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April 2014 East Coast Chases

I’ve had a few opportunities to chase storms in April, and I grabbed a handful of images and uploaded them to Flickr. They’re in my 2014 East Coast Chases album, which I will keep updating with images if/when I get more.


I head out to the Plains for two weeks… IN two weeks! Same crew as last year, but with my own new-to-me personal vehicle (2010 GMC Terrain) instead of a rental. Like last year, I will be posting daily blog on the U.S. Tornadoes site, and I’ll have a post with the link and details later on.

Winter Storm Threat: Apr 22-24 (only/final call)

This storm is going to be mostly an Appalachian event, with heavy, wet snow creating problems with falling branches and trees and power outages in the areas forecast to get 2-4 inches of snow or more.

The bulk of the snow will fall on Monday as the coastal low deepens and works into eastern PA and central NY. Areas east of the one inch line could see some minor snow accumulation as the rain changes over to snow during the tail end of the event. Snow totals in northeastern OH, western PA and western NY will get a boost from lake enhancement. Locally higher totals are possible in the highest elevations.

Late season snow storm in the Appalachians

A strong coastal storm will develop tomorrow into Monday, and this low will actually retrograde inland, eventually making its way into central NY.

This late season storm is expected to bring 6-12 inches or more to the higher elevations of the central Appalachians, with lower totals in the lower elevations as the snow battles against boundary layer temperature issues and warmer ground. Of course, higher snowfall rates could overcome these problems fairly quickly, so we’ll have to keep an eye on places like western PA and western NY as the storm develops to see just how much those areas might get.

The NWS is putting up Winter Storm Watches in the higher elevations and in some of the higher-impact low elevation areas for when the storm moves through late Sunday into Monday. Along the coast, widespread rain totals of 1-3 inches are in the forecast, which will help alleviate some of the drought conditions that have developed over the last several months.

Active week for severe weather in the Plains

Severe weather is expected every day this week in the Plains as several shortwaves work into the central U.S. and the large-scale trough pushes eastward. While some days could have problems with instability and capping, the wind profile will be at least somewhat favorable for rotating storms and severe weather in the Plains.

Here’s the SPC maps highlighting the greatest severe weather risk areas through Saturday, with the threat expected to continue into early next week.

April 3, 2012 Texas tornado videos

U.S. Tornadoes owner/co-author Ian and I have been compiling tornado footage from the outbreak in Texas today. We’re still adding to it, but so far we’ve found 16 videos!

You can view them on the U.S. Tornadoes blog:

It might take a few seconds to load due to pulling in the video previews from YouTube.

Here’s one of the videos out of Kennedale, Texas:

April 2012 temperature forecast

After record March warmth in many areas (except for the West Coast, with some areas receiving record snowfall either in daily values and/or for the whole month of March), we’ll be looking at another warm month. All of the warm signals were in place at the start of last month, but this month the signals are a bit more mixed as the weather pattern tries to change it up some. Still looking at a warmer than normal month overall for most of the U.S.

16 April 2011 Storm Chase (Pt. 3 of 3) – Chase Log

Jason Foster and I left Gaithersburg, MD a few minutes after 8am to make the trek down to North Carolina for what turned out to be one of the biggest East Coast tornado outbreaks in history. The plan was to be near Wilson, NC around 12:30-1:00pm to eat and begin our chase. However, being the first day of Spring Break for many, I-95 southbound was clogged with traffic, sometimes coming to a complete stop all the way from Washington, D.C. down through northern NC. At one point we even resorted to using back roads to help make up for the time lost in transit. We finally arrived at our target destination over an hour later than planned after 2:00pm when discrete supercells were just starting to get organized to our south and west. Having no time to stop and eat, Jason and I quickly fueled the car, grabbed some snacks and headed towards the cell that was tracking towards Raleigh.

We headed towards the Raleigh cell as the Raleigh metro area was getting tornado warned. Being a bit behind the cell, we had to play catch-up. Visuals weren’t spectacular as the circulation was rain-wrapped as it pushed through the southern suburbs. The cell showed signs of cycling, so Jason and I continued with it into eastern Raleigh, where we spotted a funnel cloud and possible tornado. Since trees were in the way, we could not see whether or not the circulation had reached the surface while we were observing it. Shortly after this circulation became rain-wrapped as well, so we headed back south to catch the nearest of several storms that had active tornado warnings.

After dropping south to come in through the western edge of the core, Jason and I turned back onto I-95 to get to the second storm’s circulation, which had also become rain-wrapped. The cell weakened substantially and didn’t look like it was going to cycle, so we dove back to the southeast to get behind another storm.

The third storm had produced a tornado over Snow Hill not too long before we had arrived in the outskirts of the town. A couple miles NW of town we came upon 3″ hail, took some quick photos and measurements and headed SE. We were stopped just short of town where many emergency vehicles were already on scene. A small community and a couple of commercial buildings had taken heavy damage by a small, concentrated tornado. Some of the homes had very little damage, but two homes in the direct path of the tornado had been completely ripped off of their foundations. One of these houses was still relatively intact within the property lines, but another house was pretty much gone.

Jason and I spent some time documenting the damage before hearing of another storm entering the area. This storm passed us to the east, and we headed off to try to catch the cell as it traveled NE at ~50 mph, which was actually one of the slower storm motions we had seen from the many warnings that had been issued in NC that day. Alas, the road network was not favorable for an intercept, so after a short chase with the daylight fading we started to trek back towards I-95 to get back home.

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