A Little Bit of Calm Between the Storms

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The weather has been so pleasant here on the Gulf Coast for the last several days. It’s difficult to believe there’s still a month of winter yet to go. In fact, much of the globe is enjoying a bit of a break from extreme weather. And though that term can be subjective to many, ImpactWeather’s Gmaps reveals there are currently only a few global hazards:

ImpactWeather Gmaps reveals few global weather hazards. Image: ImpactWeather Gmaps.

In Europe, an area of low pressure over the western Mediterranean Sea will move eastward Friday across Sicily and the Ionian Sea, and towards southern Greece and Turkey by Saturday. This low pressure area will strengthen slightly as it shifts eastward, and will bring the potential for heavy rain and gusty winds to the area. Rainfall amounts each day of 1-3 inches, isolated 4+ inches will be possible, which could lead to flash flooding problems. In addition, winds of 25-35 mph, gusts to 45 mph will be possible, especially for coastal locations.

The Greek Isles, southern Italy and western Turkey have flash flooding and wind concerns today, tomorrow and Saturday. Image: ImpactWeather Gmaps.

In the Indian Ocean, warm waters have generated three tropical cyclones. Tropical Cyclone Bingiza is located near 21.2S/43.7E, or near Morondava, Madagascar. Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph, gusts 50 mph. Movement is to the south at about 7 mph. Bingiza has made a second landfall across southwestern Madagascar and should begin weakening over the next few days as it remains over land. Heavy rainfall will remain possible for the next few days across western and southern Madagascar. Additional rainfall amounts of 2-4 inches, isolated 8+ inches, will be common. Locations that have received recent heavy rainfall will remain at an elevated flooding threat. High rainfall totals have been observed over the last few days across northwest and southeast Madagascar.

Three topical cyclones exist in the warm waters of the southern Indian Ocean: Bingiza, Dianne and Carlos. Image: ImpactWeather Gmaps.

Tropical Cyclone Dianne is currently located near 19.2S/110.5E, or about 300 miles northwest of Learmonth, Western Australia. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph, gusts 80 mph. Movement is very slow to the southeast at about 3 mph. Dianne should soon begin tracking in a general southerly to south-southeasterly direction and continue this motion for the next several days. It is forecast to remain just offshore of Western Australia, but could bring gusty winds and periods of heavy rainfall to coastal locations as it passes by.

At 0300 UTC, Tropical Cyclone Carlos was located near 14.1S/130.5E, or about 125 miles south of Darwin. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph, gusts 45 mph. Carlos is drifting slowly southward. This cyclone is over land in the Northern Territory and is expected to remain inland over the next few days as it drifts to the southwest. However, the center is close enough to sea that it will draw some energy from the warm water. Therefore, it may take a full day or two for Carlos to weaken to a depression. The heaviest rain is forecast to remain offshore, however some bands of very heavy rain may still impact parts of Northern Territory, and northern Western Australia, with rainfall amounts generally between 2-6 inches expected, however higher isolated amounts to 8-12 inches will be possible along the coast from Cape Londonderry to the Dampier Peninsula.

In the U.S. an upper-level trough over the West Coast is bringing cold air to the area, producing locally heavy rain and snow from northern into central California. In higher elevations, peak accumulations of 18-24 inches of snow are possible today. Snow will linger over the Sierra Nevadas of California and Nevada on Friday with another 12-18 inches possible over higher elevations.

Winter storms in the western U.S. will bring periods of heavy snow to California and Colorado. Image: ImpactWeather Gmaps.

In addition, periods of snow and strong winds will continue across the mountains of southwest Colorado and extreme southeast Utah today before ending tonight. Additional snowfall accumulations of 5-10 inches will be possible above 8000 feet, with lesser amounts at lower levels. However, strong winds of 25-35 mph, gusts 60 mph, will create areas of blowing and drifting snow and possibly cause mountain road closures.

As for the rest of the nation, a well-deserved if only temporary reprieve…

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