Brutal Storms Kick off Week of Record Warmth

December 11, 2021

UPDATE: Analysis from Jeff Berardelli

UPDATE: More evidence of the record strength of this storm

UPDDATE: NPR has a supercut of the most extreme damage video

UPDATE: Is this the first “quad state” tornado?

UPDATE from Jeff Masters:

Storm footage above from Mayfield, Kentucky.

Washington Post:

As we close in on the official start of winter Dec. 21, there’s little cold to be found across the Lower 48. The first of two surges of warmth has set records across Texas and parts of the South already. Dozens more records are possible Friday and Saturday, ahead of a powerful storm system triggering severe thunderstorms as it pushes east.

After only a brief break to start next week, warmth is set to build in again. By Tuesday, a new round of records is likely across the Southern Plains, expanding into the Midwest and Eastern states during the second half of the week. Some records could be set by large margins. In parts of the Midwest, temperatures could be as much as 40 degrees above normal, approaching their highest temperatures observed during December.

A potentially epic December heat wave is set to blanket much of the contiguous U.S. over the next two weeks, potentially leading several cities and states to set records for the warmest first month of winter on record. 

The big picture: In a major pattern shift, the jet stream is poised to dive south toward the western U.S., bringing much-needed rains and mountain snows to a parched California and other western states. But to the east of this jet stream dip, or trough, a potentially record strong ridge of high pressure is projected to set up over the Central U.S. 

  • This ridge will be responsible for the record warmth, but it’s in keeping with trends from human-caused climate change. 

The details: December has already been unusually mild in many areas, with Denver and Salt Lake City recording their latest measurable snowfalls on record, and the Houston area tying its hottest recorded temperatures seen for the month on Thursday, when highs reached the mid-to-upper 80s

  • The warm weather looks to build starting early next week in the Plains, South Central states, and Gulf Coastal region. The highest temperatures compared to average are likely in the eastern Plains on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with colder air not projected to start pouring in from Canada until Christmas or soon after. Even then, the East Coast is still likely to be unusually mild.
  • There is virtually zero chance of a white Christmas in cities including St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbus, New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C., and points south.

According to the National Weather Service, some areas may see temperatures running 20°F to 40°F above average for this time of year, as the record strong area of high pressure builds aloft. This high will ensure plenty of sun, sinking air, which helps to increase temperatures through compression.

5 Responses to “Brutal Storms Kick off Week of Record Warmth”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    FWIW, the Amazon warehouses in the PNW might have been cooler than the homes of many workers. I don’t see heat waves as the “path of deadly weather” that requires people to work in air-conditioned workplaces.

    Meanwhile, I look forward to massive lawsuits for any worker deaths that were the result of ignoring or underrating predicted dangerous weather.

  2. redskylite Says:

    “Atmospheric conditions that give rise to such outbreaks are intensifying in the winter as the planet warms. And tornado alley is shifting farther east away from the Kansas-Oklahoma area and into states where Friday’s killers hit.”

  3. dumboldguy Says:

    After viewing the videos, there is little to be said—-climate change is ramping up.

  4. J4Zonian Says:

    Promise me you’ll save this title and variations for future use:

    “Brutal Republicans Kick off Week of Record Cruelty”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: