Tornado kills ten in Mississippi

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:22 PM GMT on April 25, 2010

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A powerful 1/2 to 1-mile wide tornado cut a path of enormous destruction across the state of Mississippi yesterday, killing at least ten and injuring dozens. It was the deadliest tornado in the U.S. since May 10, 2008, when an EF-4 tornado killed 22 people in Oklahoma and Missouri. The damage I've seen so far from photos of yesterday's tornado appears to be mainly of the EF-3 variety, though we will have to wait for the official damage surveys to be sure. The supercell thunderstorm that spawned the tornado or family of tornadoes maintained a continuous circulation from the time the tornado first touched down in Louisiana near the Mississippi border until the tornado reached the Alabama border. This is an extremely rare occurrence. If the 188-mile path of destruction across Mississippi was from a single tornado, it would rank as one of the longest tracks by a single tornado on record. The record of 219 miles is held by the deadliest tornado of all time, the great Tri-State Tornado of 1925 (though there is some dispute over whether this was one tornado or a family of tornadoes.) Our severe weather expert Dr. Rob Carver has a more complete analysis and imagery of yesterday's tornadoes.


Figure 1. Doppler radar storm-relative velocity of the mile-wide tornado that affected Yazoo City, Mississippi On April 24, 2010. This is an unusually wide and strong circulation for a supercell thunderstorm.

More severe weather expected today along the East Coast
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) outlined a "Slight Risk" region of concern for severe weather today along the East Coast, from Maryland to Northern Florida. Yesterday, SPC had Mississippi underneath the first "High Risk" area of severe weather concern for the year. As usual, you can follow today's severe weather outbreak with our interactive tornado page and our severe weather page..


Figure 2. Severe weather reports for Saturday. Note the long line of red tornado reports extending across the state of Mississippi. These reports originated from a single supercell thunderstorm that spawned one or more tornadoes that carved out a 188-mile lone path of destruction across the state. Image credit: Storm Prediction Center.

Jeff Masters

Storm Lines (thomasanthony)
A quick line of storm clouds came over Lawrence around 7pm. I forgot to change my ISO back after shooting eagles earlier in low light thus a noisy shot.
Storm Lines
Tornado damage in Choctaw County (richardlove310)
Tornado damage in Choctaw County
Tornado damage in Choctaw County (richardlove310)
Tornado damage in Choctaw County

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When south Florida breaks off will it drift into the Atlantic and become part of the Bahamas or fall on Cuba or become an island in the gulf
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Quoting RitaEvac:
If waters are so warm off Africa, then big storms shall form earlier and that should allow the poleward motion and stay outta the Gulf, and possibly skirting east coast missing all together, maybe Bermuda should be the ones worried


A few probably will, but that also increases the danger for the eastern seaboard. The gulf states and the Caribbean are probably going to have a tough year even if we have no Cape Verde storms at all. 2005 was the big example of this, although conditions weren't perfect that year for Cape Verde development. A few will probably be fish, like in 1998, but a lot will also go west, and more Cape Verde storms means more chance of the east coast getting landfalls.

Also, if the cold water belt north of 25N hangs on, that argues for more westward tracks and less fish.
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Nobody on the Gulf can really take another major, I'd like to see the Atlantic monsters curve right and away from the Gulf. Let those warm waters out there be, let em bomb out over open waters. Now if in the Carribbean then Gulf is in trouble.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
If waters are so warm off Africa, then big storms shall form earlier and that should allow the poleward motion and stay outta the Gulf, and possibly skirting east coast missing all together, maybe Bermuda should be the ones worried

you know, all kidding aside, I've wondered this very thing. with near normal temps the further west you go, I have to wonder if we'll see a few of the bigger ones take a wide right.
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
LOL thats a good one ritaevac it wouldnt surprise me.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
JFV is trying to buld an ARK at the moment for Florida
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Quoting hydrus:
Florida already has a weak spot where Lake O is. It will probably start cracking around that area....jk...really...jk.
lmao
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
If waters are so warm off Africa, then big storms shall form earlier and that should allow the poleward motion and stay outta the Gulf, and possibly skirting east coast missing all together, maybe Bermuda should be the ones worried
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Quoting SouthALWX:
If he's serious about florida breaking in half I think he's lost it =P lighten up guys.
I know it's going to be an active season but I didn't think someone would say that a state will get cut in half, lol.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting SouthALWX:
If he's serious about florida breaking in half I think he's lost it =P lighten up guys.
Florida already has a weak spot where Lake O is. It will probably start cracking around that area....jk...really...jk.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21199
Quoting RitaEvac:


lol, the record high waters everybody is talking about, I just had to blow it wide open
Oh, I though you were serious with the Florida thing.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
If he's serious about florida breaking in half I think he's lost it =P lighten up guys.
Member Since: August 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1497
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
You used to be a great blogger, now you're just another doomcaster, ughhh...


lol, the record high waters everybody is talking about, I just had to blow it wide open
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I hope your joking ritaevac.
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


we don't know that though, models are hard to trust, we don't know about sal, and we don't know what types of waves are gonna be even coming off the African coast.


SAL is unlikely to be a big problem, above average rainy season will cause less SAL outbursts. SAL killed the 2005 Cape Verde season, but still had 28 storms.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24021
Quoting RitaEvac:
All hurricanes should hit Florida this year, leaving the penninsula broken in half and submerged into the Atlantic and will give Obama a boost to just go ahead and shut down NASA all together.
You used to be a great blogger, now you're just another doomcaster, ughhh...
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
@812 Tampa can you wu mail me a link to that map, I cant read the picture on blog (too small)
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


SAL should be below normal as well

all of the indications are there for an active season, of course we have to wait and see


Oh i agree that it'll be more active than 2008, 2009. I just believe people need to relax a little bit its april, we will have all summer to watch the season play itself out.
like all these 384hr gfs postings that may be showing something... like really? lol
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Quoting RitaEvac:
At this rate the waters will be in the 90s across the basin and hurricanes will start hitting 200mph maybe even 225.
That,s reassuring.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21199
Speaking of the AEJ, a cool tongue of water is trying to develop in the Gulf of Guinea, which would be consistent with the Euro forecast for this summer. A cold Gulf of Guinea enhances ITCZ and tropical wave activity over western Africa.

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NAM not really a tropical prediction model but it can give you an idea of the moisture that will come with the MJO. NAM 18z 84 hours:

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
All hurricanes should hit Florida this year, leaving the penninsula broken in half and submerged into the Atlantic and will give Obama a boost to just go ahead and shut down NASA all together.
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BAHA--

Hey, we had a few surplus tornados so we thought we would pass a few around to our good neighbors.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


we don't know that though, models are hard to trust, we don't know about sal, and we don't know what types of waves are gonna be even coming off the African coast.


SAL should be below normal as well

all of the indications are there for an active season, of course we have to wait and see
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


we don't know that though, models are hard to trust, we don't know about sal, and we don't know what types of waves are gonna be even coming off the African coast.


SAL isn't that hard.....the AEJ can be hard to forecast, but SAL not really, and it should be below normal this year.
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Africa has had more rain than usual so that should be keeping SAL levels a little lower than usual at least for the early part of the season
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12z model cyclone tracks:

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At this rate the waters will be in the 90s across the basin and hurricanes will start hitting 200mph maybe even 225.
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MARCO!!!!
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


No one ever said it was the only thing, but it is also common knowledge that shear is climatologically lower than normal and forecasted to be that way for the upcoming season


we don't know that though, models are hard to trust, we don't know about sal, and we don't know what types of waves are gonna be even coming off the African coast.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


thats great, but SST's arent the only things that affect these storms, and maybe not even the most important thing.
That is true there are many factors such as shear, etc... But if you have cold SST's you aren't going to get much going except for a sub/extra tropical storm once in a while.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


thats great, but SST's arent the only things that affect these storms, and maybe not even the most important thing.


No one ever said it was the only thing, but it is also common knowledge that shear is climatologically lower than normal and forecasted to be that way for the upcoming season
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


The Gulf and Atlantic warm up each and every year... nothing new this year. IMO people are way over reacting
Well, SST's are at a record high, sooooo, that's kinda different, don't you think?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting Levi32:


The difference being that the Atlantic is at record warmth, and the reality is that the pattern during the first week of May is going to raise GOM SSTs at a dizzying rate, killing hope of having a relatively cool gulf to at least comfort people a little.


thats great, but SST's arent the only things that affect these storms, and maybe not even the most important thing.
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Quoting Levi32:


The difference being that the Atlantic is at record warmth, and the reality is that the pattern during the first week of May is going to raise GOM SSTs at a dizzying rate, killing hope of having a relatively cool gulf to at least comfort us a little.


This is true... except for the GOM, water temps are above average. By July this will be jet fuel for any system with the other conditions being likewise favorable
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hope for another dud season and shear picks back up and troughs send everything out to sea.
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I have never seen an over reaction to weather or anything else on this blog!We all believe the worst is yet to come!
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GFS 12z showing an area of low pressure with weak tropical storm strength in the EPAC at 120 hours. A couple days later it transfers itself to the BOC, interesting scenario playing out. I wonder what the 18z will show.

120 hours GFS 12z.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting CycloneUK:
Looking at the "Eat ya yougurt" volcano, it looks like it has picked up somewhat in intensity.


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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


The Gulf and Atlantic warm up each and every year... nothing new this year. IMO people are way over reacting


The season will start when the sheer levels drop in the MDR to favorable levels and we have a pre-existing disturbance to work with; whenever that might be whether in May or June......... :)
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warming sea surface temps perfectly normal
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Quoting SomeRandomTexan:


They don't have them there... The U.S. has a trade embargo with Cuba and we aren't sharing any tornados with them.
LOL... so we must be importing them from FL here in the NW Bahamas.....
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


oh i know lol, i wasn't talking about hydrus :)
I was hoping someone would chime in on my shrimp post anyway.....:}
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21199
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


The Gulf and Atlantic warm up each and every year... nothing new this year. IMO people are way over reacting


The difference this year being that the Atlantic is at record warmth, and the reality is that the pattern during the first week of May is going to raise GOM SSTs at a dizzying rate, killing hope of having a relatively cool gulf to at least comfort people a little.
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Quoting SouthALWX:
topography can be key as it can disrupt inflow, enhance or diminish low level vorticity, or increase or decrease friction and therfor low level convergence (water/land contrasts are especially significant in this last aspect)
Thanks. I think I get it actually.:)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21199
Quoting alexhurricane1991:
Hey everyone just got back it looks like the gulf is warming and with the 90s forecast here in florida we could be seeing more significant warming i dont like that one bit


The Gulf and Atlantic warm up each and every year... nothing new this year. IMO people are way over reacting
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Looking at the "Eat ya yougurt" volcano, it looks like it has picked up somewhat in intensity.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Dangerous warming continues:

Central American region been showing a lot of thunderstorm activity, warm SST's should help allow for some, as Levi32 would say, "Tropical Mischief", lol.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting BahaHurican:

Looks like I was right abt the Cuban effects, anyway.... does anybody know the incidence of tornados in Cuba?


They don't have them there... The U.S. has a trade embargo with Cuba and we aren't sharing any tornados with them.
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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.