Dec 27, 2010

Winter Weather for East Coast/Europe/Australia

A monster 961 mb blizzard hit the East Coast today and yesterday.
Yesterday afternoon, blizzard warnings (red) were in effect along the coast from Maine to New Jersey, with winter storm (pink) and storm warnings (purple) going down to South Carolina.
Up to 32" of snow fell in New Jersey (Rahway) and winds gusted to 80 mph on Cape Cod (Wellfleet). As much as 29" fell on Staten Island (Great Kills), and 24.5" on Long Island (Marine Park) with JFK Airport receiving 15.5", Upton 18.8", and Central Park 20".

The heavy snow and high winds crippled travel and knocked out power across the northeast. In New York City, buses were stranded, and a subway train and its passengers were stuck in the snow for hours.

Marine life is being threatened by the low temperatures even down to South Carolina.

Columbia, SC had the first significant Christmas snow since records began in 1887, and the Atlanta area had the first measurable snow on Christmas since 1881.

This storm has pushed arctic air into southern Florida.
850 mb temps from this morning's soundings were -3C at Cape Canaveral, -4C at Tampa, 0C at Miami, and 2C at Key West. Hard freeze warnings (dark blue) have again been issued for southern Florida:On December 21st, this huge storm (964 mb on December 23 0Z) missed most of the East Coast:The Gulf Stream, which normally allows storms to form closer to the coast, has been flowing farther east than normal:
At buoy 41025 near Cape Hatteras, the water temperature was only 47F during this storm. What is interesting about today's East Coast blizzard is that it happened despite a water temperature at the same buoy currently at only 43F.

The harsh winter continues to affect Europe, from Germany to Britain and France. In Britain, where December is expected to be the coldest in 100 years, flights and trains were canceled because of more heavy snow. In Paris, flights were canceled at Charles De Gaulle Airport because of a shortage of antifreeze, and part of the airport was evacuated because fears of a roof collapse under the weight of a foot of snow. Even Australia had 30 cm of snow in New South Wales during their summer. The storm can be seen on these charts from December 19th:
Some are even saying that the cold and snow is because of global warming.

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