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MAY 2009


1st-9thHeavy rains flooded homes, roads and businesses in some areas of northeastern Oklahoma Friday, forcing authorities to rescue stranded residents and motorists. No injuries were reported. Almost 7 inches of rain had fallen in Cherokee, Delaware, Rogers and Mayes counties since early Friday. Much of the downtown area of Pryor was closed because of flooded streets. The Mayes County sheriff's office said the flooding extended to some homes and businesses. Several people also were rescued from their flooded homes and cars in nearby Rogers County, said Emergency Management Director Bob Anderson."We've got more than three dozen roads that are closed or impassable from so much rain," Anderson said. "We've even got water leaking into the courthouse." U.S. Highway 412, U.S. 69 and State Highway 28 and 29 all were shut down in Mayes County, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation reported. Highway closures also were reported in Cotton County in southern Oklahoma, in Nowata County south of the Kansas border and in Alfalfa County in northwest Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Jack McCoy said there were too many roads closed to list them all and the OHP was asking people not to travel in the area. Areas of active weather swept through portions of the country on Saturday. A long front stretched from the Southern Plains through the Northeast. This feature allowed a tremendous amount of moisture to pour into the Plains and Tennessee Valley. This moisture instigated areas of rain, thunderstorms, and severe weather. At least one tornado developed in northern Mississippi, and there were preliminary reports of additional tornadoes elsewhere. One of these reports was in Texas. There were also several reports of large hail and strong winds that caused damage. The thunderstorms that plagued the area produced heavy rain that raised flooding fears.

Severe weather clobbered the Southeast, Tennessee Valley, and Mid-Atlantic States on Wednesday. Two tornadoes were spotted in northern Alabama, golf ball sized hail was reported in Terry, Mississippi, and winds gusted up to 65 mph in Kosciusko, Mississippi. In Philadelphia, Mississippi, strong winds tore a porch off of a house. Heavy rain hit the region with periods of intense downfalls, a total of 1.80 inches fell over New Houlka, Mississippi. This system also produced a warm front that extended over the Ohio River Valley and moved into the Northeast, which kicked up light scattered rain showers. Most areas saw less than a quarter of an inch of rain. Meanwhile in the Northern Plains, a low pressure system produced a fast moving cold front that swept through the Upper Midwest. The system kicked up strong winds and thunderstorms which produced hail. Dime to quarter sized hail was reported in Worthington, Minnesota and Lake Spirit, Iowa.

A long front stretched from the Middle Mississippi Valley through the Rockies and triggered severe weather. A tremendous amount of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico streamed toward the front and produced heavy rain, thunderstorms, and even some tornadoes. A cluster of storms formed a bow echo that tracked through southern Missouri and northern Arkansas before giving way to another set of storms that moved through the Tennessee Valley. This cluster of thunderstorms produced damaging wind and hail along with several tornadoes from southeastern Kansas through southern Illinois. There were initial reports of considerable damage from these tornadoes. Another tornado was reported in Iowa in the afternoon.


10th-16thMonday's main weather occurred across the southeastern quadrant of the nation as a frontal boundary remained stretched across the south and an area of low pressure moved towards the East Coast. Ample amounts of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico combined with enhanced instability and produced numerous bands of precipitation and thunderstorms across the Gulf Coast states. As the day progressed the number and intensity of thunderstorms along the northeastern coast of Texas and across southwestern Louisiana increased. Stronger instability over these areas supported stronger winds with penny sized hail (0.75 inches) and caused these regions to be at slight risk for severe weather development.

A severe low pressure system moved through the Plains on the Wednesday and kicked up scattered showers and thunderstorms over the Mid-Mississippi River Valley. The system created a warm front that pulled warm air and moisture in from the Gulf and was quickly followed by a cold front that extended into the Southern Plains, both of which kicked up active weather. Some of these storms turned severe with periods of heavy rain and hail reported in Roby, Missouri. In Champaign, Illinois, 0.96 inches of rain fell with scattered showers that extended up the Ohio River Valley. Tornadoes were expected but have not yet been reported.

Thunderstorms continue from the southern Plains to Illinois on Friday.

Large hail and some damaging wind gusts have been reported from the Nebraska/Kansas border into Missouri. More strong storms are pounding parts of western Illinois. In addition to the severe thunderstorms, heavy rain could produce flooding across portions of the Plains. Radar estimates that three to six inches of rain have fallen along the Iowa-Missouri border into western Illinois. There have been reports of water covering roadways in this area.


17th-23rdActive weather hit the Gulf states on Tuesday as a front lingered over the region. The front extended from a system off the East Coast and pulled abundant moisture in from the Atlantic Ocean, which allowed for scattered shower and thunderstorm development. Severe weather has not yet been reported with this system, but some areas saw periods of heavy rain. Orlando, Florida reported a total of 2.77 inches of new rainfall. To the north, fires were a threat with warm, dry, and breezy conditions. In Albany, Georgia, 15 mph winds with gusts up to 33 mph were reported.

Severe weather hit Florida on Wednesday as a low pressure system hovered over the Gulf of Mexico. This system picked up abundant moisture and triggered periods of heavy rain with scattered thunderstorms. In Bryceville, Florida, 3.8 inches of rain was reported, while quarter sized hail fell over Lakeport, Florida. Strong damaging winds also hit the region with 58 mph gusts reported in Belle Glade, Florida. This system pushed clouds over the rest of the Gulf states but precipitation has not yet been reported.


24th-31stMuch of the nation saw active weather on Memorial Day. A strong low pressure system moved into the Plains and pulled abundant moisture into the Central and Eastern U.S. The system produced a warm front that tracked through the Northern Plains, while a stationary front developed over the Ohio River Valley. Devils Lake, North Dakota reported 1.21 inches of rain, while 0.75 inches were reported in Russellville, IL, with light scattered showers extending into New England. In Bakersfield, Texas, thunderstorms produced quarter sized hail, while a tornado was spotted in Stratton, Colorado. Meanwhile, this system also triggered active weather in the Southeast. Heavy rain fell over Jackson, Mississippi as thunderstorms initiated Monday afternoon. The storms have not yet turned severe but a half an inch of rain dumped over the area within one hour, which allowed for flooding problems over the Lower and mid-Mississippi Valley.

Active weather persisted across the Eastern US on Wednesday. A strong low pressure system moved from the Plains and into the Mississippi River Valley. This system pulled in warm and moist conditions from the Gulf and produced a warm front over the Ohio River Valley. This front triggered scattered showers and thunderstorms, none of which have turned severe. In Milwood, Kentucky, 1.34 inches of rain has been reported, while 0.91 inches fell over Green Springs, Ohio. To the north, the low pressure system triggered light and constant rainfall over the Great Lakes region. In Whitehall, Wisconsin, 0.65 inches of rain was reported and hail was spotted in Swartz Creek, Michigan. Meanwhile, the back side of this low pressure system pulled in cool air from the north and created a cold front that stretched down the Mississippi River and into the Southern Plains. This brought periods of heavy rain and severe thunderstorms over the Mid- and Lower Mississippi River Valley. In Grandview, Texas, 60 mph winds were reported and penny sized hail was spotted in Melbourne, Arkansas. Florida saw severe storms as moist flow from the Atlantic and the Gulf converged over the state. The state saw strong and damaging winds with gusts over 60 mph as well as nickel sized hail reported in Boca Raton, Florida.

Severe weather with strong winds, hail, and heavy rain persisted across the Eastern US on Thursday. A low pressure system moved into eastern Canada and produced a cold front that hovered over the East Coast. Strongest moisture advection was over the Northeast and triggered moderately heavy showers throughout the day, while light showers extended down the coast. In Albany, New York, 0.66 inches of rain was reported. Thunderstorms kicked up large hail in Swansonville, Virginia, and strong winds blew trees and power lines down in Washington DC. Scattered showers and thunderstorms stretched well into the Gulf States.



Jim G. Munley, jr.

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