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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/27/2010

Midwest storm by the numbers

By Jason Samenow

* More showers and storms today: Full Forecast *

Wind damage reports (in blue), tornado (in red) and hail (in green) from Tuesday. Source:NOAA's Storm Prediction Center

Although the massive Midwest storm has peaked in intensity and jogged into western Ontario, its effects are still being felt across a large chunk of the U.S. Winds are howling in upper Midwest and Great Lakes, wind-whipped snow is flying in the Dakotas, and the cold front ahead of the storm is producing showers and thunderstorms up and down the Eastern seaboard. A few severe thunderstorms could still develop this afternoon in the eastern mid-Atlantic (including the eastern portion of the D.C. metro region) and Southeast.

But today will be nothing like yesterday, when this monstrous storm made history. Let's take a look at some amazing numbers associated with this storm:

956 mb or 28.24" - Record low pressure from non-tropical storm in continental U.S.

The National Weather Service writes:

... [the storm] had a minimum central pressure of 28.24" or 956 mb (equivalent to the minimum pressure of a Category 3 hurricane). This breaks the old record of 28.28" (958 mb), set on ...Jan. 26, 1978, during the Blizzard of 1978 (aka the Cleveland Superbomb). This is also lower than the March 1993 Superstrom (aka "The Storm of the Century"), or the "Witch of November" storm that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975, or even the Columbus Day Storm of Oct. 1962.

St. Paul Tribune meteorologist Paul Douglas wrote the pressure may have even dipped as low as 953 mb (28.14") in Orr - a town in Minnesota's arrowhead. The barometric pressure dropped to 28.99" in Chicago - the lowest reading on record during October.

Other incredible numbers

24 tornado reports

282 wind damage reports

Pressure falls in millibars (mb) over Minnesota between Monday and Tuesday morning.

26 mb pressure fall in 24 hours in central Minnesota. This kind of extreme drop in pressure is referred to as "explosive cyclogenesis" or "bombogenesis"

77 mph wind gust in Greenfield, Indiana. Highest "official" wind gust reported.

5 states (Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and South Dakota) - where wind gusts to at least 70 mph were reported. List of selected wind gusts.

250+ flight cancellations yesterday at Chicago O'Hare

50 mph winds for 24 of the last 32 hours in Pierre, South Dakota according to the Weather Channel

8" - Snow report in Harvey, ND accompanied by sustained winds near 40 mph and gusts over 50 mph

150-180 mph winds estimated at jet stream level driven by the large temperature contrast between the eastern and western U.S. - which in turn - fueled this storm in the center of the country.

1 partially impaled teacher by tree limb outside Chicago. Teacher says she will use tree limb that entered her abdomen and came out her side as "art"

Aware of other remarkable numbers from this storm? Post them below...

By Jason Samenow  | October 27, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Thunderstorms, U.S. Weather  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Gusty showers & storms a threat today
Next: Initial storms exit, tornado watch scaled back


I think Jerry gave a geographic size yesterday (translated to immense). This morning is still dominates the continent from 700MB and up

Posted by: eric654 | October 27, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

North Dakota now has some "no travel advised" areas in the middle of the state (red markings) Click on the box next to weather cameras then click on the route 14 camera to get a real taste of winter.

Posted by: eric654 | October 27, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Re. the article about the art teacher-- mentions power outages. It looks as though Illinois restores power a lot aster than happens around here!,wind-alert-storm-chicago-area-102510.article

p.s. also mentions that as the art teacher sat in her smashed car, some people drove by and took pictures before someone stopped to help her.

Posted by: saracooper | October 27, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Anyone notice the heavy band of rain coming in SW to NE?

Some red zones, looks like it will hit in about an hour.

Lunch hour folks prepare!

Posted by: jaybird926 | October 27, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Heavy rain in Oakton but nothing severe.

Posted by: SPS1 | October 27, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

While the Midwest storm qualifies as a "bomb", it doesn't come close to some non-tropical oceanic cyclones in the eyes of "bombogenesis" aficionados (like myself).

One example is known as the "Queen Elizabeth-II" storm - for the major damage the liner suffered from a bomb in Septermber, 1978.

The storm intensified at the rate of 53 mb over a period of just 12 hours with the minimum low center pressure diving to 956 mb. The corresponding rate for the Midwest storm was "only" 16 mb/12 hours and took 24 hours to reach it's maximum intensity.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | October 27, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

An article from Ohio here claims that Ohio's Blizzard of 78 (at 28.05 inches) was stronger than yesterday's storm.

Posted by: eric654 | October 27, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

There are normally a number of extremely deep extratropical cyclones over the oceanic areas of the Southern Hemisphere...down there the vast expanses of relatively warm ocean and the very cold Antarctic air masses provide the temperature contrasts to fuel these monsters.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Aleutian and Icelandic lows [or "gyres"] normally have the lowest pressures outside the tropics. Generally our variations in large-scale temperate circulation are due to displacements of position and intensity of these two systems which account for the shifts in the major teleconnections or oscillation patterns.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | October 27, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

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