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 RastaSteve:


I like the aggressiveness!
Well, im just playing my cards as they work out, if it becomes disorganized again, im more than welcome to lower it again.
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Latest sat loops show that Circulation pulling moisture, and trying to start get banding going on the south side, still too dry for it to get all the dry air out of the core.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
IMO, 91L looks better than some classified systems we had in previous years!


It looks well organised, but it's still cold cored.
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The LLC is getting wrapped, be interesting to see if it can stay that way, and finally fully wrap around. Upping my % today from 35% to 45%, Tomorrow %: 70%
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783. MahFL
The yellow circle of doom !.....lol.
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IMO, 91L looks better than some classified systems we had in previous years!
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780. IKE
Memo to NHC: Please move floater on 91L west and north slightly.

Thanks.

$$
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
How could it pose a problem even if it were to come right on top of us since we so desperately need rain ? Yes Kori, we are in the very NW corner of the Caribbean and I really doubt it would make it here.


Morning stormwatcher & everyone else, we sure need rain here, so dry, also notice how low the tide is here.
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778. IKE

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Miami NWS Discussion

CHANCES FOR SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ENTER THE PICTURE NEXT WEEK.
LOW PRESSURE (BEING MONITORED BY NHC FOR POSSIBLE TROPICAL
DEVELOPMENT/20 PERCENT CHANCE) SOME 400 MI NE OF PUERTO RICO IS
SHOWN BY THE GFS/ECMWF TO EVENTUALLY MOVE S-SW WHILE OPENING UP
INTO AN INVERTED TROUGH. GFS SHIFTED FURTHER SOUTH AND SLOWER AND
DELAYS THE BETTER MOISTURE UNTIL WED. HOWEVER...THE LATEST ECMWF
CONTINUES TO SHOW THE TROUGH MOVING ACROSS THE LOCAL AREA ON
TUESDAY. SO KEPT THE FORECAST AS IS...REFLECTING THE ECMWF
SCENARIO WITH AN INCREASING CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND TSTORMS BY TUE
AND CONTINUING WED...BUT KEPT POPS ONLY IN THE CHANCE CATEGORY AS
THIS IS FAR OUT IN TIME. HOWEVER...POPS MAY NEED TO BE INCREASED
SUBSTANTIALLY IN LATER FORECASTS AS THE CURRENT ECMWF DEPICTS A
WET DAY ESPECIALLY ATLANTIC COAST NEXT TUESDAY...IMMEDIATELY
BEHIND THE INVERTED TROUGH.
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Quoting WxLogic:
Good Morning...



Should be interesting to say the least.

good morning
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Good Morning...



Should be interesting to say the least.
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Are there any models runs for invest 91L? What is the projected timeframe for bringing rain the the SE CONUS?
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Now 91L is heading due west to warmer waters,is also closer to upper low.I'm increasing the chances for it to 35%
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Now 91L is heading due west to warmer waters,is also closer to upper low.I'm increasing the chances for it to 35%
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Quoting DestinJeff:


sorry to ask, but is that 1010 a weakening or stregthening from last update?


Constant, here is all data to date:

AL 91 2011041918 BEST 0 214N 576W 25 1012
AL 91 2011042000 BEST 0 221N 581W 30 1011
AL 91 2011042006 BEST 0 226N 589W 30 1011
AL 91 2011042012 BEST 0 228N 598W 35 1011
AL 91 2011042018 BEST 0 232N 608W 35 1010
AL 91 2011042100 BEST 0 233N 616W 35 1010
AL 91 2011042106 BEST 0 233N 625W 35 1010
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ATCF update:

AL 91 2011042106 BEST 0 233N 625W 35 1010 LO
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
91L may pose a problem for us here in the northern Caribbean
How could it pose a problem even if it were to come right on top of us since we so desperately need rain ? Yes Kori, we are in the very NW corner of the Caribbean and I really doubt it would make it here.
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Quoting islander101010:
united nations is trying to raise millions to buy japan a dome to put over the fuji. mess. bloomberg says it should last 100 yrs. lesson learned. in time of tragedy only trust yourself.


They should check EBay first. Amazing what they sell on that site.
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united nations is trying to raise millions to buy japan a dome to put over the fuji. mess. bloomberg says it should last 100 yrs. lesson learned. as for the sheer maps they might not be updated as much in the past. govt is bankrupt
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
. Is it heading w or wnw?


NNWNS, but I saw a jog to the east, halfway thru frame three.

(j/k)

hi sammy- good to see ya. welcome back. :)
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Quoting hcubed:


Well, here's some more material he won't want to read, either:

U.S. CO2 levels saw large decline in 2009

"...Total U.S. anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 were 5.8 percent below the 2008 total...

...The decline in total emissions - from 6,983 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2008 to 6,576 MMTCO2e in 2009 - was the largest since emissions have been tracked over the 1990-2009 time frame..."

Their data shows that:

1. U.S. CO2 emissions in 2009 were the lowest since 1995.

2. The trend in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions has been downward since 1999.

Yet the global temperatures are increasing rapidly.

Here's the report from the EIA (Energy Information Administration):

Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2009

Oh, I'll read almost anything--so long as it's based on scientific facts and logic, and not, say, desperate denialistic dreams of some fantasy fossil fuel future. ;-)

Let's assume the EIA CO2 numbers are correct (though the EIA's mission is to promote increases in domestic energy production--mainly via coal--so the results should be questioned, as always):

--That would be good news; every single ton of CO2 kept out of the environment delays any "tipping point", so that would be welcome;

--It would show that knowledge and regulation, along with a raise in gasoline prices and a slump in the national economy, is helping limit CO2 a bit;

--The United States is no longer the leader in overall CO2 production; that goes to China. However, on a per capita basis, the U.S. is still the Big Hog; we emit a little over 19 tons each per year, while the Chinese emit under five tons per year. (And by comparison, India's per capita CO2 tonnage is 1.31.)

--Overall, global CO2 is still rising, and even were our 5.6% national drop to spread to every country, that's nowhere nearly enough.

--As Toma Taylor noted, it's global warming; we're all in this together.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13275
"yes Virginia, there IS a 91L"

please oh please oh PLEASE let it bring us some rain in North Florida.

Arlene is a nice southern name. Kinda like a real sweet hairdresser, with long fingernails, chewing gum.


G'morning dayshift- loving the new paint-by-number graphics on SPC. Real good for us older folks that can't see lines any more. We got pretty pastels of green and yellow; what other colors will they use? Pink? Lavender? Chartruse? Robin's-egg blue?
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91L is organizing, albeit slowly:



Convection is beginning to wrap closer to the center (though there's still work to be done). Additionally, animation of shortwave infrared imagery shows that the western flank of the circulation, which, as Levi pointed out hours ago, was displaying a sharp and overt easterly surface wind regime. This is no longer the case, as northerly winds are beginning to take over.

Lastly, water vapor animations show that the upper low's influence is considerably lessening as it seems to be in closer proximity to 91L now.

It has a better shot at genesis today.
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I'm not buying the shear maps saying that there's 60-70 knots of shear over the center of 91L. It certainly doesn't look like it when you stare at the convective pattern which is now reorganizing, and satellite-estimated winds between 300mb and 100mb are only 20-30 knots, with the surface system moving northwest at 10 knots. That's only 25-40 knots of vertical shear between those two layers. This makes much more sense based on how the system looks on satellite loops right now.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
Quoting KoritheMan:

Uh... I thought you were in the western Caribbean?

yes but it is also the most northerly part of the caribbean
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
91L may pose a problem for us here in the northern Caribbean
Uh... I thought you were in the western Caribbean?
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91L may pose a problem for us here in the northern Caribbean
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751. xcool
;)))
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The Foreca's mobile products are showing the strongest 91L's winds are near 27N60W,and are in 35-40 mph range.What are you thinking about it?
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91 Invest!!!
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The Foreca's mobile products are showing the strongest 91L's winds are near 27N60W,and are in 35-40 mph range.What are you thinking about it?
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Interesting. The 0z CMC is much less aggressive, and actually on the weaker side of the model spread now.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 628 Comments: 26455
745. JRRP
convection is increasing near the east side
Link

have a nice day
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Quoting sunlinepr:


Now for some days down:

NRL Monterey web pages and data are currently inaccessible due to a technical outage. This home page will be update as information becomes available.

Yea these last few days have kinda pissed me off because there have been some extraordinary thunderstorms coming off Africa and I usually track thunderstorms coming off Africa from the NEXSAT part of the website dice they offer hourly imagery.

Quoting Levi32:


Ya it does, but given the time of year, how much development will be enough to get the NHC to name it is anybody's guess, so we'll see.
Yea I hear ya. I think the NHC will be rather hesitant in naming this invest since its not threatening anything significant and doesn't look too organized convectively.
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THE 2011 LIST OF ATLANTIC STORM NAMES (

Arlene
Bret
Cindy
Don (replaces Dennis)
Emily
Franklin
Gert
Harvey
Irene
Jose
Katia (replaces Katrina)
Lee
Maria
Nate
Ophelia
Philippe
Rina (replaces Rita)
Sean (replaces Stan)
Tammy
Vince
Whitney (replaces Wilma)
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About JeffMasters

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