More Severe Weather in the South

Sunday severe PM April 30


After tornadoes ripped through northern Texas on Saturday evening, the states of Alabama all the way up to Indiana can expect to see sever thunderstorms going into Sunday night. The storm, the same one who generated the tornadoes for Texas and Oklahoma, is moving in a northeast direction and is expected to bring storms into New York by Monday evening. With this system, the hazards expected are as follows:

  • Blinding rain
  • Flash-flooding
  • Strong Winds
  • Hail
  • Tornadoes
  • Possible river-flooding on side-streets

The storm is fueled from the heat and humidity typical to these states. Unfortunately, this storm is coming on the heels of another one that passed through the same projected regions last weekend.

Last night (Saturday evening), five people were killed in the four confirmed tornadoes in Texas. All of the deaths occurred in Van Zandt county. In addition to the five deaths, fifty people were injured while the storm caused significant property damage to houses and businesses.

People in the projected path are being urged to keep track of the storm and the weather radar to know if and when they can expect any weather hazards.


Wet Pacific Northwest

Since October 1, 2016, Astoria, Oregon has had 167 days of rain– 80% of the days in the past six months. The Pacific Northwest has had a particularly wet and gloomy winter, even for their standards. The 167 days of rain in the past six months broke the record number of days with measurable rain for Astoria.

While Astoria takes the prize for most rainfall in the six month period, Seattle and Portland have both been missing the sun, with Portland having 147 rainy days in six months, and Seattle has only had eight clear sky days in that time. However, Seattle has broken their record for the wettest October-April in existence, with total rainfall reaching 44.67 inches. This is only a few inches from the yearly record of 49.17 inches, and there are still eight months for rainfall totals to surpass that number.

The Pacific Northwest should be getting a break from wet and dreary weather, as rainfall is expected to be fairly average throughout the month of May, hopefully meaning more sunny days.

Major Flash Flood Threat Looms in Mississippi Valley

The current round of thunderstorms hitting the Mississippi River Valley has been severe, and have already caused some flash flooding in parts of the Orzaks. There has already been one water rescue in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and several roads in northern Arkansas and southern Missouri have been shut down due to flooding. Despite this, the major threat comes from this coming weekend, with flood warnings encompassing much of the mid-west region.

The general timeline for this weekend’s flooding is as follows:

  • “Through early Thursday: From northeast Texas, northern Louisiana and western Mississippi to as far north as Illinois
  • Friday night/early Saturday: From the mid-Mississippi Valley to Oklahoma, particularly the Ozarks
  • Saturday and Saturday night: From east Texas and western Louisiana to Illinois and Missouri
  • Sunday and Sunday night: From the middle and lower Mississippi Valleys into parts of the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys.”

The greatest potential heavy rain threat spans the Ark-La-Tex region north through the Mississippi River Valley, goign as far as southern Ohio. This threat is expected to stay through late Sunday, keeping the potential for flash floods high.


Seattle Breaks Record

Seattle has recorded its wettest October through April since records have been kept. While this isn’t a large hazard, it is important to think about the implications of all this precipitation in regards to Global warming. Also if this trend continues there could be higher flooding and other consequences.

Columbian Landslide

More than 250 people are dead and hundreds are still  missing after heavy rainfall triggered lethal mudslides and flooding in Colombia’s Putumayo province.

The survivors include 330 people who have been injured, 19 of whom remain in hospital.

A month’s worth of rain fell down in only a single night and created deadly flash floods in Mocoa. Houses and homes were completely destroyed and cars were  lost and swam down the floods, away from their owners.

Three of the six rivers surrounding the small town burst their banks, leaving muddy water and tree limbs racing through the streets.

People are wondering why such a disaster occurred and why had Columbia’s Putumayo province not been better prepared. People are starting to question the government on this matter. Blaming them for having allowed them to build homes on areas that were at high risk.

In some parts of Columbia people are more aware of the risks for living in the area, but Marcela Quintero, a researcher with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture said: ‘Unfortunately, in Columbia said “We don’t have a good assessment of risk, or good land-use policies to prohibit people from settling in areas like these.”

These said risks were multiplied as trees were cut down for cattle ranching and other agricultural purposes, removing critical protection against flooding and landslides.

The flooding is one of the worst natural disasters in Colombia. President Juan Manuel Santos has said that he will rebuild Mocoa and make it better than it was before.

Flooding Due to Severe Storms hits the Nashville

A Storm 5 Alert has gone out for the greater Nashville area as a result of the severe storms and the consequent flooding this weekend. Between Friday and Saturday evening there were three rounds of storms which resulted in a Flash Flood Watch to be set until 4 a.m. on Sunday. Saturday the main threat was flooding from the storms, with many roads being closed as a result of creeks and rivers cresting. Multiple reports have been made not only about closed roads but also about creeks with rushing currents that are impassable. Officials have released a list of roads that have been barricaded but have also included a list of areas that they are monitoring. The forecast on Sunday includes showers, which might result in flash floods. These flash floods are highly likely due to the amount of saturation in the soil, which means it probably can not hold anymore.

The rain on Friday came with strong winds that added a tornado warning into the mix for parts of several counties. The winds caused fairly severe damage in the path of the storm in Shelbyville, the National Weather Service reported in that these were more specifically straight-line winds. Peak winds in the area at the time of Friday’s storm reported in with speeds between 65 and 70 miles per hour. The damage stretched about 50 yards. These winds caused the collapse of a motel roof. The second round of storms hit between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Saturday with strong winds and rain passing through the middle of the state. The third and final round of storms hit between 1 p.m and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

The main concerns with these storms included flooding and downed trees. These were a main concern because of the saturated soil that resulted from the storm, as saturated soil not only allows for faster flooding but can also cause trees to uproot faster as they have nothing to cling to. There have also been warnings issued for tornadoes, and strong winds were a secondary concern after flooding. I bet that the roads which closed were either located at the bottom of a hill and were very flat, or near a stream or river. I would also like to include in this post the reminder that the Nashville PD put out, “turn around, don’t drown” because while it sounds funny it is actually really good advice considering that some of the streams were reported as having impassable rushing currents.

Severe Thunderstorm in D.C. area

A severe thunderstorm passed through the D.C.  area late on Friday. The small intense thunderstorm did not last long but it did cause a decent amount of damage. As the thunderstorm quickly moved through the area it produced heavy rain, quarter sized hail, strong winds, and lots of lightning. About 4,000 homes and business lost power Friday evening when the thunderstorm knocked down power lines. The hardest hit area were Takoma Park, Maryland and part of D.C. Falling trees caused damage to property and smashed cars. Lucky only minor injures were reported. Two people had to be rescued from Rock Creek State Park because of rushing water.

Severe Thunderstorms in Arkansas and Oklahoma

Severe thunderstorms are causing hail, possible tornadoes, and damaging winds in Arkansas and Oklahoma. The thunderstorms were predicted to have straight line winds, large hail, and possibly create tornadoes. The severe thunderstorms will pass through Arkansas and Oklahoma in two rounds. The first set of storms was moving through Arkansas as of 2:00 pm this afternoon. So far the storm has knocked down tree branches and caused flooding. The second round of thunderstorms will pass through Arkansas late this afternoon and evening and will be gone by Saturday morning. Wind gusts up to 70 mph are expected in addition to 1 to 3 inches of rain in certain areas. Flood warning have also been issued for central Oklahoma. Last night and earlier today severe supercell thunderstorms caused damage in Texas. The thunderstorms are part of a multiple day serve weather event that is crossing the south this weekend.

Friday's Thunderstorm Forecast

Another Mudslide in Columbia


Just three weeks after Columbia’s Mocoa river overflowed and the ensuing landslides killed 300 people, the country is again struggling with mudslides. The city of Manizales is currently experiencing heavy rainfall – the mayor is reporting the the monthly average amount rain has fallen overnight in the region. Electricity, water, and  gas have been suspended during the crisis. Over a dozen people have been reported dead, and many more are missing. We will have to monitor this situation and hope that it doen’t escalated to the level of the Mocoa disaster.

Read the BBC story here.

Cyclone Cook

In New Zealand, there was a lot of damage from Cyclone Cook including lost power and terrain damage. Due to Cyclone Debbie, the residents took action before Cyclone Cook would become deadly. They took the matter very seriously and took precautions against the potential damage. Outside assistance was scheduled for remote areas in advance so that they had time to recover. In a Video that is imbedded in the article page, a weather Radar Demonstrates the gravity of the situation as it makes landfall.