Friday, February 25, 2011

Unusually cold and severe weather

Check out these temps - a very unusual air mass for this time of year. The weather pattern is responsible for blanketing Seattle with snow!

We'll see more snow today - even in low elevations that rarely see snow - such as potentially in and around San Francisco!

Meanwhile - the first severe weather outbreak of the year resulted in at least a half-dozen reported tornadoes and a lot of wind and hail reports in the south on Thursday. The good news - despite a lot of damage reported across Tennessee - and some injuries - there have been no deaths as of last check.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Severe storms likely today in lower Mississippi River Valley

Check out this map today - we have a pretty decent chance for the first severe weather outbreak of the season in portions of the south.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Active weather week ahead

Weather will be in the headlines this week as a very active jet stream pattern will be in place.

The result will be a lot of windy conditions around the country.

As we move toward the weekend a large area of pretty cold air will move into the nation. It will bring snow and wintry weather to the northern states while the south will likely see their first severe weather outbreak of 2011.

We're potentially looking at a setup for severe storms forming in eastern Oklahoma and Texas late Wednesday and moving east throughout the day on Thursday.

The area outlined in red will have the best chance to experience severe weather - including large hail and isolated tornadoes.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Busy at Noaa's Storms Prediction Center

This is so exciting - and a sign of the time of year we are entering - meaning the annual battle of the air masses which leads to severe weather season.

The Storms Prediction Center in Norman, OK is monitoring northern Nebraska for intense winter precipitation (in blue) and southern Nebraska/northern Kansas for a few stray severe thunderstorms (in red).

We had some storms earlier move across eastern Colorado with a little rain in Denver - something we don't see much of in February.  Typically it's snow in these parts until March!

Winter storm moving across nation

A large and unsettled weather pattern is changing the weather across much of the nation this weekend.

In the west, a powerful winter storm is slamming the west coast with heavy rain and mountain snow. That snow is spreading into the Rockies.

Meanwhile, a blast of cold Canadian air is settling across the northern tier of the nation with winter storm and blizzard conditions from eastern Wyoming and Montana all the way to the Great Lakes states.

As we head into the last of February and the first of March - and the cold air moves south - it could trigger the first severe weather outbreak of the season in the southern states.

Pattern change ahead

Well after a rather mild and quiet stretch of weather for much of the nation - things will become more active as we round out the month of February.

The jet stream will transport a series of storm systems across the lower 48 states over the next week.  There will be some cold air associated with this change and a return to more winter like conditions for many.

We may even see some thunderstorm activity in the southern plains states later next week as the cold and warm air masses collide.

Look at how much snow has melted over the past week across the nation.  Below is the current map as of today (Friday 2/18) and if you scroll down you can see the maps from recent days.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

US snow cover quickly melting

A warm air mass in place this past weekend and into the new week is helping to rapidly melt the U.S. snow pack. Check out the map below from February 11.  Then scroll down to see the snow pack from February 14.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

US snow cover shrinks under high pressure

Look at this map of the US snow cover. 

Now scroll down and look at it just a few days ago.

It melts quick this time of year.  The sun angle is much higher than it was earlier in the winter. Also - a large ridge of high pressure has built into the center of the country allowing temperatures to finally warm up to seasonal - and in many cases - above seasonal levels.

I can't wait to post the map later this coming week - I bet most of the southern states will be clear of snow - and the depth across the nothern tier of states will be a little less pink and more in the darker blues.

Quiet, windy weather prevails for most

Mother Nature has decided to reward most of the country with a MUCH NEEDED break from the long stretch of wintry weather.

The reason behind this is the upper-level wind pattern (or the jet stream).

In the map below - you can see what the pattern will be like for the next 3 to 5 days.  A large ridge of high pressure means quiet weather for the center of the country with dry and mild conditions.

However - it will be windy for locations along and under the flow of winds. So we are talking all the locations in yellow and orange - as well as the reds and pinks.

Unsettled weather can be expected across the Pacific Northwest states and across the northeast states - where the jet streams dips.  These dips are caused by areas of low pressure.

The ridge in the middle is caused by high pressure - and that translates into pretty decent weather!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snow cover across the US

Oklahoma sets all-time record low

A pocket of bitterly cold air broke several record low temperatures on Thursday morning across Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The coldest air was over northeast Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas and southeast Kansas.

In fact - the mercury dipped to 28 degrees BELOW ZERO at Bartlesville, Oklahoma, at 7:19 am.

This not only set a new all-time record low for the weather station, but also for the entire state.

Until this morning, the coldest temperature ever recorded in Oklahoma was 27 degrees below zero - last set in 1930 at Watts, and originally set in the town of Vinta in 1905.

Across the border in Arkansas - a retired NWS observer near Mountain Home recorded a morning low of -20 degrees,

It was -18 in Fayetteville.

Pocket of bitter cold

Look at this map - a small pocket of bitterly cold air this morning over northwest Arkansas, northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas!

The air is -15 to -25 degrees!!!

It's amazing what the combination of clear skies, light winds and fresh deep snow can do for rapid radiational cooling!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Arkansas snow totals

Here are some totals as of late evening....all I can say is wow!

It makes me remember the snow in January of 1988 when we missed over a week of school.  That year we went well into June and even on Saturdays!

  • Clinton - 10"
  • Mountain View - 5.5"
  • Mount Ida - 3.5"
  • Bauxite - 7"
  • Austin - 6.4"
  • Conway - 8"
  • Pine Bluff - 5"
  • Mena - 5"
  • Malvern - 6"
  • Damascus - 10"
  • De Witt - 6"
  • Stuttgart - 4"
  • Sherwood - 7"
  • Monticello - 4"
  • Alexander - 7.8"
  • Russellville - 7.8"
  • Little Rock National - 5.8"
  • Gibson - 7"
  • Haskell - 6.5"
  • Harrison - 10"
  • Bee Branch - 11"
  • Sheridan  - 6.2"
  • Farmington - 17"
  • Springdale - 20"
  • Siloam Springs - 24.5"
  • Springdale - 24"
A widespread 18 to 25 inches across northwest Arkansas - just incredible!  4 years worth of snow!!!

Heavy snow slams Arkansas

A very Colorado-like snow hit my home state of Arkansas today. It's not often that Arkansas sees snowfall, although in recent weeks it has been common.

It's even more rare to see such a dry and powdery snowfall - this is just indicative of how cold the air mass is over the region.

Here is a little positive news about dry snowfalls - they don't weigh down the powerlines and trees as much as a heavy, wet snow.

And they are MUCH easier to shovel!  Trust me - I've shoveld a lot of snow in life since leaving after high school - having lived 3 years in Minnesota and over 10 years here in Colorado.

My family told me the snow fell fast and with fury - at times the visibility fell to near 0.  Here are some totals as of 2 p.m. Arkansas time.  They are not all current - some are up to 3 hours old.

Once the storm ends I will compile updates.

There was a band of 18 to 25" that fell across much of northwest Arkansas.
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) - 18.2
  • Centerton - 13.0"
  • Rogers - 22.0"
  • Siloam Springs - 18.0"
  • Petit Jean State Park - 7.6"
  • Austin - 6.0"
  • Sherrill - 4.0"
  • Conway - 6.8"
  • Mabelvale - 5.0"
  • Macon - 5.0"
  • Scotland - 9.0"
  • Oak Grove - 4.0"
  • Downtown Little Rock - 6.0"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Heavy snow ahead for southern plains

A bullseye of snow is aimed at the southern plains - from Wichita to Oklahoma City and stretching over to Tulsa and Little Rock.

Dallas may get in on the action too.

Another Winter Storm

Can you believe it?

This persistent weather pattern that has kept much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation in the deep freeze with plenty of ice and snow is still at play - and the map below tells the story with all kinds of winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings in place.

Although this storm is wide in reach, I think one of the biggest stories will come out of Tulsa, Ok - as it should put them on pace to have the snowiest winter ever in their weather record.

Anticipate widespread travel troubles this week.

A bit of good news though - a pattern change is ahead!  Warmer weather in store and a chance to thaw out!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter weather hits deep south Texas, Gulf Coast

This is a map you don't see everyday! Winter Storm Warnings all the way to the Mexican border.

Cars have a quarter-inch of ice on them in the parking lot of the National Weather Service office in Brownsville.

Meanwhile - freezing temps continue over the deserts of California and Arizona.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bitter cold pattern lines up with snow cover

Check out the current surface map - dominated by cold high pressure straight out of Canada.

Look at how that translates to temperatures - the 10 pm eastern/7pm pacific temps follow....

Look at the forecast - record cold from Phoenix over to Houston.  Bitter cold temps cover most of the nation's center.

Look at the reach of single digit and sub-zero temps - just amazing!!!

Now look at the US snow cover - it lines up well with the footprint of very cold temperatures!

The outlook calls for more cold and snow for much of the nation now through Valentine's Day!

Lows in and around Colorado

Here are some lows reported from February 2, 2011.  Some are official readings while others are from spotters.

Tabernash -46

Walden -46

Parshall -41

Dillon (2.3 miles SE) -40

Laramie, WY -39 (wind chill -61)

Craig -38

Meeker -37

Estes Park (10 miles SE) -37

Steamboat Springs -36

Kawuneeche Visitors Center RMNP -36

Yampa -35

Cheyenne, WY (10 miles W) -32

Granby -32

Silverthorne -31

Leadville -30

Bear Lake RMNP -29

Aspen Park -25

Alliance, NE -25

Aspen -25

Rangely -23

Conifer -20

Sidney, NE -19

Limon -19

Castle Rock -19

Denver -17

Aurora -17

Akron -17

Centennial -16

Greeley -15

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dynamic Winter Storm

Check out the 9 p.m. observation from Peoria, Illinois.

PEORIA TSTM 22 19 89 NE17G37 29.69F VSB 1/4 WCI 8

That is a Thunderstorm with 22 degrees!
There have been numerous reports of lightning and thunder in the midst of heavy snow across Illinois.
This just shows how dynamic this storm is across the center of the nation.
Thundersnow usually means incredible snowfall rates in the 2 to 4 inch per hour range!

Not too pleasant in the Chicago-land area right now either.

Midway airport has heavy snow with winds sustained at 36 and gusting to 58!

MIDWAY HVY SNOW 21 17 84 NE36G58 29.68F VSB 1/16WCI 1