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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Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

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224. Hurricane4Lex
4:32 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
new blog
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
223. TheDawnAwakening
4:01 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Bonedog, the wind threat is a good possibility.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 248 Comments: 3970
222. Hurricane4Lex
3:42 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
RE 219:

so tru

but there is a reason y they do that and its because they want everyones money not just the catholics and protestants who call the holidays Christmas and most importantly to avoid controversy and lawsuits.

I think that on a page at least they should put all the names that this season goes by to avoid the controversy all together (ex. Merry Christmas Happy Hanuka Have a great Kwanzaa....) just to name a few and in no particular order of course
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
220. Hurricane4Lex
3:27 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Quoting txag91met:
roads will be fine in Houston...ground temps are way too warm...all rain up here now in Tomball 34.3F


which is why I thought some sort of advisory should be put up cause its mostly watery roads to be concerned about

I thought conditions could cause a driving hazard

PS now its warm and in which case you're right but how about later? that what im worried about
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
219. ajcamsmom2
3:11 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Member Since: March 15, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 2492
218. Squid28
3:11 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Snow would be nice for the holidays, it would be a nice diversion for the kids. Might even make the neighborhood look a little more normal, all the piles of sheetrock would look like giant snowmen and it would give the FEMA trailers a more homey touch that are now appearing everywhere.
Member Since: May 23, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 343
217. txag91met
2:49 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
roads will be fine in Houston...ground temps are way too warm...all rain up here now in Tomball 34.3F
Member Since: January 30, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 751
216. weathers4me
2:37 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Are any of the models predicting when the pattern change will lift out of the South East or are things going to be mild through the new year for the East? I cannot find any long range models (that I can interpret) Thanks.
Member Since: May 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 118
215. Hurricane4Lex
2:32 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
radar here in Houston (particularly NW) shows mix of rain and snow!

why haven't we gotten a freeze watch/winter storm watch for tonight?

conditions call for it

I say this cause roads can be slick when driving to work the night shift
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
214. NEwxguy
2:21 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
GM,all,going to be a wild ride for the east the next few days,hope everyone gets through it safely,better times ahead after all this,pattern change coming.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 888 Comments: 15989
213. IKE
2:08 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Impressive squall line....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
212. Cotillion
2:07 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Cotillion is going to be under yet another heavy snow advisory...
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
211. IKE
1:51 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Winter Storm Watch in effect from late tonight through Thursday afternoon...

For Jackson,MS.

OMG!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
210. IKE
1:18 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Quoting txag91met:
Snowing in College Station, TX just northwest of Houston.


You are correct....

College Station, Texas (Airport)
Updated: 25 min 14 sec ago
Light Snow
34 °F
Light Snow
Windchill: 25 °F
Humidity: 75%
Dew Point: 27 °F
Wind: 14 mph from the NNW
Wind Gust: 24 mph
Pressure: 30.20 in (Steady)
Visibility: 9.0 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds:
Mostly Cloudy 4300 ft
Overcast 6000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 318 ft
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
209. IKE
1:17 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Quoting Hurricane4Lex:


I heard about that earlier in that blog I do see it coming from the maps provided but I wonder if it will go to xmas

it could IMO :( but then again like I said I dont know much about winter LOL

was looking forward to (wishcasting) an encore of 04

PS looks like you're in a tornado watch hope alls well for today


Usually patterns stick for awhile. I'll guess it does stick til at least near Christmas.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
208. txag91met
1:08 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Sleeting here in Tomball, TX just NW of Houston.
All sleet no rain. 34.5F.
Member Since: January 30, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 751
207. weathers4me
1:00 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
The big question I have is will the high be around and be factor for the East through Christmas? I have family traveling to the Carolinas for xmas and they really wanted to see the white stuff. It does not look good right now.
Member Since: May 24, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 118
206. Hurricane4Lex
12:58 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Quoting txag91met:
Snowing in College Station, TX just northwest of Houston.


If that can come just south of houston I'll really be happy but I feel bad in a way cause others might not
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
205. txag91met
12:52 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Snowing in College Station, TX just northwest of Houston.
Member Since: January 30, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 751
204. melwerle
12:49 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Morning Everyone -

Watching the line that's coming across...we usually don't get much but I am beginning to think we may have to watch this a bit more than usual (things usually fizzle out by the time they get here). Should we be hunkering down here in Savannah? I see what kind of stuff has been happening as it has come across...

Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 1837
203. Hurricane4Lex
12:45 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Quoting IKE:


Fixing to be a pattern change with high pressure developing in the GOM by early next week...look for warmer weather in the eastern USA.


I heard about that earlier in that blog I do see it coming from the maps provided but I wonder if it will go to xmas

it could IMO :( but then again like I said I dont know much about winter LOL

was looking forward to (wishcasting) an encore of 04

PS looks like you're in a tornado watch hope alls well for today
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
202. IKE
12:38 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Quoting Hurricane4Lex:
RE 199 and 200:

thanks IKE :)

again I'm sorry everyone for being a little rude

I kind of stayed up tonight to find out how cold it would be here and in other places then I notice the radar and was surprised by it

doubt we get an accumulation but flurries is a start

wonder how Xmas is gonna be :)

PS markets should do better today hopefully I think we've seen the bottom of this recession (mid Nov) asian markets did good hope europe does as well


Fixing to be a pattern change with high pressure developing in the GOM by early next week...look for warmer weather in the eastern USA.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
201. Hurricane4Lex
12:36 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
RE 199 and 200:

thanks IKE :)

again I'm sorry everyone for being a little rude

I kind of stayed up tonight to find out how cold it would be here and in other places then I notice the radar and was surprised by it

doubt we get an accumulation but flurries is a start

wonder how Xmas is gonna be :)

PS markets should do better today hopefully I think we've seen the bottom of this recession (mid Nov) asian markets did good hope europe does as well
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
200. IKE
12:30 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Precip moving into Houston,TX....

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
199. IKE
12:25 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
Quoting Hurricane4Lex:
can anyone give a comment on 189 and 190 cause i really am curious to know if that might happen

I never experienced snow/ice or flurries in my life since I was born and raised in S. Florida and just moved here july 07

sorry if I sound demanding but I'm really curious about it

PS NWS here has stated ice pellets then flurries as today goes to tonight


Looks like frozen precip. is a good possibility for Houston and points NW of there.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
198. Hurricane4Lex
12:14 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
can anyone give a comment on 189 and 190 cause i really am curious to know if that might happen

I never experienced snow/ice or flurries in my life since I was born and raised in S. Florida and just moved here july 07

sorry if I sound demanding but I'm really curious about it

PS NWS here has stated ice pellets then flurries as today goes to tonight
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
196. IKE
12:04 PM GMT on December 10, 2008
70 degrees at my house this morning...rain on the way.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
195. all4hurricanes
11:54 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
57 degrees and going to rain man its warm bye
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2377
194. RTLSNK
11:47 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
Morning everyone - looks like I am not going to hang the outside Christmas lights today. The front should be coming thru Macon later this morning so I think perhaps Thur might be a better day to be 16 ft up a ladder. LOL.
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 22188
193. MissNadia
11:42 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
Morning
Wilmington has cloudy skies with very light rain
63F with light wind
Forecast is for 72F and showers
Member Since: July 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3003
192. all4hurricanes
11:20 AM GMT on December 10, 2008

WPac TD? Bottom center
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2377
191. all4hurricanes
11:05 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
Quoting Seastep:


Yeah, now THAT is a crazy track.

Could you imagine the blog during those ten days?

it was actually around thirty days Ginger spent out there doing nothing. She almost had the record for longest lasting hurricane
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2377
190. Hurricane4Lex
9:11 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
2004 Christmas Eve Snowstorm

Link

any chance of this happening this year?????

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
189. Hurricane4Lex
9:02 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
anyone know if were gonna have snow in houston cause I was shocked by the radar showing precipitation

they say every "Leap Yearish" we have a chance of that happening and that happened back in '04
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 658
188. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
8:59 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
Japan Meteorological Agency
WWJP25 Tropical Disturbance Summary
15:00 PM JST December 10 2008
==============================================

At 15:00 PM JST, Tropical Depression (1002 hPa) located near 12.0N 152.0E has 10 minute sustained winds of 25 knots with gusts up to 40 knots. The low pressure area is reported as moving west at 10 knots.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 47041
187. weatherbro
6:22 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
what if that trough doesn't lift?
Member Since: May 26, 2007 Posts: 47 Comments: 1393
186. HIEXPRESS
5:29 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
Light "bursts"? (with some evaporative cooling).
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
185. louisianaweatherguy
5:02 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
very interesting weather coming to Southeast Louisiana by Thursday... lastest NAM shows some heavy bursts of snow over New Orleans heading towards Biloxi Area... The run before that showed Moderate Snow Bursts in Baton Rouge... Of Course, GFS has been advertsing snow for a few days now in Louisiana...

any comments on this?
Member Since: July 9, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 692
184. HIEXPRESS
4:30 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
This prog had trough tilting (-) around 12Z Thr. (now even earlier 06:00z) A local TV met said good for FL as front comes through not during heat of the day. Better check again as our deadliest, and among the strongest, tornadoes come during "the cool of the night".
See Table 1 - Osteen, FL is 3 miles from here, and one of the 2 Feb '07 tornado passed 12 Miles N.
Check/Reset that weather radio.

2006 christmas tornadoes - Late morning/early afternoon timing.
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
183. NorthxCakalaky
4:29 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
Freezing drizzle made my school go on a 2hour delay this morning! This afternoon the High was 41 and 2counties away is was 64.

Looks like middle/southern Texas is getting light snow/sleet.
180. Seastep
3:42 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
178. btwntx08

Sounds like Tallahassee. Friend went there for school and said he'd go to class all bundled up and near/below freezing and you'd walk out after classes and it would be 75.
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
179. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:42 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
no not really for this time of year whats unusual is the intensity of it its only just the begining
Quoting presslord:
...so....ah...drak...

You're realy just sayin' "it's gonna rain", right? :)
yep a hard rain too
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
177. TheDawnAwakening
3:24 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
Quoting sullivanweather:


Ginger of 1971.


Wow that was one messed up hurricane.

Sully thoughts on the 00z GFS run tonight? Also where is the disturbance that is going to cause the storm Thursday and Friday? Its in Texas right?
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 248 Comments: 3970
176. Seastep
3:23 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
Quoting sullivanweather:
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





Yeah, now THAT is a crazy track.

Could you imagine the blog during those ten days?
Member Since: September 9, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3414
175. WxLogic
3:17 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Yes, he's going to email it to me So I can post it on WU or Youtube.


Very nice...
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038
174. CybrTeddy
3:15 AM GMT on December 10, 2008
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.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24579

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About

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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