The picture perfect storm that’s raked the center of the country over the past two days caused 135 reports of damaging thunderstorm winds and 12 reports of tornadoes on Wednesday. The storm also generated some pretty strong winds as it swirled through the Great Lakes, with a 55 MPH gust in Buffalo, 49 MPH gust at Chicago O’Hare, and a 45 MPH gust in Detroit, leading to some wind damage and coastal flooding. The weather will slowly calm down as the storm lifts north into Canada.
This 5.50 megabyte GIF shows a 15-hour infrared satellite loop of Hurricane Joaquin as it slammed the Bahamas between 5:15 AM and 8:15 PM EDT on Thursday. The hurricane is a category four on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with sustained winds of 130 MPH, and it could strengthen a bit before weakening on Saturday. Joaquin is the strongest hurricane to hit the Bahamas since Floyd in 1999, which raked the island chain with sustained winds of 155 MPH.
Hurricane Joaquin is a category three hurricane tonight with 115 MPH winds, and all indications point toward further strengthening. The 11:00 PM advisory from the NHC says it’ll be a category four with 140 MPH winds by this time Thursday. There’s still a decent chance it could make landfall along the East Coast this weekend. We’re going to see a major flooding event regardless of Joaquin’s whereabouts—a potential landfall will only make things much worse.
The most famous image of Earth is one taken by the crew of Apollo 17 on their way to the Moon in 1972. Not only is it a beautiful picture, but it was the first time many people had ever seen an actual photo of our full planet. Fast forward a few decades, and we can see that view every day. Here’s your world today—as seen by satellites floating around in orbit—in all of its watery wonder.
That’s you. That’s me. It’s one giant group photo. Every sucky thing that’s ever happened, is happening, or ever will happen is right there, to loosely paraphrase some brainy guy a few decades ago. Kinda makes you want to fly out there and escape it all, but then you wouldn’t have Auntie Anne’s pretzels, and what’s the point of living then?
It's snowing across the eastern U.S. and along the eastern Rockies, where Denver could see more than a foot of snow. There's a risk for a significant ice storm in north Texas (including Dallas and Fort Worth) on Monday. I'll have more information on that tomorrow when the event is a little closer on the weather models.
This beast of a nor'easter looks incredible on infrared satellite imagery this evening, and the storm is only in its infancy. Conditions will rapidly deteriorate in locations that haven't gone down hill already. Locations caught under the deformation zone (heaviest persistent bands) will see two or more feet. Stay safe and enjoy.
We often see animated satellite images of storms over the Atlantic that show us 12- or 24-hour loops, but how about a satellite loop that lasts 2,150 hours? An ambitious YouTuber created this awesome time lapse video showing four months of storms over the western Pacific in just two minutes.
When NASA launched the first weather satellite back in 1960, it was little more than two television cameras strapped to a satellite and shot into orbit. Fast forward through the technological explosion of the late 20th century, and now you can watch the evolution of storms in near real-time, one-minute increments from your living room.