Monday, November 30, 2009

Low Bringing Winter To Desert Southwest

Here is a map you don't see everyday....winter storm warnings along the US/Mexico border, including the city of El Paso, Texas!

This is being caused by an area of low pressure that is slowly drifting across the region. It has a pocket of cold air associated with it and just the right dynamics in place to produce snow -- in some cases to the valley floor.

Up to 4 inches could accumulate in the deserts before all is said and done, with up to a foot across the higher elevations of this area.

The low will slowly drift east and eventually move along the Gulf Coast by the weekend, producing heavy rain from Brownsville, TX to Pensacola, FL.

Elsewhere, most everyone is quiet with the exception of rain along a front that extends from east Texas to Maine.

A new storm is churning in the Gulf of Alaska and is expected to spread very high wind and heavy rain or snow across southern Alaska. This is expected in two waves -- one today and tomorrow with another round by the weekend and early next week.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Alaska Chill Not Unusual

The recent string of below zero weather across Alaska was a little longer than normal, but certainly nothing unusual.

Fairbanks dropped below zero on Nov. 15 and stayed there through Nov. 22 before once again rising above 0 degrees.

Back in 2006 there was a 16-day below zero cold snap in Fairbanks.

It has been drier than normal at Fairbanks with 6 inches of snow so far this month. November is the snowiest month on average in Fairbanks with about 14 inches on average.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nation's Icebox Not So Cold

Yesterday (Monday) was the 240th day in a row where the high temperature at International Falls, MN, was above freezing. This is the 4th longest stretch at International Falls followed behind the 246 string of days in 1958, 244 days in 2001 and 241 days in 2005.

International Falls is known as the "icebox of the nation" because when it does get cold there -- it gets cold!

It was the 236th day in a row with above freezing high temperatures in Duluth. The record number of consecutive days above freezing in Duluth is 257, held by 1878.

The last time a high temperature failed to go above 32 degrees at either city was on March 28, 2009 where the high temperature was 31 degrees at Interantional Falls and 26 degrees at Duluth.

High temperatures are expected to be above freezing through at least mid-week and may last into next weekend which will threaten to tie or break the record at International Falls.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cold Days Ahead?

Cold air can still be found today over much of interior Alaska and northwest Canada....but it is nothing like a few days ago when we saw widespread negative numbers in the 30s and 40s below zero!

That cold air is on the move and will spill south -- bringing a few days of below normal weather to much of the nation as we round out November and head into December.

Of course it will moderate some before reaching the lower latitudes but still -- it will be chilly!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cut-Off Low Drifting Slowly

Those of you in the midwest have had several days of cloudy and damp weather, all thanks to an area of low pressure cut-off from the main flow of jet stream winds aloft.

The result has been this low just kind of spinning along, minding its own business....but bringing those under the low pressure system a dreary week.  (i.e. St. Louis)

In the northwest, a new storm is onshore and it is spreading plenty of rain and wind to the region. One of my good friends called yesterday from the car ferry on Puget Sound saying it was a rough ride!

Portions of Alaska's interior are well below zero this morning. Such as 46 below in Bettles! Compared to that, it is a balmy 9 below in Fairbanks with snow this morning.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Brrrrr -- It's Chilly In Alaska

Much below normal temperatures continue to grip Alaska this morning with minuses showing up from Anchorage to Bettles!

As of this blog posting, it was -6 in Anchorage and -14 in Fairbanks -- both stations were reporting snow.

It really gets cold in the interior with -43 at Bettles and -42 at Tanana.

A strong cold front has blew through portions of Washington and Oregon with strong winds overnight. Gusts to 70 mph at Hoquiam and 58 mph at Bellingham were reported. Seattle saw winds near 40 mph.

Crystal Mountain, Wash. saw wind gusts clock in at 115 mph!

Astoria, Ore. saw 2.71 inches of rain on Monday setting a new daily record. From what I just looked at on the extended forecast models...there might be several more daily records falling across the Pacific Northwest in the days to come. A wet pattern looks to be setting up now through Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mid-November Weather

It was a busy weekend here in Colorado with below normal temperatures and another decent snowfall. That puts us over 2 feet so far this season....some parts of the city close to 3 feet!

Today there is a small pocket of wintry weather across northeast Kansas, northwest Missouri, southwest Iowa and southeast Nebraska.

It is still very cold over Alaska with sub-zero readings expected this week in the interior.

Hawaii has been dealing with record rain and extremely high surf with waves over 15 feet. Hilo saw over 4 inches of rain in one day last week.

The week is off to a stormy start in the Pacific Northwest with plenty of wind and rain as well as mountain snow. Heavy totals are possible from northern California through western Oregon and Washington this week.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wicked Storm East, New Storm West

Wow the CoCoRaHS maps have really tracked the progress of Tropical Storm Ida and  the remnants since making landfall along the Gulf Coast earlier this week.

The map above is from 2 days ago when the storm was dumping heavy rain over north Georgia and the western Carolinas. What a nice footprint!

Today more heavy rain, high surf and blowing sand will pelt the coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic as the coastal low (remnants of Ida) slowly move north.

Much of the western US will see a cool and unsettled weekend ahead as a storm system impacts the region.

Our facebook page for CoCoRaHS has been busy the past few days with a lot of chit chat among members! That is excellent!

Observer NC-CL-01 has seen a lot of impact from the coastal low -- with nearly 5.00 inches of rain as of his post on Facebook yesterday -- I am sure that number is still climbing!

Station FL-ES-2 also checked in on Facebook before Ida made landfall -- she was expecting alot of rain just 6 miles east of the Alabama and Florida state line in the far western panhandle.

 Welcome to a few new stations who checked in on our Facebook page....Matt from Custer County, Montana and Karen from Maine!

I was not able to process my pictures from the new weather station dedication yesterday in Denver but will hopefully tonight and try to post tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday Weather Wrap

Well Ida is no more, but the remnants are making waves (literally) along the eastern coast of the United States.

A coastal low has formed off the Carolinas and will bring a lot of wind and rain to the eastern seaboard over the next 48 hours.

Coastal flooding is expected from the onshore winds and heavy rain.

In the northwest, a new storm system is moving into Washington, Oregon and the mountains of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

And cold air continues to build over Alaska -- something to watch in the days ahead.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ida Makes First Landfall

Tropical Storm Ida officially made landfall around 5:40 a.m. Tuesday along the shores of Dauphin Island, Alabama.

As I type this blog, the storm has crossed the island and is now over Mobile Bay -- and will make a second landfall soon on the U.S. mainland.

I just checked the latest observation out of Mobile and they have a sustained wind from the North at 28 mph gusting to 44 mph. They've seen over 3 inches of rain in the area during the past 30 hours.

Thanks to CoCoRaHS observations -- we see a few isolated pockets of 5 to 7 inches.

Elsewhere around the nation -- things are really starting to chill down across Alaska. Over the next several weeks we'll have to start paying attention to what is happening up there as we often see large masses of cold air develop -- and then spill down the Rockies and across much of the lower 48.

It has been fairly mild across much of Alaska in recent weeks, but things are now chilling down enough that rivers and lakes are freezing up for the winter.

There is a flood advisory in and around the Fairbanks vicinity due to potential flooding along the Tanana River because of ice jams.

The forecast over the next 5 days has high dropping to near zero with lows falling into the 20s below zero around Fairbanks so that river willl freeze up nice and solid and the threat for flooding will come to an end.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ida Downgraded, Still Poses Danger

Ida is no longer a hurricane, but will still make landfall as a potent storm system and will definitely be a threat to the southeast U.S. -- more and more in the form of heavy rain versus wind.

Below is a picture sent to me by Marilue -- one of our CoCoRaHS observers along the Gulf Coast. The picture is from Seagrove Beach, Florida.

November Hurricane History

If Hurricane Ida can maintain "hurricane status" all the way to the coastline, it will be one of only a handful of tropical systems to do so during the month of November.

Below are the few Nov. hurricanes on record that struck the U.S. coastline.

Hurricane 4 of 1925 -- struck Sarasota during the night on Nov. 30. The hurricane caused damage to Florida's citrus crops. High winds knocked down power lines and damaged homes. Several deaths were reported on the open waters as ships sank. A ship carrying 2,000 cases of liquor and a crew of six sank near Daytona Beach. The storm made a second landfall as a tropical storm along the North Carolina coast.

Hurricane 6 of 1935 -- struck the Miami area on Nov. 4, moved into the Gulf of Mexico and lost strength before curving back east and hitting near the Tampa area as a tropical depression. The storm killed 19 people and caused widespread damage. The hurricane's unusual approach toward Florida and late arrival earned it the nickname of the Yankee Hurricane.

Hurricane Kate of 1985 -- struck Florida's panhandle on Nov. 21 as a weak Category 2 storm with flooding rain, power outages and beach erosion. The storm was blamed for five deaths.

Some historical summaries show a fourth November hurricane hit Florida in 1916. But research by the National Hurricane Center shows this storm actually lost tropical characteristics between Cancun and Key West, but did move over the Florida Keys as an extratropical cyclone.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tropics Come To Life, Giant Crack Found In Africa

Well after several days of quiet, the Atlantic side of the tropical season has come to life with a tropical depression forming on the coast of Nicaragua.

The disturbed area weather is expected to organized and make a northwest trek into Nicaragua before turning north and moving across Honduras.

Forecasters currently think the area of low pressure will continue moving north, off the northern coast of Honduras and reform into a tropical storm once it gets back over the warm waters.

The map below shows the potential track and status -- potentially threatening the Yucatan of Mexcio by early next week.

And in some very interesting world news, my grandma sent this to me on email the other day.

She found an article that talks about a huge crack found in the African deserts of Ethiopia.

Scientists think the 35-mile rift will eventually become a new ocean.

Click here to read more.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Continued Quiet....For Now

The first few days of November remain on the quiet side for much of the lower 48. There is some active weather in Alaska with both some wind, rain and snow as well as cold temperatures (0 to 20 below zero in the northern interior)

This will change next week as the pattern turns more active across the nation.

The first storm system will start impacting the northwest as we head into the weekend and the central Rockies by early next week.

It will then sweep across the country and will be followed by another storm system a few days later according to current models.

Our most recent poll ended with 41 responses. Of those, 53% didn't realize CoCoRaHS was on Facebook while the rest said they are already friends with CoCoRaHS on Facebook.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November Arrives Quietly

Aside from last week's storm exiting the east coast today, and a small disturbance moving over Minnesota, it is really quiet and seasonal for many locations.

That trend should take us into the first few days of the 11th month -- November.

October 2009 will go down in the record books for many locations and won't soon be forgotten.

It was the wettest month on record for St. Louis, MO -- Little Rock, AR -- and Shreveport, LA.

It was the coldest month on record for Cheyenne, WY -- and Tulsa, OK. 2nd coldest for Denver, CO -- and Oklahoma City, OK.

It was the hottest October on record for Miami, FL.

It was the snowiest on record for Cheyenne, WY and North Platte, NE.