Archive for the Severe weather Category

StormScapeLIVE.com LIVE Streaming Operations for the Southeast Severe Weather Outbreak of 3/26/11

Posted in Extreme Weather Video, Severe weather, weather photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2011 by stormstream

http://StormScapeLIVE.com will be broadcasting the severe weather outbreak across Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia LIVE today starting at 10am EDT. Click on the Mike Phelps and Brett Adair tabs on the web page above the video player to join us as our virtual storm chase partners! As always, we will have a high-quality video stream, as well as full audio at all times and an interactive chat room where you can communicate with us.

You can also now watch Mike Phelps’ live stream from your smart phone! Just go to the following page on your internet-enabled mobile device: http://www.dyyno.com/channel/stormscapelive#sid=9D04D8BE183AEC59

MEDIA: Click on the media tab on the web page to contact us for licensing a clean, logo and ad-free stream for use on air, and for live phoners from the field. Or, go to http://www.chasertv.com and click on the media page from there. We will provide you with a MAK code to access the clean stream.

FORECAST: A warm front stretches along the I-20 corridor through MS, AL and GA on this Saturday morning. Rain and a few elevated strong to severe storms are located along and north of that warm front. This convection will reinforce the warm front and basically hold it in its current position through much of the day, if anything lifting only very slowly northward this afternoon. Instability and shear will increase greatly along and about 100 miles south of the warm front this afternoon and evening, and that will provide a ripe environment for scattered surface-based supercells producing large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes. The StormScapeLIVE.com chase team will be intercepting these storms today beginning after 10am EDT. The best action should be between 3pm and 10pm EDT. We’ll have two chase vehicles covering the storms, with Mike Phelps in one, and Brett Adair and Eric Parker in the other.

This is a dangerous weather day across parts of the Southeast, so stay weather aware!

Mike Phelps
Owner – StormScapeLIVE.com

Severe Weather Outbreak Likey for Parts of MS, AL, TN, GA, SC and NC on Monday, February 28, 2011

Posted in Severe weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2011 by stormstream

Severe storms producing heavy rain, damaging winds, hail, flash flooding and possibly a few strong tornadoes will sweep east and northeast across much of the southeast United States through the day on Monday. The most likely areas to see the most intense weather will be along and north of I-20/I-85.

Brett Adair and Eric Parker of AlabamaStormTrackers.com will be streaming this severe weather event LIVE at http://stormscapelive.com starting during the pre-dawn hours on Monday, and continuing much of the day. Ride along with them as their virtual storm chase partners and you will feel like you are a part of the storm chase. StormScapeLIVE.com is fully interactive with live video, audio and chat. By watching StormScapeLIVE.com you really do feel like you are sitting right there in the vehicle with the storm chasers. It truly is a unique and exciting experience you will find nowhere else!

Be sure and be weather-aware through the day on Monday, and be ready to take immediate action to protect life and property if severe weather warnings are issued.

Major Winter Storm for the Deep South 1/9-1/11/11

Posted in Extreme Weather Video, Severe weather, Winter weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2011 by stormstream

Winter storm warnings and ice storm warnings are up for much Dixie as a major winter storm develops and rolls across the region. Some locations will see more snow than they have seen in decades, while others get more ice than they have witnessed since the big hair days of the 1980s.

I will concentrate mainly on Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina in this blog posting, since this is the region I live in and forecast for.

Basically, we can use I-20/I-85 as the boundary between significant snow and ice, with the I-20 corridor receiving a nasty mixture of both types of deadly winter precipitation. It appears from the latest runs of the HRRR (Rapid Refresh) short-range model and NAM, the heavies snow band with this system is going to streak out across central and northeast Mississippi and into northwest and northern Alabama and into southern middle Tennessee, southeast Tennessee, southwest North Carolina and the upstate of South Carolina. The deformation band where the longest duration of heavy snow will establish itself looks to be across parts of northeast Mississippi and northwest and north-central Alabama into extreme southern middle Tennessee and southeast Tennessee. This region would be one of the jackpot snow regions with more than 10 inches of snow possible. Yet another “jackpot” snow area aided by elevation would be the northeast & north-central Alabama/extreme southern middle Tennessee area, centered on the Lookout mountain area where more that a foot of snow could accumulate on the crest of the ridge. Obviously, a third so-called jackpot snow accumulation region would be the elevation-aided region of the southern Appalachian mountains from extreme north and northeast Georgia northward into southeast Tennessee and southwest North Carolina. This region, especially the TN and NC portion of that region could see over a foot of snow, with some of that accumulation coming on Tuesday and Wednesday with the passage of a clipper and the enhancement from a moist northwest flow in the wake of that system. The remainder of the Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina region to the north of I-20 & 85 will see generally 3 to 8 inches of snow, with the lesser amounts along I-20 and the accumulated snow depth increasing as you head north from I-20 with generally an inch added for every 20 miles north. Hopefully that makes sense. lol Here are some forecast totals for the airports in the region: ATL 4″. BHM: 2″. MCN: 1/2″. HSV: 12″. CHA: 11″. GSP: 8″

Now to probably the most life and property-threatening aspect of this major winter storm, the ice. Areas south of I-20 in Alabama and Georgia will start out as snow, but transition to sleet and then to light, but very steady and long-duration freezing rain and drizzle. This type of light, but steady long-duration freezing rain and drizzle is the very worst type of freezing rain as everything that falls will freeze on exposed objects and not run off. Widespread accumulations of 1/4 of glaze on exposed objects will be common south of I-20 in AL and GA to within 75 miles of the Gulf coast. 1/4 inch of glaze is the threshold for damaging freezing rain, especially softwood trees such as pines. So, widespread pine tree branches will come down onto power lines, and that will induce power outages. Of more concern is the potential for fairly large areas of .50 inch glaze ice accumulations on exposed objects within that wide .25 inch zone. These areas will see severe ice storm damage with hardwood trees such as oak, hickory and walnuts not only losing large branches, but actually splitting and falling onto home. Many pines will lose branches and bend all the way to the ground. It will be an absolute disaster for the trees of the region, and of course since we love our trees in the South we surround our homes and businesses with them. This means widespread structural damage as well as power outages from fallen branches and trees on utility lines. Here are some forecasts for glaze ice accumulations on exposed objects for the same airports I gave snowfall projections for: ATL: .10 BHM: .20 MCN: .40 (severe ice storm) HSV: .00
CHA: .00 GSP: .05

Folks, this is a system that is going to continue and evolve and change through the day on Sunday, so the forecasts I provided above, while being my best estimate based on current data, could very well change for the better or for the worse as the day goes on. The key is to not concentrate on the minor changes in terms of snowfall and ice accumulation forecasts, but just to understand and take serious the severity of this winter storm. Be weather-aware and take preparations and precautions to protect you and those you know, as well as your property. Be ready and prepared to lose power, especially in the ice storm region, and be prepared for the worst-case-scenario of not having power for several days to even as long as a week or two in very rural areas as utility companies will be stretched thin.

I plan to cover this winter storm in the Atlanta and north and central Georgia region starting this evening and continuing through the day on Monday. I will be broadcasting LIVE at http://stormscapelive.com and also at http://www.chasertv.com. Live streaming should start around 8pm on Sunday, January 9 and continue through the night and into the day on Monday, January 10. However, if conditions on the roads become to severe to safely cover this winter storm I will return home, but continue to stream from my neighborhood. Another great location to view live streams of this winter storm is at the Bama Camera Net on the Alabama Storm Trackers web page. The address is http://alabamastormtrackers.com/alcamnet/.

Good luck and stay safe!

Finally! El Nino is Bringing Extreme Weather to the U.S.

Posted in Severe weather, Winter weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2010 by stormstream

It’s taken half the winter to get here, but finally the low end strong El Nino weather pattern is bearing some major fruit in the U.S. in the form of extreme weather, and this active pattern looks to continue at least through the month of February, and very likely into the spring as well. Get ready for a continued wild ride on the Extreme Weather Express!

The jet stream is powerful and infused with moisture. This has led to many feet of snow across the mountains of California and the Southwest, and severe thunderstorms and tornadoes across the South. Now, we are once again heading into a period where the AO is severely negative, the NAO is negative and PNA is positive. This all equals major DOO DOO for much of the U.S. as we head into late January and through the month of February, but the most extreme weather will likely shift from the western U.S. into the central and eastern U.S. More severe thunderstorms and tornadoes will be possible in the Deep South, with major snow storms north of the heavy rain and severe storms. Also, serious intrusions of bitterly cold arctic air will be dropping into the lower 48 on a regular basis.

Anyone hoping for an early spring with an extended period of sunshine and mild to warm temperatures can kiss those hopes goodbye through at least mid-March, and I don’t care what that glorified rodent The Groundhog says in early February.

Southeast Winter Storm and Cold Wave

Posted in Severe weather, Winter weather with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2010 by stormstream

It’s not often that we are 4 days away from a winter event in the Southeast, and most of us in the know are feeling reasonably confident about the forecast. Now that this pattern evolution that has been ongoing for more than a month has finally reached its concluding stages, the medium range models are going to handle the pattern reasonably well for the next few weeks. So, not only is this event going to be handled well, the upcoming winter events (one or two could be significant for the Southeast) over the next two weeks will also be handled better than they would have a few weeks ago. This is good news for those of you who make a living forecasting this stuff. I think it is pretty clear that the Thursday/Friday system is going to be a light to moderate snow producer for areas along and north of I-20/I-85. I agree with the general consensus of this being a widespread 1-3 inch snow, with a few jackpot amounts in the 4 to 6 inch range. Here is what we need to focus in on regarding this event: It may not be a big snow storm, but it will be a high-impact winter storm. The cold ground will insure that snow that falls will immediately stick to all road surfaces and create immediate travel problems. For areas where the snow moves in during the day on Thursday this will create a situation where schools and businesses will need to anticipate this and close early to avoid a life-threatening afternoon rush (shades of “Snow Jam ’82”). Then, there is the aspect of out-of-the-ordinary cold. The cold will not be record setting in terms of temperatures, but could approach record levels in terms of its longevity. With such long-lasting cold this will pose a serious threat to folks who do not have adequate heating for their homes, and also for pets outside. Please be sure to take the necessary measures to protect those two groups. Also, make sure to insulate any pipes on exposed outer walls and leave your faucets dripping. Anyone who has ever dealt with busted pipes knows this is an incredible inconvenience as well as being very expensive. Please DO NOT use a torch to thaw out your pipes or you will torch your house. Finally, the snow that falls will not melt off the next day as is the case with most Southern snows. This snow will be on the ground and on roads and parking lots for days. It will get packed down and create very icy and dangerous areas. So, while not a big snow storm, this one will certainly be a dangerous and problem-causing situation during the snow fall and several days afterward. Finally, I want to address the chance for a swath of significant freezing rain to the immediate south of the snow. The fact that this will be a fast moving system should limit freezing rain amounts, but it will still be enough to create glazing and cause problems.

Active Pattern to Continue into the New Year!

Posted in Severe weather, Winter weather with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2009 by stormstream

We are locked into an active weather pattern across much of the country that should last into the New Year. Many significant storm opportunities and blasts of arctic air can be expected. Looking into my long range forecasting crystal ball I see the next big-ticket storm system affecting parts of the country with heavy snow and rain a few days either side of Christmas. Right now I’d say the most likely regions impacted would be from the Plains to the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Maybe a white Christmas for many? I hope so!

My Latest Thoughts on Hurricane Ida

Posted in Severe weather with tags , , , , , , on November 8, 2009 by stormstream

My thoughts as of 10:30am EST on Sunday, November 8, 2009.

Wind will not be a huge problem at landfall, so whether Ida is a hurricane, strong tropical storm or is extratropical is only a classification concern, and not a sensible weather concern. There will be some storm surge issues, but nothing too terribly bad. Beach erosion should be moderate, but not severe. Overall, a system that should be a good one to sample from a high spot right at the coast if you are lucky enough to be able to get away and chase this one. One of the problems, however, with chasing Ida will be the time of landfall. I am projecting a landfall between 11pm Monday and 6am Tuesday. Nighttime landfalls are never much fun or photographically rewarding.

My official forecast is for a tropical storm in the process of transitioning to extratropical as it makes landfall near Mobile, AL at 3am CST on Tuesday, November 10. Maximum sustained winds of 70 mph, with gusts to 85 mph.

I said the wind will not be a huge concern at the coast, but that will not be the case inland. The gradient between the 1035mb high pressure over the Great lakes and the remnant low of Ida as it tracks across AL and GA on Tuesday will produce a swath of strong winds along and to the west and northwest of the low pressure center. These winds could easily be in the 30 to 40 mph range, with gusts to 50mph. The ground is still rather wet from the rains of late September and October, and additional heavy rain combined with these strong winds will provide the ingredients to bring down a lot of pine trees rooted in wet soil, and whose root systems have been compromised from years of prior drought. So, power outages and some property damage from falling trees appears to be a possible scenario from southern southern and central Alabama across central and northern GA and into the southern Appalachians of southeast TN, western NC and the upstate of SC. In fact, the higher elevations of the southern Appalachians could experience enhanced stronger wind gusts due to elevation.

Then we have the heavy rain element to contend with. Certainly enough rain is going to come down fast enough to create some serious flash flooding concerns. Like the wind threat, this will mainly reside along and to the west and north of the low pressure track across the Southeast. Once again, the higher elevations of the southern Appalachian mountains could take a serious hit from the heavy rain due to enhanced upslope rainfall. Hopefully the heavy rain will be quick hitting and not linger in any one given area for more than 10 consecutive hours, but there remain some questions with the models on just how quickly the heavy rain will move out, so this is certainly something to watch closely. Also, leaves are falling and the wind and rain will shake a lot more off the trees. These will choke drains and create serious road flooding issues.