Frosty trees, floods, tornado and ice storm warnings

Frosty spruce 1.jpg

An icy coating of hoarfrost on spruce trees at the Huttner Weather Lab this morning. (Photo by Paul Huttner)

In some ways our recent weather pattern is like San Diego. Morning fog, afternoon sun. Only it’s 50 degrees colder here, there’s no beach and no mountains. Okay, maybe winter delusion or cabin fever is kicking in at the Weather Lab today.

I have spoken with folks who are enjoying our frosty coating on trees and fences the past few mornings. It’s called hoarfrost. In a process called deposition, ice crystals form and are deposited directly on surfaces when temperatures are below freezing and humidity is very high like recent mornings this week.

You may have noticed that one side of trees is more coated than the other side. Very light wind flow causes more deposition on the windward side of objects.

Iowa: Ice Storm Warning

Monday’s California storm is sending a wave of freezing rain into Iowa tonight and southern Minnesota Wednesday. Ice storm warnings and freezing rain advisories are flying tonight. Some light glaze could reach as far north as the Twin Cities by Wednesday evening.

-Des Moines radar loop

California Storm #2:

The second wave in a series of storms slammed southern California today. A slew of warnings are in effect, from high wind warnings to coastal flood warnings. Waves as high as 25 feet may pound the coast. There was even a tornado warning issued for Orange and San Diego Counties today. No confirmed sightings as of this post.

BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED

TORNADO WARNING

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA

154 PM PST TUE JAN 19 2010

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN DIEGO HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR…

SOUTHEASTERN ORANGE COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST CALIFORNIA…

THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…SAN CLEMENTE…MISSION VIEJO…LAGUNA

BEACH…

NORTHWESTERN SAN DIEGO COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST CALIFORNIA…

THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF…VISTA…OCEANSIDE…FALLBROOK…

ENCINITAS…CARLSBAD…

* UNTIL 230 PM PST

* AT 150 PM PST…NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO BETWEEN

CARLSBAD AND FOUNTAIN VALLEY. THE STORMS WERE MOVING NORTHEAST AT

ABOUT 30 MPH.

The bigger threats may be flooding rains and high winds as the jet stream driven storms slam ashore with 60 to 80mph winds in some locations. The next (and strongest) storm is due in tomorrow.

I’d love to see the TV news and weather coverage this week in SoCal. Have any of you spent time in L.A. or San Diego? I’d love to hear what news and weather coverage looks like during floods and mudslides etc. Is it wall to wall like with high speed car chases?

PH

  • Jim

    Paul,

    I grew up in LA, and 1/2″ of rain over 2 days usually carried the news headline: “Storm Watch 2002!” or something similair. it gets tons of coverage because Angelinos aren’t used to things falling from the sky! Is it me, though, or have there been more cases of strong storms there in the last couple years? I can only remember a handful of noteworthy storms in my 27 years in Los Angeles, but it seems like I’ve heard reports of at least one or two significant storms a year over the last couple years.

  • Nancy

    I weathered an el nino February in a canyon in Marin County (N. Ca) in 1998–40 inches of rain in one month–it was running down the streets eight inches deep; my sister and daughter are now in San Diego–Sister had a 40 year old tree fall on her house; daughter has a flooded condo; both gals nearly got burnt out in the last fire; that’s a high percentage of disasters for one family….usually I have all the good weather stories from Pillager MN….