Weekend tornado outbreak causes heavy damage in Virginia, Iowa

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:00 PM GMT on April 11, 2011

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Floods, fires, and tornadoes hammered the nation this weekend, a sure sign that April is here. The severe weather action began on Friday night in the mid-Atlantic when twin tornadoes touched down in Pulaski, Virginia. The twisters, one a strong EF-1 with 105 - 110 mph winds, and the other an EF-2 with 125 mph winds damaged 450 buildings, caused $8 million in damage, and injured eight people. The most significant day of the weekend tornado outbreak occurred on Saturday as a powerful storm over the Upper Midwest dragged a cold front through Iowa. Twenty-seven tornado reports were recorded in Iowa by NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. The most powerful of these tornadoes was the huge, 3/4 mile-wide tornado that plowed through the tiny town of Mapleton, Iowa on Saturday evening, leaving a trail of destruction 3.5 miles long. The tornado, preliminarily rated as an EF-3 with 136 - 165 mph winds, flattened 20% of the town of 1200 residents and damaged half of the buildings. Fourteen were injured, but miraculously no one died. The severe weather continued on Sunday with seven reports of tornadoes over Wisconsin. The most serious was a tornado in Lincoln County, which destroyed or heavily damaged 30 buildings, and caused three serious injuries.


Figure 1. Tornado chaser video from Saturday's twisters over Iowa from tornadovideos.net.

More severe weather today
As the cold front that triggered the weekend's severe weather progresses eastwards across the U.S. today, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed a wide swath of the Northeast and Southeast under their "slight" risk area for severe weather, one notch down from the "Medium" risk that was posted for Wisconsin on Sunday and Iowa on Saturday. Tuesday and Wednesday should be relatively quiet days for severe weather, but Thursday will see a renewed chance of a significant severe weather outbreak in the Oklahoma-Arkansas region, as a major new spring storm gathers strength over the Midwest.


Figure 2. Severe weather outlook from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center for Monday places much of the Northeast and Southeast in the "Slight" risk area for severe weather.

Tornado season near average so far this year
According to statistics compiled by NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, 2011's tornado season has been near-average so far. The preliminary number of tornadoes reported as of April 10 was 301, and the six-year average from 2006 - 2010 was 339. Preliminary tornado counts are typically about 15% too high, so the actual number of confirmed tornadoes will end up being around 256. The peak part of tornado season is just getting started--typically, only 17% of the season's activity has occurred by April 10. The number of strong (EF-2 and EF-3) tornadoes has been rather low so far; the Mapleton tornado was just the seventh EF-3 of 2011. There have been no violent EF-4 or EF-5 tornadoes so far this year. The death toll of just three so far in 2011 is remarkably low for mid-April, a testament to good warnings and a good helping of luck.

Jeff Masters

Cold in April (Railheel)
Hail, wind, and rain came through with unknow damage as of now. did break windshilds.
Cold in April
Tornado-damaged house (ChrisAnthemum)
Early Tuesday morning, a tornado raked along Ararat Road in Pilot Mountain, NC, damaging several houses and downing many trees. A cleanup crew was working on this one when we drove by on Sunday.
Tornado-damaged house

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Quoting beell:
Truck Farms in Fukushima Prefecture
(pg 227)

Japan in the 21st century: environment, economy - By Pradyumna Prasad Karan, Dick Gilbreath (2005)
Interesting how did you find it?
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316. beell
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


650,000 acres/5 acres (average Japanese farm*)=130,000 farms= how many to resettle?

*ERS/USDA Briefing Room

the mind boggles


Kinda what I was thinking, Shen. The number of displaced farmers may be higher than what we might expect to see in the US based on total acreage lost.

Somewhere between your two numbers-after that, speculation here.

Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 143 Comments: 16716
No watches or warnings up for Macon, Ga yet.
Looks to be one of those 3 in the morning house calls. :(
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Japan is relative in scale to California,,so that's a big chunk of agriculture being taken.

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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
1000 su mi. = 650,000 acres / 331 acres (average Iowa farm 2007)* = 1,963 farms

Iowa state university


650,000 acres/5 acres (average Japanese farm*)=130,000 farms= how many to resettle?

*ERS/USDA Briefing Room

the mind boggles
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Uploaded by Euronews on Apr 11, 2011

Japan is extending the evacuation zone around the Fukushima nuclear plant because of increased radiation.

The news comes as ceremonies have been held to commemorate one month since the earthquake and tsunami devastated the country's north-east coast.

Survivors now living in shelters because their homes were destroyed observed a minute's silence, marking the moment the quake struck.

Japan's prime minister Naoto Kan has thanked people around the world for their support and solidarity.
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little shaker off the northwest coast
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54271
309. beell
Truck Farms in Fukushima Prefecture
(pg 227)

Japan in the 21st century: environment, economy - By Pradyumna Prasad Karan, Dick Gilbreath (2005)
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 143 Comments: 16716
Quoting Gearsts:
LOL what am i suppose to see here?

1000 mb winds m/s
areas of high and low pressures
across north atlantic

just noting the 1059 going to 1060 high pressure area ne of azores islands
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54271
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54271
Will this never end? Link
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
LOL what am i suppose to see here?
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strong azores high
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54271
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54271
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Quoting Skyepony:
The ENSO Precipitation Index (ESPI) for the last 30 days is -2.05
And what does that mean?
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399
WFUS54 KBMX 120157
TORBMX
ALC029-120230-
/O.NEW.KBMX.TO.W.0045.110412T0157Z-110412T0230Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
857 PM CDT MON APR 11 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BIRMINGHAM HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHERN CLEBURNE COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL ALABAMA...

* UNTIL 930 PM CDT

* AT 853 PM CDT...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INDICATED A SEVERE
THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS STORM
WAS LOCATED NEAR HEFLIN...AND MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
HEFLIN...EDWARDSVILLE...FRUITHURST...ABERNATHY...M USCADINE AND I 20
WELCOME CENTER.

THIS INCLUDES...
INTERSTATE 20 EXIT NUMBERS 199 THROUGH 210...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE
LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING.

THIS LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING TORNADOES AND
WIDESPREAD SIGNIFICANT WIND DAMAGE. DO NOT WAIT TO SEE OR HEAR THE
TORNADO. FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST
FLOOR OF YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS.



TO REPORT SEVERE WEATHER...
CALL 1-800-856-0758.

LAT...LON 3356 8570 3362 8570 3363 8569 3364 8565
3365 8564 3369 8564 3381 8536 3370 8534
3370 8533 3367 8533 3366 8532 3354 8531
TIME...MOT...LOC 0157Z 265DEG 39KT 3362 8560
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.."Big Duke NOLA 7 standing by on the NOAA Alert Radio Network"..

Go ahead Blogger, you're on the AIR !

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297. beell


Hail Reports.
Reporter in Grafton, NH had no access to ping pong/golf balls nor loose change (added by beell)

1230 100 BATH GRAFTON NH 4417 7197
MEASURED WITH RULER (GYX)

1430 100 SANFORD YORK ME
4344 7077 (GYX)

0027 175 HEBRON MARSHALL AL
3449 8638
GOLFBALL SIZE HAIL WAS REPORTED. (HUN)

0116 150 MENTONE DEKALB AL
3457 8558 QUARTER TO PING PONG SIZE HAIL NEAR DE SOTO STATE PARK. (HUN)
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 143 Comments: 16716
1000 su mi. = 650,000 acres / 331 acres (average Iowa farm 2007)* = 1,963 farms

Iowa state university
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Officials reclassified the ongoing emergency from level 5, an “accident with off-site risk,” to level 7, a “major accident.” The reassessment comes at a time when the International Atomic Energy Agency says the plant is showing “early signs of recovery” but still in a critical condition.

The plant’s debilitated reactors face constant threat of strong aftershocks, and the latest on Tuesday morning — a 6.4-magnitude temblor — caused a brief fire at a water sampling facility near Daiichi’s No. 4 reactor. The Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the facility, said that the critical process used to cool the hot fuel rods had not been interrupted, and radiation levels showed no signs of change.

A level 7 accident, according to the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, is typified by a “major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects.”
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
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Quoting Grothar:
Are you all playing nice?


We are now..... Sir.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24373
Quoting Patrap:
2005 WHO Report

Chernobyl: the true scale of the accident
20 Years Later a UN Report Provides Definitive Answers and Ways to Repair Lives

Joint News Release WHO/IAEA/UNDP


Major study findings

Dozens of important findings are included in the massive report:

* Approximately 1000 on-site reactor staff and emergency workers were heavily exposed to high-level radiation on the first day of the accident; among the more than 200 000 emergency and recovery operation workers exposed during the period from 1986-1987, an estimated 2200 radiation-caused deaths can be expected during their lifetime.
* An estimated five million people currently live in areas of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine that are contaminated with radionuclides due to the accident; about 100 000 of them live in areas classified in the past by government authorities as areas of %u201Cstrict control%u201D. The existing %u201Czoning%u201D definitions need to be revisited and relaxed in light of the new findings.
* About 4000 cases of thyroid cancer, mainly in children and adolescents at the time of the accident, have resulted from the accident%u2019s contamination and at least nine children died of thyroid cancer; however the survival rate among such cancer victims, judging from experience in Belarus, has been almost 99%.
* Most emergency workers and people living in contaminated areas received relatively low whole body radiation doses, comparable to natural background levels. As a consequence, no evidence or likelihood of decreased fertility among the affected population has been found, nor has there been any evidence of increases in congenital malformations that can be attributed to radiation exposure.
* Poverty, %u201Clifestyle%u201D diseases now rampant in the former Soviet Union and mental health problems pose a far greater threat to local communities than does radiation exposure.
* Relocation proved a %u201Cdeeply traumatic experience%u201D for some 350,000 people moved out of the affected areas. Although 116 000 were moved from the most heavily impacted area immediately after the accident, later relocations did little to reduce radiation exposure.
* Persistent myths and misperceptions about the threat of radiation have resulted in %u201Cparalyzing fatalism%u201D among residents of affected areas.
* Ambitious rehabilitation and social benefit programs started by the former Soviet Union, and continued by Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, need reformulation due to changes in radiation conditions, poor targeting and funding shortages.
* Structural elements of the sarcophagus built to contain the damaged reactor have degraded, posing a risk of collapse and the release of radioactive dust;
* A comprehensive plan to dispose of tons of high-level radioactive waste at and around the Chernobyl NPP site, in accordance with current safety standards, has yet to be defined.

Alongside radiation-induced deaths and diseases, the report labels the mental health impact of Chernobyl as %u201Cthe largest public health problem created by the accident%u201D and partially attributes this damaging psychological impact to a lack of accurate information. These problems manifest as negative self-assessments of health, belief in a shortened life expectancy, lack of initiative, and dependency on assistance from the state.

"Only" 4,000 deaths? Why, that's not so bad. :-\

An English-language translation (Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment) of a peer-reviewed 2007 Russian publication paints a drastically different picture, claiming that the UN report to which you linked overlooked 5,000 or so Slavic-language science papers, papers that when looked at found deaths approaching one million from 1986 through 2004, with nearly 170,000 of those in North American alone. This paper uses an entirely different methodology to factor deaths. But while the actual number may not be that high, it's almost certainly nowhere near the simplistically-figured 4,000 figure. And that may be what's most disconcerting of all about nuclear incidents; the true cost in terms of life and health can never be known--and, as such, it will never be a safe industry in its current incarnation.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13549
287. beell
click for full discussion


...STABILIZING TRENDS ASSOCIATED WITH BOUNDARY LAYER COOLING ARE
SUGGESTIVE THAT FURTHER INTENSIFICATION OF THE ONGOING SQUALL LINE
IS UNLIKELY. HOWEVER...MOISTENING ON SOUTHERLY LOW-LEVEL FLOW AHEAD
OF THE LINE WILL PROBABLY CONTRIBUTE TO SUFFICIENT
DESTABILIZATION...WHEN COUPLED WITH STRONG FORCING FOR UPWARD
VERTICAL MOTION ASSOCIATED WITH THE SHORT WAVE TROUGH TURNING EAST
OF THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY...TO MAINTAIN VIGOROUS CONVECTION THROUGH
AT LEAST THE BALANCE OF THE EVENING HOURS...
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 143 Comments: 16716
Quoting PlazaRed:


I was just adjusting my post on realizing what you pointed out but we also ''know'' that it will probably get a lot worse than this and the USA advised a 80 KM zone a long time ago now.

With a 40 kilomter radius exclusion zone there are about a 1000 sq miles of farmland taken out of production, if you exclude the sea area of also about 1000 sq miles.
1000 sq miles = 640,000 acres
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S.E. Texas is in a drought too. Not so bad as the rest of Texas... but we've had about 1/2 the amount of rain as normal. Everything is dry.

We had an extremely brief 5-minute rainstorm today when that front came through. Still, I wish it had fallen West of here for those that really need the rain badly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2005 WHO Report

Chernobyl: the true scale of the accident
20 Years Later a UN Report Provides Definitive Answers and Ways to Repair Lives

Joint News Release WHO/IAEA/UNDP


Major study findings

Dozens of important findings are included in the massive report:

* Approximately 1000 on-site reactor staff and emergency workers were heavily exposed to high-level radiation on the first day of the accident; among the more than 200 000 emergency and recovery operation workers exposed during the period from 1986-1987, an estimated 2200 radiation-caused deaths can be expected during their lifetime.
* An estimated five million people currently live in areas of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine that are contaminated with radionuclides due to the accident; about 100 000 of them live in areas classified in the past by government authorities as areas of “strict control”. The existing “zoning” definitions need to be revisited and relaxed in light of the new findings.
* About 4000 cases of thyroid cancer, mainly in children and adolescents at the time of the accident, have resulted from the accident’s contamination and at least nine children died of thyroid cancer; however the survival rate among such cancer victims, judging from experience in Belarus, has been almost 99%.
* Most emergency workers and people living in contaminated areas received relatively low whole body radiation doses, comparable to natural background levels. As a consequence, no evidence or likelihood of decreased fertility among the affected population has been found, nor has there been any evidence of increases in congenital malformations that can be attributed to radiation exposure.
* Poverty, “lifestyle” diseases now rampant in the former Soviet Union and mental health problems pose a far greater threat to local communities than does radiation exposure.
* Relocation proved a “deeply traumatic experience” for some 350,000 people moved out of the affected areas. Although 116 000 were moved from the most heavily impacted area immediately after the accident, later relocations did little to reduce radiation exposure.
* Persistent myths and misperceptions about the threat of radiation have resulted in “paralyzing fatalism” among residents of affected areas.
* Ambitious rehabilitation and social benefit programs started by the former Soviet Union, and continued by Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, need reformulation due to changes in radiation conditions, poor targeting and funding shortages.
* Structural elements of the sarcophagus built to contain the damaged reactor have degraded, posing a risk of collapse and the release of radioactive dust;
* A comprehensive plan to dispose of tons of high-level radioactive waste at and around the Chernobyl NPP site, in accordance with current safety standards, has yet to be defined.

Alongside radiation-induced deaths and diseases, the report labels the mental health impact of Chernobyl as “the largest public health problem created by the accident” and partially attributes this damaging psychological impact to a lack of accurate information. These problems manifest as negative self-assessments of health, belief in a shortened life expectancy, lack of initiative, and dependency on assistance from the state.
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279. beell
Quoting twincomanche:
Eventually you will know the truth young Jedi. It will become evident to you.


then of course, there is
sarchasm

the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it

j/k/tc
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 143 Comments: 16716
"Wave your hands in the air
like you don't care..
Glide by the people
as they stop to look and stare"

Word Up

g'nite ya'll
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Pot, kettle.

Kettle, pot.

Cynical? oh heavens no. I have complete faith in TEPCO's (and everyone else's) ability to handle this minor glitch. Japan and it's people will be just fine.

We can blame the increased deaths, miscarriages, thyroid cancers, etc etc on uhm...what? Global warming?

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Big dip in the Jet Stream 9-10 days out coming with the GFS........this could be the next big outbreak coming. Something to watch for sure as it appears to dip very south into California.
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273. beell
Quoting twincomanche:
Pretty cynical.


i think that's sarcasm.
how ironic.
)
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 143 Comments: 16716
Quoting aquak9:
So far as industry, it all appears to be light, with farming at the top of the list.

Farming?

oh yeah, it's just FOOD...besides there aren't that many people left to relocate, right? they all got swept out to sea. That many less people to relocate; that many less people to FEED.


you get a Big Gold Star for this...nicely done
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Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
So far as industry, it all appears to be light, with farming at the top of the list.

Farming?

oh yeah, it's just FOOD...besides there aren't that many people left to relocate, right? they all got swept out to sea. That many less people to relocate; that many less people to FEED.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:



Looks like things are really getting sticky in Alabama as i thought would happen.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Quoting Neapolitan:

Your numbers are correct, but as the nuclear plant is on the edge of a fairly straight coast, I calculated the "deadland" area as roughly half those numbers.


I was just adjusting my post on realizing what you pointed out but we also ''know'' that it will probably get a lot worse than this and the USA advised a 80 KM zone a long time ago now.

With a 40 kilomter radius exclusion zone there are about a 1000 sq miles of farmland taken out of production, if you exclude the sea area of also about 1000 sq miles.
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.