Europe cold wave deaths hit 200; low-snow winter for the U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 16:06 GMT le 03 février 2012

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Brutal winter cold continues over most of Europe, where at least 200 people have died in a cold wave that began January 26. Hardest hit has been Ukraine, where the temperature bottomed out at -17°F (-27°C) at the capital of Kyiv this morning. It was the second coldest day of the cold wave, behind the -28°C reading of February 2. These temperatures are the coldest winter weather in six years in Ukraine, and at least 101 deaths are being blamed on the cold there. Also hard-hit has been Poland, where 37 people, most of them homeless, have died from the cold. Rome, Italy experienced a rare snowfall today, only its second day with snow during the past fifteen years. Very cold temperatures 10 - 20°C below average will continue for another seven days in Europe before gradually moderating late next week.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average as analyzed by the GFS model, for February 2, 2012. Remarkably cold air was present over Europe and western Alaska, while very warm air was over central North America and Siberia. This image is being generated experimentally by wunderground, and will be regularly available on our web site in the future.

Meanwhile, a snow drought for the U.S.
In the U.S., it's been the opposite story, with temperatures 10 - 15°F above average continuing this week over much of the nation. January 2012 is in the weather record books as the 3rd least-snowy January for the contiguous U.S. since snow records began in 1966, and December 2011 ranked as the 11th least snowy December on record. With no major snow storms in the offing over at least the next ten days, it's looking probable that the non-winter of 2011 - 2012 will set numerous record-low seasonal snowfall totals. The National Weather Service sends out a daily "Weather and Almanac" product for several hundred major U.S. cities that we make available on wunderground. I went through yesterday's statistics for those cities that reported measurable snow this winter. Only nine cities out of 166 major U.S. cities in the lower 48 states reported above-average snowfall as of February 1; 157 cities received below-average snowfall. The big winner in the snow sweepstakes has been Alaska, which is boasting 8 of the top 10 locations for heaviest snowfall this winter. While the 27.75 feet of snow that has fallen on Valdez has gotten a lot of attention, more remarkable is the 18.8 feet of snow Yakutat has received. That's more than 12.5 feet above what they usually have by this time of year.



The big losers in the snow stats for this winter are the cities along the lake effect snow belts on the Great Lakes. Most notably, Syracuse, New York is nearly four feet of snow below average for this time of year. Perhaps more exceptional is Williston, North Dakota, which has received just 1.8" of snow this winter--more than two feet below their average for February 1.



Have a super weekend, everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting RTSplayer:
Looks like TD status is practically a given now?

Amazing.

NHC will probably wait 6 to 12 before giving it TD status. That is, unless it really blows up right away.


It's a very shallow system right now. Wind shear and zonal shear are going to pickup over the next 18 hours...very limited window...if it stays shallow, could make STS...fairly low chance though
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Close-up

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Only thing that I haven't seen much about yet, is do the wind speeds meet the criteria for classification?
Member Since: 3 septembre 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
The dry air rapping into the core will legitimize this as a sub-tropical cyclone, that with the cool SSTs.
Member Since: 8 juillet 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23016
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

With Tropical Storm Bret, they went from 30% one outlook to classification the next.


With recon confirmation, they wouldn't do that with Dvorak estimates.
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Quoting yqt1001:


NHC doesn't have a special TWO out for it yet, so no classification seems likely until they slowly go up the scale of percentages. Also, since its close to land they will send recon in to verify that it has cyclonic characteristics.

With Tropical Storm Bret, they went from 30% one outlook to classification the next.
Member Since: 6 juillet 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30291
SSTs look good



Shear on the decrease



Dry air prevalent on the SW side trying to wrap into the core.



By the way how is everybody doing today?
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note also shear is dropping south of the initial COC in the area near 19-20N 83-86W also steering is very weak and is going all over the place
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Quoting RTSplayer:
Looks like TD status is practically a given now?

Amazing.

NHC will probably wait 6 to 12 before giving it TD status. That is, unless it really blows up right away.


NHC doesn't have a special TWO out for it yet, so no classification seems likely until they slowly go up the scale of percentages. Also, since its close to land they will send recon in to verify that it has cyclonic characteristics.
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Some serious lightning right over my home so out for now.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Where's the Reed models, he usually be telling us that Florida should be taking precautions right now
we are waiting to see them
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XX/INV/90L
MARK
22.6n84.68w
Member Since: 15 juillet 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52384
Quoting splash3392:
Hey kman glad to see you survived the Taste of Cayman.

This season shall keep us on our toes for sure.


LOL, I survived because I skipped it this year !. Two years ago I went at 7 and the food was finished so decided that was enough for me.

As to whether 90L is a signal of how the season will be there has been little corrolation between an off season threat like this or even an early start in May with how active things may turn out but anytime world weather goes wacky, like this year,who knows.
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Looks like TD status is practically a given now?

Amazing.

NHC will probably wait 6 to 12 before giving it TD status. That is, unless it really blows up right away.
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cause a lot of other stations say NNE-NE
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All surface observations throughout the region as well as visible satellite imagery support a closed, albeit rather tight surface circulation in association with Invest 90L. Given the confined nature of the system and the strongest winds close to the surface circulation and with no frontal properties, this is a tropical entity at this time. Regardless of further development, South and parts of Central Florida can expect some much needed soaking rainfall and gusty winds later today through early Tuesday.
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Hey kman glad to see you survived the Taste of Cayman.

This season shall keep us on our toes for sure.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
That's closed.

End of story.



ZOOM


He really wants a name...
Member Since: 7 juillet 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5521
Quoting Skyepony:
90L is organizing fast..


It is certainly starting to take on the "comma" appearance and motion seems limited which may give it enough time to wrap up some more before heading over SST of about 72F to the N of W Cuba in the GOM. More likely a sub tropical feature if anything.
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That's closed.

End of story.



ZOOM

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


Sure looks like a tropical storm....
Member Since: 3 septembre 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It has that look...
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Quoting Skyepony:
90L is organizing fast..


Has that classic developing subtropical system look.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

I would say W umm is that a constant S wind and let us keep an eye out on the wind and how this turns out


Still dead on due S at 3. Pressure of 1012.7 and falling
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Surface obs in Cancun and Western Cuba are indicating the possibility of a closed surface low.
sat presentation indicats that it is closed off or about too time for a new blog doc
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766. Skyepony (Mod)
90L is organizing fast..
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Member Since: 6 juillet 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30291
Quoting kmanislander:
.76 inches of rain actually today so far.

Winds are light ( 3 mph ) out of the South which is suggestive of a weak surface low to our NW, perhaps in association with 90L.

I would say W umm is that a constant S wind and let us keep an eye out on the wind and how this turns out
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Surface obs in Cancun and Western Cuba are indicating the possibility of a closed surface low.

I concur.
Member Since: 6 juillet 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30291
I often don't see storms this organised in June. Amazing. Goes to show this warm winter will have a big impact on the tropical season this year.
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Even thunder here now, another rarity for this time of year LOL
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at this point in time the invest is about 3 months ahead of normal
Member Since: 15 juillet 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52384
Quoting SPLbeater:
All we need is some winds from the west on the southern side...ASCAT does not show a closed LLC.



Partial pass

But of course, this is excluding the center to the NW



that if the center is to the NW or it could be just N of Hon its still too early to tell
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Surface obs in Cancun and Western Cuba are indicating the possibility of a closed surface low.
Member Since: 19 août 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
Quoting CybrTeddy:
This satellite loop, to me, explains the situation.

90L isn't just some super-disorganized pre-season system like we had last year. While it is still disorganized, and development is still slim, it is probably one of the most well organized pre-season invests I've seen in the last few years with a good chance of further development. Rotation becoming more evident with building and sustaining convection over the developing LLC.

Link


What do you mean?...last year's pre-season Invest 91L was more organized than this per Figure 2 of this old post....

There were also handsomely organized pre-season Invests 92L...93L....and 94L last year that did not get declared.

You are right though....this is still an impressively organized Invest (persistent convection over center & organizing bands showing up). What is extremly remarkable to me is its occurence in February.
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Interesting...Who'd a thunk it?
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.76 inches of rain actually today so far.

Winds are light ( 3 mph ) out of the South which is suggestive of a weak surface low to our NW, perhaps in association with 90L.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

im saying 20%, for about the same reasons... I just don't see it miraculously pulling rapid organization and being named Alberto. The nhc just doesn't give a Preseason storm a name...
They give it to Ana in April 2003
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I'm out for now....
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XX/INV/90L
MARK
22.6n84.68w
Member Since: 15 juillet 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52384
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
I think we may have something.


Becoming more organized every hour.
Member Since: 6 juillet 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30291
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

im saying 20%, for about the same reasons... I just don't see it miraculously pulling rapid organization and being named Alberto. The nhc just doesn't give a Preseason storm a name...


I say 50%, for reasons of a LLC under formation (if not formed already), the not incredibly hostile conditions, and the fact that it has been building convection and organizing banding all afternoon.
Member Since: 3 septembre 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3466
Quoting CybrTeddy:



30%, in my opinion. Given the rarity of pre-season systems, and even more unlikely for a February system.

im saying 20%, for about the same reasons... I just don't see it miraculously pulling rapid organization and being named Alberto. The nhc just doesn't give a Preseason storm a name...
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Good afternoon.

I never ever thought I would be on this site watching an Invest during the first week of February. Worlwide the weather has been crazy with snow in Rome for the first time in 26 years and a significant snowfall deficit across much of the US.

90L is over sea surface temps of about 80F which would permit some tropical or sub tropical development to get going but temps fall of quite quickly to the N of the Yucatan channel.

Regardless of what happens, if anything, it is a strange start to 2012 weather wise.

So far today we have received about .6 of an inch of rain on the SW coast of Grand Cayman and probably more in other locations. The rain is much appreciated as our "winter" so far has been very dry and temps much higher than last year on average.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
I think we may have something.



Indeed. I will be monitoring this situation closely. At least, it's a good early season warm up.
Member Since: 8 juillet 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23016
Where's the Reed models, he usually be telling us that Florida should be taking precautions right now
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I'll be back later tonight(if the Super bowl ends up Being a bust), or Tomorrow morning(EARLY)
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I think we may have something.

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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

*sheds tear* that was beautifully said... You're giving it a 50% chance of developing aren't you?



30%, in my opinion. Given the rarity of pre-season systems, and even more unlikely for a February system.
Member Since: 8 juillet 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23016

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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