Hurricane Sandra Obliterates Records; Moisture Impacts U.S.


The calendar might say late November, but don’t tell Mother Nature that.

The tropics are still active far later than usual, particularly in the eastern Pacific Ocean, where Hurricane Sandra is obliterating records as it churns less than a week from the official end of hurricane season. Sandra had maximum sustained winds of 120 miles-per-hour (MPH) as of Thursday afternoon, making it a Category 3 storm, or a major hurricane. Earlier on Thursday it reached Category 4 status, making it the strongest hurricane this late in the season in the western hemisphere and north of the equator.

Sandra also marks the ninth major hurricane, or a storm of Category 3 strength or greater, so far this season, also a new record.

Sandra’s track, however, could pose a threat to northwest Mexico. It is expected to veer off to the northeast, potentially putting the major tourist hub of Cabo San Lucas in or near its path. The good news, however, is Sandra is expected to now weaken quickly as it moves into much cooler water while it moves north. Any impact to Cabo San Lucas or northwest Mexico is expected to come later on Friday and into Saturday – by which point Sandra should be a low-end Category 1 hurricane or a Tropical Storm, and it’ll continue to weaken rapidly as it moves inland this weekend.

Moisture associated with Sandra is being pulled up by a slow-moving upper level low pressure center moving through the southern Plains, contributing to a potentially significant snow, ice and rain event across the South and Midwest.

Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on this potent storm and its potential impacts on both Mexico and the southern United States.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi


Thanksgiving Ice Storm Threatens South, Midwest

den ice

A slippery start to Thanksgiving for parts of Colorado and Nebraska will turn into a full-fledged ice storm across a wide swath of the Plains by Friday and Saturday.

Light freezing rain glazed over roads in the Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado metro areas on Thursday morning, along with Omaha, Nebraska. The National Weather Service in Omaha reported on Thanksgiving morning that up to an eighth of an inch of ice had glazed over roads near Lincoln, Nebraska. More ice is expected as an Arctic cold front blasts south into north Texas and eastern New Mexico overnight Thursday into Friday, drawing in a shallow layer of cold air at the surface that will set up a potentially significant ice event.

Overnight, rain will change over to sleet and freezing rain in cities such as Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas; Woodward and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Wichita, Dodge City and Garden City, Kansas; Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska.

Denver and Colorado Springs will see mostly light snow for both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, along with bitterly cold temperatures that likely won’t reach 20° in either city either day.

Meanwhile, the worst of the ice looks to be centered on the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, with up to an inch of freezing rain and sleet possible between tonight and Saturday morning, when the slow-moving upper level low responsible for the wintry weather finally pushes east. Downed trees and power lines will not only be possible but likely in areas where more than half an inch of ice occurs. Flash flooding with the same system could produce up to 8″ of rain in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, where flash flood watches are in place through Friday and Saturday.

Stay with WeatherNation for the latest on this potentially significant dual winter storm and flood threat.

For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi


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