Tornadoes, huge hail pound the Midwest, but bring little Texas drought relief

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:41 PM GMT on April 20, 2011

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Severe weather blasted the Midwest again yesterday, with NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logging 32 reports of tornadoes, 399 reports of damaging thunderstorm winds, and 325 instances of large hail (including softball-sized hail of 4.25 - 4.5" diameter in Clarkesville, MO and Stringtown, OK.) Fortunately, no deaths or injuries were reported from yesterday's storms. The storm also brought the heaviest snow so late in the season to Green Bay, Wisconsin--9.9 inches. This brought the seasonal total for Green Bay to 92.4", the third most on record.

The storm responsible will trek eastwards today, bringing the threat of severe weather to regions of the Southeast hard-hit by last week's remarkable tornado outbreak. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed a wide swath of the country from Eastern Texas to New Jersey under their "slight risk" for severe weather. According to the latest tornado tallies on the excellent Wikipedia page on the April 14 - 16 tornado outbreak, 128 tornadoes are confirmed to have occurred, with 39 of these strong EF-2 and EF-3 twisters. Remarkably, there have been no violent EF-4 or EF-5 tornadoes reported yet in 2011, despite the fact that the preliminary 2011 tornado count as compiled by SPC is 611, which will likely make 2011 the most active tornado season on record for this point in the year.


Figure 1. Satellite image taken at 8pm EDT on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, of the storm system that brought severe weather to the Midwest. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.


Figure 2. Severe weather outlook for today.

Yesterday's storms bring little drought relief for Texas
Yesterday's severe weather outbreak brought a few thunderstorms to the Dallas/Fort Worth area last night, with up to two inches of welcome rain falling in isolated areas. However, the rains missed the areas of Texas where the worst fires area burning, and strong winds associated with the spring storm helped whip up the fires. Winds will not be as strong today, and the latest 1 - 5 day rainfall forecasts show the possibility of isolated thunderstorms bringing drought relief to the same portions of Texas that benefited from last night's rains. These rains will not be enough to significantly slow down the record fires scorching Texas, though, and the latest 2-week forecast from the GFS model shows little chance of drought-busting rains over Texas into early May.


Figure 2. Total rainfall for North Texas from last night's storms brought only isolated drought relief.

Atlantic tropical disturbance
As a reminder that hurricane season is not that far away, an area of disturbed weather has formed in the Atlantic near 23N, 80W, about 700 miles northeast of Puerto Rico. This system is under a hefty 60 knots of wind shear, but does have a surface circulation. The disturbance's heavy thunderstorm activity has been removed well to the northeast of the surface circulation center by the high wind shear. The storm is expected to move northwest into a region of lower wind shear on Thursday and Friday, and should begin building more heavy thunderstorms during the next three days. The storm is not a threat to any land areas, and will likely be ripped apart by high wind shear this weekend. It has perhaps a 10% chance of becoming a subtropical depression before then. Climatology argues against this storm becoming the first named storm of the year; there has only been once named April storm in the Atlantic since 1851, Tropical Storm Ana of 2003.


Figure 4. Morning satellite image of the Atlantic tropical disturbance 700 miles northeast of Puerto Rico.

Jeff Masters

Wildcat Fire (AngeloJoe)
Wildcat Fire near San Angelo, Texas. Pictures taken between 3 and 4 pm just to the south and east of Orient, Texas.
Wildcat Fire
April Showers (novembergale)
SNOW showers!
April Showers

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Quoting CybrTeddy:
91L has winds of 40 mph already. We'd be talking about STS Arlene instead of S-TD 1.

In any case, it will cause some pretty good swells along the florida coast, with 40mph winds.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24141
by the way has any one noted any thing new at the SPC
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53368
abnt20 knhc 201935
twoat

special tropical weather outlook
nws national hurricane center miami fl
335 pm edt wed apr 20 2011

for the north atlantic...caribbean sea and the gulf of mexico...

a low pressure area located about 460 miles northeast of san juan puerto rico has developed some shower and thunderstorm activity near its center. in addition...satellite data and ship reports indicate gale-force winds are occurring north of the center. slow development of this system is possible during the couple of days as it moves west-northwestward at about 10 mph. there is a low chance...20 percent...of this system developing into a subtropical or tropical cyclone before conditions become less favorable in about 48 hours. additional information on this low can be found in high seas forecasts issued by the nhc/tropical analysis and forecast branch...under awips header nfdhsfat2 and wmo header
fznt02 knhc. another special outlook will be issued on thursday...
or sooner if necessary.

elsewhere...tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 48 hours.
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Viz




Rainbow



WV

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
Quoting beell:


There is an algorithm employed that makes a comparison of opposing velocities on a near pixel by pixel basis with an internal alert generated if a certain threshhold is reached. This is in addition to forecaster oversight and judgement.

Thanks, and thanks to everyone who responded.
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i have feeling that this season is going to be nuts
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


However fire may have one overlooked dividend. At least in the past, humans tended to avoid permanent settlements in fire prone areas.
;)

yeah, back when humans were a natural species subject to only those conveniences provided withstanding our ingenuity. it seems to me that subjugation of nature is the double edged sword here, but who among us would relinquish modern conveniences? likely none...
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The center has actually tucked itself under the sheared convection, are you kidding me?!
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91L has winds of 40 mph already. We'd be talking about STS Arlene instead of S-TD 1.
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If we have an invest in April we should have one in May figurative speaking, that's what you would think, if one in April have to have one in May, really a named storm in May.
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330. IKE
Invest 91


Wind: 40 MPH —
Location: 23.2 60.8W —
Movement: NW
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Breaking News on FOX

An invest called 91L has developed 700 miles NE of Puerto Rico in the Atlanctic Ocean. Dangerous times ahead for the upcoming 2011 hurricane season. In fact, Oil has spiked $3.00 a barrel due to this report, Guys in the weather room, tell us about this...


"thanks Rita.
Yes indeed, this could be a sure sign of something or the other.
We are doing our part to spread the panic, so that we can once again affect the price of oil, insurance, and life in general. Actually, the price of oil has not gone up yet. But if it does we will be able to say "you heard it here first".
There are no Tornado outbreaks today, so this is the best we can do at the moment.
Back to you Rita.."
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24141
I am REALLY not ready to start looking at loops yet, it's too darned early. Plus, I promised my wife I would tone back my time spent on it this year, this isn't a good sign, lol.
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ECMWF 12z is a little deeper with the system compared to previous runs:

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Im all for starting the Atlantic Season May 15 as the East Pac does.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
.."91L is her"..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127702
Quoting PolishHurrMaster:
Now I know!This system(now 91L) is over 25-26C SSTs.But I ask once again-what is the MJO in this area(you can check on Levi's blog)?!I can't check this on mobile phone...

MJO is leaving the Atlantic Basin, going over to Africa. 91L is on the tail end of it.
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i wounder if we will see a SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOKS from the nhc on this
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I work there, were live on the air showing the blog
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Breaking News on FOX

An invest called 91L has developed 700 miles NE of Puerto Rico in the Atlanctic Ocean. Dangerous times ahead for the upcoming 2011 hurricane season. In fact, Oil has spiked $3.00 a barrel due to this report, Guys in the weather room, tell us about this...
ROFLMAO, very good. I needed that laugh.....or do you write for them?
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320. Jax82
Someone at the NHC must be on drugs, it is 4/20 you know. Maybe they are smokin' something there today.
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do 91L have tome to be come a name storm
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BAMM the best in initalizing 91L IMO,but this model taking it west over Cuba and to GOM is also good
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Floater on 91L shows a well-defined surface circulation center with shear convection:

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Quoting washingtonian115:
I wish I could spin up a fat weak tropical storm for Texas.Sorry guys.I don't have my magical wond to spread my fairy dust over you guys.Anyway I'm not so sure that feature in the Atlantic will develope.It's far fetched IMO.I just don't see it happening.But this is good eye candy foe tropical weather fans.


It's the thought that counts. :)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 682
Breaking News on FOX

An invest called 91L has developed 700 miles NE of Puerto Rico in the Atlanctic Ocean. Dangerous times ahead for the upcoming 2011 hurricane season. In fact, Oil has spiked $3.00 a barrel due to this report, Guys in the weather room, tell us about this...
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


XTRAP heard AquaK9 bad mouthing AL91 so, straight in her direction.

hehehehh
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24141
311. 7544
Quoting RitaEvac:
If the two highs bridge together, Florida is in the bullseye, cant believe I'm saying this in April




lol same here kinda weird huh :)
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Quoting pottery:

WHOA!!
That extrap 'model' is taking the invest straight to norther Florida.
I would check the condition of my shower curtain, if I lived there...


XTRAP heard AquaK9 bad mouthing AL91 so, straight in her direction.
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If the two highs bridge together, Florida is in the bullseye, cant believe I'm saying this in April


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Quoting PolishHurrMaster:
Now I know!This system(now 91L) is over 25-26C SSTs.But I ask once again-what is the MJO in this area(you can check on Levi's blog)?!I can't check this on mobile phone...


From the Global Tropical Hazards Assessment Discussion

Excerpt:

Currently the MJO signal is incoherent and forecast to remain that way during the upcoming 2 week period.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
I wonder now if local media outlets will hype about this on the weather forecasts? you know how they are, "Could this be a sign? folks, this is scary!, folks this is a bad sign I'm afraid"
You got that right, especially if you watch the super Hyper weather reports on the Fox channel.:)
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20/1745 UTC 23.0N 60.8W ST1.5 91L -- Atlantic
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Quoting RitaEvac:
I wonder now if local media outlets will hype about this on the weather forecasts? you know how they are, "Could this be a sign? folks, this is scary!, folks this is a bad sign I'm afraid"


Lol. Our locals are the opposite. I'd really have to wonder if they got excited about this.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 682
Quoting 7544:
fuuny tho now it gets the invest tag and the cmc drops it go figure guess well wait for the next run
The 12z CMC didn't drop it, it's just being more realistic. 12z CMC in 42 hours:

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I wish I could spin up a fat weak tropical storm for Texas.Sorry guys.I don't have my magical wond to spread my fairy dust over you guys.Anyway I'm not so sure that feature in the Atlantic will develope.It's far fetched IMO.I just don't see it happening.But this is good eye candy foe tropical weather fans.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:

WHOA!!
That extrap 'model' is taking the invest straight to norther Florida.
I would check the condition of my shower curtain, if I lived there...
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24141
I wonder now if local media outlets will hype about this on the weather forecasts? you know how they are, "Could this be a sign? folks, this is scary!, folks this is a bad sign I'm afraid"
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298. 7544
fuuny tho now it gets the invest tag and the cmc drops it go figure guess well wait for the next run
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Not bad...

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Quoting Neapolitan:

No. Like I said, there's too much real science out there to bother with twice-warmed, un-scientific nonsense like that.
Your psychic powers are allowing you to pass judgment upon unread material.
I guess I'm starting to see why you are such a respectable blogger.

Rapid Sarcasm Flag: ON
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91L and one month today it will be May 20th and still not the damn hurricane season
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288.year 2011:)
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Quoting RitaEvac:
2nd invest of the....er um...it's not even the season yet.
Well, if it develops into something, who is going to tell 91L that the invite said June 1, instead of April 20 something?
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buckle up folks, it's gonna be a bumpy ride coming down the road
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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.