All Weather News

Texas Gets Rain, Jelawat Hits Japan

30 Sep 2012, 7:03 am


“A Dry Heat”.  My friends in Scottsdale, Arizona love to remind me that “Paul, it’s a dry heat!” So is my oven, but I still wouldn’t stick my head inside. Walt Kruhoeffer snapped this pic of Lake Calhoun Saturday as the mercury was topping 80. Is it me or does everything look extra-dry out there?

Drought – And Peak Color From Space. NASA’s high-resolution MODIS satellite image from Saturday shows tinges of orange and red from low orbit. From 200 miles up you can see how dry much of Minnesota is right now.

Unseasonable Warmth Sweeps Across Canada. From Calgary to Winnipeg, Canadians are rubbing their eyes, wondering what month it is. The map above shows temperatures as of 9 pm Saturday evening. Colder air will push southward by midweek, setting the stage for a little wind chill, even flurries up north within a week. Yep…flurries. Map above: Ham Weather.

Flurry Potential By Next Sunday?. With 850 mb temperatures (about 4,000 feet above the ground) forecast to be in the 23-28 F range a week from today I wouldn’t be surprised to see flurries, even a few heavier snow showers over central and northern Minnesota. With surface temperatures falling thru the 30s up north I wouldn’t even be surprised to see a little slush north of Brainerd Sunday night. Lovely. Map above: WSI Corporation.

Looks Like October. The GFS 500 mb (18,000 foot) forecast valid next Sunday at 1 pm shows a cold, deep trough of low pressure centered over Hudson Bay, reinforcing “spokes” of energy rotating around this cold whirlpool of Canadian air. By next Sunday temperatures aloft may be marginally cold enough for a few wet flakes to reach the ground up north. Map above courtesy of Larry Cosgrove’s WeatherAmerica Newsletter.

Role Reversal. Last summer much of Texas was enduring an historic drought – the worst on record. It’s still dry over much of Texas, but yesterday Abilene experienced torrential rain and flash flooding. This photo courtesy of @emiliacakes.

Hurricane Isaac Damaged 59,000 Homes In Louisiana, Officials Estimate. Keep in mind Isaac was a Category 1 storm, but it stalled, prolonging storm surge waves and torrential rains. Here’s an excerpt from The Times-Picayne at “Hurricane Isaac damaged nearly 59,000 homes as the slow-moving storm crawled across southeast Louisiana, according to the latest damage estimates released Friday. The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said the most severe damage hit houses and rental units in St. John the Baptist and Plaquemines parishes, where flooding swamped some homes with several feet of water. The latest estimates — 46,663 owner-occupied houses and 12,289 rental units damaged by the storm — were more than four times the preliminary figures released a week after Isaac made landfall Aug. 28.”


Typhoon Jelawat Soaks Japan. Typhoon (same thing as a hurricane) Jelawat is forecast to weaken to tropical storm status today, but winds near Tokyo may still gust as high as 50-70 mph with torrential rains capable of significant flooding. Forecast map courtesy of the U.S. Navy.

Soaking Rains For Tokyo. Last night’s radar image from JMA, the Japan Meteorological Agency, showed heavy rains from a rapidly weakening Typhoon Jelawat approaching Tokyo, where winds may top 50-60 mph today. Expect flight delays and cancellations with severe flooding across much of Japan.

Ring Around The Doppler. What could produce such an artifact? If you guessed “melting snow” you would be correct. You win nothing, except the satisfaction of realizing that you’re an above-average weather geek (um…enthusiast). Details from the Lubbock, Texas National Weather Service: “A curious RADAR display this morning – perhaps you can guess what caused it. We call it a “bright band” and it typically shows up during cool season stratiform rain. A hint: the altitude of the band varies depending on how warm or cool the airmass is that the rain falls through. This mornings bright band is around 8500 to 9000 feet above the ground over the Texas South Plains – typical of an early fall tropical airmass. We are looking at an approximate 9.9 degree elevation cut, as opposed to the familiar 0.5 degree slice we normally look at. Could it be either birds/insects flying off? How about an earthquake? Well, if you guessed instead melting snow – then you are correct. As snowflakes melt they add a layer of water onto the snow flakes and become highly reflective within the melting layer (also very close to the freezing level), thus causing a concentric ring around the RADAR dome location.”



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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 And if you’re on Twitter, you’ll find me @pdouglasweather

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