The remarkable 2013 Moore tornado

Recently posted on Youtube and Reddit, this compilation of videos, synchronized to play with each other if they were from the same time period, is a remarkable reminder of just how devastating the tornado was, and the fact that the video is almost an hour long shows just how dangerous the storm was.

For whatever reason, perhaps because I am a meteorologist, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about some of the more recent major tornadoes to afflict the country in the last few years. Moore has been hit by no less than three major tornadoes this century, but somehow, places like Joplin and Tuscaloosa show their scars more evidently.

Google Maps’ satellite view allows us to see, quite apparently, the course of tornadoes, even many years after they have passed through. Here are the overhead views of Joplin and Tuscaloosa today.

Joplin, with tornado scar highlighted

If you look look closely, the scar has a lighter hue than the area outside of the affected region. There are two reasons for this. First, Tuscaloosa and Joplin are both well forested cities, and the stripping of the canopy has a profound effect on an area, even over the long term. For another reference, here is an image I captured of north Minneapolis, where the tornado wasn’t as strong, but it was still enough to strip the canopy across the path.

Second, these areas are being redeveloped, and there is still widespread construction throughout the damaged regions.

Moore didn’t leave the same impression, for two reasons. One, Oklahoma isn’t as arboraceous as even nearby Joplin, nor Tuscaloosa. Second, Moore’s 2013 tornado was among 5 tornadoes, including 3 of EF4 or greater that have hit the town in the past 21 years alone. Moore is in a constant state of reinvention.

That is the theme of all of these cities, then. Rebirth and resilience. It’s important to understand the danger tornadoes pose to see how these towns bounce back, and the strength of their spirit. You can’t have a scar without injury, but the mark it leaves is a symbol of the constant healing.

Coming soon…

We are continuing our slow transition back to Eastern US forecasting this week after late October seemed to be spent entirely west of the Rockies. Here’s what we will be looking forward to as we close in on Thanksgiving.

Decatur, Illinois
Road Trip from Reno, Nevada to Decatur

Palm Bay, Florida

Road Trip from Charlotte, North Carolina to Florence, Alabama

Jackson, Michigan

A bit cooler a bit north

Sebastian and Vero Beach aren’t far from each other, but they were far enough apart that they had some distance in their highs on Monday. Whereas the high in Vero Beach was in the low 80s, it only hit the high 70s in Sebastian. Why? It probably has to do with the location of the local geography. The barrier islands are broader near Vero Beach, and the Sebastian airport sits near a river, all meaning that the influence of water has a better chance of tempering changes to temperature in Sebastian. Just a theory. In any eventr, The NWS and WeatherNation tied for the top forecast.
Actuals: Sunday, High 79, Low 63
Monday- High 78, Low 66

Grade B-C

Bounce back

Bowling Green was in the clutches of our first dose of Arctic air when we visited on Friday, but the weekend provided respite. High temperatures surged into the 60s on Sunday, touching a total that was even warmer than forecasts indicated. Of course, this week it’s all coming back down again, but for the days that counted, Bowling Green was able to enjoy the balmy conditions. The atypically warm Weatherbug had the top forecast for the day.
Actuals: Saturday – High 52, Low 25
Sunday – High 66, Low 39

Grade: B-C

Say it ain’t so

Here is a look at the forecast morning low tomorrow.

You might rightfully say “Oh boy, that’s awfully chilly for Montana and North Dakota” and lament with some concern that, gosh, it’s chilly even down into the Plains. All true. Also true is that the cold is going to be more widespread on Tuesday morning.

Everybody can enjoy the chilly temperatures, and not just the High Plains!

Oh, and don’t forget, there is a strong area of high pressure chasing an active cold front bringing this chill. Let’s look at the wind chills.

Don’t be fooled by this map, the color scheme is simply different from the low temperature map. It’s oging to be real cold, and it will feel even colder for a big section of the country. This isn’t one of those “Relatively cold” things either. It’s just going to be flat out cold through the middle of November,.

Bowling Green, Kentucky to Sebastian, Florida

Hello, and happy weekend! If you are ready for this southeastern US trek, then I am too. It’s an 837 mile trek, and if we did it in 1 day, it would take 12 hours. Possible, sure, but I think we would all prefer a more relaxed day and a half pace. We’ll cover the ground at a clip of nearly 70mph, which is a great advertisement for I-75.Our full day of travel will conclude after about 558 miles.

DAY ONE (Monday)

Bowling Green, Kentucky

We are picking a great day to depart from Bowling Green. Another reinforcing bolt of Atctic air is pressing into the center of the country, which will bring more wind and rain to Kentucky and Tennessee by the time Monday is thorugh. Fortunately, it will get to the route between Bowling Green and Chattanooga well after we have reached Georgia. The Peach State will still be it’s regular sultry self, with a bit of added humidity ahead of the strong emerging cold front in the Ohio Valley. We’ll be in the safety of Florida by the time the day ends, spending the night in Jasper, not far across the state line. Good thing bad weahter never comes to Florida.

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
That strong cold front will continue to sink to the southeast, it will lose most of it’s on shore mustard. Sure, there will be wind and some mid level clouds, but most of the actual rain showers will lie offshore. We should outpace the cold front, but a head wind will be gusting towards the lower pressure, so be sure to grip the steering wheel securely. Always good advice when driving in Florida, actually.

Sebastian, Florida

Sebastian, Florida

Hey, did anyone watch The Little Mermaid on ABC earlier this week? Why do I ask? Oh, no reason.

AT 153PM, ET, Sebastian was reporting a temperature of 77 degrees with clear skies. There were showers being seen south of town, from West Palm Beach towards Miami, and a brisk onshore wind carried some light rain near Cape Canaveral, but the air mass moving into the region was the same cool dry one found across the eastern part of the country.
The showers south of town are associated with a fairly strong area of low pressure in the Gulf Stream. An upper level trough lies over the Florida Peninsula, and will drift east out of the area, allowing some humidity and clouds to filter back in, however the skies are likely to stay clear.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 79, Low 60
Monday – A few clouds, High 82, Low 64

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 79, Low 65
Monday – Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 82, Low 68

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny High 80, Low 68
Monday – A passing shower in the morning; otherwise, partly sunny High 81, Low 70

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 79, Low 65
Monday – Mostly sunny High 81. Low 65

WB: Tomorrow – Partly sunny, High 78, Low 68
Monday – Partly sunny, High 81. Low 69

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 79, Low 65
Monday – Partly cloudy, High 81, Low 65

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 78, Low 68
Monday – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 81, Low 71

Here is a look at the radar, showing a nice window of dry along the Atlantic Coast of Florida.

Bowling Green, Kentucky

There are two Bowling Greens that I can think of. One is in Ohio, and the other is in southern Kentucky. Apparently, lawn bowling is a big deal in the Ohio Valley.

At 953AM, CT, Bowling Green was reporting a temperature of 34 degrees with clear skies. Things were unseasonably cold across most of the eastern United States under a stout dome of high pressure that has been in place for a couple of days now, but will offer a brief moment of respite in the next couple of days.
A bit of a thermal ridge is going to develop across the Ohio Valley, though the region is more broadly underneath an upper level trough, reactive to any perturbations along it’s path. One such wave will move southeast out of Alberta into the northern High Plains as the weekend continues. By early next week, it will mean precipitation for the Bowling Green area, but in the interim, simply expect a warmer return flow.
Tomorrow – Sunny, High 54, Low 23
Sunday – A few clouds, even warmer, High 64, Low 36

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 53, Low 22
Sunday – Sunny, High 64, Low 36

AW: Tomorrow – Plenty of sunshine, High 52, Low 20
Sunday – Plenty of Sunshine, High 63, Low 34

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 52, Low 23
Sunday – Sunny high 60, Low 34

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny high 52, Low 23
Sunday – Mostly sunny, High 63, low 37

WN: Tomorrow -Sunny, High 52, Low 23
Sunday – Mostly sunny, High 60, Low 34

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 55, Low 23
Sunday – Clear throughout the day. high 64, Low 34

The weather is looking pretty nice for the weekend. It will be a good time to get out and take care of the leaves in the yard, I would say. The weather is going to take a turn again early next week. For the time being, take a look at the satellite. The white in Michigan is actually fresh snow.

Clouds come close

It doesn’t happen often in the Front Range, and a city like Cheyenne, but it did early this week. The models did really well with the temperature forecasts, and forecasts were generally pretty good. If there was one thing that everyone got wrong, it was the clouds southeast Wyoming saw overnight. On the back of a strong upper level jet, layers of clouds developed, abutting the higher terrain and trapping warmer air overnight, leading to low temperatures that were warmer than forecast lows both on Monday and Tuesday. Weatherbug was undeterred, and collected the best forecast.
Actuals: Monday – High 42, Low 32
Tuesday – High 54, Low 31

Grade: B-D

Auburn, Alabama to Fond du Lac, Wisconson

Today’s journey takes us along I-65, one of my old favorite arteries, running from Chicago to Montgomery, but we will end up both north and south of that highway by the time all is said and done. It’s a 2 day trek covering 931 miles. The first day will be longer, concluding after about 502 miles. We’re going to see some weather, so hopefully we make good time outside of the storms.

DAY ONE (Thursday)

Auburn, Alabama

The weather is going to be nice in Alabama tomorrow morning, as warm Gulf air is drawn northward, taking the edge off of the autumn by just a little bit. Nice! Of course, the reason it is going to move to the north is a massive, nasty cold front at the leading edge of a strong ridge of high pressure sinking into the Great Lakes. The resulting boundary will be in our path, starting with a few rogue showers and thunderstorms north of Birmingham, with heavy rain and wind, perhaps even severe, in Tennessee and southern Kentucky. The trailing air mass is going to be cold an dense, so the cut off from rain to clear air will be abrupt. Expect a change in wardrobe if we need to stop anywhere north of Bowling Green, Kentucky, The night will be clear when we call it a night in Scottsburg, Indiana, north of Louisville.

DAY TWO (Friday)
While the rain we see on Thursday is going to be a pain in the butt, it will come with a good navigational consequences, Sure, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin will be awfully chilly, they will also be sunny and dry. With a fresh bit of snow in Wisconsin, keep those sunglasses at the ready.

Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (C) Bryan Penberthy