Posted by: Jeff | October 27, 2010

How About That Weather We’re Having?

It’s raining cats and dogs right now in D.C. – a fact I am intimately aware of after an unfortunately rash decision to run across the street to a farmer’s market (bread + apples = success!) in advance of the incoming storm.  The radar upon my drenched return to my office?

That big mess of red is moving northeasterly, which means while I was desperately dashing across E St., it was centered approximately on top of me.

This sudden downpour is but a lasting reminder of the extreme weather that seized most of the country yesterday.  Though the Mid-Atlantic is today experiencing some heavy rain and a lingering possibility of thunderstorms this afternoon, the rest of the country is emerging from what is being described as near-apocalyptic conditions.  From the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang blog comes a pretty harrowing description of the numbers associated with this weather system:

Let’s take a look at some amazing numbers associated with this storm:

956 mb or 28.24″ – Record low pressure from non-tropical storm in continental U.S.

The National Weather Service writes:

“… [the storm] had a minimum central pressure of 28.24″ or 956 mb (equivalent to the minimum pressure of a Category 3 hurricane). This breaks the old record of 28.28” (958 mb), set on …Jan. 26, 1978, during the Blizzard of 1978 (aka the Cleveland Superbomb). This is also lower than the March 1993 Superstrom (aka “The Storm of the Century”), or the “Witch of November” storm that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975, or even the Columbus Day Storm of Oct. 1962.”St. Paul Tribune meteorologist Paul Douglas wrote the pressure may have even dipped as low as 953 mb (28.14″) in Orr – a town in Minnesota’s arrowhead. The barometric pressure dropped to 28.99″ in Chicago – the lowest reading on record during October.

Other incredible numbers

24 tornado reports

282 wind damage reports

26 mb pressure fall in 24 hours in central Minnesota. This kind of extreme drop in pressure is referred to as “explosive cyclogenesis” or “bombogenesis

77 mph wind gust in Greenfield, Indiana. Highest “official” wind gust reported.

5 states (Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and South Dakota) – where wind gusts to at least 70 mph were reported. List of selected wind gusts.

250+ flight cancellations yesterday at Chicago O’Hare

50 mph winds for 24 of the last 32 hours in Pierre, South Dakota according to the Weather Channel

8″ – Snow report in Harvey, ND accompanied by sustained winds near 40 mph and gusts over 50 mph

150-180 mph winds estimated at jet stream level driven by the large temperature contrast between the eastern and western U.S. – which in turn – fueled this storm in the center of the country.

1 partially impaled teacher by tree limb outside Chicago. Teacher says she will use tree limb that entered her abdomen and came out her side as “art”

Category 3 cyclone in the middle of the Great Lakes, massive hurricane in Burma, mega-typhoon in the Philippines and China, and now a major earthquake, volcano eruption and typhoon all in the same week in Indonesia… one might start to believe that the Earth’s immune system is trying to repel an invasion.

Midwest storm by the numbers

* More showers and storms today: Full Forecast *

damage-storm-102610.jpg
Wind damage reports (in blue), tornado (in red) and hail (in green) from Tuesday. Source:NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center

Although the massive Midwest storm has peaked in intensity and jogged into western Ontario, its effects are still being felt across a large chunk of the U.S. Winds are howling in upper Midwest and Great Lakes, wind-whipped snow is flying in the Dakotas, and the cold front ahead of the storm is producing showers and thunderstorms up and down the Eastern seaboard. A few severe thunderstorms could still develop this afternoon in the eastern mid-Atlantic (including the eastern portion of the D.C. metro region) and Southeast.

But today will be nothing like yesterday, when this monstrous storm made history. Let’s take a look at some amazing numbers associated with this storm:

956 mb or 28.24″ – Record low pressure from non-tropical storm in continental U.S.

The National Weather Service writes:

… [the storm] had a minimum central pressure of 28.24″ or 956 mb (equivalent to the minimum pressure of a Category 3 hurricane). This breaks the old record of 28.28″ (958 mb), set on …Jan. 26, 1978, during the Blizzard of 1978 (aka the Cleveland Superbomb). This is also lower than the March 1993 Superstrom (aka “The Storm of the Century”), or the “Witch of November” storm that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975, or even the Columbus Day Storm of Oct. 1962.

St. Paul Tribune meteorologist Paul Douglas wrote the pressure may have even dipped as low as 953 mb (28.14″) in Orr – a town in Minnesota’s arrowhead. The barometric pressure dropped to 28.99″ in Chicago – the lowest reading on record during October.

Other incredible numbers

24 tornado reports

282 wind damage reports

pressure-falls-mn-102610.jpg
Pressure falls in millibars (mb) over Minnesota between Monday and Tuesday morning.

26 mb pressure fall in 24 hours in central Minnesota. This kind of extreme drop in pressure is referred to as “explosive cyclogenesis” or “bombogenesis

77 mph wind gust in Greenfield, Indiana. Highest “official” wind gust reported.

5 states (Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and South Dakota) – where wind gusts to at least 70 mph were reported. List of selected wind gusts.

250+ flight cancellations yesterday at Chicago O’Hare

50 mph winds for 24 of the last 32 hours in Pierre, South Dakota according to the Weather Channel

8″ – Snow report in Harvey, ND accompanied by sustained winds near 40 mph and gusts over 50 mph

150-180 mph winds estimated at jet stream level driven by the large temperature contrast between the eastern and western U.S. – which in turn – fueled this storm in the center of the country.

1 partially impaled teacher by tree limb outside Chicago. Teacher says she will use tree limb that entered her abdomen and came out her side as “art”

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