Potentially historic winter storm poised to impact 100 million Americans

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:16 PM GMT on January 31, 2011

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A huge and potentially historic winter storm is taking shape over the Southern Plains today. By the time the storm exits New England on Wednesday night, as many as 50 million Americans may see heavy snows of at least 6 inches or dangerous ice accumulations of 1/4" or more from the massive storm, and 100 million will be affected by the storm. A potent jet stream with strong winds will dive southwards over the central U.S. today, allowing a cold Arctic airmass to spill southwards out of Canada. In front of this cold air, a flow of very warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico will surge northwards, providing copious moisture to fuel snowfall amounts that will likely approach two feet across portions of Iowa and Illinois on Tuesday. The storm could be Chicago's biggest blizzard since January 1999, when a storm dumped 21.6" of snow. Accompanying the heavy snow on Tuesday will be strong winds gusting to 40 mph in Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana, and a blizzard watch is posted for Chicago. Strong winds in Chicago are expected to generate 14 - 18 feet waves on Lake Michigan, with occasional waves up to 25 feet. A significant coastal flooding event is possible for Chicago, with beach erosion and flooding along Lake Shore Drive. Many major cities will likely receive over 8 inches of snow from the storm, including Kansas City, St. Louis, and Detroit. Perhaps of greater concern is the potential for a major ice storm along a swath from Northwest Oklahoma to Massachusetts. Widespread freezing rain is expected to bring over 1/4" of ice to many major cities, including St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. Some regions could see up to an inch of ice, and widespread power outages due to toppled power lines are likely for millions of people. Damages exceeding $1 billions are possible from this ice storm. In addition, the storm's powerful cold front will bring the potential for severe thunderstorms to the deep South. The NOAA Storm Prediction Center is giving Louisiana and surrounding states a "slight risk" of severe weather on Tuesday, and severe thunderstorms with damaging winds are likely Tuesday afternoon in this region.


Figure 1. Probability of receiving at least 1/4" of ice for the 24 hours ending at 7am EST on Wed Feb 2, 2011. Image credit: NOAA.

Very dangerous Tropical Cyclone Yasi headed for Australia's flooded Queensland
With February nearly upon us, the traditional peak of the Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclone season is here, and the waters surrounding Australia have been exceptionally active over the past week. We had the year's first two Category 4 tropical cyclones last week, Tropical Cyclone Wilma and Tropical Cyclone Bianca. Wilma passed over American Samoa as a strong tropical storm, and hit Tonga as a Category 3 storm, causing substantial damage to the islands, but no deaths or injuries. Wilma brushed New Zealand, bringing flooding and landslides to the North Island, and was the strongest tropical cyclone to affect that country in fourteen years, according to weatherwatch.co.nz. Tropical Cyclone Bianca skirted the west coast of Australia and dissipated before making landfall. Tropical Cyclone Anthony hit flood-ravaged Queensland, Australia, over the weekend, as a weak tropical storm with 40 - 50 mph winds. Fortunately, Anthony dropped only modest amounts of rain, and no new flooding disaster occurred in Queensland, which is struggling to recover from record floods. As reported in the latest Australian Bureau of Meteorology climate statement and flood summary, the past four months (September - December) have been the rainiest such period in Queensland's history, and the resulting flooding disaster has been Australia's most expensive natural disaster in history.

Queensland is in serious danger of renewed extreme flooding this week from Tropical Cyclone Yasi. Yasi has intensified to a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds, and is undergoing a period of rapid intensification that is expected to take it to Category 4 strength. Yasi is expected to hit Queensland on Wednesday, probably as a major Category 3 or stronger storm. In addition the storm's damaging winds and storm surge, Yasi will bring torrential rains. The GFS model is predicting that Yasi will dump 5 - 10 inches of rain over a large swath of Queensland, which would likely cause destructive flooding.

One positive note: the European Center model was remarkably accurate predicting the formation of Yasi over a week in advance, so Queensland has had plenty of time to prepare for the arrival of the storm.


Figure 3. Tropical Cyclone Yasi at 23:20 GMT on January 30, 2011. At the time, Yasi was a Category 1 storm with 75 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Jeff Masters

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Yasi is large...like Igor size.....geezzz
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Quoting sunlinepr:


Yasi, call it Yasi....
The red colored tops, are impressive...


Sir, yes, Sir. Yasi it is.
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Quoting Grothar:


You talking about me or the storm?


Yasi, call it Yasi....
The red colored tops, are impressive...
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Patrap

Tower 2 to Tower 1. Mail call.
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Quoting sunlinepr:

That link sometimes has problems generating animated gifs...

What an impressive monster....


You talking about me or the storm?
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Quoting Grothar:
Something wrong with the CIMSS images. They are not posting correctly.


That link sometimes has problems generating animated gifs...

What an impressive monster....
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Latest Mars Rovers, Santa Maria Crater Pancam
Link


Looks just like ours. Amazing


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Quoting Xyrus2000:


It's amazing that the rovers have lasted as long as they have.


I hope Opportunity keeps on going until it reaches the Huge Endurance crater, which is about 22 kilometers (14 miles) in diameter and, at its closest edge, about 6 kilometers (4 miles) from Santa Maria....
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Something wrong with the CIMSS images. They are not posting correctly.

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IDQP0005
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
Queensland
Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre

Media: The Standard Emergency Warning Signal should NOT be used with this
warning.

TOP PRIORITY
TROPICAL CYCLONE ADVICE NUMBER 6
Issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, Brisbane
Issued at 1:52pm EST on Tuesday the 1st of February 2011

A Cyclone WARNING is current for coastal areas from Cooktown to Sarina.

A Cyclone WATCH is current for coastal areas from Lockhart River to Cooktown and
Sarina to Yeppoon and for the northern tropical interior.

At 1:00 pm EST Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi, Category 3 was estimated to be
1120 kilometres east northeast of Cairns and 1110 kilometres east northeast of
Townsville
moving west at 34 kilometres per hour.

YASI IS A LARGE AND POWERFUL TROPICAL CYCLONE AND POSES A SERIOUS THREAT TO
NORTH QUEENSLAND COMMUNITIES

The cyclone is expected to slowly intensify overnight as it moves westwards over
the Coral Sea.

SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE YASI, CATEGORY 3 is expected to turn on a more
west-southwesterly direction in the next 12 hours.

DAMAGING winds with gusts to 90 km/hr are expected to develop on the islands
during Wednesday morning, then extend onto the coast during the day, and further
inland across southern Cape York Peninsula and north of Charters Towers
overnight.

Between Cooktown and Townsville these winds will become DESTRUCTIVE with gusts
in excess of 125km/hr late Wednesday afternoon.

As the centre approaches the coast sea levels will rise above the normal tide
with damaging waves and flooding of low lying areas near the shoreline.

Flooding rains will develop from Cooktown to Sarina during Wednesday afternoon
and then extend inland overnight.


People between Cooktown and Sarina should immediately commence or continue
preparations, especially securing boats and property [using available daylight
hours/before nightfall].
- For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster
Management Services website [www.disaster.qld.gov.au]
- For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service [SES] on
132 500 [for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on
buildings or roof damage].

People between Lockhart River and Cooktown and between Sarina and Yeppoon, and
southern Cape York Peninsula and inland north of Charters Towers should consider
what action they will need to take if the cyclone threat increases.
- Information is available from your local government
- For cyclone preparedness and safety advice, visit Queensland's Disaster
Management Services website [www.disaster.qld.gov.au]
- For emergency assistance call the Queensland State Emergency Service [SES] on
132 500 [for assistance with storm damage, rising flood water, fallen trees on
buildings or roof damage].

Details of Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi at 1:00 pm EST:
.Centre located near...... 14.2 degrees South 155.8 degrees East
.Location accuracy........ within 55 kilometres
.Recent movement.......... towards the west at 34 kilometres per hour
.Wind gusts near centre... 220 kilometres per hour and INTENSIFYING
.Severity category........ 3
.Central pressure......... 960 hectoPascals


Please ensure that neighbours have heard and understood this message,
particularly new arrivals or those who may not fully understand English.

The next advice will be issued by 5:00 pm EST Tuesday 01 February.

This warning is also available through TV and Radio Broadcasts; the Bureau's
website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 212. The Bureau and the State
Emergency Service would appreciate this warning being broadcast regularly.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129352
Quoting Xyrus2000:


Erm... I was talking about Yasi. As a former New Englander I can handle blizzards. ;)

Sorry, hard to tell who is talking about what on this thread.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Latest Mars Rovers, Santa Maria Crater Pancam


It's amazing that the rovers have lasted as long as they have.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55503
Quoting Ossqss:


I had to share :) gnite



Classic.
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Quoting Grothar:


Yasi kinda makes Australia look...small. :P
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Latest Mars Rovers, Santa Maria Crater Pancam
Link
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Queensland Weather and Warnings
Warnings for Queensland



* Warnings current:
* High Seas Warning for Severe TC Yasi,
* East Coastal Waters issued by Brisbane for Severe TC Yasi,
* Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Queensland 1,
* Flood Warning - Coastal rivers - Townsville to Mackay,
* Flood Warning - Fitzroy River,
* Flood Warning - Condamine-Balonne Rivers,
* Queensland flood warning summary,
* Forecast Track Map (QLD) for Severe TC Yasi,
* Tropical Cyclone Advice for Severe TC Yasi.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129352
Quoting kellnerp:

The real nasty to a blizzard is the sudden drop in temperature and the drifting snow that happens after the snowfall has ended. That's why you carry blankets, a shovel and some food (candy bars, etc.) when traveling.


Erm... I was talking about Yasi. As a former New Englander I can handle blizzards. ;)
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Quoting Grothar:


I am sure it was probably a hoax. However, given our history on earth, many advanced civilizations act stupidly. Why there could be aliens living amongst us now and we wouldn't even know. Like this for example:



I had to share :) gnite

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
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Quoting Grothar:


I am sure it was probably a hoax. However, given our history on earth, many advanced civilizations act stupidly. Why there could be aliens living amongst us now and we wouldn't even know. Like this for example:



Coneheads? That's 90 minutes of my life I want back. :D
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Surviving Cyclones: Preparation and Safety Procedures


About tropical cyclone warning services | Preparation & safety | About tropical cyclones | FAQs

This page provides a general checklist for cyclone preparation and safety procedures.
Preparation and Safety information is also linked in the right hand column including details about damage and danger associated with cyclone intensity, storm surge and advice for mariners.

State and territory emergency agencies are the primary providers of advice for cyclone procedures. Contact details and web links are provided at the bottom of this page.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129352
Quoting AussieStorm:


Damn straight. People need to pack up and GTFO.

How will the inland drier regions handle all the precip? Seems like flash floods galore as that storm tracks into central Australia.
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Quoting Xyrus2000:


Damn that looks like a nasty storm.

The real nasty to a blizzard is the sudden drop in temperature and the drifting snow that happens after the snowfall has ended. That's why you carry blankets, a shovel and some food (candy bars, etc.) when traveling.
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Quoting Xyrus2000:


May be a hoax. One of the videos has some odd parallax issues and the other video looks like it may have been tracked on top of some footage. Do a search for the video with the word "hoax" added on and you can see for yourself.

Some other things going against this video is that it happened at the Dome of the Rock. THE Dome of the Rock. Israel has crazy security and cameras covering every inch of that part of town, including skyline cameras. And yet, all there is are these videos?

And a clearly visible probe landing in the middle of a populous city on an alien world? Would an alien civilization capable of sending an interstellar probe really allow that probe to be seen given that if the world happened to be inhabited, space-faring, and hostile that they could track it's origins and destroy them? And would they really need to send a probe down so low to get good information? Given the level of technology for interstellar travel, they could easily just remain in orbit and gather information of much higher resolution than even a human walking around on the surface could.

It might not be a hoax. It could very well be an alien probe checking us out. But I tend to give advanced civilizations the benefit of the doubt and assume they wouldn't let us know they were out their unless they wanted us to know.


I am sure it was probably a hoax. However, given our history on earth, many advanced civilizations act stupidly. Why there could be aliens living amongst us now and we wouldn't even know. Like this for example:

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Cairns is a regional city in Far North Queensland, Australia. The city was named after William Wellington Cairns (then Governor of Queensland). It was formed to serve miners heading for the Hodgkinson River goldfield, but experienced a decline when an easier route was discovered from Port Douglas. It later developed into a railhead and major port for exporting sugar cane, gold and other metals, minerals and agricultural products from surrounding coastal areas and the Atherton Tableland region.

The city is rapidly expanding[citation needed], with a population of 122,731 at the 2006 census. Tourism is the largest income producer for the region, followed closely by the sugar industry. An intercensal estimate for the resident population the Local Government Area as of June 2008 was 158,700.[5]

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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Damn that looks like a nasty storm.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55503
Quoting Grothar:



Food for thought. Looks like that was caught by a number of cameras. Straaaaaaaaange!


May be a hoax. One of the videos has some odd parallax issues and the other video looks like it may have been tracked on top of some footage. Do a search for the video with the word "hoax" added on and you can see for yourself.

Some other things going against this video is that it happened at the Dome of the Rock. THE Dome of the Rock. Israel has crazy security and cameras covering every inch of that part of town, including skyline cameras. And yet, all there is are these videos?

And a clearly visible probe landing in the middle of a populous city on an alien world? Would an alien civilization capable of sending an interstellar probe really allow that probe to be seen given that if the world happened to be inhabited, space-faring, and hostile that they could track it's origins and destroy them? And would they really need to send a probe down so low to get good information? Given the level of technology for interstellar travel, they could easily just remain in orbit and gather information of much higher resolution than even a human walking around on the surface could.

It might not be a hoax. It could very well be an alien probe checking us out. But I tend to give advanced civilizations the benefit of the doubt and assume they wouldn't let us know they were out their unless they wanted us to know.
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So where's the snow? The radar says it is snowing outside. The window says NADA.

A friend reported freezing rain in Columbus, IN.

After the 38" a few weeks ago this doesn't sound like much except for the wind.
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my goodness. chilling. yasi is a very bad typhoon.
goodnight. and don't go out driving in snow and ice, please. just stay home.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55503
Quoting Chicklit:
Look at the size of the winter weather statement!
but remember nothing to see here its only fireworks move along
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Look at the size of the winter weather statement!
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Quoting pottery:

That's not a SugarBear, is it?


Well, you could try to lick him but it would only get bristly hair in your mouth and really PO the bear.
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holy crapola. wicked weather in different hemispheres on a grand scale. yasi looks huge.
and so is this winter storm to our north.
good grief. stay off the roads fo sho.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Weird cones...


Kinda Platypus like :)

Ya know those things are one of 4 venomous mammals, let alone the egg thing ? Also weird, LOL

Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
TC Yasi

Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)


Time of Latest Image: 201102010232



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Quoting atmoaggie:
Weird cones...
looks like a paddle i guess
someone is about to get a good spanking
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55503
Quoting pipelines:


I saw the two others and I can't tell personally on those, but this one definitely is fabricated. The background is way too static, if you ever film lights at night they tend to flutter, or twinkle. And listen to the sound closely, you can hear the breaks and there is never the same person talking in different breaks. The American women do sound similar but you can pick up slightly different accents from them in different breaks.


Yes, a someone speaking Dutch. You must have a good ear.
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Warning for my sister's County in NW Arkansas:

Winter Storm Warning
Statement as of 3:15 PM CST on January 31, 2011


... Winter Storm Warning remains in effect from 6 PM this evening to
midnight CST Tuesday night...

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect...

For the following counties...
* in Oklahoma... Cherokee... Adair... Okfuskee... Okmulgee...
Wagoner... Pittsburg... Sequoyah... McIntosh... Muskogee... Le
Flore... Latimer and Haskell. In Arkansas... Washington...
Madison... Crawford... Benton... Sebastian... Carroll and Franklin.

Hazardous weather...
* a mixture of sleet and freezing rain will overspread eastern
Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas late tonight... and increase in
intensity around sunrise Tuesday. Any freezing rain will
transition to heavy sleet and snow... which will continue
through much of the day Tuesday. Snowfall will begin to
diminish Tuesday evening... and likely come to an end by
midnight Tuesday night.

* 4 to 8 inches of snow... with local amounts around 12
inches... are expected. Additionally... 1 to 2 inches of sleet
are possible. One quarter to one half inch ice accumulations
are also possible from southeast Oklahoma into far northwest
Arkansas. Strong northwesterly winds of 20 to 30 mph are
expected which will produce snow drifts up to two feet.

Impacts...
* travel will become very hazardous or impossible. Power outages
are likely in some areas

Precautionary/preparedness actions...
* delay travel and stay home if possible until conditions improve.

* Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio... commercial radio or
television for the latest information concerning this weather
event. Additional weather information can also be found at:
weather.Gov/Tulsa.

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Quoting Grothar:


None saying it wasn't, but it was taken by many other people there as well. Did you look at all the other videos, or just the one?


I saw the two others and I can't tell personally on those, but this one definitely is fabricated. The background is way too static, if you ever film lights at night they tend to flutter, or twinkle. And listen to the sound closely, you can hear the breaks and there is never the same person talking in different breaks. The American women do sound similar but you can pick up slightly different accents from them in different breaks.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
Weird cones...
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55503
-25 F in Montana. ~60 here, in SE LA.
(and, no, probably not -9 F in Fort Polk, SW LA)


(best viewed full size...click)
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.
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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