Video of a fire tornado in Brazil


That fairly nifty image (from Russia Today) is tornado borne of extremely hot air caused by the tornado. Dry weather in Sao Paulo (it hasn’t raised in about 3 months) as left the are extremely susceptible to wildfires, such as the one seen above.
These “fire tornadoes” are best explained by looking at the desert southwest in the summer. There is a seasonable area of low pressure called a “thermal low” caused by the extreme heat of mid summer in the desert that exists from about May to October. Imagine that with a stronger temperature gradient (with fire creating air temperatures of several hundred degrees) over a small area, and you get rapidly flowing wind towards the fire. Add to that that it was a gusty day, and voila, you end up with the fascinating scene you had in Sao Paulo, thanks to the area of localized low pressure which helped turn already gusty winds.

Knoxville, Tennessee

At 753PM EDT, the temperature in Knoxville was 80 degrees with a few clouds. A stationary front sitting over the Deep South over towards SC is keeping the vast majority of moisture and thunderstorm activity off to the south of TN. The tail end of a cold front is going to be moving through the OH and TN Valleys tomorrow, but really no precip is expected to develop along it farther south than Kentucky due to the limited moisture and the weakness of the front. As the front dissipates, high pressure pushing into the Central and Northern Plains will continue it’s strong southeast push and make its way into the Great Lakes and Mid-MS Valley late Wednesday into Thursday. This will push the remnant boundary over the Deep South off into the Atlantic and Northern Gulf of Mexico. With the high pressure building nearly overhead on Thursday, more dry weather will ensue for Eastern TN and our Knoxville residents. All in all, a very nice midweek pattern!

Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 87, Low 65.
Thursday: Mostly sunny, fewer clouds. High 87, Low 66.

NWS: Wednesday: AM fog, then mostly sunny. High 87, Low 64.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 86, Low 65.

AW: Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 86, Low 63.
Thursday: Mostly sunny, less humid. High 89, Low 66.

TWC: Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 87, Low 68.
Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 86, Low 69.

WB: Wednesday: Mostly sunny. High 88, Low 63.
Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 86, Low 64.

Higher clouds representing showers and a few storms are found off towards the Southeast. Apparently, this will be the closest they get to Knoxville for the next couple of days.

Bhutan

Bhutan is a small landlocked country in south-central Asia, sometimes called “Switzerland of Asia” due to it’s landlocked and mountainous nature, bordered by India on it’s southern and eastern sides and China to the North. The southern border is where the valley river plain of India starts and off in the northern half of the country are the famous Himalayas. While not as high as their Nepalese neighbors (that’s right Everest, hog all the glory why don’t you?), many peaks crack the 23,000 foot level, with Kula Kangri topping them out at a whopping 24,780 feet. Naturally, the climate in these extreme mountain ranges is one of nasty winter blizzards with perpetual snow cover, which is partly the source of the country’s name, which translates to “Land of the Thunder Dragon”. A bit further south in the country’s midsection the climate changes over to a cool, temperate variety with average rainfall of roughly 40″. The southern portion of the country sees a hot, humid climate with average temperatures often pushing into the 90s during the summer in the southern valleys. Given the monsoons that push into the region from June through September, some locations have reported annual rainfall of an incredible 200-300 inches! Certainly a nation of extremes given it’s relatively small size of around 14,800 square miles, which is slightly larger than Maryland.

Bhutan’s Meteorological and Hydrological services are headed by the Council for Renewable Natural Resources Research, but sadly doesn’t appear to have an active website.

Little Rock, Arkansas

We’re off to Arkansas’ largest city. I have no idea if that’s the proper way to write the possessive of Arkansas. That’s a weird one.

At 953PM, CT, Little Rock was reporting a temperature of 80 degrees with clear skies. A weak area of high pressure was parked over the south central part of the country. There was a cold front sweeping into the center of the country ushering in even more unseasonably cool air into the northern Plains, however the southerly flow ahead of the system will likely mean a brief warm up tomorrow.
The front will break down before it can bring much in the way of moisture to central Arkansas over the next 48 hours, however the dry post frontal ridge will arrive on time on Wednesday morning. There may be some isolated shower activity on Wednesday morning, but by and large, a dry and mostly sunny day should be anticipated.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 93, Low 64
Wednesday – Morning clouds and drizzle, becoming clearer, High 89, Low 68

TWC: Tomorrow – A mainly sunny sky. High 94, Low 68
Wednesday – Partly cloudy. High 92, Low 71

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny and seasonably hot High 94, Low 67
Wednesday – Partly sunny High 91, Low 71

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 94, Low 69
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, High 91, Low 68

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 94, Low 69
Wednesday – Mostly Sunny, High 90, Low 69

A look at the satellite in the area shows that front through the center of the country pretty darn well.

Springfield, IL to Lubbock, TX

A 2-day, 940 mile trip through America’s Heartland. Will we see sunny skies or a good old-natured Plains thunderstorm? How about we dabble in both?!

DAY ONE

A large ridge of high pressure has parked itself over the Great Lakes with some patchy morning fog found over Central Illinois. We’ll make our way down I-55 towards St. Louis under sunny morning skies and relatively light winds. The high pressure ridge continues into the Southern Plains, so with the exception of a few high clouds later on in the afternoon, the day should be sunny and quiet. Sunglasses will be a must as we continue through Springfield, MO and make our way down I-44 to Tulsa, OK, our stop for the night.

DAY TWO

We head out of Tulsa towards Oklahoma City, with significantly more clouds than we started off yesterday with. A cold front pushing its way through the Plains yesterday has pushed itself further south as well during the overnight. Showers and thunderstorms that continued through the night over CO and KS have pushed ahead of the front into portions of northwestern OK by morning. Overcast skies will take over by midday and we can expect some scattered showers and thunderstorms to wet the windshields as we make our way south out of Lawton, OK and towards Wichita Falls, TX. Chances for showers and storms will remain through the rest of the day into Lubbock, but luckily are not expected to be severe.

The New Tornado Alley

This year has been somewhat unusual. Thanks to a very stagnant pattern this summer across the United States, areas of low pressure have shown a tendency to track directly over the Northern Plains, but the systems have been unable to pull in a lot of cold air. This has meant an active year for the Dakotas and Minnesota, where the circulation of the lows has allowed for rotating thunderstorms which, of course, produce tornadoes. Since the area is staying hot in the absence of any cold air finding it’s way in behind the thunderstorms, it’s remained unstable, and tornadic thunderstorms quickly become a possibility again, week after week.
As it turns out, this has lead to an unusual happenstance. Minnesota has had more reports of tornadoes than any other state in the union so far in 2010. The thing that should be noted is that there will be another maximum for tornadoes in the fall down in Texas and Oklahoma, where their numbers will likely increase. Texas, for those that haven’t noticed, is a rather large state, and they will certainly match the numbers of Minnesota eventually, but it certainly is unusual that, at this point, such a northerly state has had some many reports.

Hopefully, the air conditioning worked

Here in Minnesota, where Victoria-Weather has our headquarters, we get a stretch of 90s, and it’s a big time drain on the energy bill, what with the air conditioning running all the time. I can’t imagine what it’s like down in Alabama, where it’s hot and humid for several months out of the year. Anniston was mostly sunny through the past two days save for a brief thunderstorm both Thursday and Friday. Temperatures were allowed to sneak up into the 90s, like they always do, and the lows never dipped below 75. Victoria-Weather had the top forecast for the steamy city.
Actuals: Thursday – .03 inches of rain in thunderstorms, High 94, ow 77
Friday – Thunderstorms reported, precip not measured, High 91, Low 75

Grade: A

The Week Ahead: 8/22/10-8/28/10

We’re staying east of the Rockies this week. I envision a lot of thunderstorms.

Sunday – Road Trip from Springfield, Illinois to Lubbock, Texas
Monday – Little Rock, Arkansas
Tuesday – Knoxville, Tennessee
Thursday – Syracuse, New York
Saturday – Des Moines, Iowa

Sacramento Weather Blog Roundup

It’s time for a weather blog round up! We’re going to look at Sacramento today and see what weather enthusiasts can find to read from California’s state capital.

The Weather blog from CBS 13 is a video blog that is rather infrequently updated (weekly, they claim, though it hasn’t been updated yet this week). Seeing as there isn’t much weather in Sacramento, they bid adieu to an intern in the latest post.

This isn’t exactly Sacramento, but it is Northern California. It’s called the Northern California Weather Blog and details the weather discussion for their area every day.

I hope you aren’t relying on the SPC

As it turns out, the Storm Prediction Center’s website isn’t quite functioning correctly. Note the current warning map put forth by the National Weather Service.

The reddish area in southwestern Minnesota is a severe thunderstorm watch. If you look at the current watches page from the SPC, you see this:

If the issue was with the SPC itself, Scott Air Force Base would issue the various products put forth by the SPC, but the fact that they aren’t showing up at all suggests issues with the website instead. The good news is the information is getting out there, the watches are scrolling across TV screens in Minnesota and they are showing up on the NWS page. The issue is for hardcore meteorology enthusiasts like us who have the SPC pae bookmarked.

The official blog of Victoria-Weather