Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Historic Bering Sea Storm

One of the strongest storms to impact the state of Alaska will rage across the state through tonight.  This storm has a central pressure that would be equivalent to a category 3 hurricane in the tropics!  As a result hurricane force will exist over an area about the size of the state of Colorado with winds in excess of 80 mph with some wind gust possibly up to 100 mph!  Significant coastal flooding and ice shoves will be accompanied by heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions.  This storm will rival if not surpass the strongest storm on record from back in the early 1970s! 


[caption id="attachment_2440" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Historic Bering Sea Storm Surface Map"][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_2453" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Surface Map"][/caption]

Just how serious is this storm?  It could be deadly.  Here is a statement from the National Weather Service in Fairbanks, Alaska:


Wow.  Imagine hearing those headlines. 

Coastal areas will be especially hard hit.  Here is the storm surge expected in Nome, AK:

[caption id="attachment_2441" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Storm surge 8-10' by tonight"][/caption]

Storm intensity will peak today and conditions will improve by tomorrow, but likely not until after this historic storm re-writes the record books!



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Oh, Oklahoma.

For the year 2011, Oklahoma has been breaking records left and right. This year the state has recorded its coldest temperature, the most snowfall within a 24 hour period, the highest wind speed, an EF5 tornado, some of the warmest summer time temperatures on record, the largest hail and now, the strongest earthquake.

Saturday evening, following a weaker 4.7 magnitude earthquake, a 5.6 rattled the state, and went in the record books as the strongest earthquake for Oklahoma. Centered in Pague, OK, this 5.6 earthquake broke a nearly 60 year old record of a  5.5 magnitude quake in 1952.

(Source: The Guardian, Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty)

Sending a handful of people to the hospital and damaging several roadways and structures, this historical earthquake was felt by people within a 300 mile radius, including residents of Kansas City, Wichita, and as far south as Dallas! Two large aftershocks sent tremors through a more immediate region following the large quake. Seismologists say there were at least 40 aftershocks recorded after the initial event.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

October: In Review

Above average rainfall totals, below freezing overnight lows, and unseasonable changes in temperature... These things can sum up the month of October.

Always a very transitional month, this October has provided our region with LOTS of variety. After a wet September, October broke the pattern with .05'' of rain on the first day of the month, then 10 straight days of sunshine and dry weather. Within those dry days, we saw temperatures jump way above average with 5 days in the 80s!

Once that was over, we skipped right over the 70s and landed in the 60s and 50s for the remainder of the month (save a few days in the upper 40s).

No worries, though! While we typically rely on cooler temperatures and less sunshine to help turn the color of the leaves, this year the process was delayed, but more vibrant that most years! Some significant rain showers blew through the region on the 19th (1.84'') and we saw temperatures dip below freezing on the 22nd.

No matter how you look at the development of the weather patterns this month, it still remains clear that things haven't quite leveled out. Into November, we'll look for a persistant cooling pattern and more consistent temperature changes.