UPDATE: A newer article with an update on Friday's severe weather (and more maps) is now available.
Winds last night gusted to 133 mph at 11,000 feet on Mammoth Mountain, Calif., and into the 80s in lower parts of Southern California and Nevada, where damage was widespread and 14,000 lost power near Las Vegas. A 105-mph gust was measured by a NWS spotter in San Bernardino County, Calif., and a 155-mph gust was reported at Henniger Flats, Calif., but the data looks a little sketchy and (given the lower elevation) I'm not 100% sure that reading was accurate.
Area 48 (about 20 miles SW of Area 51, no joke) only gusted to 58 mph, so the little green men were safe. However, according to NWS reports, Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas (which realistically staffs Area 51) had to evacuate 176 "people" when high winds tore the roof off a housing unit last night.
Meanwhile, something not so alien to Hawaii: Heavy rain. Hawaii holds some of the world's rainiest locations, but over the weekend, things got a little out of control and local rivers and creeks came out of their banks. I was the first to report that Wainiha, Hawaii, picked up 14" in the 24 hours prior to last night, but that's nothing to compare to Hanalei, which received 35.97" in just over two days! That was on Kauai; over 15" fell on the island of Oahu.
NWS reports also indicated that a number of roads were closed due to flooding, the Ilikai Hotel at Waikiki was set ablaze by lightning, and most incredibly, hail of 1.5 inches in diameter was observed in Honolulu when a rare supercell thunderstorm moved over the island (see radar image from @EverythingWX):
Below are some photos from the Twitterverse:
Two days of rare September severe thunderstorms in Pennsylvania have dropped tornadoes and funnel clouds, and I was able to chase some of them.
There are quite a few notable low pressure systems or "cyclones" worldwide today. One of them, Typhoon Meranti, is the biggest in a while.
On the evening of September 5, 1996, as Hurricane Fran approached the North Carolina coast, I embarked on my first-ever hurricane storm chase trip.
Twenty years ago, Hurricane Fran roared into eastern North Carolina, and I was there -- and I've got the VHS tapes to prove it.
Until yesterday, Hurricane Wilma was the last Hurricane to strike the state of Florida, 11 years ago.
Hurricane Irene caused over $16 billion in damage in 2011. A the 5-year anniversary, I look back on my experiences with the storm.