Australia's Hell on Earth fires claim 200 lives

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9. helmikuuta 2009 klo 15:15 (GMT)

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Unprecedented heat, high winds, and years of record drought fanned weekend fires that claimed at least 200 lives in Australia's southeastern state of Victoria. It was Australia's deadliest natural disaster ever. The fires burnt 1200 square miles, an area 80% the size of Rhode Island. "Out there it has been hell on earth", Victorian Premier John Brumby said Saturday in a televised address. It is difficult to imagine more hellish fire conditions than those observed in Victoria state's capital, Melbourne, on Saturday (February 7). The temperature soared to 115.5°F (46.4°C), the hottest ever recorded in the city, besting the previous record of 114°F (45.6°C) set on January 13, 1939. Humidities as low as 4% and sustained north winds that reached 43 mph, gusting to 51 mph, accompanied the furnace-like heat. The dry winds were easily able to fan fires in the parched vegetation. Severe drought conditions reign in Southeast Australia, where some regions--including the city of Melbourne--have experienced their worst drought on record over the past eight years.

The previous worst-ever Australian fires were the 1939 Black Friday fires, which burned an area nearly four times the size of Rhode Island (5800 square miles), killing 71 people, and the February 1983 Ash Wednesday fires, which killed 75 people and burned 1800 square miles.


Figure 1. This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite shows multiple large fires (outlined in red) burning in Southeast Australia's Victoria state on February 7. Huge plumes of smoke spread southeast, driven by fierce winds. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

World's hottest temperature so far south
The heat wave over Southeast Australia began on January 27. A slow-moving high pressure system over the Tasman Sea, combined with an intense tropical low off the northwest coast of Western Australia and an active monsoon, provided ideal conditions for hot, tropical air to move over the southern parts of Australia. The most exceptional heat in January occurred in northern and eastern Tasmania. The previous state record of 105°F (40.8°C), set at Hobart on 4 January 1976, was broken on 29 January when it reached 107°F (41.5°C) at Flinders Island Airport. This record only lasted one day, as Scamander, on the east coast, reached 108°F (42.2°C) on the 30th. Four other sites broke the previous Tasmanian record that day. Nearly half of the island of Tasmania had its hottest day on record on January 30, with many records broken by large margins, particularly in the north. Launceston Airport (39.9°C) broke its previous record by 2.6 degrees°C. This is the second-largest margin by which a record high maximum has been broken at any of the 103 locations in the long-term high-quality Australian temperature data set. The January 2009 event has now been responsible for seven of the eight highest temperatures on record in Tasmania.

After a slight drop in temperatures the first few days of February, extreme heat moved back into Southeast Australia on February 6-7. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Victoria state was measured at Hopetoun, in the northwest, which hit 120°F (48.8°C) on February 7. This bested the old record of 117°F (47.2°C) set at Mildura in January 1939. The new record at Hopetoun is also the hottest temperature in the world so far south. Most of Victoria recorded its hottest day on record on February 7, and fourteen stations exceeded the previous state record temperature.

The January-February 2009 heat wave has also been unusually long lasting. Both Adelaide and Melbourne set records for the most consecutive days above 43°C. Adelaide's temperatures were at this level on each of the four days 27-30 January, and Melbourne's for three days from 28-30 January, breaking the previous records of two at both locations.

Spectacular nocturnal heat burst
On the morning of January 29, an exceptional nocturnal heat event occurred in the northern suburbs of Adelaide around 3 a.m. Strong northwesterly winds mixed hot air aloft to the surface. At RAAF Edinburgh, the temperature rose to 107°F (41.7°C) at 3:04 am. Such an event appears to be without known precedent in southern Australia.


Figure 2. Maximum temperature anomalies for February 7, 2009. Most of the southeast Australia state of Victoria experienced the highest temperatures ever recorded, with temperatures up to 32°F (18°C) above average. The cooler temperatures in northeastern Australia are due to the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Ellie and persistent monsoon rains. Image credit: "The exceptional January-February 2009 heat wave in south-eastern Australia, Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology.

Climate Change and Australia
As to whether this heat wave is due to climate change, Mr. Perry Wiles, senior climatologist with the NSW office of the Bureau of Meteorology said, "Climate change is not only increasing average temperatures, but also the frequency and severity of extreme temperature events. While any one event cannot be attributed to climate change, this heat wave is certainly consistent with that expectation. In a warming world we can expect similar extreme events more often."

Average annual temperatures have increased by about 1.3°F (0.75°C) in Australia over the past century, which is also the what the global average increase in temperature has been. According the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, average temperatures in Australia are expected to rise by about 4.7°F (2.6°C) by the year 2100. Droughts are expected to become more severe and more frequent in the southeastern regions affected by this weekend's fires (Figure 3), though other portions of Australia are expected to see increases in rainfall. These sorts of regional precipitation predictions are in their infancy, and we currently have low confidence in them. However, continued increases in summertime temperatures are likely to bring more frequent heat waves like this weekend's to Southeast Australia over the coming century.


Figure 3. Average temperature and precipitation changes over Australia and New Zealand from the 21 climate models used to formulate the 2007 IPCC climate change report (A1B scenario). Annual mean and summertime (December-January-February) changes are plotted for the period 1980-1999 vs. 2080-2099. Image credit: 2007 IPCC report, section 11, "Regional Climate projections".

For more information
"The exceptional January-February 2009 heat wave in south-eastern Australia", Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology.

Jeff Masters

BUSHFIRES IN VICTORIA AUSTRALIA ON WHAT IS BEING CALLED (ozcazz)
Our State of Victoria is under siege by bushfires over so many areas temperatures are still in the high 40C. Tragedy is everywhere soo many lives lost over 65 dead... over 600 homes gone whole towns we are not too far from where the devastation is. I cannot believe that a town I worked in has been completley wiped out not one house standing. It is a very sad day here this weekend. And it is not over yet as the temperatures are still high more north winds have been forecasted and lightning. As our Prime Minster said it is
BUSHFIRES IN VICTORIA AUSTRALIA ON WHAT IS BEING CALLED

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311. hydrus
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 16:16 (GMT)
TAMPA SPIN-I have got to tell you ,I would pay top dollar for that wine your talking about.Question,that tornado outlook you posted does not seem right,the squall line is in TN right now.
Member Since: 27.09.2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19558
310. AussieStorm
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:55 (GMT)
Quoting theshepherd:

Thanks Aussie.
I understand about the unobstructed flows in present condition, but I'm curious how new growth can hold back more water than a mature forrest.

When the new growth begins and continues till the trees are back to being mature... it will use more water and wont let much through into the catchment. That's my take on it anyways.
Member Since: 30.09.2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
309. TampaSpin
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:48 (GMT)
This is the current outlook for Tornados from the National Weather Service......give these guys props...they hit the rough weather yesterday.....nearly 2 days in advance....

Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
308. MissNadia
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:45 (GMT)
New blog by the way!!
Member Since: 27.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2872
307. TampaSpin
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:44 (GMT)
My father grew strawberries and raspberries in Indiana and made the best dam wine you would ever drink if you could remember......still got jugs of it in a celler up there.......LOL
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
306. theshepherd
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:42 (GMT)
301
Thanx Nad...I figured that was the logic.
Just can't fathom how a few young plants can hold more water than a mature tree with existing plants within it's drip line.
Member Since: 11.09.2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10030
305. TampaSpin
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:40 (GMT)
Quoting KEHCharleston:
Thanks for the heads up. This is the year to work for plentiful garden. I do not have a yard, but my sister has about 3/4 acre. Will call her about combing efforts to increase production.


Thats the only way.....Family owns 200 acre farm and we raise to eat everything...soy beans to feed the live stock.....sweet corn, and all the vegetables one can imagine....it is a total family effort and what we can't use ourselves we supply the neighbors......
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
304. TampaSpin
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:36 (GMT)


DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0638 AM CST WED FEB 11 2009

VALID 111300Z - 121200Z

...THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS TODAY INTO EARLY TONIGHT FOR
THE TN AND OH VALLEY REGION...

...MID AND LOWER MS VALLEY EWD TO THE APPALACHIANS TODAY...
A 100-120 KT MID LEVEL JET AND AN ASSOCIATED SHORTWAVE TROUGH WILL
ACCELERATE ENEWD FROM NE TX THIS MORNING TO THE TN/OH VALLEYS
THROUGH THE AFTERNOON...REACHING THE MID ATLANTIC LATE TONIGHT.
THIS INTENSE MID LEVEL SYSTEM WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY SURFACE CYCLONE
THAT WILL CONSOLIDATE THIS MORNING OVER SE MO/SRN IL AND MOVE NEWD
TO THE LOWER GREAT LAKES...AND A TRAILING COLD FRONT WHICH WILL
SWEEP EWD TO THE S OF THE LOW TRACK. THE WIDTH AND QUALITY OF THE
MOIST WARM SECTOR WILL DIMINISH WITH TIME AND NWD/EWD EXTENT FROM
THE LOWER MS VALLEY...WHILE THE STRONGER LOW-MID LEVEL FORCING FOR
ASCENT WILL TRAVERSE THE TN/OH VALLEYS TODAY /N OF THE RICHER
MOISTURE/.

DESPITE THE LESS FAVORABLE WARM SECTOR MOISTURE AND ONLY MODEST
SURFACE HEATING EXPECTED TODAY...THE THREAT FOR DAMAGING WINDS WITH
A NARROW FORCED CONVECTIVE LINE ALONG THE COLD FRONT IS EXPECTED TO
INCREASE DURING THE AFTERNOON ACROSS KY/TN AND EVENTUALLY INTO OH.
THE INCREASING WIND DAMAGE THREAT WILL BE LINKED TO A PLUME OF
STEEPENING LOW-LEVEL LAPSE RATES FEEDING THE CONVECTIVE LINE FROM
THE W/SW...AS A RESULT OF NEAR STEADY SURFACE TEMPERATURES AND SHARP
COOLING AROUND 700 MB. THIS WILL RESULT IN A MORE FAVORABLE
THERMODYNAMIC PROFILE FOR TRANSPORTING THE HIGH MOMENTUM /60-70 KT/
LOW-LEVEL FLOW TO THE GROUND WITHIN THE CONVECTIVE LINE. DAMAGING
WINDS WILL BE THE PRIMARY SEVERE THREAT GIVEN THE FORCED LINEAR
NATURE OF THE CONVECTION...THOUGH ISOLATED/EMBEDDED CIRCULATIONS
COULD ALSO OCCUR GIVEN THE EXTREMELY STRONG LOW-LEVEL SHEAR AND AT
LEAST WEAK LOW-LEVEL BUOYANCY. LATER TONIGHT...THERMODYNAMIC
PROFILES WILL BECOME LESS FAVORABLE FOR DAMAGING GUSTS TO REACH THE
SURFACE E OF THE APPALACHIANS. A POSSIBLE EXCEPTION WILL BE ACROSS
THE MID ATLANTIC REGION ON THE NOSE OF THE MID LEVEL JET.

FARTHER S TOWARD THE GULF COAST...FLOW FIELDS AND VERTICAL SHEAR
WILL REMAIN FAVORABLE FOR ORGANIZED SEVERE STORMS...INCLUDING
SUPERCELLS/BOWS. HOWEVER...THIS AREA WILL BE S OF THE MORE
SUBSTANTIAL HEIGHT FALLS/FORCING FOR ASCENT...WHERE MID LEVEL LAPSE
RATES WILL BE POOR AND CAPE PROFILES WILL BE TALL/NARROW. ISOLATED
DAMAGING GUSTS AND PERHAPS AN EMBEDDED SUPERCELL WILL REMAIN
POSSIBLE THROUGH THE AFTERNOON ACROSS THE SRN MS/AL AREA...BUT THE
OVERALL SEVERE THREAT APPEARS TOO MARGINAL TO WARRANT A SLIGHT RISK.

..THOMPSON/GRAMS..
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
303. KEHCharleston
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:34 (GMT)
Quoting Skyepony:
Got the rest of the world weather news updated on my blog. I do want to drop one more here. It's not a news outlet but the disturbing part is this isn't all over the media. I've been catching bits & pieces of it here & there.. China's drought the other day had 4.4 mill with no drinking water & huge crop losses~ more than 50%..no word there today.. Calif didn't plant 60% of their crops. I've seen one disturbing article out of TX.. Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Africa, middle east, Asia~ all devistating drought. At least a 20-40% drop in global food this year. Anyway great year for a garden. I'll be getting into my planting plans in there as well.

Catastrophic drop expected in 2009 global food production
Countries that make up two thirds of the world's agricultural output are experiencing drought conditions.


Thanks for the heads up. This is the year to work for plentiful garden. I do not have a yard, but my sister has about 3/4 acre. Will call her about combing efforts to increase production.
Member Since: 19.08.2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 2490
302. MissNadia
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:31 (GMT)
New Blog!
Member Since: 27.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2872
301. MissNadia
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:26 (GMT)
300

Hi Shep...my take on it is that the new growth USES the water before it runs off!
Member Since: 27.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2872
300. theshepherd
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:23 (GMT)
Quoting AussieStorm:


Read it again... he does explain why.....
He said a major bushfire would initially increase the amount of water flowing into the dam because of vegetation loss but would drastically cut flows as the forest regrew.

Thanks Aussie.
I understand about the unobstructed flows in present condition, but I'm curious how new growth can hold back more water than a mature forrest.
Member Since: 11.09.2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10030
299. vortfix
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:09 (GMT)
Arsonists start new bushfires in Australia

New fires blamed on arsonists hit Australia Wednesday as the toll from deadly blazes was likely to rise on the macabre discovery that charred remains initially identified as single bodies were in fact couples fused together by the heat.

The latest fires broke out Tuesday night, even as emergency workers were struggling with the aftermath of bushfires that have so far killed 181 people and burned huge tracts of the countryside in southeastern Australia.

John Brumby, the premier of the hard-hit state of Victoria, said many of 20 fires burning Wednesday were suspected to have been started by arsonists -- an act described earlier by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as "mass murder."

"There seems little doubt these were deliberately lit -- a number of them last night," Brumby said on national television.

"I think words escape us all when it comes to describing deliberate arson."

Link




Australian arsonists likely to be young and male

The arsonist Australian police suspect lit one of the weekend's deadly wildfires is likely to be a young male who could be driven by the need for excitement, recognition or to be in control, analysts said Wednesday.

He may well be a loner and come from a poorer background, and is likely to have a record of violence. Crime statistics show he will also be hard to catch and convict.

"Lighting a fire fulfils some psychological need for them," said bushfire crime analyst Damon Muller, from the Australian Institute of Criminology.

The worst bushfire disaster in Australian history has killed at least 181 people in the southern Victoria state, destroying small towns and leaving 5,000 people homeless. Up to half of the bushfires in Australia each year are started deliberately, with a cost to the community of about A$1.6 billion ($1 billion) a year, research by Australia's Institute of Criminology has found.

Many firebugs come from the area where the fire is set, said University of South Australia psychologist Robert Heath, with some even joining efforts to douse the flames.

"Some suffer from a feeling of impotence and light fires to give themselves a sense of being in control," Heath said.

"Another group has a psychological attraction to fire and seeing things burn. The third group has a need to be seen as a hero and so tends to light fires to provide opportunities to show heroic traits."

There are also many women arsonists, who were an average 3 to 4 years older than the male arsonists, according to statistics of those caught and convicted of the crime.

Link
298. AussieStorm
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:09 (GMT)
Quoting theshepherd:
Dr Paul Feikema, a research fellow with the University of Melbourne's Department of Forest and Ecosystems Science, is part of a team that has studied the possible effects of the Victoria fires.

293 Aussie
"He said a major bushfire would initially increase the amount of water flowing into the dam because of vegetation loss but would drastically cut flows as the forest regrew.

Models showed that with only 50 per cent of trees killed outright by a bushfire near the Thomson catchment, water yield would be cut by an average of 20 per cent for 50 years"
..............................................

That's interesting. Did he explain why?


Read it again... he does explain why.....
He said a major bushfire would initially increase the amount of water flowing into the dam because of vegetation loss but would drastically cut flows as the forest regrew.
Member Since: 30.09.2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
297. guygee
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 14:06 (GMT)
Today's HPC Preliminary Extended Forecast Discussion has a reference to a great historical storm that I found to be very interesting:

NEXT WEDNESDAY...THE ECMWF IS LIKELY TOO SLOW/PROBABLY TOO FAR SOUTH WITH ITS MARCH 1962 LOOK-ALIKE CYCLONE DEVELOPMENT NEAR THE EAST COAST PER TELECONNECTIONS...WHICH HAS BEEN ACCOUNTED FOR IN THE WIND GRIDS FOR LATE ON THE 18TH. THE 00Z MULTI-MODEL ENSEMBLE MEMBERS SHOW CLUSTERING AROUND THE 00Z ECMWF SOLUTION THAT FAR OUT IN TIME WITH A SMALLER CAMP MOVING THE MAIN CYCLONE INTO LOWER
MICHIGAN.

The 1962 Cyclone that is referenced is most commonly known as the Ash Wednesday storm, one of the most destructive nor'easters on record.

Some interesting links:
Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 (Wikipedia)
Ash Wednesday Storm March 6th & 7th 1962
The storm of 1962
The Ash Wednesday Storm
Member Since: 16.09.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3059
296. theshepherd
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 13:59 (GMT)
Dr Paul Feikema, a research fellow with the University of Melbourne's Department of Forest and Ecosystems Science, is part of a team that has studied the possible effects of the Victoria fires.

293 Aussie
"He said a major bushfire would initially increase the amount of water flowing into the dam because of vegetation loss but would drastically cut flows as the forest regrew.

Models showed that with only 50 per cent of trees killed outright by a bushfire near the Thomson catchment, water yield would be cut by an average of 20 per cent for 50 years"
..............................................

That's interesting. Did he explain why?
Member Since: 11.09.2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10030
295. Cotillion
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 13:46 (GMT)
Our tornado season is typically from April to September, though there are the odd tornado for the rest of the year as the winter storms come in.
Member Since: 23.08.2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
293. AussieStorm
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 13:26 (GMT)
Fire threating water, gas supplies in Victoria
Article from: AAP

February 11, 2009

MELBOURNE'S largest water catchment, the Thomson Reservoir, and the Longford gas plant are both threatened by major bushfires burning out of control today.

And a water expert says a fire that kills just half the trees in the Thomson catchment could cut water yield in the already drought-ravaged dam by 20 per cent for the next half century.

The threat to water supplies was heightened by the prospect that the Bunyip and Kinglake Complex fires could merge, putting more communities at risk if predicted northerly winds return today.

Country Fire Authority (CFA) Deputy Chief Fire Officer Steve Warrington said emergency workers were closely watching the weather.

He said the Bunyip fire was active on its northern front in inaccessible terrain.

"Thomson Reservoir is a concern because of the long-term impacts for water catchment in Victoria,'' Mr Warrington told reporters.

"A fire in the catchment is something of significance in the immediate term and in the longer term if the water harvest is affected by the destruction of the catchment.

"There is a huge effort going on minimising the impact of that fire as we speak.

"And everything is being done to prevent the fire reaching the gas plant at Longford.''

Longford receives oil and natural gas from production platforms in Bass Strait.

In September 1998, an explosion at the plant killed two workers and severely depleted Victoria's energy supplies for two weeks.

Dr Paul Feikema, a research fellow with the University of Melbourne's Department of Forest and Ecosystems Science, is part of a team that has studied the possible effects of the Victoria fires.

He said a major bushfire would initially increase the amount of water flowing into the dam because of vegetation loss but would drastically cut flows as the forest regrew.

Models showed that with only 50 per cent of trees killed outright by a bushfire near the Thomson catchment, water yield would be cut by an average of 20 per cent for 50 years.
Member Since: 30.09.2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
292. surfmom
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 13:25 (GMT)
THANK YOU SKYE!!!! your post 286 -- is the REAL news.... and I am very perplexed as to why that is not a headliner on many of our national newspapers........ (hummmm) I suppose they want to keep the sheeple ignorant and complacent for as long as possible.........the economic news is dismal enough... not enough food and they will awake......people get very pro-active when they are faced w/the hungry belly syndrome...... The corporations (who are truly running the show and the newspapers)are stalling off the Perfect Storm.......Funny thing is you can, play with the books, lie steal and be corrupt ie. Wall Street --but you can not fool, control or hide from Mother Nature -- unlike the banksters, and the privileged elite.....She holds us all accountable -- Equally
Member Since: 18.07.2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
291. AussieStorm
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 13:24 (GMT)
United States sending 60 experts to help in Victoria
Article from: AAP

February 11, 2009

THE United States will send 60 experts to help in recovery efforts after the worst bushfires in Victorian history.

The support team was requested by Emergency Management Australia (EMA) in response to the ongoing Victoria fires, and should arrive on Sunday.

The team will include experts on burned area rehabilitation, incident management, aviation support and mid-and senior-level management.

A major part of the support will be two 13-member Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams who will assist in assessing burned areas and damage to water catchments.

The BAER teams include an environmental specialist, botanist, forester, soil scientist, hydrologist, geologist, and documentation and cultural resources specialists.

The support is part of the international fire exchange agreement that the US and Australia entered into in 2000.
Member Since: 30.09.2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
290. surfmom
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 13:16 (GMT)
Wish I could have brought my mango tree's inside....although like me, they are feeling MUCGH beter w/these warming temps.

Stillwaiting you been fishing????? My body down in Venice says he's had a terrific season thus far. Says the sea trout have made a huge comeback, especially since they planted all those sea grass beds which are now very establish.
Member Since: 18.07.2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
289. vortfix
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 13:14 (GMT)
While every month usually has some tornado activity, May is the peak month for tornadoes in the United States, averaging 285 over the past 10 years. April through July forms the heart of "tornado season." After that the number of tornadoes begins to drop off. But there is a secondary peak in September (10-year average of 93) -- largely driven by tornadoes spawned from landfalling hurricanes and tropical storms. And there is a tertiary peak in November (10-year average of 71).

While "Dixie Alley" along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Georgia and South Carolina is most at risk during second season, conditions favorable for tornadoes sometimes spread all the way north to the Ohio Valley.
288. Skyepony (Mod)
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 13:12 (GMT)
I had a bumper crop of tangerines that got left on the tree (Melbourne, FL)~ lost about 60% of that to the freeze. The main crop was most plentiful & harvested before the 1st freeze. I didn't cover my winter crops & they were fine. The 1st freeze killed off the last of my fall crops. They were pretty much done anyway.
Member Since: 10.08.2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36107
287. melwerle
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 13:09 (GMT)
Is there actually a tornado "season" in GA? I know we get a few from time to time, just can't remember when that is...only during tstorms? Any particular time of year? summer?
Member Since: 28.06.2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 1837
286. Skyepony (Mod)
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 13:06 (GMT)
Got the rest of the world weather news updated on my blog. I do want to drop one more here. It's not a news outlet but the disturbing part is this isn't all over the media. I've been catching bits & pieces of it here & there.. China's drought the other day had 4.4 mill with no drinking water & huge crop losses~ more than 50%..no word there today.. Calif didn't plant 60% of their crops. I've seen one disturbing article out of TX.. Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Africa, middle east, Asia~ all devistating drought. At least a 20-40% drop in global food this year. Anyway great year for a garden. I'll be getting into my planting plans in there as well.

Catastrophic drop expected in 2009 global food production
Countries that make up two thirds of the world's agricultural output are experiencing drought conditions.


Member Since: 10.08.2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36107
285. stillwaiting
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 12:57 (GMT)
Quoting charlottefl:
Tomatoes took a bigger hit, and you can tell if you've been in the grocery store in the last couple of weeks.


I have a container garden on my patio,up here in SRQ,I took everything in,but my strawberry plants and I'm glad I did!!!,I talked to my friend who also has a garden,but his is not a container garden,so he could not bring things inside like I did,after the cold snap,I put them back out and everything is doing super!!!,however my friend who didn't even cover he's plants,has lost some of his smaller seedlings and all of his others have been stunted due to the cold weather!!!!!
Member Since: 5.10.2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
284. vortfix
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 12:50 (GMT)
There are conflicting reports this morning regarding the death toll in the Oklahoma tornadoes last night.
There are either eight or fifteen deaths depending on which report you read.
Will be waiting for the official confirmation this morning after officials have the chance to finish inspecting the damaged areas.
All of the deaths occcurred in the Lone Grove tornado.


PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK

111 AM CST WED FEB 11 2009

...FEBRUARY TORNADOES...

TORNADOES STRUCK IN CENTRAL AND SOUTH CENTRAL OKLAHOMA TUESDAY
EVENING AFFECTING THE CITIES OF OKLAHOMA CITY AND EDMOND IN CENTRAL
OKLAHOMA... AND LONE GROVE AND ARDMORE IN SOUTH CENTRAL OKLAHOMA.
STORM SURVEY TEAMS WILL VISIT THE AFFECTED AREAS ON WEDNESDAY TO
DETERMINE THE DETAILS OF THESE TORNADOES.

SOME INFORMATION ABOUT FEBRUARY TORNADOES IN OKLAHOMA...

THERE HAVE BEEN 44 DOCUMENTED FEBRUARY TORNADOES WITHIN THE STATE OF
OKLAHOMA BETWEEN 1950 AND 2008.

THERE HAVE BEEN TWO PREVIOUS KILLER TORNADOES IN FEBRUARY IN
OKLAHOMA SINCE 1950... BOTH OCCURRING ON FEBRUARY 22 1975 IN
SOUTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA. ON THAT DAY... ONE TORNADO STRUCK ALTUS
KILLING TWO PEOPLE... AND ANOTHER TORNADO KILLED ONE PERSON NEAR
MOUNTAIN PARK. THESE WERE TWO OF SIX TORNADOES THAT STRUCK BETWEEN
MIDNIGHT AND 3 AM IN OKLAHOMA.

THE STRONGEST TORNADOES SINCE 1950 TO HAVE OCCURRED WITHIN OKLAHOMA
IN FEBRUARY ARE TWO F3 TORNADOES BOTH THAT STRUCK ON FEBRUARY 17
1961. ONE F3 OCCURRED IN EASTERN OKLAHOMA COUNTY FROM NEAR SPENCER
TO NORTHEAST OF LUTHER... AND THE OTHER F3 WAS PART OF A TORNADIC
STORM THAT MOVED FROM NEAR STRATFORD TO KONAWA... WEWOKA AND TO
SOUTH OF SHULTER.

BEFORE TUESDAY... THE LAST FEBRUARY TORNADO IN OKLAHOMA OCCURRED ON
FEBRUARY 25 2000 IN TULSA.


Photobucket

Photobucket

283. stillwaiting
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 12:50 (GMT)
Quoting charlottefl:
Talked to a friend who was in OK City last night, but lives in ardmore, said the weather was really bad, hail, wind, etc. I don't think he realizes how close he was to those twisters..


The worst part is most of the tornado's in OK were rain wrapped,making them very hard to see coming at you!!!!,8 confirmed dead in OK and officials fear more are dead,because people are still missing....
Member Since: 5.10.2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
282. charlottefl
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 12:49 (GMT)
Tomatoes took a bigger hit, and you can tell if you've been in the grocery store in the last couple of weeks.
Member Since: 18.12.2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685
281. stillwaiting
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 12:46 (GMT)
Quoting natrwalkn:
For those of you in Florida, what's the word on citrus crop damage after the cold weather of the past month?


Not all that extensive,most tree's have little to no damage,google~Florida citrus report,and they have reports there....
Member Since: 5.10.2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
280. charlottefl
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 12:38 (GMT)
Talked to a friend who was in OK City last night, but lives in ardmore, said the weather was really bad, hail, wind, etc. I don't think he realizes how close he was to those twisters..
Member Since: 18.12.2006 Posts: 7 Comments: 2685
279. theshepherd
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 12:33 (GMT)
278 sky
thanx
Interesting articles in there.
Crocs washing downstream.
Red spider hatch...
Member Since: 11.09.2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10030
278. Skyepony (Mod)
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 12:21 (GMT)
North Queensland remains isolated by Flood

AT least 13 towns, hundreds of cattle stations and mines remain cut off from the rest of Australia as the worst floods on record continue in north Queensland.

Independent Member for Kennedy Bob Katter told Parliament up to 700 Karumba residents were stranded and forgotten in the worst floods since European settlement.
Member Since: 10.08.2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36107
277. theshepherd
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 12:16 (GMT)
272 CT
As eddye would say, "do you think the first one will hit SE Florida"?
Member Since: 11.09.2008 Posts: 9 Comments: 10030
276. CybrTeddy
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 12:10 (GMT)
Quoting RobDaHood:


STOP THAT! - LOL


I am just saying Lol.
Member Since: 8.07.2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23013
275. surfmom
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 12:07 (GMT)
Wow Rob -- usually you're the nightbird, Spring Fever got you awake early???
Member Since: 18.07.2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
274. surfmom
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 12:05 (GMT)
This is a Good Morning 59 degrees.... goes great w/my coffee
Member Since: 18.07.2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
273. RobDaHood
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 11:23 (GMT)
Quoting CybrTeddy:
110 Days till Hurricane season.


STOP THAT! - LOL
Member Since: 2.09.2008 Posts: 93 Comments: 30637
272. CybrTeddy
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 10:52 (GMT)
110 Days till Hurricane season.
Member Since: 8.07.2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23013
271. AussieStorm
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 10:21 (GMT)
Fifteen killed in Oklahoma tornado

From correspondents in Washington

February 11, 2009

AT least 15 people have been killed by a tornado that ripped across Oklahoma in the United States.

The Oklahoman newspaper reported that the twister tore a 1km swath through the town of Lone Grove early this morning , citing state officials.

Emergency Management officials have not confirmed the report.
Member Since: 30.09.2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
270. natrwalkn
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 06:33 (GMT)
For those of you in Florida, what's the word on citrus crop damage after the cold weather of the past month?
Member Since: 14.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 67
269. Skyepony (Mod)
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 05:07 (GMT)
February 10, 2009 - Smoke Plume from Australian Fires

MODIS



SPC storm reports for the day. 3 deaths not mentioned...
Member Since: 10.08.2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36107
268. TampaSpin
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 04:22 (GMT)
Reports coming out of Oaklahoma are saying 3 dead and more injured in tornados...Wow you could see them on radar very easily...
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
267. AussieStorm
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 04:16 (GMT)
Victoria's bushfires still threatening towns in the northeast
Article from: Herald Sun

Aaron Langmaid

February 11, 2009

UPDATE 11.38am: AUTHORITIES fear two of the state's major fire fronts could join together to create one monster inferno.

More than 400,000 hectres have so far been razed in fires across the state, destroying more than 1033 properties and killing at least 181 people.

Just 18km of almost inaccessible forest now separates the Kinglake fire complex and the major fire front still burning out of control in Bunyip National Park.

Northerly gusts are all that is needed to create the scenario that fire officers in the area dread most.

It would put residents of small towns including Healesville, Warburton, Yarra Junction, Launching Place and Powelltown in jeopardy.

Lighting strikes have already started a number of spot blazes throughout the catchment area in between the two fire fronts.

CFA deputy chief fire officer Steve Warrington said there were genuine concerns that warmer weather conditions could bring the two blazes together.

"If the humidity drops with a dry wind it will create the conditions we are seriously concerned about,'' Mr Warrington said.

"The concern is quite obvious particularly when we go round to a northerly wind that the two fires could potentially join. I say potentially, we are doing a lot of work to ensure this does not occur.

"There are a number of towns in the middle of that. Collectively the emergency is working to ensure the keeping of lives.''

Mr Warrington said there were also long-term concerns for what a combined fire front could mean for Melbourne's water supplies. It would burn across Thompson Reserve, a major water catchment.

But he said for the time being calmer weather was helping strike teams on the ground.

"Cooler weather has been advantageous for crews on the fire line and it's allowed us to mop up around townships, houses and the like.

The weather prognosis for us is pretty good. Our concern though is as we move toward Wednesday next week the winds will start to move around to the north.

"There are some parts of the state where fires are burning that we haven't actually put a great deal of resources into simply because we saw greater priority in life.

He said the Churchill blaze was also burning close to the Longford Gas Plant but crews were confident they would keep it at bay.

A fourth fire burning in inaccessible forest in Dargo in Victoria's north was also burning unchecked, he said.

"This is still an emergency event,'' Mr Warrington said. "There are still fires burning that could cause us problems.’’

Urgent threat messages have been issued for a number of communities that have been warned they may be directly impacted by the Yea-Murrindindi fire.

Fire burning in the Blue Range on the northeast front is being pushed toward the communities of Acheron, Cathedral Lane, Rubicon, Thornton - Taggerty Rd and Bulls Lane.

Residents have been told to activate their fire plans and be alert for possible ember attack.

The Connellys Creek, Crystal Creek, Scrubby Creek and Native Dog Creek communities are also at risk from fire burning on the western and eastern sides of the Black Range. An urgent threat message advises residents to patrol their properties for flying embers.

Other communities in the Yea Murrindindi fire area remain on alert.

Residents in Yarck and Caveat have been warned to be aware of possible spot fires burning ahead of the main fire front, while communities in Alexandra, Thornton, Snobs Creek and Eildon are under no immediate threat but have been told to remain vigilant.

DSE spokesman Kevin Monk said the Yea-Murrindindi fire burnt throughout the night.

"The northern part of the fire on either side of the Maroondah Hwy in still quite active," he said.

"The east side still needs containment lines around the fire. We're talking about a big arc from Taggerty to the east of Marysville, so it's a lot of work."

He said 20 fires were still burning across the state with firefighters working hard to construct containment lines around the blazes.

Mr Monk said alert messages remain in place for the Toolangi, Healesville, Chum Creek, Badger Creek, Steels Creek, Dixons Creek and Yarra Glen communities.

"Fire is still burning northeast of Healesville and southeast of Toolangi and people in that area need to be aware," Mr Monk said.

He said the Bunyip fire was still causing concerns on the northwest front with Gembrook residents still on alert for fire activity in the area.

Mr Monk said milder conditions were allowing firefighters to build containment lines around some of the fires.

"The Beechworth fire is a positive. Conditions were quieter last night and firefighters have constructed a fire line around about 50 per cent of the fire," he said.

"Residents should be aware of an increased amount of smoke in the area from back burning.

"We're expecting they will get that fire rounded up in the next few days."

Firefighters are working on containment lines around the northern side of the Churchill fire, aided by milder conditions and minimal fire activity overnight.

"Things are looking better and while conditions remain mild they are allowing firefighters to put in a big effort on containment lines," Mr Monk said.
Member Since: 30.09.2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15749
266. Orcasystems
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 03:39 (GMT)
Complete Blog Refresh
Mirror Site
New Section includes Mt Redoubt
I am now using Google Earth Version 5 (Thank you SF)
Member Since: 1.10.2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
265. TampaSpin
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 03:36 (GMT)
Look at the Vortex just SE if Fort Worth and SW of Dallas........WOW

Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
264. TampaSpin
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 03:19 (GMT)
TORNADO WARNING FORT WORTH TX - KFWD 917 PM CST TUE FEB 10 2009
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
263. TampaSpin
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 03:15 (GMT)
TORNADO WARNING FORT WORTH TX - KFWD 910 PM CST TUE FEB 10 2009
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
262. TampaSpin
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 03:11 (GMT)
With these dew points .......trouble is coming in the MidWest....Tennessee and Ohio Valleys tomorrow will be under the gun...

Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
261. hydrus
11. helmikuuta 2009 klo 03:09 (GMT)
TAMPA SPIN-I made all preparations that I could.They say winds sustained at 40 with gusts over 60 before the squall line even gets here do to gradient wind.
Member Since: 27.09.2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19558

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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