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Wed Apr 04, 2007

Weird, Wacky Weather!

Spring is a time when Mother Nature can't make up her mind as to what season it really is. This morning in Vineland, New Jersey (USA), we had two thunderstorms and heavy downpours on and off throughout the morning. Now, I'm not talking about the occasional roll of thunder. These were good, solid thunderstorms with a fair number of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes.

"What's so unusual?" you say. Well, the interesting thing about these thunderstorms was that the outside air temperature was 44 degrees Fahrenheit (about 7 degrees Celsius) during the first storm and 45 degrees during the second. This sort of thunderstorm is not uncommon during the winter months in California following a cold front when a strong cold-core low near the Aleutians funnels maritime air off the Pacific, creating enough instability to even produce pea-sized hail and small tornadoes. In New Jersey during the Spring, cold thunderstorms are quite unusual.

Isn't weather wonderful! (Of course, severe weather is not so wonderful, but the diversity of weather conditions existing on our planet is truly incredible.)

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 04, 07 | 5:30 pm | Profile

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Severe Tropical Storm Kong-rey Winding Down

Typhoon Kong-rey has just been downgraded to Severe Tropical Storm Kong-rey by RSMC Tokyo as it recurves and heads off into the upper latitudes and cooler waters of the Western North Pacific. Kong-rey began its life as a broad area of low pressure on 26 March 2007, but did not officially become a tropical depression until 31 March. During its relatively brief lifespan, this storm managed to achieve Saffir-Simpson Category 2 status at 1200 UTC on 3 April as it moved to the west of the Northern Marianas, with the Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimating peak sustained 1-minute wind speed of 90 kt (167 km/hr), gusts to 110 kt (204 km/hr) and central pressure of 954 millibars (mb or hPa) at that time. Typhoon Kong-rey maintained this intensity for six hours, but by midnight UTC on 4 April, sustained 1-minute wind speed had dropped to 75 kt (139 km/hr) as the storm neared the extreme northern end of the Mariana Islands chain.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (RSMC Tokyo) also defined Kong-rey as a typhoon, reaching maximum sustained 10-minute wind speed of 75 kt (139 km/hr) and central pressure of 960 hPa. Typhoon Kong-rey holds the distinction of becoming the first named Northern Hemisphere storm of the 2007 tropical cyclone season, and has thus been designated as Typhoon 01W by the JTWC and as Typhoon 0701 by RSMC Tokyo.

According to the Saipan Tribune, the Marianas received no major damage and there were no casualties, major accidents or significant flooding. Power outages occurred on Saipan, but these were considered by Commonweath Utilities Corporation to be minor and did not affect water treatment or water delivery. Crops received only minor damage, although additional crop damage could result if flooded farms remain in that condition for very long.

For prior information on Kong-rey, see my previous blog posts, 2007 Pacific typhoon season from Wikipedia, and Digital Typhoon: Typhoon 200701 (KONG-RAY) [sic]. Current information on this waning tropical storm and other active tropical systems can be found at our Tropical Storm, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking Center. See Ten Spider Weather & Meteorology for a comprehensive and up-to-date collection of educational and everyday resources encompassing the world of weather and how it affects our lives.

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Posted by: The Spidermaster on Apr 04, 07 | 4:30 pm | Profile

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