Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hurricane Alex Captures News Headlines

It's the first Atlantic hurricane of the season and it will make landfall over the next 36 hours somewhere between northeast Mexico and southeast Texas.

Despite where it goes - the effects will be widespread as a lot of wind and rain pound the region.

It was just a few years ago when the same area took a beating from Hurricane Dolly.

Click here for a look back at Dolly and how it compares to Alex.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Where Will Alex Hit?

The model runs are taking Tropical Storm Alex (eventually Hurricane Alex) further and further north it seems with each run.

Yesterday it was making landfall well into Mexico, at least a few hundred miles south of Brownsville.

Now the official forecast has it coming in about 75 miles south of Brownsville, Texas.

If you look at this snapshot from the NAM Model, looking about 84 hours into the future, it has the storm hitting Brownsville head-on.

And if you look at the GFS forecast model looking out about 108 hours, it has the storm almost moving parallel to the Texas coast and making landall in the Houston vicinity.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

All Eyes On Gulf of Mexico & Tropical Storm Alex

Well what many have feared could happen is in the making - a tropical storm or hurricane moving into the region being impacted by the oil spill.

Tropical Storm Alex formed overnight and will have impacts today and tomorrow along the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

Forecast models show the storm slowly moving across the western portion of the Gulf of Mexico early next week and possibly growing to near hurricane strength by July 1.

Even if the storm does not move near the oil spill, the impacts may still be felt by increased wave action and flow of the current as a result of the winds at the surface.

I am by no means sounding the panic button in this blog but it will be a touchy situation that bares close following over the coming week.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lightning Safety Week

When the thunder roars - go indoors!

We're wrapping up National Lightning Safety Week in the United States. The National Weather service has been busy putting together a lot of resources for you to use so you are better educated on what to do to protect your life and property.

Click here to see safety tips, watch videos, find community resources and more!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Moderate Risk Area Targets Midwest Once Again

More severe weather is in the forecast today.

The Storms Prediction Center has outlined an area with a moderate risk for severe storms that produce tornadoes and large hail.

The region with the highest probability is outlined in the picture with 10%, and includes southwest Minnesota, southeast South Dakota, extreme northeast Nebraska and much of northwest Iowa.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tornado Hits Billings, MT

Sunday afternoon turned stormy for many as severe thunderstorms developed along the leeside of the Rockies and across the central and northern high plains states.

There were numerous reports of large hail and heavy rain from the storms, and even a few tornadoes.

One tornado touched down on the northeast side of Billings, Mont. around 4:45 pm Sunday.

The twister did a considerable amount of damage to area businesses and homes, including a McDonalds and an arena.

Click here to see an update from KTVQ - you have to scroll down and look at the videos - especially the second one. Wow - an up close and personal shot of the twister and it's powerful circulation of wind.

I was online yesterday watching all the storms and found this picture on KULR's web site - it shows the wall cloud hanging over the city as the twister tore through.

The National Weather Service office in Billings will have to conduct a damage survey today - but preliminary reports say this is the strongest tornado to hit Billings since July of 1958.

Tornadoes are not rare in eastern Montana - but tornadoes of this strength over populated areas are not common.

Here is a link to a table of all Montana tornadoes since 1950.

The last time I could find that a tornado struck in the immediate Billing vicinity was on July 4, 1998 - a small EF0.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Deadly Ark. Flood Recap, Midwest Tornado Outbreak Kills At Least 3

The National Weather Service office in Little Rock has published a detailed write-up of the flash flood event last Friday that killed at least 20 campers.

Click here to read it.

It is incredible how fast the river levels rose and fell due to the rainfall.

Meanwhile, it was one of the most active days this year in terms of severe weather yesterday. Numerous tornadoes touched down across North Dakota and Minnesota - with a few reports even coming in from Wisconsin and Iowa.

Unfortunately, the twisters were deadly - with at least 3 deaths reported so far across Minnesota. There has been widespread damage with major infrastructure damage to some counties.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Okla. City Drenched

7.62 inches of rain fell at the Will Roger Airport in the Oklahoma City area on Monday, setting a new record.
The heavy rain caused widespread flash flooding, stranding motorists and creating a brief panic for residents near Ski Island Dam.

Here is a link to some local news coverage with amazing pictures of the flooding.

The CoCoRaHS map shows the heavy rain recorded by observers.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rare Mountain Funnel Cloud

This is something you don't see everyday in the mountain areas - a funnel cloud!

The picture above was taken late Sunday morning (June 13) near Leadville, CO! That is around 10,000 feet in elevation!

Click here for a write-up from the Pueblo, CO office of the National Weather Service!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Large Hail Pounds Colorado, Texas Flooding Challenges CoCoRaHS Gauges

Look at this picture a tennis ball sized hail that fell across portions of east-central Colorado on Thursday. It damaged cars, windows, trees and crops.

Thanks to Chris Tomer for posting it and to the viewer who sent it into Denver's Channel 2.

More storms are expected today.

Texas Flooding

Meanwhile, across Texas, a slow moving upper-level area of low pressure has dumped a tremendous amount of rain on the region this week, with several inches from San Antonio and Austin up to Tyler and the Piney Wood of east Texas.

There have been dozens of high water rescues, numerous roads washed out, and some damage.

Something happened that I have yet to witness in my 8 years with CoCoRaHS - 5 gauges, all in Comal County, completely filled to capacity overnight and overflowed - so their reports are all 11.30 inches which is the maximum capacity.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

May Climate Data

Well the final numbers are in for the month of May - and overall, temperatures were near normal for the United States as a whole with above normal precipitation.

Every state east of the Mississippi River was above normal while just about every state west of the river was below - with the exception of a few.

The southwest and New England were below normal in precipitation while the Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys, as well as the northern Rockies, plains and the Pacific Northwest were wetter than normal.

Click here for the full report!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Warm Air Over Rockies

It has been warm over the Rockies the past few days, but not just at the surface. Temperatures are above freezing all the way to approximately 17,000 feet - causing a sudden melt of the snow pack at the highest of elevations.

The result has been a lot of stream and river flooding statewide.

In some mountain communities, houses are sitting at the water's edge when the water is normally quietly flowing down the channel.

In Boulder Canyon, a bridge was washed out due to the rapidly flowing high waters.

Good news lies ahead - much cooler air will invade the Rockies this weekend and slow the melt. There may even be some new snow in the highest elevations with rain and temperatures only in the 50s across lower elevations.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

La Nina Watch Issued

Click the link below for more. The latest El Nino officially ended in May 2010.

La Nina Watch Issued

Turnin' Up The Heat

Here is a picture of the weather story today out of the Lubbock, Texas office of the National Weather Service.

There is a heat advisory in effect for many locations across the lower elevatons of New Mexico. Temperatures are expected to hit 105+ degrees today in these areas.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill - Will It Move Into Atlantic?

A huge press release went out yesterday from scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research - talking about how some computer models show the oil in the Gulf of Mexico getting caught up into the Gulf Stream current and moving up the Atlantic Coast.

Click below to see this info and an animation of this computer model.

Link to Model Projections

While I think we do need to prepare for the "what if this happens" scenario - we also need to remember it is a computer model and not a crystal ball to the future.

Let's hope this cap they are placing right now helps the situation - but let's also consider the next plan of action if the oil does end up moving into the Gulf Stream Current.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Latest Oil Spill Information

We all probably have our favorite news sources and have probably been following the updates on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Did you know that NOAA has a web page dedicated to this event with daily updates? Including updates on the impacts on sea life?

Click here for the latest from NOAA

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Large Colorado Tornado Up Close

I am sure many of you have seen this video - it is all over the national media.

But I think it is worth a link in my blog so you can watch it again!

On Tuesday we saw quite a bit of severe weather in the center of the nation. In fact, there were several tornado reports in eastern Nebraska and portions of western and southern Iowa.

More severe weather is expected today in the center of the country...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What Does June Weather Hold In Store?

It looks like the month will kick off with a preview of summer - actually the "dogs days of summer" in some locations.

Highs later this week will be well into the 90s with some lower 100s across a good portion of the southern plains states. We are talking Oklahoma, southern Kansas, the Texas panhandle and surrounding areas.

Even the deserts of Arizona and California will be heating up into the lower 100s after a relatively cool spring.

Some severe weather is expected today in the plains states, roughly between Interstates 70, 80 and 90. In fact, there are already severe thunderstorm watches in effect for Nebraska.

Here are the official temperature and precipitation outlooks for the month of June - courtesy of the Climate Prediction Center.

(First Map) Areas in blue are expecting cooler than normal temperatures while areas in red should see warmer than normal conditions.

(Second Map) Areas in the green have the best chances to see above normal precipitation levels. If it is white and says EC, that means equal chances.