Tag: tropical storm

Snow squall causes bad road conditions
November 13

Peril of “Snow Squalls”, La Nina Strengthening – Eta, Theta and Iota

The Perils of Snow Squalls and a Thanksgiving Thaw Many of us become transfixed by the big snowstorms but sometimes it’s the little things. Like yesterday’s 60-minute snow burst, a “snow squall”. Prevalent downwind of the Great Lakes, these bands of torrential snow are similar to a line of summer thunderstorms: a narrow band of intense precipitation. Visibilities can fall to zero in seconds, creating mayhem on the highways. What I’ve found over the years (the hard way) is that it’s not “how many inches” of snow falls. It’s the timing, intensity and temperature of the roadway surface. A lousy...

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November 12

“Eta” Takes Second Swipe at Florida – “Theta” Makes Record 29 Storms in 2020

Impressive Early Season Snowfall Tallies. Granted, most of it has melted, but 14.8″ of snow in the Twin Cities as of November 10 (more than a foot above average, to date) and nearly 20″ at Duluth? Snow lovers have to feel pretty good right about now. Maybe we’ll have a real winter, preferably without the Polar Vortex. Good Travel Weather Thanksgiving Week. Right now I don’t see any (big) storms looking out 1-2 weeks, just a series of Alberta Clippers, but little moisture available for accumulating snow. Temperature may be in the 40s, possibly 50+, depending on how quickly we...

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November 11

29 and Counting: Record Year for Tropical Systems in the Atlantic (Up to “Theta”)

Snowfall Totals. Generally 3-6″ from last night’s snow burst, give or take. Click here for updated totals, courtesy of the Twin Cities National Weather Service. Odds Favor a Milder Than Average Thanksgiving. That may seem hard to believe gazing out your snow-encrusted window, but the flow looks more Pacific than Canadian Thanksgiving Week. A Very Warm Start to November. Dr. Mark Seeley breaks it down in Minnesota WeatherTalk; here’s an excerpt: “After recording mostly cooler than normal temperatures on the first day of the month, temperatures have averaged 12 to 18 degrees F warmer than normal under mostly bright, sunny...

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November 10

Crazy Weather Extremes Upper Midwest – “Eta” May Take Second Pass at Florida

Plowable. Hard to believe it was in the 70s two days ago. The weather always changes fast at this latitude but…good grief. ECMWF (above two graphics) shows 5-7″ for the metro – there may be a little melting as the snow begins to fall later today, but some spots will wind up with 4-6″. Maps: WeatherBell. Moderate Pacific Flow Leading Up to Thanksgiving. I see continued troughing in the western USA, suggesting more of a Pacific breeze for Minnesota the week leading up to Thanksgiving, with temperatures are few degrees above average. In spite of today’s snow, I see no...

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November 4

Record Warmth Reaches MSP – Hurricane Eta Delivers Punishing Blow to Nicaragua – Poses Risk to Florida

Colder and Stormier by Mid-Month. That’s what GFS is hinting at; maybe a few significant storms (mixed precipitation?) less than 2 weeks out as a few waves of colder air push south of the border. Category 4 Hurricane Eta Punishes Nicaragua. The New York Times (paywall) has details: “The Category 4 storm threatened much of Central America with winds of up to 140 miles per hour and rainfall that could reach 35 inches in some areas. Forecasters predicted that Hurricane Eta, whose eye began making landfall along the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua midafternoon Tuesday, would rapidly lose power as soon...

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October 30

2020: Most Billion-Dollar Disasters on Record for USA – Quiet Election Day for Most of USA

Election Day Weather Preview. Most of the USA is forecast to have a quiet, relatively mild Tuesday. The only exceptions: rain for the Pacific Northwest and cold winds and snow showers and flurries across New England. Zonal Flow Spills into Mid-November? GFS guidance is a bit contradictory. The forecast for 500mb winds roughly 2 weeks out shows more of a Pacific influence, keeping temperatures close to average across most of the USA, maybe a few degrees below average for Minnesota as we end out the second week of November. Briefing: Issued Thursday, October 29th, 2020: Tropical Storm Zeta Zeta Moving...

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October 8

Major Hurricane Delta Threatens Gulf Coast – Can Songbirds Predict Hurricane Energy Potential?

  Hurricane Delta Threatens Gulf Coast “Paul, has a hurricane named after the Greek alphabet ever been retired?” According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that has never happened – and no, any Greek name would be reused in the future. Why is this even relevant? Hurricane “Delta” may deliver a devastating blow to Cancun today before curving north, coming ashore as a major (Category 3+) storm over coastal Louisiana or Texas Friday night. Many small towns in Louisiana still haven’t recovered from Hurricane Laura, which roared ashore August 26. “Delta” is the 25th named storm of 2020. The all-time...

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October 7

Colder, Snowier La Nina Winter? ECMWF Disagrees. Hurricane Delta Threatens Gulf Coast

Fine Fall Weather Into The Weekend “October was always the least dependable of months, full of ghosts and shadows” wrote Canadian novelist Joy Fielding. True, October can be a dark, turbulent, windblown month, but if you’re not a fan of freezes and flakes I have a sneaky suspicion you’re going to like this month more than usual. NOAA is calling for a La Nina winter, which often favors more snow for Minnesota. But the latest January forecast from ECMWF (European model) predicts record warmth for the lower 48 states in January 2021. Place your bets, but it may not be...

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September 24

“Beta” Floods Houston, “Teddy” Strikes Canada, Zombie-Storm “Paulette” Rises Again

2020: A Disruptive Year For Weather Too “There are two ways to be fooled. One, to believe what isn’t true. The other is to refuse to believe what is true” wrote 19th century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. The way 2020 is turning out it’s tempting not to believe our eyes or ears some days. Meteorologists are paying attention to a firehose of freakish weather, tracking volcano-like plumes of smoke and ash from western fires. 140 mph wind gusts from an Iowa derecho. Hurricane Teddy hitting Nova Scotia, Canada! And now Paulette, a “zombie storm” that died, then regenerated over the...

eye of hurricane from air
September 9

Chaos Theory Limits Long-Range Weather Accuracy – Tracking “Paulette” and “Rene”

The Dominance of Chaos. An accurate forecast 4 months into the future? Don’t hold your breath. At the end of the day meteorologists are up against chaos theory, as a story at Mashable explains; here’s an excerpt: “…Yet, there‚Äôs a limit on how far into the future humanity can ever predict the day-to-day weather: Will a storm probably hit my town? Will it be a terrible day for a barbecue? Will driving be too dangerous? The absolute limit on this type of weather prediction is somewhere between two and three weeks, said Falko Judt, a research meteorologist at the National...