Death Toll Continues To Climb After Tornadoes Ravage South

Posted in GWC News, Storm Facts, Storm History at 11:01 pm by gmachos

As President Obama toured some of the hardest hit areas in Alabama on Friday, the death toll from Wednesday’s severe weather outbreak across the Southeastern United States continued to climb. As of now (11:00 PM EDT), there are 318 people dead including 238 in Alabama, 34 in Mississippi, 34 in Tennessee, and 15 in Georgia. Of the number of dead in Alabama, 45 are dead in Tuscaloosa, which was among the hardest hit communities.

Nearly 1,000 people are injured in the home of the University of Alabama with another 446 or so that are missing or unaccounted for. Statewide, there were some 1,700 injuries from the storms. The monster tornado that struck Tuscaloosa is estimated to be at least an EF4 twister on the Enhanced Fujita scale. It may even be an EF5. Winds were estimated to be at least 200 miles per hour in the storm.

The numbers of dead may continue to climb with the number that are injured, and missing. According to an article in the Washington Post, this latest tornado outbreak was the deadliest in United States history. It was perhaps the most violent severe weather outbreak since the historic one in April 1974 that affected many of the same areas in the South. In nearby Mississippi, a monster tornado with 205 mile per hour winds struck the Northeastern town of Smithville, and it was officially declared an EF5 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Twisters even struck as far north as Washington D.C. while some severe weather even affected the Garden State. While there were several tornado warnings issued in New Jersey on Thursday, nothing materialized, but there were several thunderstorms that produced 60 mile per hour winds and uprooted trees in parts of Morris County. The severe weather outbreak lasted three days, and produced 1658 total storm reports including 301 tornadoes, 498 incidents of hail, and 859 of high winds according to the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

Weather Station Woes

Posted in General, GWC News at 10:31 pm by gmachos

Good evening everyone. Well, I just spent three hours trying to get the Weather Link software for Mac OS X working. Ever since I have had the Weather Link software for Macintosh, there have been problems with it. They continued earlier this year when after the new year began, the Weather Link software crashed. Whenever I tried to launch the software, it would crash thanks to a Java exception.

I had been going back and forth with Davis from time to time about the issue, but despite their suggestions, I have been unable to get it working. Today, I decided to try a different software package, and so far it is working well. However, this will probably mean changes to the Greg’s Weather Center web site. I do like what I see though so far. Once I get more familiar with the software, and began incorporating its features on the site, I will have a good idea if it will be a good fit.

It has been a frustrating experience because whenever it seems that I get the weather data to update regularly to the web site, or I record a good deal of climatological data, the software seems to crash, which causes gaps in the data that I collect. On top of that, the Weather Monitor II station often crashes when there’s a power hit, and I lose data that way as well. What I may ultimately do is get the Vantage Pro package. We’ll see.


GWC Storm Footage–April 28, 2011–Thunderstorms Move Through NJ

Posted in GWC News, YouTube Videos at 9:25 pm by gmachos

Here is some storm footage that I put together from April 28th in South Plainfield, New Jersey. The real severe weather moved to the north of here into Morris County, but the skies were ominous for a while, and there was a good dose of heavy rain on a couple of occasions. Despite the warnings though, nothing serious occurred.

Carnage In The South

Posted in GWC News, Storm Facts, Storm History, Storm Track at 11:57 am by gmachos

Severe Weather On Wednesday Leaves Record Number Dead In South

Wednesday and Wednesday night proved to be a devastating and deadly period for those across the Southeastern United States. A wedge tornado that originated in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and ripped across Alabama into Northwestern Georgia, devastated the towns of Tuscaloosa and Birmingham in Alabama, and Ringgold and Rome in Georgia. The storm, which was about a mile wide, and had winds in excess of 200 miles per hour, traveled some 300 miles.

In total, there were 164 reports of tornadoes across 13 states from Mississippi to New York. As of 12:00 PM EDT, there were over 230 people dead from these storms in what was a severe weather outbreak that may even surpass the memorable outbreak from April 4-5, 1974. These storms also produced devastating straight line winds and hail. Approximately 128 people are dead in Alabama including 37 in Tuscaloosa. The town, which is the home of the University of Alabama, suffered catastrophic damage, but the university emerged relatively unscathed from the devastating twister. There are another 11 dead in Georgia with many of those deaths occurring in the town of Ringgold.

These storms have pushed eastward as the outbreak has reached its fourth day. Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado warnings are now in effect across parts of New Jersey. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Northeastern Maryland. Places along the I-95 corridor such as New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. The storms have lost some punch, but a severe storm cell with rotation is now moving through Northern New Jersey while another is pushing through Western Jersey.

Tornado Warning And Severe Thunderstorm Warning In Effect For Portions of New Jersey

Posted in GWC News, Storm Track, Storm Warning at 11:29 am by gmachos

Good morning everyone. As I had indicated yesterday, conditions would be ripe for severe weather here in New Jersey on Thursday. Already we have had a powerful line of thunderstorms develop, and move rapidly to the Northeast through Eastern Pennsylvania and Western New Jersey this morning.

In response, the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly, New Jersey has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning and a Tornado Warning for portions of the Garden State. The Tornado Warning is in effect for parts of Western Jersey including Morris County, Northeastern Hunterdon County, East Central Warren County, and South Central Sussex County.

At 11:18 AM, Doppler Radar indicated a severe thunderstorm with a tornadic signature, or rotation located near Califon in Hunterdon County, or about 17 miles east of Easton, Pennsylvania moving rapidly to the Northeast at 50 miles per hour. The storm is also capable of producing quarter size hail and damaging straight line winds. The Tornado is moving on a path toward Long Valley and Hackettstown in Warren County, Budd Lake and Chester in Morris County, Succasunna, Netcong, and Stanhope in Morris County, and Wharton, Dover, and Mount Arlington in Morris County.

Meanwhile, there is a Severe Thunderstorm Warning in effect for Northwestern Middlesex, Northwestern Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon, and Southwestern Warren counties. National Weather Service Doppler Radar located a severe thunderstorm capable of producing damaging winds of up to 60 miles per hour near the town of Pipersville in Pennsylvania some 19 miles south of Easton.

Over the next 20 minutes the storm is forecast to move through the following areas: Sand Brook and Seargeantsville, Flemington and Cloverhill, Whitehouse Station, Bridgewater and Raritan, and Somerville. Places in Northwestern Middlesex County such as Dunellen, Middlesex, and South Plainfield should closely monitor the situation. These two storms moving through Western New Jersey are part of a line of storms extending southwestward into Southeastern Pennsylvania, Northern Delaware, and Northeastern Maryland.

This activity is all apart of a severe weather outbreak that produced a great deal of damage in the Midwest and South. Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia are all affected by tornadoes with over 150 sightings in those areas on Thursday, and at least 194 deaths including 128 in Alabama alone. One wedge tornado that began in Philadelphia, Mississippi and traveled through Alabama near Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, traveled some 300 miles according to reports.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is currently in effect for most if not all of New Jersey, Delaware, Northeastern Maryland, and Eastern Pennsylvania until 4:00 PM on Thursday afternoon.


Severe Thunderstorm Watch In Effect For Central Jersey

Posted in GWC News, Storm Track, Storm Warning at 10:21 pm by gmachos

Powerful Cold Front Pushing Into Warm, Moist Air Over Mid-Atlantic To Produce Dangerous Storms

As mentioned during the day today, we are dealing with a powerful storm system that is moving through the Southeast, and is now aiming toward the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. Ahead of this system is warm and humid air for this time of year. Temperatures got well into the 70s and approached 80 degrees across the Garden State on Wednesday.

Severe weather broke out across Morris and Sussex County in Northern New Jersey on Wednesday afternoon while a squall line lifted northeast from Central Pennsylvania into Western New York. Further south, it has been a deadly and devastating night with over 100 reports of tornadoes including a wedge tornado that was born near Philadelphia, Mississippi, and moving northeast near Tuscaloosa, Alabama and then onto Birmingham before heading into Northwestern Georgia.

There are severe thunderstorms and twisters also being reported in Tennessee and Virginia. All of this weather is heading our way. The National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly, New Jersey is preparing for this by issuing a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for a good portion of New Jersey until 4:00 AM on Thursday morning. Areas include Hunterdon, Somerset, and Mercer counties.

There will be isolated tornadoes during the morning on Thursday across New Jersey, and then as the day progresses, more widespread storms are expected to develop with some of them being severe. There is a Flash Flood Watch out for portions of Jersey as well.

Devastating And Deadly Night Across The South

Posted in GWC News, Storm Track, Storm Warning at 10:04 pm by gmachos

Just got in from watching some basketball, and turned on the television to see the Weather Channel’s continuing severe weather coverage. It has been a destructive and deadly night across the Southeastern United States with a preliminary report of 101 tornadoes touching down in that region. As of right now, there are 32 people dead with several areas reporting heavy damage from a number of twisters.

The wedge tornado that struck near Tuscaloosa produced catastrophic damage, and has continued to march across Alabama into Birmingham, and onward toward Rome, Georgia. Fifteen people have already died from this particular tornado. Tuscaloosa is reporting catastrophic damage. A hotel has collapsed in Rome, Georgia with multiple fatalities. Meanwhile, in Northern Alabama in places such as Huntsville, there is another tornado producing major structural damage, power outages, and churning out debris.

Another twister has produced devastation and death in the Northwestern county of Catoosa in Georgia. Homes have been damaged there with a massive loss of life. Authorities there have requested for a mass casualty trailer. More tornadoes have been reported in Tennessee and Virginia, especially in the area of Bristol, Tennessee on Interstate 81. Severe weather watches are also in effect in the Mid-Atlantic including Central Jersey until early Thursday morning.

The day began with a powerful line of storms generating a bow echo containing straight line winds of 70 to 80 miles per hour in Alabama that left some six people dead. It is shaping up to be one of the worst severe weather outbreaks in Alabama history. Keep in mind that Alabama including the Tuscalossa area had a severe weather outbreak a little less than two weeks ago. These storms continue to barrel eastward into Georgia, and may threaten the Atlanta metro area.

Wedge Tornado Touches Down Near Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Posted in GWC News, Storm Track, Storm Warning at 6:17 pm by gmachos

Good early evening to all. I’ve been watching the Weather Channel’s severe weather outbreak coverage, and have learned that a large wedge tornado has touched down near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. For those that may be unaware, Tuscaloosa is where the University of Alabama is located.

Winds above the surface are up to 155 miles per hour in this storm. The storm is also producing a significant debris field. Storm reports have been reported from nearby McFarlane Mall, and Tuscaloosa’s City Hall. The storm is currently heading to the Northeast toward the Brookwood area and the outskirts of Birmingham including suburbs such as Hoover. There are also tornadoes in the area of Meridian, Mississippi and Huntsville, Alabama.

Closer to home, there is a line of strong storms developing in Central Pennsylvania, and heading to the Northeast. Northern Virginia, and parts of Maryland is also dealing with a severe thunderstorm complex moving through this evening.

Above Average Severe Weather In April, 2011

Posted in General, GWC News at 4:30 pm by gmachos

Spring time is the time when weather systems clash, and produce severe storms and tornadoes. However, it usually starts quietly with a ramp up of activity in April going into May. In 2011, that has not been the case. According to the preliminary reports from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, there have been 654 tornadoes! Thirteen of these twisters have been deadly.

Some of the metropolitan areas affected by these storms this month has been Raleigh (North Carolina), St. Louis, and Little Rock (Arkansas). This past Friday, an EF2 tornado stuck one of the local airports in St. Louis while an EF4 twister struck in one of the nearby suburbs. On Monday, deadly storms struck the Little Rock area of Arkansas. The number of tornadic storms in April is a record exceeding that set in 1974 with 267. In 1974, we were awakened to the power and fury of tornadoes with the Severe Weather Outbreak of April 4th of that year. Places such as Xenia, Ohio became part of the national conscience by being one of the hardest hit towns in this outbreak.

In addition, the current tally for tornadoes for April has shattered the previous mark for twisters in any month. Back in May of 2003, there were 543 torandoes. In total, there have been over 6500 severe weather reports in April 2011, which is the highest number for any month since the Storm Prediction Center has been keeping records. On average, there are about 3,300 such reports including 163. There have been 10 severe weather outbreaks nationwide this month. Now, with storm chasers, Skywarn spotters, more weather data stations and observations, documentation of these storms, and media coverage, expect these numbers to continue to increase in the future.

Flash Flood Watch Out For Central Jersey On Thursday

Posted in GWC News, Storm Track, Storm Warning at 4:04 pm by gmachos

In anticipation of the arrival of another powerful storm system from the South on Thursday, the National Weather Service Office in Mount Holly, New Jersey has issued a Flash Flood Watch for portions of Central Jersey as well as all of Northern New Jersey and Northeastern Pennsylvania. This includes the towns and cities of Morristown, New Brunswick, Somerville, and Trenton.

Middlesex County is one of the counties under this watch that begins on Thursday morning and lasts until Thursday evening. A powerful storm system that is producing severe weather throughout much of the South on Wednesday, is expected to move east toward the coast on Thursday. Already portions of the Mid-Atlantic including Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia are under a Tornado Watch, and there is a Severe Thunderstorm Warning in effect for Morris and Sussex counties in New Jersey. There is plenty of warm, moist air ahead of a strong cold front that will slam into the region within the next 24 hours.

Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected to develop on Thursday, and could produce an inch or more of rainfall in a very short amount of time. There has already been an abundance of rain this spring in addition to snow melt from what had been a very tough winter. So, the ground is already saturated across the Garden State. Places such as Bound Brook and Manville along the banks of the Raritan River in Somerset County as well as locales like Pequannock, Pompton Plains, Little Falls, and Wayne along the Passaic may have to brace for another round of flooding.

The swiftness and amount of the rainfall will cause flash flooding along rivers and creeks as well as the ponding of roadways, and flooding in poor drainage areas. So, if you see a road covered by water, turn around, and don’t drown. We’ll be closely monitoring the weather conditions on Thursday, and posting about them here.

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