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Category: National and World

A Tale of Two Storms from Satellite Sheldon

| 2:30 pm April 24, 2016
Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

– Special to the AlabamaWX Blog by Sheldon Kusselson

An Update from Satellite Sheldon

| 7:56 pm March 28, 2016

Here is an updated weather overview from our very own Satellite Sheldon (Kusselson):

March 28, 2016 late PM blog bTPW and GOES WV for AlabamaWx

Historic Flooding Continues in Arklatex

| 11:32 am March 11, 2016
Impressive rainfall totals from this week across the Arklatex.

Impressive rainfall totals from this week across the Arklatex.

The horrible flooding saga continues in the Arklatex.

The levee on Red Chute Bayou in northeastern Shreveport is about to be overtopped. Over one half mile of levee is in danger of being topped. The water level at Dogwood is still rising. Official are urging residents in several neighborhoods to get out before the water rushes in.

More heavy rain is moving across northwestern Louisiana at this hour, which will exacerbate the flooding.

There are still numerous road closures in Louisiana according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation. I-20 is closed westbound east of Minden and I-49 is closed in both directions just south of Shreveport because of flooding. LA-167, an important artery between Alexandria and Ruston, is closed in several locations and LA-165 is closed just south of Monroe.

Here is a link to the Louisiana 511 Cameras, Roadwork, Road Reports, Weather Warnings and Ferry Status Page.

20.29 inches of rain has fallen since Tuesday at the Ruston Regional Airport. Another 1.31 inches has fallen today. It is already the wettest month on record there with nearly 20 days to go!

A CoCORaHS rainfall observer 2.4 miles NNW of Monroe has 8.46” on the 8th, 12” on the 9th and 2.76” on the 10th for a storm total of 23.22 inches!

It will easily be the wettest March on record at Shreveport. They have recorded 11.43 inches through midnight with another 0.22 through 10 a.m. and more moderate rain moving into area from the southwest. Their all time March monthly record is 11.99 inches. Their all time monthly record is probably safe however: 21.84 in April 1991. The 10.44 inches that occurred on the 12th of that month is their all time wettest day.

Now huge flooding on the Sabine River is about to get worse. The Toledo Bend Dam on the Texas/Louisiana border is now releasing 207,000 cubic feet per second, which is 30% above the record release last summer after Tropical Storm Bill! There will be record flooding south of the dam.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

The catastrophic rains are the result of a power upper trough that dug all the way down into northern Mexico, bringing rare snows to Mexico City. It was their first snwfall since 1967! The system has pumped copious amounts of rich Gulf of Mexico moisture northward into the Arklatex. The system has had its forward progress blocked by a strong Bermuda high off the U.S. East Coast, allowing the impressive rains to pile up.

The 2.12 inches of precipitable water at Slidell this morning on their balloon release smashed the previous record for the date of 1.62 inches.

A Picture Perfect Day

| 2:12 pm March 6, 2016


Another picture perfect day is in progress across Alabama. Skies are mostly clear with the exception of some patchy high cirrostratus clouds that are fleeing across the firmament.

Temperatures are in the upper 60s and lower 70s at 2 p.m. It was 68F at Tuscaloosa, 67F at BHM, 66F at the Shelby County Airport and 69F in Anniston.

The nearest rain to Alabama is retreating storms off the coast of North and South Carolina. They are part of that big upper trough and strengthening surface low moving off the East Coast. That is the same system that brought rain and storms to Alabama on Thursday.

We have benign winds over Alabama this afternoon, but winds are already becoming quite strong over the Plains ahead of our next storm system. Winds are gusting to 45 mph at Concordia KS and 37 mph at Oklahoma City. Red flag warnings are are in effect for wide area from El Paso to Kansas City for an extremely high fire danger.

The big trough that will be our next weather maker is crashing on shore in California today. Winter storm warnings are in effect for the Sierras of California, where up to a foot of snow will fall at Yosemite.

Flash flood watches are in effect for Central California where over an inch of rain may cause flooding later today and tonight. As much as 2.3 inches of rain is expected to fall over parts of Southern California as well. I don’t think you will hear them complain, however.

At one of my favorite places, Telluride, Colorado, another 5-10 inches of snow could fall in showers through Monday, with higher amounts above 10,000 feet. Winds just gusted to 57 mph at Gold Hill in the Telluride Ski Resort, where is was 22F.

A stubborn and powerful Bermuda high will block the progress of this system and keep us dry through Wednesday. Look for showers and storms Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but the heaviest rains and severe weather will stay west of us. Our heaviest rain will come on Friday and Friday night when over an inch could fall. Temperatures will be mild to warm all week, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s through the next fourteen days or so!

Damage Heavy From Pensacola Tornado

| 9:14 pm February 23, 2016

According to Escambia County Fire and EMS: Two buildings have been destroyed at GE/Westinghouse plant off of Scenic Highway.

Major damage is reported from the tornado that moved through parts of the City of Pensacola around 815 tonight.

There is heavy damage, including buildings completely destroyed at The Moorings Apartmenets on Old Spanish Trail Road jst southwest of US-90 (Scenic Highway). A major gas leak is also reported. Search and rescue is underway. WEAR-TV Pensacola reports at least 6 injuries.

At least four units were destroyed at the Grand Baroque Townhomes.

Live coverage on WEAR

The tornado overturned cars on I-10.

Here is a link to Escambia County Fire and EMS.

Escambia County EMA: several reports of damage near 9th and Olive: crews on scene. Multiple trees down on Scenic Hwy to Hwy 90. Please stay out of the area.

Click  image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Above is the mobile radar at 8:12 p.m. right when the tornado was touching down. You can see a tornado debris signature in the lower right panel, with a strong rotational couplet in the top right panel and a compact hook in the top left panel. Finally, the NROT product on GR Analyst shows very strong rotation in the lower left panel.

Funnel Cloud Reported at New Orleans Armstrong International Airport

| 11:19 am February 23, 2016

2-23-2016 11-18-36 AM

Here is the weather observer’s report from MSY at 11:10 a.m.:

NEW ORLEANS/MOISANT,LA (MSY) ASOS reports Tornado KMSY 231710Z 04004KT 4SM FC RA BR FEW011 BKN026CB OVC075 21/19 A2968 RMK FUNNEL CLOUD B09 AO2 PRESFR SW CB W-N-E-SE MOV NE P0010 T02110189

No, the Entire State of Kentucky Wasn’t Under a Tornado Warning

| 9:46 am February 23, 2016

2-23-2016 9-19-35 AM

When I looked up and saw counties across the entire state of Kentucky being outlined in red a little after 9 a.m., I thought, there is no severe weather in the Bluegrass State today. Then I thought, it is probably their statewide tornado drill. That was the case.

Three offices participated in the drill this morning, including Paducah, Louisville, Jackson KY , Charleston WV and Wilmington OH. A test Tornado Warning has sent out by Louisville, Charleston, Jackson and Paducah. Wilmington (Cincinnati) sent out a Special Weather Statement.

Because the code in the warning was set to test, some TV station crawl systems did not carry the warning, but that is how the drill was done in past years, the NWS in Louisville said.

The purpose of a tornado drill of course is to make sure everyone can get the warning, so it requires lots of coordination between broadcasters, emergency management and the NWS.

Statewide tornado drills used to be done in Alabama as part of severe weather awareness week. That practice was stopped several years ago.

It seems we get plenty of practice from real events anyway! One of those events will occur tonight. We will have frequent posts throughout the day. The new SPC severe weather outlook will be out shortly and we will have an update.

OBX Snow!

| 6:43 pm February 12, 2016


Snow affected the northern portions of the Outer Banks on Friday, making the tan colored sands of the North Carolina coast look more like the dazzlingly sugar white sands of Northwest Florida and Alabama.

Some snowfall amounts from eastern North Carolina included:

…3 inches at Nags Head
…3.5 inches at Kill Devil Hills
…1 inch at Duck

Winter storm warnings were in effect for the Outer Banks, something you don’t see every day!

The precipitation started out as light snow at Hatteras, but it quickly changed over to rain with temperatures in the middle 30s.

Historically, Cape Hatteras has seen several big snows, including a couple of 7 inch storms and their all time record, 11 inches, which occurred on December 30th in 1917.

Winter Weather Advisories to our Northeast

| 10:59 pm February 7, 2016
Snow accumulation amounts and winter weather advisories.

Snow accumulation amounts and winter weather advisories.

Winter weather advisories (WWA) have been issued for Monday through much of Tuesday for a wide area to the northeast of Alabama. Here’s a rundown of some expected conditions.

Places like Crossville and Cookville could see 1-2 inches of snow. Morristown and the Tri-Cities could see 1-3 inches. Knoxville and Cleveland are oficially NOT in the WWA at this time, but Knoxville could pick up 1.5 inches of snow as well. Travel into eastern Tennessee may become difficult Monday night into Tuesday.

The mountains of North Georgia could see 1-2 inches of snow in places like Chatsworth, Ellijay and Dahlonega. Black ice will be a problem.

5 inches of snow is possible in Gatlinburg, with higher amounts at higher elevations.

Only an inch of snow is expected in Asheville. Boone should get 2-3 inches.

Some of the highest amounts will be in the mountains of west Virginia, where as much as ten inches

Rain showers will transition to snow showers late Monday afternoon and a few snow showers will continue through the overnight hours with even a few snow flurries into Tuesday morning. The best chance for any accumulations will be over the Tennessee Valley of North Alabama, from Huntsville to the east. But any areas that see persistent snow showers could get a dusting.

The deep low east of Wilmington NC tonight has intensified to 980 millibars. It will bring high winds of 60 mph and heavy snows to Cape Cod on Monday. 18 inches or more of snow may fall.

Record Setting Storm for NYC?

| 6:22 pm January 23, 2016

Here is an update as of 6:27 p.m. from the NWS in New York City:
Good evening, The storm total at Central Park, NY up to 7 pm is 25.1 inches. The liquid equivalent for the event is 2.19″ This snowfall ranks #3 since records have been kept in 1869.

The huge snowstorm pounding the East Coast is threatening to break several all time snowfall records, including the all time record from a single storm for Central Park in New York City. Central Park is the official record location for New York City.


Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

So far, the three major NYC Airports have picked up the following snowfall amounts through 5 p.m. CST:

…LaGuardia 23″
…JFK 26″
…Newark 21″
…Central Park 25.1″ (through 6 p.m. CST)

And New York City is directly under a huge snow band that is basically stationary over the area. It may continue to snow heavily through 10 p.m. CST. With snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour and more, it is conceivable that Central Park could hit 25-29 inches! That would be the all time record for a single storm. The official forecast is for 26.5 inches. (We are expecting an update from Central Park any moment.)

New York City’s greatest snowstorms:
26.9 February 11-12, 2006
25.8 December 26-27,1947 (some sources say 26.4)
…25.1 January 22-23, 2016 (through 6 p.m.)…
21.0 March 12-14, 1888
20.9 February 25-26, 2010
20.2 January 7-8, 1996
20.0 December 26-27, 2010
19.8 February 16-17, 2003
19.0 January 26-27, 2011
18.1 January 22-24, 1935
18.1 March 7-8, 1941

17.8 is the official storm total for Reagan National (that information just in at 6:07 p.m. CST). This is good enough to tie for 4th place on the all time list for Washington DC snowstorms (tied with the February 25-26, 2010 storm). They could easily make 3rd place before the night is over despite the fact that the snow is diminishing in D.C.

Dulles has picked up 28.3 inches.

Blizzard conditions were officially observed this morning in D.C.

So far, several snowfall totals over 36 inches have been observed, including 40 inches at Glengary WV. 39 inch totals have been observed at Jones Springs and Shpherstown WV and 39 inches near Philomont VA. In Maryland, 37 inches was observed at North Potomac Maryland.

The all time record 24 hour snowfall total for Maryland is 31 inches at Clear Spring in 1942. West Virginia’s is 35 inches at Flat Top in 1998. Virginia’s is 33.5 inches in 1994 in Luray. Some all time state records may fall.