Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Busy Week: Tornadoes, Blizzards, Winds And Overperforming Kate

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center is still saying
the Midwest is a target for a severe weather outbreak Wednesday.  
We've suddenly found ourselves in one of the busiest weather weeks in months across the Good Ole USA.

We've still got a tornado coming, there's a blizzard -  yes a blizzard - due in parts of Kansas and Colorado, a nasty wind storm in much of the rest of the Plains, a sneaky little nor'easter along the New England coast, and of course Tropical Storm Kate, which is more vigorous than I thought it would be.

Let's break it down:


We're still looking at a Midwestern severe weather outbreak in the Midwest Wednesday. In fact, if anything, forecasters are even more confident of tornadoes and damaging thunderstorms in the region than they were yestereday.

NOAA's Storm Prediction Center still expects the main action to be the most focused in southern Iowa, most of Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas, and down into northeastern Texas and Louisiana.

A very strong storm is set to emerge out into the Great Plains. Very strong winds aloft associated with the storm will help encourage thunderstorms to rapidly develop tomorrow in Kansas and Nebraska, and race eastward while strenghtening.

The thunderstorms will form into a line, and these storms will tap into incredibly strong jet stream winds aloft, drive some of that to the surface and cause lots of damaging winds with these thunderstorms.

Worse, out ahead of this line, discrete thunderstorms and supercells will develop. The strong storm is creating an atmosphere conducive to make these storms spin, which raises the real threat of tornadoes. Some of these tornadoes could turn out to be strong, too.

All major severe weather outbreaks are dangerous, but one thing will make this particularly bad: The storms and tornadoes will be moving along much faster than most springtime systems. That gives people less time to take cover when a tornado or dangerous storm approaches.

It also gives less lead time when the National Weather Service issues a tornado or storm warning. So these warnings might not get to people in time.

Take care tomorrow, Midwesterners!


While the tornadoes are spinning up Wednesday along the warm, humid east side of the strong storm system in the Plains, cold north winds will blow on the north and west side of the storm.

And boy will they blow! It'll be cold enough for snow with this in western Kansas and eastern Colorado. There will only be two to six inches of accumulation, but with winds gusting to 60 mph or more, there will be blizzard conditions.

That means travel will be next to impossible with low visibility and drifting snow tonight and much of Wednesday. Power failures are also a good bet. Thundersnow is also possible late tonight and early Wednesday, so this area is in for quite a bit of excitement.

More to the east, in central and eastern Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, it will be too warm for snow, but the winds will howl with this storm, gusting to at least 60 mph.

As I said, this storm is a powerhouse. There's some of your proof.


A storm is making it's way up the East Coast with rain and somewhat chilly temperatures. Nothing too odd for November, but still, it's raw.

This storm is going to get some support from disturbances in the upper atmosphere later today and tonight, so it'll develop into a real nor'easter.

It won't be the strongest nor'easter ever to hit to New England, that's for sure, but expect a fair amount of rain, and raw northeast winds gusting over 40 mph tonight and tomorrow over the eastern end of New England. Just a sign that the winter storm season is coming.


Like so many tropical storms and hurricanes across the globe this year, Tropical Storm Kate is stronger than expected. Storms like Patricia, Joaquin and those two cyclones in Yemen have fed off record and near record high water temperatures in the oceans they pass over.
Tropical Storm Kate Tuesday morning.  

Kate is no exception. Water temperatures in and around the Bahamas are well above normal, and Kate is using that as fuel as it heads north through, then away from the Bahamas.

Top sustained winds were 60 mph early Tuesday, Kate looked healthy on satellite imagery, and I wouldn't be surprised if it reached hurricane intensity later today.

Luckily, Kate is still forecast to miss the United States. It'll take a hard turn to the northeast later today. It'll eventually lose its tropical characteristics in the cold North Atlantic by the end of the week, but will still be a powerful storm up there this weekend.

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