Tuesday, July 27, 2010

4 Times the Irony


Thats the number of times my neighborhood has been smacked by damaging severe storms this year. I cannot recall any year that had so many damaging rounds, but then again I never paid as much attention.

Want to know something ironic about that....check out the dates:

June 18th, June 23rd and then July 18th, July 23rd

The definition of irony shows itself in thunderstorm form. It makes me wonder what August 18th and 23rd will have in store for me? Think I am making this up? Behold the proof:

June 18th:

June 23rd:

July 18th:

July 23rd:

All of these events featured damage within 3 blocks of my house. The event of June 23rd was most significant in that it was caused by a tornadic supercell which if you look closely on the radar image you will see the white box which indicates the tornado warning. The rotation passed right over my house and of course, I was not there. Had there been backed winds [winds from the southeast] that day I am certain a tornado could have touched down.

While its fun to  speculate that the dates have some mythical significance I know better. That does not change the fact that it seemingly has been way stormier than normal around here. It is to be expected though seein as how this is the warmest summer in over a decade. We have more 90 degree days this year than we have had in the last 2 combined. With the heat comes the humidty and with that comes the energy to spark these powerful storms.

It also helps that the jet stream this year seems to not have migrated as far north as it could. Leaving us on the southern end of stronger than normal jet streams, so any storm that does form has the ability to tap into that jet and bring those winds down to the surface. Typically in the summer around here we see lazy flow aloft and we get popcorn pulse storms that pop up, dump on ya for 10 minutes and then die, but not this year. With the storms tapping that jet energy they can sustain themselves longer and become severe.

The stronger than normal jet also explains why that despite being so hot an humid this year, we have had no air quality alert or ozone action days. When the jets flow is lazy the air can stagnate. So I guess there is some light in this stormy tunnel right?

The most recent barage of storms on July 23rd brought flooding to this area that I have never seen before. I have lived here my whole life and never have I seen my street completely covered in water higher than the curb and onto the lawn. I have all that documented here on my site: http://www.aerostorms.com/072310-chicago-severe-weather.php

I was also able to get some footage of the extreme weather and damage onto ABCs Good Morning America which was another personal victory for me. How I would love nothing more for than my lifes work to be documenting such events and reporting them to the world. Alas, Ive been living a pipe dream, but its fun when it comes true even for just a day before reality sets back in.

The forecast this Wednesday calls for more severe storms but I think the timing of the FROPA is ill for this area and we will see another south of I-80 type event. We shall see though.

Also makes me wonder what the fall will bring. The northern plains have been extremely active this year and when that jet makes its yearly sag back south in another month, the true insane-o shear will return. I havent looked at the long range GFS in awhile but it did snow a major pattern shift suggesting this explosive pattern could finally come to an end in August...but as always with the weather, we will have to wait and see!

So much more I can write about. More later!

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