Friday, September 30, 2011

Winter Chill - Snowmageddon Photos

Tonight there is a nice winter chill in the air. Well, ok, it's more like a nice Fall chill (Tonight near 45, lower 40's on Sun/Mon). I grew up in Los Angeles, so it's fairly chilly to me for the first day of October. LOL! With this in mind, I wanted to post some photos I shot near Washington D.C. (February 2010) during "snowmadeddon". I expect an early/cold start to the winter, but I'll get into that another day... Enjoy the photos!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

5 Months Ago...

My good friend Jim Edds reminded me that today was the 5 month anniversary of the 4/27/11 tornado outbreak. A day I'll never forget, as 4/27/11 will go down as one of the worst tornado outbreaks in US history. There are so many stories from that day, and I'm going to release a chase recap soon. I should have released it a long time ago, but I do have some video out from that historic day. I'll link that below...

Video Recap: "Here is some raw video I shot during the 4/27/11 tornado outbreak (Super Outbreak II). I saw several tornadoes this day, but here is tornado footage I shot in Macon, MS. This same supercell produced an EF-5 tornado in Philadelphia, MS about 20-30 minutes earlier. It rained debris for about 5 minutes before the tornado appeared across a field. While a couple miles away, you could still see the violence associated with this tornado, as horizontal accessory vortices spun into the tornado from the right. At the end of the video (~5:15), you can hear some erie noises (Sounds like a swarm of bees) being made as the tornado moved rapidly to the east. I shot this with two different cameras and I "matched-up" some sequences at the end of the video to give you the viewer two different perspectives. Of course video can never do it justice... My thoughts and prayers still go out to everyone affected on this historic day!"


©Copyright Greg Nordstrom 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

6 Year Ago Today!

On this day 6 years ago, Josh Johnson, Matt Miller, and myself were in my apartment when a F1 tornado from Hurricane Rita's feeder bands hit us. I just got home earilier that day from being in the eye of Hurricane Rita with Richard Hoseney in Orange, TX. Talk about ironic!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Got an AMAZING book today! MYSTERY TO UNLOCK SEVERE STORMS, Memoirs Of An Effort To Unlock, by Dr. Ted Fujita. This is a very rare book, and it took me two years to find it. I sure can't wait to read it! Special thanks to Ryan Wade for bringing my attention to this rare book...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Joplin, MO Tornado Assessment

Below I'll leave a link to the Joplin, MO tornado assessment. 159 people lost their lives in this tornado, with over 1,000 injuries. This monster EF-5 tornado was the first tornado since the Flint, MI tornado of June 8, 1953 to result in over 100 fatalities. Like any weather disaster, lessons can and should be learned. This is a good read, so I highly recommend checking it out!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

December in Virginia

I was looking through some old photos today, and came across a few from my December trip to Virginia. Here are 10 shots from Merry Point, VA. Beautiful area, especially in the snow... Enjoy!

All Photos ©Greg Nordstrom 2010

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tornado Art

Chuck Doswell posted a link to some really cool tornado art, so I figured I would share it with everyone. These paintings are done by John Brosio, and all are oil on canvas unless otherwise stated. Mr. Brosio has some great images, so I recommend checking them out... Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Must Buy DVD/Blu-Ray

Jim Edds and Jeff Gammons have worked together to put out their latest project, "Hurricane Irene - Journey to Hope Town". It is available on both DVD and Blu-Ray... Jim Edds is a good friend of mine, and is one of the best storm chasers out there. His work is always very professional and awesome to watch. I have several of his DVD's and they are all great! Go buy your copy today, as Jim Edds takes the worst Hurricane Irene has to offer in Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11-01 METARS

No words needed...

KJFK 111351Z 3507KT 10SM FEW010 SCT250 23/13 A3014 RMK A02 SLP205 FU FEW010 FU PLUME DSNT NW DRFTG SE T02280133

KLGA 111551Z 34008KT 10SM FEW000 SCT050 SCT250 24/13 A3011 RMK AO2 SLP196 FU FEW000 FU AND DEBRIS PLUME SW FROM SFC-040 DRFTG SE T02440128

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tropical Storm Nate, Track, and Strength

Well, I really thought Tropical Nate would track more north. With a deep trough to the N/NE, it made the most sense to me. Thankfully for the US, enough of some ridgging built in to the north, which is causing TS Nate to move south/west. I always knew it was a tough forecast, but I would forecast a more northerly motion each and every time with this setup. The ridgging was so small to the north, that I just didn't see it or envision it developing. No excuses though, I was wrong. I will say, I think the fact TS Nate was so small played a big role in this. If it would have be a larger storm, I really don't see how it could have missed the trough? I guess we'll never know though...

With the strength, the dry air was just too much, as I don't see Tropical Storm Nate making it to a hurricane anymore. This was a tough forecast all around, but you live and learn when it comes to forecasting, storm chasing, and weather in general. I always try to learn as much as I can from each forecast, as I also always try my best not to make the same mistake twice. Some may laugh at this, but personally, I learn much more from the forecasts I'm wrong about, then the ones I nail. I will file this in the back of my mind, that's for sure. Still a lot of hurricane season left!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tropical Storm Nate Update

Tropical Storm Nate is deepening this afternoon. Now a 70mph tropical storm with a central pressure of 995mb. Yesterday, I stated that the arching pattern of the clouds suggested for some fairly quick deepening, but I was also very worried about all the dry air around. In the end, I still feel as long as the dry air doesn't entrain into the core of TS Nate, it will continue to deepen. Should be a hurricane soon enough!

The track is still tough, but I personally still like a more northerly path (The NHC has come north since yesterday). With a deep trough across the eastern US, I just think a track more north/northeast makes the most sense. Of course I'm not saying northern Mexico (And Texas) is in the clear, but if I lived along the northern Gulf Coast, I would watch TS Nate very closely. No comment with potential strength, but I will say, the further east TS Lee stays from Texas/Lee's track, the stronger it should become. Of course the dry air is still a big concern, but it does seem to be slowly moistening up some. There is still a ton of dry air around though! Many more updates to come...

*UPDATE 10PM* Well, tonight's data sure looks a lot more like a Mexico hit. While I really thought a more northerly path made the most sense to me, I may be dead wrong! Not sure what to think anymore... Hmmm?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tropical Storm Nate

Well, 96L sure developed faster than I thought, as we now have Tropical Storm Nate in the Bay of Campeche. There is still a ton of dry to the N/NW, so you would think Nate is going to have a tough time developing into a hurricane. However, if you look at the satellite imagery, you see nice curved banding occurring, as it looks like Nate is going to deepen fairly quickly. Hmmm? If it can keep the dry air out of the core, then I think Nate will deepen. If the dry air is entrained, then Nate will struggle.

The track is tough as well. The NHC has Nate heading towards Northern Mexico (La Pesca) very slowly, pretty much taking 6 days to get onshore. Personally, I'm leaning with a more northward motion. Again, this is not an easy forecast (What is in the topics these days? lol)... The trough to the north/northeast makes me think more of a northerly motion, so I'm going with my gut/instincts here. I'll look at things in much more depth tonight, but I'm personally leaning with a more northerly track at this moment. In my opinion, anywhere from northern Mexico to the panhandle of Florida needs to watch TS Nate closely, as there is potential for a huge track error. In about 24 hours or so, we should have an answer whether the more northerly motion makes sense or not...

Quickly on Tropical Storm Maria, I really don't have much change to my original thoughts. I think it will take a track similar to Irene, but most likely a little more east. Especially when it gets off the coast of North Carolina, as I don't see a New England hit in Maria's future. Personally, it looks to me like it will be east enough to miss the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Again, still a tough forecast, as we have plenty of time to watch things...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Northwest Weather Podcast + TD 14 + 96L

Quickly, we have TD#14 and 96L in the Atlantic basin right now. We also have Katia, but she is heading out with the fishes... With TD#14, I'm in agreement with the NHC's track. I believe this will be a threat to the Bahamas and then most likely the East Coast. There is no point in getting into specific details right now, but I do think it is a legitimate threat in my opinion. If I had to put out a general track forecast right now, my instincts says a track fairly similar to Irene. Now please don't go out and say I think this is Irene part two, I just think the track "looks" similar at this time. There is still plenty of time to figure out the details in the coming days, as things can/do change quickly in the tropics. It could EASILY go more west or east? What will be Maria may also have to navigate Hispaniola (The Rock), which is a hurricane killer. So many factors to keep in mind right now!

With 96L, it's a tough forecast! My belief/instinct is 96L will slowly develop as it starts heading/drifting north. How far north? That's still very tough to say, but I would watch this very closely. If 96L does develop (Sure is a LOT of dry around the Gulf of Mexico), it will be called Nate. Anywhere from Mexico to Florida needs to watch this...

In other news, I have linked below a podcast I recorded with Brian MacMillan late last week. Brian is a former student of mine and does a great job with his podcasts. We talked about Hurricane Irene, storm chasing, and many other interesting weather topics. It's called the Northwest Weather Podcast. Enjoy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

1935 Labor Day Hurricane

Below is a post from my old blog I put out over 2 years ago. Today is not the anniversary, but since it is Labor Day, I thought it was appropriate. The strongest hurricane to ever hit the US! In recorded history at least...

Also, here is a great link my good friend Jim Edds sent me on the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane. Click here to check it out!

Today is the 74 year anniversary of the strongest landfalling hurricane in US history! It struck near Long Key, FL at a record pressure of 892mb (Craig Key, FL) on September 2nd 1935. The actual pressure may have been a little lower at landfall, but 892mb (26.35") was the lowest officially recorded. Wind gusts at times were over/around 200 mph, which is just crazy! I'm been to Florida Keys a few times and I always stop at the hurricane monument (Islamorada) on the way down to Key West. I highly recommend everyone to check it out one day! Here is some very interesting articles and personal stories on this historic storm...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Quick TS Lee Update...

Came home this afternoon and have a quick observation about Tropical Storm Lee. While there is still a lot of dry air around, the "moisture field" has increased a lot since last night. This should increase the rainfall potential. The flooding threat continues with or without the dry air, but this increase in moisture will unfortunately increase the flooding threat at well. Check out Stu Ostro's page on facebook/twitter, as he has a cool graphic depicting this. In the end, the dry air really saved the northern Gulf Coast from potentially a really bad flood event in my opinion. Yes, there will still be flooding (some bad spots), but without the dry air, I think this event could have been historic! The remnants of Lee needs to be watch closely as it moves into the Appalachians (Flooding threat will continue). Also, keep in mind that the tornado threat continues as well...

Tropical Storm Lee + Katia

Very quick post here... The onslaught of dry air continues, as Tropical Storm Lee is getting destroyed. You can thank the state of Texas and its horrible drought for this. I mean, we all saw earlier in the season when Texas basically ate Tropical Storm Don! In the end this dry air is a blessing to the northern Gulf Coast. In my opinon, it's keeping TS Lee from becoming an extremely bad flooding event. Of course many places have received a lot of rain already, as Lee will likely lead to flooding, but this dry air is keeping it from becoming as bad as it could be for the northern Gulf Coast. I will add, beware the threat for some tornadoes the next couple of days!

Still no changes with Katia! This is going to be close enough to scare people, as I stated on Tuesday. While a few people thought I was crazy at the time, the trend continues west. I still feel like Katia will just miss, but it's going to be fairly close. A great example of why pattern recognition will almost always beat long range model guidance. Katia needs to be watched closely...

Check out the 0z ECMWF. It shows a powerful hurricane just off the North Carolina coast at 168 hours. I personally think this run is going to be fairly close (probably a tad too far west) to what actually happens, as I would watch Katia very closely. It's not going to take much for the US to get impacted to some extent! Image complements of Dr. Ryan Maue, which has an amazing model page by the way! By far the best I've seen, as I use it all the time...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee & Hurricane Katia

First with Tropical Storm Lee. You can clearly see on water vapor how dry air is entraining into this tropical cyclone. This will most likely prevent Lee from becoming a hurricane. Of course when you are dealing with the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico I wouldn't rule anything out, but because of this dry air, I'm thinking more of a solid to maybe a strong tropical storm. Regardless, the story with Tropical Storm Lee will be the torrential rains and flooding. With Lee forecasted to move very slow (Agree 100% with the NHC's forecast), only being near New Orleans by the early afternoon on Sunday, this is shaping up to be a big flooding event. I won't go as far as Allison in 2001 and Danny in 1997, however, the potential is there for some major flooding. Just look at the 5-day totals forecasted by the HPC. Almost 2 feet of rain near New Orleans, with well over a foot of rain all across eastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, and the coastal areas of Alabama. Even if Lee somehow becomes a hurricane, the story of this storm will be heavy rainfall and flooding.

With Hurricane Katia, I still have zero change to my forecast. The trend continues west, as I think Katia will be close enough to scare many people along the eastern seaboard. I still think it barely misses, but again, close enough to raise some hairs. I will say Lee could be a factor on how close Katia gets. If the remnants of Lee "hook up" with Katia, then I would watch out near Cape Cod, MA for a possible landfall. Personally, I don't see that at this time, but it's something to watch closely. Don't sleep on it! A few people came at me hard on Tuesday when I said this would come close to the US coast, mainly because the model didn't show it. I really didn't care what the models showed, as you live by the model, you'll die by the model. All I used was pattern recognition and the Asian trough/ridge teleconnection I learned many years ago from Joe Bastardi. It will almost always beat model guidance, especially 7-10 days out. In the end, this will be a great example of that. We'll see what happens, but there is no doubt the trend continues west!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

TD 13 & Katia

TD #13 has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and should become TS Lee soon enough. The story with what should become Lee is going to be heavy rains and flooding. Many of these areas need rain of course, but not over a foot (maybe two?) of rain. That's just bad! I really don't have a problem with the NHC's track, even though please keep in mind this is still a tough forecast. Like the NHC pointed out in their discussion, the center could "move around" or "reform" under deeper convection. Also, what should become Lee will meander around very slowly, as an exact track is tough to say the least. Like always, make sure you focus on the cone, and not on the center line. I expect TD #13 to at least get to a solid/strong tropical storm, but a hurricane is still very possible. However, even if TD #13 does become a hurricane, the overwhelming threat is heavy rain/flooding. That will be the main story with "Lee".

Really quick with Katia. I still expect the trend to continue west, as I think Katia will just miss the US (Well west of Bermuda). I pointed this out on Tuesday (Based mainly on the Asian trough/ridge teleconnection I have learned from Joe Bastardi over the years), so hopefully this will be an example where pattern recognition will almost always beat model guidance, especially when it is 7-10 days out. Also, with Katia weakening a little to a tropical storm, this will only help it even more west in my personal opinion. Again, I still think Katia will miss, but it will be close enough to scare some people along the eastern seaboard. Many more updates to come!

Hurricane Irene Video + Hurricane Katia & 93L

Ok, first with Hurricane Katia. The trend continues more west, which is not a surprise to me at all. I still think it misses the US, well west of Bermuda, but close enough to give a few scares along the east coast. This is why I'm all about pattern recognition and not model guidance, especially 7-10 days out. With 93L, still very tough. I will say it is starting to look more likely that 93L will move enough into the Louisiana that Texas won't have too many problems. However, that's not a lock by any means, just a trend. We'll see, as again, this is still a tough forecast. While I expect 93L to get named and become a strong tropical storm/weak hurricane, the main threat looks to be heavy rainfall/flooding. This could really be a big problem, as 93L is not going to move much over the next several days. Many more updates to come...

I also linked below some Hurricane Irene video I shot with my GoPro. Enjoy!