Tornadoes, violent thunderstorms rip the U.S.; Richard dies in the Gulf of Mexico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:23 PM GMT on October 26, 2010

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Tornadoes, violent thunderstorms, and torrential rains are sweeping through the nation's midsection today, thanks to an explosively deepening low pressure system over Minnesota. The spectacular storm is expected to bottom out at a central pressure of 960 mb later today, the type of central pressure one commonly encounters in Category 2 hurricanes. A powerful cold front trails southwards from the storm, and this cold front has spawned an impressive squall line studded with violent thunderstorms. As many as eleven simultaneous tornado warnings have been issued late this morning for these thunderstorms, from southern Michigan to northern Mississippi. So far, the tornadoes have been embedded within the squall line, and these type of tornadoes are typically weaker EF-0 to EF-1 twisters. However, as the day progresses and the sun's heating adds energy to the atmosphere, strong EF-2 or EF-3 tornadoes are likely, if discrete supercell thunderstorms separate from the squall line and begin to evolve. So far, six reports of tornadoes touching down have been received, but only minor damage has been reported. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed much of southern Michigan, eastern Indiana, and western Ohio in their "High Risk" area for severe weather. "High Risk" days occur less than five times per year, on average, and are unusual in the fall. Fall storms this intense only occur perhaps once every 5 - 10 years. You can follow today's severe weather outbreak using our Severe Weather Page and Tornado page.


Figure 1. This morning's severe weather outlook from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center puts most of Indiana and Western Ohio into their highest category for severe weather.

Richard dies
Tropical Depression Richard emerged into the Gulf of Mexico this morning after crossing the Yucatan Peninsula. However, passage over the Yucatan so weakened the storm that it has officially been declared dead by NHC. There was too much dry air and wind shear in the Gulf of Mexico to allow Richard to regenerate. Richard hit central Belize Sunday night as a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds. The storm is being blamed for $18 million in damage, but no deaths were reported. Belize lost about 1/3 of its orange crop to Richard's high winds. Electrical power is still out to 30% of the country, but is expected to be fully restored by tonight.


Figure 2. Visible MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Richard taken at 4:35pm EDT 10/25/10 by NASA's Aqua satellite. At the time, Richard was a tropical depression with 35 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Invest 90L
A low pressure system (Invest 90L) in the middle Atlantic Ocean has developed a broad circulation, with a band of heavy thunderstorms in an arc to the north and east of the storm. This hybrid subtropical system is under a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear. Water temperatures are marginal for development, just 26.5 - 27°C (26.5°C is usually the limiting SST that a tropical storm can develop at.) NHC is giving 90L a 30% of developing into a subtropical depression or storm by Thursday.

Next update
I'll have an update on Wednesday morning. I'm at the National Hurricane Center in Miami this week, as part of their visiting scientist program, and will be shadowing NHC forecasters on the evening shift Tuesday - Friday to learn more about their operations. I'll probably talk tomorrow about the severe weather outbreak, but later this week I'll talk about what a shift at the Hurricane Center is like. I also have meetings planned with scientists at NOAA's Hurricane Research Division later this week, and plan to write about some of the research missions performed during this year's hurricane season.

Jeff Masters

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AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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Newbie question - Where does a storm like the one in the midwest get all its energy?

TIA
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Quoting MZT:
These storms just keep marching through Catawba and Cleveland counties, barely moving east. Going to be many sleepless nights in the foothills.



Yep, constant thunder here in Wilkes County. I live just a county or two north. Thank god they moved east more than north.
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401. Skyepony (Mod)
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG SC
1020 PM EDT TUE OCT 26 2010

..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
..REMARKS..

0712 PM TORNADO 7 W VALE 35.54N 81.52W
10/26/2010 CLEVELAND NC COUNTY OFFICIAL

7 INJURIES REPORTED BY EMERGENCY OFFICIALS JUST WEST OF
VALE.


&&

$$

JPT
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Very bad night for NC.

Up to 7injuries from Clermont Tornado.
Food plant with 800 people evacuating. Several homes destroyed with one restaurant. Multiple cars flipped upside down.

To dark to see all the damage. New tornado warnings are still coming in with the main line still not even crossing the mountains yet.



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399. MZT
Quoting Walshy:
NC Severe Weather Expert was currently in Hickory when these bad storms came by. He witnessed the damage of Clermont at 8pm, albeit dark, is thinking at least EF2 damage.

These storms just keep marching through Catawba and Cleveland counties, barely moving east. Going to be many sleepless nights in the foothills.
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Quoting kshipre1:
I know it is way too early but I wonder what the forecast or predictions are for the 2011 hurricane season. Does anyone know if we will be in a La Nina still or ENSO neutral?
we could be neutral heading towards el nino just after peak i doubt the luck will hold out next time around
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53825
NC Severe Weather Expert was currently in Hickory when these bad storms came by. He witnessed the damage of Clermont at 8pm, albeit dark, is thinking at least EF2 damage.

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Boring night :(
SWMBO is out at the Arena at some kind of dog thingie with Cesar Millan.
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peace everyone!
Link
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Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


Really? Only 2 tornado reports so far on SPC site.



Well, darkness plays a major factor as these storms moved east.

Just watched the News and heard 6 houses had now collapsed from the Clermont Tornado in NC. The only tornadoes confirmed in NC so far are the ones that have caused major havoc to be known.

Probably another five will be confirmed, who knows, big line has not even crossed the APP mountains yet. The storms now, which are prompting tornado warnings at 11pm, formed along the Blue Ridge.
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Quoting FLdewey:
*yawn*

roflmbo.
two minutes and counting.
thanks for the memories.
goodnight.
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388. Skyepony (Mod)
Chicklit~ as long as your cooking..

Looks like a bad dry season we are in for.. The Low right now going so North.. The next one coming in that NRL sat pic I posted, so far North. It's the extreme La Niña. We'll be lucky if the the tails get anywhere near the gulf to form a low & bring us rain, or even a decent squall line. I'm going with our best chances of extreme weather this winter being fire weather. I was at the MLB NWS on Saturday, Forecaster Lascody said the same.

Oh I forgot to tell ya'll I upgraded from storm chaser to a card carrying~ Skywarn Storm Spotter..
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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Is it safe to post tonight?


Enter at your own risk; it's been a bit dicey. More GW stuff, with all its associated drama. :-)
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Farmer's Almanac says if something is bothering you then quit scratching it.
No it's not safe, PensaDoug. We're all in danger of getting banned!
Watherwise, looks like the Great Lakes are gettin a rip snorter while Jeff is in Miami hobnobbing with the NHC.
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Quoting Chicklit:

For you non-Frenchies that means, 'let the good times roll.' Translatable in all languages one hopes.


Don't know bout french, but coonass yes!
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Is it safe to post tonight?
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Quoting NRAamy:
Hey doorman.... What's the door prize tonite?

;)


hehe, gotta guess!!!!!!
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Quoting doorman79:


Amy is here! Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

For you non-Frenchies that means, 'let the good times roll.' Translatable in all languages one hopes.
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Hey doorman.... What's the door prize tonite?

;)
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I really miss him in his Homer outfits.
I just know he'd have something apropos and totally hysterical to say about Jeff's visit with the NHC...
Just hope he stores it in the databank.
Most likely will come out at the most unexpected time.
Yeah, I'm a fan.
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Quoting doorman79:


Yea I know, but it is fun!


You're an enabler. Just as bad, if not worse than a troll. Do us all a favor and ignore them please.
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375. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting doorman79:


Sky, where did you find that image?


Click on the image & it will take you there..NRL

Alfabob~ Dealing with greenhouse gases, I'm not sure if they induce heating without being radiated by the sun.

They don't induce heating without the sun. It's more a chemical blanket that holds heat to the earth that was generated by the sun than a heating blanket that heats the earth on it's own. Perhaps they will hold some heat from the previous summer longer into the winter than before but Greenhouses gases & added water vapor don't produce heat.
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I know it is way too early but I wonder what the forecast or predictions are for the 2011 hurricane season. Does anyone know if we will be in a La Nina still or ENSO neutral?
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Quoting NRAamy:
"thirty days in the hole!"


;)


Amy is here! Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!
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Quoting Bordonaro:

..NC is getting slammed!


Really? Only 2 tornado reports so far on SPC site.
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"thirty days in the hole!"


;)
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Quoting Chicklit:

DestinJeff got 30 days.


It seems like its been longer than 30 days, yea.
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Quoting capesanblas:
okay, stay safe in the midwest. Been gone for a month.

Visit here for great weather info and some humor that helps keep us all sane. Glad Orca and few others are still around, But:


did DestinJeff get banned too?

DestinJeff got 30 days.
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Quoting jurakantaino:
A great story of persevereance endurance and will power, and a well rescue plan, by a nation that did everything openly withour secrets for the world to see, an example for the rest of the world including the super powers like the U.S., China, Russia,et, that in similar cirscunstances and better resourses having had similar successfull outcome.

Hi jurakantaino...were any mine company people in the documentary?
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Quoting AEKDB1990:
For those of you on the west coast tonight's NOVA on PBS about the Chilean Miners rescue was a really good show.
A great story of persevereance endurance and will power, and a well rescue plan, by a nation that did everything openly withour secrets for the world to see, an example for the rest of the world including the super powers like the U.S., China, Russia,et, that in similar cirscunstances and better resourses having had similar successfull outcome.
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Hi SOL. Let's hope so.
I have been working way too hard and need to charter a sailboat...We 'll ask Skyepony to crew.
I can cook. rofl
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okay, stay safe in the midwest. Been gone for a month.

Visit here for great weather info and some humor that helps keep us all sane. Glad Orca and few others are still around, But:


did DestinJeff get banned too?
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Take it to a therapist. They're paid to listen.
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Quoting Chicklit:


It's been dry here in Florida all summer long.
Was referring to the ULLs and relentless dry air.
look at Little Richard...
You guys did have a lot of dry air. I would blame it more in the persistent but weak AB high for july-Aug and then the troughs that recurved most of the storms passed off the coast quickly not giving you guys any rain. The ULL's and TUTT over us though contributed some in that they sheared a lot of convection off to the north as it passed over us.
We were in the wet band..record rainfall this summer at times..
Some winter lows should start forming soon on the gulf coast to give you guys some rain..
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360. MZT
Checking in from Charlotte. I can certainly sense a large air mass is coming... very warm wind that ramps up, dies off, ramps back up again in short intervals. The flow is mostly to the NE though so it feels like these storms have been taking a while to arrive.
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whoohoo
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Quoting AEKDB1990:
I wonder if we'll see a storm that beats the 28.20" extratropical pressure record for the lower 48.

And if we do, if it will be an

A East Coast/Noreaster storm
B Midwest/Great Lakes storm
C Pacific Northwest storm.

I wonder what the extratropical low pressure record is in Canada. I've seen some 27.7 readings in Newfoundland. I don't think that's the lowest though.

Actually that would be THE record for Canada. I sent Environment Canada an email to ask them---if they respond I will post it.


Interesting to research your query. So far, I can't find anything yet which differentiates between extratropical "land-based" and record low pressures generated by "land-falling" extratropical systems. I'm sure the info is out there. I'm just too distracted by a leaking roof to apply myself at the moment. Hope that EC gets back to you :)
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Quoting sailingallover:

Fall...
Cold fronts start coming through and the North Atlantic storms bring the AB high south and our trades build in..
a bit early this year but welcome! REALLY nice here in the islands


It's been dry here in Florida all summer long.
Was referring to the ULLs and relentless dry air.
look at Little Richard...
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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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