Spaghetti Plots…Storm Approaching Hawaii

Tropical Storm Ana is revving up and should become a hurricane within 24 hours.  This storm is forecast to end up somewhere over or quite close to the main Hawaiian Islands.  If a landfall actually happens, as far as I’m aware it will be unprecedented in historical times.  Here is a map showing all the storms that have passed within 75 miles of the main island chain…not as many as you would think:


Of course there is always error, especially 4 days out.  The official CPHC forecast looks like this right now:

MarkTropical_HurricanePacific MarkTropical_HurricanePacific2

But you might find this more interesting…a loop showing all the different model forecasts for where the center of the storm will go.  Each line is one model.

Interesting stuff eh?  Shows you why the forecast track can be so uncertain and also why it’s so important to not focus on a specific track in the middle of the “forecast cone”.  And you can also see why we call these types of charts “Spaghetti Plots”!

So as of right now it might not be a big deal, or it might be a huge storm.  For it to be a big storm, the center has to hit one of those little dots of land!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

33 Responses to Spaghetti Plots…Storm Approaching Hawaii

  1. Thank you Mark I have family in Honolulu! My sister just got a brush by from now Hurricane Gonzalo in St. Thomas!

  2. WEATHERDAN says:

    A laugh from inaccuweather.

    US Winter Forecast: Cold, Snow to Seize Northeast; Wintry Blasts to Slick South
    Jillian MacMath
    By Jillian MacMath, Staff Writer
    October 15, 2014; 6:00 PM ET
    More Sharing ServicesShare | Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin

    Though parts of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic had a gradual introduction to fall, winter will arrive without delay. Cold air and high snow amounts will define the season.

    Farther south, ice storms and snow events will threaten the Tennessee Valley and parts of the southern Plains. Much of the South can prepare for a wet winter, with some severe weather encroaching on Florida.

    The northern Plains will be somewhat inconsistent with variable, back-and-forth temperatures and below-normal snowfall. Meanwhile, the drought will persist in the Northwest and northern California and ease slightly farther south.

    A breakdown of the 2014-2015 U.S. Winter Forecast can be found below.

    JUMP TO: Cold Northeast, Interior Mid-Atlantic to Yield Snowy Winter Season| Rain, Snow, Ice All Threats for Southeast, Gulf States, Tennessee Valley | Dry, Less Harsh Winter In Store for Midwest, Ohio Valley, northern and central Plains | El Nino May Lead to High Moisture Into Southern Plains, Interior Southwest | Winter Precipitation Won’t Bust Northwest, Northern California Drought | POLL: What Type of Winter Are You Hoping For?

    Cold Northeast, Interior Mid-Atlantic to Yield Snowy Winter Season

    After record-shattering temperatures and high snow totals last winter in the Northeast, a similar theme will continue into the 2014-2015 season.

    Cold air will surge into the Northeast in late November, but the brunt of the season will hold off until January and February. The polar vortex, the culprit responsible for several days of below-zero temperatures last year, will slip down into the region from time to time, delivering blasts of arctic air.

    “I think, primarily, we’ll see that happening in mid-January into February but again, it’s not going to be the same type of situation as we saw last year, not as persistent,” Expert Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

    “The cold of last season was extreme because it was so persistent. We saw readings that we haven’t seen in a long time: 15- to 20-below-zero readings.”

    In addition to the cold air, a big snow season could be in the offing. Higher-than-normal snow totals are forecast west of the I-95 corridor.

    “Places like Harrisburg, down to Hagerstown getting into the mountains, the Appalachians, I think that’s where you’re going to see your bigger, heavier amounts,” Pastelok said.

    Philadelphia, which received a whopping 68.9 inches last season, is forecast to close this season with snow totals just above normal. New York City will likely follow suit.

    The I-95 corridor and eastward could fall victim to changeover systems, which will provide a messy wintry mix at times.

    Rain, Snow, Ice All Threats for Southeast, Gulf States, Tennessee Valley

    “I’m very concerned about the Tennessee Valley to the Gulf Coast as far as extremes go this year,” Pastelok said.

    Areas from eastern Texas all the way up to eastern Kentucky could be under the gun for ice events this season. The region will likely see this in January, but the I-10 corridor should be on guard for a sneaky late-January or early-February storm.

    Overall, the region will have a very wet winter, but the timing of these storms will determine whether a flood risk exists.

    RELATED: Winter Weather Center Severe Weather Center
    AccuWeather MinuteCast® for Atlanta

    “These are big storms that are going to form and put down a lot of rain, but there may be breaks in between,” Pastelok said.

    “The Gulf hasn’t been disturbed from tropical activity, so the warmer waters may hang on into the middle part of the winter and give us that extra boost into some of these systems coming up the East Coast.”

    The weather pattern, a weak El Nino, paired with the southern storm track and rich moisture source will set up Florida for a significant severe weather potential in mid- to late winter. Tornadoes will be possible from mid-January to February.

    Dry, Less Harsh Winter in Store for Midwest, Ohio Valley, Northern and Central Plains

    In a story similar to the Northeast, the winter season has several cold months planned for the Midwest, though not quite as extreme as last year.

    Temperature wise, areas such as Duluth, Minnesota, and Green Bay, Wisconsin, may be 7-9 degrees warmer than last year’s three-month average.

    Below-normal snowfall totals are also forecast.

    Chicago could fail to reach 30 inches this year, and Minneapolis has an even greater chance of falling below normal.

    Farther west, the northern and central Plains will endure roller-coaster temperatures. Fewer clipper systems than normal will reach down into the area, preventing high overall snow totals.

    El Nino May Lead to High Moisture in Southern Plains, Interior Southwest

    A weak El Nino pattern, which is expected to unfold, may lead to high moisture in the Southwest.

    “That moisture source is needed to get above-normal snowfall for the region. I do believe there are going to be periods where moisture gets in there,” Pastelok said.

    If it does, the Four Corners region, including Albuquerque, could get near- to slightly above-normal snowfall totals this year.

    “Northwestern Texas, western Oklahoma, Kansas, they can also see near- to slightly above-normal snowfall this year,” Pastelok said.

    Winter Precipitation Won’t Bust Northwest, Northern California Drought

    As California suffers through its fourth and most extreme year of drought, the state is in dire need of precipitation this winter.

    “California, the northern Sierra and Sierra Nevada are going to be below normal, although I do think that they are going to get enough snow to hold back the drought just a little bit from getting any worse than it is,” Pastelok said.

    December will bring some rain to northern California, but the precipitation will ease off in the following months, making the region drier than normal by February. After a season of intense wildfires, the precipitation that reaches the Northwest will not be enough to prevent problems next year.

    However, the winter isn’t all bad news for the drought-stricken region, Pastelok said.

    The weather pattern will allow some Eastern Pacific moisture to be pulled in, causing some big events which will increase the snowfall rates in the mountains.

    Additionally, Southern California looks to fare better than its northern counterpart with slightly above-normal precipitation this season, especially in areas farther from the coast.

    Thank you for voting!
    A mild winter without many storms 38.22% (2,937 votes)

    A chilly winter with a few big snowstorms 12.87% (989 votes)

    A cold, stormy winter with record snow totals 41.06% (3,155 votes)

    No preference as long as there’s a white Christmas 7.85% (603 votes)

    Total Votes: 7,684
    Comments (5) Return To Poll

    I am not endorsing this forecast, it’s only for entertainment purposes. Peace.

  3. High Desert Mat says:

    I think Drew Jackson is turning into a central Oregonian. Saw him on tv and looked nonshaved, scruffy, and talked with the boarder accent.

    Mark, when are you moving to this side of mts. too?

  4. Larry says:

    Glad to have someone who really knows what he’s talking about, running the show here. Thanks Mark.

  5. Garron near Washington Square says:

    Thanks for the model charts Mark! W/O your input, we’d all be watching The Weather Channel relentlessly for that 2.5 minutes of entertainment! Winds “here” have been gusting again later than I expected this morning. A nice sideways rainstorm, type of day. I for one am glad that the NWS issued a wind watch, or I might have missed out on the excitement. It kept me watching the skies, and enjoying the storm.

    When I was about 14, 1985, I got a barometer that broadcast an updated/prerecorded weather messages. It gave local measurements and forecasts for Oregon/Washington I thought that was the coolest weather tool ever, but wondered what the future of weather forecasting had in store for us weather deprived geeks? Now, that we have amazing tools at our finger tips, I am ever greater in the hands of local mets that have a decent head on their hands.

    I wish I could take weather geeks born after 1980, back to the stone age, so they could FULLY appreciate what we take for granted on a daily basis! We are soooooooooooooooooooo lucky to live in an age where we can actually debate with a meteorologist that knows what he/she is talking about, and we are so bombarded with news on the internet, we don’t even fact find before we post things. Just saying, don’t take for granted what we actually have here , ” FOR FREE”. It’s so easy when we get things virtually at our finger tips to not realize that we live in such a unique time, and appreciate Mark Nelsen’s unmatched scientific weather-tainment~!

    • Timmy_Supercell (Klamath Falls, OR) says:

      Yeah forget The Weather Channel. We have to go through “Fat Guys in the Woods” for 30 minutes before we get weather information. lol

  6. acs_pdx says:

    Yeah, what part of this is “unprecedented”?

  7. MasterNate says:

    Well this is depressing news. Official Winter Weather forecast is out. Western US will be “Hot and Dry” this winter. East Coast will hog all the good stuff. Here’s the link for in depth reading. Basically repeat of last year.

    • paulbeugene says:

      There is nothing official about the forecast…just another blogger out there who has posted winter forecasts for a long time.
      Odds are that forecast will be at least half right.
      I’m nervous about the financial health of the ski area operators.

    • MasterNate says:

      That’s funny. I thought it was the weather channels forecast. I’m hoping for average precip, and a couple of good fall storms with plenty of snowpack. I cant remember a year where I really was happy to see the rain finally show up.

    • dharmabum says:

      I’m just hoping to live and enjoy another winter, whatever weather comes our way.

    • W7ENK says:

      This is good, since every time the long range forecasts say we will be cool and wet, the opposite happens… unless they’re finally catching on?

    • MasterNate says:

      I like the way you think Eric.

    • jimbo says:

      Repeat of last year? Okay I’ll take two cold snaps and 3 days of snow. Beats most winters

  8. paulbeugene says:

    I’m flying to Kauai on Saturday morning.

  9. WWM says:

    wow that will make the surfers happy. wonder what the wave heights will be? 30-40 feet? it will be interesting to see where the storm track takes the remains of this once its done with Hawaii.

  10. Justin says:

    Hawaiian storms are definitely not unprecedented, Mark. Iniki slammed Kauai as a Cat 4 back in 1992, and they have had several other hurricane landfalls (Iwa in 1982, Dot in 1959). Also had a tropical storm this year already that scraped the big island.

  11. Muxpux (Castle Rock 175') says:

    Quick observation, I notice on the new lightning maps, the NW Oregon one doesn’t go north enough to cover the Longview/Lelso area, and the SW Washington one doesn’t go far enough south. Nice hole of no coverage along the Columbia up here

  12. schmit44 says:

    10/14/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:77 at Rome(4049 ft)
    Low: 60 at CW1075 Boardman(322 ft)

    High:41 at Timberline Lodge(7001 ft)
    Low: 32 at CHLOQN (4231 ft ) & Timberline Lodge (7001 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 33 degrees
    Lakeview, Lake C (72/39 ) (4734 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    3.68″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    2.64″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    2.43″ at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543ft)
    2.13″ at Brookings Airpor(459ft)
    1.91″ at BURNT RIDGE(2955ft)
    1.83″ at BROOKINGS(79ft)
    1.82″ at QUAIL PRAIRIE LO(3183ft)
    1.57″ at AGNESS2(247ft)

  13. vernonia1 says:

    thanks Mark

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