Earthquake & Tsunami Information


All the eyes of the world turned to Japan today as they were devastated by one of the strongest earthquakes in history. There have only been four earthquakes since 1900 that have been stronger. The magnitude of today’s quake was 8.9. Here are the top five.

1) Magnitude 9.5, Southern Chile, May 1960

2) Magnitude 9.2, Prince William Sound, Alaska, March 1964

3) Magnitude 9.0, Kamchatka, November 1952

4) Magnitude, 9.0, Indian Ocean, December 2004.

For an impressive gallery of information, check out the following site: EG_Tsunami. This has a huge amount of information from I have also added a few of the tsunami animations from NOAA.

The tsunami was hit Japan in just a few minutes and continued across the Pacific. Thankfully, the tsunami was not nearly as bad in Hawaii or the west coast of the United States as it was in Japan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people devastated by the massive quake.

Now, on to our weekend weather. A clipper cruises on by on Saturday to our north. Any snow should stay to our north. It will get much windier as the day goes on. It won’t be nearly as nice as it was on Friday. Here is the RPM model for 9am Saturday morning.

Sunday will be sunnier, but still on the cool side. Sunday’s high should be around 36 degrees.

Looking farther into the future, we are still playing close attention to the upcoming, “signature storm”. Take a look at the GFS model for March 23rd.

If this would hold true, (highly unlikely), this would give us a chance of a severe weather outbreak. Stay tuned.



22 Responses

  1. Mark,
    From a weather standpoint, what does the earthquake and tsunami do to weather patterns if anything? Does this omit anything into the atmosphere that could change patterns?


    • Good question, Craig. If this was a big volcano, it would have a major impact. However, earthquakes and tsunamis have no impact on weather patterns. Tsunamis do not change ocean currents.


      • Really? Why would a volcano have an impact but not that wall of water a tsunami makes impact currents? So interesting.

      • Craig,

        A major volcanic eruption adds tons of dust/ash into the atmosphere. That blocks some of the sun from reaching the earth and can cool the entire planet.


      • Thank you!!!

      • Curiosity…and a bit of ignorance here, perhaps..but I have wondered if the energy forced through the equatorial Pacific would have enough upwelling to influence the sea surface temperatures…thoughts?

      • Scott,

        Certainly there would be a local influence, but I believe this would be no more an influence than what a hurricane does as it passes by creating upwelling. Long term impacts seem very unlikely.

  2. Very interesting stuff, Mark…. The very long range GFS understandably shifts a lot, right? Imagine how crazy it would be if we were all snow for the signature storm. Highly unlikely though this time of year… But that would be awesome 😀

    • Dan K,

      If it is all snow, that would be scary. There are always big shifts in the long range. If you watch this every day between now and the 21st and 24th, look for many changes in the low position. What is impressive is that the GFS has this being quite strong!

      • Cool! Yeah the hilarious thing is how spot on the LRC is… from my calculations, the 24th (which would be 288 hours) is exactly 51 days, which fits perfectly! How the heck is the LRC not gaining more ground in the meteorology world?! Ah well, you guys are just a step ahead of everyone else 🙂 I love using this site for adding an amount of days to a particular date. I’m sure you already use something like it.

      • Dan,

        I’m surprised I did not know much if anything about this before Jeremy arrived. I think this will gain more ground in time, but I hope to stay ahead of the competition by learning more and more before they do.

      • “How the heck is the LRC not gaining more ground in the meteorology world?! ”

        …it hasn’t be for the lack of putting out the information. LOL.

        The LRC is a difficult theory that absolutely challenges some of the base tenants of meteorology. It is difficult to accept its possibility unless having it shown and taking some time to look into it.

        There are other climate oscillations that are of use, but many meteorologist focus on the operational side which focuses much shorter in range.

  3. How much rain could we see with this storm?

  4. March 17, 2009 – 75
    March 17, 2010 – 59
    March 17, 2011 – 50+ (all other sources are 55-57 so I hate to root against you, but this is one time I hope your forecast is the wrong one)

    I guess we can call it the “Luck of the Irish”.

    • Daniel,

      I’m being conservative at this point with Thursday’s temp.

      As for “luck of the Irish”, March 17th is my 14th anniversary at WISN 12. I think I’ve been pretty lucky.


  5. 0z GFS gives us a big snowstorm mid next week.
    6z GFS gives extreme northern Minnesota and Wisconsin the big snowstorm mid next week.
    12z GFS doesn’t give us much of anything mid next week.

    I wouldn’t expect to even have a vague idea of where this storm will actually track until next weekend so if anybody sees a solution they like before then, don’t bother getting excited about it. Long range models are terrible at doing anything other than suggesting a storm may exist during a particular timeframe.

    • Daniel G. —

      By “mid next week” do you mean the week of the 13TH or the week of the 20TH?


      • I meant the week of the 20th. I forgot we haven’t officially started the week of the 13th yet.

  6. Agreed, as Jeremy has alluded to in the past the average temp by March 23/24th is in the mid 40’s so the odds of this being all snow are lower, as he said in his March forecast, something that starts with rain and ends with snow on the backside with a severe weather outbreak in the Mississippi river valley is likely.

    • Hey, Brian! Or Dan! Or Jeremy! Or anyone else!

      Do any of you see any snows of significant amounts in the near future before “signature storm”? Or do you expect that all the systems through the rest of the month, including “signature storm” will be all rain or some of them “mix” that changes to snow?

      Just wondering if I should get my snowblower ready for storage and get the lawnmower and my outboard motor ready to use??

      Thanks for the help!


      • Don,

        I just put away the snow blower and fired up the outside fountains..but…I am a few hundred miles south. But it is worth noting, that I JUST did it…so you might want to wait a bit longer – just to be sure.


      • I wouldn’t put that snowblower away until after the signature storm has passed because you never know. There shouldn’t be any storms worth a big snow after that. Just a couple clippers and some benign weather if I’m remembering the cycle correctly.

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