Memorable Snowfall Hits Deep South, Skirts Big Cities

By: Bob Henson , 6:48 PM GMT on February 26, 2015

A quick-moving snowstorm zipped from northeast Texas to southern Virginia in little more than 24 hours, leaving some parts of the Deep South with more snow than they’ve seen in decades. Rather than carving a deep trough in the eastern U.S., the upper-level energy that generated the snow tracked along the base of a broad pre-existing trough. This channeling of energy helped lead to a storm that had a vast extent from southwest to northeast but a narrow north-south gradient from substantial snow to little or no accumulation. The transition zone happened to fall across or near some of the largest cities of the South, which led to tough forecast challenges, just as we saw in the nor’easter last month that left New York City on its west edge.

Here are some of the broad variations in snowfall reported in and near metro areas across the South from the Wednesday/Thursday storm.

Little Rock, AR: 0 - 2”
Memphis, TN: 0 - 2”
Birmingham, AL: 0.5 - 4.0”
Atlanta, GA: 0 - 1”, with several inches across far northern suburbs
Charlotte, NC: 1 - 3”
Raleigh-Durham, NC: 3 - 5”
Norfolk, VA: 3 - 8”

Numerous cancellations and closures occurred across the Atlanta area on Wednesday night into Thursday, yet the storm produced less than an inch across the city, with larger amounts limited to the far north end of the metro area. When you zoom out and look at the big picture for northern Georgia (see Figure 1), the storm was very well forecast--but variations on the order of 15 miles, which are well within the error of current modeling systems, can make or break the outcome when they happen to fall across a city as populous as Atlanta. According to the University of Georgia’s Marshall Shepherd, this was a “great forecast, given where our capability currently lies . . . but if you expected something and didn’t get it, you may be upset.” Shepherd recently covered the ins and outs of snow prediction in the South in his Weather Underground blog.

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Figure 1. A comparison of snow amounts predicted by the NWS/Atlanta office on Wednesday morning, Feb. 25 (left) and preliminary amounts as of Thursday morning (right). Although the forecast as a whole was quite accurate, the south edge of the heavier snow ended up just north of Atlanta instead of on top of the city. Image credit: NWS/Peachtree City, GA, courtesy Marshall Shepherd, University of Georgia.



Figure 2 (right). A youngster in Oxford, MS, savors a rare snowfall of significance. Image credit: wunderphotographer OxfordWeatherGeek.



The most impressive amounts for location and time of year occurred across central and northern Alabama and Mississippi. Tupelo, MS, saw 7.3”, its second-largest one-day snowfall on record (topped only by 8.0” on January 24, 1940). Huntsville, AL, also saw its second-snowiest day on record, with 8.1”; on Dec. 31, 1963, the city reported 15.7”. The region between Birmingham and Huntsville saw amounts exceeding 10” in spots, the heaviest observed there since the Superstorm of March 12-14, 1993. Weather Underground historian Christopher Burt discussed the greatest snows in the history of the South in this 2011 blog post.


A February to remember (or forget!)
Next week we’ll take a close look at national and regional statistics for February as a whole, which are bound to be impressive. In the meantime, here are a couple of samplers from the temperature realm:

--Syracuse, NY, is wrapping up its first month in 103 years of recordkeeping without a single measurement above freezing. The city touched 32°F only on February 4, with the next-warmest reading to date a mere 28°F. To make matters worse, Syracuse has dipped below 0°F a total of 21 days this winter, beating the record of 19 days set in 1947–48.

--Boston, MA, averaged 18.8°F for the period Feb. 1 - 25. That’s considerably lower than the February average so far in Aspen, CO (31.0°F), Anchorage, AK (24.9°F), and Moscow, Russia (26.1°F). All three of those cities are running well above their normal February temperatures, whereas Boston is usually about 10°F warmer than those three cities in February.

--In Salt Lake City, UT, the average daily high for Feb. 1 - 25 was 55.2°F. That’s the city’s long-term average high on the spring solstice in late March.



This week’s WunderPoster: Snow rollers
This week’s entry in our WunderPoster series (Figure 3, right) features snow rollers, one of the quirkiest phenomena observed in snow-prone regions. Sometimes up to two feet in diameter, these features are formed when a thin layer of wet snow atop ice or powdery snow gets disrupted by a windblown chunk of snow that pulls up some of the underlying snow in a cinnamon-roll-on-its-side fashion. All WunderPosters can be downloaded in formats suitable for posters or postcards.

Bob Henson


Figure 4. This fleet of snow rollers was captured on January 27, 2014, at Green Camp, Ohio. Image credit: wunderphotographer Gordanian.


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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301. weathermanwannabe
6:28 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 288. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

Leonard Nimoy, ‘Star Trek’s’ Spock, Dies at 83

A sad day for Sci-Fi Fans and others; one of the Icons of the 20th Century on Television; Godspeed to His Family and Loved Ones.  Gonna take this one as hard as I did Robin Williams.............At least, at that age, he certainly Lived Long and Prospered.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
300. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
6:25 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
299. HurricaneHunterJoe
6:24 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Good Morning Class! NWS still forecasting rain in Soo Cal starting tonight and lasting into Tuesday......a trof of low pressure will create numerous showers........we should be able to handle these rain totals with little flooding.


AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA
930 AM PST FRI FEB 27 2015

.SYNOPSIS...
A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM FROM THE NORTH WILL BRING COOLER WEATHER WITH
PERIODS OF SHOWERS FOR TONIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY. THERE WILL BE STRONG
GUSTY WEST WINDS IN THE MOUNTAINS AND DESERTS FOR TONIGHT AND
SATURDAY...DECREASING SATURDAY NIGHT. FAIR WEATHER WITH SEASONAL
TEMPERATURES WILL FOLLOW LATER WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY.

&&

.DISCUSSION...FOR EXTREME SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA INCLUDING ORANGE...
SAN DIEGO...WESTERN RIVERSIDE AND SOUTHWESTERN SAN BERNARDINO
COUNTIES...

MOSTLY CLOUDY SKIES RESULTED THIS MORNING FROM A RAPIDLY DEEPENING
MARINE LAYER. SOME CLOUDS WILL STAY WITH US ALL DAY TODAY AS A
WINTER STORM DROPS DOWN THE COAST. THIS LOW PRESSURE TROUGH CONTAINS
SOME COLD CONTINENTAL AIR ALTHOUGH THE TRACK OF THE TROUGH IS OVER
WATER. IT IS NOT THE WETTEST SYSTEM WE HAVE SEEN...BUT WE WILL GET
SOME SHOWERS THAT WILL ACCUMULATE TO DECENT PRECIP TOTALS BEFORE WE
ARE DONE. EXPECT THE SHOWERS TO BEGIN MAINLY IN MOUNTAINS THIS
EVENING AND BECOME MORE WIDESPREAD OVERNIGHT. SHOWERS WILL CONTINUE
SATURDAY. STRONG WINDS WILL DEVELOP MOSTLY IN THE MOUNTAINS AND
DESERTS THIS EVENING ALONG THE FRONT EDGE OF THE TROUGH AND WILL
CONTINUE SATURDAY BEFORE SUBSIDING SATURDAY NIGHT. THERE ARE NOT
REALLY ANY CLEAR FRONTAL BANDS OR BANDS OF MOISTURE THAT WOULD MAKE
FOR STEADY HEAVY PRECIP...BUT THERE DOES SEEM TO BE A WAVE OR BAND
OF MOISTURE THAT WOULD INCREASE COVERAGE AND INTENSITY SATURDAY
NIGHT INTO SUNDAY MORNING.

PRECIP AMOUNTS:
COAST AND VALLEYS: 0.50 TO 1.25 INCH
MOUNTAINS: 1.50 TO 3 INCHES
DESERTS: UP TO 0.65 INCH.

SNOW SHOWERS WILL FALL MAINLY ABOVE 5000 FEET THROUGH SATURDAY.
COLDER AIR ARRIVES SUNDAY MORNING...DROPPING THE SNOW LEVEL TO 4000
FEET. SNOWFALL TOTALS ABOVE 5000 FEET WILL BE 4 TO 12 INCHES. THE
COLD AIR WILL ALSO DESTABILIZE OUR ATMOSPHERE SO THAT A FEW
THUNDERSTORMS BECOME POSSIBLE SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY.
INITIALLY...THUNDERSTORMS ARE MOST LIKELY IN ORANGE COUNTY...BUT
THEN THE CHANCE SPREADS ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION SUNDAY NIGHT AND
CONTINUES MONDAY. OF COURSE RAINFALL AMOUNTS WILL VARY GREATLY
BETWEEN THE TSTORM HAVES AND HAVE NOTS. THE TROUGH TAKES ITS TIME
SLOWLY MOVING THROUGH OUR REGION. ON MONDAY AN ADDITIONAL SHORTWAVE
ZIPS DOWN THE BACKSIDE OF THE TROUGH TO BASICALLY PROLONG THE
SHOWERS AND KEEP THE SNOW LEVELS LOW AND INSTABILITY SUFFICIENT FOR
A FEW THUNDERSTORMS. MODELS BEGIN TO DIFFER ON TUESDAY. THE GFS AND
ITS ENSEMBLES MOVE THE TROUGH OUT MONDAY NIGHT AND END THE PRECIP
THEN. THE EURO MODEL HANGS ON TO THE TROUGH FOR ANOTHER DAY FOR
SHOWERS UNTIL TUESDAY NIGHT. EITHER WAY BY MIDWEEK FAIR...DRY AND
WARMER WEATHER WILL TAKE OVER. FOR DETAILS ON SNOW...SEE OUR WINTER
STORM WATCH LAXWSWSGX. FOR DETAILS ON WIND...SEE OUR WIND ADVISORY
LAXNPWSGX.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
298. hurricanes2018
6:15 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 295. luvtogolf:



How much snow have you had this year?
70 inches of snow in east haven,conn this year so far
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
297. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
6:06 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
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296. jpsb
6:04 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 282. NativeSun:

The droughts in those regions have happened many times in the past, and have been a lot worse than the ones now. Climate change is not causing the droughts it's a natural cycle.


California drought: Past dry periods have lasted more than 200 years, scientists say

Could California's Drought Last 200 Years?

From the above link

What's causing the current drought?

Ingram and other paleoclimatologists have correlated several historic megadroughts with a shift in the surface temperature of the Pacific Ocean that occurs every 20 to 30 years—something called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). The PDO is similar to an El Nino event except it lasts for decades—as its name implies—whereas an El Nino event lasts 6 to 18 months. Cool phases of the PDO result in less precipitation because cooler sea temperatures bump the jet stream north, which in turn pushes off storms that would otherwise provide rain and snow to California. Ingram says entire lakes dried up in California following a cool phase of the PDO several thousand years ago. Warm phases have been linked to numerous storms along the California coast."

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
294. Frasersgrove
6:00 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 275. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

just imagine a hurricane forming with 105f ssts hypercane anyone



That is exactly what I was thinking as well as constant, massive thunderstorms...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
293. WaterWitch11
5:57 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
M 7.0 - 131km N of Nebe, Indonesia
2015-02-27 05:45:05 UTC-08:00
Location
7.288°S 122.532°E
Depth
552.3 km
really deep then a few here hours later

M 5.7 - 64km NNE of Anatahan, Northern Mariana Islands
2015-02-27 08:24:50 UTC-08:00
Location
16.918°N 145.838°E
Depth
19.7 km
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
292. washingtonian115
5:53 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
It looks looks like over the next two weeks the weather is going to be very boring in the mid-atlantic.I'm ready for Spring thunderstorms.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
291. Naga5000
5:42 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 282. NativeSun:

The droughts in those regions have happened many times in the past, and have been a lot worse than the ones now. Climate change is not causing the droughts it's a natural cycle.


That's certainly debatable as recent studies with different methodologies have shown the drought may be linked to climate change and may not be.

How unusual is the 2012–2014 California drought?

"Abstract

For the past three years (2012–2014), California has experienced the most severe drought conditions in its last century. But how unusual is this event? Here we use two paleoclimate reconstructions of drought and precipitation for Central and Southern California to place this current event in the context of the last millennium. We demonstrate that while 3 year periods of persistent below-average soil moisture are not uncommon, the current event is the most severe drought in the last 1200 years, with single year (2014) and accumulated moisture deficits worse than any previous continuous span of dry years. Tree ring chronologies extended through the 2014 growing season reveal that precipitation during the drought has been anomalously low but not outside the range of natural variability. The current California drought is exceptionally severe in the context of at least the last millennium and is driven by reduced though not unprecedented precipitation and record high temperatures."

and

Causes and Predictability of the 2011 to 2014 California Drought


"The current drought is not part of a long-term change in California precipitation, which exhibits no appreciable trend since 1895. Key oceanic features that caused precipitation inhibiting atmospheric ridging off the West Coast during 2011-14 were symptomatic of natural internal atmosphere-ocean variability.

Model simulations indicate that human-induced climate change increases California precipitation in mid-winter, with a low-pressure circulation anomaly over the North Pacific, opposite to conditions of the last 3 winters. The same model simulations indicate a decrease in spring precipitation over California. However, precipitation deficits observed during the past three years are an order of magnitude greater than the model simulated changes related to human-induced forcing. Nonetheless, record setting high temperature that accompanied this recent drought was likely made more extreme due to human-induced global warming."

So there's that...Again, I ask you to tell the most accurate representation we have and to not create your own.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
290. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:39 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 287. hydrus:




some rain for me till backside change over back to snow I see
hope no ice that's all I ask for
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
289. SouthCentralTx
5:38 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Sorry if anyone else has posted this by any chance but was looking through Alexa.com for website traffic and checked out TropicalTidbits on there. Looks like someones got a popular site going this winter. :)



Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
288. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:35 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Leonard Nimoy, ‘Star Trek’s’ Spock, Dies at 83
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
287. hydrus
5:34 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
286. hurricanes2018
5:32 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
285. Jedkins01
5:32 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 196. StormTrackerScott:

Rainy couple of days setting up for FL. Rain should begin tonight across C FL and last pretty much all day tomorrow. Could pick up .5 to 1" of rain on top of already nearly 4" so far this month.




That might be a little overkill, but I won't count it out though, we were a bit below average for the month here but we ended up with 2.26 from the strong line of thunderstorms the other night that brought some severe weather. That was surprisingly heavy rain, at least 1.50-1.75 of my total fell in only 20 minutes, which isn't shocking in the summer but in February that's nuts. The rainfall rate was downright crazy for about 5-10 minutes relatively speaking for a late February thunderstorm. We still have big water puddles in the grass behind my apartment.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
284. hydrus
5:31 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 275. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

just imagine a hurricane forming with 105f ssts hypercane anyone
I was just messing with some numbers. 105 F ocean temps could generate about a 250 mph sustained with gusts near 300 mph..If conditions were near perfect for development.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
283. tampabaymatt
5:28 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Scott - I'm not seeing any model that is calling for the amount and length of rain you mentioned in an earlier comment. Can you please post what you are looking at that shows this?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
282. NativeSun
5:27 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 254. aevil2:



I agree about having reached a tipping point and it may already be getting ugly, particularly for those in Sao Paulo and in California.
The droughts in those regions have happened many times in the past, and have been a lot worse than the ones now. Climate change is not causing the droughts it's a natural cycle.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
281. hurricanes2018
5:26 PM GMT on February 27, 2015


i see we have a new snow storm to watch
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
279. tampabaymatt
5:25 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 253. luvtogolf:



Groundhog Day. I think I'll get my toaster, plug it in and drop it in the bathtub while I'm sitting in it. It's the only answer. Or I could stand on the green and hold my 3 iron high in the air and wait for a lightning strike from these storms that come in from the Gulf. Problem is, despite what some forecast, they seem to almost always weaken as they approach the coast.

Btw- haven't taken a bath in probably 50 years.


Groundhog Day is a pretty good analogy to this blog on a daily basis, not just the comment you replied to.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
278. hurricanes2018
5:24 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
277. NativeSun
5:23 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 246. StormTrackerScott:



What you make no sense as the warm pool is pushing east which right now that pool is beneath Nino 4 & Nino 3.4 as that is why those values are so warm but this pool is moving East and will cause a spike across Nino 1&2 come April. Again there is no Cool pool moving east you are essentially making no sense today. Can you not see the warm pool moving from right to left?
Lets see how warm the water is when the ocean starts to warm due to the spring and summer warm up. I highly doubt you will see much of an anomaly as is being shown now. This warm pool of water will start to cool as it enters the mid and eastern Pacific as the west winds will die out and the warm water will slowly cool. There might be a weak, short lived El-Nino declared this spring, but it should return to neutral for the summer and hurricane season. One more time do not trust the models during this time of year, wait for the end of spring, summer forecast. How many times have these models busted this time of year?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
276. hurricanes2018
5:23 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
snow and ice on roads at fort worth,tx!!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
275. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:17 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 270. hydrus:

The source of the Siberian Traps basalt has variously been attributed to a mantle plume which impacted the base of the earth's crust and erupted through the Siberian Craton, or to processes related to plate tectonics. Another possible cause may be the impact that formed the Wilkes Land crater, which may have been contemporaneous and would have been nearly antipodal to the Traps. This controversial scientific debate is ongoing.

The Siberian Traps are considered to have erupted via numerous vents over a period of roughly a million years or more, probably east and south of Norilsk in Siberia. Individual eruptions of basalt lavas could have exceeded 2000 km3.

The presence of extensive tuff and pyroclastic deposits suggests that a number of large explosive eruptions occurred during or before the eruptions of basaltic lavas. The presence of silicic volcanic rocks such as rhyolite is also indicative of explosive eruptions.
One of the World Heritage Sites, the Putorana Plateau, is composed of Siberian Traps
Impact on prehistoric life

This massive eruptive event spanned the Permian-Triassic boundary, about 250 million years ago, and is cited as a possible cause of the Permian-Triassic extinction event.One of the major questions is whether the Siberian Traps was directly responsible, or if it was itself caused by some other larger event, such as an asteroid impact. A recent hypothesis put forward is that the volcanism was a trigger that led to an explosion of the growth of Methanosarcina, a microbe that then spewed enormous amounts of methane into Earth's atmosphere.

This extinction event, also called the Great Dying, affected all life on Earth, and is estimated to have killed 90% of species living at the time. Life on land took at least 30 million years to fully recover from the environmental disruptions which may have been caused by the eruption of the Siberian Traps. Calculations of sea water temperature from measurements indicate that at its peak, the earth underwent lethally hot global warming, in which equatorial ocean temperatures exceeded 40 C (about 105 F).WIKI
just imagine a hurricane forming with 105f ssts hypercane anyone
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
274. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:13 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 260. LAbonbon:

Well...I blame Keep for posting that article last night...got me so intrigued it derailed my morning!

Must attempt to be productive...be back later to see what you all might have dug up. :D

something drew me to it
I don't know what but it overtook me for a bit
as my brain was trying to come up with a reasonable explanation
and I searched for items and info on it
and I don't really like what my brain is telling me

so I think it would be better to see what some other brains got to say about it

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
273. bwi
5:12 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
I think winter is winding down for DC. You heard it here first -- no more snow for us. Also not thinking the "wintry mix" forecasts coming up are going to amount to much!

Rain, freezing rain, and sleet. High near 59. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
271. hydrus
4:53 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 269. jpsb:



It is currently theorized that the Siberian Traps eruption triggered massive coal fires which were a major contributor to the great Permian extinction event.
makes a great deal of sense..Considering the peat has been around for at least 360 million years.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
270. hydrus
4:46 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
The source of the Siberian Traps basalt has variously been attributed to a mantle plume which impacted the base of the earth's crust and erupted through the Siberian Craton, or to processes related to plate tectonics. Another possible cause may be the impact that formed the Wilkes Land crater, which may have been contemporaneous and would have been nearly antipodal to the Traps. This controversial scientific debate is ongoing.

The Siberian Traps are considered to have erupted via numerous vents over a period of roughly a million years or more, probably east and south of Norilsk in Siberia. Individual eruptions of basalt lavas could have exceeded 2000 km3.

The presence of extensive tuff and pyroclastic deposits suggests that a number of large explosive eruptions occurred during or before the eruptions of basaltic lavas. The presence of silicic volcanic rocks such as rhyolite is also indicative of explosive eruptions.
One of the World Heritage Sites, the Putorana Plateau, is composed of Siberian Traps
Impact on prehistoric life

This massive eruptive event spanned the Permian-Triassic boundary, about 250 million years ago, and is cited as a possible cause of the Permian-Triassic extinction event.One of the major questions is whether the Siberian Traps was directly responsible, or if it was itself caused by some other larger event, such as an asteroid impact. A recent hypothesis put forward is that the volcanism was a trigger that led to an explosion of the growth of Methanosarcina, a microbe that then spewed enormous amounts of methane into Earth's atmosphere.

This extinction event, also called the Great Dying, affected all life on Earth, and is estimated to have killed 90% of species living at the time. Life on land took at least 30 million years to fully recover from the environmental disruptions which may have been caused by the eruption of the Siberian Traps. Calculations of sea water temperature from measurements indicate that at its peak, the earth underwent lethally hot global warming, in which equatorial ocean temperatures exceeded 40 C (about 105 F).WIKI
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
269. jpsb
4:39 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 266. hydrus:

Yep...And peat is a player to be sure where greenhouse gases are concerned..

Most modern peat bogs formed in high latitudes after the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the last ice age some 12,000 years ago. Peat usually accumulates slowly, at the rate of about a millimeter per year.

It is currently believed that the peat in the world's peatlands has been forming for 360 million years and contains 550 Gt of carbon.

eat has a high carbon content and can burn under low moisture conditions. Once ignited by the presence of a heat source (e.g., a wildfire penetrating the subsurface), it smolders. These smoldering fires can burn undetected for very long periods of time (months, years, and even centuries) propagating in a creeping fashion through the underground peat layer. Peat fires are emerging as a global threat with significant economic, social, and ecological impacts.[citation needed] Recent burning of peat bogs in Indonesia, with their large and deep growths containing more than 50 billion tons of carbon, has contributed to increases in world carbon dioxide levels.[citation needed] Peat deposits in Southeast Asia could be destroyed by 2040.

It is estimated that in 1997, peat and forest fires in Indonesia released between 0.81 and 2.57 Gt of carbon; equivalent to 13–40 percent of the amount released by global fossil fuel burning, and greater than the carbon uptake of the world's biosphere. These fires may be responsible for the acceleration in the increase in carbon dioxide levels since 1998.More than 100 peat fires in Kalimantan and East Sumatra have continued to burn since 1997. Each year, the peat fires in Kalimantan and East Sumatra ignite new forest fires above the ground.
Under the appropriate circumstances, peat could be considered an early component in the formation of coal.


It is currently theorized that the Siberian Traps eruption triggered massive coal fires which were a major contributor to the great Permian extinction event.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
268. opal92nwf
4:27 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Wow, I saw this in Orlando last week and it was spectacular there as well!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
267. weathermanwannabe
4:24 PM GMT on February 27, 2015

Quoting 264. LAbonbon:


If you haven't checked it out, JohnLonergan's link in post #212 is worth checking out. There's a section there showing geologic conditions for the Yamal Peninsula. What would be really helpful would be to see the holes plotted as an overlay on some of these maps. We'll have to wait for some of the additional research results that's sure to be forthcoming.

I see a little bit of "swamp" action there.............That is similar to some parts of Florida............ :)
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
266. hydrus
4:23 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 250. oldnewmex:


Interesting to me is the statement that the thickness of peat generally ranges from 1.5 to 2.3 meters. This would seem to implicate the gas fields (and/or past volcanic activity) in formation of the pockets, whereas recent warming might explain the eruption at the surface.
Yep...And peat is a player to be sure where greenhouse gases are concerned..

Most modern peat bogs formed in high latitudes after the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the last ice age some 12,000 years ago. Peat usually accumulates slowly, at the rate of about a millimeter per year.

It is currently believed that the peat in the world's peatlands has been forming for 360 million years and contains 550 Gt of carbon.

Peat has a high carbon content and can burn under low moisture conditions. Once ignited by the presence of a heat source (e.g., a wildfire penetrating the subsurface), it smolders. These smoldering fires can burn undetected for very long periods of time (months, years, and even centuries) propagating in a creeping fashion through the underground peat layer. Peat fires are emerging as a global threat with significant economic, social, and ecological impacts.[citation needed] Recent burning of peat bogs in Indonesia, with their large and deep growths containing more than 50 billion tons of carbon, has contributed to increases in world carbon dioxide levels.[citation needed] Peat deposits in Southeast Asia could be destroyed by 2040.

It is estimated that in 1997, peat and forest fires in Indonesia released between 0.81 and 2.57 Gt of carbon; equivalent to 13%u201340 percent of the amount released by global fossil fuel burning, and greater than the carbon uptake of the world's biosphere. These fires may be responsible for the acceleration in the increase in carbon dioxide levels since 1998.More than 100 peat fires in Kalimantan and East Sumatra have continued to burn since 1997. Each year, the peat fires in Kalimantan and East Sumatra ignite new forest fires above the ground.
Under the appropriate circumstances, peat could be considered an early component in the formation of coal.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
265. ricderr
4:18 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
The difference this time around is this record high PDO that we have had the last few months and I've mentioned this before and got hammered for it only to have Dr. Bob Henson come on a say basically the samething and that is PDO levels this high tend to lead to a better chance of getting a El-Nino. The fact that last years El-Nino busted when PDO levels were neutral only to warm late in the year leads me to believe this is why so many models have jumped on the El-Nino train over the last 30 days


scott....the optimum word is "chance"...it's by no means a certainty.....however...when the pdo was high...and we had the best chance of having an el nino....the climatic conditions that should have coupled el nino....did not.......it's a far assumption to assume that the pdo is the driving force for the recent uptick in the enso models...especially when last year....we had the same uptick...we have to go with certainties..and that is once again...this is the time of year...when the models perform poorly
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
264. LAbonbon
4:16 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 257. weathermanwannabe:

Based on the Florida experiences with sinkholes in Central Florida, a sinkhole by definition is caused by a loss-erosion of the subsurface with the collapse on the surface. In Florida, I believe that the issue is related to collapses is related to water pooling underground:

As the name suggests, sinkholes are naturally occurring holes in the surface of the earth. Sinkholes can form gradually or -- as in the tragic case in Florida -- suddenly.They form in areas where water flowing underground has dissolved rock-- typically limestone -- below the surface, leading to the formation of underground voids into which the surface sediment falls, according to the website of the Florida Sinkhole Research Institute. They vary in size from 1 to 600 meters.

Sinkholes are found all over the world. In the U.S.,sinkholes are especially common in Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Florida, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.


In this case (Siberia), the "hole" is similar but it could be combination of water, volcanic activity seeping to the surface, or other cause.

If you haven't checked it out, JohnLonergan's link in post #212 is worth checking out. There's a section there showing geologic conditions for the Yamal Peninsula. What would be really helpful would be to see the holes plotted as an overlay on some of these maps. We'll have to wait for some of the additional research results that's sure to be forthcoming.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
263. StormTrackerScott
4:14 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 259. ricderr:

East and will cause a spike across Nino 1&2 come April


scott......might you tell me/us...the actual warmest temps of the anomaly...and then reference the mid to late april average surface temps of the nino 1/2 region..........

the reason i mention this...is this is the same as last year albeit this one is a a month later.......if you remember...we saw another kelvin wave...in fact even more impressive than this one...and as it surfaced....due to the warming spring/summer weather...it had little to no affect on the enso regions...i believe that if you do the above exercise...you might find the same outcome



The difference this time around is this record high PDO that we have had the last few months and I've mentioned this before and got hammered for it only to have Dr. Bob Henson come on a say basically the samething and that is PDO levels this high tend to lead to a better chance of getting a El-Nino. The fact that last years El-Nino busted when PDO levels were neutral only to warm late in the year leads me to believe this is why so many models have jumped on the El-Nino train over the last 30 days. I do think we will see El-Nino this year and it will likely be atleast moderate in strength. Also this El-Nino being a more traditional one will lead to even a more active Winter across the South and Mid Atlantic next year.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
262. beell
4:12 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 219. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Texas continues to prove it has the most bipolar weather in our country.




And we still get asked if we want paper or plastic at the grocery store. We're bi-sackual as well...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
261. ricderr
4:11 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Well that is not what is being shown.

CFSv2



scott...i also think you are forgetting another lesson we learned from last year....we are now in a time when the models are least accurate.....so rather than only watch models that should not be trusted....might you look at the espi....at the soi....at wind anomalies...and cloudiness.....
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
260. LAbonbon
4:08 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Well...I blame Keep for posting that article last night...got me so intrigued it derailed my morning!

Must attempt to be productive...be back later to see what you all might have dug up. :D
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
259. ricderr
4:08 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
East and will cause a spike across Nino 1&2 come April


scott......might you tell me/us...the actual warmest temps of the anomaly...and then reference the mid to late april average surface temps of the nino 1/2 region..........

the reason i mention this...is this is the same as last year albeit this one is a a month later.......if you remember...we saw another kelvin wave...in fact even more impressive than this one...and as it surfaced....due to the warming spring/summer weather...it had little to no affect on the enso regions...i believe that if you do the above exercise...you might find the same outcome
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
258. GTstormChaserCaleb
4:06 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 255. StormTrackerScott:



Well that is not what is being shown.

CFSv2


Euro


Here is the rest of the Dynamical models below. Generally all but one show a general rise.

Prepare yourselves for a Super La Niña. :P
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
257. weathermanwannabe
4:06 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Based on the Florida experiences with sinkholes in Central Florida, a sinkhole by definition is caused by a loss-erosion of the subsurface with the collapse on the surface. In Florida, I believe that the issue is related to collapses is related to water pooling underground:

As the name suggests, sinkholes are naturally occurring holes in the surface of the earth. Sinkholes can form gradually or -- as in the tragic case in Florida -- suddenly.They form in areas where water flowing underground has dissolved rock-- typically limestone -- below the surface, leading to the formation of underground voids into which the surface sediment falls, according to the website of the Florida Sinkhole Research Institute. They vary in size from 1 to 600 meters.

Sinkholes are found all over the world. In the U.S.,sinkholes are especially common in Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Florida, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.


In this case (Siberia), the "hole" is similar but it could be combination of water, volcanic activity seeping to the surface, or other cause.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
256. GTstormChaserCaleb
4:04 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Horse latitudes



Q From Paul Wiele, Syracuse University: Where does horse latitudes come from, meaning areas that have little or no wind? One of my professors recounted a story that the term came from sailors being stranded there for so long that they’d throw their horses overboard to conserve the remaining supplies and lighten the ship. He doubted this explanation, and I’m inclined to agree. What do you say?

A Horse latitudes is a mariner’s term for a band of irregular and unreliable winds that lie about 30 degrees north and south of the equator. They can suffer periods of calm, a persistent nuisance in the days of sail, though less well known to landlubbers than the infamous doldrums around the equator.
The story about casting horses overboard is old and, for example, appears in George Forster’s memoir about one of Captain Cook’s expeditions, A Voyage Round the World in his Britannic Majesty’s Sloop Resolution, dated 1777. You might feel it would have been more practical to kill and eat the horses, fresh meat being at a premium on board ship. It doesn’t make (horse) sense.

Another explanation appears in Seafaring Lore and Legend by Peter D Jeans, published in 2004, “In the earlier days of sail, ships out of the English Channel took about two months to get clear of these particular latitudes, by which time the crew had worked off their advance pay, known as the dead horse. The crew celebrated this event by parading a straw horse around the deck, flogging it with a rope’s end, and then throwing it overboard.” Let us not flog this dead horse for more than it’s worth, which isn’t a lot.
In an article with the title The Sense of “Horse” in Horse Latitudes in The Journal of Geography in October 1967, Edward Taube suggested an origin in a maritime sense of the verb horse recorded from the end of the seventeenth century. A ship that was horsed was being carried along by a strong current or tide, like a rider on horseback. He suggested that, in an area of light winds such as that found south of the Azores, currents would control the movement of the ship and the term might have been transferred to the location.

Yet a fourth explanation is in Robert Scott’s Elementary Meteorology of 1883: “The Horse Latitudes, a title which Mr. Laughton derives from the Spanish El Golfo de las Yeguas, the Mares’ Sea, from its unruly and boisterous nature.” This has a lot going for it. Golfo de las Yeguas is a term of some antiquity in Spanish. Lopez de Gómara wrote in El Camino Para las Indias (The Road to the Indies) in 1552: “The worst part of the passage is the Golfo de las Yeguas between the Canaries and Spain.” But why mares? A little earlier, 1535, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés noted in his Historia General y Natural de las Indias that mariners gave it this name because many brood mares being shipped from Spain to the Canaries died on board.

This explanation, though much nearer the date of creation of the expression, may be just as incorrect as other stories. But it would surely be too much of a coincidence for this not to be the source of the English term.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
255. StormTrackerScott
4:03 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 251. ricderr:

for the love of god i need my morning coffee to kick in..........


Now if you were saying the anomalies across Nino 4 will drop then I would agree as there is a cool pool near Nino 4.


that cool pool....will be in the enso 3.4 region in the next 30 to 60 days


Well that is not what is being shown.

CFSv2


Euro


Here is the rest of the Dynamical models below. Generally all but one show a general rise.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
254. aevil2
4:03 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
Quoting 166. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

if it is what I think it is
things are going to get real ugly
in but a short time
a lot sooner than the suggested
2050 mark
maybe as soon as 2020/2025




I agree about having reached a tipping point and it may already be getting ugly, particularly for those in Sao Paulo and in California.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
252. LAbonbon
3:57 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
This is from 5 years ago, but I liked the graphic. Even though it shows submerged permafrost, the concept of 'heating from above and below' could be (is?) similar to the terrestrial craters.

From a National Science Foundation Press Release, dated March 4, 2010, 'Methane Releases From Arctic Shelf May Be Much Larger and Faster Than Anticipated':


Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
251. ricderr
3:57 PM GMT on February 27, 2015
for the love of god i need my morning coffee to kick in..........


Now if you were saying the anomalies across Nino 4 will drop then I would agree as there is a cool pool near Nino 4.


that cool pool....will be in the enso 3.4 region in the next 30 to 60 days
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather