The global tropical cyclone season of 2010: record inactivity

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:14 AM GMT on April 03, 2011

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The year 2010 was one of the strangest on record globally for tropical cyclones. Each year, the globe has about 92 tropical cyclones--called hurricanes in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific, typhoons in the Western Pacific, and tropical cyclones in the Southern Hemisphere. But in 2010, we had just 68 of these storms--the fewest since the dawn of the satellite era in 1970. The previous record slowest year was 1977, when 69 tropical cyclones occurred world-wide. Both the Western Pacific and Eastern Pacific had their quietest seasons on record in 2010, the Atlantic had its 3rd busiest season since record keeping began in 1851, and the Southern Hemisphere had a below average season. As a result, the Atlantic, which ordinarily accounts for just 13% of global cyclone activity, accounted for 28% in 2010--the greatest proportion since accurate tropical cyclone records began in the 1970s. Global Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) for 2010 was the lowest since the late 1970s (ACE is a measure of the total destructive power of a hurricane season, based on the number of days strong winds are observed.)


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of 2010's strongest tropical cyclone: Super Typhoon Megi at 2:25 UTC October 18, 2010. A reconnaissance aircraft measured a central pressure of 885 mb and surface winds of 190 mph in the storm, making Megi the 8th strongest tropical cyclone in world history. Image credit: NASA.

A record quiet 2010 Northwest Pacific Typhoon Season
The Western Pacific set records for fewest number of named storms (fifteen, previous record seventeen in 1998) and typhoons (nine, tied with the previous record of nine in 1998. Note that Tropical Storm Mindulle was upgraded to a typhoon in post-analysis after the season was over.) Reliable records began in the mid-1960s. For just the second year in history, the Atlantic had more named storms and hurricane-strength storms than the Western Pacific. The only other year this occurred was in 2005. Ordinarily, the Western Pacific has double to triple the amount of tropical cyclones of the Atlantic. One other notable feature of the 2010 season was the lack of a land-falling typhoon on the Japanese mainland. This is only the second such occurrence since 1988.

In 2010, there was only one super typhoon--a storm with at least 150 mph winds--in the Western Pacific. However, this storm, Super Typhoon Megi, was a doozy. Megi's sustained winds cranked up to a fearsome 190 mph and its central pressure bottomed out at 885 mb on October 16, making it the 8th most intense tropical cyclone in world history. Fortunately, Megi weakened significantly before hitting the Philippines as a Category 3 typhoon. Megi killed 69 people on Taiwan and in the Philippines and did $700 million in damage, and was the second deadliest and damaging typhoon of 2010. Category 3 Typhoon Fanapi was the deadliest and most damaging typhoon of 2010, doing over $1 billion in damage to Taiwan and China and killing 105.

The record quiet typhoon season in 2010 was due, in part, to the La Niña phenomena. During such events, the formation region for Western Pacific typhoons moves northwestward, closer to China. Thus, storms that form in the Western Pacific spend less time over water before they encounter land, resulting in a lesser chance to become a named storm, and less time to intensify. They also accumulate a lower ACE due to their shorter duration. Since the Western Pacific is responsible for 35% of the world's major tropical cyclones, the global ACE value is strongly tied to year-to-year variations in the El Niño/La Niña cycle.


Figure 2.
Statistics for the global tropical cyclone season of 2010. The two numbers in each box represent the actual number observed in 2010, followed by the averages from the period 1983-2007 (in parentheses). Averages and records were computed using the December 23, 2008 release of NOAA's International Best Track Archive for Climate Stewardship.

A record quiet 2010 Eastern Pacific Typhoon Season
In the Eastern Pacific, it was also a record-quiet season. On average, the Eastern Pacific has 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes in a season. In 2010, there were 8 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. The previous record quietest season since 1966 was the year 1977, when the Eastern Pacific had 8 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and zero intense hurricanes. La Niña was largely responsible for the quiet Eastern Pacific hurricane season, due in part to the cool sea surface temperatures it brought. It is quite remarkable that both the Eastern and Western Pacific ocean basins had record quiet seasons in the same year--there is no historical precedent for such an occurrence.

Climate change and the 2008 global tropical cyclone season
We only have about 30 years of reliable global tropical cyclone data, and tropical cyclones are subject to large natural variations in numbers and intensities. Thus, it will be very difficult at present to prove that climate change is affecting global tropical cyclone activity. (This is less so in the Atlantic, where we have a longer reliable data record to work with.) A common theme of many recent publications on the future of tropical cyclones globally in a warming climate is that the total number of these storms will decrease, but the strongest storms will get stronger. For example, a 2010 review paper published in Nature Geosciences concluded: "greenhouse warming will cause the globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2 - 11% by 2100. Existing modeling studies also consistently project decreases in the globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones, by 6 - 34%. Balanced against this, higher resolution modeling studies typically project substantial increases in the frequency of the most intense cyclones, and increases of the order of 20% in the precipitation rate within 100 km of the storm centre." Last year, I discussed a paper by Bender et al that concluded that the total number of Atlantic hurricanes is expected to decrease by the end of the century, but there could be an increase of 81% in the number of Category 4 and 5 storms. The net effect of a decrease in total number of hurricanes but an increase in the strongest hurricanes should cause an increase in U.S. hurricane damages of about 30% by the end of the century, the authors computed, assuming that hurricane damages behave as they did during the past century. A new paper just published by Murakami et. al predicts that Western Pacific tropical cyclones may decrease in number by 23% by the end of the century, primarily due to a shift in the formation location and tracks of these storms.

In light of these theoretical results, it is interesting that 2010 saw the lowest number of global tropical cyclones on record, but an average number of very strong Category 4 and 5 storms. Fully 21% of last year's tropical cyclones reached Category 4 or 5 strength, versus just 14% during the period 1983 - 2007. Most notably, in 2010 we had the second strongest tropical cyclone on record in the Arabian Sea (Category 4 Cyclone Phet in June) and the strongest tropical cyclone ever to hit Myanmar/Burma (October's Tropical Cyclone Giri, an upper end Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds.) It is too early to read anything into this year's global tropical cyclone numbers, though--we need many more years of data before making any judgments on how global tropical cyclones might be responding to climate change.


Figure 3. Visible satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Phet on Thursday, June 3, 2010. Record heat over southern Asia in May helped heat up the Arabian Sea to 2°C above normal, and the exceptionally warm SSTs helped fuel Tropical Cyclone Phet into the second strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Arabian Sea. Phet peaked at Category 4 strength with 145 mph winds. Only Category 5 Cyclone Gonu of 2007, which devastated Oman, was a stronger Arabian Sea cyclone. Phet killed 44 people and did $700 million in damage to Oman.


Figure 4. Visible MODIS satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Giri taken at 2:55am EDT October 22, 2010, just prior to landfall in Myanmar/Burma. At the time, Giri was a Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds. Giri killed 157 people and did $359 million in damage. Image credit: NASA.

Jeff Masters

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Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
Quoting EYEStoSEA:


Yes we did,Kori.....just as you said...was later in the afternoon. We actually had some sun and a chirping Robin, as we buried my wonderful 97 year old mother-in-law...:)


Sorry to hear it, EYES.
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Quoting PRweathercenter:
Blog Update
Link
please enjoy!! Thanks and have a great night!


These vids would be 20 times better if you used a human voice rather than some robot thing. No offense or anything.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


So you were able to get through the funeral without incident, I presume?


Yes we did,Kori.....just as you said...was later in the afternoon. We actually had some sun and a chirping Robin, as we buried my wonderful 97 year old mother-in-law...:)
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Keep! Please!
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Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
Quoting EYEStoSEA:
Hello guys,
Temperature dropped from 87 to 49 after the squall line passed, here in Central Ms. As for as major damage or deaths, haven't heard of any. Just the usual wind damge, flooding, and power outages. I didnt loose a tree or power. Actually, the coolness feels pretty good, as it was hot and humid prior to the front...ya know, the kind of weather where you can't seem to take a deep breath because the air seems so thick ....


So you were able to get through the funeral without incident, I presume?
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Hello guys,
Temperature dropped from 87 to 49 after the squall line passed, here in Central Ms. As for as major damage or deaths, haven't heard of any. Just the usual wind damge, flooding, and power outages. I didnt loose a tree or power. Actually, the coolness feels pretty good, as it was hot and humid prior to the front...ya know, the kind of weather where you can't seem to take a deep breath because the air seems so thick ....
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Hey PR, those videos you post on Dr. Master's blogs create havoc with IE. Would you please resize them to something less than 500x500 before you post? 480x390 seems to work well. Thanks.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


No it does not....gotta use firefox or Chrome


Yeah, just checking. I think it was Nea who said any pic or vid over 500 pixels either way is not going to work w/IE. Those vids that messed it up were way over that.
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I think a page with 50 rock vids would load faster than those animated loops sun lin posts. They are the ones which really slow the loading time.

BTW, you can press ESC or the Stop button about 3-4 seconds after you refresh to stop loading vids/images; all the text will be there by then.
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Quoting DontAnnoyMe:




Are you both saying that compatibility view doesn't solve the problem?



No it does not....gotta use firefox or Chrome
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
954. beell
Quoting hurricaneben:
Will any of the severe weather impact S Florida tomorrow? Because I'm ready for some excitement, just not a devastating tornado LOL.


May not be much left to this line by tomorrow morning in Southern FL if it makes an early departure off the east coast.

SPC DAY 2 says:

...FLORIDA...
ALTHOUGH FLOW FIELDS AND SHEAR WILL BE SUBSTANTIALLY WEAKER ON THE
SOUTHERN FLANK OF THE EARLY DAY CONVECTIVE SYSTEM...IT IS POSSIBLE
THAT A SEVERE THREAT COULD DEVELOP ACROSS PARTS OF THE PENINSULA ON
THE STRENGTH OF GREATER BOUNDARY LAYER DESTABILIZATION AND LINGERING
FORCING ASSOCIATED WITH A CONVECTIVELY GENERATED COLD POOL. IT MAY
BE THAT...BY THE PEAK AFTERNOON HEATING HOURS...THIS THREAT WILL
BECOME MAXIMIZED ALONG CENTRAL INTO SOUTHERN PENINSULA ATLANTIC
COASTAL AREAS...WHERE LOW-LEVEL CONVERGENCE BECOMES ENHANCED ALONG
THE SEA BREEZE.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Yeah I had to put him on ignore.And my page is much better now.No more screw ups!! :)


Quoting TampaSpin:




Yep i hit the minus- on every post on utube!


Are you both saying that compatibility view doesn't solve the problem?

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Quoting TampaSpin:


I don't have a problem with the weather ones but the non weather ones need avoided and slow the blog down.


Was curious as to how/why the videos would slow things down. Found this little tidbit, interesting.


"To help better understand he issue of why it slows down I'll give you an extreem example.
Over the weekend I upoad 48 unique 5 second unlsited videos to an obscure channel. The purposeis to do some tests on the embedded player without having interference from the general public.
After the videos were uploaded we embedded all 48 into one single webpage ( the equivalant of your blog ). All embed is NOT autoplay...just static. Next I open that webpage with a very old computer... Pentium 1 @ 200Mhz and 96 Mb RAM .... basically old Windows 2000... barely runs as it is.
So even though that webpage has no text and the embedded videos are static... the browser still has to download all 48 display images which are the dimension to fit the embedded player. It also has to download the base Shockwave object ( the video controls ) for each video. Additionally here are XML files to download. The result was... it froze the computer... used up all the RAM and CPU. We had to split the webpage into 2 webpages. Each one still took a lng time to retrieve the 24 images plus the 24 SWF.
Now translate that into a modern computer...most really fast computers the userwould not notice too much lag... but as the CPU and RAM are decreased the affect becomes more noticeable. Additionally the whole process is also affected by the Local Network traffic and performance as well as the traffic on the 3rd party site as well as traffic on Youtube.
So regardgess of all other factors... the more data in a webpage... the longer it takes to download.
On a relativly average blog... unless some arbitrarily high number of users are attempting to access the same files ...the user would probably be much more likely to notice the lag because of their own computer and network performance rather than because of the server itself... thugh a server also has its own limits...but not as noticible and generally insignificant."

and another

"the more entries there are on a given blog page the longer it takes that page to load. I've seen a number of blogs that take a very long to to load and usually it's because the blogger has all their entries on a single page rather than having multiple blog pages. Generally speaking, the preview images of embedded objects take longer to load than a similarly sized jpg image would, but this is a characteristic of embedded objects and not YouTube per se."
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Quoting PcolaDan:
People have been posting youtube videos for a long time now, with no problems. Only a very few seem to have a problem with them.


I don't have a problem with the weather ones but the non weather ones need avoided and slow the blog down.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
Will any of the severe weather impact S Florida tomorrow? Because I'm ready for some excitement, just not a devastating tornado LOL.
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947. beell
click graphic for discussion
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People have been posting youtube videos for a long time now, with no problems. Only a very few seem to have a problem with them.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Yeah I had to put him on ignore.And my page is much better now.No more screw ups!! :)




Yep i hit the minus- on every post on utube!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
Quoting Greyelf:


I've also found ignoring the offending poster works too.
Yeah I had to put him on ignore.And my page is much better now.No more screw ups!! :)
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"Quoting washingtonian115:
Hey!.Stop posting those damn videos if you don't know how to post them.It get's annoying when everytime a certain blogger puts videos on the page is screwed up!.Just please stop.Post them on youtube,and give a link.Geez..."


Quoting Ossqss:


Ya might try the little button (compatibility view) next to the refresh one in your browser if it is IE. It may help.

Video did kill the radio star after all :)


I've also found ignoring the offending poster works too.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 433 Comments: 132798
I'm sorry guys.I didn't want to do it.Buuuut I put one user on ignore.I tried to make a record.
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939. beell


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0354
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0818 PM CDT MON APR 04 2011

AREAS AFFECTED...NRN GA...ATLANTA METRO AREA

CONCERNING...TORNADO WATCH 95...

VALID 050118Z - 050245Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR TORNADO WATCH 95 CONTINUES.

...DAMAGING WINDS LIKELY...POSSIBLE TORNADOES IN ATLANTA METRO AREA
0145-0300Z...

SQUALL LINE CONTINUES TO DISCRETELY PROPAGATE AS NEW CELLS DEVELOP
IMMEDIATELY AHEAD OF THE COLD POOL...EFFECTIVELY RESULTING IN A
FASTER TRANSLATION ESE. EXTRAPOLATION INCORPORATING THIS SCENARIO
SUGGESTS PRIMARY SQUALL LINE ARRIVING IN NW METRO ATLANTA 0145-0200Z
AND THE REMAINDER OF ATLANTA...INCLUDING HARTSFIELD INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT...0230-0330Z.

00Z PEACHTREE CITY SOUNDING EXHIBITED ONLY 300 J/KG MLCAPE...BUT
RAPID SFC MOISTURE TRANSPORT NWD INTO THE METRO AREA WILL OCCUR AS
EVIDENCED BY NEARLY 5 DEG F DEW POINT RISE AT NEWNAN GA. THIS WILL
INCREASE BUOYANCY AND COMBINATION OF STRONG COLD POOL DYNAMICS WILL
MAINTAIN STRONG TSTMS ACROSS NWRN GA.

DAMAGING WINDS APPEAR TO BE THE PRIMARY SVR THREAT IN NW GA THROUGH
THE EVENING AS CONVECTIVE MODE REMAINS LINEAR. HOWEVER...AN
EMBEDDED SUPERCELL TORNADO CANNOT BE RULED OUT AS FLOW IN THE
0.5-1KM LAYER CONTINUES TO INCREASE...BOOSTING SRH AMIDST STRONG
DEEP LAYER SHEAR. HIGHER THREATS FOR TORNADOES WILL EXIST ACROSS
CNTRL AL INTO WCNTRL GA SOUTH OF ATLANTA.

..RACY.. 04/05/2011
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Thanx fer dat link too
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 433 Comments: 132798
Quoting Patrap:
That software showed it perfect Ameister12 ,,thanks.

Yeah, I really like it. (It only shows southern states, unfortunately.)

Here's a link for it.
Link
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936. flsky
Another example of shear recklessness. Tornado warning, lights out, wind howling, rain pouring - and these yahoos are out on their porch shooting a video. Oh well, natural selection will prevail, I guess. Sheesh

Quoting Patrap:
20-30 ago..here

During the Nado Warning


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Quoting Patrap:
That software showed it perfect Ameister12 ,,thanks.

Link
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 433 Comments: 132798
LETS GO BULLDOGS
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
Ossqss sorry about my rage.But I don't want that to happen during hurricane season.I understand maybe one or two times.But a couple???!.Enough,is a damn nuff!!.I have to find a way around this problem.....
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Butler vs. Uconn
Who ya got?
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6829
Quoting washingtonian115:
Hey!.Stop posting those damn videos if you don't know how to post them.It get's annoying when everytime a certain blogger puts videos on the page is screwed up!.Just please stop.Post them on youtube,and give a link.Geez...


Ya might try the little button (compatibility view) next to the refresh one in your browser if it is IE. It may help.

Video did kill the radio star after all :)
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Tourists hunkered down in Jackson Square
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 433 Comments: 132798
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 433 Comments: 132798
TORNADO WARNING
MSC047-050145-
/O.NEW.KLIX.TO.W.0046.110405T0104Z-110405T0145Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
804 PM CDT MON APR 4 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL HARRISON COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...GULFPORT...BILOXI...

* UNTIL 845 PM CDT

* AT 759 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO 13 MILES WEST OF
LYMAN...OR 6 MILES NORTH OF DIAMONDHEAD...MOVING EAST AT 50 MPH.

Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6829
Blog Update
Link
please enjoy!! Thanks and have a great night!
img src="">
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0745 PM TSTM WND DMG 4 W DESTREHAN 29.96N 90.44W
04/04/2011 ST. CHARLES LA EMERGENCY MNGR

ROOF DAMAGE TO HOME.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 433 Comments: 132798
WFUS54 KLIX 050055
TORLIX
LAC075-087-050130-
/O.NEW.KLIX.TO.W.0045.110405T0055Z-110405T0130Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
755 PM CDT MON APR 4 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN PLAQUEMINES PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...
SOUTHWESTERN ST. BERNARD PARISH IN SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA...

* UNTIL 830 PM CDT

* AT 754 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR VIOLET...OR
6 MILES EAST OF BELLE CHASSE...MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
YSCLOSKEY

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS UNDER A WORKBENCH OR OTHER
PIECE OF STURDY FURNITURE. 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.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 100 AM CDT TUESDAY MORNING
FOR SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA AND SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI.



LAT...LON 2958 8965 2958 8970 2959 8975 2971 9004
2992 8989 2984 8936 2972 8950 2967 8951
2965 8958 2963 8957 2961 8959 2958 8956
2958 8959 2956 8962 2956 8966
TIME...MOT...LOC 0056Z 283DEG 41KT 2982 8988



95/DM


CLICK HERE TO GO TO PREVIOUS BULLETINS.

The Nexlab LA Page
The Nexlab MS Page Main Text Page
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SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
801 PM CDT MON APR 4 2011

LAC103-MSC045-050130-
/O.CON.KLIX.TO.W.0044.000000T0000Z-110405T0130Z/
HANCOCK MS-ST. TAMMANY LA-
801 PM CDT MON APR 4 2011

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 830 PM CDT FOR HANCOCK
COUNTY...AND SOUTHEASTERN ST. TAMMANY PARISH...

AT 759 PM CDT...A TORNADO WAS REPORTED. THIS TORNADO WAS LOCATED
NEAR PEARLINGTON...OR 8 MILES WEST OF WAVELAND...MOVING EAST AT 55
MPH.
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0715 PM TSTM WND GST KENNER 29.98N 90.25W
04/04/2011 E0 MPH JEFFERSON LA ASOS

KMSY ASOS MEASURED 53 KNOTS FROM WEST.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463

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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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