Texas Snow and Severe; Warm Weather Ahead; 2012 OFFICIALLY the Warmest Year on Record for Lower 48
Tuesday January 8th, 2012
It’s OFFICIAL! According to NOAA’s NCDC, 2012 was THE WARMEST year on record for the Contiguous U.S. (Avg. Temp 55.3°F) beating the old record set in 1998 by 1°F! 2012 was also 3.3°F above the 20th century average.
“In 2012, the contiguous United States (CONUS) average annual temperature of 55.3°F was 3.3°F above the 20th century average, and was the warmest year in the 1895-2012 period of record for the nation. The 2012 annual temperature was 1.0°F warmer than the previous record warm year of 1998. Since 1895, the CONUS has observed a long-term temperature increase of about 0.13°F per decade. Precipitation averaged across the CONUS in 2012 was 26.57 inches, which is 2.57 inches below the 20th century average. Precipitation totals in 2012 ranked as the 15th driest year on record. Over the 118-year period of record, precipitation across the CONUS has increased at a rate of about 0.16 inch per decade.”
Other Significant 2012 Events
NOAA has also listed the top 10 weather events of 2012. Superstorm Sandy was considered the number 1 weather event of 2012…
“Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City, NJ on October 29 with sustained winds of 80 mph and a central minimum pressure of 946mb, the lowest pressure on record along the Northeast coast. Sandy’s large size and track brought record storm surge to many locations throughout the Northeast. The Battery, in New York City Harbor, had an observed water level of 13.88 feet, besting the previous record set by Hurricane Donna in 1960 by 3 feet. Sandy also brought torrential rainfall to the Mid-Atlantic with over 12 inches of rain observed in parts of Maryland. In addition, Sandy generated blizzard conditions for the central and southern Appalachians with more than a foot of snow falling in six states from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, shattering October snow records. Over 130 fatalities were reported and over 8 million homes were without power.”
Other Significant Events
2012 Hurricane Season
This is interesting… you can watch the entire 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season in 4.5 minutes here, which includes Superstorm Sandy around 3:35
Cool Start to 2013
Take a look at the January 1st-7th temperature anomaly for North America. Note that most of the Lower 48 was cooler than average while Canada and Alaska was warmer than average.
Snowy Start to 2013
We also started the year off with a decent U.S. snow pack. According to NOAA’s NOHRSC, January 1st, 2013 boasted a 66.6% snow coverage, which is the largest so far this season.
Snow Pack Takes a Hit
The recent mild weather has had an impact on the snow pack across the nation. As of today 52.8% of the nation was covered in snow. The snow pack will continue to take a hit through the next several days as additional warmth settles in to the eastern half of the country through the weekend.
I thought this was interesting. The Arctic Oscillation forecast is expected to go positive over the next few days, which also correlates with our warm-up across the nation. Note also the “negative phase” from late December to early January, which correlates with our cooler weather across most of the nation during that time frame.
BIG Texas Storm
Take a look at the current weather headlines across Texas. On the west side, we’re talking heavy snow potential and on the east side, we’re talking flooding rain and severe storms!
Blue: Winter Storm Watch
Green: Flash Flood Watch
More Texas Snow
Another storm system with similar characteristics of that of last week will bring the higher elevations of west Texas snow through Wednesday. Here’s a look at the graphic-cast from the NWS out of Midland/Odessa TX
RPM Snowfall Forecast
This is the higher resolution snowfall forecast from those areas, which suggests over 6″ for some in those areas!
Severe Storm Potential
The storm system over west Texas will help to invigorate showers and storms for much of the day across central and eastern Texas. The result may be a few strong storms with hail and high winds being the primary threat. An isolated tornado can’t be ruled out. The image below is the severe thunderstorm threat for Tuesday with the population centers to be affected.
This is the severe thunderstorm threat for Wednesday. Again, hail and high winds will be the primary threat, but isolated tornadoes can’t be ruled out.
Heavy Rainfall Forecast
This is the HPC 3 day rainfall forecast. Note the excessive rainfall/flooding potential across these areas.
3 Hour Flash Flood Guidance
This is a product from NOAA, it shows the rain needed in a 3 hour window to produce flash flooding. Note that areas expected to get the heaviest rain over a 3 day period need only 2.5″ to 3.5″ of rain in a 3 hour period to see flash flooding. See more HERE:
A large storm over Texas is going to help boost temperatures across the eastern half of the country in the coming days along with copious amount of Gulf of Mexico moisture. The graphic below shows the temp trend by Thursday. Note the blue ball over the Central Plains… that’s our current storm; ahead of that will be very mild air!
High Temps From Average Thursday
Much of the eastern half of the nation will be above average for the rest of the week, but starting Thursday, temps will REALLY become mild. High temperatures are expected to be anywhere from 10° to 25°+ above average.
Highs From Average Friday
Temps on Friday may be even warmer!
Highs From Average Saturday
Highs on Saturday across the eastern half of the country will be quite mild once again. However, note the cooling taking place across the western half of the country by the weekend.
Mid-January Cooling Trend
Extended model continue to indicate a mid-January cooling trend. Take a look at the Arctic Oscillation forecast through the middle part of the month, note the big swing in the “negative phase” during that time period.
Colder Weekend/Next Week Ahead
Here’s the extended forecast by early next week, note the bulge of modified Arctic air the sags south of the international border by then. This will get many spots back to below normal temps. Yes, it’ll be a reminder that it still is January!
Thanks for checking in on this Tuesday, have a great rest of your week!
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