Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summertime Heat!

This past Memorial Day was the first day this season in which we officially touched on 90 degrees at Toledo Express Airport. Ready for and encore? More hot and sticky weather will be around for today with highs in the lower 90s. While this is some intense heat for late May, it is expected to remain below record high levels.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fulton County Funnel

Some weak funnel clouds were reported in thunderstorms in Fulton county this afternoon around 3:30 pm.  These did not touch down and become tornadoes.  The storms today are much different than Wednesday's, so these were not as violent.  Some sirens did go off in Fulton county between 3 and 4 pm.  No tornado warning was issued since it did not touch down, and since doppler radar did not show any intense rotation.

This picture was taken from the Fulton county storm by Dylan Ehlers as he traveled westward along the turnpike.

Severe Storms & Flooding

Severe storms rocked the area on the afternoon and evening of Wednesday, May 25th. Several tornado warnings were accompanied with dozens of reports of very large hail across several counties. Locations like Findlay, Fostoria, Clyde, Green Springs and Bellevue reported hail ranging from quarter size all the way up to tennis (2.5") and baseball size (2.75")!

Thankfully no reports of significant tornadoes, but the aftermath of the thunderstorms and heavy rains have now elevated the flooding concern for many areas. Here is doppler radar estimated rainfall totals of 2-4" or more across most of the area:

Two rivers in particular could see Moderate/Major flooding. The Blanchard River may crest just below 13.0' early Friday morning which is the mark for major flooding:

The Maumee river at Defiance, Waterville and Grand Rapids are expected to see Moderate flooding. Grand Rapids may see the worst, cresting at 18.5' which is 3.5' above flood stage. If this stage is reached, it would equal the 100 year flood level impacting several of the buildings in the downtown area.

Other cities and rivers expected to see some degree of flooding:

CLICK HERE for River levels east of I-75

CHICK HERE for river levels west of I-75

CLICK HERE for river levels in Michigan

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Joplin, MO Tornado...Another EF5

The latest storm survey from the local NWS office in Springfield, MO has rated the Joplin tornado an EF5 with winds in excess of 200 mph. The death toll continues to climb, and at last report Tuesday evening 122 lives were claimed by this tornado. The Joplin tornado is the deadliest since modern recordkeeping began in 1950 and is ranked 8th among the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history.

Radar Image at time of tornado:

Storm Relative Velocity a time of tornado:

For complete information on this tornado and the storm survey CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

NASA satellite shows tornado tracks

NASA has released satellite pictures that clearly show the tracks of the Alabama tornadoes in late April.  The pictures show lines of scarred earth in the damage paths.

You can see the pictures here:  http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/harvest_tornado.html

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pollen Levels Dropping

One good thing about the frequent rain this weekend is that the pollen count is dropping.  After staying at high levels much of this past week, occasional showers will lower it into the moderate range today.  A cooler, wetter pattern for Sunday will allow the pollen levels to drop into the low category.

As things dry out a bit during the coming week, the pollen levels will begin to climb again.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Heavy Rain Potential

A slow-moving upper level storm system will inch across the area over the weekend into Monday.  This will keep occasional rain and thunderstorms around during that entire period.  Once the low moves south of the area on Saturday, the thunder chances will diminish and the temperatures will turn a lot cooler.  A persistent northeasterly wind flow off the lake will limit temperatures, and some areas will not even break 60° on Sunday.

This slow-moving storm has the potential to accumulate a general 1 to 2" of rain by midday Monday.  However, some isolated storms could produce an inch or more of rain per hour as they travel around 20 mph today.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Warmest Of 2011

The high at Toledo Express Airport hit 87°, making it the warmest day and only the second 80° day of the year.  It was the warmest day since 87° on October 10th.

Temperatures will max out in the low/mid 80s Friday before a much cooler pattern takes shape Saturday through the middle of next week.

T-storm Watch

Severe thunderstorm watch until 7 pm for the following counties: CRAWFORD, ERIE, HANCOCK, HURON, LUCAS, OTTAWA, SANDUSKY, SENECA, WOOD & WYANDOT. Main threat is that isolated storms could produce large hail. Slow-moving storms will drop heavy downpours.

Updates are being posted on www.wtol.com/weather and www.facebook.com/mikestonewtol

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Flash Flooding

A series of thunderstorms dumped heavy rainfall over the southern sections of our viewing area overnight.   From around midnight through 5 a.m., heavy rain fell over much of Putnam, Allen & Hardin counties. 

Our StormTrack 11 doppler estimates that a few spots received between 3 and 6 inches of rain.  You can see in the snapshot below, a bulls-eye of orange stretches across eastern Allen and western Hardin county, where isolated 6"+ amounts occurred.

This heavy rainfall was the result of something called "training".  It is when waves of thunderstorms move over the same area repeatedly -- like train cars on a track passing the same area over and over.  Many flash flood events occur from this phenomenon.

Flooding causes the most severe weather deaths, and many of those deaths result in people staying in their cars.  The National Weather Service has a flood safety slogan called "Turn Around, Don't Drown".  Flood water can sometimes wash away a road, so the water may be a lot deeper than you think.  About one foot of water can make about 1,500 pounds buoyant, so a couple feet of water will float most cars.

Flood deaths also are a result from people in a low-lying area, like a bridge underpass, that gets inundated with water in a short period of time.  The bottom line is, when very heavy rain occurs, being in a car is not a very safe place to be.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Major Warm-Up This Week

Easterly winds will keep temps in check  into Monday, but a warm front will pass through the area on Tuesday, allowing the return to 80° temperatures by mid-week.

We could see some 80s far away from lake Tuesday, and areawide Wednesday and Thursday if we get enough sun.  Some scattered storms will be around during this period.

The warmest day of the year thus far has been April 10th when we hit 84°, and has been the only day when we have hit or exceeded 80°.  If we go above 84° this week, it will be the warmest temp since October 10th, when it hit 87°.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Record Flooding

All time record flooding is ongoing on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers after a deluge of heavy and repeated rains the past 30 days. Several states have seen 15 to 20 inches or more of heavy rain in less than a month! Check out this picture of precipitation estimates over the past 30 days:

This has pushed many rivers to major flood stage, and in some cases shattering the all time record flood stages in well over 100 years of records. Cities and town have been completely inundated. Levees have been breached and hundreds upon hundreds of square miles have flooded. For additional details and specific river levels CLICK HERE.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Touch Of Frost

Lows in some areas dropped into the mid 30s this morning, allowing for some patchy frost.  Frost occurs even when thermometers read 33-36°.  The reason is that thermometers that take air temperature are placed a few feet above the ground.  On a clear & calm night, cooler air sinks and falls to the ground.  This allows the temperature at grass/plant level to be around 32°, even though your thermometer might read a little higher.

One good thing about very dry air this time of year is that it warms quickly.  Highs will reach the mid 60s today.  A bigger warm-up is slated for next week.

For other information about "A Touch Of Frost", click here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Historic April Tornado Outbreak

April of 2011 has all but ensured itself that it will go down in history as the worst month for tornadoes that devastated, ravaged and destroyed many communites across the United States. Here are some of the preliminary statistics coming from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

312 Tornadoes reported from April 27-28. This far surpasses one of the worst tornado outbreaks historically, the super tornado outbreak of 1974 on April 3-4 where 148 tornadoes were reported across 13 states.

April 27th was the deadliest single day for tornadoes since March 18, 1925 when 747 people were killed during a tornado outbreak. (Tri-State tornado)

The monthly record for April tornadoes was 267 in 1974. This past April recorded over 600 tornadoes! The previous record for any month was 542 tornadoes in May of 2003.

Click Here For the Full NOAA Report

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Almanac

Normal High/Low:

May 1      66° / 43°

May 31   76° / 54°

Records:  95° / 25°

Normal Rainfall:  3.14"

Sunrise & Sunset:

May 1      6:32 am / 8:33 pm

May 31   6:04 am / 9:02 pm

April 2011 in Review

Toledo Express Airport recorded 6.33" of rainfall, making it the second rainiest April on record.  This amount was 3.09" above normal.  The period of April 16-28 produced 4.53" of rain.  It rained on 22 days of the month, representing 73% of the month.

Temps worked out to near normal (the cool spells and warm days balanced out), ranging from 25° on the 3rd to 84° on the 10th.