Meteorology of Saturday's Colombian Flood Disaster That Killed 254

By: Jeff Masters and Lee Grenci, 4:07 PM GMT on April 03, 2017

At least 254 people were killed in the in the city of Mocoa (population 40,000) in southwest Colombia near the border of Ecuador early Saturday, when torrential rains triggered a debris flow on a nearby mountain that surged into the town as a huge wall of water carrying tons of mud and debris. The disaster is the fourth deadliest weather-related disaster in Colombia’s recorded history. Reports from Colombia indicate that 130 mm (5.1”) of rain fell during a shor...

Flood

Significant Tornado Threat in TX/LA on Sunday

By: Bob Henson, 2:00 PM GMT on April 02, 2017

A worrisome juxtaposition of very high instability and extreme wind shear will fall into place across a large swath of eastern Texas and northern Louisiana on Sunday, setting the stage for a potential round of multiple strong tornadoes. Update (12:30 pm CDT]: The NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center has placed the region under a high risk of severe weather (its highest risk category), with a chance of significant tornadoes (EF2 or stronger).


Figure 1. ...

Severe Weather Tornado

Meet the New Director of the National Hurricane Center, Dr. Gail Spinner

By: Jeff Masters, 1:31 PM GMT on April 01, 2017

National Hurricane Center (NHC) director Dr. Rick Knabb announced last week that he was leaving NHC to take a position as The Weather Channel’s chief hurricane expert this summer. The excellent Dr. Knabb served ably for five years as NHC director, and will be missed. His successor has already been named—it will be Dr. Gail Spinner, the first-ever female head of the agency. Dr. Spinner comes from a distinguished career at the National Science Foundation-funded Un...

Humor

Severe Weather to Ramp Down This Weekend, Temporarily

By: Bob Henson, 5:29 PM GMT on March 30, 2017

A brief break in our multi-day spate of U.S. severe weather appears to be forthcoming, but not until one more day of widespread severe storms. In its Day 1 outlook issued at 11:30 am CDT Thursday, the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center placed a large swath from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf Coast under a slight risk of severe weather through Thursday night, with a pocket of enhanced risk over the lower Ohio Valley.

Thursday’s setup is looking less potent th...

Trump’s Executive Order Threatens to Wreck Earth as a Livable Planet for Humans

By: Jeff Masters, 1:13 PM GMT on March 29, 2017

Decades of progress on cleaning up our dirty air took a significant hit on Tuesday, along with hopes for a livable future climate, when President Trump issued his Energy Independence Executive Order. Most seriously, the order attacks the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Clean Power Plan, which requires a 32 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from existing power plants by 2030 (compared to 2005 emission rates.)

Tuesday’s blow was just ...

Climate Change Politics

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather