Friday, March 31, 2017

Spring in somme places not so much in others

Massive North Atlantic Storm Sends Surge of Ice Into St. John's, Newfoundland Harbor

An intense north Atlantic storm pushed an unusual surge of sea ice at St. John's, Newfoundland, on Friday, a sight not seen by some locals in decades.
The powerful Atlantic low, centered about 400 miles southeast of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula, produced strong northeast winds gusting up to 70 mph in parts of Newfoundland.
Visible satellite and wind streamlines of the North Atlantic storm responsible for the St. John's, Newfoundland, ice surge at 8 a.m. EDT, March 31, 2017. 
This intense fetch of winds pushed a surge of sea ice from off the northeast coast of the Avalon Peninsula into harbors, including St. John's Harbor.
Weather Network meteorologist Mark Robinson spoke with residents who said they hadn't seen anything like this ice surge since the 1980s.
The view from Signal Hill, just northeast of St. John's near the mouth of the harbor called the Narrows showed almost a completely ice-jammed waterway Friday.
To the north of St. John's, ice also jammed into bays and coves in the northern Avalon Peninsula.
Environment Canada warned of "extensive ice buildup or significant pressure" from the strong onshore winds pushing pack ice toward the coast. 
The storm also produced blizzard conditions in parts of Newfoundland. Blizzard warnings were in effect for much of the rest of Newfoundland other than the Avalon Peninsula. Winds had gusted as high as 69 mph at Sagona Island, off Newfoundland's south coast Friday morning.
This storm explosively developed from a combination of ingredients.
A low pressure center earlier in the week that was being monitored as a potential, rare subtropical cyclone east of the Bahamas, Invest 90-L, congealed with another low off the coast of Nova Scotia. 
With a boost from a powerhouse jet stream plunge arriving from eastern Canada, this merged low deepended explosively. 
Water vapor satellite image of the north Atlantic storm southeast of Newfoundland on March 31, 2017.(Dundee Satellite Receiving Station/University of Dundee)
NOAA's Ocean Prediction Center estimated the central pressure of the storm at 964 millibars Friday morning, with significant wave heights up to 41 feet south of the low pressure center.
This was the second major north Atlantic storm in a week. 
Jonathan Erdman is a senior meteorologist at and has been an incurable weather geek since a tornado narrowly missed his childhood home in Wisconsin at age 7. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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