Tag Archive | National Weather Service

Severe hailstorm prompts use of snowplows in South Dakota city, USA

Snowplows in July
(Photo: Karen Maudlin / AP)
A brief but intense hailstorm that dropped as much as 4 inches of slippery pellets in a South Dakota city prompted officials to call out snowplows in the middle of summer.
Pennington County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Jackson tells the Rapid City Journal that the Tuesday night incident on U.S. Highway 16 south of Rapid City was “definitely weird” for mid-July.
The National Weather Service says pea-size hail pelted the highway for about 15 minutes. Jackson says the area was shrouded in heavy fog as the hail melted and a few cars went off the road, but that there were no serious injuries.
Courtesy of detroitnews.com

Near Category 1 Hurricane Causes Mayhem In Brainerd, Minnesota, USA

A swathe of trees lay blown over Monday after a super cell thunderstorm hit the Brainerd lakes area with near category 1 hurricane force winds. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)
A supercell thunderstorm struck the Brainerd lakes area Sunday night with a force nearly matching a category 1 hurricane.
A supercell thunderstorm is potentially the most dangerous of convective storm types, the National Weather Service reports. The storm itself is so powerful it rotates. Supercell storms have the potential to generate violent and long-lived tornadoes and downburst damage. The downburst, a strong downdraft producing damaging high winds on or near the ground, is the culprit in causing the damage in the Brainerd lakes area, the National Weather Service reported.
A meteorologist assessed the damage in the lakes area before determining the downburst, which may also be called straight-line winds, was the factor here not a tornado.
The main damage path was 8 miles long and 3 miles wide.
“Straight-line winds can do tremendous damage and you don’t need a tornado to get the kind of damage that you experienced,” the National Weather Service posted on its Facebook page in response to inquiries from the Brainerd/Baxter area. “The Boundary Waters derecho in 1999 was much larger in scale and was due to straight-line winds.”
The National Weather Center in Duluth was monitoring the region, expecting storms to develop as a potent combination of storm-building ingredients came together. The tone for the day was set in the morning. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., listed the Brainerd lakes area in a moderate risk for thunderstorms.
Melody Lovin, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth, said in weather terms a moderate risk is significant and comes with an expectation for tornadoes.
“Whenever there is a slight risk we are watching it very, very closely,” Lovin said.
Sunday’s storm developed after a warm, oppressive and overcast day. High atmospheric instability and wind shear produced the energy needed to create the massive storm. Instability means there is a lot of energy and potential for rising motion and it’s the wind shear that allows it to develop rotation and become severe.
“It was kind of a loaded gun situation as far as the atmosphere coming together to produce these type of strong storms,” Lovin said.
“We tend to get storms like this once or twice a season,” Lovin said.
Most of the damage was farther south and east of Brainerd with tornadoes by Ottertail and close to the North Dakota and Minnesota state line.
“There was widespread damage reported,” Lovin said, noting storms moved from Fargo, N.D. to Milwaukee, Wis.
In the lakes area, the radar’s intense red of the storm first appeared to be going north. But the storm then appeared to turn.
“With very strong storms they tend to take a right turn. That’s something we watch closely because when they tend to take a right turn that indicates it is getting stronger because it is getting more rooted in the upper atmosphere,” Lovin said.
Lovin said every storm with updraft has a little rotation to it and determining what caused damage includes looking for patterns. It doesn’t have to be exact but if the overall pattern matches, Lovin said it can be scientifically proven to be straight-line winds or a downburst.
“Some people in the area were very staunch in saying that it was tornado damage and I would say it’s important to realize that a 70 mph wind whether it’s twisting in a tornado or just straight-line it’s very damaging. It doesn’t need to be in the form of a tornado to cause extensive damage and a threat to life and property.”
Lovin said equipment measured the winds here up to 65 mph with gusts higher for an estimated range of 65 mph to possibly 80 mph. A category 1 hurricane has winds of 74 mph to 95 mph. If the storm’s winds reached 100 mph, Lovin said the damage would have been significantly more severe.
The temperature dropped from 81 degrees to 64 degrees in the aftermath of Sunday’s storm.
Storms blew up again late Tuesday afternoon with thunder rumbling through the lakes area and heavy amounts of rain. For those faced with the task of cleaning up storm debris, the weather service noted the chance for severe weather continues Thursday, Friday and into next week. The chance for thunderstorms is listed at 50 percent Thursday with a chance Thursday night before giving way to mostly sunny skies Friday.
Expect warm temperatures to continue with highs in the 80s, climbing to a high of 87 Friday and 88 Saturday.
Lovin said a typical summertime pattern is setting up. “This is usually our prime time for thunderstorms, of course.”
Buildings at Madden’s on Gull Lake resort show severe damage Monday after a storm ripped through the Gull Lake area Sunday night. (Kelly Humphrey,Brainerd Dispatch)
Courtesy of brainerddispatch.com

Tornado touches down in Washington County, USA

Tornado Alert

Storms passing through the area Wednesday night brought at least one confirmed tornado that didn’t appear to cause major damage.
The confirmed tornado briefly touched down about a mile south of Caledonia in Washington County at about 6:45 p.m., and tossed debris like tree limbs and leaves into the air, according to the National Weather Service. Video of the tornado was sent to the weather service. They received no more reports of further damage.
A weather spotter saw a tornado touch down about seven miles southeast of Festus just after 7 p.m. but there were no reports of damage, the service reported.
Courtesy of stltoday

Flash floods hits Las Vegas, USA

Woman walks through flood
A woman walks through flood water Monday, July 6, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP / John Locher)
A thunderstorm with heavy rains and high winds moved across the Las Vegas area, flooding roads and knocking out power to hundreds.
The National Weather Service says parts of the area were under a flash flood warning Monday evening.
Las Vegas Fire and Rescue says firefighters handled 10 water rescues.
Spokesman Tim Szymanski says most of the drivers were in deep water and needed assistance getting out of their vehicles. There were no reports of injury.
The Las Vegas Sun reports that the hardest-hit areas included the Lone Mountain and Summerlin areas.
The paper says the National Weather Service reports one area had 1.5 inches of rain, though most areas got much less.
It says NV Energy reported that the storm had knocked out power to about 800 Southern Nevada customers as of 8:15 p.m.
Courtesy of ctvnews.ca

Tropical storm Chan-hom is expected to pass through the Marianas as a typhoon over the weekend

Photo: National Weather Service
Tropical Storm Chan-hom is expected to pass through the Marianas as a typhoon over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
The weather service’s latest forecast graphic issued at 7 p.m. shows the storm passing just south of Guam Saturday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph.
The weather services’s tracking forecast was modified several times today, with the predicted course moving from a direct hit on Rota this morning to a path that takes it south of Guam. The forecast could still change.
“Conditions could change during the night,” said meteorologist Chip Guard. “National Weather Service anticipates the storm slowing down during the night and we should know more about the exact track tomorrow morning.”
According to the weather service’s 8 p.m. online advisory, the tropical storm was positioned about 750 miles east-southeast of Guam. Maximum sustained winds was 45 mph.
The storm was moving west at 12 mph, with winds extending outward up to 60 miles from the center. The system is expected to turn to the west tonight and Thursday with a slight decrease in forward speed.
The storm is expected to bring rain showers and thunderstorms to Guam starting Friday, and winds are expected to strengthen over the weekend, said weather service meteorologist Brandon Aydlett. Inclement weather could extend into Monday, he said.
The island can expect up to 12 inches of rain over the weekend, Aydlett said Wednesday morning.
Several weekend events are postponed.
The Liberation Carnival will be closed Saturday, and the Fourth of July fireworks are tentatively postponed to Sunday. The carnival will remain open tomorrow and vendors will begin breaking down their booths Friday, said Sinajana Mayor Robert Hofmann, event planner for the carnival.
The Guam BBQ Block Party scheduled for Saturday has been postponed. The Guam Visitors Bureau will announce a new date when determined.
Courtesy of guampdn.com

Big Dust Storm Of Monsoon Season Strikes Phoenix, USA

Dust Storm Alert

The first big dust storm of the monsoon season slammed the Phoenix area on Saturday with winds snapping utility poles and leaving thousands without power.
Arizona Public Service and Salt River Project, the two biggest utilities that serve metropolitan Phoenix, said Sunday that electricity had been restored to most customers.
APS initially reported outages at 14,000 homes the night before. SRP at one point had more than 15,000 customers with no power.
According to the National Weather Service, winds were up to 51 mph around Sky Harbor International Airport. There were also isolated showers in communities such as Globe and Carefree.
There have been no reports of serious storm-related injuries.
Meteorologists say there is potential for more intense wind Sunday afternoon and advise against driving in blowing dust.
Courtesy of abcnews.go.com

Severe Storm Pounds Philadelphia Region, USA

Severe Thunderstorm Warning Alert

As heavy rain and potentially strong storms hit the Philadelphia region Saturday, the National Weather Service issued flood watches for large portions of the area. By Saturday night, street flooding already closed some roads in South Jersey.
Flooding remained a concern during a soggy Saturday as New Castle County, Delaware and much of southeastern Pennsylvania remained under a Flood Watch until 5 a.m. Sunday. NBC10 First Alert Weather meteorologist Michelle Grossman said 1 to 3 inches of rain fell with up to 4 inches possible in some areas already hit hard this week.
With plenty of rain and strong winds throughout the night, the NBC10 First Alert Weather Team issued a First Alert for the rest of Saturday.
“Thunderstorms are possible too with gusty winds mainly south of the city in South Jersey and Delaware,” said Michelle.
A Flash Flood Warning put residents in parts of Atlantic, Camden and Gloucester counties in New Jersey and a small section of Kent County, Delaware on alert until midnight.
There was also a Coastal Flood Advisory along the Delaware River and Delaware Bay until 3 a.m. Sunday. An earlier Tornado Watch for Kent and Sussex counties in Delaware expired at 8 p.m.
Police closed Packard Street and Bellevue Avenue in Hammonton, New Jersey; Cowell Lane near Conshohocken State Road in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania; and Route 40 in Buena, New Jersey due to flooding Saturday night. It also closed the Kelly Drive in Philadelphia.
“The heavy rain will taper to showers overnight. Sunday will certainly win out as the better of the two weekend days. Partly sunny and breezy Sunday afternoon. Highs in the low 80s.”
Courtesy of nbcphiladelphia.com

Tropical disturbance could threaten Marianas, Taiwan, Okinawa

Tropical Storm Alert

The tropical disturbance developing in Micronesia has moved three degrees north since it began forming Friday and could develop into a tropical cyclone within the next two to three days, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center advised at midafternoon Saturday. 
National Weather Service on Guam’s latest statement said Pohn’pei and Kosrae can expect from 4 to 7 inches of rain as the system develops, possibly causing landslides and flooding.
The disturbance, which would become the ninth numbered storm of the northwest Pacific’s tropical cyclone season, is forecast to gradually turn west-northwest and could threaten the Marianas islands later this week.
Where it heads beyond that is way too soon to tell, officials said; computer models are all over the place at this point, some pointing it toward the Philippines, others toward Taiwan, possibly grazing Okinawa, and another curving sharply northeast toward the Tokyo-Kanto Plain area. PST has it under finger.
If it does become a named storm, it would be called Chan-hom, Laotian for a type of tree.
Courtesy of stripes.com

3 Tornadoes strike two Virginia counties, USA

Tornado Hampton 02.06.12

The National Weather Service has confirmed three separate tornadoes in two Virginia counties near the Chesapeake Bay.
The weather service office in Wakefield says the tornadoes touched down between 8:45 p.m. and shortly after 10 p.m. Thursday in Richmond and Lancaster counties. The region is known as the Northern Neck.
Meteorologist Jon McGee says the twisters each were rated an EFo, the lowest-rated tornado with winds ranging from 65 mph to 85 mph.
He said a survey team had not compiled a report yet on its findings but damage was limited to uprooted trees and snapped limbs, with no structural damage.
Courtesy of wboc.com

Hurricane Bill expected to bring thunderstorms Saturday night through Sunday

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Thunderstorms are threatening to put a damper on Father’s Day on Staten Island.
Remnants of Hurricane Bill will produce heavy rainfall and thunderstorms starting around 9 p.m. Saturday and continuing throughout the day and into the night Sunday.
The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch in effect from 8 p.m. Saturday to 8 p.m. Sunday.
The service has also issued a hazardous weather outlook for Northeast New Jersey and Southeast New York, including all five boroughs.
One to 2 inches of rain are possible Saturday night and another inch is expected Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
The weather should clear up on Monday, however, when it will be sunny with a high near 86 degrees.
Courtesy of silive.com