Saturday, October 31, 2009

U.S. Snow Cover

Below is a map that shows what this week's western winter storm left behind. That is quite a bit of snow!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Severe Flooding Hits Mid-South

I catpured this snapshot last night off the web -- it shows flash flood warnings (in the maroon color) that were in effect along the line of heavy rain producing thunderstorms that extended from Missouri to Texas.

Those storms put down a lot of water -- as much as 5 to 7 inches in just a few hours across the Little Rock and Shreveport metro areas.

Little Rock has now seen its wettest October on record with 15.92 inches thus far in the gauge. The previous record was 15.29 inches during October 1984.

This is the 4th wettest month in recorded histroy for Arkansas' capital city.

Little Rock suburbs were hit hard, as well as downtown. A high water rescue took place at 10 pm last night on 7th street in downtown Little Rock.

The northern suburb of Sherwood took on a lot of water, including my mom's neighborhood. The two pictures below are her street. Luckily the road crests at her house, so she was ok. But there was flooding on either side that prevented her from going to work today.

In Louisiana, it is a similar story around Shreveport.

And ontop of the water, there was at least 7 tornadoes in the region on Thursday that prodcued damage.

Below is a map of yesterday's national precip. You can definitely see the rain footprint across Louisiana and Arkansas -- but it would be so much better with more spotters!

We need to do some heavy recruiting across the entire CoCoRaHS network -- but especially in this part of the world.

I survived the snow, but still don't have my driveway clean. See picture below. Anybody wanna come help? ;-)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Squall Line Develops Ahead of Winter Storm

Good morning from snowy Denver, Colorado! It is 1 am and I need to get in bed, but I am too excited over the weather.

I am fortunate to have the opportunity to do a little free-lancing for KMGH-TV in Denver since I am home in the snow and unable to go to my regular job.

So I spent the evening writing a few weather stories. Check them out!

Click here for the one I wrote about CoCoRaHS and here for the one that compares the current storm to one that struck about the same time back in 1997.

Meanwhile I just checked radar and a narrow, but long line of thunderstorms has developed from south-central Kansas into northwest Texas.

You can see this on the 1 am national radar image below.

Out ahead of the storms a tornado watch has been issued for southeast Oklahoma and northeast Texas.

I grew up in Arkansas and have to admit I hate overnight storms, especially when a tornado watch is in effect.

Weather will be a big headline all around the nation today from heavy snow in the Rockies to severe weather in the southern plains to more rain expected in the water-logged southeast.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Western Storm Still Organizing

Well the western storm is still organizing today, and let me just tell you first hand, it is packing a punch!

Sitting at about 7 inches of snow on the ground here at my house in the southeast Denver metro area. I should easily be able to add another 6 to 12 inches to that before all is said and done tomorrow.

On the west side of town, in the foothills, the snow has accumulated to over a foot in many locations.

On Tuesday, as the low pressure formed over the Great Basin, it brought incredible wind to the southwestern US.

Flights into places like Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles were what I like to call "white-knuckled" for lack of a better term -- meaning passengers likely had a tight grip on the arm rests!!

Gusts to over 70 mph were reported on Whittier Peak just outside of L.A., and across the higher terrain of Nevada.

As you can imagine, the winds produced several dust storms that hampered ground travel.

As the storm pulls east today, there is the chance for a little bit of severe weather across the high plains of Texas and Oklahoma, outlined below.

Elsewhere, it's wet today across upstate New York with blinding rain at times along the New York State Throughway.

Residents of the south are catching a small break in the action before more rain moves in to end the work week.

And for many in the Rockies and across the High Plains, it is winter! Just look at the slew of watches, warnings and advisories in place on the map below.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Soggy South, Wintry West -- Get Those Gauges Ready

Wow the CoCoRaHS maps are going to be colorful over the next few days as the rain gauges get a workout all across the nation.

Let's start in the south.

A very soggy air mass is in place with widespread heavy rain today from Arkansas to Georgia.

In the panhandle of Florida, severe weather is possible through the afternoon hours. The Storms Prediction Center has issued a tornado watch until 6 pm.

Heavy rain has been falling across the Atlanta metro this morning, especially on the west and northwest side of the city, which was hit so hard by epic flooding during September.

There are numerous flash flood warnings in effect for the region.

In the south today, remember the very important safety rule: TURN AROUND, DON'T DROWN!

It just isn't worth driving through a flooded road because you never know if the road is still there -- and even if it is and you can see it -- it might not be stable.

Heavy rain fell across Texas on Monday. Several places from Austin and San Antonio to Dallas and Houston saw flash flooding.

Along with the heavy rain came some cooler temperatures -- with many locations reporting 50s and even some chilly 40s this morning.

In addition to the south, it's wet in the northeast today such as in and around New York City.

And looking out west, the big storm that will sweep across the nation over the next 5 days is starting to take shape this morning.

It will start with a lot of wind for the western US, in particular, in and around the Las Vegas vicinity and across southern California. Red flag warnings for high fire danger cover much of Arizona.

As the low pressure strengthens and starts a slow trek to the east across northern Arizona and northern New Mexico tonight, snow will begin to fly across Colorado and much of the central Rockies.

It will likely be measured in feet in a lot of places before all is said and done Thursday.

A 2-day snow event is always fun -- one reason why I love living in Denver!

And looking down the road, severe weather is likely to be with us Wednesday through Saturday -- starting in Texas and moving east ahead of this large winter storm that is currently developing across the west.

We are entering the second severe weather season in the lower 48. It usually starts sometime in October and peaks later in November or December as the air masses once again battle it out -- just like in the spring.

The biggest difference between severe weather in the fall versus the spring months is it usually isn't as widespread, mostly confined to the Gulf Coast states.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dynamic Storm To Sweep Nation This Week

A new storm system is moving into the Pacific Northwest today with clouds, rain, wind and high elevation snow.

Winter storm warnings are in effect for the mountains of Washington state, northern Idaho and western Montana.

The storm will initially dive south and carve out a large trough of low pressure across the Great Basin of the western United States tonight and into the day on Tuesday.

As the storm system develops, it will be quite the wind maker across the deserts of southern California, Nevada, southern Utah and northwest Arizona.

If your travel plans take you into Las Vegas on Tuesday get ready for one bumpy ride!

Later in the day on Tuesday the storm will begin a slow crawl to the east. It is expected to bring heavy snow into Colorado and northern New Mexico, both across higher and lower elevations.

If the low takes the right track, residents of Denver could be shoveling 1 to 2 feet of snow by Thursday morning.

Late Thursday, but especially into Friday and Saturday, we could be looking at a severe weather outbreak in the areas outlined on the map below.

It will all depend on just how this storm system evolves over the next 36 hours and the exact track it takes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New England Soaked Saturday

Widespread moderate to heavy rain doused much of New England on Saturday, with particularly heavy amounts reported across New Hampshire, southern Vermont and east-central upstate New York.

There were plenty of observer comments from the region on Saturday, reporting everything from thuder to rainfall rates topping 1-inch per hour.

With the intense rainfall area waterways are running high so use caution if out and about in that part of the nation today.

One observer in New Hampshire filled the inner tube too fast and lost some rainfall on the table! Oh I have done that before -- it is just horrible!

The observer near Saratoga Springs, New York, reported such intense rainfall that he had to take an alternate route home making for a nearly 90 minute commute from Albany.

An observer in Vermont described the roar of a nearby brook as deafening at times during the heavy rain bands.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Unsettled Week Ahead

Below you are looking at the current "threats outlook" from the Climate Prediction Center for the upcoming week.

This is based off current forecast information and could certainly be tweaked a little as we move through the weekend.

Regardless of how the exact details play out, there is one thing we can say for certain and that is get ready for an active week ahead -- in particular across the western United States.

Some places may be really active such as the Front Range of the Rockies where the current outlook for mid-week is to have a pretty good snowstorm!

The southeast US may see an increasing threat for heavy rain with a plume of tropical moisture currently moving across the Bahamas.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Heavy Rain In Midwest

Wow did you see all the heavy rain reports today on the CoCoRaHS map?

Dozens of reports in the 2 to 4 inch range from Texas to southern Wisconsin.

In Louisiana, severe weather broke out on Thursday with at least 6 tornado reports in Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes.

One report included cars flipped over on Interstate 10 at the town of Jennings as the tornado passed by.

Damage was also reported in the town of Elton.

Today the heavy rain has shifted a little east into the Tennessee and Ohio River valleys.

A new storm system is moving into the Pacific Northwest.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hurricane Neki Parallels Hawaii

Hurricane Neki continues to churn up the waters in and around Hawaii and the storm moves north-northeast with winds of 120 mph.

The center was located about 500 miles west of Honolulu at last advisory.

Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Papahanaumokuakea National Monument and from Nihoa Island to French Frigate Shoals to Maro Reef.

Right now it appears the biggest impact to our 50th state from the hurricane will be higher-than-normal, and rougher-than-normal surf. Some increased showers and windy conditions may also be possible, especially on the northern end of the island chain. after reading the hurricane warning for Papahanaumokuakea National Monument, I had to do a little research to see what that is -- I've never heard of it.

It is the largest marine conservation area in the world, covering more than 139,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean.

It was created by Presidential proclamtion on June 15, 2006.

Click here to learn more by visiting their web site.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Forecasters Say El Nino To Make Return

The most recent ocean data and trends show a return to El Niño climate conditions for the upcoming winter.

Click here to view a PDF file of the latest forecast information.

Typically, El Niño creates warmer-than-average winters in the upper Midwest states and the Northeast.

Central and southern California, northwest Mexico and the southwestern U.S. are usually wetter-than-normal.

The northern Gulf of Mexico states and northeast Mexico are usually both wetter and cooler than average.

If you are up for some reading, here is a lot more info on El Niño.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hurricane Rick Weakens, Checking On Alaska

Once the second most powerful hurricane ever observed in the eastern Pacific, Hurricane Rick is no more.

The storm encountered conditions during that day on Monday that weakened it from a category 3 hurricane down to a strong Tropical Storm.

It is still expected to move in a northeast manner over the next 36 hours and give the southern Baja of California a glancing blow.

Meanwhile, let's look up toward Alaska and see what is happening right now. There are no signs of arctic air building which is good news.

We often look toward Alaska during the fall and winter months to see if large bubbles of cold air are in place. Many times these eventually break off and move south toward the lower 48.

We keep a very close eye on Alaska between December and February.

Right now, Alaska has been running above normal in terms of temperatures. Some places in the southeast US have been seeing weather similar to what has been observed in Fairbanks over recent days.

Things are cooling off in Fairbanks to more normal readings for late October, which means their highs will be in the upper 20s and lower 30s with lows in the teens.

Lately highs have been as high as the mid 50s if you can believe that!

The CoCoRaHS map for Monday, October 19, can be seen above. It was one of the most quiet national maps I have seen in quite some time.

Wet on the edges with a little bit of spotty precip here and there, such as across the inter-mountain west.

But other than that, dry for most observers.

That will change in the days ahead as a new storm system moves onshore in the west and enters the Rockies for mid-week!

My latest poll closed on Monday with 74 votes. The question was when do you think the first widespread arctic outbreak will sweep across the lower 48 states.

37% think before Halloween, 44% think during November and the rest say sometime in December.

A new poll is up so check it out!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Super Hurricane Rick, Winter Outlook

Wow what a monster! Hurricane Rick peaked with winds at 180 mph over the weekend not too far off the Mexican coastline.

That makes Rick the second strongest hurricane ever recorded in the eastern Pacific. The strongest on record was Hurricane Linda back in 1997 with 185 mph winds.

Thankfully Rick has weakened down to a Category 3 storm with winds of 115 mph. That is still extremely dangerous -- but much better than what it was over the weekend.

The storm is moving toward the resort town of Cabo San Lucas, and will make a landfall on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Click here to visit the National Hurricane Center for the latest forecast information.

Looking ahead to the winter, it looks like El Nino will have an influence on the weather pattern over the next several months, according to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service.

Click here for a breakdown of the forecast by region.

If this forecast verifies, it will be some good news for California as they are potentially going to be wetter-than-normal.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chilly East, Mild To Hot West

The eastern US remains chilly this weekend with below normal temperatures behind a strong cold front that has now pushed all the way into southern Florida.

Highs will only be in the 40s across much of the northern tier with lower 50s into places like Atlanta and Memphis.

Some places in New England may not even reach 40 degrees.

Only mid-70s are expected over the next few days as far south as Miami with overnight lows as low as 50 degrees in some outlying areas of the metropolitan area.

Signs of this chilly air mass can be seen in the US map above with numerous frost and freeze advisories and watches in place.

Meanwhile, out is mild and hot. Highs will climb into the 70s and even lower 80s along the Front Range of the Rockies.

In the deserts of Arizona, temperatures will push 100 degrees!

Historically, the last 100-degree day of the year happens around September 28 on average in the Phoenix vicinity.

The latest 100-degree event on record was October 23, 2003.

Here is a neat write-up about the last 100-degree day trend in Phoenix.

Off the teach a CoCoRaHS training class in Brighton, Colorado. Hoping for a good turn-out!

Friday, October 16, 2009

PA Snow Sets New Record

The eastern half of the US is under a very large airmass full of clouds and cold air.

All the blue and red dots indicate mostly cloudy to overcast sky conditions.

And in some of that cold air, snow is falling.

State College, Pennsylvania, saw the earliest snow on record. The previous record stood since October 18, 1901.

Nearly a half-foot fell in the college town.

Snow was also flying across southern New York and across much of the rest of northern and central Pennsylvania.

This type of weather is anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks ahead of schedule.

More snow is in store this weekend along the mountains of Pennsylvania and New York, and possibly extending down into the highest elevations of Virginia and West Virginia.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CoCoRaHS Workout In California, Unusual Record Set

A huge storm slammed into California on Tuesday with hurricane force winds across the higher elevations and heavy rain across both high and low elevations.

Locations in and around Los Angeles saw anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of rain. Some foothill locations in Ventura County and the Santa Barbara Mountains saw over 10 inches of rain.

Rocky Butte in San Luis Obispo County saw over a foot of rain!

Trees and powerlines were down in places like Merced and Fresno, while there was flooding in Hanford.

The winds created a dust storm that resulted in a multi-car pileup that killed 3 and injured 6 others on I-5, just north of State Road 119 in Kern County.

Power was out to over 250,000 California residents at the peak of the storm.

Here is a record you don't see everyday...Sacramento had a record low pressure reading for the month of October recorded at 3:44 pm. The air pressure was 29.39 inches.

So if you live in that area and felt poorly in body, that may have had something to do with it.

The CoCoRaHS observer in Santa Clara County, 6.1 miles south of Los Gatos, challenged the limits of the rain gauge with a 24-hour total of 11.09 inches!!!

That was the highest CoCoRaHS total in the nation on Wednesday.

Los Gatos is in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains so there was definitely precipitation enhancement due to the terrain. In meteorology, we call this orographic lifting -- that is simply where the winds, which in this case were blowing on shore and up the mountain chain, force the air to rise and squeeze out all the moisture it can -- thus enhancing the amount of precipitation.

October is usually a dry month for the region. The rainy season starts in November but really gets going in late December through early March.

Nearby in Santa Cruz County, the observer 1.2 miles SSE of Ben Lomond was close behind with 10.76 inches of rain in 24-hours.

This area is located on the central California coast, south of the San Francisco Bay area.

California needed this precipitation -- maybe just not so heavy all at once.

The rainy season is still ahead so let's hope they get a lot of much needed moisture.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 1969 -- A Year To Remember

I wasn't around in October 1969, but if you were, chances are that you might recall the unusual weather it brought.

On this date in 1969, a bitterly cold air mass was spilling south from the Arctic. It brought single-digit temperatures and widespread snow to the northern Rockies and high plains.

Meanwhile, record heat was found on the west side of the storm system with mid 60s as far north as central Alaska.

It was a stagnant weather pattern with much of the month cooler and wetter than normal for the lower 48 states.

In fact, for Denver, it was the coldest, wettest and snowiest October on record. And those records still stand today.

The cause for the unusual weather was the jet stream pattern. There was a huge ridge over the western US with a large trough of low pressure covering the rest of the country.

There was a great paper written about the weather pattern and the resulting weather that October.

Click here to read it.

The paper has charts, maps and detailed analysis of the scenario.

Monday, October 12, 2009

More Southern Rain, Chilly Midwest

More rain is on tap (no pun intended) for portions of the south, from southern Arkansas over to the Atlanta area.

Atlanta has seen just over 46" of rain so far this year. The 30-year average for the period of January through December is just over 50 inches so they are pretty much on track to have a normal year.

The problem is after a dry start Mother Nature decided to play catch-up with a very wet late summer that brought epic flooding.

Click here to read about the epic floods that hit Atlanta in September.

It was a cold weekend along the eastern Rockies and across the northern plains. Here in Denver we never left the 20s during the day on Saturday.

It was cold!

We received some snow but nothing too serious -- I didn't even have to break out the shovel. However in extreme northern Colorado, portions of southeast Wyoming and stretching over into Nebraska -- shovels were required over the weekend as up to a foot of snow fell.

Some places even saw more than a foot - breaking a record at North Platte that has stood since 1896.

Click here to read more about the heavy snow.

Friday, October 9, 2009

First Time Gauge Reader Overflows

I have such a great story about a girl I went to kindergarten with at Bayou Meto Elementary in Jacksonville, Arkansas.

She and I found each other on Facebook a few months back and she learned that I was a meteorologist. She shared with me that she was a die hard weather buff and had started following CoCoRaHS and my blog.

This past week she signed up to be an observer and her gauge arrived this week. Her husband installed it yesterday just in time to catch rain from an overnight squall line that moved through central Arkansas.

Guess what?

Her first report was 2.60 inches! So lucky to overflow on her very first day of measuring for CoCoRaHS!

Congratulations Shannon -- so glad our paths have crossed again after all these years and really glad to have you as part of the extended CoCoRaHS family!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Henri Downgraded, Large Fall Strom Moving In

Tropical Storm Henri is now just a depression as it slowly drifts west. It will skirt across the northern shore of Puerto Rico and continue moving west toward Hispanola.

Meanwhile, the center of the nation is cool and damp as a large autumn storm system moves across the region.

It will spread widespread showers across portions of Kansas and Missouri. Behind that, in the cooler air, anything from freezing fog and drizzle to some light snow is possible from Denver to North Dakota.

Flash flood watches are out from Texas to central Indiana as this storm system moves further south and east over the next 24 hours.

Freeze warnings cover all of North Dakota, portions of South Dakota and western Minnesota. Temperatures will fall into the lower teens in some places.

Rain will move into the southeat states and New England before the week is over.

If you want some dry weather, head west. From San Diego to Seattle the next few days looks dry.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tracking Henri, Preparing For Winter Blast

Well believe it or not, the tropics have flared up just a bit with Tropical Storm Henri spinning to the northeast of Puerto Rico.

It is a very weak storm and is expected to be downgraded to either a depression or just simply an area of low pressure.

However, it will bring some unsettled weather to the area north of Puerto Rico and east of the Bahamas.

It does need to be monitored since it is fairly close to home.

Elsewhere, a strong cold front is now pushing into the northern plains. Montana and North Dakota are already feeling the effects with temperatures in the 30s and falling.

It will sag south over the next 2 days along and east of the Rockies. Let's just say the middle of the country is setting up for a cold and wet weekend. Here is the Friday forecast map.

There are already some flood watches out around eastern Kansas and across much of Missouri, eastern Oklahoma and northern Arkansas in advance of the storm system.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Taste Of Winter For Some

Parts of southwest North Dakota received the first accumulating snow of the season Monday with 1 to as much as 4 inches in a few locations.

More snow could be in store this weekend as a chilly storm system moves into the northern Rockies and high plains.

Perhaps chilly is an understatement -- maybe I should have said very cold! Temperatures across portions of North Dakota could drop as low as 15 degrees with the new storm system.

In fact, the Climate Prediction Center is outlining a huge portion of the middle US for below normal temperatures this coming weekend, along with some wet weather.

So let's wait and see just how this weekend weather system unfolds!

Here is another installment from our Hawaiian blogger....Ben Black.

Take a look at NOAA’s Northern Pacific weather maps at and you’ll see that for much of the year, one or more high pressure areas align in a “convoy” near the 40th parallel north of Hawaii and glide slowly in succession toward North America.

The rotation around these “highs” reinforce the trade wind flow toward Hawaii to the south, and add impetus to the movement of storms in the north Pacific and Alaska. When a low is introduced to the tropics south of these high pressure areas or slips into traffic between the highs, interesting dynamics develop that can stop or reverse the trade wind flow around Hawaii. Depending on the location of the low, Hawaii might see a localized reversal of the direction of prevailing winds that we call “Kona” winds. These can draw up even warmer, more humid air from the equator. When a Kona storm or Kona winds move in, they can make the westerly sides of the islands rainier and leave the eastern sides dry and sunny.

Here’s a weather map from 9/29/09 that shows a low that’s worked into the line of high pressure areas. Compare the with this detail from the GOES-11 satellite photo to see the gorgeous pinwheel effect that spins out of this low pressure area.

Friday, October 2, 2009

CoCoRaHS Important To Hawaii

On the island of Kaua`i, Mount Wai`ale`ale (“rippling water”) is purported to be the wettest spot on earth. This eroded volcanic core rises nearly vertically to just shy of a mile above sea level.

Rainfall records at the summit of Wai`ale`ale have been kept intermittently since 1910. The average rainfall since 1910 is 426 inches of rain a year, with 680 inches being the greatest annual rainfall recorded there (1982).

You’d need a 57-foot tall rain gauge that year to collect the entire year’s catch before emptying the gauge. Meanwhile the great sand dunes at Polehale on the leeward side of Kaua`i get an annual average rainfall of only 8 inches.

On O`ahu, the official 30-year average annual rainfall for Honolulu (on the leeward side) is 18.29 inches. On the wet, windward side of O`ahu, the tradewinds bring 60 to 280 inches to the mountain ridges.

On the big island of Hawai`i, rainfall on the east slopes of Mauna Kea can be nearly 300 inches, while on the west slopes, rainfall is unreliable and less than 10 inches per year. During a three-day rainfall in 2008, Hilo recorded just under 40 inches of precipitation.

Most rain comes in the form of isolated showers that come and go in a few minutes. When major storms bring heavy rain to Hawai`i, they’re pervasive and easy to identify.

But, the rainfall amounts vary greatly by locality.

On any given day, you can be standing in the sun while across the street your neighbor is getting a shower. When heavy rain hits, rapidly changing elevation, air currents, land formations, and other factors can mean that the amount of rainfall varies incredibly from place to place, even between localities that aren’t widely separated.

At the same time, its hard to get excited about reading the rain gauge on the dry sides of the island when it’s dry for weeks or months at a time. But when it rains, the effects on vegetation, stream beds, reefs and wildlife are so dramatic that the rain report is vital data.

Let’s proudly report those zeroes!

Thanks to Ben Black for the great entry.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Welcome To October-rrrrrrr, More On Hawaii

Well good morning from windy and chilly Denver, Colorado! We have dropped into the upper 30s after mid 70s to lower 80s yesterday. It's a great welcome to the 10th month of the year.

Our first freeze of the season is due tonight, about 6 days ahead of schedule. Normal first freeze in Denver is around October 7.

Some fall severe weather is possible today from northeast Texas, across Arkansas and into southern Missouri.

The map below outlines the area where wind and hail is likely with storms that develop. There is only a 2% chance for an isolated tornado across the area.

There is a campaign currently in progress by NOAA to raise the awareness over tsunamis. As you have been following in the world headlines a series of tsunamis hit the Somoan Islands this week.

Click here to learn more about identifying the signs of an impending tsunami and what to do if you are in one.

The USA has two tsunami warning centers, one located in Alaska and the other in Hawaii.

Speaking of Hawaii, here is today's installment by Ben Black.

Is it going to rain today?

Singer and songwriter Stan Rogers said of the farmer on the Canadian prairie that on his tractor, he could watch the rain coming for miles. In large areas of the western and central United States, you look to the west or south to see what change in the weather may be headed your way.

In Hawai`i, we generally look eastward to see what showers are coming across the miles of ocean on trade winds. Because the trade wind flow dominates our weather so much of the year, we readily refer the windward (or rainy side) and leeward (or dry side) of each island.

After crossing thousands of miles of open water, many clouds can’t wait to precipitate, and are shedding rain well before making landfall at Hawai`i.

The windward sides of the mountains tease and squeeze showers out of the approaching clouds. The showers bless the windward sides with rainfall to produce luxuriant vegetation over the dramatically eroded mountainsides that appear as glorious green folds on postcards and travel brochures.

So, is it going to rain today in Hawai`i? Yes -- somewhere.

Weather History

And on this date in weather history in 1752, a hurricane hit the Carolinas for the second time in 2 weeks. It caused major damage to Onslow County Courthouse and Beacon Island disappeared.

In 1893, a hurricane hit the Mississippi Delta region drowning more than 1,000 people.

In 1987, winter struck northern Minnesota with snow in Duluth, while it was topping out in the upper 80s and lower 90s from Seattle to Portland during a heat wave.

In 1988, severe storms developed and brought large hail to Troy, Park Springs and Nocona, Texas.

And in 1989, a severe weather outbreak produced nearly a dozen tornadoes in the southeast, with Georgia and Florida hardest hit. Two people were killed near Moultrie, Georgia.