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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Now, they have made it real, AL91

AL 91 2011041918 BEST 0 214N 576W 25 1012 LO
AL 91 2011042000 BEST 0 221N 581W 30 1011 LO
AL 91 2011042006 BEST 0 226N 589W 30 1011 LO
AL 91 2011042012 BEST 0 228N 598W 35 1011 LO
AL 91 2011042018 BEST 0 232N 608W 35 1010 LO
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Quoting emcf30:
Interesting read named Hurricane Treat to Florida, Climate change or Demographics

Link

I know it must be a Freudian slip, but the term should be THREAT not TREAT. LOL, though I think it would be a treat to all on this blog. It was a great article. Spells doom for Florida especially when you factor in the current Govenor and Legislature favoring the insurance industry in Florida and trying to opt out of Citizen's covering anyone on the coast. Maybe they have read this, or made it a part of their "bible".
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238. XLR8
Quoting RitaEvac:
RIP to the 11 oil rig workers who lost their lives 1 year ago today.


Amen to that.
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Quoting RastaSteve:


Never heard of Bold print being bad manners. I ust think it's a way for you to spread negative energy to others. You must have bigger problems than to worry about someone posting a comment in Bold. Come on Man!


Well, now you know. I wouldn't waste a minute of my time on you if I thought you were a troll, but I have seen you post good information here and I'd be happy if you continued to post updates from your neck of the woods. If you save the bold, all caps, and OMGs for posts that are truly urgent I think you'll find that your input here will be genuinely appreciated.
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Looks like NHC is using a "stealth" invest (using a test number).

AL 87 2011042018 01 CARQ -24 227N 552W 30 0 DB
AL 87 2011042018 01 CARQ -18 237N 572W 30 0 DB
AL 87 2011042018 01 CARQ -12 237N 580W 30 0 DB
AL 87 2011042018 01 CARQ -6 240N 590W 30 0 DB
AL 87 2011042018 01 CARQ 0 247N 600W 30 1006 DB
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Quoting MrMixon:


I talked about it a bit in post #164.

Yeah, I saw that. Thanks.
You make some good points there, but the question still remains....

'are fires normal/natural, and can they be of benefit to the overall environment'

I think not. Except in a few specific areas.
But we are in danger of belabouring the point....
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Quoting Neapolitan:

No time for denialist nonsense; there's far too much good, actual science out there.
Didn't bother to actually read the material, did you?
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Quoting jitterboy:
I had a question, how are tornado warnings identified? Is there a human actually looking at radar (mena velocities) to pick out rotation or is it more of a computer program that is doing it? Thanks


Not sure about computer programs....As explained to me during a visit to my local NWS office last year, they are "visually" looking at the radar data and issuing warnings as rotation becomes evident and monitoring their local weather spotter reports at the same time......Hence the variations you hear when a tornado warning is issued which can range from "doppler radar indicates rotation, etc,.......to tornado on the ground).........Great thing about the radar, is that when you are looking at a real strong image on radar of a rotating tornado, the strong image is often an indication of a tornado on the ground and the radar is picking up the relfection from debris field rotating in the circulation.
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232. Jax82
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RIP to the 11 oil rig workers who lost their lives 1 year ago today.
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Quoting emcf30:
Interesting read named Hurricane Treat to Florida, Climate change or Demographics

Link

No time for denialist nonsense; there's far too much good, actual science out there.

Anyway, here's an extended version of The Graph. You know, in case it comes in handy this year:

The Graph
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229. JLPR2
Quoting Jax82:
You can see the spin in the far right edge, but its being sheared, and you can see the high clouds going East, and the low clouds going SW



That's not the main circulation, but nice that you pointed it out, hadn't noticed it.
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Quoting Chicklit:


looks like somewhere between 24-26 degrees celsius

Loop


26°C as of now but it will move to waters at 27° in a day or so.

about shear, i am not sure but middle winds seems margially favorable, upper winds; highly unfavorable.
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I had a question, how are tornado warnings identified? Is there a human actually looking at radar (mena velocities) to pick out rotation or is it more of a computer program that is doing it? Thanks
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226. JLPR2
Not bad at all for April, shear is hurting it, but the circulation is nicely formed.
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Quoting RastaSteve:


Never heard of Bold print being bad manners. I just think it's a way for you to spread negative energy to others. You must have bigger problems than to worry about someone posting a comment in Bold. Come on Man!
Many a forum/message board participant have contacted me about why other users, when posting in a normally-laid-out post, would then increase the font size, make bold, and change the text color from black to red. To the majority, this is perceived as shouting and they respond in kind.

When the poster is replied to based on this perception, he/she more times than not is surprised as that was not their intent. In my view that is simply not fessing up to what you know you did and meant at that time.

So you didn't mean to come off that strongly? Then why did they increase the font size, bold the words and turn them red? Those three formatting actions were specifically taken to increase the emphasis of their words. Of course they were making a strong point by doing so!

It seems a healthy chunk of onliners do not understand the nuances of communicating online (I call them eNuances) and that they could be making a statement, and leaving the level of emphasis to be perceived by the other side based on how they choose to format their email.

My Observation: When Internet communication first began, text modification capability was minimal; about the only major change one could make was text case; that's where the using caps is yelling or shouting came from. Fonts, color and other formatting capability is now commonplace.

The Question: Has the definition of Internet 'shouting'changed and evolved from being solely linked to all caps?

Intent is intent. Caps means yelling and making things bigger, bolder and in red type would indicate a strong comment or trying to make a point. Yes, adding formatting when used selectively can certainly add to the impression one is yelling or upset. If you ask anyone to read out loud and e-mail with such formatting, they will almost always raise their voice when reading larger, bolder, red text.

To make type larger, bolder and in red to stand out from the rest of a post is making a point. Otherwise, what was the point, just because? Why make your font bigger, bolder and in red for aesthetics?

Learning how to communicate without formatting is a true skill and one few make much effort to hone. To be able to communicate with clarity simply by the words you choose and how you choose to use them without relying on bolding, font size, caps or colors is the true sign of a skilled communicator.

Words have meaning and how you type them will relay intent; that will never change.

netmanners.com
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#218

Good insight and wise words
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127533
Quoting Chicklit:


looks like somewhere between 24-26 degrees celsius

Loop

Theoretically,it's enough.And what's the MJO(you can check this on Levi's blog)?
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2010
No hurricanes made landfall along the Florida peninsula and East Coast. This marks the fifth year in a row with no hurricane landfalls along this portion of the U.S. coastline. This is the first time since reliable U.S. records began in 1878 that no hurricanes have made landfall along the Florida peninsula and East Coast in a five-year period.

This is the first time in recorded history that as many as 12 hurricanes have occurred in the Atlantic basin without a U.S. landfall. Prior to that record, at least two hurricanes made landfall in the United States when a minimum of 10 hurricanes occurred in the Atlantic basin.

No major hurricanes made U.S. landfall this year. Following seven major hurricane landfalls in 2004-2005, the nation has not witnessed a major hurricane landfall in the past five seasons. The five consecutive years between 1901-1905 and 1910-1914 have been the only other consecutive five-year periods with no major U.S. hurricane landfalls.

Only one tropical storm made U.S. landfall this year (Bonnie). We have not had a hurricane landfall since Hurricane Ike in 2008. The last time that the United States went two years in a row with no hurricane landfalls was 2000-2001.

Only three tropical storms have made landfall over the past two years. The last time that three or fewer tropical cyclones made landfall in any consecutive two-year period was 1990-1991.

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Quoting Chicklit:


looks like somewhere between 24-26 degrees celsius

Loop

Theoretically,it's enough.And what's the MJO(you can check this on Levi's blog)?
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220. Jax82


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Quoting SeALWx:
This blog's comment section has to be one of the smartest, yet dumbest, little corners of the internet universe.

I'm not going to get into who fits on which list!

You win at the internets. +1 to you!
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Quoting fmbill:
Link

Thanks Bill.
That link is is a good one, which covers the benefits of Prescribed Burns, in Florida.
Most prescribed burns would be justified for the same reasons as the one you posted.
Namely, and FIRSTLY, the " reduction of HAZARDOUS FUEL BUILDUPS...providing increased protection for people their homes and the forest".
''Other uses include disease control in pines etc etc..."

I dont want to get into a long debate about whether Butterflies or Homes are the more vital for the overall Biology of the place, but my point was that fires are not generally "natural", and because we set them to protect our properties, it generally is not good for the burned land or anything else.

(yes, I am aware that some systems benefit from occasional fire. But this is the anomaly not the rule)
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Quoting PolishHurrMaster:
This s-trop system is under strong shear,i'll wait some hours to give it any chance for development.
PS.How warm are SSTs underneath this system?I can't check this from my mobile phone...


looks like somewhere between 24-26 degrees celsius

Loop
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Complete Update

I'm tired of tracking snow :(
We need a real honest to god "Blob".. and soon





Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting MrMixon:


In type-written communication, people use ALL CAPS, bolded words, exclamation points (!!), or, regrettably, A COMBINATION OF ALL THREE!!! to indicate that a phrase or sentence is to be interpreted as emphatic (i.e. - expressing something forcibly).

It's generally considered bad internet manners to type in all caps, all bold, or to overuse exclamation points unless what you're saying is really and truly urgent.
OMG!!!! YOU MEAN LIKE THIS?!?! AM I TALKING IN INTERNET BAD MANNERS NOW?!?! SHAME ON ME!!!!!

(now that is an example of what *not* to do)
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Quoting DestinJeff:


thanks. that is what i thought, but wanted to make sure. since you also posted The Chart, I will trust you as a peer-reviewed scholarly source.

So zero h-canes in 5 seasons.

What is the previous such time that FL has gone without a strike from a hurricane (landfall)? Or is 5 seasons a record?
Other than Floyd in 1987 ( which was not only anemic, but scraped the state as opposed to plowing into the mainland like so many others )I dont remember any hurricanes in Florida after David in 1979 up to Andrew in 1992...P.S... My bad . I forgot Kate in 85.. I should have waited before posting on this..I am slammed..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20487
This s-trop system is under strong shear,i'll wait some hours to give it any chance for development.
PS.How warm are SSTs underneath this system?I can't check this from my mobile phone...
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Quoting RastaSteve:


That annoys you! Wow! Man I feel bad for you. How is Bold yelling by the way?


In type-written communication, people use ALL CAPS, bolded words, exclamation points (!!), or, regrettably, A COMBINATION OF ALL THREE!!! to indicate that a phrase or sentence is to be interpreted as emphatic (i.e. - expressing something forcibly).

It's generally considered bad internet manners to type in all caps, all bold, or to overuse exclamation points unless what you're saying is really and truly urgent.
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The 5 TS to hit Fla since 2006

1. Alberto 06 - Nearly A Hurricane

2. Ernesto 06 - LOL TS, really? Anemic

3. Barry 07 - Anemic

4. Fay 08 - Nasty little bugger

5. Bonnie 10 - Anemic
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Already smoke/haze into the NW Gulf but much more diluted
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Interesting read named Hurricane Treat to Florida, Climate change or Demographics

Link
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Priming for crop season down there
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Lot of smoke coming from Northern Honduras, going over the Southern Yucatan into the BOC and moving northward on visible
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Quoting MrMixon:
There's no need to yell...
Agreed. The self-important bolding of ENTIRE comments is quite annoying.
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Quoting pottery:

Well enlighten me then.
Link
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199. beell
A couple questions for the experts:

In a "classic" sense, would you even consider this a sub-tropical system (assuming it developed).

Was it ever a cold-core/extra-tropical cyclone?

I have not been keeping up with it that close.
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Quoting pottery:

Well enlighten me then.


I talked about it a bit in post #164.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Help me out ... tried the Google and came up empty ... how many HURRICANE strikes has FL gotten after 2005?


Hurricanes = 0

Tropical Storms = 5, most of which were anemic

Depressions = 0
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Quoting hydrus:
Is it a cat-5 already.?....jk...really...jk..:)


It's not a Cat 5 yet but you can say HELLO to Arlene.
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A sure sign,
The chart appears,
season is near.

It's been the warmest and sunniest spring I can recall so far. Again, consistently hitting or being close to 70 every day with yet another cloudless day. Been a few days recently where its warmer here than it is in places like Athens. Even at half 6, it's still around 66. Up to 75 or so by Saturday.

In London even warmer, 26C (79F) forecast when the usual average is 13 to 14C (55-57F).
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Quoting MahFL:


That's about as far from the actual truth as you can get.

Well enlighten me then.
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There's no need to yell...
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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.