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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AMSU pass:


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Quoting Drakoen:
91L does not deserve to be classified as a subtropical cyclone at the moment. It is lacking in convective organization. Simply because it has a closed surface circulation with convection around its vicinity does not mean it should be classified. I'm sure the NHC is waiting for more convective organization before they think about classifying it.


I thin that is very true. I just noticed the CIMSS just dropped it as an invest. It could be temporary while they are updating. Just thought it was funny that they had it up and now it is gone.






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Quoting hydrus:
When I get down there, I am going to visit all those cool asteroid and meteor craters you have..They are is excellent condition. Goss Bluff, wolf Creek and a bunch of others. There is one they say is a billion years old and a mile wide that can still be discerned very easily.

you mean this one?




Crater map
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Interesting, It would make sense to, but they have been very picky about what and what not they name, but if it sustains and remains stable with all the reguirements. But because of it being April, and no threat to land, they wont name it unless its necessary.
Sorry, REQUIREMENTS misspelled it, tired. Nite All...
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Quoting Grothar:


I know you did, and I enjoyed reading it.
You are the only man infinity actually fears....he he
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20526
Quoting AussieStorm:

I'll find a famous Australian poem. It tells of life and weather of Australia.
I dig the poem...Thank you for posting it.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20526
Quoting hydrus:
I enjoyed posting your pre Big Bang place of residence...:)


I know you did, and I enjoyed reading it.
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Quoting Levi32:


Earlier today with that ASCAT pass it passed every requirement for an upgrade with that circulation center.
Interesting, It would make sense to, but they have been very picky about what and what not they name, but if it sustains and remains stable with all the reguirements. But because of it being April, and no threat to land, they wont name it unless its necessary.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
91L does not deserve to be classified as a subtropical cyclone at the moment. It is lacking in convective organization. Simply because it has a closed surface circulation with convection around its vicinity does not mean it should be classified. I'm sure the NHC is waiting for more convective organization before they think about classifying it.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Where are you at now. lol, Better yet, I'll make a blog entry and Everyone can just write there WU screen name and location.


Ft. Lauderdale. (details to follow)
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Quoting AussieStorm:

I'll find a famous Australian poem. It tells of life and weather of Australia.
When I get down there, I am going to visit all those cool asteroid and meteor craters you have..They are is excellent condition. Goss Bluff, wolf Creek and a bunch of others. There is one they say is a billion years old and a mile wide that can still be discerned very easily.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20526
If you live in Birmingham, prepare to get you butt kicked by a nasty squall line...
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Actually for a more define looks, yes, you would have to wait, but the circulation shows up on RGB satellite, on the noaa site.


Earlier today with that ASCAT pass it passed every requirement for an upgrade with that circulation center. The only debatable requirement is the shallow warm-core structure, which every model says it currently has, but one cannot prove that.
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Knowing the NHC, they would probably wait until 91L is at least in their 30% criteria to even think about classifying it.

Not so sure that will happen...

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Quoting Levi32:
The surface winds west of the LLC are really racing off to the west, which is not a great environment for maintaining a tight circulation, but at the same time, it is moving west towards the divergence side of the upper low, evidenced by convection going off in its path. Thus, I wouldn't expect it to dissipate, but as happens with many of this type of subtropical cyclone, it may swap main centers a couple of times, forming or regenerating new ones.

While it would be best to wait until the visible imagery tomorrow morning at this point, 91L meets the NHC's criteria for naming, and has model support for further organization, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some kind of a statement sometime tomorrow about upgrading it, assuming it continues to deepen.
Actually for a more define looks, yes, you would have to wait, but the circulation shows up on RGB satellite, on the noaa site.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

I'll find a famous Australian poem. It tells of life and weather of Australia.

My Country
by Dorothea McKellar
(1885-1968)

an iconic poem about Australia


The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies -
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.
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This situation is getting progressively worse for quite a few people...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20526
672. xcool
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Finally got a better view of the lastest image of the LLC in 91L, Looks to be more potent, but can't quite tell if its getting a bit elongated. Have to wait and see the next good image of it later. Still really nicely built storm for April.
My Forecast:
91L TC Formation %:
Tonight~ Less than 10%
Tomorrow~ 25%
Tomorrow Night~ 45%
Friday~ 65%
Friday Night~ 55%
Weekend~ Less than 10%

Strength:
Subtropical to Tropical Storm.
Duration of Status: 3/4 of a Day to A day and a half.

Alright, Night all. And good luck to you 91L, to survive the diurnal Minimum, and 50+ knots of wind shear. See you in the morning(Maybe).

But seriously ill be back in the morning, nite everyone.


Night Dean.
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Quoting hydrus:
You all down under get your share of rough weather. They also showed footage of the massive firestorm down there...What a terrible and deadly disaster that was.

I'll find a famous Australian poem. It tells of life and weather of Australia.
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Coordinates of 91L:
23N, 62.4W
From Satellite Image...
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Complete Update





Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting AussieStorm:
Winter is not that far away for me, How do I know without looking at a calender?
Wind shear maps. 80Kts both east and west of Australian. During the middle of winter, I wouldn't be surprised to see 120kts.



You all down under get your share of rough weather. They also showed footage of the massive firestorm down there...What a terrible and deadly disaster that was.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20526
The surface winds west of the LLC are really racing off to the west, which is not a great environment for maintaining a tight circulation, but at the same time, it is moving west towards the divergence side of the upper low, evidenced by convection going off in its path. Thus, I wouldn't expect it to dissipate, but as happens with many of this type of subtropical cyclone, it may swap main centers a couple of times, forming or regenerating new ones.

While it would be best to wait until the visible imagery tomorrow morning at this point, 91L meets the NHC's criteria for naming, and has model support for further organization, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some kind of a statement sometime tomorrow about upgrading it, assuming it continues to deepen.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Where are you at now. lol, Better yet, I'll make a blog entry and Everyone can just write there WU screen name and location.

Ok, my new blog is up.
Just go here
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Finally got a better view of the lastest image of the LLC in 91L, Looks to be more potent, but can't quite tell if its getting a bit elongated. Have to wait and see the next good image of it later. Still really nicely built storm for April.
My Forecast:
91L TC Formation %:
Tonight~ Less than 10%
Tomorrow~ 25%
Tomorrow Night~ 45%
Friday~ 65%
Friday Night~ 55%
Weekend~ Less than 10%

Strength:
Subtropical to Tropical Storm.
Duration of Status: 3/4 of a Day to A day and a half.

Alright, Night all. And good luck to you 91L, to survive the diurnal Minimum, and 50+ knots of wind shear. See you in the morning(Maybe).

But seriously ill be back in the morning, nite everyone.
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Quoting Grothar:


Aussie better not ask me where I am from. We could be here all night. LOL
I enjoyed posting your pre Big Bang place of residence...:)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20526
Quoting Grothar:


Aussie better not ask me where I am from. We could be here all night. LOL

Where are you at now. lol, Better yet, I'll make a blog entry and Everyone can just write there WU screen name and location.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Winter is not that far away for me, How do I know without looking at a calender?
Wind shear maps. 80Kts both east and west of Australian. During the middle of winter, I wouldn't be surprised to see 120kts.



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Quoting hydrus:
Middle Tennessee on the Cumberland Plateau. I have been here since 2007..I was born and raised in South Florida.


Aussie better not ask me where I am from. We could be here all night. LOL
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Quoting Grothar:


Never ends for it, does it? We've been having great weather. No rain though.
.I truly am ready for a shift in the pattern..We have had a lot of damage around here., and it has been happening here consistently for 3 years. Tennessee was ranked number one for tornado fatalities for ten years straight...I am not sure how the numbers will be now with all recent storms.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20526
Invest? That's actually pretty cool. Much cooler than the twelve 8th graders who showed up "under in influence" at 7:25 this morning in celebration of 4/20!
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Quoting hydrus:
It is pouring now with rumbles of thunder. Have had a lot of rain with the past two storms, but no wind damage. The mets say there is the potential for more serious weather events. The models seem to verify this prediction.


Never ends for it, does it? We've been having great weather. No rain though.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Hey Hydrus. Where are you from?
Middle Tennessee on the Cumberland Plateau. I have been here since 2007..I was born and raised in South Florida.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20526
Quoting Grothar:


No mucho. Just practicing my vocabulary for the season. How you doing with the storms your way?

Diurnal max-min
Multiple vortices
AOI
Hunker down
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
It is pouring now with rumbles of thunder. Have had a lot of rain with the past two storms, but no wind damage. The mets say there is the potential for more serious weather events. The models seem to verify this prediction.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20526
Quoting hydrus:
There is a severe thunder warning there at this time along with a couple other cells, but that will not do much for the ongoing drought..Every little bit helps I suppose..Hello Aussie..

Hey Hydrus. Where are you from?
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Quoting leofarnsworth:
Hi all,

I just tried to view a wind shear map I always look at from the University of Wisconsin. They have changed the URL and I cannot find it. Anyone know the new URL?


If Heaven can wait, so can you LOL I will have it for you in a moment. It is now part of CMSSIS.

Here it is.

Link
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..anytime
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127631
Quoting Xandra:

Why should he?

Ferguson and the site SPPI is well known for sherry picking and false data. Here you have some information about the non science nonsense site SPPI and Ferguson Link Link


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
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Quoting Patrap:
cimss vorticity/shear,etc maps

thanks
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tropic.ssec.wisc.edu

Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies
Space Science and Engineering Center / University of Wisconsin-Madison
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127631
648. beell
From the "for what it's worth" department:

This is a quick and dirty tornado count based on web-published field work conducted by NWS Personnel for the April 16th Tornado Outbreak. These numbers will certainly change by the time all field surveys are completed. If there is no published report from an NWS Office, it is assumed that there were no tornados to report. I am sure there are a few tornadoes in very rural areas that may never be included in this count.

A look at the minor impacts caused by a change in NWS policy to cease attempts at filtering duplicate Local Storm Reports (LSR's) effective March 8th, 2011. Using total LSR's as a means to label storm events as "record breaking" may need a little tweaking.

Final storm reports will continue to carry the burden of proof for historical severe weather climatology. (I hope).

Rule-of-thumb prior to this change was to reduce the number of tornado LSR's by 10-15% to arrive at an approximate number of tornadoes.

To-date count stands at 61 confirmed tornadoes as linked below.
Current LSR's for tornadoes for this one day event total 137.

A reduction factor of approx. 45%. Quite a jump from 10-15% for this outbreak. A similar overcount error would probably apply to hail and wind LSR's also.

North Carolina
Newport-Moorehead City, NC NWS
9
Raleigh, NC NWS
26
Wilmington, NC NWS
11

Pennsylvania
State College, PA NWS
1

South Carolina
Charleston, SC NWS
1

Greenville-Spartanburg, SC NWS 1
Greenville-Spartanburg, SC NWS 2
3

Virginia
Blacksburg, VA NWS
3
Wakefield, VA NWS
8

Total: 61
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Quoting hydrus:
Wuzup Gro...


No mucho. Just practicing my vocabulary for the season. How you doing with the storms your way?

Diurnal max-min
Multiple vortices
AOI
Hunker down
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
cimss vorticity/shear,etc maps
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127631
Quoting Grothar:
Wuzup Gro...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20526
Hi all,

I just tried to view a wind shear map I always look at from the University of Wisconsin. They have changed the URL and I cannot find it. Anyone know the new URL?
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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.