Here is an updated weather overview from our very own Satellite Sheldon (Kusselson):
Category: National and World
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.
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.
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!
LATE REPORT AT 9:26 PM
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.
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.
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.
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
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.