Sunday, March 4, 2012

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"Just another manic Monday..."
- The Bangles

3:45 PM EST 3/4/12 (Forecasters Foot and Jason M.) The weirdest winter in memory just keeping weirder. Winter Weather Advisories are now posted for eastern Tennessee, eastern Kentucky and into West Virginia/Central Virginia. Some of these areas just experienced EF-3 tornadoes and have only barely begun to clean up. Earlier today, Meteorologist Justin Berk observed that many towns in the Ohio Valley, such as devastated Henryville, Indiana, will have seen severe weather, tornado damage followed by and now snow, in one week. For weather-weary residents of those states, tomorrow looks to be an unpleasant manic Monday.

A clipper-type system diving southeast from the Upper Plains is likely to bring  accumulating snow to the southern Appalachians into Virginia by Monday. The system can be observed on the current Water Vapor loop as a small dark area in the Plains states moving southeast. 

  • This will not be a significant snowstorm and should not cause any major disruptions to the region.
  • The best chance for any accumulation will be in central and south central Virginia (NWS snow graphic). 1 to 3 inches is possible in these areas as noted in the Winter Weather advisories.
  • A light dusting is also possible as far north as a line from Washington to Annapolis. A rain/snow mix is possible along the Maryland/Delaware eastern shore. Visit our Bayshore and Capital Region sites on Facebook for local details for weather in these areas.
  • Uncertainty remains with regard to the exact track of the system. That will make the difference between readers reporting flurries as far north as the MD/PA line or flurries remaining across Southern MD, with the more notable accumulations in central Virginia to eastern Kentucky. 
(Forecaster Jason M., Advisors Berk, Foot and the Winter Stormcast Team)

POSTED AT 7:50 AM TODAY: This internal report from our Winter Stormcast Team shows the on-going variability in our pattern this season shows no sign of stopping:
"Some of the newest model guidance is showing a minor snow event for portions of the Mid Atlantic Monday. The Global Forecast System (GFS) is further northward than the North American Mesoscale (NAM) and has snow as far the leading shield of precip up to the MD/PA line. Verbatim both models show this being the biggest snow event of the season for different portions of the affected areas [noted here]."  - Forecaster Jason M., Winter Stormcast Team
Compared to this early morning analysis by NOAA winter weather meteorologists:
The Surface Low Track map below shows the likely progress of this clipper as it charges east the next 24-36 hours. You can follow our team's regional reports posted later today in the Winter Stormcast | Mid-Atlantic Zone on Facebook, as well as in local zones for the affected areas, including Central Virginia and the Virginia Tidewater. To sum it up, or some, tomorrow may be "just another manic Monday" in this long winter of extremes.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

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Storms continuing in the Deep South

3:50 PM EST 3/3/12 Local team coverage is in progress today for the Florida Panhandle, Southern Georgia, and our Cape Fear & Coast zone in the CarolinasAreas which may be at risk for severe storms later today include our Metro Atlanta and Charlotte Metrolina zones.

Auto-updates of NWS warnings and advisories are posted to our Southeast Severe Weather page in Facebook. 

Forecaster Kelton 
on the chase in Kentucky

On Friday 3/2/12, Forecaster and Severe Weather Coordinator Kelton Halbert from Nashville, Tennessee went into storm chase mode in western Kentucky. His site, contains a recap of the event, and a Youtube video of his experience, including the sighting of a possible funnel cloud overhead.  

"It's over" means "starting over"

9:15 AM EST 3/3/12 Our morning lead story is an overview of the weather situation for today in the Eastern U.S., by Meteorologist/Advisor Justin Berk, followed by a brief review of the data and observations by Meteorologist/Advisor Dr. Pete Winstead on the severe weather outbreak on Friday, 3/2/12.

(Justin Berk) The cluster of storms which erupted across the Baltimore Washington area overight was part of the severe weather that hit eastern Tennessee Friday afternoon. Additional data and observations about these storms are posted on my public Facebook pageFor much of the Mid-Atlantic coast, after all of that rain and thunder overnight, the cool, damp, dense, but stable air is still holding in place. BWI aiport only recorded 0.42", but that was up until midnight, more fell in the hours since then. 

  • Ironically, the warm front shown in the graphic above will limit the impact of severe weather today. 
  • The risk of thunderstorms will be held to the Lower Eastern Shore, while any severe storms will be in North Carolina and farther south where the warm air has already reached.

(Dr. Pete Winstead) As reported this morning at 8:24 AM by CNN, the death toll from yesterday's severe weather outbreak currently stands at 31. The preliminary storm report from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center shows:

  • 99 reports of tornadoes 
  • 280 reports of wind-related impacts
  • 441 reports of hail, some of which were 2" in diameter
Note how well this aligns with the areas that were predicted to have severe weather yesterday. It is another testimony to the life-saving work of the Storm Prediction Center and National Weather Service...kudos on a great forecast. More importantly, our deep condolences to the families and communities who suffered through this horrific event. As observations from this event have shown, despite the very best forecasts and technology available, there are some pretty powerful forces involved in the tilting and stretching of low-level vorticity.

Friday, March 2, 2012

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Words don't describe
91 preliminary tornado reports as of 8:40 PM 3/2/12

8:35 PM EST 3/2/12 This recent Youtube capture by a resident of Pekin, Indiana (not one of our forecasters) is one small glimpse of a multi-state outbreak which has produced at 50+ reports of tornadoes since this morning. This catastrophic outbreak has produced damage from Mississippi to Ohio. 

  • Tornado warned cells are moving through Eastern Kentucky into Southern West Virginia, but by the time they make it into the state they may lose much of what rotation they have.   
  • Other focus points are Eastern Tennessee, Northern Mississippi, and Southern Alabama.

REGIONAL TEAM REPORTS  Our Severe Weather Team is reporting on the outbreak in regional Facebook forecast pages for the Ohio Valley, Mid-AtlanticCarolinas and Southeast 

Recent capture from WLKY in Louisville, KY 
Henryville High School in Indiana

Nashville, TN  readers reporting multiple touchdowns in past hour. 
  • "Completely gone..." - Report from police about Henryville, Indiana, a town of 1,900 which has been struck by one or more twisters today.
  • "School flattened..." -Local emergency management in Indiana as reported in a tweet.
  • Dozens of tornado warnings: Tennessee to Kentucky to Ohio

Latest news reports on this outbreak as collected by our team: