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Kmlwx

2021 Mid-Atlantic Severe Weather - General Discussion

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We got the thread started in January last year. Still tracking winter threats...but before you know it, @yoda will be copy/pasting severe t'storm warnings, @high risk will bring out the optimist in all of us when it looks like a marginal event is on the horizon and we'll probably fail 8 out of 10 times as usual. 

Memories of past severe events, pattern discussion and other general severe discussion can go in here. 

To get things started off - I just took a look at the CFS monthly on the TropicalTidbits site and it does seem to show a potentially nice severe pattern (if my weenie eyes are correct, that is) for June of this year. Perhaps some ring of fire type stuff with a decent ridge centered over the Dakotas area. Would think if that were to come true we'd stand a threat for MCS type stuff progressing down the ride of the ridge towards us. Of course...it's the CFS...and it's months away. 

Sooner or later our winter threats will dry up and we'll be tracking our first pencil thin low topped squall line. Might as well get started now...

And for the sake of getting things off on a good note - here's the official  @WxWatcher007 chart. 

 

 

58b726d83a08c_WxWatcherPredictionSystem.jpg.c523087658b1c2c3925b48f876fe5c63.jpg

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Well... looking at soundings for late tonight - pre-dawn tomorrow, with some elevated instability I wouldn't entirely be surprised if a few heard thunder especially east of I-95. 

#SOON 

#Aroundthecorner

 

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20 minutes ago, George BM said:

Well... looking at soundings for late tonight - pre-dawn tomorrow, with some elevated instability I wouldn't entirely be surprised if a few heard thunder especially east of I-95. 

#SOON 

#Aroundthecorner

 

The way I read that is that you're calling for a wedge at my place tonight in Arundel Mills. Lezdoit. 

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Looking forward to severe season this year. I’ve always cleared out of here by March and tracked severe by myself, but this year I’m going to stick around and learn. Hopefully there isn’t as much bickering when we bust a Enhanced risk!

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4 hours ago, Thanatos_I_Am said:

Looking forward to severe season this year. I’ve always cleared out of here by March and tracked severe by myself, but this year I’m going to stick around and learn. Hopefully there isn’t as much bickering when we bust a Enhanced risk!

Any bickering is usually in jest and much more light-hearted. 

I'd strongly suggest (if you haven't already) getting familiar with reading soundings and do some reading up on EMLs. Can't hurt to dive into the SPC severe event archives either - they are a cool walk down memory lane. 

https://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/archive/events/

https://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints2/554/#:~:text=The diagram below gives the,a developing low pressure system.

EMLs are usually to blame for our higher end events. 

And of course...assume that most of our severe days will fail in 90% of the area ;) 

Most of us have anecdotally decided that there are far fewer "solid" squall line days around the Mid-Atlantic than in the 90s and earlier 2000s. Severe seems to be far more splotchy here in the 2010s and 2020s so far. Except for derechos and such...

Happy hunting! We'll look forward to seeing you here in the warm months! Sure beats tracking triple-digit days. 

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Yes 80s and 90s had classic squall lines oriented nearly NS moving due east.  Sometimes NESW moving SE.
Now it seems we have them NESW moving NE causing a lot of training and flash floods.

The worst ones are the blobs stuck at 60dBz with thimble sized drops that don't move for an hour.  Anyone living near a creek is in big trouble when that happens.

I'd say 90% of the severe warnings for us we aren't even close to severe criteria (wind/hail).  Sometimes we don't get warned and get one or both and the yellow box pops up just to our east/southeast depending on where it's moving.

Then the summer evenings where the sky and sometimes the ground lights up like there's a war going on and the storms are 100+ miles away!

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8 minutes ago, Stormfly said:

Yes 80s and 90s had classic squall lines oriented nearly NS moving due east.  Sometimes NESW moving SE.
Now it seems we have them NESW moving NE causing a lot of training and flash floods.

The worst ones are the blobs stuck at 60dBz with thimble sized drops that don't move for an hour.  Anyone living near a creek is in big trouble when that happens.

I'd say 90% of the severe warnings for us we aren't even close to severe criteria (wind/hail).  Sometimes we don't get warned and get one or both and the yellow box pops up just to our east/southeast depending on where it's moving.

Then the summer evenings where the sky and sometimes the ground lights up like there's a war going on and the storms are 100+ miles away!

Definitely has been a discussion for a long time. LWX is definitely seemingly overwarned with severe weather season. It probably has a lot to do with the type of population center that LWX has in their CWA. Very urban corridor, with a lot of people who may not be from a background of being familiar with "red meat" severe weather like tornado alley etc. 

Whether it is right or wrong is a discussion for another day...but warning fatigue is a real thing - question is whether it's a factor locally. 

Personally...I've seen DC area people do some dumb s*** - so I'm relatively okay with them warning 45-50mph wind gust storms. No criteria for lightning and I've seen rec teams keep baseball players out on the fields when lightning is clearly visible just to "get one more inning in" - dumb af. 

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Best rule of thumb with lightning is if you can hear thunder you are at risk!
It's better to err on the side of caution rather than to be dead!

I take lightning very seriously.  I have been "lit up" numerous times due to being dumb/stubborn in an occupation that is outdoors often in high places and risky.
That and the lure of watching CG and the adrenaline rush as it gets closer and closer.

45-50 mph in summer typically brings down limbs off deciduous trees in the 1 to 2" diameter which is enough to cause injury.  A weakened tree or saturated soil condition can also result in an entire tree toppling which is obviously dangerous too!  Sycamores will pelt with those annoying "monkey balls" too!  And having a large deck canopied with oaks getting shelled like crazy with acorns can cause a painful fall if someone haphazardly dashes outside after a storm passes to check things out!

That combined with typical summer decor (patio furniture, pool trimmings, et al) and you have the perfect setting for a missile race that would not happen when such winds are more common in fall/winter months.

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7 minutes ago, Kmlwx said:

FWIW - Accuweather seems to think we are at increased severe risk this spring. 

https://www.accuweather.com/en/severe-weather/accuweathers-2021-us-spring-severe-weather-tornado-forecast/901242 

This probably means almost nothing but I remember the uncanny resemblance with Accuweather's "active severe weather" zone for the summer of 2012 with the path of the June 29-30, 2012 derecho. 

Bah! I tried finding their summer 2012 forecast but can't att. 

May we get an area-wide squall with widespread severe gusts this year.

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5 minutes ago, George BM said:

This probably means almost nothing but I remember the uncanny resemblance with Accuweather's "active severe weather" zone for the summer of 2012 with the path of the June 29-30, 2012 derecho

Bah! I tried finding their summer 2012 forecast but can't att. 

May we get an area-wide squall with widespread severe gusts this year.

OT but that will forever be one of my most vivid weather memories. My mom had just had a hip replacement and was at home recovering, my aunt was staying with us to help take care of her and my dad had just had a standby generator put in (finally...after losing power so much in the years before that). 

I remember seeing the huge swaths of warnings but the diminishing radar appearance and thinking it might be a dud once it got to us. But once it became clear it was intense, I told some friends of mine who were in a little boat on the bay to get back to shore. They laughed me off like I was over exaggerating - but I finally convinced them it was the right call. The next day they told me that they honestly think that night might have been a very different story for them had I not been on the phone with them pleading with them to get to shore. 

And seeing Ian's story of being down in DC trying to shelter from the storm was one to remember too. 

It easily topped June 4, 2008 for me. The only reason June 4, 2008 REALLY stands out for me is that I was still in HS and had to sprint home after school to make it home before things got really nasty. I'm actually not sure I even lost power in 2008. 2012 I was without it for days. 

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11 minutes ago, Kmlwx said:

OT but that will forever be one of my most vivid weather memories. My mom had just had a hip replacement and was at home recovering, my aunt was staying with us to help take care of her and my dad had just had a standby generator put in (finally...after losing power so much in the years before that). 

I remember seeing the huge swaths of warnings but the diminishing radar appearance and thinking it might be a dud once it got to us. But once it became clear it was intense, I told some friends of mine who were in a little boat on the bay to get back to shore. They laughed me off like I was over exaggerating - but I finally convinced them it was the right call. The next day they told me that they honestly think that night might have been a very different story for them had I not been on the phone with them pleading with them to get to shore. 

And seeing Ian's story of being down in DC trying to shelter from the storm was one to remember too. 

It easily topped June 4, 2008 for me. The only reason June 4, 2008 REALLY stands out for me is that I was still in HS and had to sprint home after school to make it home before things got really nasty. I'm actually not sure I even lost power in 2008. 2012 I was without it for days. 

I’ve been on the bay during some nasty storms... you no doubt prevented a bad situation... having experienced the 2012 derecho, a small boat in open water in the bay most likely would have capsized very quickly in 70-80 mph straight line winds.

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5 hours ago, mattie g said:

I'd love it if we could actually have a chance to track/experience what turns out to be a pretty widespread severe event, rather than, as you say, a bunch of gusty showers.

You weren't here for the derechos?

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I'm in it for fascinating/interesting weather. Ideal year for me would be a ton of tracking of interesting weather with spurts of nice weather for a breather in between (but not too long). 

Give me a few minor to moderate snow events to track, one or two larger one (or a HECS) in the winter. Then in the spring, give me an active severe season when we still have good shear to combine with instability (low shear/high CAPE days are pulsey and generally very localized). Keep summer from getting too hot and humid (unless we'll fuel big storm complexes) with some tropical downpour days to track and perhaps some pulsey severe events during our lower shear portions of the year. 

Throw in some tracking of tropical trouble in the late summer and fall and start the cycle over. 

Wouldn't hurt to toss in a really dynamic March 93 style storm even if it mixed or changed over in the metro areas - would just be insane to watch that unfold on the latest iteration of GOES and with the development of the internet. 

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15 hours ago, yoda said:

You weren't here for the derechos?

I was, but that was 8 1/2 years ago. It seems like we tend to do gusty showers/downpours really well, but no real severe weather. Just saying that it would be nice if we could get some truly interesting (severe) storms.

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9 minutes ago, mattie g said:

I was, but that was 8 1/2 years ago. It seems like we tend to do gusty showers/downpours really well, but no real severe weather. Just saying that it would be nice if we could get some truly interesting (severe) storms.

For widespread (meaty severe) you are absolutely right. I want to say that @Eskimo Joe has said in the past that our derecho return interval is like 4-6 years. But that 2012 one was not only a derecho but a violent one...so perhaps even less frequent on that. 

Severe weather around these parts is a real feast or famine type of thing. Where winter wx tends to impact large swaths - big severe is usually in pretty narrow corridors - even when it's a "big" day. Think about the situation where a few big boy cells go up and drop baseball sized hail. 97% of the area likely will feel like they "missed out" but in the realm of severe - it could have been a relatively big time severe day.  

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2 hours ago, Kmlwx said:

For widespread (meaty severe) you are absolutely right. I want to say that @Eskimo Joe has said in the past that our derecho return interval is like 4-6 years. But that 2012 one was not only a derecho but a violent one...so perhaps even less frequent on that. 

Severe weather around these parts is a real feast or famine type of thing. Where winter wx tends to impact large swaths - big severe is usually in pretty narrow corridors - even when it's a "big" day. Think about the situation where a few big boy cells go up and drop baseball sized hail. 97% of the area likely will feel like they "missed out" but in the realm of severe - it could have been a relatively big time severe day.  

That makes sense. It really is the IMBY aspect of weather that can make it seem as though "we" miss out so often.

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2 hours ago, Kmlwx said:

For widespread (meaty severe) you are absolutely right. I want to say that @Eskimo Joe has said in the past that our derecho return interval is like 4-6 years. But that 2012 one was not only a derecho but a violent one...so perhaps even less frequent on that. 

Severe weather around these parts is a real feast or famine type of thing. Where winter wx tends to impact large swaths - big severe is usually in pretty narrow corridors - even when it's a "big" day. Think about the situation where a few big boy cells go up and drop baseball sized hail. 97% of the area likely will feel like they "missed out" but in the realm of severe - it could have been a relatively big time severe day.  

While the huge snowstorms from a decade ago and the March 2018 severe wind event here in NoVA have ranked near the top of weather events for the three decades I've been in NoVA, the hands-down winner for most extreme weather I experienced here was the June 2012 derecho. That was the first time I heard the wind approach like a freight train and push a huge cloud of dust/debris out ahead, and the first time I saw mature 60-70 foot mature trees bend at 45 degrees (or more) when the line first struck. We lost power about two minutes into the worst conditions...and the power stayed off for the next week. We never before, nor never again lost power for that long...and of course, it was sweltering leading into the July holiday the following week. It was a great experience, though.
 

 

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The 2012 Derecho is probably the highest end severe we can get in these parts. We ten to get big tornado events from tropical systems, such as Ivan an Isaias.

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3 minutes ago, Eskimo Joe said:

The 2012 Derecho is probably the highest end severe we can get in these parts. We ten to get big tornado events from tropical systems, such as Ivan an Isaias.

I think for TORs there's two definitions of "big" - there's widespread and then big as in a major tornado (like College Park or La Plata). 

Ivan was totally next level, though. 

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3 hours ago, Kmlwx said:

I think for TORs there's two definitions of "big" - there's widespread and then big as in a major tornado (like College Park or La Plata). 

Ivan was totally next level, though. 

Ivan was the ideal tornado producing track for most of our subforum. The only non-tropical cyclone event that came close to that was the remnants of the April 2011 super outbreak. 

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