May 22, 2013 12:05 PM | No Comments
Well, the secret is out. I’ve been storm chasing here in the U.S. from South Dakota to Texas to Oklahoma over the past week. In all I saw seven tornadoes. I’ll share all of my of pictures and video when I return to Newfoundland and Labrador next week.
My group was chasing a storm just south of Moore when the devastating EF5 tornado ripped through here on Monday. The National Weather Service has now discovered EF5 damage in the destruction, which means peak winds of 320-340 km/h and makes it one of the strongest storms ever to hit the U.S.
The path of destruction is almost indescribable: two kilometres wide, 27 kilometres long. The tornado was on the ground for 50 minutes.
Looking at the rubble in the wake of this storm, there’s little doubt that advanced warnings saved lives here in Moore.
I can tell you, even mid-last week forecasters were talking about the potential for a widespread severe weather outbreak from Saturday to Monday, especially here in Oklahoma. On Sunday, numerous tornadoes dropped just north of the city, where at least one person was killed.
On Monday morning, forecasters were again talking about the severe weather and tornado potential, especially for the Oklahoma City area.
It was 2:40 p.m. when the first tornado warning was issued. It was only five minutes later that the tornado touched down in the Newcastle area as an EF0 and about 20 minutes later it began to move into Moore.
A rare Tornado Emergency warning was issued at 3:01 p.m., which was 14 minutes before the storm ripped though Moore. These warnings prompt alerts on television, radio, mobile phones and of course tornado sirens.
Tragically, 24 people lost their lives here on Monday.
However the advanced warning systems and outlooks by forecasters surely saved lives here in Moore, Okla.
May 3, 2013 6:42 PM | No Comments
Hey Folks,Well it a was a pretty decent week for most, especially inland and away from the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland.-What a week in Happy Valley-Goose Bay with record breaking temperatures & back to back 20 degree days! HV-GB has only ever hit 20 in April 4 times. 2 of those times were this week, including Thursday's 21.7°, which is now the warmest April day ever recorded.-A nice week on the West Coast, which gave you folks a chance to dry out after all that heavy rain last weekend! This was the scene on the TCH near Pasadena on Tuesday. Courtesy Brent Ruth.-Heavy rain last week caused another washout on the Burgeo Highway. Picture courtesy Colleen Conners.-Overall, it was a warm wrap up to April, which was generally warmer than normal for most of the Province, with the exception of Labrador West. These numbers are courtesy of Rodney Barney.-In St. John's, it was a warmer than normal April, but a far cry from last years record breaking April. It's hard to believe that last April finished with an average of 5.3°, almost 3° degrees warmer!-In terms of Rainfall, April was quite a variable month, mostly thanks to our rain storm last weekend which drenched the West Coast with 50-170 mm of Rain. As a result, the West Coast was well above normal, meanwhile Gander finished with a record low rainfall for April.WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS-High pressure will be in control across the Island this Weekend, with Sun and Cloud in the mix and temperatures on the rise.-A light Northeasterly flow continues on Saturday, which means cooler temps again right along the Coast, but back into the double digits for inland areas of the Island. Temps into the mid-high teens from Central to the West Coast. Could certainly see a few backyards in the 20° range.-Not so much in Labrador. Cold subzero temps for the North Coast, with Snow on the menu from Nain to Cartwright. Early morning freezing rain is possible, however temps are set to rise with clouds and afternoon showers from Lab City to HV-GB.-A Special Weather Statement is in effect for almost all of Labrador. Freezing Rain Warning for Churchill Valley.-Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY!
-Sunday temperatures continue to rise across the Island, with winds FINALLY becoming West Southwesterly. Forecast models are flirting with temps into the high teens & flirting with 20° from GFW and Central Newfoundland, East through Gander, Terra Nova, Clarenville & across to St. John's Metro! Sun & Cloud in the mix.-We'll see increasing clouds from the Northwest on Sunday afternoon into Northern sections of the West Coast & into Central. A few showers are possible for the Northern Peninsula, which could even mix with a flurry overnight into Monday morning.-Southern Labrador continues unsettled on Saturday with clouds and showers and a few flurries possibly mixing in again. Clearing along the North Coast.NEXT WEEK-Southwesterly winds look set to dominate for most of the Week across the Island. Below is the GFS forecast model for Winds in St. John's through next week. Looks like we'll see a light North to East wind (and a cooler onshore flow) again here in Eastern Newfoundland on Monday, before we hop aboard the Southwesterly train Tuesday & beyond. That means temperatures well into the double digits & teens, look set for most of the Island next week.-High pressure will anchor itself Southeast of the Island, which will help to keep the Southwesterly flow in place and keep things quiet and for the most part dry. A few showers possible Monday across parts of the Island, as well as Labrador on Tuesday.-As of now, it appears that Southwesterly flow will allow some unsettled weather to roll in for late next week (Thurs-Fri-Sat) with some showers for the Province.-However that Southwesterly flow will stick around, as a result, the warm temperatures are expected to continue right into next Weekend.LONG LONG RANGEMay 12th-May 18th- Both the Euro & the long range GFS keep High pressure mostly dominate just Southeast of Newfoundland with a Southerly flow pumping in with warm temperatures. However they are also both projecting a potential wet set-up with a stream of tropical moisture pumping in from the South.May 19th-May 25th- Only the monthly Euro goes out this far. It continues to project a dominate ridge of High pressure SE of NFLD and a warm Southwesterly flow. Things remain active with a few systems clipping in from the South.May 26th-May 31st- Euro projecting a West Southwesterly flow continues more dominate than not. A much quieter week.Environment Canada's Monthly Outlook is also projecting a warm May. In fact, it's projecting a warmer than normal month for the entire Province.A GLIMPSE INTO SUMMEREnvironment Canada's monthly temperature outlook for the Summer has also been released. And it's good news for us here in NL as well as most of Canada. The climate models are projecting warmer than normal temps for most of Canada and they are giving Eastern Newfoundland the best chance (70-100% probability). Click on image for full size.Precipitation, which is much harder for climate models to project, is forecast to be near to slightly below normal over NL this Summer.Ryan
April 26, 2013 7:34 PM | No Comments
Hey Folks,The warmer Spring time air has arrived in NL and it appears (generally speaking) it's not going anywhere!-Over the past week, much of NL had it's first taste of double digits. Corner Brook, Gander, Badger, Bonavista & many more hit 15° this past Saturday. St. John's, Stephenville, Twillingate & a few more ended up falling just short of the magic 15° mark. Deer Lake was the big winner with temps of 20°.-Tuesday, Thursday and even today here in the East, temperatures rebounded with more double digits and temps back into the teens! Daniel's Harbour hit 20° on Thursday and for St. John's, Friday it was our first 15° day of the season!-Here's Rodney Barney's chart of when we typically hit the 15° mark across the Island. This Spring, we've been right in that range for Newfoundland. Your turn is coming Labrador!WEEKEND TIME-A Significant Freezing Rain event still looks likely for tonight over the Northern Peninsula and Southeastern Labrador tonight. Freezing Rain Warnings are in place with some solid ice accretion possible. Treacherous roads and even some power outages are certainly possible.-Tonight and into Saturday will continue very wet in Western Newfoundland. Rainfall Warnings remain in place for Western Newfoundland & the Southwest Coast. Showers continue in Central on Saturday and another warm, pleasant but mostly cloudy day here in Eastern Newfoundland.-Our trough slowly edges Eastward on Sunday, bringing some relief for the West Coast, a few more showers for Central, and a better chance of some showers & fog in the mix (especially along the Coast) in Eastern Newfoundland.-Things turn nasty in Southeast Labrador tonight and into Saturday with Snow, Ice Pellets, Freezing Rain & Rain. Could see 5-10 cm from the Straits to Cartwright. It looks like High pressure will keep HV-GB in the clear, with Western Labrador looking great as well. Temps building through the Weekend and back into the double digits and teens by Sunday-Monday in HV-GB. 15° looks like a lock for you folks with 20° looking possible by mid-week.NEXT WEEKAn interesting setup next week to say the least. High pressure will move North of the Island as we head into early next week. Looks like that setup will trigger a pesky Northeasterly wind flow for the Northeast Coast of Newfoundland and for St. John's Metro. Monday & Tuesday in particular, are looking cool & cloudy with fog in the mix. However with a Northeast flow, inland areas into Central, as well as the South & West Coasts are looking at warming temperatures & some Sunshine in the mix.By mid-late next week, some forecast models are bringing that High just far enough South over the Island, that the pesky moist Northeasterly flow would shift further South, which would allowing Metro & the Northeast Coast to warm up slightly (closer to seasonal) & perhaps even allow some Sunshine to break through during the daytime hours. However if that High stays further North... we could be hitting repeat on Monday/Tuesday for much of the week. Keep your fingers crossed!Again areas shielded from that Northeast flow, including Central, Western and Southern Newfoundland, as well as Labrador are looking really nice, especially mid-late next week. Forecast models are again flirting with temps into the mid-high teens!THE NEXT 10 DAYS
Here's the GEM Global Model ensemble look at temperatures over the next 10 days. Warmer than normal temperatures are expected to continue across much of Atlantic Canada & especially in Labrador. Again, I think St. John's & exposed Northeast Coast will very much be dependent on the placement of that High pressure and just how strong and persistent those Northeast winds will be mid-late next week.THE NEXT 14 DAYSThe North American Ensemble Forecast System looks at temps 8-14 days into the long range. It's also showing a good chance of warmer than normal temperatures across Atlantic Canada through for the first week of May.EUROPEAN MONTHLY MODEL OUTLOOKThe ECMWF has a 30 day forecast model, which released once a week. Here here a few 'grain of salt' highlights from that, for the month of May.May 5th-11th-Plenty of High pressure. A quiet pattern, with no big systems rolling through. Temps normal to above normal.May 12th-18th-High pressure continues in the mix, holding over Labrador through mid week, before turning unsettled late week. Temps near normal, with potential East or Northeast winds for Newfoundland.May 19th-25th-Overall dry again, with high pressure dominates just to the North and over the Labrador Sea. Again, this setup brings the potential for East or Northeast winds for the Island. Temps near normal.Again, big grain of salt territory, but it'll be interesting to see how it plays out.Environment Canada will issue their outlook for the month of May on Tuesday or Wednesday, I'll be sure to pass it along.Ryan
April 18, 2013 1:43 PM | No Comments
Well the Weekend is almost here... and so too is the warm air! It's been a relatively average or even cooler than average April in terms of temperatures. Of course, temperatures warm through the month of April, with the warmest temperatures typically coming in the 2nd half of the month, however here's where we are in terms of daily highs from April 1st-April 17th.St. John's: Avg Daily High: 4.5° (1971-2000 April Avg: 5.2°)Gander: Avg Daily High: 4.1° (1971-2000 April Avg: 5.2°)Deer Lake: Avg Daily High: 5.3° (1971-2000 April Avg: 6.1°)Goose Bay: Avg Daily High: 2.4° (1971-2000 April Avg: 3.3°)Labrador City: Avg Daily High: -0.8° (1971-2000 April Avg: +0.9°)So we have some ground to make up here in the 2nd half of the month. Some good news from this past week, Happy Valley-Goose Bay (for the 2nd time this Spring) Cartwright and Deer Lake all officially hit double digits this week! For Deer Lake, 10.2° on Tuesday was the first official double digit temperature recorded on the Island this Spring and first since late January.WARM WEEKEND-Much of Newfoundland will be well into the double digits this Weekend as a system rolls up the Eastern half of North America, bringing a strong Southwesterly flow along with it. The warm front from this system will move across the Province on Friday bringing flurries and showers (and some accumulating snow for Labrador) before the warm air pushes in behind with showers for Saturday. Here's the latest European forecast model outlook, looking at 2 metre temperatures in 3° intervals for Saturday.-You can see with a track far enough West, even Labrador will be taping into this warm air mass on Saturday.-By Sunday (above), the cold front will push through Labrador and drop temperatures back below zero. The West Coast will be cooler on Sunday, however Central and Eastern Newfoundland will continue to see the warm air mass.-The forecast indeed looks warm this Weekend, however you don't get temperatures into the teens in Newfoundland in April, without a strong Southerly wind pumping in it in. Winds do look strong on Saturday especially across the Island, with gusts in the 60-70 km/h range, even 80+ km/h right along parts of the Coast on Saturday. Winds will be lighter on Sunday, with gusts in the 40-60 range.-The clouds look set to dominate on Saturday across the Island, with a few showers, but also a few Sunny breaks for East and Central Newfoundland. Clouds & showers look most dominate for Western Newfoundland and into Labrador. Fog looks likely for the South Coast with that moist onshore flow.-By Sunday, the clouds and a few showers from our cold front will move into Eastern Newfoundland. Clearing skies over Western and into Central Newfoundland with a better chance of Sun.NEXT WEEK- WILL HIGH PRESSURE HOLD?-High pressure and cooler temperatures will funnel into the Province in behind our Weekend system for Sunday night and into Monday, but won't last long.-A Southerly flow looks set to return on the backside of that High and ahead of our next system. As a result, temperatures look set to rise again Tuesday-Wednesday of next week, with forecast models again flirting with double digit temperatures.-That system off to our West will continue to edge closer and could bring some showers into the mix for Wednesday/Thursday, especially for Labrador. However much will depend on the strength of that High, which could keep the Island dry & even bright. Either way, a Southerly flow should keep temperatures mild.-Mid-late next week will be a very interesting set-up indeed. With the trough of low pressure and unsettled weather just off to the West and High pressure holding strong just to our East/Southeast, it looks like a big old battle between the two. (Cue the movie trailer voice) "Who will be stronger? Can the area of High pressure hold, all-week-long?"-If that high can't hold, the Island would turn damp and unsettled as the trough moves Eastward for the latter half of the week. Stay tuned.-As Thursday afternoon, the GFS, GEM & Euro area are all holding that High strong, just off to our Southeast perhaps right into next Weekend. That would keep the Island mostly dry and mild/warm with a Southerly flow through next week. However Labrador, would be unsettled.-Environment Canada's 10 day Ensemble Outlook backs up the warmer the normal outlook through next Week here in Atlantic Canada.-The latest Long Range NAEFS (North American Ensemble Forecasting System) system outlook goes one step further, showing warmer than normal temperatures continuing into early May for Newfoundland and Labrador.LONGER RANGE-A quick check of the latest European Monthly Outlook also shows a mostly dominate South or Southwesterly flow and warmer than normal temperatures for the remainder of April. In fact, it goes one step further and holds this pattern setup into the first half of May across the Island.Ryan
April 12, 2013 11:30 AM | No CommentsI thought I would begin with a beautiful shot from Portland, Bonavista Bay, courtesy of Maurice Simmonds. This picture proves that even a grey foggy day can be a gorgeous day in parts of NL.You know, it really hasn't been a bad start to April, but I'm sure getting plenty of questions asking... "When are we REALLY going to warm up?" Following the warmest April on record in St. John's & just an overall great Spring for NL last year, it's understandable that everyone is 'chomping at the bit'.THE RACE TO 10°We've had a few days flirting with 10° so far this month, last Friday was the first one and this past Tuesday was the other, however no official 10° temps recorded at official EC weather stations so far this month. The funny thing is, St. John's, Gander & Deer Lake have all hit the magic 10° mark this year. However it was way back during the huge 'Winter Storm' warm up on January 31st... and we haven't returned to that mark since. Happy Valley-Goose Bay hit 10° with a big warm up back on March 14th. Stephenville hit 9.8° on April 1st and that's your warmest temperature this year. Labrador City your warmest temp so far is 4.7° on April 1st.Stat: We still have more than half a month to go, but interesting that the last time we didn't reach double digits at YYT in March OR April, was 2001. It took us until May 7th, when we hit 11°. We reached 20° just 2 days later! Of course, we were coming out of the famous Winter of 2000-2001 :)THE RACE TO 15°Rodney Barney @rcbstormpost tweeted this chart out last week. It shows the first date each region has reached 15 degrees over the past 5 years.Last year was of course unprecedented here in St. John's. We hit 15° and 20° degrees for the first time last year on the same day, April 17th and then did it again the next day! In the end, St. John's hit 15° a total of 6 times last April... and again 2 of the those days we went on to hit 20°. Remember, that was the warmest April on record. :)SHORTER RANGETemperatures will hover near or slightly below normal for the rest of this week and into the Weekend as well. However as our Weekend system departs, an area of high pressure will move into the region. It looks like that High will indeed set-up for a day or 2 (Mon-Tues) next week, which will allow for some warming temps. As of now, looks like we'll certainly see some high single digit temps across the Island and perhaps even flirt with double digits in some spots in West/Central.How warm we get, will depend on the set-up of that High and the speed of our next system, which at this point, forecast models are bringing in for Wednesday. Still a few ideas on this one, which looks set bring another wet snow/rain threat.LATE NEXT WEEK WARM SHOTFollowing our mid-week system the LONG range forecast models have been hinting at a system for late next week (Fri-Sat), which could bring a solid shot of warm air and rain up the Eastern Seaboard and into Atlantic Canada. Again, this is long range... but right now this looks like our next real chance at some wide spread double digit temperatures across the Island.Here's a look at the NAEFS (North American Emsemble Forecast System) Outlook which shows temperatures 8-14 days from now... (April 18th to April 25th). As you can see it's expected that temperatures will warm slightly towards the end of the month, with normal to above normal temperatures expected.A quick look at the weekly ECMWF month long forecast model, backs up this idea showing a warm up for the week of the 22nd and more seasonal temperatures for the end April and into early May. It's also showing seasonal to above seasonal temps for the first full week of May. Again, this is an extremely long range forecast model, big grain of salt territory, but fun to look at for sure!NEW STUDY FINDS MORE PRECIPITATION IN FUTURE STORMSIn the Climate File this week, a new NOAA led study has found that a warming world will further intensify extreme precipitation events.The study reports that as the globe warms from rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, the atmosphere will be capable of holding moisture, which will make the most extreme precip events, even more intense."We have high confidence that the most extreme rainfalls will become even more intense, as it is virtually certain that the atmosphere will provide more water to fuel these events" says Kenneth Kunkel, Ph.D, senior research professor at CICS-NC and lead author of the paper.Ryan
April 3, 2013 7:15 PM | No CommentsA look back at March and a look ahead to the next few months across the Province.MARCH SNOWMarch was an interesting month indeed. A quiet start to the month for the Province, with not much Snow for most, however it certainly picked up. The Weekend of March 23rd, Southeastern Labrador was POUNDED with Snow and Wind. Forecast models were dropping 80-100+ cm of Snow and it appears they were bang on. The road from Red Bay to Lodge Bay was closed for 6 days and its no wonder why. The picture below was taken by Clyde Barney this past Monday.You can see all of Clydes pictures here on Rodney Barney's Stormpost Website.Our latest "March Out Like A Lion" Storm certainly didn't disappoint in terms of wind and pounding waves along the Northeast Coast. However, it also gave another blast of Snow to the Northeast Coast. Gander and parts of Central Newfoundland were the bullseye with over 50 cm in 3 days! That bumped March Snowfall totals over normal in Gander. Here's a breakdown of Snowfall across the rest of NL, courtesy of Rodney.MARCH WARMTH?Some more great numbers posted by Rodney Barney. Here are temperatures for the month of March.Once again, NL ends March Warmer Than Normal, sticking with the recent trend.NL WARMTH = UK COLD?Some interesting stuff coming from the UK over the past few days. The final numbers from the month of March are in and the CET (Central England Temperature) shows that March 2013, was the coldest March since 1892. Impressive stuff. The CET is the world's longest temperature data set, started back in 1659. This info courtesy of Paul Hudson, who is a great follow on Twitter @HudsonWeatherWe've seen this before. Record cold in England, while just across the pond here in NL we see warmer (in some cases much warmer) than normal temperatures. Perfect example: The Winter of 2010-2011. A Winter not soon forgotten in UK for it's record Snow & Cold and not soon forgotten here in NL for it's warmth. Especially in Labrador.BLOCKING HIGHMuch like the early Winter of 2010-2011, higher than normal pressure completely dominated over the Arctic and Greenland this past month. Below is map of the Northern Hemisphere, looking a Sea Level Pressure Anomalies for March 2013. The bright yellow, orange and reds show the impressive Higher than normal pressure over Greenland and the Arctic. Meanwhile, look how much lower than normal the pressure was Southeast of Newfoundland and across the Atlantic.This type of Blocking High setup typically keeps the UK cold with North/Northeasterly winds wrapping into the region. However here in NL, especially in the Winter, it can keep us milder by keeping the cold Arctic air out, with an more dominate onshore Easterly flow. However as we move into May, June, July & August this type of setup is NOT typically a good thing. Remember Juneuary & Fogust? The Summer of 2011 was dominated by this type of a setup.LESS SEA ICE = MORE BLOCKING?As I've mentioned on some previous posts, there's some debate in the scientific community surrounding the recent lack of Summer and Fall Arctic sea ice and whether it's linked to these blocking patterns and cold Winter UK outbreaks. Here's a great blog post by Stefan Rahmstorf (who is the head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) on the issue. Have a read if you're interested: http://rabett.blogspot.de/2013/03/melting-ice-and-cold-weather.htmlSPRING FORWARDStill with the blocking issue, we're already starting to see some improvements with the blocking high easing over the Arctic and North Atlantic regions. When the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and AO (Arctic Oscillation) are in a negative phase, higher than normal pressure dominates in these regions. However as you can see, both the NAO and AO are set to rebound over the next few weeks. Again, good news for us as we move into the warm season.As we look ahead... Environment Canada has released it's outlook for the next 3 months and once again, NL is expected to see warmer than normal temperatures.In terms of probabilities... EC is giving much of the Province a 60-100% chance of warmer than normal temps over the next 3 months.SHORT TERM->WEEKEND SPRING STORMIf you've been watching Here & Now the past few nights, or checking out the Live Blog, then you likely already know we have something brewing for Saturday. Forecast models continue to develop a system from the Southeast U.S. up the East Coast and then track the Storm into NL on Saturday. However. there remains some disagreement. The past few days, the GFS & GEM models are were showing a track which would bring a decent Rain & Wind Storm for most of the Island, with some Snow to Rain for the West Coast & Snow and Wind on tap for Central/Eastern Labrador. The European model had been tracking the system further East, keeping Snow a possibility for Western & even Central Newfoundland. Now this afternoon, the latest GFS has shifted a bit further East and the European further West! And Cha-Cha-Cha go the forecast models!
It's still only Wednesday, stay tuned to the live blog for the latest. Either way, it appears this Storm will pack a punch with strong winds.Ryan