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NATIONAL STORM SUMMARY
01/02/2017 08:32pm1-7: The storm system that moved from Texas across the South left a trail of damage reported in at least 28 Mississippi counties, 15 Louisiana parishes and 15 Texas counties. State emergency officials reported no injuries or deaths in Louisiana and Mississippi. A threat of tornadoes continued after sundown for southern Alabama, southwest Georgia and the Florida Panhandle. Severe weather exited Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, though, allowing Auburn University and the University of Oklahoma fans to reach Monday night’s Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
More than 50,000 customers in Louisiana and more than 30,000 in Mississippi lost power at the height of the storm, according to utilities. The squall line hit Louisiana’s Avoyelles Parish just before noon. Bunkie Fire Chief Joey Frank says trees fell on three houses in his town, while Marksville Fire Chief Jerry Bordelon said a fireworks stand in the Wal-Mart parking lot was tossed 30 or 40 yards and mangled. In Louisiana, there was also relatively serious damage in the southwestern parishes of Beauregard and Allen, including the town of Reeves. Some wind damage was also reported in Houston and throughout East Texas. Though Arkansas had also been included in warnings, there was only a stray report of hail in Jackson County in the northeast part of the state. Freddie Zeigler, a meteorologist in the Weather Service’s New Orleans office, said heavy winds were preceding the squall line, possibly contributing to power outages. A gust of 52 mph was reported at McComb, Mississippi, about 1 p.m. Monday.
It was the second episode of heavy rain within days for some areas. An area stretching from Biloxi, Mississippi, through Alabama and across Macon and Augusta, Georgia received more than 4 inches of rain Monday, according to radar estimates. Parts of southern Mississippi and southwest Alabama have received more than 8 inches of rain since Saturday. Though rivers along the Gulf Coast were rising rapidly Monday, only minor flooding was predicted.
Thunderstorms will continue along the North Carolina coast Tuesday morning ahead of a cold front. Light to moderate snow will begin to taper off across northern Minnesota, as an area of low pressure moves eastward toward the Great Lakes. As this system moves eastward, it will bring the potential for heavy snow across the Northeast Wednesday through midday Friday. Snow will increase over the Intermountain West and into the Rockies Wednesday through Friday in association with an area of low pressure. Scattered thunderstorms will continue to develop across the Carolinas along and ahead of a cold front this morning. A few strong thunderstorms containing gusty winds will be possible. The threat should mostly end by midday as the front begins to move offshore. Light to moderate snow will continue across Minnesota through this morning. As an area of low pressure moves northeastward into the Northeast, wintry precipitation is likely. A large area of rain and freezing rain will move over the region early Tuesday afternoon and persist into the evening. Significant ice accumulation is likely, especially in elevations above 1500 feet. Ice accumulations up to a quarter of an inch are possible, but most areas will receive around a tenth of an inch. Precipitation will transition to snow late Tuesday as a cold front passes. Across areas of New Hampshire and Maine, snow accumulations of 1-2 inches are forecast in addition to up to a tenth of an inch of ice and 1-2 inches of sleet. For northern portions of Maine, 4-8 inches of snow are expected, in addition to up to two tenths of an inch and 1-2 inches of sleet.
Low pressure developed off the Mid-Atlantic Coast and produced snow from the Carolinas to southern New England On Friday. The heaviest snow fell across the Carolinas. Snow also fell across portions of Texas and Oklahoma. Wintry precipitation continued across the region, as an upper level low and cold front continue to move through. Another system developing in the Gulf of Mexico caused rain along the Gulf Coast with mixed precipitation extending into Georgia.
Low pressure intensifying off the East Coast spread snow and ice from the Carolinas into New England Saturday. Snow and sleet pounded a large swath of the U.S. East Coast on Saturday, coating roads with ice and causing hundreds of crashes. Connecticut state police responded Saturday to reports of a nearly 30-vehicle pileup on a highway near Hartford. A snowstorm that was predicted to bring up to 8 inches of snow to the area was being blamed for the crash at exit 21 in the southbound lanes of I-91 in Middletown. Police said no one was seriously injured. The pileup involved at least 20 cars, three tractor-trailers and a tanker. I-91 was shut in both directions from exit 20 to exit 25 after the accident reported. Thousands of people lost power and forecasters warned of blizzard-like conditions from Virginia to parts of the Northeast. Police investigated several fatal crashes as potentially storm-related, but some of the South's biggest cities — Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh — appeared to avoid the worst of the storm. Snow and sleet pounded a large swath of the U.S. East Coast on Saturday, coating roads with ice and causing hundreds of crashes. Thousands of people lost power and forecasters warned of blizzard-like conditions from Virginia to parts of the Northeast. Police investigated several fatal crashes as potentially storm-related, but some of the South's biggest cities — Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh — appeared to avoid the worst of the storm. Authorities praised residents for learning the lessons of past storms that resulted in icy gridlock, where thousands of people were stranded along the interstates. But officials warned that bitter cold would keep roads treacherous well after the snow and sleet stopped.
8-14: A massive storm system stretching from California into Nevada lifted rivers climbing out of their banks, flooded vineyards and forced people to evacuate after warnings that hillsides parched by wildfires could give way to mudslides on Monday. Northern California's Russian River rose to its highest level since 2006, and schools and roads were closed across the wine-making region of Sonoma County, where thousands of people were without power.
Avalanche concerns kept some California ski areas closed for a second day Monday in the Sierra Nevada. Forecasters said more snow and rain was on the way. In Nevada near Reno, Nevada National Guard high-water vehicles were deployed to help people evacuate from a town. The Russian River is prone to flooding, but this year's flood has been particularly worrisome because it threatened to topple trees weakened by six years of drought.
Jeff Watts, an artist, spent an anxious night listening for the sound of falling trees on his land. Over the weekend, toppled trees crashed against cars and homes and blocked roads in the San Francisco Bay Area. Stranded motorists had to be rescued from cars stuck on flooded roads. A giant tree fell across a highway in Hillsborough to the south of San Francisco, injuring a driver who couldn't brake in time and drove into the tree. And a woman was killed Saturday by a falling tree while she took a walk on a golf course.
To the south near Los Angeles, commuters were warned of possible highway flooding and mudslides in hilly areas. Emergency workers in Nevada voluntarily evacuated about 1,300 people from 400 homes in a Reno neighborhood as the Truckee River overflowed and drainage ditches backed up. Schools were also canceled in Reno and Sparks, and Gov. Brian Sandoval told all nonessential state government workers to stay home Monday after he declared a state of emergency.
A system moving through the West caused heavy rain and snow across portions of the West Coast on Wednesday. The system caused possible tornadoes and wind damage. Cold air spread into the northern Rockies and the upper Mississippi Valley with temperatures low zero and the single digits with wind chills below zero. Winds gusted to 48 MPH at Mt Washington, NH.
An ice storm bearing down on the Plains and Midwest making for slippery and potentially dangerous conditions will expand into the Mid-Atlantic Friday. A stalled cold front is stretched from the southern Plains to the Carolinas while a fresh Canadian high pressure is funneling cold air north of the boundary across much of the Mid-Atlantic. The front will slowly move north Saturday as a weak low pressure ripple moves along it. The low pressure will squeeze out a dangerous mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain as it moves along Interstate 70 tonight into Saturday. Ice Storm Warnings are in place from northern Texas to southwestern Illinois. Perryton, Texas, Gage, Oklahoma City, Chickasha, Stillwater, and Bartlesville, Okla., Ulysses, Dodge City, Lincoln, Wichita, Norton, and Topeka, Kan., Rockport, Butler, Jefferson City, Joplin, Columbia, and St. Louis, Mo., as well as Quincy, Carlinville, and Vandalia, Ill., are included. One-quarter to one-half inch of ice is expected to cause power outages and dangerous travel. On the southern fringe of Interstate 70, Freezing Rain Advisories stretch from the Texas Panhandle to the Appalachians. Amarillo, Texas, Hobart to Tulsa, Okla., Springfield and Carbondale, Ill., Indianapolis, Greensburg and Muncie, Ind., Cincinnati to St. Clairsville, Ohio, Parkersburg to Morgantown, W.Va., and Lewisburg, W.Va. to Frostburg, Md. Winter Storm Watches spread across the central Plains and Middle-Mississippi Valley from eastern Colorado to northern Iowa and central Illinois. One-quarter to three-quarters of an inch of ice and up to 3 inches of snow will fall. Not to be outdone, Winter Weather Advisories are posted for a portion of the Mid-Atlantic including Baltimore, Cumberland and Hagerstown, Md., Washington D.C., Martinsburg, W.Va., Warrenton, Va., as well as Altoona and Gettysburg, Pa. Snow and freezing rain are expected with up to an inch of snow and one-tenth of an inch of ice. The ice will make travel extremely dangerous, turning roads into skating rinks. If you must go out, be sure to drive slowly. Bridges and overpasses are especially susceptible to ice. Ice can also cause tree branches and power lines to fall, creating a threat for power outages. Be sure to have a flashlight, a charged cellular device, extra water and nonperishable food in case the power goes out. As if the ice and snow wasn’t enough, the atmosphere will be ripe for thunderstorms south of the cold front.
15-21: A system in the Midwest caused snow and freezing rain from the Plains and the Midwest on Monday as an upper level system continues to slowly move across the region. From east Texas to the Mid Mississippi Valley, thunderstorms developed ahead of a cold front. A significant winter storm impacted the Plains to the Great Lakes as an upper level system continues to move northeastward. Total snowfall accumulations of 4-6 inches are forecast across eastern Colorado and western Kansas. In addition, freezing rain accumulations between a tenth and a quarter of an inch and sleet accumulations around half an inch are expected. From southwestern Kansas to north central Kansas, 1-3 inches of snow and an additional quarter of an inch of freezing rain was possible. Across Nebraska and Iowa, snowfall accumulations of 3-6 inches are forecast with ice accumulations between a tenth and a quarter of an inch. From eastern South Dakota into western Minnesota, snowfall accumulations of 1-2 inches are forecast with up to a tenth of an inch of ice. Across Minnesota and Wisconsin, 3-5 inches of snow in addition to up to two tenths of an inch of ice are expected.
Less than a week following a series of winter storms that walloped the West Coast, a fresh weather maker promises more problems for the next several days on Wednesday. A low pressure system sitting well off the Washington and Oregon coasts is throwing plenty of Pacific Ocean moisture into the Northwest. Not only will this system bring heavy rain and snow but also the chance for thunderstorm activity along the Pacific Coast from the Olympic National Forest in Washington to San Francisco. Ice Storm Warnings have been issued for the interior of Washington and Oregon through this evening. Yakima, Wash., and the Columbia River Gorge are included. Widespread ice accumulation of up to one inch is expected. The ice will cause power outages and break tree branches and limbs making travel difficult, if not impossible in spots. It’s best to keep water, non-perishable food, a flashlight and a fully-charged cell phone with you just in case. More winter weather will be pounding the Pacific Northwest into the interior northern Rockies through Thursday. Winter Storm Warnings have been posted in the Sierra, Cascades and Bitterroot Range. A few cities included are Weaverville, Calif., Twin Falls, Idaho, Thompson Falls, Mont., Baker City, Ore., and Mount Shasta, Calif. More than 18 inches of snow are expected in the mountains above 7,000 feet and between 6 and 12 inches above 5,000 feet. Winter Weather advisories stretch from the northern Rockies into the Great Basin. Walla Walla, Wash., Boise, Idaho, Winnemucca and Caliente, Nev., as well as the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada are included. A trace to 4 inches of snow is expected for the lower elevations while over a foot is expected above 8000 feet. The low pressure will send downpours to the Northwest Coast. Flash Flood Watches have been posted for Seattle, Wash., Lewiston, Idaho, as well as Albany and Eugene, Ore. Heavy rain and snow melt from the previous storms will cause for the threat of floods through Thursday. Drains and areas that are blocked by snow and ice will have the better chance of seeing flood waters rise. Remember, whenever approaching a flooded area, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” because flood waters are always deeper than they appear.
A dangerous weather across the South on Friday, threatening the Gulf Coast and Southeast with heavy rain, damaging wind, hail and maybe even tornadoes. A spring-like storm system sweeping across the Gulf Coast is drawing moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. The moisture paired with warm air ahead of the system. As the system interacted with humid air across the Gulf Coast and fire off clusters of intense thunderstorms this afternoon from extreme eastern Texas to Florida's Atlantic Coast.
The system caused heavy rain with more than 3 inches of rain possible across the Southeast and Gulf Coast. A Pacific system approached the West Coast and caused precipitation up and down the West Coast.
22-31: A strong low off the Mid-Atlantic Coast and high pressure near Canada caused overcast skies and strong winds and rain along the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Coast. Wind gust reached 46 MPF at La Guardia Airport. A system approaching the West Coast brought rain to California. National weather service doppler radars and surface Observations indicated moderate to heavy rainfall was impacting central and southern California and portions of southern Nevada. There were also thunderstorms moving over southern California. Scattered rain showers were also occurred across the Southwest and the valleys of the Intermountain West. Moderate to heavy snow fell in the Sierras of California, with light to moderate snow across the Intermountain West, and higher elevations of the Southwest. A few snowfall amounts included: Forest Lakes 33.0 inches; June Lake California 60.0 inches; and Wolf Creek Pass Co. 29.0 inches. Winds gusted as high as 108 MPH at Grapevine Peak, CA. Rainfall amounts ranged between 1 and 2 inches with Lakes of the Woods, CA received 8.00 inches.
Jim G. Munley, jr.
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