Category: National and World

Potentially Dangerous Situation Looming for Sugar Bowl Fans

| January 2, 2017 @ 11:43 am

A tornado watch has just been issued for southeastern Louisiana, including the New Orleans area. There are well over 100,000 football fans in town, including many of our Auburn friends. And with a volatile weather situation unfolding in southeastern Louisiana, we want to warn our friends to pay close attention to the latest all afternoon and not be caught outside if dangerous weather hits.

It is warm and humid in New Orleans this morning. The temperature at Armstrong International in Kenner is 74F with a dewpoint of 74F. That’s 100% humidity with some really tropical air.

There are strong storms over Lake Ponchartrain northwest of New Orleans. A tornado warning just expired for the Northshore over Madisonville, west of Covington.

More storms are expected to develop through the afternoon. Storms that do form will be drawing on around 2,000 joules/kg of CAPE, which is moderately unstable. There is decent speed shear of 35-40 knots, so they will be organized and there is 200-300 m2/s2 of low level helicity so tornadoes are a real possibility. Fans out and about in the city should be weather aware and be able to duck in a safe place in case severe storms develop.

The main squall line is now over western Louisiana, from west of Alexandria to Lake Charles. And the airmass ahead of it is very unstable, with CAPE values running 3,000-3,500 joules/kg ahead of the line of storms, so it will be quite intense as it pushes east. The line should be approaching western portions of the New Orleans area between 4-5 p.m. CST and passing through the city between 5-6 p.m.

One piece of good news: the HRRR output, shown above, hints that the southern end of the line might be weakening as it approaches New Orleans. Hopefully that happens. But if it doesn’t, and the storms are severe, fans caught outside the stadium when the main line arrives could be in a dangerous situation. The gates to the Superdome are not supposed to open until 530 p.m. which could put fans in danger. Hopefully officials will open the gate early if the storms are approaching.

We urge our football fans in New Orleans to plan for the dangerous weather and to be careful.

Weather By The Numbers 12/19/2016

| December 19, 2016 @ 8:46 am

With how much the temperatures changed within a few hours during the passage of the cold front on Sunday, it got me interested in posting another “Weather By The Numbers.” I see why the great J.B. Elliott loved to do these. It is very interesting, and fun, to find out what is happening not only in your back yard, but across the country and the world. So here is the latest “Weather By The Numbers.”

0.32: Inches of rain that fell in Birmingham during this past weekend’s rain event.

0.47: Inches of rain that fell in Tuscaloosa during this past weekend’s rain event.

0.37: Inches of rain that fell in Anniston during this past weekend’s rain event.

2.09: Inches of rain that fell at Brookley Field in Downtown Mobile during this past weekend’s rain event, the highest recorded total from across the state.

9.21: Inches of rain that fell in Rakiraki Was, Fiji during the last 24 hours, the highest rainfall total recorded in the whole world.

76: Temperature that was reached in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, which is a new record high for December 17th. The old record of 75 was set back in 1990

80: Temperature that was reached in Dothan on Saturday, the warmest recorded in the state.

93: High temperature that was reached in McAllen, Texas on Saturday, the warmest recorded in the nation for the past week.

115: High temperature that was reached in Vioolsdrif, South Africa during the last 24 hours, the warmest recorded in the whole world.

-43: Low temperature that was reached in West Yellowstone Gateway, Montana on Saturday, the coldest recorded in the nation for the past week.

-61: Low temperature that was reached in Delyankir, Russia during the last 24 hours, the coldest recorded in the whole world.

54: Percentage of the United States that is currently covered by snow.

4.1: Average snow depth currently in the United States.

1: Number of preliminary reported tornadoes for the month of December (as of the 10th).

1046: Number of preliminary reported tornadoes for 2016 (as of December 10th).

17: Number of tornado-related fatalities for 2016 (as of December 10th).

8: Number of possible tornadoes from this past weekend’s severe weather event. (5-Mississippi, 1-Tennessee, 1-Arkansas).

A Minecraft Creeper Over Louisiana This Morning?

| August 12, 2016 @ 9:15 am

If you are a Minecraft fan or have a kid who is, you might have a flash of recognition when you see this layout of the flash flood warnings in Louisiana this morning.

8-12-2016 8-53-04 AM

It looks like a Minecraft Creeper. Sss…BOOM!

One might think the National Weather Service had a sense of humor with the warnings placement, but not in this case. The smaller warning polygons are flash flood emergencies for communities that are in big trouble due to flooding this morning. Numerous water rescues, evacuations and road closings are underway. Many areas have had over nine inches of rain just this morning.

Life Threatening Flooding in Louisiana This Morning

| August 12, 2016 @ 9:01 am

8-12-2016 8-52-37 AM

Extremely heavy rain has been falling this morning across southeastern Louisiana from Lafayette up through Baton Rouge and Hammond and across the parishes that border Mississippi. More than five inches of rain has fallen across a wide area of southeastern Louisiana.

Some notable reports this morning:

…Numerous homes flooded around Watson, which is northeast of Baton Rouge
…Roseland in Tangipahoa Parish, north of Hammond, reports numerous search and rescues early this morning, with 30 roads under water including Highway 51.
…The City of Greensburg LA is cut off by floodwaters. Major roads are closed. Parish Hospital and Nursing Home have water entering buildings.
…I-55 closed by high water at Osyka LA. A flash flood emergency is in effect there. The city is cur off due to flooding with water in homes. Evacuations are underway.
…9.25 inches of rain through 6:16 a.m. at Franklinton LA, which is east of I-55.
…8.84 inches of rain in Kentwood LA.
…Numerous roads are flooded around Lafayette and New Iberia where very heavy rain is continuing.

Here is storm total precipitation from the Slidell radar:

8-12-2016 8-54-06 AM

The surface low that has been drifting west across the Gulf Coast region is south of Vicksburg MS this morning. Indications are that it may continue drifting west as far west as Houston over the weekend. Widespread 5-10 inch rainfall amounts are expected across Louisiana, Arkansas, southeastern Missouri into southern Illinois and Indiana this weekend.

Dancing With the Stats: Western Heat Wave Edition

| June 21, 2016 @ 9:00 am

The huge ridge of high pressure continues to bake the southwestern United States.

1000-500 mb thickness values, a measurement of the distance between those two pressure levels aloft, are running 594 dkm over the Four Corners region of the Southwest, which is top of the scale for the parameter. Some of the models had been predicting the values would reach 6000 dkm this week, something I don’t think I have ever seen. Certainly a rare occasion.

Higher thickness values mean hotter temperatures, and readings are running some 10-15F above normal in the Southwest.


Here are some remarkable temperature numbers from yesterday:

Needles CA set an all time record high for June yesterday with 125F as the western heat wave continues unabated. It also tied their all time record high for any date!

Palm Springs hit 122F, breaking the old record by four degrees!

It was 115F at Las Vegas, which beat the old record for the date by 2F. Phoenix registered a sizzling 116F, a new record for the date by 1 degree.

Thermal CA lived up to its name on Monday, with a high of 121F, beating the old record for the date of 120F. Indio CA wasn’t far behind with 120F.

Tropical Depression Number Two Forms

| May 27, 2016 @ 5:13 pm

td two vis-animated 01

Invest 91L has been upgraded to Tropical Depression Two this afternoon based on Air Force Reconnaissance which found a closed circulation in the weather system off the Southeast Coast of the United States.

It has top winds of 35 mph. It should become Tropical Storm Bonnie overnight tonight. It should reach the South Carolina coast near or just west of Charleston early Sunday morning.

The official forecast meanders it along the South Carolina coast through Tuesday, slowly moving offshore and tracking just off the North Carolina coast through Wednesday.

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the South Carolina coast from the Savannah River to Little River Inlet.

Upper level conditions are not especially favorable for intensification, and the system is not forecast to increase beyond a 45 mph tropical storm, but it will be moving over some really warm Gulfstream water, so I think we will have to watch carefully in case it strengthens a little more than anticipated.

In addition to windy conditions, very heavy rain will impact the coast of South Carolina, with at least 2-3 inches of rain expected. I think that forecast from the WPC may be low, especially given the slow movement. There will be rough surf and rip currents as well.

TD Two/Bonnie will have no direct impact on the weather for Alabama of the beautiful beaches of Northwest Florida and Alabama.

You may ask what happened to TD Number One? Hurricane Alex formed in January, the first to form in January since 1938. It formed north of Bermuda and moved toward the Azores, weakening to a tropical storm before reaching the islands.

A Border to Border Bridge of Watches

| May 22, 2016 @ 8:32 pm

An unusual sight this evening across the middle of the country tonight.

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 8.07.33 PM

You could literally walk from Terrell County, Texas, on the Mexican border, all the way to the Canadian border, and be in a severe weather watch the entire way.

Tornado warnings are in effect in Kansas and Texas as well. There have been 28 tornado reports so far, all the way from South Dakota to Texas.


A large and extremely dangerous tornado is on the ground northwest of Garden City, Kansas right now. It is reported to be nearly stationary.

A Tale of Two Storms from Satellite Sheldon

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

Click image to enlarge.

– Special to the AlabamaWX Blog by Sheldon Kusselson