“Bomb Cyclogenesis” Pressure record smashed! Cat 3 hurricane level

Update 7:30pm:

I’m getting some phone and email (still unconfirmed) reports of widespread power outages in Big Lake. Also I have a report of a 40 foot basswood tree uprooted in Deephaven about a half mile from the weather lab.

Internet and cable TV is cutting in and out here at the weather lab in Deephaven. The wind is literally whistling outside the weather lab!

Here are the latest wind gusts from Twin Cities NWS:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN

630 PM CDT TUE OCT 26 2010

…PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT…

…SUMMARY OF THE PEAK WIND GUSTS IN SOUTHERN MINNESOTA

AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN ON TUESDAY…

LOCATION PEAK GUST TIME OF PEAK GUST

————————————————————

…AUTOMTED ASOS AND AWOS SITES…

ALEXANDRIA 61 MPH 5:27 PM TUE

GLENWOOD 60 MPH 3:34 PM TUE

BENSON 59 MPH 2:33 PM TUE

GRANITE FALLS 59 MPH 3:33 PM TUE

ST. JAMES 59 MPH 2:55 PM TUE

REDWOOD FALLS 57 MPH 2:53 PM TUE

MARSHALL 57 MPH 2:15 PM TUE

NEW ULM 56 MPH 2:55 PM TUE

OLIVIA 56 MPH 12:33 PM TUE

MORRIS 54 MPH 12:32 PM TUE

PAYNESVILLE 53 MPH 3:53 PM TUE

WILLMAR 53 MPH 2:56 PM TUE

MONTEVIDEO 52 MPH 2:34 PM TUE

MINNEAPOLIS 52 MPH 5:15 PM TUE

ST. CLOUD 50 MPH 3:53 PM TUE

HUTCHINSON 49 MPH 2:52 PM TUE

MANKATO 47 MPH 2:35 PM TUE

OWATONNA 47 MPH 2:54 PM TUE

GLENCOE 38 MPH 12:34 PM TUE

ST. PAUL 44 MPH 3:53 PM TUE

EAU CLAIRE 44 MPH 2:56 PM TUE

FLYING CLOUD AIRPORT 44 MPH 3:53 PM TUE

LAKEVILLE 42 MPH 4:14 PM TUE

MENOMONIE 41 MPH 2:36 PM TUE

…AUTOMATED MESONET DATA…

MEHURIN 65 MPH 4:23 PM TUE

GEORGEVILLE 65 MPH 6:01 PM TUE

HANLEY FALLS 63 MPH 2:10 PM TUE

SAUK CENTER 62 MPH 4:03 PM TUE

LANGHEI 61 MPH 2:16 PM TUE

GEORGEVILLE 59 MPH 4:11 PM TUE

LESTER PRAIRIE 55 MPH 3:54 PM TUE

BELLE PLAINE 52 MPH 3:47 PM TUE

Update: 5:45pm:

It will take time to sift through all the primary and secondary weather station data and verify the record lowest pressure today. By my count at least 22 Minnesota locations have broken or tied the previous record today. It appears that Aitkin was the first location to break the record today with a pressure of 28.42″ at 10:13am.

The lowest CREDIBLE primary station barometric pressure reading I have seen so far today (4pm) is at International Falls and Orr at 28.24″.

Update: 6:10pm: Orr and Big Fork both came in with readings of 28.20″ after 5pm today. Stay tuned….storm still in progress but appears to be near maximum depth. We may still see lower pressure readings. Also wind gust in the past hour at 61 mph in Appleton!

There is a mesonet station at Birchdale (west of International Falls) reporting a reading of 28.01″ this afternoon, but it is so out of range of nearby stations that the report will need to be verified.

Update 4:55pm:

Reports of wind damage now coming in with increasing wind gusts. I expect to see more as we head into tonight.

MPX: 6 Nw Rice Lake [Barron Co, WI] co-op observer reports NON-TSTM WND DMG at 03:00 PM CDT — 8 inch tree blow down…several 4-6 inch limbs down

MPX: Litchfield [Meeker Co, MN] trained spotter reports NON-TSTM WND DMG at 04:17 PM CDT — 14 inch tree snapped and fell on a house

Update 4pm:

This storm is so huge that it appears basically every location in north central Minnesota will break or tie the previous all time record low barometric pressure reading today.

It will take time to sift through all the primary and secondary weather station data and verify the record lowest pressure today. By my count at least 22 Minnesota locations have broken or tied the previous record today.

It appears that Aitkin was the first location to break the record today with a pressure of 28.42″ at 10:13am.

By my count here are some of the locations that have broken the previous record today of 28.43″ set on November 10, 1998.

North Central Minnesota

CITY SKY/WX TMP DP RH WIND PRES REMARKS

BAUDETTE LGT RAIN 53 51 93 NE12 28.28F FOG

INTL FALLS CLOUDY 55 53 93 E9 28.24F

LONGVILLE RAIN 45 43 93 W18G29 28.32S

GRAND RAPIDS CLOUDY 46 43 87 SW21G28 28.27S

COOK CLOUDY 50 48 93 SE14G28 28.27F

Northeast Minnesota

CITY SKY/WX TMP DP RH WIND PRES REMARKS

DULUTH RAIN 44 41 89 S22G31 28.37S FOG

HIBBING RAIN 48 46 93 SE13G22 28.27F FOG

SILVER BAY RAIN 46 43 87 S22G29 28.41S

Northwest Minnesota

CITY SKY/WX TMP DP RH WIND PRES REMARKS

BEMIDJI RAIN 48 48 100 W21G29 28.33S

HALLOCK DRIZZLE 54 54 100 N18 28.43F

ROSEAU RAIN 54 50 87 N17 28.38F

WARROAD RAIN 52 46 82 N17G24 28.38F

If the report of a 28.03″ barometer reading at Birchdale (west of International Falls along the Canadian border) verifies today that is the equivalent of the expected minimum central pressure for a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Intensity Scale!

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This is yet another remarkable “record day” for Minnesota weather in 2010!

Update 3:30pm:

As of 3pm it appears that at least 22 locations In northern and central Minnesota have tied or broken the all time lowest barometric pressure on record in Minnesota.

The previous low was 28.43″ on Nov 10, 1998.

As of 3pm it appears Birchdale near the Canadian border has a barometer reading of an incredible 28.04″! Big Fork reads 28.24″, Grand Rapids 28.25″.

Other towns that have broken low pressure records today include Duluth, International Falls, Aitkin, Ely, Hibbing, Bemidji, and Eveleth.

*******

Original post 8:30am:

Our first real fall storm in Minnesota continues to wind up and intensify today.

This one is a duzy and could produce the lowest barometer reading on record in Minnesota today. While that would technically make it the “strongest” in Minnesota history in terms of the lowest atmospheric pressure, it would be a stretch to say this is the strongest in terms of effects…at least so far. With temperatures above freezing so far and most of the precip with this system falling as rain, other storms have exerted far greater effects on Minnesota.

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Intense low pressure is deepening over northern Minnesota today.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Rapidly falling pressures:

“Bomb Cyclogenesis” is a term meteorologists reserve for the most rapidly intensifying low pressure systems. “Bombs” undergo rapid pressure falls as they strengthen, and are defined by pressure drops of at least 24 millibars in 24 hours at 60°N latitude. The threshold for a bomb is a little lower in Minnesota, just 19 millibars in 24 hours at 45°N, the latitude of the Twin Cities.

These ear popping pressure falls are most common along the east coast in Nor’easters where warm ocean waters and extreme cold from Canada combine to produce rapid intensification.

Minnesota all time low barometric pressure record today?

This IS one of the deepest lows on record in Minnesota. As the storm center passed over Brainerd and Little Falls this morning, the barometer plunged to a 28.56″ reading.

Update 9:00am: Pressure now down to 28.50″ in Brainerd and 28.49″ in Aitkin as of 9am.

That would appear to put the storm among the top three lowest barometer readings on record in Minnesota. The lowest barometric pressure reading ever recorded in Minnesota is 28.43″ in Austin and Albert Lea on November 10th, 1998. The lowest in the Twin Cities is 28.55″ on the same day.

Today’s storm could deepen to record levels as it moves north today.

In fact if the storm reaches the forecast central pressure of 959 millibars, that would be lower than the minimum central pressure for 4 Atlantic hurricanes this season: Otto (972mb), Paula (981mb), Richard (981mb), and Lisa (987mb).

Slew of warnings:

As the low pulls north, high winds are cranking up in southwest Minnesota. There is a bevy of warnings flying with this storm. High wind warnings are up for the southern two-thirds of Minnesota. The season’s first blizzard warnings are flyng for central and western North Dakota today as snow accumulations of 4″ to 8″ and winds over 50mph take hold.

As the heavier rain moves north today, the next phase of the storm will feature increasing wind gusts and falling temperatures. Winds are already gusting to over 50 mph this morning in southwest Minnesota at Worthington.

I’ll be looking for whitecaps on the brid bath at the weather lab today.

We may get some snow on the back side of the system in Minnesota, but the situation could have been much worse if last night’s rain had fallen as snow. The fact that this system has featured temps above freezing so far in Minnesota has lessened the impacts dramatically.

Severe threat east:

This storm has already produced tornadoes in Wisconsin (near Racine) and Illinois today. Tornado watches stretch along the cold front with this storm. SPC has tagged much of the Ohio Valley under a rare “high risk” for severe storms today.

1 1 spc loop.gif

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