Extreme Temperature Diary- Tuesday February 16th, 2020/ Main Topic: Summaries For Major U.S. CAT 5 Cold Wave Yeti (Part Two)

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: Summaries For Major U.S. CAT 5 Cold Wave Yeti (Part Two)

Dear Diary. Yeti has truly become historic and unprecedented looking at what happened to the great state of Texas for the last 48 hours. The cold wave will peak on this Tuesday but will be with us at least through the end of this week as it slowly moderates east of the Rockies. As described yesterday, a second winter storm (Viola) will begin to interact with Yeti in the south-central states where cities such as Tulsa. Oklahoma could see more eye popping winter precipitation.

Today as our main topic I will continue to list frigid “ET’s” from Yeti here:

Other notes on current weather this week:

It’s time for a nice summary from the New York Times on brutal Yeti, so far:


Live Updates: Millions Without Power From Sprawling Winter Storm

Rain and snow moved into the Northeast as frigid temperatures gripped parts of the United States that are unaccustomed to slick roads and a deep freeze. At least 20 people have died in the storm or its aftermath.

Here’s what you need to know:

Millions of people were without power early Tuesday after a deadly winter storm bulldozed its way across the southern and central parts of the United States, in places where such perilously frigid conditions tend to arrive just once in a generation.

Though the massive storm was not finished with the country yet — it brought snow, sleet and freezing rain to the Northeast — the damage left in its icy wake was deepening. Temperatures across the middle of the country plummeted to lows not felt in almost a century or more, with measurements of minus 14 in Oklahoma City and minus 31 in Norfolk, Neb., even as a new winter storm was building in the southern Plains.

At least 20 people have died since winter weather began wreaking havoc last week, some from the cold itself and some from attempts to escape it.

And more than five million customers across the country remained without electricity early Tuesday, according to PowerOutage.us, which aggregates live power data from utilities. Most of the outages by far were in Texas, where power was interrupted Sunday and Monday because of storm damage or in rotating outages ordered by regulators.

Many people had been without power for hours in freezing temperatures, and did not know when it would be back.

The disruptions have caused problems at water treatment plants, leading to boil water advisories for hundreds of thousands of people across Texas, from Fort Worth down to the Rio Grande Valley. Some customers have lost water altogether, forced to flush their toilets with melting snow.

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said on Monday that the state had deployed “maximum resources” to respond to the severe weather and to restore power to communities. Among those resources were National Guard troops, who were called up to conduct welfare checks and to help those in need move to one of the state’s 135 warming centers.

The utilities in the Southwest Power Pool, which manages the electrical grid across 17 central and western states, continued rolling cutoffs of power service to customers as a way to manage extreme demand. Controlled blackouts were announced in Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and elsewhere; in Nebraska, the Omaha Public Power District’s planned outages were affecting about 10,000 customers for an hour at a time on a rotating basis.

The storm’s death toll continued to rise on Tuesday. In Houston, a woman and a girl died from carbon monoxide poisoning after a car was left running in a garage to generate heat, the police said. A homeless man was also found dead at an overpass. In Sugar Land, Texas, a grandmother and three children were killed in a house fire early Tuesday in a neighborhood that was without power, according to local news reports.

A man in Louisiana died after slipping on the ice and hitting his head, officials said, and a 10-year-old boy died in Tennessee after falling into an icy pond. And the authorities in San Antonio said that weather conditions contributed to the death of a 78-year-old man.

Slippery roads were responsible for 10 deaths in Kentucky and Texas, including a pileup in Fort Worth that involved more than 100 vehicles and killed six people.

The weather-driven destruction this week did not come solely from ice and snow; in coastal North Carolina, a tornado killed three and injured at least 10 others early Tuesday morning, though it was unclear how it was meteorologically related to the winter storm.

The brutal cold in the middle of the country seemed to defy a trend of ever-milder winters, but the frigid temperatures in Texas could be a consequence of global warming.

There is research suggesting that Arctic warming is weakening the jet stream, the high-level air current that circles the northern latitudes and usually holds back the frigid polar vortex. This allows cold air to escape to the south, especially when a blast of additional warming strikes the stratosphere and deforms the vortex.

The result can be episodes of plunging temperatures, even in places that rarely get nipped by frost.

— Michael LevensonDerrick Bryson Taylor and Campbell Robertson

Here is what to expect from the forecast on Tuesday (New York Times):

A tow-truck operator removed a car stuck in the snow in Dallas on Monday.Credit…Nitashia Johnson for The New York Times

The National Weather Service warned that millions of Americans from coast to coast would remain under some type of weather-related warning or advisory. Here are the forecasts for Tuesday for various parts of the country:

The National Weather Service warned that millions of Americans from coast to coast would remain under some type of weather-related warning or advisory. Here are the forecasts for Tuesday for various parts of the country:

Freezing rain overnight in the New York City area changed to rain as an ice storm warning for parts of New York State and New Jersey was canceled, the National Weather Service said. But accumulations of ice and icy conditions across the region could cause power outages and create hazardous travel conditions.

An ice storm warning was in effect through 1 p.m. for parts of western Pennsylvania, the Weather Service said. Freezing rain with ice accumulations around a quarter of an inch were expected.

As the weather system reached north, a winter storm warning was in effect until about 7 p.m. for Vermont and northern New York. The storm was forecast to bring up to 10 inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain to those areas.

The weather in most of the Southeast was forecast to be relatively calm, after parts of the region saw snow and ice on Monday, the Weather Service said.

Conditions in Nashville, where the airport reported many canceled flights and delays on Monday, were forecast to improve on Tuesday, with cloudy skies and temperatures reaching into the low 20s.

There were also reports of flurries and light snow in Georgia.

A new storm is expected to develop on Tuesday, bringing up to four inches of snow across portions of Oklahoma, Missouri and the Ohio Valley, according to the Weather Service. Northern parts of Arkansas are expected to receive about 12 inches of snow.

In Texas, freezing rain was expected across the state, with ice accumulations of up to half an inch. A winter storm warning was in effect from Tuesday evening through Thursday morning, with snow accumulations of up to six inches in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and up to three inches elsewhere.

The highest accumulations of ice are forecast for the Waco, Temple, and Killeen areas and then northeast to Palestine and Canton, the Weather Service said. Forecasters in Austin and San Antonio are warning of temperatures falling below zero, and snow refreezing into ice. Power outages could spread as lines become weighed down with frozen ice, it said.

Various winter storm warnings and advisories were in effect for parts of the West.

Areas in Washington State were forecast to receive heavy snow, with accumulations reaching up to 25 inches. A winter storm warning was in effect for most of Tuesday.

Snow totals for the Central and Southern Rockies could range from eight to 12 inches, with one to two feet possible over the highest peaks on Tuesday, the Weather Service said.

In Oregon, where a winter weather advisory was in effect until midday and additional snow accumulations could reach seven inches, at least 200,000 customers were without power by Tuesday morning. “Utility outages are more widespread in the region than ever before, including during the September 2020 wildfires,” Gov. Kate Brown said on Twitter, noting that she had declared a state of emergency on Saturday to mobilize help.

— Christine HauserMichael Levenson and Derrick Bryson Taylor

Elsewhere it is very hot:

Here is more climate and weather news from Tuesday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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