Monthly Archives: November 2012

Since winter is upon us and big snowstorms are probably on the horizon for December, I decided to share with you a quick fact about the largest snowflake ever found.

The world’s largest ever snowflake to date found was 38 centimetres (20 inches) wide and 20 centimetres (8 inches) thick! This snowflake occurred at Fort Keogh, Montana, USA on 28 January 1887.

Ill have some info on the incredible snows being seen in California later tonight.

Stay tuned

Meteorologist Mack


Hey everyone!

Sorry I haven’t posted much over the past week. What with the holiday and all the job applications I have been filling out, I haven’t had much time. However, I have decided to write even a very short post at the least every day from now on.

Now, onto the weather. You’ll be glad to hear that for the remainder of the week and into the weekend, unseasonably warm weather will return to the central and eastern parts of the country as a Zonal (West to East) Pattern sets up. This means that a mild, Pacific airmass will make it’s way east and remain situated east of the Rockies until early next week. Temperatures in places such as Minnesota and Indiana may push into the 60s, well above average for this time of year as we enter December. However, as always, the warm weather won’t last as another cold front moves through the central and eastern US early next week. There is the possibility of a rather large storm developing in the Panhandle of Texas and moving northeast into the Upper Midwest about 1 week out, but as always, it is is difficult to put much faith in such a long range forecast. Nevertheless, the model runs have been consistent over the last few days in developing a storm over the central part of the country. Stay tuned for more updates about this system as the weekend comes around.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more details on the warm weather for the weekend.

Until then,

Meteorologist Mack

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

What a beautiful day for a great American Holiday. Many places in the US are experiencing record breaking Thanksgiving warmth, with temperatures in the 60s and 70s in the great lakes and plains states.

All that will come to an end as a powerful cold front charges east southeast tonight and tomorrow. Black Friday will be a chilly one for many people, but that won’t stop the shopping craze. Be safe out there and stay warm.

That fog that caused a travel headache in Chicago yesterday will be a topic for Saturday when I return home from the holidays. Stay tuned

Until next time

Meteorologist Mack

Very interesting post on the effects of Sandy.


When Superstorm Sandy pummeled Fire Island, a popular vacation spot a couple hours’ drive from New York City, as much as 80 percent of the island’s homes were flooded, prompting Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone to declare it “devastated.” But in addition to this recent ruin, the hurricane also unearthed wreckage from a different era. The skeleton of a shipwrecked schooner was discovered on a Fire Island beach after the storm left it exposed, OurAmazingPlanet reported.

The ravaged vessel was discovered about four miles east of Davis Park, along the Fire Island National Seashore. The National Park Service believes the four-masted vessel is the Bessie White, lost at sea about a mile west of Smith’s Point during heavy fog in 1919 or 1920, according to OurAmazingPlanet. Its crew escaped on two boats, and although one capsized, the entire crew—as well as the ship’s cat—was able to…

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Last weekend, we saw very warm temperatures throughout the Eastern US before a powerful cold front swept those warm temperatures out the door and with it brought the coldest air mass of the season.

Before the big cool down, a few thunderstorms, some severe, brought hail and even a few tornadoes in the Minneapolis metro area. Now, you may be asking, how can there be tornadoes at this time of year?

Well, the setup for this event was quite interesting. I’m going to share with you a few graphics of the meteorological setup for this event.

In the second surface map, around sunset in Minneapolis, a stationary warm front is situated over central Minnesota and a cold front extends from the area of low pressure just to the west of the Twin Cities, somewhere around the St. Cloud area. The Twin Cities happen to be in a favorable region for tornadoes to develop, as winds at the surface are southerly and winds in the mid-levels (not shown) are from the west. This creates what is known in the world of meteorology as shear. Shear is key to the development of tornadoes, along with moisture, instability, and a source of lift. On this day, the main ingredient that was lacking, was instability. If this system had had a more warm, moist unstable airmass to tap into, their may very well have been a much greater tornado threat.

In the first surface map, around 9PM, the system begins to occlude, meaning the low pressure at the surface begins to become displaced with the center of the storm in the middle and upper levels of the atmosphere. The area where the warm front and cold front intersect with the surface low, is called the triple point. This is often a place where the greatest shear and instability are located, and it is no coincidence that it is over the area where these tornadoes occurred.

Take a look at the links below to see the surface maps from this event.

Ultimately, these tornadoes occurred because of they formed in an environment that was favorable for development. However, if there was more lift and instability in the atmosphere on this day, things could have been much worse.

Take a look at a few images of the damage from the NWS in Chanhassen. They surveyed the damage and determined the EF ratings for the tornadoes.

For more on this event, check out the National Weather Service’s damage assessment on their webpage at the link below.

Keep watching for new posts!

Until next time.

Meteorologist Mack

Hey everyone,

I know I haven’t been posting much lately, but I’ll be back at it in full swing now. Not much weather to talk about this week except for the “true” return of winter-like temperatures to much of the United States. Early this week, we saw a large and expansive storm develop in Colorado in a process called lee-cyclogenesis, a process in which low pressure develops in the lee of the Rocky Mountains and strengthens as it moves ENE into the Midwest and Northern Plains States. With that came some very heavy rain, and even severe weather for parts of the Southern and Central Plains, as storms erupted in a line along the eastward advancing cold front. Damaging winds and even hail were seen in places such as Minneapolis and even Chicago. Take a look at some of the pictures below.


The picture above is from North Minneapolis on November 10th. Some of the hail was up to quarter size.

Naperville, a suburb of Chicago, saw hail as well:


And a video as well:

Now, certainly, hail isn’t typically seen in November in places such as Naperville, or Minneapolis, but in this case, there was enough cold air aloft to form the hail and a very shallow layer of warm air at the surface in the form of a northward moving warm front. With that, storms broke out and small hail was seen in both locations on the 10th.

Behind this front, many places saw a temperature drop of over 50 degrees in just 24 hours!!! Now that’s a cold front!

Over the next few weeks, temperatures will, in fact, be warmer than normal, but don’t expect to see in temperatures in the 60s and 70s anytime soon in the upper Midwest. However, there does not appear to be any snowstorms looming for Thanksgiving week, but it is still over a week out, so I’ll be sure to keep you updated and let you know if that changes.

Until next time,

Meteorologist Mack