Last Week, a Ginormous Storm Hit Western Alaska

It remained but a blip on our the national news radar because our coastal elites don’t care about Alaska. Still, I think SABR Matt would definitely agree that this “snowicane” was massive:

Alaskans weather epic Bering Sea storm
@ the Anchorage Daily News

A giant Bering Sea storm with hurricane-force winds roared up the western Alaska coastline Wednesday, sending waves over storm barriers, knocking out electricity, flooding parts of some villages and leading to evacuations.

An article I saw elsewhere noted that the barometric pressure at the center of the storm dipped as low as 943 mb. Holy crap, that is epic!

Historic Interior New England Blizzard – Scary Results

The storm mercifully waited a tad too long to organize to paralyze the cities with the worst of the snow, though New York City did get 2-5 inches of snow depending on the borough and DC did have white-out conditions at the White House (ha) for an hour or so.

However!

In the interior of New England, this storm will stack up well against the worst beasts seen in the dead of winter.

Windsor, MA: 26″
Plainfield, MA: 25″
Savoy, MA: 24″
Peru, MA: 23″
Tyringham, MA: 23″
Washington, MA: 22″
Becket, MA: 22″
Lee: MA: 21″
Dalton, MA: 20″
Hinsdale: MA: 20″
Leydon, MA: 20″
Peterborough, NH: 19″
West Milford, CT: 19″
Milbrook, NY: 18″
Shelburne, MA, 18″
Heath: MA: 17″
New Ipswitch, NH: 17″
Chester, MA: 16″
Charlemont, MA: 16″
Pine Plains, NY: 16″
Ridgefield, CT: 16″
Habburdston, MA, 15″
Westhampton, MA: 15″
Greenfield, MA: 14″
Ashburnham, MA: 13″
Wilmington, VT: 13″
Copake Falls, NY: 13″
Danbury, CT: 13″
North Caldwell, CT: 12″
Ringwood, CT: 11″
Terra Alta, NY: 10″
Monticello, NY: 8″
Worcester, MA: 7″
New York (Central Park), NY: 3″

THUMP!

This is quite a history-making storm given the time of year.

Wintry Weather in October?

Blame global warming…surely that must be the reason…

Seriously though…it now appears likely that the entire I-95 corridor (and points NW in particular) will experience a shocking early-season snow storm that could break records in the coastal plain for earliest significant snows and most snow in October.  Not that that is saying much…and I don’t anticipate catastrophic problems, but don’t be surprised to see the ground lit up with white by Sunday morning.

From DC (0.5 to 1.5″) – (Note these are grass accumulations only…urban areas may struggle due to heat island effects and pavement overload)
to Baltimore (1-3″)
to Philadelphia (2-3″)
to New York (2-4″)
to Boston (2-4″)…

the entire area will be wondering what happened to fall.  Especially since most of the trees are still green, let alone still foliated. Along the New England coast, trees down and power outages (due to a bad combination of wind and snow) will make things treacherous, and even to the coastal islands (Cape Code, Long Island), don’t be surprised if snow sticks to the grass.

Once you head into the interior of Southern New England and the Mid Atlantic, especially above 500 feet in elevation, there could easily be 3-6″ (and locally higher amounts) of heavy wet snow and that is a recipe for tree damage and some very confused citizenry.

All of this is made possible by a rare combination of subtropical energy extracted from dying Hurricane Rina and a sharp shot of cold air into the Northeast from an unusually cold Canada.  So get out your gloves and winter coats and find your snow brushes and shovels…you’re gonna need ’em.

Excessive Heat Warning

Oh, goodie:

…EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TO 8 PM EDT THURSDAY… …EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TO 8 PM EDT FRIDAY…

* TEMPERATURE…UPPER 90S TO AROUND 100 DEGREES.

* HEAT INDEX VALUES…UP TO 111.

* TIMING…THE WORST OF THE HEAT WILL BE DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING HOURS THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. THE EXCESSIVE HEAT WILL LIKELY CARRY OVER INTO THE WEEKEND AS WELL.

Try not to melt out there, folks!

So — Last Night Was Pretty Exciting

Why? Well, just before midnight, a severe thunderstorm roared through eastern Prince William County, bringing with it quarter-sized hail and near-continuous cloud-to-ground lightning. SABR Matt can certainly correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Woodbridge (VA) has ever seen quarter-sized hail before. It sure made a tremendous racket!

Linky, Linky – Boudreaux, Whittle, and Iowahawk

Stuff I’ve found ’round the interwebs:

More Weather Deaths? Wanna Bet?
by Donald Boudreaux @ WSJ

Writing recently in the Washington Post, environmental guru Bill McKibben asserted that the number and severity of recent weather events, such as the tornado in Joplin, Mo., are too great not to be the result of fossil-fuel induced climate change. He suggested that government’s failure to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases will result in more violent weather and weather-related deaths in the future.

And pointing to the tragedy in Joplin, Mr. McKibben summarily dismissed the idea that, if climate change really is occurring, human beings can successfully adapt to it.

There’s one problem with this global-warming chicken little-ism. It has little to do with reality. National Weather Service data on weather-related fatalities since 1940 show that the risks of Americans being killed by violent weather have fallen significantly over the past 70 years.

The longer lead times are probably the biggest help as far as survival rates go. The other night, the NWS issued a tornado warning for Dale City/Woodbridge for a storm that was speeding up the I-95 corridor, and sure enough, that warning preceeded any actual bad weather by about twenty minutes. Hooray for technology!

(By the way, there was no confirmed tornado, though conditions did get rather hairy for a bit.)

*****

Meanwhile, while I was away, Bill Whittle put out another vid, this time on Obama’s foreign policy:

*****

And lastly, in case you missed it, here is Iowahawk on our higher education bubble:

So You Have a College Diploma

He is, of course, responding to reports that recent college graduates have had a lot of trouble finding jobs lately despite Obama’s glorious economic “recovery.”

Luckily, my teenaged students are smart. All of them are entering pre-professional programs and minoring in any passion that won’t guarantee them a job.