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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254. Quadrantid
11:24 PM GMT on October 26, 2010
Quoting bjdsrq:


Stop the rhetorical nonsense. These freak storms happen periodically. Note the 1993 storm of the century. same thing.


The point is, with GW, there will be more energy available for these kind of events to happen more often. No one storm can be linked to GW, we're back to Dr. Master's dice rolling analogy -- just as no cold winter can be proof GW is wrong. The point is that, if GW is right, then these kind of severe weather events will happen more often in future than the past...

If GW is right (and I think it is...), then such events will become more common. But you're right -- they happen from time to time anyway :)

Anyways, I thought yesterday was GW debate day?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 106
252. Dunkman
11:20 PM GMT on October 26, 2010
Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Sir, this is a weather blog and we frequently discuss and debate the pros and cons of the GW debate. They're calling this storm "The Bomb". Today the 2nd lowest pressure from such a storm was recorded in America. This is a very unusual event. GW is almost surely at the root of this assault on our property. Be polite or leave.


This is the part where you lose all credibility. I'm sorry, but you can't make statements like that and expect to be taken seriously without any evidence or any reference to some.
Member Since: February 6, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 214

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 2010
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0521 PM CDT TUE OCT 26 2010

AREAS AFFECTED...WRN VA...ERN WV...WRN NC

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE

VALID 262221Z - 262315Z

OCCLUDING CYCLONE OVER NRN MN HAS FORCED THE PRIMARY LEAD FRONTAL
ZONE INTO THE HIGHER TERRAIN OF THE CNTRL APPALACHIANS. LLJ
ASSOCIATED WITH THIS FRONTAL ZONE WILL SOON SHIFT EAST OF THE
MOUNTAINS AND BEGIN TO INCREASE ACROSS WRN NC/VA. BOUNDARY LAYER
AIR MASS IS QUITE MOIST OVER THE MIDDLE ATLANTIC WITH SFC DEW POINTS
WELL INTO THE UPPER 60S. GIVEN THE EXPECTED INCREASE IN SHEAR...ANY
STORMS THAT DEVELOP ACROSS THIS REGION WILL HAVE A PROPENSITY TO
ROTATE. TORNADO WATCH MAY BE ISSUED TO ACCOUNT FOR THIS THREAT.

..DARROW.. 10/26/2010


ATTN...WFO...AKQ...LWX...RAH...RNK...PBZ...RLX...

LAT...LON 36828171 39487891 38737743 36107978 36828171

Tropicfreak if you are on
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6598
The U.S. Severe Weather Map:

http://www.wunderground.com/severe.asp

looks like one of those "election" maps
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Very windy here today. Record high 89. The extreme weather today is typical of GW. America is under assault and Americans should be vigilant as this unwanted guest blows across our property and threatens us in a way that no terrorist or alien ever could.


Stop the rhetorical nonsense. These freak storms happen periodically. Note the 1993 storm of the century. same thing.
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Bigfork's 28.21 (956mb) is the same as Hurricane Karl at peak intensity.

This is pretty amazing.
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Quoting TropicalMan2010:
Bigfork Municipal Airport
Lat: 47.78 Lon: -93.65 Elev: 1348
Last Update on Oct 26, 5:13 pm CDT


Light Rain

52 °F
(11 °C) Humidity: 94 %
Wind Speed: NE 6 MPH
Barometer: 28.20"
Dewpoint: 50 °F (10 °C)
Wind Chill: 50 °F (10 °C)
Visibility: 5.00 mi.
More Local Wx: 3 Day History:




Amazing. That's just under 955mb...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13556
Hey everyone, first post!
Here's a helpful link to several stations over North Minnesota to keep a close eye on. (edit) Bigfork at 28.20 !!
Link
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Quoting Skyepony:
I'm not seeing all those storms on the 850mb vort 12Z GFS run. CMC has three but one was more a depression that ended pretty close to the equator.
seeing things or wishcasting thinking sky
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Good Afternoon. Seems this year is catastrophic
worldwide with that tsunami in Indonesia and that intense low over Minnesota and Lake Superior.
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228. Skyepony (Mod)
I'm not seeing all those storms on the 850mb vort 12Z GFS run. CMC has three but one was more a depression that ended pretty close to the equator.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38198
Quoting NavarreMark:


Tell me about it. (picking miniture glass shards out of teeth).

LOL LOL
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.
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NWS shows 28.21 at Bigfork, MN, about 20 minutes ago.
Link
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it says 100 dead now in the indonesian quake/tsunami
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Wow, Taking a look at the GFS 12z and it shows
-Shary forming in the open atlantic and get Sucked up by a trough.
-Tomas forming in the caribbean and going over haiti and get sucked up by a trough.
-Virginie forming from trough split caused by some energy from Tomas, near florida, and ride up the east coast.

Interesting possibility...
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Quoting NavarreMark:


Wimps.

One of the meteorologists was just interviewed on TV; one of his quotes that's really real: you have no idea of how hard it is to get a bunch of meteorologists away from a window when a major storm is coming!
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Latest article I put together an article on the Midwest Monster earlier today, here is the link if you would like to read Link
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215. Skyepony (Mod)
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MILWAUKEE/SULLIVAN WI
1208 PM CDT TUE OCT 26 2010

...NEW STATE RECORD FOR LOWEST PRESSURE RECORDED...

VERY STRONG LOW PRESSURE MOVED SLOWLY ACROSS NORTHEAST MINNESOTA
THIS MORNING. THE CENTRAL PRESSURE OF THIS SYSTEM FELL RAPIDLY
OVERNIGHT AND THROUGH THE MORNING...WITH A NEW RECORD SET THIS
MORNING FOR LOWEST PRESSURE RECORDED IN THE STATE OF WISCONSIN. THE
NEW RECORD WAS SET AT SUPERIOR AT 1135 AM CDT WITH A MEASUREMENT OF
28.38 INCHES...OR 961.06 MB. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS 28.45
INCHES...OR 963.43 MB...AT GREEN BAY ON APRIL 3 OF 1982.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38198
Quoting Dunkman:


Really apparent hook echo in that cell in Huntsville...looks nasty.

Yea. Apparently they evacuated the NWS office there...
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Quoting HarryMc:
Live video tornado coverage Huntsville AL, rain wrapped cell
linkLink


Really apparent hook echo in that cell in Huntsville...looks nasty.
Member Since: February 6, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
Quoting ssmate:
Orr, MN is one of the most beautiful places in the US IMO. It is the gateway to the BWCA.


Lowest pressure at Orr, MN was 28.22 inches or 955.64 MB
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Quoting Skyepony:
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
332 PM CDT TUE OCT 26 2010

.DISCUSSION...
254 PM CDT

WOW. AS OF 243 PM CDT...THE LOWEST CENTRAL PRESSURE OF THIS STORM
HAS BEEN 956.3 MB /28.24 IN/ AT ORR,MN...AND IT IS STILL
DEEPENING. THE CYCLONE CENTER IS JUST SW OF THIS STATION...OR JUST
NW OF HIBBING,MN. THIS IS THE LOWEST PRESSURE EVER RECORDED IN MN,
AND IS VERY CLOSE TO PERHAPS THE LOWEST PRESSURE OVER THE U.S.
MAINLAND! THE GREAT OHIO BLIZZARD DROPPED TO 958 MB AT CLEVELAND,
AND TO 955 MB AT SARNIA, ONTARIO...WITH AN UNOFFICIAL READING OF
950 MB OVER LAKE HURON. ANYWAY, EARLIER TODAY EVEN AS FAR AWAY AS
CHICAGO /OHARE/ WE RECORDED THE LOWEST PRESSURE EVER IN THE MONTH
OF OCTOBER AT 28.99 IN.

MERZLOCK
Orr, MN is one of the most beautiful places in the US IMO. It is the gateway to the BWCA.
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Live video tornado coverage Huntsville AL, rain wrapped cell
linkLink
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so much energy leftover in the tropics im changing my position. im now on the "cyberbus" there is going to be another cyclone or two.
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I know it's not official, but International Falls, MN is at 28.18" (954.3) (and falling).

(And, yes, I realize the station is personal, and that it's actually right across the border in Ft. Frances, Ontario.)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13556
Pressure at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee WI is currently 29.14 and it's 29.17 at Batten International Airport in Racine WI per the NWS
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204. Skyepony (Mod)
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
332 PM CDT TUE OCT 26 2010

.DISCUSSION...
254 PM CDT

WOW. AS OF 243 PM CDT...THE LOWEST CENTRAL PRESSURE OF THIS STORM
HAS BEEN 956.3 MB /28.24 IN/ AT ORR,MN...AND IT IS STILL
DEEPENING. THE CYCLONE CENTER IS JUST SW OF THIS STATION...OR JUST
NW OF HIBBING,MN. THIS IS THE LOWEST PRESSURE EVER RECORDED IN MN,
AND IS VERY CLOSE TO PERHAPS THE LOWEST PRESSURE OVER THE U.S.
MAINLAND! THE GREAT OHIO BLIZZARD DROPPED TO 958 MB AT CLEVELAND,
AND TO 955 MB AT SARNIA, ONTARIO...WITH AN UNOFFICIAL READING OF
950 MB OVER LAKE HURON. ANYWAY, EARLIER TODAY EVEN AS FAR AWAY AS
CHICAGO /OHARE/ WE RECORDED THE LOWEST PRESSURE EVER IN THE MONTH
OF OCTOBER AT 28.99 IN.

MERZLOCK
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 174 Comments: 38198

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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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