Weather Blog

Perhaps the most complex storm, ever?

Perhaps the most complex storm, ever?

UW Atmospheric Sciences Professor Lynn McMurdie was perusing the latest weather charts from Sunday morning to check out what was up with the storm that did this to Minneapolis' Metrodome and what she found was probably best described as spaghetti thrown against a wall.

This chart showing conditions at the surface has just about everything including (sing it with me)

Five pairs of dashed lines
Four low centers
Three warm fronts
Two that are occluded
And a cold front that goes past Mississi-ppi

Here is a larger version:

(Really, it does. Here is the link to the full size chart.)

You've got a double-barrel low over Lake Erie spewing a warm front to eh north east, and a warm front between the lows, Then, there's ac old front that stretches to another low in west Virginia (or capital-W West Virginia, depending on its exact center), which snakes an occluded front to another low over Raleigh, N.C.

That low spills a cold front that stretches past Cancun toward Veracruz, Mexico, but also sends up a warm front to the north that occludes over the Mid-Atlantic states with a cold front coming out of the eastern double-barrel low. But wait, that low is also spinning a warm front off toward Cape Cod. And to top it off, there's another warm front coming from the Toronto low up toward Montreal.

Meanwhile, our Sunday storm that brought such havoc to the Northwest? Just a warm front and trailing cold front. Just goes to show sometimes simple meteorology can be pretty powerful too.

Update to "gloomiest weekend ever" blog

Sunday, I wrote a blog declaring this past weekend might have been the gloomiest ever in Seattle. Turns out, there was one worse.

Mark Albright found that the weekend of Dec. 15-16, 2001 only had 0.62 and 0.66 sunlight ratings for the weekend days. So this past weekend was the gloomiest in nearly a decade, but it's been worse!