Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Record-Breaking Finish to November and Severe Season is Officially Here

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It is Gingerbread House Day for the kindergartners today, at least in my daughter's class. So I am going to go help out and have to make this update brief. There were 8 tornado reports yesterday mainly in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi including these twin sister tornadoes you see above. Luckily there were no fatalities. This same system is moving our way by late tonight and early Wednesday morning.

The highest tornado threat looks like it will stay north of our viewing area. Areas from Florence, South Carolina to Danville, Virginia look to have the highest tornado threat. Here at home areas from Valdosta to Waycross north and west have the highest risk of a severe thunderstorm. Although at this time our Georgia friends will have their chances of 60 mph wind gusts or greater at only 10% and the tornado threat within 25 miles of a given point at only 5%. Notice the graphic below does not even include Florida in the tornado threat. But keep in mind even Florida has a 5% chance of damaging wind gusts. Every severe thunderstorm has the potential of producing a tornado but right now it looks like that chance would be 2% or less. The latest model run has potentially 45 mph wind gusts if the thunderstorms do hold together over North Florida. Here is a Storm Prediction Center graphic confirming what I am seeing.

The dynamics that produced the severe weather last night and this morning are quickly moving north which will keep our severe weather threat on the low side but we will watch it carefully. If this line of storms was moving through this afternoon we would have a tornado watch but this is not the case. The line of storms will not move in until after 12 a.m. for most of us. This is a great reminder that our severe weather season begins tonight. Our severe thunderstorm season goes from December 1st through through early March, although as we all know severe weather can occur on any day or time of the year. The good news is that while we are missing the worst of the storms the latest model runs do confirm .25" to .50" of rain over our viewing area and if you get under a thunderstorm it will be much more! We are in a La Nina winter and keep in mind there have been a few studies that show our tornado chances do go up in this type of set-up, especially over North Florida and South Georgia. Here is a National Weather Service graph confirming it.

Basically you need a very strong polar jet and storm system to drag in thunderstorms and heavy rain to our area during strong La Nina winters known for their very dry and warm conditions. So even though storms are usually few and far between, when they do arrive they usually are strong. Tonight we will likely dodge the worst of the storms but any storms that do form will be watched carefully that is for sure. You never say never during a La Nina winter.

The remainder of today looks great though if you have outdoor plans and I would not even cancel those tennis plans this evening as temperatures will hold in the 70s through at least 10 p.m.  How about those temperatures! I think we could hit 85! The record high for this date is 84 set back in 1991. Do not get used to it as a freeze watch is in effect for late tomorrow night and Thursday morning. Some areas could wake up with 20s and there will be a possible frost all the way to the beaches. Yes, tis the season for big weather changes and make sure to tune in and keep checking the blog for the latest! Now off to school! I have my camera ready!

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