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Unusual December Tornadoes, Next Pacific System

11 Dec 2012, 1:40 pm

Southeast Tornadoes

National Weather Service Survey Team in Marion CO, MS

A frontal boundary slid across the southeast yesterday afternoon and generated enough instability for a few tornadoes to develop in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida.  Most of these were fairly weak but reports of damage have been coming in.  No deaths have been reported and there are only a few minor injuries.  So you might be thinking…tornadoes? This is December! How is this happening? Well its unusual, but it definitely does happen.

The map above from NOAA indicates that from 1991 to 2010 there have been, on average, 24 tornadoes in the month of December. Most of those occur in Texas and the southeast.  Of course, that number pales in comparison to what we usually see during the height of severe weather season, but it is still possible.  Florida has on average 2 tornadoes each December.  Nationwide, the average number of tornadoes continues to decrease in the month of January with an average of only 17.  From there, it continues to grow into February as it jumps back into the 30s.  A more significant increase comes in the month of March with an average into the 70s.

Severe Threat Today

Florida continues to remain under the risk for severe weather today.  The slight risk area includes Melbourne, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and extends down to Key West. The main threat will be for damaging wind.

The Next Pacific Storm

From Port Townsend, WA

As a calmer weather pattern takes shape over much of the eastern US after a major weekend storm, our attention is now turning back to the pacific northwest.

The map above shows radar imagery from this morning as the first wave of showers began to move in.  Seattle really doesn’t need much more rain, but this soggy weather continues through tomorrow.  Around 43″ of rain has fallen in Seattle since January 1st, so that puts the city about 9″ more than average.

This sytem will slide down the coast and impact nearly the entire coast of California through the end of the week.  Expect rain in the lower elevations and snow in the mountains.

Your Midweek Forecast

Temperatures remain low surrounding the Great Lakes with highs only in the 20s and 30s.  One last day of sunshine is expected in the Bay Area before showers and clouds move in from the north.

Milder air moves into the central plains.  The hot spot is still in South Florida with highs in the 80s.

Happy Tuesday!

Gretchen Mishek

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