Monday, May 12, 2008

The Calm After the Momma Mie Wind Storm Will Be Brief At Best

Indiana turned into Windiana as once again we took our cues from nature. There were reports of siding off of homes and some trees down in portions of Jasper and Newton Counties. This all occurred outside of thunderstorms which was quite unsual. This was due to one of the strongest low pressures on record for Mother's Day hit the Lafayette area. This combined with a strong jet stream we would normally have in March to create plenty of wind.

The wind picked up once the low pressure moved by us Sunday afternoon. Nature was trying to find some sort of balance to what was almost like an inland hurricane as the strong low pressure literally forced the winds to speed up and head toward its center. As you see above, our kid's play house in our yard blew over for the first time in 8 years over the weekend as 51 mph wind gusts buffeted the Lafayette area. Amazing wind gusts of 60 mph or greater hit parts of Kentland, Frankfort, and Flora.

Hopefully you held on tight to Mom! Some Mom's told me they had to spend part of their big day in the dark with power outages around the area due to the strong wind storm. Our Momma Mie Mother's Day storm was certainly one for the books. I ended up calling it the Momma Mie storm courtesy of Gene and Charlotte Austin in Monon. There were tons of good names to choose from and I chose Momma Mie because it was the Momma or Mother of all Mother's Day storms. Speaking of Mom, my wife and I had a great Mother's Day despite the weather. We went out to eat in a nice warm restaurant, went shopping, and then spent some good quality time together. The one thing we both were relieved about was me not having to rush into work for any severe thunderstorms or tornadoes. There have been many a Mother's Days where that was certainly the case. But with no severe thunderstorm warnings I could finally just relax with my one true love.

It was good snuggling weather because it was not only windy, but we had our chilliest Mother's Day in at least 5 years and we had a record--setting rainfall for the date with 1.10" at WLFI. Momma Mie was so strong that it did not have trouble causing plenty of rising air and heavy rain at times. Many areas had from one inch near Lafayette to just over 1.50" in Frankfort. The good news is that we had a rainfall deficit of a half-inch to close to one inch in many areas, so this heavy rain did not cause any flooding on area rivers. The latest tally on our May rainfall is now up to 1.78" or just about average. Now if we get 2 or 3 more of these type storms we would be in trouble. Right now, long-range guidance has much smaller systems impacting our area which is great news.

The great part of living in Indiana is how quickly the weather can change. Notice, the girls playhouse was once again in tact and basking in the bright sunshine this afternoon. The wind was not even a factor. We are no longer battening down the hatches. But if you have beach front property along the Atlantic Ocean you may want take steps to protect your property this summer. It is my annual hurricane forecast.
This past year the Pacific Ocean temperatures have been going bonkers. We have gone from a crashing El Nino last Spring to a crashing La Nina this Spring. This plays a key role in forecasting hurricanes. There usually is a lag time as to when these temperature changes can cause a real shift in our global weather patterns. Last year we went into a La Nina toward the end of the summer and into the fall. By time the shift in our atmospheric patterns took place our hurricane season came to a screeching halt. This kept the number of named storms much lower than forecasted.

This year looks to be more active. We have much warmer temperatures in the eastern Atlantic basin. A much stronger bermuda high pressure that will take hold as we head into late July and August and we are essentially going to be having a neutral summer or what is called a La Nada. This would cause less wind shear and up to 14 named storms this year. Out of the 14 named storms I think we will have 9 hurricanes. What worries me most is that out of those 9 hurricanes we could have at least 5 land-falling hurricanes in the U.S. with 3 major ones possible. The areas of most threat will be the Carolina's, South Florida, and the Texas coastline. The northeast coast of the U.S. including Long Island is overdue for a major hurricane and we will have to watch this closely, especiallly with warm waters in the Atlantic and a vigorous Bermuda high pressure that likes to steer hurricanes toward the U.S. coast.

Since many Hoosiers have family and property along the Atlantic and Texas coastline, I will keep watching it closely for you. Hurricane season will not get really cranking until late July and August. Have a great day and tomorrow we will see if our lucky run of no severe thunderstorms or tornadoes will continue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mike, my son is getting married this saturday the 17th are we going to have a nice sunny day ?????? Thanks.