Category: National and World
Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California
But girl don’t they warn ya
It pours, man it pours
So sang Albert Hammond in his top five 1972 hit “It Never Rains in Southern California”. Today’s weather has disproved the thesis from the first line of the chorus, but the last line is ringing true today.
Indeed, severe weather has been occurring this afternoon in an unusual place: Southern California.
A rare slight risk severe weather outlook was in effect all day along the coastal areas of southern California, including Los Angeles and San Diego. The new 01z issuance (7 p.m. CST) removed the risk area.
There have been a number of severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings issued by National Weather Service offices like San Diego, Hanford and Los Anegles (Oxnard).
In fact, a severe thunderstorm warning just expired for parts of the City of San Diego.
Here was the a regional radar showing the warning polygon at the time the warning was issued:
There have been numerous reports of flooding and debris flows over roads in that region.
A plane was moved 3 feet at the John Wayne Airport in Orange County by a microburst. There was jet bridge damage. The official ASOS at the airport recorded 35 mph. A nearby wind observation recorded 74 mph wind gust.
While the weather might, be an inconvenience to some, most folks are rejoicing at the rain, with exceptional drought affecting much of that area.
There have been a few severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings in North Florida this afternoon.
One of the storms that showed radar indications of a possible tornado is passing just north of the Daytona International Speedway.
A tornado warning was issued for the area including the race track since there was some concern that the storm might turn a little more southeast toward the speedway.
Racing has been suspended for some time now because of rain and thunderstorms.
A marginal severe weather threat continues for much of the Gulf Coast and the northern two thirds of the Florida Peninsula as thunderstorms tap relatively unstable air in those areas.
As many folks know, my daughter lives in Chicago. Yesterday afternoon she sent me a short video she took on her way to her job at the Royal George Theater. I know we’ve all had a good deal of snow this winter, but I thought you might find it interesting to see another Chicago snow – especially from afar!
The video also underscores the extreme snowfall seen in Chicago this season from the snowfall graph that Bill Murray posted Sunday and repeated here.
Two significant snowstorms have been sufficient to push Birmingham’s 2013-14 snow season into he top 12 all time.
Will we see any more snow this year? Hard to say.
Across the Great Lakes and Northeast, the story is the same. Even more impressive in fact.
Chicago is expecting 4-6 inches of snow tomorrow on President’s Day. The official snow total for the season at O’Hare right now is 62.2 inches.
Tomorrow’s snowfall will likely propel this season into second place, a position currently held by the 1966-67 season, which stands at 67.7”. The all time seasonal snowfall total at Chicago is 83.7 inches back in the snowy year of 1978-79. While that record may not be broken, it has still been an interesting year.
Indianapolis stands at 51.4”, which is good for fourth place there. The 1-2 inches of snow expected on top of freezing rain Monday should be enough to help them pass the 51.7” total that currently is in 3rd place.
New York City’s Central Park stands at 55.6”, less than one half inch behind fifth place’s 1888-89 season. Last night’s snow will undoubtedly put this year into fifth place.
In Philadelphia, which has seen four six inch snow storms for the first time in its history this year, this season is solidly in fourth place all time with 55.4 inches of snow.
A fairly strong earthquake occurred around 9:25 p.m. CST across northern Georgia and South Carolina. It was felt in Columbia and Atlanta as well as Athens.
One eyewitness familiar with quakes said it seemed to be about 4.5 in magnitude, lasted about 10 seconds and was of the rolling variety.
Here is the USGS report showing magnitude 4.4
Lots of reports on Twitter and FB about it.
The winter storm that is affecting much of the country is getting some rarely used descriptions, such as historic and crippling and life threatening, especially in areas east of Alabama.
The system will have some of its greatest impacts right along I-20, with significant ice accumulations expected tonight through Wednesday from possibly eastern Alabama through the Atlanta area eastward through Augusta and Columbia.
Over an INCH of ice accumulation is expected around Augusta, GA to Orangeburg, SC.
Over one half inch is expected for places like Athens, GA and Columbia, SC, as well as Sumter, SC and Florence SC. This area will experience widespread power outages.
Atlanta is expecting between 0.25″ and 0.50″ inches of accumulating ice.
Remember, anything over 1/4 inch will cause power outages, and thorwing in winds gusting to 25 mph at times, major power outages are expected.
FROM THE NWS ATLANTA ICE STORM WARNING MESSAGE:
IMPACTS…THESE HIGH ICE ACCUMULATION AMOUNTS WILL MAKE TRAVEL
IMPOSSIBLE. THIS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE A CATASTROPHIC EVENT.
WIDESPREAD AND EXTENDED POWER OUTAGES ARE LIKELY AS ICE
ACCUMULATES ON TREES AND POWERLINES AND BRINGS THEM DOWN.
PLEASE PREPARE TO BE WITHOUT POWER IN SOME LOCATIONS FOR DAYS
AND PERHAPS AS LONG AS A WEEK. ONCE THE ICE BEGINS TO MELT ON
THURSDAY AND FRIDAY…FALLING ICE FROM BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES
WILL CREATE AN ADDITIONAL HAZARD.
…An ice storm warning is issued instead of a winter storm warning when the impacts from the storm are expected to be more of the freezing rain variety that from snow.
…Recon flights are actually being flown over the Gulf of Mexico in order to gather additional data for model input. How cool is that?
The NWS in Tallahassee has issued a tornado warning for Bay County till 9:30 AM CST
…AT 902 AM CST…TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A TORNADO NEAR GULF LAGOON BEACH…MOVING NORTHEAST AT 45 MPH.
Doppler Radar indicates a well defined hook echo moving toward Lynn Haven.
Here is my annual list of the top weather events in the U.S. this year:
1. El Reno Tornado: Massive tornado cut a track 16 miles long west and southwest of Oklahoma City. The tornado killed eight people including veteran stormchaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul and chase partner Carl Young. The tornado expanded to 2.6 miles making it the widest tornado on record. Originally rated EF5, the tornado was re-rated as an EF3 in a controversial move because there were no appropriate damage indicators for the higher rating.
2. Colorado Flood: A stalled cold front led to Biblical flooding along the Front Range of Colorado in September. The resulting flooding covered a large part of 17 counties. A new record was established when 9.08 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in Boulder on the 11th and 12th. Rainfall records were set on five of seven days in Boulder during the event. The resulting floods across the Front Range washed out over 50 bridges and numerous roads. Damages totaled $1 billion. Eight people were killed and six were missing.
3. Newcastle/Moore Tornado: The first EF5 tornado since May 24, 2011 struck Newcastle and Moore, Oklahoma, killing 24 people. It was the deadliest tornado in the U.S. since Joplin. Seven children were killed at the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore when a wall fell on them as they sheltered. This led to increased debate about severe weather safety and schools.
4. Firefighters Killed: Nineteen members of an elite firefighter crew from Prescott, Arizona were killed when the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona blew up on June 30th. It was the greatest loss of firefighters in a U.S. wildfire since 1933. It was also the deadliest U.S. wildfire since the 1991 East Bay Hills fire killed 25 people.
5. November Illinois Outbreak: On November 17th, 73 tornadoes struck Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee, killing seven. It was the worst November outbreak in Illinois history. There were two EF4 tornadoes, including one that struck Washington, IL.
6. Back to Back Derechos: On two days in a row, June 12th and 13th, large derechos converged on the Mid-Atlantic States. The June 12 derecho followed a similar path to the June 2012 super-derecho that had knocked out power to millions for 7-10 days. The June 13th derecho had its genesis from southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky into Alabama and Georgia during the morning hours of June 13th. A total of four people died in the two events. Unlike the 2012 event, both 2013 derechos were well forecasted up to three days in advance.
7. Record Streak of Days without Tornado Fatalities Ends: The January 29th and 30th outbreak produced 60 tornadoes across the South, including an EF3 at Adairsville, GA that killed one. It was the first tornado fatality since June 24, 2012, a streak of 219 days that is a record.
8. Low Tornado Count: The SPC’s preliminary tornado count for 2013 will end up at 941. The actual number will probably be pretty close to that. The previous year, 2012, finished with 939 tornadoes, making the two very similar in count, but significantly below the rolling ten year average of 1,342.
9. Tame Hurricane Season: There were thirteen named storms in the Atlantic in 2013, but only two hurricanes. There were no major hurricanes. There have only been 33 such seasons since 1851. The 2013 North Atlantic Hurricane Season will go down as the 14th slowest since 1851 with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy index (ACE) of 30. It is the lowest ACE value since 1983, when a 17 was posted.
10. Record May Snows over the Upper Midwest. An unprecedented spring snowstorm dumped over a foot of snow over Minnesota and Wisconsin. That had never happened in May. The 17.2 inches of snow at Dodge Center, MN may hold up as an all time single storm record for the Gopher State.
…Hattiesburg Tornado (2/10): EF4 tornado injured 60, but good warnings led to no deaths.
…Virginia Fog Chain Reaction (3/31): Easter Sunday fog event on I-77 resulted in 95 vehicle crash that killed 3.
…Powerful October Winter Storm in Upper Midwest (10/4): Second biggest snow ever at Rapid City. Also produced EF4 tornado at Wayne NE.
…New Connecticut State Snow Record (2/9): 36.0″ of snow in Ansonia, CT may be state record.
…Loveland Avalanche (4/20): Colorado’s deadliest avalanche since 1962 killed five people outside the Loveland Ski Resort.
…Plains Drought Eases in Some Areas
Please give your feedback below by commenting! It’s been a fun 2013. Looking forward to a great year next year!
Also, I am working on my list of the top ten Alabama weather events. Send your suggestions!