A butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil may not cause a tornado in Texas, but winds blowing from the south can send moisture from the Gulf of Mexico thousands of miles away into remote sections of northern Canada. The maps that show this atmospheric flow are an awesome testament to the power of the weather.
Long before The Weather Channel started its downward spiral towards infotainment and cheap reality shows, the network and its meteorologists held a fair amount of stature in the public eye. Aside from Jim Cantore, one of the most popular 1990s-era TWC personalities was Dave Schwartz. TWC fired Dave in 2008, and after more than five years, he made his television re-debut on the network yesterday afternoon.
Daybreak on Monday brought a surprising story of survival with news that a teenage stowaway miraculously survived in the wheel well of an airplane after a six hour flight from San Jose, California to Maui, Hawaii this weekend. The story is notable because the vast majority of airplane stowaways die long before the aircraft reaches its final destination.
Severe thunderstorms in parts of Texas and Oklahoma this weekend created another opportunity for some great shots by some lucky storm chasers. The supercells were mostly prolific hail producers, whiting out the ground in El Paso, Texas and producing stones up to the size of baseballs in Childress, Texas, located near the extreme southwestern corner of Oklahoma.
As a weather geek, I'm often guilty of 'oohing' and 'ahhing' over a tornado signature on radar. Tornadoes are my favorite part of meteorology — I want to write about them even in the dead of winter when it's 20° and snowing. For as incredible as they are, the intense interest requires a delicate balance between fascination and sensitivity to what the storm is doing "in real life," so to speak.
A large low pressure system sitting over the southeastern United States is creating quite the sight on satellite imagery this afternoon as it wraps dry air into its core. This is a water vapor image from the GOES satellite, showing the moisture in the atmosphere around 10,000 feet up. Warmer colors indicate drier air, and cooler colors indicate moist air.
One of the most commonly used weather terms during the spring and summer months is "supercell thunderstorm." Most weather enthusiasts (myself included) use the term with the assumption that people know what a supercell is, but many people don't. Supercells are the miniature engines of Earth's atmosphere. They're fascinating to watch both on radar and in person, but they're also responsible for the most destructive tornadoes in history.
You'd never know it watching U.S. news, but the world's weather doesn't revolve around I-95. "Incredibly, the eastern U.S. is the only region of the world that has been colder than normal each of the first three months this calendar year," writes Jason Samenow of the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang.
A group of idiot drivers in Cambridge, Vermont drove through moving floodwaters along the Lamoille River on Tuesday after heavy rains pushed the river above its banks. While the cars made it safely across, just one or two more inches of water would have likely resulted in their being washed off the road and killed.