12.11.12

World Wide Weather: Salzburg, Austria

Posted in Non-US Weather, Weather News at 6:18 pm by Rebekah

This week’s post in the World Wide Weather series features Salzburg, Austria (click for a Yahoo! maps link).

Salzburg Old Town on the Salzach River, photographer Jiuguang Wang, from Wikipedia

Salzburg, on the western border of Austria with Germany, is situated on the northern edge of the Austrian Alps. First settled around the 5th century BC, Salzburg means “Salt Castle”; in the 8th century, barges carrying salt would come down the Salzach River and be subject to a toll.

Today, the city is famous for baroque architecture, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and the stage for the events of “The Sound of Music”. Every summer there is a large festival celebrating classical music and operas.

A few more facts about Salzburg (from Wikipedia):

  • Time zone: Central European Time (UTC + 1) or Central European Summer Time (UTC +2)
  • Elevation: 1,391 ft (424 m)
  • Climate zone: Cool and humid
  • Average high temperature: 58 °F (14 °C)
  • Average low temperature: 41 °F (5 °C)
  • Average annual high/low temperature range: 38 to 76 °F (3 to 24 °C) / 25 to 56 °F (-4 to 14 °C)
  • Record high temperature: 100 °F (38 °C)
  • Record low temperature: -16 °F (-27 °C)
  • Average annual precipitation: 47 inches (1,184 mm)
  • Average annual snowfall: 44 inches (113 cm)

Weather: While usually relatively cool due to its location in the foothills of the Alps, Salzburg has a fairly large temperature range throughout the year because of its continental location. Orographic lift (air being forced up the mountains) is responsible for a good amount of rain especially in the summer months, and snow is common in the winter.

Early this week Salzburg is experiencing temperatures below freezing and moderate snowfall. A high pressure system will enter the region later in the week, bringing sunnier skies and milder weather.

Forecast for Austria for Tuesday morning, temperatures in degrees Celsius. Salzburg is circled. From Austria’s Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics.

Weather map of Europe, valid 00Z on Tuesday, 11 December, from Austria’s Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics. Note the frontal boundary leaving central Europe, with the high pressure system over the UK soon to pass through.

Surface pressure, GFS model, valid at 00Z on Thursday, 13 December, from Weather Online UK. This shows the high pressure system now over Austria, which will bring some breaks in the clouds and precipitation.

For weather maps and information on current and forecast Salzburg weather, check out Austria’s Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (if your German is as bad as mine, use Google to translate the page), Weather Underground, and Weather Online UK (good for maps and models across the globe).  For more information on Salzburg, check out Wikipedia.

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12.09.12

Upper Midwest Blizzard

Posted in Weather News, Winter Weather at 3:43 pm by Rebekah

South central North Dakota, northeastern South Dakota, and west central Minnesota are under blizzard warnings today and tonight as a low-pressure system and trailing cold front bring some bitter cold Canadian air and gusty winds to the region.

Big picture from The Weather Channel

Radar image (0315Z, or 9:15pm Saturday, Central Time) showing snow falling over parts of the Northern Plains, overlaid with surface pressure and winds. Courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center. Click to enlarge.

Surface observations (0300Z, or 9pm Saturday, Central Time), overlaid with surface pressure and winds. Courtesy of the Storm Prediction Center. Click to enlarge. The red numbers are the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit; note some near-zero temperatures in North Dakota (and sub-zero at the Canadian border) coming down behind the front! Wind barbs show the direction from which the wind is blowing.

Here is the “weather story” from the NWS Bismarck office:

And from the NWS Grand Forks office:

Temperatures in south central Canada, where a lot of the Plains’ cold air masses develop, are already quite a bit colder than they were at this time last year, which is a good sign if you like wintry weather.

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12.08.12

Dive Albums Now Posted

Posted in General News at 6:08 pm by Rebekah

Website update:

I just finished uploading to my home page a new section, “Other Adventures”, which so far includes several photo albums of my dive adventures, categorized by subject. Soon there will be other photo albums posted to this section as well, for those interested in some of my adventures outside of storm chasing (I know, I know…is there such a thing?).

Check it out!

Green Sky Chaser Dive Photos

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12.06.12

New Zealand Tornadoes, Italian Waterspouts

Posted in Non-US Weather, Weather News at 7:11 pm by Rebekah

Two tornadoes struck the northern side of the North Island of New Zealand today, sadly killing three people in the Auckland suburb of Hobsonville and leaving many others homeless.

Check out these news articles for details, photos, and videos:

That last link is a video someone took out their window as the tornado passed–definitely not the safest thing to do! If a tornado is moving through your neighborhood, you should find shelter, if not underground then in a small interior room. Above all else stay away from windows; fortunately the videographer did not appear to have sustained any injuries.

On the other side of the world, a beautiful waterspout touched down off the northwestern coast of Italy.

This waterspout reminded me of a recent Italian tornado (The Weather Channel video link) and waterspout earlier this week (YouTube link) as well as amazing video of an Australian waterspout last month (Facebook link).

Update: The New Zealand tornado event has since been surveyed and determined to more likely have been a microburst. A MetService blog about the event may be found here: Hobsonville wind storm Thursday 6 December 2012.

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12.05.12

US Precip

Posted in Weather News, Winter Weather at 6:53 pm by Rebekah

Yesterday I showed a couple maps from the NWS depicting recent precipitation in Washington; now let’s take a look at precipitation across the entire lower 48.

Percent of normal precipitation across the CONUS and Puerto Rico over the last 14 days (click to enlarge), from the NWS.

Two things immediately stand out to me here.

  1. The majority of the US has been very dry in the last couple weeks. Actually many of these regions have been in a drought for quite some time. It’s also been abnormally warm in places; some of my friends in Oklahoma and Texas have been happy (or unhappy) at the unseasonably warm temperatures lately.
  2. The West Coast has been abnormally wet lately. As I’ve talked about recently, parts of the West Coast have been pounded with strong weather systems bringing lots of warm, moist air, leading to heavy rains, floods, and landslides. California has been hit especially hard. Large parts of the state have seen over 300% (even over 500%) of their normal rainfall recently.

As to what we can expect for this winter, it can be hard to say. Early predictions for the season, which are usually based heavily on the phase of ENSO (El Niño / La Niña), were shaken up after the expected El Niño failed to develop. We’re currently in a neutral phase, which means there isn’t a high degree of confidence in the season-long predictions.

Still, here’s the latest outlook from the Climate Prediction Center.

December through February temperature probability outlook. This shows a good chance for a warmer-than-normal southwestern US, with a colder-than-normal upper Midwest (I have a friend in North Dakota who isn’t too excited at the prospects of his first full winter there being a particularly chilly one!) and Florida.

December through February precipitation probability outlook. Looks pretty normal except for a decent chance of a drier-than-normal California and a wetter-than-normal Kentucky and Tennessee. So far the prediction isn’t looking very accurate for California, but after a wet start to the winter, I’m sure they’re hoping they start trending more towards this forecast!

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