28 December 2015
The Garland, Texas tornado (on Boxing Day) has been rated EF 4 with winds around 200 mph. The Doppler radar network now using dual polarization made it possible to know that the tornado was on the ground and lofting debris into the air. This is perfect example of how fundamental science research can lead to life saving technology.
Below is an update on the Dallas area tornado outbreak from the NWS:
In the UK, floods in Cumbria before Christmas have now spread over much of Northern England. Check out the BBC report here. The flooding rains, from Texas to Alabama, and all the way to the UK are direct result of the record warm oceans. There is a strong El Nino connection as well. See this post on DOSBAT, showing the total precipitable water in the troposphere. This is the kind of thing you can see using advanced satellites, and while Europe and Asia are way ahead of us, we’ll catch up some when GOES R launches. You can see the flux of moisture all the way from the tropical Pacific to England. This shows directly the connection between El Nino and the warming global oceans to the December floods.
The warming oceans are making this El Nino event even stronger and it’s far from over. This year globally was the hottest ever recorded, and it beat the previous record set just last year. It may have been the hottest in several thousand years and I’ve heard talk that it may be the warmest since the ice age ended. Yes, really.
The weather pattern is changing as we head into the new year, but it may not bring much relief from the floods and severe storms. It will bring colder air and snow to the Eastern U.S., and with the record warmth of the water off the East Coast, there will be plenty of moisture for heavy snow. You can blame that on El Nino and “clean coal” as well.
Lastly you can check out the records on Sunday here.