Severe weather outbreak in the South; 2008 the 2nd busiest tornado season

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:45 PM GMT on December 09, 2008

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A major severe weather outbreak is possible today across portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and surrounding states, in association with a strong cold front expected to sweep through the region. The Storm Prediction Center has placed portions of Louisiana and Mississippi under the "moderate Risk" category for severe weather today, and supercell thunderstorms with tornadoes are likely today along the cold front. Several tornado warnings have already been issued for Louisiana this morning, though no confirmed touch-downs have been reported yet.

Links to follow
Severe weather map
Interactive tornado map


Figure 1. Cumulative tornadoes for 2008, compared to the five most recent years. The confirmed tornado count for 2008 through September is 1600, making it the second busiest tornado season on record. Only 2004, with 1817 twisters, has had more. Image credit: NOAA Storm Prediction Center.

Tornado season update
As the end of the year approaches, the tornado season of 2008 has already established itself as the second busiest tornado season on record. The 1600 confirmed tornadoes this year through September are second only to the record 1817 tornadoes recorded in 2004. Reliable tornado records began in 1950, but tornado reports have grown steadily over the years due to an increase in population and an increase in interest and reporting ability. With just a few weeks left in the year, it seems unlikely 2008 will break the record for most tornadoes. The preliminary count for October and November was 46 tornadoes, which means we would need at a minimum 171 tornadoes over the the next three weeks to set a new record. This is pretty unlikely, unless we get a major outbreak today and two additional outbreaks later this month. Tornado deaths so far this year are at 125--the most since 1998, when 130 people died in tornadoes.

Jeff Masters

Water Spout in Man of War Harbor - Key West (BilgeH2OMgt)
This 4pm waterspout was spectacular! It was SW of Fleming Key , moved into a cove and then the base looked like it exploded when it hit the land with dirt and bushes flying.
Water Spout  in Man of War Harbor - Key West
Tornado near Oshkosh, NE. (msteinbeck)
This is the tornado that was reported near Oshkosh, Nebraska on 8/13/08.
Tornado near Oshkosh, NE.

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Quoting WxLogic:


Were they able to get any footage?


Yes, he's going to email it to me So I can post it on WU or Youtube.
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Imagine someone saying that it was coming back to hit North Carolina as a hurricane when it was heading nearly due east @ 33°N 53°W...lol



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Ginger of 1971.
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little late in RE but:

thanks hurricane blast

night all4hurricanes

(back to lurk mode)
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Guys, I was on the phone with my long time friend from Vicksburg, Louisiana. They are right now viewing a tornado on the ground moving away and dieing. He said while he was talking to me that at peak it was a quarter mile wide. He saw power flashes and was in some RFD (rear flank downdraft.) That caused polls down and tile damage to his house.


Were they able to get any footage?
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4881
Quoting all4hurricanes:
Last second post We just got our first taste of weather for the next few days. A short rainstorm just hit us. And Hurricane blast was right about Parma. Good Night (again)


Night...
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4881
Nor'easter on the coast is looking great now with the 00z NAM coming into agreement with the 18z GFS.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3564
Last second post We just got our first taste of weather for the next few days. A short rainstorm just hit us. And Hurricane blast was right about Parma. Good Night (again)
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Guys, I was on the phone with my long time friend from Vicksburg, Louisiana. They are right now viewing a tornado on the ground moving away and dieing. He said while he was talking to me that at peak it was a quarter mile wide. He saw power flashes and was in some RFD (rear flank downdraft.) That caused polls down and tile damage to his house.
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161. Seastep... definitely wind fields are starting to increase due to the approaching system. Also my anemometer has been busy tonight compared to other nights.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4881
163. That track is from Typhoon Parma in 2003 (JTWC designated Super Typhoon)
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RE 159:

I think the contest (which is only for the atlantic) ended when the atlantic hurricane season ended but that is one for an "overall crazy cyclone" contest (world wise)

nice find

wonder what the name is
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Good night all tomorrow I should be getting the leftovers of today's thunderstorms should be interesting
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Good evening all. Just popped on because it has been very windy.

So I checked on some stations (this one is very close to me) and thought I'd share. Isolated, but consistent TS force from and even Cat 1 force readings at this station (upper right-hand shows live winds if you want to check that out... was just watching 60+ km/h steady... strong TS force...):



It'll probably drop to nothing as soon as I post, but it has been consistent. Watch it for a minute or two and you'll see consistent mid-TS winds.

Oh, and check out that temp.... I, personally, do not miss the cold one bit. ;)

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159. Could be worst... hehe.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4881
Sorry I was looking at random typhoon seasons because I'm a weather nerd and I found this

Is that most insane cyclone track contest still up cause this would be a contender
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Good evening...

FYI... tomorrow Hurricane 2009 Season Outlook comes out. Hehe...

Things will be getting quite interesting for FL specially accross CFL and NFL based on the assumption of a decent low development in the CGOMEX. I can say for sure that we're getting a very nice airmas modification in CFL with upper 60s dewpoints. We shall see how other variables come together tomorrow to watch for possible SVR WX in the FL Peninsula.

Can't blame SPC as they're still watching the evolution of the ULL digging into the NGOMEX to see what it can spin up, before issuing at least a Slight SRV WX risk for a good portion of the FL area on Thursday.

----------------------------
My web site.
My blog.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4881
Has no one really posted in one and a half hours? that's long even for a slow blog.
Did anyone notice I got an avatar!
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154 bro
Hope you're right. Beautifull in NFLA today.
Gonna scoot further south for Christmas. Leave the white stuff for bonedog. LOL
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Quoting MidWtornado:
In the western suburbs of chicago the rain has now turned to all snow. The winds are fairly strong and the roads are becoming snow covered. Not that anyone in Illinois is paying any attention to the weather today.
I'm sure that topic will surface after the severe weather dies down. And rightfully so...weather first...LOL
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After this is all said and done, a ridge of high pressure(aloft and at the surface) will sit on top of the Florida peninsula. Bringing an extended period of sunny skies and ideal weather conditions next week before a deeper long wave trough opens up the arctic floodgates(just in time for Christmas).

Fed Flag Warnings will be the only complaint(which I believe is over-emphasized down here).
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Quoting MidWtornado:
In the western suburbs of chicago the rain has now turned to all snow. The winds are fairly strong and the roads are becoming snow covered. Not that anyone in Illinois is paying any attention to the weather today.

LOL!! For sure, the weather takes a back seat there today.
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Wow storms are really strong down south.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3564
Thanks for the link to Let's Say Thanks, sent mine and appreciate the opportunity to do so.
Weather in Md is mild and calm, rain tomorrow and temps above average. Winter weather due back in a couple days. Hoping for snow but rain will be here first.
Prayers to Surfmom and family.
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Well stay safe down south bunker up
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Quoting TerraNova:
Yazoo City has a population of 14,550 and a pretty tight population density. Radar shows a strong cuplet (+45/-45 kt) which is indicative of a strong mesocyclone with a possible surface translation. The rotation is being detected at the lower portions of radar scans (3200 feet) and the column extends high into the atmosphere.

Effective shear is coming out of the SW/SSW at 50 knots and Storm Relative Helicity is above 450, which is considered very conductive for supercell/tornadic activity.

I just did a business analysis for a nursing home in Yazoo City today. Before today I did not know Yazoo City existed. I hope everyone will be safe.
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Quoting newt3d:
Thanks for that sonic boom post ... I needed a good laugh this morning :)


Just reading the blog and wham, something else to wory about. First MMGW now MM global BOOMIMG!
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Yazoo City has a population of 14,550 and a pretty tight population density. Radar shows a strong cuplet (+45/-45 kt) which is indicative of a strong mesocyclone with a possible surface translation. The rotation is being detected at the lower portions of radar scans (3200 feet) and the column extends high into the atmosphere.

Effective shear is coming out of the SW/SSW at 50 knots and Storm Relative Helicity is above 450, which is considered very conductive for supercell/tornadic activity.
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MSC051-163-092345-
/O.CON.KJAN.TO.W.0274.000000T0000Z-081209T2345Z/
HOLMES MS-YAZOO MS-
457 PM CST TUE DEC 9 2008

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 545 PM CST FOR NORTHERN
YAZOO AND SOUTHWESTERN HOLMES COUNTIES...

...THIS IS A TORNADO EMERGENCY FOR THE WARNED AREA...
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In the western suburbs of chicago the rain has now turned to all snow. The winds are fairly strong and the roads are becoming snow covered. Not that anyone in Illinois is paying any attention to the weather today.
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Wow severe weather is quite strong today.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 243 Comments: 3564
Quoting Drakoen:


Yes you do. I was being general lol. You definitely need to be good at math. You need to research all that stuff if you want to have a career in meteorology.


At A&M, we were required to take more math than most of the engineers. Only the electrical engineers took as much. The required math is only one elective math course away from a minor.

Was it manageable? Yes. Is it for those without an aptitude? No.
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I counted 12 tornadoes on Ike's radar but I think some I might have counted twice
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Quoting presslord:
...so....ah...drak...

You're realy just sayin' "it's gonna rain", right? :)

lol Yea real hard.
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Quoting all4hurricanes:

Don't you need to know Calculus and a lot of complicated equations to get I career in meteorology? I want to have a career in meteorology but I don't know what college to try for what subjects are most important or anything else about getting a career in weather.


Yes you do. I was being general lol. You definitely need to be good at math. You need to research all that stuff if you want to have a career in meteorology.
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...so....ah...drak...

You're realy just sayin' "it's gonna rain", right? :)
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Quoting Drakoen:


A lot of it is know the Key terms (vocabulary) and what goes with what. What creates what, and what leads to what, to get what you are looking for.

Don't you need to know Calculus and a lot of complicated equations to get I career in meteorology? I want to have a career in meteorology but I don't know what college to try for what subjects are most important or anything else about getting a career in weather.
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thanks cybrteddy for the correction. i knew it looked weird for some reason.
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Quoting Drakoen:


A lot of it is know the Key terms (vocabulary) and what goes with what. What creates what, and what leads to what, to get what you are looking for.


Indeed, that is important, and writing updates about current weather events are a great away to apply what you have learned.


Bye blog....catching with some homework
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Quoting futuremet:


I have been interested in meteorology for all my life. I really began studying meteorology around this time last year, for it eventually became clear to me that adequate knowledge of atmospheric dynamics is just as great as the adrenaline.


A lot of it is know the Key terms (vocabulary) and what goes with what. What creates what, and what leads to what, to get what you are looking for.
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You can see those mesoscale convective systems developing over Louisiana. The BRN shear number is way high and decent CAPE to go along with it. Atmosphere pretty unstable.
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Quoting IKE:
TVS's.....



wow those storms are firing up lol
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Quoting Drakoen:


Around 3-4 years.


I have been interested in meteorology for all my life. I really began studying meteorology around this time last year, for it eventually became clear to me that adequate knowledge of atmospheric dynamics is just as great as the adrenaline.
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Quoting futuremet:


No, he is right, you are a magnificent forecaster.

How long have you been studying meteorology?


Around 3-4 years.
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Quoting Drakoen:


LOL. I wasn't too sure about those CAPE values though the GFS and NAM seemed to want to place it farther east. We'll see how the sub-synoptic low develops...


No, he is right, you are a magnificent forecaster.

How long have you been studying meteorology?
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Quoting atmoaggie:




If you specifically forecasted all of that, you are too good at it to do it for free. Way better than I (admittedly not my real interests, anyway ;-)


LOL. I wasn't too sure about those CAPE values though the GFS and NAM seemed to want to place it farther east. We'll see how the sub-synoptic low develops...
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my next video will be uploaded tomorrow.....too much school work to do today lol
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Quoting futuremet:
Severe Weather Outlook

The conditions today are ideal for a possible severe weather outbreak. A vigorous sub-synoptic scale cyclone developing along a baroclinic zone will greatly contribute to a possible severe weather conditions today. Wind shear levels are quite high because, wind speeds vary greatly at both speed and direction at different altitudes. For example, the surface winds are mostly blowing from the south at the west side of the ana front, while the upper level jet winds are blowing relatively from the west. The substantial shear will enhance horizontal vorticity levels around 5000 feet. If the updraft is sufficiently potent, it will cause the air to acquire vertical vorticity, and thus stimulate supercellular thunderstorm formation and tornadogenesis. Now residents in Louisiana should continue to monitor closely, because tornado warnings having posted, and radar is detecting rotation within some of the supercellular thunderstorms. The sub-synoptic scale cyclone near Northwestern Lousiana is expected to continue to intensify, move northeast, and become the dominant low pressure system in the mid-west by tomorrow. Subsequently, cyclogenesis is expected to occur along a baroclinically destabilized zone in the gulf of Mexico about 30 hours from now. This system is expected to deepen rapidly; it bring welcome rains for folks in Florida.
FutureMet


When you take a look at the directional shear you should look at the mid levels as well. It looks as though QG forcing (with decent theta-e advection) will become more involved when the front advects further to the east where the mid level dynamics will be more favorable. The CAPE and LI index look ripe for severe weather. The NAM shows a low level jet of 60-70knts; the GFS not dissimilar.
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Tornado warning for Issaquena county, MS just issued
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Quoting Drakoen:
119, 700-500mb lapse rates looks conditional unstable. There isn't much different in lower to mid level (0-3km) shear. Looks like my forecast lol.


If you specifically forecasted all of that, you are too good at it to do it for free. Way better than I (admittedly not my real interests, anyway ;-)
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Severe Weather Blog
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.