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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Chisholm-Hibbing airport is down to 28.28". Solid Cat 3 hurricane pressure.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


idk about actual humans, but fake ones do


LOL
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Quoting flsky:

Do actual humans feel any effect of a pressure drop this fast?


idk about actual humans, but fake ones do
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Good grief...this storm looks a lot like Bonnie, except that it has convection, storms, wind, and heavy rain.
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150. flsky
Quoting ColoradoBob1:
The giant storm that has been affecting the Twin Ports and a wide area of the midwest, has produced the lowest barometric pressure ever in Duluth. As of noon on Tuesday the pressure was at 28.39 which easily breaks the old record of 28.48 set in November of 1998.

http://kdal610.com/ news/ articles/ 2010/ oct/ 26/ storm-leaves-duluth-record-low-pressure/

Do actual humans feel any effect of a pressure drop this fast?
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Most unstable CAPE/CIN and effective bulk shear.
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Tornado Warning

Statement as of 2:46 PM EDT on October 26, 2010

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh has issued a

* Tornado Warning for...
northern Muskingum County in east central Ohio...
northwestern Guernsey County in east central Ohio...
Coshocton County in east central Ohio...
southwestern Tuscarawas County in east central Ohio...

* until 330 PM EDT

* at 243 PM EDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a
severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado 13 miles
southwest of Cooperdale... moving east at 50 mph.

* Other locations in the warning include but are not limited to
Cooperdale... Adamsville... Conesville...
Ferncliff... Coshocton... Otsego...
Boden... West Lafayette... Plainfield...
Bakersville... Kimbolton... Newcomerstown...

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

Heavy rainfall may obscure this tornado. Take cover now! If you wait
to see or hear it coming... it may be too late to get to a safe place.

Please report severe weather to the National Weather Service by
calling toll free. 1-877-633-6772. When you can do so safely.

The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement. Get under a
workbench or other piece of sturdy furniture. If no basement is
available... seek shelter on the lowest floor of the building in an
interior hallway or room such as a closet. Use blankets or pillows to
cover your body and always stay away from windows.

Please report severe weather to the National Weather Service by
calling toll free. 1-877-633-6772. When you can do so safely.

A Tornado Watch remains in effect until 900 PM EDT Tuesday evening
for western Maryland and east central Ohio and western Pennsylvania
and northern West Virginia.
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Quoting Grothar:


Stay safe, hydrus. I need you around to insult me at least once a week.
Did you remember your delicious Geritol tablet today?..:)
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What is Bulk Richardson. I noticed that my area in VA is hilighted but I'm not sure what that is.
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Quoting Jax82:
Check the spin out.

really wrapping into itself now.. visible on WV loops as well. probably hitting bottom soon.
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153 reports so far today... keeps on crankin.


Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 42 Comments: 6269
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Quoting hydrus:
There are radar indicated tornadoes all around me here in middle Tennessee. None are within 15 miles of my house. but there getting closer. I have done all preparations necessary.


Stay safe, hydrus. I need you around to insult me at least once a week.
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141. Jax82
Check the spin out.

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Quoting Grothar:


That's vortices. Big LOL

ooops!
clearly!
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Quoting hydrus:
There are radar indicated tornadoes all around me here in middle Tennessee. None are within 15 miles of my house. but there getting closer. I have done all preparations necessary.

Good to know you are keeping aware of the situation.
Trust that everyone is doing likewise.
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Quoting pottery:

Very tight.
As in Vortexes, of course.


That's vortices. Big LOL
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Quoting hydrus:
There are radar indicated tornadoes all around me here in middle Tennessee. None are within 15 miles of my house. but there getting closer. I have done all preparations necessary.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
Quoting Grothar:


Tight! LOL

Very tight.
As in Vortexes, of course.
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Quoting WXHEAD:


OK, bad joke coming.

If you found a big chunk of solid tree sap, with the contents of a mosquito carrying a dog, would you say people should have issued a amber alert?

Like I said, bad joke coming. I gave fair warning.

Thanks for the warning.
I ignored it.
Got what I deserved.
LOL, it wasnt that bad, actually.
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Tom Skilling - New record low barometric pressure for October's been set in Chicago. At 7am this morning, the barometer reading in Chicago fell to 29.02"--eclipsing the old October low pressure record of 29.11" last reported in Nov 1959--51 years ago.
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132. Jax82
Gilbert, MN. Look at the pressure.

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Quoting pottery:

That image reminds me of Floodman....


Tight! LOL
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Quoting Grothar:

That image reminds me of Floodman....
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Quoting Minnemike:
TN and KY are probably going to start breaking out with the next big batch of tornadoes... and onward through N. & S. Carolina after that into late evening. can't even imagine the kind of mess the NE will be experiencing.. messy indeed.
There are radar indicated tornadoes all around me here in middle Tennessee. None are within 15 miles of my house. but there getting closer. I have done all preparations necessary.
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The giant storm that has been affecting the Twin Ports and a wide area of the midwest, has produced the lowest barometric pressure ever in Duluth. As of noon on Tuesday the pressure was at 28.39 which easily breaks the old record of 28.48 set in November of 1998.

http://kdal610.com/ news/ articles/ 2010/ oct/ 26/ storm-leaves-duluth-record-low-pressure/
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Quoting jeffs713:

Down here, we get hurricanes, and mosquitos that abduct small children. ;)


OK, bad joke coming.

If you found a big chunk of solid tree sap, with the contents of a mosquito carrying a dog, would you say people should have issued a amber alert?

Like I said, bad joke coming. I gave fair warning.
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Quoting Jax82:
The Big Picture


Gives a good view, of the size of that system....
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


probably, the storm isnt forcasted to get any weaker


Richmond never really sees any tornadoes, because the mountains to our west protect us, and if we do, they need the NWS to survey it, and 8 times out of 10, its straight line winds. We had a micro burst move just south of me in late July, caused very local wind damage within a mile radius, and I was in that, but luckily my house was spared, lost some trees though. That was the storm that spawned a tornado in your area. Not to mention there was a possible tornado in west end Richmond at that time. What really upset me was the NWS didn't come out to my neighborhood to survey, I had to determine on my own, and it took weeks for me to find out.
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TN and KY are probably going to start breaking out with the next big batch of tornadoes... and onward through N. & S. Carolina after that into late evening. can't even imagine the kind of mess the NE will be experiencing.. messy indeed.
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120. Jax82
The Big Picture

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Quoting WXHEAD:


How about you? You stare down the barrel of tropical weather every year. Call me crazy, but I'd rather deal with snow and mosquitos big enough to pull shingles off your house than your type of weather.

Well, I am at 11n 61w, so most of the serious weather passes north of us.
But we do get Mosquitos the size of helicopters here too!

In the meantime, an area of convection approaching 60w that was threatening to come over us, is being blown away east by a blocking jetstream.
See the "Central Atlantic Rainbow Infrared Loop".
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Quoting WXHEAD:


How about you? You stare down the barrel of tropical weather every year. Call me crazy, but I'd rather deal with snow and mosquitos big enough to pull shingles off your house than your type of weather.

Down here, we get hurricanes, and mosquitos that abduct small children. ;)
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Quoting spartankicker:


No one was hurt and classes continued.

http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/local/south_central/radio-tower-falls-on-elementary-school


Nice!
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Quoting tropicfreak:


Could central and E VA be under a tornado watch tomorrow.


probably, the storm isnt forcasted to get any weaker
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Quoting pottery:

LOL.
That may result in a sleep that goes on for all eternity, for me.
Not ready for that, just yet!
Enjoy it. You Northerners are a Hardy People.


How about you? You stare down the barrel of tropical weather every year. Call me crazy, but I'd rather deal with snow and mosquitos big enough to pull shingles off your house than your type of weather.
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Quoting alfabob:
Richard has a well defined LLC floating around in the gulf, so I don't see how the NHC can claim that he's dead. Pressure is probably ~1006mb and winds are probably 20-25kts. This is a TD, not nothing.



I agree, but with high upper level winds and dry air in the mid-levels if Richard try to redevelop his thunderstorms, well, he will have a hard time trying to do so.
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107.

Probably it would be better to close up shop ahead of this storm in the NE. It is ridiculously warm in FLA today. All that heat cant be good moving into this.

Dan i think the volcano is related but modern geology isn't a strong point. I was reading a article on faults and fluid mechanics I think a while back and I had no grasp of it. Back when I had geology it was just rocks!
Member Since: May 22, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 24743
Quoting pottery:

Uh Oh!!!


No one was hurt and classes continued.

http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/local/south_central/radio-tower-falls-on-elementary-school

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Surface-based CAPE

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110. xcool
brb
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BRN shear ahead of the line.

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Quoting xcool:
Radio tower falls on elementary school in Monroe County,Indiana near Bloomington

Power is out at CVG Cincinnati airport.

Uh Oh!!!
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Quoting xcool:
Radio tower falls on elementary school in Monroe County,Indiana near Bloomington

Power is out at CVG Cincinnati airport.
oh no!
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Quoting WXHEAD:


It's the best sleep you will ever have. You stay in the sauna until you can't take it anymore, then you have to sit it out for 2 more minutes. Same thing with the outside stuff. Do that 3 times, all the while you are drinking. Hardest sleep you will ever have.

I can't wait for camp!

LOL.
That may result in a sleep that goes on for all eternity, for me.
Not ready for that, just yet!
Enjoy it. You Northerners are a Hardy People.
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winds are starting to really pick up in Minneapolis, but it's somewhat a mild event at this location in the system. precip rates are moderate, amounting to 1-2 inches in the area so far. i expect winds to really pick up as the center drifts on... had one flipped umbrella on my lunch walk.
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104. xcool
Radio tower falls on elementary school in Monroe County,Indiana near Bloomington

Power is out at CVG Cincinnati airport.
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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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