Sierra Snow Doesn’t Disappoint…More on the Way!

Squaw Valley webcam from Sunday afternoon. 2-4 feet reported on average at most Sierra Ski Resorts!

Some fantastic snow totals showing up in the Sierra now. Like we said, 2-4 feet or so expected overall. Some areas did even better. Just a sampling of some of the ski resort totals…

Mammoth: 3-5 feet, and they’ll be opening this week!
Mt. Rose near Reno: 29-33″
Alpine Meadows: 43-59″
Squaw Valley: 24-42″on average. Calling it their biggest November ever.
Heavenly reporting 35″
Sugar Bowl coming in with 36-40″
Northstar at Tahoe: 38-48″
Bear Valley looks to be well over 30″
Boreal Mountain: 48-60″
Dodge Ridge picked up about 39″
Homewood reporting 43-59″ as well.
Kirkwood calling it 60-66″.
Sierra at Tahoe has 48-58″
China Peak/Sierra Summit with 26-36″

In SoCal… so far about 3-4″ on Mt. Baldy. Similar totals reported out at Big Bear.

The latest on the snow dump in the Sierra here.

And guess what? We’re not done. One more wave is going to slide down through California and Nevada late Monday night and Tuesday. This has to potential to dump another 1-3 feet of snow in these areas. Truly an awesome early season blast of winter for the Sierra.

A couple cool links for you to round things out.

Neat photos from space sent to the Twitters!

WLFI in Lafayette, IN has put together a nice collection of Indiana severe weather events from the last couple years:
2009
2010

Lastly: Our first full moon of the month will occur tonight. But it will be referred to as a “blue moon,” a name a lot of people typically associate with the second full moon in one month. Ah, but there’s an interesting history that I had no idea about referring to the term “blue moon.” Read about it here.

Some fantastic snow totals showing up in the Sierra now. Like we said, 2-4 feet or so expected overall. Some areas did even better. Just a sampling of some of the ski resort totals…

Mammoth: 3-5 feet, and they’ll be opening this week! http://www.mammothmountain.com/MyMammoth/?section=weather
Mt. Rose near Reno: 29-33″ http://www.mtrose.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19&Itemid=26
Alpine Meadows: 43-59″ http://www.skialpine.com/mountain/snow-report
Squaw Valley: 24-42″on average. Calling it their biggest November ever. http://www.squaw.com/winter/snoreport.html
Heavenly reporting 35″ http://www.skiheavenly.com/the-mountain/snow-report/snow-report.aspx
Sugar Bowl coming in with 36-40″ http://www.sugarbowl.com/4305
Northstar at Tahoe: 38-48″ http://www.northstarattahoe.com/snowreport.asp
Bear Valley looks to be well over 30″ http://www.bearvalley.com/the-mountain/conditions/snow-report/
Boreal Mountain: 48-60″ http://www.rideboreal.com/winter/DOR
Dodge Ridge picked up about 39″ http://prance.us/iprance/DodgeRidge/snowreport.php
Homewood reporting 43-59″ as well. http://www.skihomewood.com/mountain/snow-report
Kirkwood calling it 60-66″. http://www.kirkwood.com/pages/themountain/snowreport.asp
Sierra at Tahoe has 48-58″ http://www.sierraattahoe.com/winter/snow-report.asp
China Peak/Sierra Summit with 26-36″ http://www.skichinapeak.com/conditions.aspx

In SoCal… so far about 3-4″ on Mt. Baldy http://www.mtbaldy.com/snow-report.htm. Similar totals reported out at Big Bear.

http://www.rgj.com/article/20101108/NEWS15/11080342 The latest on the snow dump in the Sierra here.

And guess what? We’re not done. One more wave is going to slide down through California and Nevada late Monday night and Tuesday. This has to potential to dump another 1-3 feet of snow in these areas. Truly an awesome early season blast of winter for the Sierra.

A couple cool links for you to round things out.

Neat photos from space sent to the Twitters! http://meteorologicalmusings.blogspot.com/2010/11/views-of-earth-from-space.html

WLFI in Lafayette, IN has put together a nice collection of Indiana severe weather events from the last couple years:

2009: http://blogs.wlfi.com/2010/11/19/22090/
2010: http://blogs.wlfi.com/2010/11/19/2010-severe-weather-events/

Lastly: Our first full moon of the month will occur tonight. But it will be referred to as a “blue moon,” a name a lot of people typically associate with the second full moon in one month. Ah, but there’s an interesting history that I had no idea about referring to the term “blue moon.” Read about it here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20101119/sc_space/thereallystrangestorybehindsundaysbluemoon Some fantastic snow totals showing up in the Sierra now. Like we said, 2-4 feet or so expected overall. Some areas did even better. Just a sampling of some of the ski resort totals…

Mammoth: 3-5 feet, and they’ll be opening this week! http://www.mammothmountain.com/MyMammoth/?section=weather
Mt. Rose near Reno: 29-33″ http://www.mtrose.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19&Itemid=26
Alpine Meadows: 43-59″ http://www.skialpine.com/mountain/snow-report
Squaw Valley: 24-42″on average. Calling it their biggest November ever. http://www.squaw.com/winter/snoreport.html
Heavenly reporting 35″ http://www.skiheavenly.com/the-mountain/snow-report/snow-report.aspx
Sugar Bowl coming in with 36-40″ http://www.sugarbowl.com/4305
Northstar at Tahoe: 38-48″ http://www.northstarattahoe.com/snowreport.asp
Bear Valley looks to be well over 30″ http://www.bearvalley.com/the-mountain/conditions/snow-report/
Boreal Mountain: 48-60″ http://www.rideboreal.com/winter/DOR
Dodge Ridge picked up about 39″ http://prance.us/iprance/DodgeRidge/snowreport.php
Homewood reporting 43-59″ as well. http://www.skihomewood.com/mountain/snow-report
Kirkwood calling it 60-66″. http://www.kirkwood.com/pages/themountain/snowreport.asp
Sierra at Tahoe has 48-58″ http://www.sierraattahoe.com/winter/snow-report.asp
China Peak/Sierra Summit with 26-36″ http://www.skichinapeak.com/conditions.aspx

In SoCal… so far about 3-4″ on Mt. Baldy http://www.mtbaldy.com/snow-report.htm. Similar totals reported out at Big Bear.

http://www.rgj.com/article/20101108/NEWS15/11080342 The latest on the snow dump in the Sierra here.

And guess what? We’re not done. One more wave is going to slide down through California and Nevada late Monday night and Tuesday. This has to potential to dump another 1-3 feet of snow in these areas. Truly an awesome early season blast of winter for the Sierra.

A couple cool links for you to round things out.

Neat photos from space sent to the Twitters! http://meteorologicalmusings.blogspot.com/2010/11/views-of-earth-from-space.html

WLFI in Lafayette, IN has put together a nice collection of Indiana severe weather events from the last couple years:

2009: http://blogs.wlfi.com/2010/11/19/22090/
2010: http://blogs.wlfi.com/2010/11/19/2010-severe-weather-events/

Lastly: Our first full moon of the month will occur tonight. But it will be referred to as a “blue moon,” a name a lot of people typically associate with the second full moon in one month. Ah, but there’s an interesting history that I had no idea about referring to the term “blue moon.” Read about it here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20101119/sc_space/thereallystrangestorybehindsundaysbluemoon

The Weather History Post

Came across a bunch of information on some historical weather on this, the 35th anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I wrote briefly about the Edmund Fitzgerald a few weeks ago during that bomb of a storm in the Upper Midwest. Today there are many perspectives and talking points on this storm. And there’s also another storm celebrating its 97th anniversary today: The White Hurricane of 1913.

From the Updraft Blog in Minnesota, Paul Huttner discusses whether or not modern weather forecasting may have saved the Edmund Fitzgerald. It’s more than likely the case that it would have. Modern forecasting would have done a lot to minimize losses in some past events. And if you’ve noticed, there has not been a wreck of quite that magnitude on the Lakes since that storm.

In the Watts Up With That? blog, Ric Werme discusses some of the other great storms of the Great Lakes. A great historical summary. Of note, the first storm he describes from 1913, is that White Hurricane. A book with that same name was written a few years back. Anyone with any interest in shipping, storms, or weather history would enjoy that book thoroughly. Also, WROC in Rochester, NY has a brief entry on that storm. While the Edmund Fitzgerald takes the modern cake for big storms on the Lakes, the White Hurricane of 1913 was an amazing tragedy and meteorologically mesmerizing storm.

The 40/29 Weather Blog in Northwest Arkansas has another look at the weather from that day, and it also has some cool video about the Edmund Fitzgerald.

So this was truly one of the more memorable storms in our nation’s history. And of course, we can thank Gordon Lightfoot for immortalizing it in song.

Other Historical Tidbits

Some other odds and ends about past weather today:

WLFI in Indiana has a cool blog entry on historical autumn severe weather outbreaks in that part of the Midwest. A lot of people associate severe weather with spring, but it’s certainly true that autumn can produce some ferocious severe weather outbreaks.

The NWS in Washington, DC (Sterling, VA) has gone through and re-sorted snowfall data for Baltimore. They’ve now compiled the top 10 list of snow there, with some new rankings of the biggest storms. Not surprisingly, 2010 shows up on that list a lot. Interesting to note that the big time 3 day events have been extremely rare since 1960.

The Capital Weather Gang has a nice retrospective on Black Sunday and the Dust Bowl. Just an awful event.

Other Links

WCPO TV in Cincinnati has some information and some helpful tips on protecting your home from severe weather.

Some perspective on this hurricane season. I don’t like to talk about places being overdue or “lucking” out in the weather. But given the extreme amount of activity this hurricane season, the United States truly dodged a bullet. Despite 19 storms and 12 hurricanes, the US was spared this season for the most part. But remember, it only takes one storm (see the hurricane season of 1992 and Hurricane Andrew).

Contentious climate scientist Michael Mann speaks out on the issue and how he feels that community has lost control of their message.

And lastly, some video of a dust devil impacting a soccer game! This one has been floating around for awhile, but it’s always worth another look.

Midwest Monster

250 mb Wind Anomalies in Recent Strong La Nina Autumns

It’s not uncommon during La Nina autumns to see massive storms spin up in the Midwest, Lakes, and Plains, thanks in part to a raging strong jet stream coming out of the Pacific Ocean. If you click the map to the left, you can see a composite of the anomaly of 250 mb wind speeds (basically how much stronger or weaker than normal the jet stream winds are) in some recent stronger La Nina autumns, similar to this one. So it’s pretty obvious that this is somewhat normal. What isn’t normal is how much of a beast this storm is.

Yesterday we talked about this storm “bombing” out, which it appears to have done by definition (at least a 24 mb drop in 24 hours). It is now to the point where both state records for lowest barometric pressure have been set in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The previous record in Minnesota was set during a similar fall storm in November of 1998. According to the National Weather Service in Duluth, Aitkin, MN dropped to a barometric pressure of 962.3 mb or 28.42″Hg. The previous state record was 962.6 mb at Albert Lea, MN during that November 10, 1998 storm. In Wisconsin, Superior hit 28.38″Hg or 961.06mb. The previous record there was 963.43 mb in Green Bay in April of 1982.

As of this writing, both Orr and Bigfork, Minnesota are sitting at 28.24″Hg or 956.32mb. If this is verified (and it will likely go even lower in some other parts of Northeast Minnesota), this would break the all-time United States low pressure record for a non-tropical cyclone. The old record of 28.28″Hg was set in Cleveland, OH during the Blizzard of 1978 (and naturally, the Wikipedia article is already up to date with this information!).

Edit to add: 28.22″ as of 3:30 Central time, or 955.6 mb…both at Orr and Bigfork.

National Radar Composite from Late Tuesday, image from NCAR.

So this is truly an historic storm…and one that is not just setting records, it’s causing mayhem! Blizzard Warnings for the Dakotas, literally dozens of tornado warnings in the Midwest and Southeast, numerous tornado watches (5 currently from Mississippi to Southwest NY), widespread wind damage, and quite a change in the weather overall. We had a somewhat rare “High Risk” for severe weather issued this morning by the Storm Prediction Center. So far, there have only been 11 reports of tornadoes, however there have been over 150 reports of strong winds or wind damage thus far, and that number is only going to continue going up.

I’ll try and recap some of the damage reports and more tomorrow.

Hitting the Links

Paul Douglas blogs about the storm in Minnesota for the StarTribune.

The CIMMS Satellite Blog, as always, does a bang up job (and will likely add more in the coming days) with some imagery from this storm.

Sadly (from a weather junky’s standpoint), the Weather Channel appears to be headed down the road of the rest of cable TV…just when it seemed they were getting back on track. Unfortunately, this is what drives ratings, so they will continue to follow the blueprint until it fails.

Follow-Up On Rice, TX Tornado, a Bomb Cyclone, Gordon Lightfoot

Just to follow up last night’s video and info on the tornado that hit near Rice, TX… As it turns out, the gentleman who shot the video was actually doing his job. His name is Eric Meyers, and he’s the emergency management coordinator for Navarro County. He was trying to get the word out to locals to take shelter and be safe when he found himself in trouble. Here’s an article on his story. Eric tells his story on CNN as well.

The NWS in Dallas-Forth Worth did their damage survey today, and it was determined that tornado was an EF-2 on the enhanced Fujita scale, with estimated max wind speeds of 135 mph. It was quite an impressive autumn twister.

NCEP surface map from GFS Model valid from 2 PM Eastern time today
NCEP surface map from GFS Model valid from 2 PM Eastern time tomorrow

Speaking of impressive, what’s about to occur in the middle of the country is simply spectacular. Just a tremendously dynamic storm system is developing into an atmospheric bomb (which is actually a legitimate term). The two images above are from this morning’s run of the GFS model. The top image is the surface forecast for 2 PM today. The bottom is 24 hours later. Focus in on the pressure of the low. Today we have an elongated 984 mb type storm over the Plains. Tomorrow, we have a raging sub-960 mb storm in Minnesota. The record for barometric low pressure in Minnesota is 962 mb, set in November 1998 at Albert Lea and Austin. This will also likely be one of the strongest non-tropical storms ever recorded in the U.S. According to the NWS in Duluth, MN:

A POWERFUL…RAPIDLY DEEPENING STORM MAY WELL RESULT IN RECORD
LOW PRESSURES…SUGGESTED ON ALL MODELS…AS IT POSITIONS ITSELF
AND REMAINS OVER DULUTH TUESDAY. ALTIMETER SETTINGS EVEN AS LOW AS
28.00 INCHES OF MERCURY…REDUCED TO SEA LEVEL…ARE POSSIBLE.

There have been some model solutions showing 950s with this storm. So this will be interesting to watch and see exactly how powerful this is. Of course, while this may set a record, this is somewhat common for a La Nina year. That previous pressure record in 1998, was a La Nina autumn. The storm most associated with the Great Lakes, the Edmund Fitzgerald storm, occurred in 1975, also an autumn with a strong La Nina in the tropics. Of course, we knew fairly well in advance that this was coming, so Gordon Lightfoot will likely not be penning another song about this storm.

Tuesday's Severe Weather Outlook from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center

In addition to the wind impacts that will occur over a LARGE swath of the Midwest, this storm will also be providing ample opportunity for severe thunderstorms, damaging winds and tornadoes out ahead of it. The Storm Prediction Center has actually outlined a moderate risk area for tomorrow in the Ohio Valley and Midwest. This is a pretty potent looking setup, and there could be quite a bit of significant wind damage from some of the thunderstorms tomorrow. Any time you get a storm as strong as what’s being projected for the Upper Midwest, this is often the result. We’ll see what happens.

A couple miscellaneous links to round things out….

A provocative blog entry from the Capital Weather Gang describing some research about how a loss of Arctic sea ice could lead to harsher winters in the continents.

I’m a much bigger believer in solar power over wind power personally, so it’s interesting and somewhat encouraging to see two projects making news: A massive project off I-15 in Ivanpah, CA…on the way to Vegas. Also, the federal “ok” for the world’s largest solar project off I-10 in Blythe, CA. Solar isn’t perfect by any means, but there is certainly abundant sunshine in the California desert, often times during the hottest times of the year in some of the urban centers. If solar can be made more efficient and cost-effective, to me, it just seems like it makes sense.

Oh, and if you feel like listening to the Gordon Lightfoot song, complete with some cool historic footage, click here.