Minnesota Snow Totals

Posted in Weather News, Winter Weather at 9:01 pm by Rebekah

The Midwest snow storm I wrote about this past weekend (Upper Midwest Blizzard) brought record-setting snowfall to parts of Minnesota, including 10.2 inches that fell at Twin Cities, breaking the previous daily record of 7.4 inches in 1961. The heaviest snowfall of the storm was 17.3 inches at Sacred Heart, Minnesota.

NWS Twin Cities snowfall totals from 8th-9th December storm (the link also gives individual snowfall amounts by city).


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.


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.


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


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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