April 6, 2012
Posted: 04:28 AM ET
The recent tornadoes in the Dallas, Texas area are a reminder that we are in severe weather season. Here are more facts about tornadoes, nature's most violent storms.
Tornado Facts (noaa):
In the southern states, peak tornado occurrence is in March through May, while peak months in the northern states are during the summer. In some states, a secondary tornado maximum occurs in the fall.
Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 and 9pm but have been known to occur at all hours of the day or night.
The average tornado moves from southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction. The average forward speed is 30 mph but may vary from nearly stationary to 70 mph.
Tornadoes can last from several seconds to more than an hour. Most tornadoes last less than 10 minutes
- Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider, author of EXTREME WEATHER, BonnieWeather.com
March 6, 2012
Posted: 04:03 AM ET
Last week's tornado outbreak was deadly and unusual in it's size and intensity for the month of March. Over a hundred tornadoes were reported on Friday alone! Confirmed tornadoes on March 2nd were at 43 at the time I'm writing this, but that compare that to approximate average of number of March tornadoes that occur for the entire month - around 50.
Depending on where you live in the US your peak "tornado season" may vary. (Note: tornadoes can and do happen year-round.) According to NOAA, "the frequency of tornadoes in the United States is closely tied with the progression of the warm season when warm and cold air masses often clash. Most of the early spring tornadoes in the U.S. tend to occur in the Southeast and South Central regions. Gulf States, such as Mississippi and Louisiana are the frequent recipients of tornadoes from February to April. Late spring tornadoes generally spread a bit farther north, often into Kansas, Nebraska and the Tennessee Valley region. By mid-summer, most of Tornado Alley is active and tornadoes may occur throughout the U.S. Late summer tends to bring some of the stronger tornadoes into the upper Midwest and Ohio valleys..."
Keep in mind that the months typically with the most tornadoes are still ahead: April and May. So stay prepared and alert for severe weather!
-Meteorologist Bonnie Schneider is filling in for Morning Express with Robin Meade's Meteorologist Bob Van Dillen this week. Bonnie is also the author of EXTREME WEATHER, available now in bookstores everywhere. For more information: BonnieWeather.com
August 24, 2011
Posted: 09:45 AM ET
Hurricane Irene is now considered a major hurricane over the Bahamas, and is a major threat to the island chain. Winds are up to 115 mph (with even higher gusts) making it a Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The storm has an impressive presentation on the satellite imagery with a well-defined circular eye (about 25 miles in diameter), thunderstorms showing good banding features, and good outflow evident by the high cirrus clouds. A storm surge around 7-11 feet, 5-10” of rain, and winds over 100 mph will slam the SE and Middle Bahamas today, and work to the NE Bahamas tomorrow. By Thursday, it should emerge well off the FL coast and edge towards the NC coast by this weekend. The path could change, but you can see the National Hurricane Center’s thinking on the track (above).
Here’s my thinking: A cold front will move off the East Coast tomorrow, and that will weaken the ridge that is in place over the Western Atlantic that would otherwise steer Irene to the West. Irene will be drawn northward on Thursday, and take aim in extreme Eastern NC Saturday. We’ll see, and I’ll update tomorrow.
I’m also worried about the Mid Atlantic and NE. The storm should hold together off the VA coast and skirt the NE coast, possibly making another landfall anywhere from VA to ME. That puts major cities like DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, NYC, and Boston squarely in the path. It reminds me of Hurricane Bob in ’91 and Hurricane Gloria in ’85. We still have a few days to watch the exact track, but keep up with the forecast if you can.
Severe storms will plow into the MW today ahead of a cold front, and that includes MI, IN, OH, KY, MY and PA today. An isolated tornado is possible later today in those states as the surface air heats up ahead of a cold front.
Heat is back for the South and SW, and some fog for the West Coast. I’ll have it all on the show.
*Follow HLN Meteorologist Bob Van Dillen on Twitter: @BobVanDillen
August 18, 2011
Posted: 07:35 AM ET
Record highs from the 1800s were broken yesterday in LA and TX, and like Kate Gosselin’s personal assistant, you’ll get no break today. The high pressure region is growing a little bigger and stretching West and North to include more regions under heat advisories. Temperatures will be over 100F in the same spots, and the humidity will jack that heat index to around 110F. I’ll show you the areas, but it now includes spots in KS too. Heck even Denver hits 98 today.
Storms are producing heavy rain in the Philly area this morning, and that will blossom into NYC today as well. Round one will end for them later this morning, but round two will develop later this afternoon. The end result will be heavy rain over already drenched spots in the NE and air travel delays in the NYC/Philly area. I’ll have the updates on the show.
Storms are drifting through the MW this morning too, and some severe action will emerge over MN, NE, IA, SD and MO this afternoon. Watch for some big hailers and a few tornadoes as a possibility.
The west will feature a good Pacific maritime air mass to start, so the coast is socked in with low clouds early. Monsoon rain is back for AZ, NM, and CO too.
That disturbed region of weather over the Caribbean (south of Jamaica) looks a litter better organized on the satellite the morning, with some banding in the storm structure. NHC gives it a 70% chance it turns into a tropical depression, it looks like a Central America/ Mexico storm.
See ya out there!
Follow Meteorologist Bob Van Dillen on Twitter: @BobVanDillen
June 21, 2011
Posted: 07:10 AM ET
Summer starts at 1:16 pm EDT today, but don’t tell that to most of the people living in the South. We’ve been sweatin’ like Tracey Morgan in Nashville, just puddlin’ up for a month now! The heat is back for the Low Country of SC and GA, too, and an excessive heat watch is up for tomorrow in the Phoenix area, where temperatures will reach about 115 degrees.
The Plains really got hammered yesterday with tornado-making storms, and that unseasonably strong storm is wrapping up into the upper MW this morning. The energy won’t be quit as potent, but the storms are firing now over the MW and S. I’ll show you the active radar on the show. The storms this afternoon will take up a lot of real estate, from the S to the MW and NE. Check out the map.
The cold front will spark those storms off today, so the main problem will be damaging wind gusts and large hail. I’ll have that map as well. The warm front from the storm snakes all the way through the OH valley and into the Mid Atlantic, and rain is already popping up in the area. These rains could turn into storms - and possibly some decent winds.
The fire weather looks better for the SW, with lighter winds. TX fires will see winds around 20 mph, but the temperatures will climb back into the mid 90s.
June 20, 2011
Posted: 07:48 AM ET
We’ve got all kinds of stuff being thrown at us today - it kind of reminds me of being in the monkey section of the Bronx Zoo as a kid!
I’ll start with the severe threats. Right now the remnants of yesterday’s storms are roaring through the MW along a warm front and low-level jet stream. The radar is showing intense rain and lightning from NE to TN right now. This will fade a little this morning, but intensify this afternoon as it moves over the OH valley and slides down through the Carolinas on the periphery of a high-pressure region centered over the South.
This afternoon, a major storm will move into the Central Plains, as energy feeds into it from the Rockies. This storm is unseasonably powerful, and it will spark tornadoes in NE and IA (other states in the MW may get them as well, but NE and IA are the bullseye). I’ll have that map for you on the show.
Heavy rain is in the forecast as the storm moves slowly Eastward, so the MO River flooding will get even worse. I think 4-5” of rain is possible over the entire basin throughout the week.
The fire weather will be bad today for NM, TX, OK, and parts of KS with the wind and heat below the Plain’s storm, but this will gradually improve as cooler temperatures and slower wind speeds move in this week.
Last but not least, 3-6” of snow above 10K’ in CO has prompted winter weather advisories for today (with summer arriving tomorrow).
June 13, 2011
Posted: 06:52 AM ET
There are a few storms firing in the Upper MW this morning, but other than that the radar is as empty as LeBron’s trophy case (that one’s for you, Ohio!). An upper level trough is over the NW part of the country, and some energy ejecting out is producing the stuff this morning that will continue and intensify through the afternoon. There’s a slight chance of severe storms this afternoon over the MW, with the main threat being damaging winds and large hail. With an additional wind shear near the NE this afternoon, some of those storms may start to spin, causing a brief tornado too.
The NE is about 20-25 degrees colder than last week, with a pocket of cooler air over New England. Low clouds, drizzle, and rain is expected over the NE today allowing those temps. to remain cool. Travel delays in Boston and NYC are possible with the poor visibility today; I’ll have the updates.
Hot temperatures will be back for the South and SW today, with an even 100 in Dallas and 101 in Shreveport. The breeze will be back in NM, AZ, and CO this afternoon so the fire danger will be enhanced as well.
More clouds and rain are headed through the NW, so watch for delays as far south as San Francisco too. That’s a quick look at the weather, see ya out there.
June 8, 2011
Posted: 07:20 AM ET
Record heat will leak Eastward today, with heat advisories in the NYC, Philly, Baltimore and DC regions today. The actual temps will be in the id to upper 90s, but it’ll feel like 100-103 with the humidity. I guess everybody will be walking around in their underpants today, not just your congressmen (Ahh, too easy! No more Weiner jokes – that was the last one).
The ridge of high pressure has moved very little, so the firing line for storms this afternoon will be in about the same spot as yesterday. There is a weak impulse that will slide down from Canada in the NE today, so a shot of severe storms will be in play this afternoon for northern Nebraska. Wind damage and large hail is possible. An isolated tornado is possible too. Check out the map.
The south will see more storms today along the Gulf coast, mainly due to the sea breeze and a week impulse riding westward.
The AZ fire is going to be stoked by more wind today, and dry air. As the temps. Heat into the upper 80s and low 90s, the humidity will fall into the 7-15% range. I don’t see this changing for the next few days, and I wish the fire fighters the best.
At least I can share some good news: Minneapolis hit 103 yesterday. The last time it was that hot was 1988! Since the cold front has passed them, today’s high will settle back into the upper 70s. That helps! Check out the show for the latest forecast and air travel alerts. Later.
*You can follow Morning Express meteorologist Bob Van Dillen on Twitter: @BobVanDillen
June 3, 2011
Posted: 11:12 AM ET
*About a week after tornadoes ripped through Tuscaloosa, Alabama a message popped up in the @morn_eXpress twitter feed... it read: "@winnieawright: Turned down an internship with HLN and the Morning Express with Robin Meade so I can stay in Alabama and rebuild." Well, we couldn't just let that go. We contacted @winnieawright (real name: Winnie Wright) and asked if she'd keep us posted on Tuscaloosa. This is the third of 4 planned entries about how that community is recovering:
On May 22, the people of Joplin, Missouri experienced a tragedy all too familiar to me. As soon as the dust cleared, the people of Joplin were in my thoughts and prayers. When I heard of the destruction and the missing, I couldn’t help but go back to April 27, just one month before. I know all too well the sadness and devastation that they were feeling in that moment.
Many of the National Guard trucks, Red Cross workers, and aid stations have packed up and headed for Joplin. The media coverage in Tuscaloosa is nothing but a distant memory. We are old news. Our struggle has been accounted for.
Tuscaloosa candellight vigil. Photo by Winnie A. Wright
But the people of Tuscaloosa have not forgotten the April 27 tornado. FEMA stations are still set up across town to help those hoping to rebuild. Temporary Emergency Services, or TES, still has a line of victims and volunteers in line each morning. Students are still heading out to the rural fringe of Tuscaloosa to help aid clean up. The people of Tuscaloosa have not yet forgotten. There is still much to be done.
On June 1, the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember those who so adamantly served, and those who passed on April 27. Tuscaloosa’s biggest figures were all in attendance to memorialize the hard work and dedication of the first responders, the policemen and women, and the fire department. Families of the victims were also in attendance. They carried pictures of their loved ones. Many only had one photograph left.
The town wept as the names of the 43 victims were read aloud. This is the last you would hear of our losses. Our story is no longer relevant to the media, but it is still very present in the minds of people in Tuscaloosa. As the death toll rises, the number of missing lessens, but that doesn’t give many a piece of mind.
At the end of the service, Mayor Walt Maddox spoke. He received a standing ovation as he took the mic. The people of Tuscaloosa, Alabama are forever grateful and forever indebted to Mayor Maddox. Without his leadership, focus, and quick response, we would not have made the progress that has been made so far. His ability to rally up armies of volunteers was astounding. He asked for help and Tuscaloosa answered the call.
Mayor Maddox told the crowds at the candlelight vigil that the time to mourn for our city has gone. The rain has passed, and it is time to rebuild a better, faster, stronger Tuscaloosa, he said. He quoted scripture and famous poets. As he did, the people of Tuscaloosa looked at him as though he had all the answers.
Our mayor proved himself on April 27 and the days after. He proved that there could be uninhibited dedication to a city and its people. Maddox proved that all levels of government could cooperate in times of natural disaster. America should never have another Katrina.
Mayor Walt Maddox is a hero in my book. He has shown nothing but poise and focus in the month since we lost a portion of our great city. He is everything that I would want in a mayor. Tuscaloosa’s darkest hour has passed. The media is gone, and soon the aid will be gone. It will just be us. I am glad that I will have a leader like Mayor Maddox. I know he will continue to work tirelessly until Tuscaloosa has been restored to its former glory: a city of champions.
*You can continue to help the people of Tuscaloosa and victims of natural disasters all over the globe. Visit cnn.com/Robin and click on "Impact Your World" for aid services and volunteer organizations who need your help today.
June 2, 2011
Posted: 08:39 AM ET
We weren't sure what would happen to Mason, the little dog who crawled home on two broken legs after being swept away in a tornado back in April, after his legs healed. Well according to his vet, there is good news. The family he grew up with is rebuilding and will be able to take him home.
It's Morning Express like you've never seen it before! Hear from Robin Meade and the rest of the show crew for our thoughts on everything from politics to sports... to those bizarre stories that have us buzzing behind the scenes. Plus, plenty of material you might not see on the air. Don't miss OUR TAKE on what's happening in the world. Then tell us YOURS!