Monday, October 25, 2010
A HIGH WIND WARNING has been issued for much of the state. The warning will start at 7 AM tomorrow and run through tomorrow night.
We are going to see wind gusts of 55 to 60 mph. The WNW wind will be steady...around 25 to 35 mph through the afternoon.
The monster low pressure will drop like a bomb over the Midwest tomorrow afternoon. This type of low pressure drop created extreme damage 12 years ago.
During that November storm in 1998... we had major damage from the 12 to 18 hours of sustained wind of 35 to 50 mph. In northeast Iowa...natural gas lines were broken because the buildings in that area actually moved under the stress of the wind. The pipes were ruptured as the buildings actually shifted.
There was wide-spread damage in the upper Midwest. Here is a pdf link to that November storm in 1998: http://www.eas.slu.edu/CIPS/ANALOG/11NOV1998.pdf
Be prepared for this strong storm system.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
NOAA: Another Winter of Extremes in Store for U.S. as La Niña Strengthens
The Pacific Northwest should brace for a colder and wetter than average winter, while most of the South and Southeast will be warmer and drier than average through February 2011, according to the annual Winter Outlook released today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. A moderate to strong La Niña will be the dominant climate factor influencing weather across most of the U.S. this winter.
La Niña is associated with cooler than normal water temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean, unlike El Niño which is associated with warmer than normal water temperatures. Both of these climate phenomena, which typically occur every 2-5 years, influence weather patterns throughout the world and often lead to extreme weather events. Last winter’s El Niño contributed to record-breaking rain and snowfall leading to severe flooding in some parts of the country, with record heat and drought in other parts of the country. Although La Niña is the opposite of El Niño, it also has the potential to bring weather extremes to parts of the nation.
“La Niña is in place and will strengthen and persist through the winter months, giving us a better understanding of what to expect between December and February,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center – a division of the National Weather Service. “This is a good time for people to review the outlook and begin preparing for what winter may have in store.”
“Other climate factors will play a role in the winter weather at times across the country,” added Halpert. “Some of these factors, such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, are difficult to predict more than one to two weeks in advance. The NAO adds uncertainty to the forecast in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic portions of the country.”
Regional highlights include:
Pacific Northwest: colder and wetter than average. La Niña often brings lower than average temperatures and increased mountain snow to the Pacific Northwest and western Montana during the winter months, which is good for the replenishment of water resources and winter recreation but can also lead to greater flooding and avalanche concerns;
California and the Southwest: warmer and drier than average. This will likely exacerbate drought conditions in these areas. All southern states are at risk of having above normal wildfire conditions starting this winter and lasting into the spring;
Northern Plains: colder and wetter than average. Likely to see increased storminess and flooding;
Southern Plains, Gulf Coast States & Southeast: warmer and drier than average. This will likely exacerbate drought conditions in these areas. All southern states are at risk of having above normal wildfire conditions starting this winter and lasting into the spring;
Florida: drier than average, with an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures. Above normal wildfire conditions;
Ohio and Tennessee Valleys: warmer and wetter than average. Likely to see increased storminess and flooding;
Northeast and Mid-Atlantic: equal chances for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and precipitation. Winter weather for these regions is often driven not by La Niña but by weather patterns over the northern Atlantic Ocean and Arctic. These are often more short-term, and are generally predictable only a week or so in advance. If enough cold air and moisture are in place, areas north of the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast could see above-average snow;
Central U.S.: equal chances of above-near-or below normal temperatures and precipitation;
Hawaii: drier than normal through November, then wetter than normal December through February. Statewide, the current drought is expected to continue through the winter, with several locations remaining on track to become the driest year on record. Drought recovery is more likely on the smaller islands of Kauai and Molokai, and over the windward slopes of the Big Island and Maui;
Alaska: odds favor colder than average temperatures with equal chances of above or below normal precipitation. The interior and southern portions of the state are currently drier than normal. A dry winter may set Alaska up for a greater chance of above normal wildfire conditions in the spring.
This seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms may hit or total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are dependent upon winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than several days in advance.
NOAA's National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States and its territories. NOAA’s National Weather Service operates the most advanced weather and flood warning and forecast system in the world, helping to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy. Visit us online at weather.gov and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/US.National.Weather.Service.gov.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/usnoaagov.
On the Web:
NOAA’s National Weather Service: www.weather.gov
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Today is the 44th anniversary of the tornado that forever changed the landscape of Belmond, Iowa.
On October 14, 1966...at 2: 55 PM an F5 tornado slammed into the small north Iowa town. 600 homes were damaged or destroyed. The tornado turned down Belmond's main street. 75 businesses were ripped apart. 6 people were killed, most were older folks who were trapped in their homes.
If the tornado had hit about a half hour earlier...it would have certainly killed more people who were lining the main street watching the homecoming parade. Belmond was scheduled to play Lake Mills that night. By the time the tornado hit, the students watching the parade were back in class. Teachers were able to move the students to the basements of the school buildings as the tornado roared through town.
It was miserable for many who are still dealing with the damage from flooding. FEMA announced today the extension for Iowans to report the damage from flooding. November 12th is the new deadline.
It might not surprise you that this summer was also the one of the hottest on record. It was the seventh warmest summer since the late 1800s.
Here is the hot item from the National Weather Service public information line this morning:
...SUMMER 2010 WAS QUITE WARM IN DES MOINES...
VERY WARM CONDITIONS WERE PERSISTENT IN DES MOINES DURING THE SUMMER
MONTHS OF JUNE...JULY AND AUGUST. IN FACT...DURING THIS 92 DAY
STRETCH...THE DAILY AVERAGE TEMPERATURE WAS ONLY BELOW NORMAL ON 11
DAYS IN DES MOINES.
THE AVERAGE HIGH FOR THIS SUMMER IN DES MOINES WAS 86.0 DEGREES.
THIS WAS THE WARMEST AVERAGE HIGH TEMPERATURE IN DES MOINES SINCE
1988 WHEN THE AVERAGE WAS 89.8 DEGREES. THIS ALSO RANKS AS THE 25TH
WARMEST AVERAGE HIGH IN SUMMER SINCE 1878.
THE AVERAGE LOW FOR THE SUMMER IN DES MOINES WAS 67.6 DEGREES. THIS
WAS THE WARMEST AVERAGE LOW TEMPERATURE IN DES MOINES SINCE 1983 WHEN
THE AVERAGE WAS 68.3. THIS RANKS AS THE 2ND WARMEST AVERAGE LOW FOR
SUMMER SINCE 1878.
THE AVERAGE OVERALL TEMPERATURE FOR THE SUMMER WAS 76.8 DEGREES.
THIS WAS THE WARMEST OVERALL AVERAGE SINCE 1988 WHEN THE AVERAGE WAS
77.6 DEGREES. THIS SUMMER RANKS AS THE 7TH WARMEST ON RECORD IN DES
MOINES SINCE 1878.
ALL OTHER SITES IN CENTRAL IOWA WERE ABOVE NORMAL DURING THE SUMMER
BUT NOT TO THE EXTENT OF DES MOINES. DES MOINES IS CONSISTENTLY ONE
OF THE WARMEST OVERNIGHT LOWS FOR THE STATE OF IOWA. IT IS LIKELY
(ALBEIT UNCONFIRMED) THAT THE DES MOINES TEMPERATURES ARE BEING
INFLUENCED BY INCREASED URBANIZATION AS COMPARED WITH OTHER NEARBY
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The Picture is from the National Weather Service office in Johnston. The hail fell from the storm cell that collapsed right over the top of their Doppler radar.
At 4:00 the storm moved into the north side of Johnston. The hail started to pile up around 4:20. The indentation in the hail near the left side of the parking lot is a foot print.
The folks at the NWS said about .92" of rain came with this storm. Some of that total was from hail melting in their rain gauge.
This ends the two weeks of dry weather. The last time we had a dry spell like that was last year....the end of August and first few weeks of September.
For the first time this year, we have a chance for coming in under the average monthly rainfall totals. To date, 2010 is the 38th warmest year on record. We'll see if the next couple months shape up to be warmer than normal. This week will keep us moving closer to the top 30 warmest years.
Here are a couple little history facts and a site from the National Weather Service that takes us to "this date in history" archive.
Living in the mid-latitudes as we do allows us to experience a wide range of weather phenomena and temperature extremes. The range of recorded temperature extremes in the United States is 214 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest temperature on record in the U.S. is 134 degrees and the coldest is -80 degrees. The recorded temperature range for the entire planet is an amazing 263 degrees. With the hottest temperature on record being 136 degrees and the coldest a bone chilling -127 degrees.
On this day in Iowa weather history...
1899: Unseasonably warm weather brought the temperature into the lower 90s across about the southwestern half of Iowa. At Des Moines a high of 91 F makes this the latest date of the year on which 90 degrees has ever been reached at that location. Other reported high temperatures included 91 F at Centerville, Denison, Greenfield, and Onawa, 92 F at Carroll and Glenwood, and 93 F at Clarinda, Council Bluffs, and Red Oak.
Monday, October 11, 2010
I was thrilled to see over 300 folks who took time Saturday night to enjoy great food, drink and the opportunity to bid on some great items that raised money for people with type 1 diabetes.
Over $300,000.00 was raised during the event at the Embassy Suites in Des Moines. It was great to see so many with open hearts and check books.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Fall colors are migrating across the state. The great weather this week has helped to bring out the oranges and reds as the sun blazes the glory of nature's palate.
Many variables come into play with our trees switching to winter mode. It is interesting how much the summer rainfall and drier fall will help to promote brighter colors. You can learn more by going to NOAA's fall color page.
Thanks to NOAA for the leaf picture on the top of the page.