Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

A single source reference on tropical weather predictions. With a traditional focus on the upper Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast we've maintained links to track all Atlantic Basin, Caribbean and eastern Pacific storm systems. We are now expanding our view to tropical storms throughout the world intending to be a comprehensive global storm tracking resource.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Olga crosses back along northern Queensland coast

Tropical cyclone Olga made landfall last week crossing land in nirthern Queensland and entering the Bay of Carpentaria. The concern was that Olga would strenthen while over the warm waters of the bay. While some slight strengthening has occurred, the storm sis not grow to the level 2 cyclone that existed before making landfall near Cairns.

Olga did "do and about-face" while over the water, however. Olga's track reversed itself nringing heavy rain all along the northern Queensland coast from the Northern Territory border all the way to Karumba.

Today Olga made her second landfall as a low grade tropicla storm near the town of Karumba and is expected to bring heavy rain and flooding from Burketown to Karumba. Weather Underground reports that Olga currently has 40 MPH sustained winds with gusts to 50 MPH.

Cyclone Olga Crosses North Queensland Coast; Flooding Expected (Bloomberg)
Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Tropical Cyclone Olga crossed the northern Queensland coast and is expected to bring flooding to areas between Burketown and Karumba.

The storm, which strengthened from a tropical low to a category-1 cyclone overnight, will bring gales and heavy rain to much of the region, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said on its Web site. Olga was about 60 kilometers (38 miles) southeast of Karumba at 7 a.m. local time, and is expected to ease to a tropical low today as it heads southeast, the bureau said.

Olga first made landfall on Jan. 24 near Cape Tribulation on Queensland’s east coast before traveling west across most of the state.


The cyclone will likely be followed by “abnormally high tides” between Cape York and the Queensland, Northern Territory border, the weather bureau said. People should avoid the coast and should not attempt to drive through floodwaters, it said.

Olga quickly diminished to an ex-cyclone once again and is now essentially a remnant low pressure system. The remains of Olga are predicted to continue to track to the southest bringing rain to Richmond by tonight and points further south by February 1st before finally dissipating.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cyclone Olga comes ashore

Tropical Cycloen Olga came ashore today weakened considerably than originally expected. Olga was expected to hit landfall as a Category 2 cyclone but instead weakened considerably just prior to coming ashore. Heavy rain persisted but the windspeed was greatly diminished.
ONE-TIME tropical cyclone Olga hit the north Queensland coast last night, packing 110km/h winds and drenching rains, but with mercifully limited destructive impact.
The low pressure system could now develop into the "perfect storm" if it folds into the remnants of another cyclone, Neville, to deluge farms, orchards and cattle properties and bring relief to coral reefs that were at risk of bleaching.
Olga crossed the coast near Cape Tribulation, north of Cairns, at about 2pm, bringing down trees and flooding roads in the thickly rainforested area.
No injuries were reported, but full-scale disaster preparations were activated as the cyclone approached, menacing communities from Cooktown to the tourist centre of Port Douglas.
The cyclone had almost blown itself out by the time it made landfall as a category-one storm, far weaker than the category-two system, with winds up to 140km/h, that had been expected.
"We haven't had strong winds over land, however there have still been some fairly strong winds further out to sea," said forecaster Tony Auden from Brisbane's Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre.
The concern now is for the chance of heavy flooding, especially if the remains of Cyclone Neville Combine with Olga's remains to for a heavy thunderstorm. Additionally, Olga's path was projected to have the storm emerge in the Gulf of Carpentaria where reorganization and further strengthening could occur.
A meteorologist at the bureau's Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre, Ann Farrell, said Olga was expected to move west while losing intensity until it moved into Cape York.
The system was then expected to emerge in the Gulf of Carpentaria either tonight or tomorrow morning, where there was a possibility it would reform into tropical cyclone intensity.
Ex-cyclone Neville was about 200 kilometres east of Cardwell last night but was expected to move towards the coast between Townsville and Innisfail by this morning.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cyclone Olga poised for landfall

Cyclone Olga has grown to a Category 2 cyclone and is headed for landfall this afternoon between Cooktown and Port Douglas. Current storm track projections indicate that Olga is heading due west and should come ashore between 3 pm and 4 pm Sunday. The storm has winds in excess of 120 km/hr and could cause some damage as it comes ashore.

Cyclone Olga moves towards Port Douglas (Cairns Post)
JANUARY 24, 11am: Cyclone Olga is expected to remain a category two cyclone as it crosses the coast between Port Douglas and Cooktown between 3pm and 4pm.

At 10am Tropical Cyclone Olga was estimated to be 105km east-southeast of Cooktown and 145km north-northeast of Cairns moving west-northwest at 17km/h.

A cyclone warning is now current for coastal and island areas from Coen to Cairns.

A cyclone watch has been declared for the southern Gulf of Carpentaria coast and islands from Karumba to Borroloola.

Tropical Cyclone Olga is bearing down on an area that is known for tourism near the Great Barrier Reef. Evacuation of one resort and cancellation of reef tours has already been carried out.

Nervous wait as Cyclone Olga nears Queenland coast (Herald Sun)
Within hours of the Cyclone Olga alert being raised early yesterday, a team of State Emergency Service volunteers was called in to replenish sandbag stocks depleted by minor flooding on Friday night in the aftermath of ex-tropical cyclone Neville.

Green Island Resort, east of Cairns, is being evacuated this morning and all Great Barrier Reef tours have been cancelled with predictions of 50-knot winds out to sea.

Cairns Airport moved to stage two of its alert system after the weather bureau upgraded its forecast to a cyclone warning at 5pm but no flights had been cancelled as of late yesterday.

Cyclone Olga surprised far north Queensland residents by forming in the Coral Sea late on Friday night in the shadow of the weakening and downgraded former tropical cyclone Neville.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Two cyclonic systems form off Australia's northeast coast

Tropical Storm Olga formed overnight in the Coral Sea off the northeast coast of Australia. The Bureau of Metrology in Queensland has issued a cyclone WATCH from Cape Melville to Lucinda.

Tropical Cyclone Advice (Bureau of Metrology)

Olga currently has 100 kph winds and is heading on a westerly direction towards the coast. The current forecast is for Olga to strengthen before reaching landfall by late Sunday or early Monday.

Another system in the same area had been labelled as cyclone Neville. Neville formed and then quickly degraded back to a low pressure system. The area where Neville is located is not conducive to cyclone formation but this could change.

Cyclone Neville is now low pressure system (Courier Mail)
UPDATE: FORMER tropical Cyclone Neville has become an ex-cyclone after rapidly weakening off the far north Queensland coast.

The category one cyclone has been downgraded to a tropical low after "slipping below the meteorological threshold'' in the Coral Sea off far north Queensland.

"It's in an environment that's suppressing its development at the moment,'' said senior forecaster Ann Farrell from the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre.

"There is the potential for it to possibly re-intensify as long as it remains over the water. It's a bit of a waiting and watching game.''

Tropical Cyclone Magda hits Kimberly Coast

Tropical Cyclone Magda struck the Kimberly Coast of Western Australia yesterday as a Level 2 cyclone. Magda came ashore in the same area that Tropical Cyclone Laurence drenched just over a month or so ago. Winds were strong enough to cause some damage, but there were no reports of injuries.

Tropical cyclone Magda may have damaged some buildings as it crossed the Kimberley coast but there are no reports of injuries, West Australian officials say.

About 20 people had bunkered down in a cyclone shelter at the pearling community of Kuri Bay, north of Broome, which is near where the category two cyclone made landfall on Friday, the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) said.

"The people are fine and there are no injuries," a FESA spokesman said.

"There have been reports of some infrastructure damage but nothing is confirmed.

Magda is expected to weaken as it moves inland today. Severe weather warnings are still posted in the path of the storm though due to the potential for winds and flooding.

Monday, January 18, 2010

First tropical depression of 2010 in W. Pacific

The first tropical depression of 2010 formed today off the coast of Vietnam. The storm is projected to head straight for the southern coast and pass to the south of Ho Chi Minh City as a tropical storm by late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

Forward motion is fairly rapid at 26 MPH. The high forward speed will carry this storm at least to the Cambodian border at tropical storm strength according to Tropical Storm Risk. The storm will pass over the southern portions of Phnom Penh by late Wednesday.

The western Pacific tropical season is the strongest from April through November, but there is always the potential for storm formation throughout the entire year. Equatorial waters in the western Pacific stay quite warm throughout the year and a suitable for cyclone formation.

Graphic courtesy of Weather Underground

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti relief: donations

Haiti is desparate for assistance. Reports on the news repeatedly show that the streets are blocked with debris and even dead bodies. This is making distribution of material things very difficult. For two days the airport was even blocked to the point that no planes could land and those that did could not refuel to take off. I understand that this has now been resolved.

Former President Bill Clinton stated yesterday that what is needed is small monitary donations from a lot of people. First Lady Michelle Obama has stressed that cell phone donations can be made to the Red cross by texting "Haiti" to 90999. $10 will be charged to your phone bill. There are several other organizations accepting donations on their official websites. A partial listing below contains links to their websites.

VIDEO: Mrs. Obama's appeal (Red Cross)

Each of the links below contain information on what that organization is doing to help Haiti and links and methods to donate or volunteer. Please consider offerring your assistance in whatever way you can to help these people so greatly in need.

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

At the request of President Obama, we are partnering to help the Haitian people reclaim their country and rebuild their lives.

Our immediate priority is to save lives. The critical needs in Haiti are great, but they are also simple: food, water, shelter, and first-aid supplies. The best way concerned citizens can help is to donate funds that will go directly to supplying these material needs.

Through the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, we will work to provide immediate relief and long-term support to earthquake survivors. We will channel the collective goodwill around the globe to help the people of Haiti rebuild their cities, their neighborhoods, and their families.

American Red Cross

First Lady Michelle Obama also released a Public Service Announcement asking people to join her in supporting the Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti:

“The images from Haiti are heart-breaking—homes, hospitals and schools destroyed; families searching for loved ones; parents trying to feed their children. But we can all do something. We can help the American Red Cross as it delivers the food, water and medicine that can save lives. Donate $10 by texting “HAITI” to 9-0-9-9-9. Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Thanks for your help.”

How to Help
While the American Red Cross appreciates heartfelt offers to travel to Haiti or to donate household items, at this time, what the Red Cross needs the most are financial contributions – whether by check, online or by phone.

You can make a donation to the American Red Cross International Response Fund at or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. Donors can designate their gifts to Haiti relief. You can also donate $10 to Haiti relief by texting “HAITI” to 90999.

Doctors Without Borders

We are incredibly grateful for the generous support from our donors for the emergency in Haiti.

MSF has been working in Haiti for 19 years, most recently operating three emergency hospitals in Port-au-Prince, and is mobilizing a large emergency response to this disaster. Our immediate response in the first hours following the disaster in Haiti was only possible because of private unrestricted donations from around the world received before the earthquake struck. We are currently reinforcing our teams on the ground in order to respond to the immediate medical needs and to assess the humanitarian needs that MSF will be addressing in the months ahead.

We are now asking our donors to give to our Emergency Relief Fund. These types of funds ensure that our medical teams can react to the Haiti emergency and humanitarian crises all over the world, particularly neglected crises that remain outside the media spotlight. Your gift via this website will be earmarked for our Emergency Relief Fund.

Your gift today will support emergency medical care for the men, women, and children affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Please give as generously as you can to our Haiti Earthquake Response and help us save lives.

Alert: Due to reports of fraudulent activity, we are asking all donors to please be wary of third-party solicitations for Haiti relief. To ensure that your donation goes directly to Doctors Without Borders, please use our secure website or toll-free phone number 1-888-392-0392. - -->

Engineers Without Borders

In light of the recent devastating earthquake in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, the EWB-USA community offers our thoughts and well wishes to the people of Haiti. While EWB-USA does not work in the field of disaster relief, our chapters do partner with the various communities within the country to work on community and infrastructure needs. EWB-USA projects directly support communities and work closely with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects.

If you would like to get involved in supporting Haiti, here are three ways you can make a difference:

William J. Clinton Foundation

On January 12, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit outside of the capital of Haiti, causing widespread destruction to homes, hospitals, schools, government buildings, roads, and lives. Emergency responses from the U.S. Department of State, the American Red Cross, Mercy Corps, and others have been quick, but we need your immediate support to provide food, shelter, and other relief supplies. As the UN’s Special Envoy to Haiti, President Clinton is asking everyone to give what you can to help the people of Haiti respond and recover from this disaster.
Partners In Health

PIH has been working on the ground in Haiti for over 20 years. We urgently need your support to help those affected by the recent earthquake.

Partners In Health (PIH) works to bring modern medical care to poor communities in nine countries around the world. The work of PIH has three goals: to care for our patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities, and to share lessons learned around the world.

Based in Boston, PIH employs more than 11,000 people worldwide, including doctors, nurses and community health workers. The vast majority of PIH staff are local nationals based in the communities we serve.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

The IFRC has revised and raised its Haiti appeal, and is now calling for 105.7 million Swiss francs (103 million US dollars/73 million euro) to assist 300,000 people for three years.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

After years of tropical damage, Haiti gets the Earth ripped out from under it.

Haiti is a very poor nation that each summer seems to bear a heavy burden of tropical weather. Hurricanes and tropical storms have battered Haiti on an almost yearly basis causing a great deal of damage to a country that is ill prepared to handle it.

Why Haiti Keeps Getting Hammered by Disasters (ABC News)

When it comes to natural disasters, Haiti seems to have a bull's-eye on it. That's because of a killer combination of geography, poverty, social problems, slipshod building standards and bad luck, experts say.

The list of catastrophes is mind-numbing: This week's devastating earthquake. Four tropical storms or hurricanes that killed about 800 people in 2008. Killer storms in 2005 and 2004. Floods in 2007, 2006, 2003 (twice) and 2002. And that's just the 21st Century run-down.

"If you want to put the worst case scenario together in the Western hemisphere (for disasters), it's Haiti," said Richard Olson, a professor at Florida International University who directs the Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas project.

"There's a whole bunch of things working against Haiti. One is the hurricane track. The second is tectonics. Then you have the environmental degradation and the poverty," he said.

Tuesday, Haiti was struck with a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that levelled the capital of Port-au-Prince. The amount of damage far exceeds the devestations caused by tropical weather.

Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake Strikes Haiti (Unites States Geological Survey) Audio

On January 12, 2010, Haiti was struck by the most violent earthquake in a century. Michael Blanpied, associate coordinator for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, answers questions about the earthquake, its severe shaking, and the possibility of additional hazards, such as landslides and a tsunami.

Earthquake Details



Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 21:53:10 UTC
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 04:53:10 PM at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

18.457°N, 72.533°W

13 km (8.1 miles) set by location program


25 km (15 miles) WSW of PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti130 km (80 miles) E of Les Cayes, Haiti150 km (95 miles) S of Cap-Haitien, Haiti1125 km (700 miles) SE of Miami, Florida

Location Uncertainty
horizontal +/- 3.4 km (2.1 miles); depth fixed by location program

NST=312, Nph=312, Dmin=143.7 km, Rmss=0.93 sec, Gp= 25°,M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=9


Event ID
This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

Video: Port-au-Prince Before and After (CBS)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tropical Cyclone Edzani winds down; no threat to land

Tropical Cyclone Edzani is decreasing in strength as predicted by all the weather services. The cyclone is now on essentially a southward course and is expected to zigzazg towards the southwest and then the southeast in 24 - 48 hours. To my knowledge there is no threat to any land now. The continually decreasing sea surface temperatures means that Edzani will slowly diminish and eventually dissipate.

Heavy rain is inundating Reunion Island and Rodriques Island. The local weather is being influenced by Cyclone Edzani even though the storm is moving away from the islands. Any shift in the storm track towards the west could have a significant affect on Rodrigues Island particularly even though current projections do not indicate that this is likely.

Le temps à Rodrigues sous l'influence d'Edzani (Grandbaie)

Dernières Heures A 04h00 ce 11 janvier 2010, le cyclone tropical Edzani était centrée autour du point 24.1 degrés sud et 71.6 degrés est, à environ 950 km au sud-est de Rodrigues. Il s'éloigne vers le sud à environ 18 km/h.

Dans son premier bulletin du matin, la station météorologique de Vacoas fait mention de l'eloignement du cyclone tropical des côtes de Rodrigues et d'un nouveau changement de direction vers le sud.

Le bulletin de 16h30 du 10 Janvier 2010 de la station météo de Vacoas indique le cyclone tropical 'Edzani' a changé de direction et bouge maintenant vers le sud sud ouest et sur cette trajection il ne se rapproche pas de Rodrigues mais commence à s'éloigner.

Le cyclone tropical 'Edzani' se trouvait à 16h00 cet après-midi en latitude de 22.2 degrés sud et en longitude de 71.3 degrés est, soit à environ 845 km à l'est-sud-est de Rodrigue. Il se déplace vers le sud-sud-ouest à environ 18km/h.

Le temps à Rodrigues pour le 11 Janvier sera beau temps sur l'ensemble de l'ile. Mi-couvert avec quelques ondées passagères, principalement sur les hauteurs au cours de la journée. Le vent sera du secteur sud-ouest de 20 à 25 km/h. Mer forte et houleuse au-delà des récifs.

Dans son bulletin de 10 heures, la station météo de Vacoas a fait état que Edzani est maintenant un cyclone tropical au lieu d'un cyclone tropical intense.

A 4 heures ce matin le cyclone tropical intense Edzani était centré à 890 kms à l'est et pourra influencer le temps rodriguais en fin de matinée et début de soirée de ce 10 Janvier avec le passage des premières bandes nuageuses.

La station météo de Vacoas dans son bulletin de quatre heures ce matin a positionné le phénomène atmosphérique au point 19.9S et 720.E. De catégorie 5, Edzani s'est légèrement affaiblis mais toutefois, il a des vents de l'ordre de 155 kms et des rafales de 220 kms près du centre.

English Translation (Courtesy of Google Translate)

Throughout the day on Sunday, Reunion Island and possibly Rodrigues are expected to see potentially heavy rain. As Edzani moves away from the islands then the weather will clear up and is predicted to be quite nice for Monday as described in the Granbaie article above.

Vigilance fortes pluies reconduite jusqu'à ce soir, 19 heures (Zinfos 974)

La Réunion demeure dans un environnement chaud, humide et instable, favorable au développement de nuages convectifs. Cette situation météorologique réclame de la vigilance car les paquets nuageux actifs se situent à proximité de l'île.

Par ailleurs, une zone perturbée était située le 10 janvier 2010 à 4h à environ 650 km dans le Nord-Ouest de La Réunion. Les masses nuageuses associées devraient quitter notre région au cours de la nuit du dimanche 10 au lundi 11 janvier.

Cependant, le risque de fortes de pluies demeure, principalement au cours de l'après-midi du dimanche 10 janvier sur l'intérieur ainsi que les hauteurs de l'Ouest et du Nord du département. Les précipitations peuvent prendre temporairement un caractère orageux. Les seuils de fortes pluies pourront être atteints ou dépassés.

English Translation (Courtesy of Google Translate)

Weather Underground: Public Advisory

Graphic courtesy Tropical Storm Risk

Friday, January 08, 2010

Frozen weekend for Houston

This artic cold has a grip on the entire nation all the way down to south Texas. Temperatures have dropped and overnight lows are expected to stay below freezing throughout the weekend. Saturday's high is expected to rise up to near 40 degrees F which we always considered rather a bit chilly.

Houston under freeze warning until Sunday (Houston Chronicle)

The Arctic blast that has gripped the Houston region and much of the state is expected to send temperatures to 20 degrees or below tonight for much of the region.

The National Weather Service predicts readings to drop to between 17 and 20 degrees over the western two-thirds of Harris County, northern Liberty County, all of Fort Bend County and points north. The record for the date is 19, last tied in 1996.

The region remains under a freeze warning until Sunday morning.

Last night's low at Bush Intercontinental Airport hit 26 degrees, but the wintry weather did not cause widespread icing, although isolated patches have been reported. And at least two Montgomery County fires overnight, neither of which caused serious injuries, are suspected to have started in chimneys.


Sunny skies are forecast for Saturday when the high temperature will be near 40 degrees. But the overnight low again is forecast to drop to around 20. Again, the record for the date is 19, set in 1976.

A warmup of sorts is forecast for Sunday when the high temperature climbs to the mid-40s and the low will be near 30 degrees. But the frigid air leaves the region by early next week, when the first of two back-to-back low pressure areas arrives.

VIDEO: Bone-chilling cold to stick around all weekend (KHOU)

HOUSTON—As promised, the arctic blast delivered frigid temps to the Houston area.

Friday morning started off in the 20s across Southeast Texas, and 11 News Meteorologist David Paul with the wind chill, it felt even colder than that.

Ice shuts down Atlanta

The expected snow did come to North Georgia yesterday afternoon and evening. It was nothing more than a light dusting. Yankees would be laughing at the little bit of white stuff we were getting excited about. But, as is typical in the south, the temperature warmed slightly - just enough to turn the snow flurries to drizzle.

As I got home from work last night, everything was wet. Then the temperature plummetted hitting a low of 15 - 17 degrees F.

This morning we awoke to news of icy roads which caused school closings and warnings to stay off the road. Road crews were putting salts and sand on the Interstates to melt the ice but at 20 F the ice simply refreezes. As a result, DOT had to focus on the Interstates and secondary highways had to wait. Many bridges and were iced over and patches of black ice were on several roads.

Since the high for the day stayed below freezing, the ice remained a problem all day and the few spots where ice did melt, simply caused water to flow from the soulder to the main lanes and freeze up.

Ice Remains On Roads, Interstates (CBSAtlanta)

ATLANTA -- Georgia DOT said Friday afternoon that crews are reporting that patches of black ice have formed on some interstates.

According to a statement released Friday afternoon, the agency said that crews have speculated that ice that had formed on the interstate shoulders overnight melted during the day’s slightly higher temperatures, and spilled onto some outside lanes. The statement did not specify which interstates were affected.

GDOT officials said they will continue to monitor the interstates and treat entrance and exit ramps and secondary routes with de-icing mixture.

"If people don't have to be out there driving, we would encourage them not to be," said Georgia Emergency Management Agency spokesman Buzz Weiss, urging drivers who must travel to be equipped with road maps, charged cell phones and booster cables.

In some areas the ice was so difficult to see that cars slid and spun out on the roadways. At one point, two police officers jumped from a bridge to avoid being hit by a skidding vehicle.

Cars Spin Out And Crash Across Metro Atlanta (11 Alive)
ATLANTA -- 11Alive Photojournalist David Brooks spent Friday morning along Willeo Road in Roswell, where several cars slid down the roadway, spinning around and into other cars and trees along the road.

No one was reported injured there.

In Cobb County, along Barrett Parkway near Villa Rica Road, a Cobb County Sheriff's Deputy spun out on the bridge over Ward Creek. Off duty Cobb County police officer L.R. Turman was driving by in his pickup and stopped to help the deputy.

While the two were tending to the Deputy's patrol car, the driver of another car slid out of control and headed toward them.

Fearing for their lives, both officers jumped over the bridge railing and fell 20 feet to the embankment near the creek below.

The temperatures for the past 5 days have been in the teens overnight and near freezing during the day. Yesterday was the warmest day of the past 4 and of the next 4 with a high in the upper 30's according to WSB meteorologist Kirk Mellish. Now we learn that there is a potential for more snow late next week.

Atlanta ice: In storm's wake, more snow on tap (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Paralyzed by biting cold before turning into a collective ice rink, the city could heat up just in time to face another uncommon and uncomfortable bout of winter weather.

"We have another big system coming late next week," said Trisha Palmer, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Peachtree City. "It could take an area of low pressure right through Atlanta. It could be rain for us and a snowstorm for the lower Ohio Valley. It could have snow for us."


This current Atlanta cold snap is the longest since 1982, when the weeklong Snowjam became legend and a catchword among the region's climatic events, dumping snow everywhere, turning interstate highways into parking lots and creating a general state of panic.

The common denominator for the latest storm and its 28-year predecessor is El Nino, an abnormal warming of equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean every decade or so that drives below-average temperatures and higher rainfall throughout the South. Yet that doesn't neatly explain everything.

As for Atlanta's long-running fridgidness, meteorologist Stu Ostro of the Weather Channel said an exceptionally strong ridge of high pressure over Greenland is the culprit, locking in cold air over much of the U.S. Atlanta actually has dealt with colder elements than this, dropping to 8 below zero in 1985, but it hasn't experienced such a lingering deep freeze, at least in modern times.

"What's particularly extreme in the Southeast is not so much the temperatures but rather the duration," Ostro said in an e-mail. "The cold has been relentless."

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Cyclone Edzani explodes in the Indian Ocean

Tropical Cyclone Edzani suddenly intensified today to a major cyclone with sustained winds of 115 MPH (184 km/hr) and gusts of 145 MPH (232 km/hr). Further intensification is expected over the next 12 hours. The storm's forward motion has also slowed significantly.

Edzani cyclone tropical (Clicanoo)

“Edzani a un peu ralenti en continuant sur une trajectoire ouest - sud-ouest, analysait hier après-midi le Centre des cyclones tropicaux de la Réunion. Son déplacement devrait rester régulier au cours des prochaines 24 heures. Il devrait s’intensifier régulièrement dans des conditions environnementales qui restent favorables.” Vendredi, Edzani pourrait atteindre le stade de cyclone tropical intense. Edzani évolue pour l’instant très loin de nos côtes et même des Mascareignes. Les modèles numériques s’accordent sur l’intensification du système et sur une trajectoire ouest - sud-ouest à échéance de vendredi. Au-delà, ils divergent sur la probabilité de la trajectoire. Certains modèles “voient” Edzani plonger à l’est de Rodrigues, d’autres le voient continuer en direction des Mascareignes. A un horizon aussi lointain que la fin de la semaine en terme météorologique, il convient d’être particulièrement prudent face aux prévisions. Edzani a encore largement le temps de nous surprendre dans un sens ou dans l’autre.

English Translation (Courtesy of Google Translate)

Edzani is expected to weaken by early Sunday due to cooler sea surface temperatures. (Source: Weather Underground). This corresponds to the storm's approach to Reunion and other islands which should lessen the impact of any landfall.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Tropical cyclone Edzani forms in the S. Indian Ocean

Tropical cyclone Number 7 has formed in the South Indian Ocean and has reached tropical storm strength. The storm has already been named Edzani

La tempête tropicale modérée a été baptisée. Elle s'appelle Edzani.

Selon le bulletin de 10h30 de Météo France, aucune menace cyclonique n'est envisagée pour les prochaines 72 heures.

La tempête tropicale est située à 12 degrés 7 Sud et 82 degrés 6 Est, et se situe à 2990 km à l'Est/Nord/Est des côtes réunionnaises.

English Translation - Courtesy of Google Translate

Cyclone Edzani is currently moving towards the west southwest directly towards Reunion Island and is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Arctic cold in the deep south

A winter weather advisory has been issued for North and Central Georgia for Thursday from noon until around midnight. Light snow will provide anywhere from a light dusting to about 1/4" accumulation in most areas. We have a 60% chance of flurries or snow showers.

WSB Meteorologist Kirk Mellish's Exclusive 5-day Forecast


THURSDAY...TURNING MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 60% CHANCE OF DRIZZLE AND LIGHT SNOW OR FLURRIES LATE AFTERNOON AND EARLY NIGHT (40% CHANCE ITS DRY) Accumulation tomorrow evening: just a dusting to a quarter inch accumulation most probable amount for the Metro with isolated half to one inch amounts possible, 2 inches possible mountains.THIS COULD CHANGE Estimated timing: broad 3pm-1am best 4:30p-10:30pm HIGHS 37-42 LOWS 17



The problem is that the temperaure is actually expected to warm up just enough that light drizzle is predicted for the morning. Then once everything is good a wet, the temperatures will drop and change the rain to sleet or slow. This is a good recipe for ice.

Atlanta road crews are already salting and sanding some roadways where the potential for ice formation is high. Some school districts in the northern regions are already planning for early release to get everyone home before teh bad weather starts.

The entire Southland from Georgia to central Texas has been trapped in unusually cold weatehr all week. Driving from Austin, TX Monday, the highest temperature I noticed during the entire trip was 35 degrees in Dallas. Fron then on as I drove east the temperature steadily dropped eventually reaching the lower 20's by the time I got into Atlanta. We have had a low temperature of 17 degrees F for the past 4 mornings.

I thought I lived in the south?!?!

Hard freeze warnings are in place for southern Geaorgia and northern Florida. Wnter weather is expected from Pennsylvania all the way to southern Mississippi and west to Houston.

Graphic courtesy of the National Weather Service

2010 Atlantic Hurricanes (courtesy of

NOAA Gulf of Mexico Radar (courtesy of

NOAA West Atlantic & Caribbean Radar (courtesy of

NOAA East Atlantic Radar (courtesy of