of 2014, possibly into early 2015. Details from NOAA.


Hurricane Season Forecast Making Its New York City Debut. Usually meteorologists with the National Hurricane Center make their predictions from south Florida, but this year, paying respect to the aftermath of Sandy, they will report from Brooklyn. Here’s an excerpt from sun-sentinel.com: “…The NOAA news conference will be held in Brooklyn, home of the New York City Emergency Operations Center. “We usually host the press conference on location somewhere that makes sense,” Buchanan said. Usually, that’s storm-prone South Florida or NOAA headquarters in Washington, D.C…”

10 Tornado Safety Tips To Keep You Safe Before, During And After A Storm. Here is an excerpt of a good recap of what to do and not to do during a tornado outbreak, courtesy of protect-your-home.org: “…If no shelter is available:

  • Are you indoors? Go to the lowest floor, to a small, center interior room, under a stairwell or to an interior hallway with no windows.Crouch down as low as possible to the floor, face down and cover your head with your arms. Cover yourself with a blanket, mattress, helmet or other thick covering. Wear footwear with thick soles to your safe location.
  • Are you in a mobile home? Get out. Even if your home is tied down, it is not as safe as a sturdy building. Go to a nearby permanent structure…”

 

Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans as Antarctic Ice Melts. I can tell you from first-hand experience that this report, highlighted in Nature, has many climate scientists more alarmed than I’ve seen them in a long time. Justin Gillis at The New York Times has a good summary; here’s an excerpt: “The collapse of large parts of the ice sheet in West Antarctica appears to have begun and is almost certainly unstoppable, with global warming accelerating the pace of the disintegration, two groups of scientists reported Monday. The finding, which had been feared by some scientists for decades, means that a rise in global sea level of at least 10 feet may now be inevitable. The rise may continue to be relatively slow for at least the next century or so, the scientists said, but sometime after that it will probably speed up so sharply as to become a crisis…”
Graphic credit above: “In this graphic, the red regions are areas where  temperatures have increased the most during the last 50 years, particularly in West Antarctica, The dark blue regions have had a lesser degree of warming. Temperature changes are measured in degrees Celsius [per decade].” Credit NASA/GSFC Scientific Visualization Studio.

The “Climate Debate” on TV: John Oliver Gets It Exactly Right. Could it be that 1 in 4 skeptical Americans are….wrong about science? Not sure, but it seems hypothetically possible. Here’s a funny, yet dead-on summary of the “debate” from John Oliver at “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” on HBO, courtesy of SayWhat? “So many earnest words have been written trying to say what John Oliver says here. I have yet to see anyone make this point any clearer. Dead on, plus hysterical.” [rated PG]

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Welcome to the WeatherNation blog. Every day I sift through hundreds of stories, maps, graphics and meteorological web sites, trying to capture some of the most interesting weather nuggets, the stories behind the forecast. I’ll link to stories and share some of the web sites I use. I’m still passionate about the weather, have been ever since Tropical Storm Agnes flooded my home in Lancaster, PA in 1972. I’ve started 5 weather-related companies. “EarthWatch” created the world’s first 3-D weather graphics for TV stations – Steven Spielberg used our software in “Jurassic Park” and “Twister”. My last company, “Digital Cyclone”, personalized weather for cell phones. “My-Cast” was launched in 2001 and is still going strong on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. I sold DCI to Garmin in 2007 so I could focus on my latest venture: WeatherNation. I also write a daily weather column for The Star Tribune startribune.com/weather And if you’re on Twitter, you’ll find me @pdouglasweather

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