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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About three years ago today, one of the worst wind events hit the Cape Cod, MA region and Block Island, RI in a matter of three hours. On December 9th, 2005 a large potent storm system entered the Northeast after originating over the tennessee Valley and combining with the snowstorm that hit chicago, Il just a day before. The low took on explosive cyclogenesis as it passed through southeastern MA producing thunderstorms as the low passed overhead. The day started out pretty cool and raw and warmed up as the day went on. Towards the afternoon Cape Cod, MA saw some peaks of sunshine and temps reached 50F according to eyewitnesses as I was off Cape in school. It turned very windy and winds gusted from 95mph to 120mph from Block Island, RI to Cape Cod, MA. The low passed into Cape Cod Bay as the winds increased out of the northwest. The rain changed to snow and blizzard conditions were occurring from West to east. As we reached the Cape Cod Canal on the way home from school the rain changed to snow and the snow was falling very heavily with 2" an hour rates were occurring as traffic almost came to a standstill. As I got home power was out that whole weekend and was not restored until Sunday evening. The power workers said that a microburst struck the region. Some people believed there was a weak tornado that hit Eastham, MA but after viewing that damage myself a day later with my dad, after just taking a glimpse of it, it appeared it was only straight line wind gusts, because the NWS did not say a tornado was here.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 248 Comments: 3970
I can see my lighted reindeer flying around my yard now

NEwxguy...what did you put in your coffee this AM?

;)
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Sure Bonedog, that would be great. So hurricane force wind gusts are most likely if the storm passes over us or to our west?
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 248 Comments: 3970
the wind event will be the system on thurs/fri timeframe

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just realized my post didnt sound right..

let me rephrase


The LLJ is seen on the 850mb Vort models, but I look at the atmosphere from top to bottom I first look at the 200, then the 250, then 300 500 700 finally the 850 to really see what the jet is doing.

If they all line up its easier to work higher winds to the surface, if its skewed its a little harder.

Also useful to see what parts of storms might get a boost of energy and strengthen, and also several other things that i can get into if you would like.
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The weather channel is best at the weather when it comes to the current weather going on right now.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 248 Comments: 3970
Thunderstorm in Alexandria, LA or just SW has a hook echo.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 248 Comments: 3970
Is the winds for tomorrow or the end of the week nor'easter?
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 248 Comments: 3970
Quoting TheDawnAwakening:
NEwxguy, I would like to see winds, even if it means we see rains, but the models are at least printing out 2-4" of rains.


Your probably going to get your wish with the wind,especially if your closer to the coast.
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They are SW or SSW winds. They are not perfectly aligned, but there is time before Thursday.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 248 Comments: 3970
Quoting Bonedog:
Yea NE definatley a rain maker for you so far. But the winds and 2 to 3" QPF should make for one wild ride


I can see my lighted reindeer flying around my yard now,maybe I should put a sleigh on them too.I think the jet is going to set up right over Cape Cod and along the east coast of New England,so thats where the strongest winds will occur even possible thunder.
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Thanks for that sonic boom post ... I needed a good laugh this morning :)
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Yea NE definatley a rain maker for you so far. But the winds and 2 to 3" QPF should make for one wild ride
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Link

I normally use the 500mb Vort,HT to look at the jet and the 200 and 250 for upper Jet. Yes I know the LLJ is at the 850mb level but I look at the atmosphere top to bottom, jmo. Thing to note is if all four show the winds stacked then it will be easier to get the winds down to the surface during a system if they are skewed then its a little harder.
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NEwxguy, I would like to see winds, even if it means we see rains, but the models are at least printing out 2-4" of rains.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 248 Comments: 3970
Thanks Bone.
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Bone,it is going to be a wild,but looks mostly wet for me along the coast,depending on the track,but looks like a coast hugger.
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sounds good Bonedog.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 248 Comments: 3970
let me get them up for ya Dawn
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The Dawn its not so much the deepening of this system its the fact of a very strong jet right above the system, will allow those winds to work their way down to the surface.
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Bonedog, how do we see the wind graphics in terms of the low level jet?
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 248 Comments: 3970
oo just looked at the latest model runs =)

me likey

not so much in the begining but appears to be a wrap around event for me.
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Sully, if we were to just get winds, I would be happy. Maybe some back end snows. This storm is not progged to deepen rapidly. Hurricane force wind gusts would be a big surprise to me, but with a Gulf of Mexico moisture and naturally warmer air around with the origins of Gulf of Mexico.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 248 Comments: 3970
yup NE

get ready for later this week! going to be a wild ride even sulli is saying so, looks like a big wind event up your way also
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GM all,been busy,not much time to visit lately,hope everyone is doing good.
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TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO BE ABOVE-AVERAGE DURING THIS PERIOD ACROSS MUCH OF THE EASTERN US - A SWITCH FROM RECENT WEEKS. THE MEAN STORM TRACK AND SUBSEQUENT HIGH IMPACT WEATHER IS EXPECTED TO FOCUS ACROSS THE WESTERN AND CENTRAL US DURING THIS TIME PERIOD. NO SPECIFIC HAZARDS ARE DESIGNATED AT THE CURRENT TIME.


dont think NC or anywhere in the eastern conus will see snow on the 25th unless the pattern drastically changes between now and then sorry weathers4me
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Hoping for a white Christmas for Boone NC this year. Anyone want to take a stab at an outlook for the week of Christmas?

We still could use rain here in West Central FL. I agree with the earlier post that this area has been surrounded by a bubble all through hurricane season as well. I hope that is not a bad omen of things to come.
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Thank God for all of the NWS doppler sites so we can follow the "lines" across the country and prepare if need be....
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Be Prepared for Severe Weather 24/7, 365 days a year with a NOAA Ready Alert Weather Radio Link




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The potential for severe weather (including the summer hurricane season/spring flooding) is almost becoming a year-round event for the US over the last couple of years.....

Makes a WU membership all that more enjoyable.
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Hello All.....This type of severe weather (if a huge outbreak actually develops) is more reminisent of the "expected" outbreaks which occur in the Spring.....The potential for severe weather (including the summer hurricane season/spring flooding) is almost becoming a year-round event for the US over the last couple of years......
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...WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM EST WEDNESDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ALBANY HAS ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY FOR ALL OF EAST CENTRAL NEW YORK AND ADJACENT WESTERN NEW ENGLAND...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM EST WEDNESDAY.

SOUTH WINDS HAVE INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY ACROSS EASTERN NEW YORK AND ADJACENT WESTERN NEW ENGLAND. SUSTAINED WINDS OF 15 TO 30 MPH WITH OCCASIONAL GUSTS OF 45 TO 55 MPH ARE EXPECTED TODAY INTO TONIGHT. INITIALLY...THE STRONGEST WINDS TODAY WILL BE ACROSS NORTH TO SOUTH ORIENTED VALLEYS...WHERE FUNNELING WILL OCCUR. OTHERWISE...LATER THIS EVENING INTO TONIGHT THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL BE ACROSS THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS...MAINLY ABOVE 1500 FEET AS WINDS ALOFT STRENGTHEN

guess sulli was right about the jet!!!
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LSU Earth Scan Lab Image of the Month Archive Link



* Sep01, 2008 MODIS Terra-1 Truecolor Hurricane Gustav makes landfall in LA Link

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no warnings issued yet
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GOM IR Loop Link
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looking at the interactive map zoomed appears to be in a wooded area hopefully it stays that way
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Storm capable of producing a tornado
Tornado Vortex Signature (LCH_X4)
ID: X4
Location: Vernon
Max: 62 dBZ
Top: 37,000 ft.
VIL: 49 kg/m²
Chance of Severe Hail: 60%
Chance of Hail: 100%
Max Hail Size: 1.25 in.
Speed: 31 knots
Direction (from): SW (232)
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Actually Lake it would be some of the more sheltered valleys that would be the problem areas. Cold air at the surface with warm air aloft ;)

Have been reading FDs from the regional offices none are really talking about icing, trace amounts actually mentioned.
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For the most part, bone, but what about the Catskills and Adirondacks? I would think the higher terrain would have a hard time warming up enough for 100% rain in these conditions, at least, at first... The ECMWF warms the entire region up significantly over the next week. on current runs it has the NE getting well into the 50's by next Monday.
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LET IT SNOW
LET IT SNOW
LET IT SNOW
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What's a little disconcerting is the westward trend in the models. Any further west we could be looking at a big ol' rainstorm.

This one is going to have to take that special track to give out big time snowfall. Well, someone is going to get big snowfall, but where that axis of snowfall sets up is what's in question now.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
looking at that paper, WTF 600 by 100km what hurricanes eye is that large? Do they mean fly around IN the storm to disrupt it?

Anyways goes the way of the tunnels right into the circular filing cabnet

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dont know Lake. The airmass is expect to keep warming as the day goes on. Might not have to worry much. JMO
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Good morning,

Do jet fighters have enough poke for the eye of the storm?

Supersonic fighters could snuff out hurricanes

Russians patent shockwave storm-squelch scheme
A Russian professor at an Ohio university has applied to patent a method for snuffing out hurricanes by flying jet fighters around the eye of the storm at supersonic speeds.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/03/supersonic_storm_squelch/

---------------------------------------------
...Now why do you suppose the above makes me think about "tunnels"
heh heh
CRS
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cant wait for the HiRes models to come out. The next 24 hrs is going to be agony LOL
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With all that "pink" on the radar, what do you guys think is the chance of hazardous icing in leu of rain?
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yes it will sulli especially with the warm layer having to get mixed out will be heavy wet stuff for awhile
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If the NAM model proves true on its QPF forecast someone in the cold sector will be digging out until Sunday. 2-3" of QPF falling as snow will be quite a haul to move.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
Okay Bonedog. Thanks for the info. I will keep checking in here and see what you guys are seeing. Wow, sure wish that was snow for the weekend. Going to be cold but not cold enough. Take care all.
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its getting interesting... Nor'Easters to watch, Tornadoes and severe wx outbreaks...
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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