Friday, January 11, 2008

World Weather Gone Mad from Monticello to Baghdad

Courtesy of Pamela of Rossville

My son, Jason, a former Marine, has been working in Iraq doing work to help his 'brothers'. He is currently working on a Marine Corp base called Al Asad and helping to improve the infrastructure in Bagdhad by fixing the network for communications of all kinds.

He said "This morning we got a little bit of a surprise. It was snowing. Not what you expect in Iraq right? At least the southern regions near Bagdhad anyways. The weather has been very cold this week dipping into the low 20's, but this is the first precipitation "of any kind" that has amounted to anything since about last March. I guess the planets were aligned just right for this one."

Mike, has the weather gone mad worldwide? The southeast is being ripped by bad weather and that is where my children live and the flooding there is worse than here.

In Rossville

Thanks Pamela. The world weather has gone mad based on this picture and the year we have had so far at home. I could not find any snow ever recorded in Baghdad. So you are looking at a historic snow. Northern Iraq gets some snow but for Baghdad to get snow would be like having snow in the Bahamas. Tell your son we all thank him for his service to our country and he is in our thoughts and prayers. We have been talking about heroic efforts this week of many folks here in the Midwest helping others during the unprecedented flood on the Tippecanoe River. Jason Jones is yet another hero that serves and helps our country each and every day.

Here are a couple more graphics of our weather gone mad!

Why was the flood so bad? Why did propane tanks look more like submarines in Monticello streets on Wednesday and Thursday? Why were swatting cats and people rescued from rooftops? You can see what happened we had 3 days of record highs with the biggest January thaw on record ever as we warmed up 70 degrees in 4 days! Many areas had their second warmest January day on record ever during the warm-up. This was in the same week that portions of northern Indiana had what amounted to a blizzard-like snowstorm. Even though Monticello and Rochester had between 6 to 8 inches of snow. Areas in the northern Tippecanoe River watershed had some isolated amounts of 15 to 20 inches of snow. That snow all melted almost overnight and had to go somewhere. Well, it all went into the Tippecanoe River like water going down a drain in your bathtub. In addition, record rains with training thunderstorms hit on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. This wasn't just any rain event. Some areas had 10 inches of rain near Buffalo. It was almost biblical! Tippecanoe County really got lucky. If the snowstorm that hit extreme northern Indiana on New Year's Day hit us as some maps suggested and the training rain came a little farther south it would have been Lafayette that was evacuating folks and it would have been a lot more than 300 to 350 people.

Just this week alone we have had almost 50 tornadoes across the country. We have had two top 10 January outbreaks with at least 2 fatalities in Missouri. An EF-3 Tornado was confirmed in Wheatfield, Illinois and an EF-1 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It will be a week all meteorologists will remember forever. So do I FINALLY HAVE GOOD NEWS? YES! In the short-term at least...

The latest maps are encouraging! We had only light rain showers as expected last night which will allow all of the rivers to continue to fall. We are in a much quieter pattern with no major systems through at least the 20th of January. This will certainly help recovery effort. We are in a weak clipper pattern for the next several days and the powerful Pacific jet stream will finally be shut down thanks to a building ridge in Alaska next week. But what this means is we will have frigid highs in the teens and 20s next weekend. There is a ton of cold air in Canada ready to release and move down into the Midwest with the first true Polar Vortex developing once again in North America for the first time in several weeks. Our chances of a big snowstorm looks more likely now between January 24th and 28th after much of the country goes into a deep freeze. So enjoy this nice window of tame weather and while you can. Things will start getting wild once again by late month into February with a return to our stormy weather. The Spring looks to bring plenty of ups and downs with an active severe weather season. More details to come as we get closer.

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