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

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Wildcat Fire near San Angelo, Texas. Pictures taken between 3 and 4 pm just to the south and east of Orient, Texas.
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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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Quoting AussieStorm:

Is that TX getting rain?
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..
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639. JLPR2
Something's popping over there


Where's the map that showed the purple circle there?
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Quoting hydrus:
These regions will be under the gun for serious flooding soon...Some areas are flooded now....

Is that TX getting rain?
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These regions will be under the gun for serious flooding soon...Some areas are flooded now....
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SAB:

20/2345 UTC 23.2N 62.0W TOO WEAK 91L

Nothing from TAFB.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
www.goes.noaa.gov/HURRLOOPS/Atlantic Water Vapor Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
Quoting sammywammybamy:
do you guys think that 91L will ever be declared as a subtropical storm depression? In the next 24-48 hrs.


Given that the global models are in pretty much unanimous agreement that initial movement will be slow, the system will have decent time to spend near the subtropical ridge axis. The influx of warm moist air associated with this feature, along with the possibility of a binary interaction between the nearby upper low and the system itself, could allow for a brief window of opportunity for subtropical cyclogenesis.

All in all, I'd give it about a 20% chance, same as the NHC.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
There is certainly model support for 91L, but im not convinced.
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Quoting AussieStorm:


incredible panoramic view of the supercell as it moved near the MSU campus


Yes, Starkville, Ms....no injuries, thankfully from that monster.
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*REPOST*
Here are the names for the upcoming season:

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Latest GFDL



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picture of a tornado that touched down today near Starkville, MS courtesy of Janna Billsby.. Her daughter shot this photo and son lives in Clinton, MS where the April 15 tornado hit. NOT a good week for her as a mother!
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incredible panoramic view of the supercell as it moved near the MSU campus
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
do you guys think that 91L will ever be declared as a subtropical storm depression? In the next 24-48 hrs.
Yeah I think it'll become a subtropical storm (given it already has winds of 40mph according to the NCEP), probably on Friday.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting PlazaRed:


Just finshed my coco.

Its called the 'Scream.'

I think it got stolen for a while!


That is why he was screaming.
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New: View model data products for this storm

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
Time to turn on the Weather Radio again. :(
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XX/INV/91L
MARK
23.89N/60.43W
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
233

WHXX04 KWBC 202345

CHGQLM

ATTENTION...NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER



NCEP COUPLED GFDL HURRICANE MODEL FORECAST MADE FOR



TROPICAL STORM INVEST 91L



INITIAL TIME 18Z APR 20



DISCLAIMER ... THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AS GUIDANCE. IT

REQUIRES INTERPRETATION BY HURRICANE SPECIALISTS AND SHOULD

NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A FINAL PRODUCT. PLEASE SEE THE TPC/NHC

OFFICIAL FORECAST.





FORECAST STORM POSITION



HOUR LATITUDE LONGITUDE HEADING/SPEED(KT)



0 23.0 60.8 305./ 8.9

6 23.2 61.2 305./ 3.9

12 23.4 61.4 300./ 2.6

18 23.8 61.8 321./ 5.5

24 24.9 61.7 6./10.7

30 26.0 61.4 14./10.9

36 26.6 61.5 353./ 6.1

42 27.0 61.4 5./ 4.2

48 26.8 61.5 198./ 2.0

54 26.2 61.4 170./ 5.7

60 25.7 61.5 194./ 5.7

66 25.1 62.0 220./ 7.1

72 24.4 62.8 231./ 9.9

78 23.7 63.7 231./10.9

84 22.9 64.9 235./13.6

90 22.2 65.9 236./11.7

96 21.9 66.9 252./10.1

102 21.6 67.8 252./ 8.5

108 21.3 68.8 256./ 9.2

114 21.3 69.6 265./ 8.3

120 21.5 70.1 298./ 5.0

126 21.7 70.6 297./ 4.6
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Howdy MH09, bout that time again. Nothing like a little non-event to get the brain cranking again.
What's up CycloneVoyage? My thoughts exactly, a small harmless system to keep us entertained during the off-season.

Hope everything's going well with you and yours.

Quoting sammywammybamy:
. It'll problay Re-fire tomorrow.
Yup, the diurnal maximum will help it re-fire convection in the morning, however, should it not organize tomorrow, tomorrow evening's diurnal minimum will do the same thing it's doing tonight.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Howdy MH09, bout that time again. Nothing like a little non-event to get the brain cranking again.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Collapse of convection, yes....
Saw that coming earlier with the lower level outflow boundaries.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Grothar:
Big blob in the South.




2 counties above me...getting kinda...too close! Wish it were in Texas....
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The National Weather Service in Jackson has issued a

* Tornado Warning for... Lowndes County in northeast Mississippi... this includes the city of Columbus...

* until 945 PM CDT

* at 844 PM CDT... National Weather Service meteorologists detected a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado near Columbus moving northeast at 25 mph.

* Other locations in the warning include but are not limited to Steens and Caledonia

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Tornado Warning means that a tornado is occurring or imminent. You should activate your tornado action plan and take protective action now.

In addition to the tornado... this storm is capable of producing Golf Ball size hail and destructive straight line winds.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch remains in effect until 200 am CDT Thursday morning for southeast Arkansas and northeast Louisiana and northern Mississippi.


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Collapse of convection, yes....
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting Grothar:


Hey, that is a very famous painting by one of the most well-known Norwegian artists.


Just finshed my coco.

Its called the 'Scream.'

I think it got stolen for a while!
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


Hey, that is a very famous painting by one of the most well-known Norwegian artists.
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Big blob in the South.


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Quoting pottery:

Sad, that.
Embarrassing as well, I should imagine.


snork-giggle-snork
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26647
Center is still chugging along the 23N line just passing 62W, just as tight and well defined as earlier. Seems to be heading more westish ATM, to early to tell however.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
if ya look ddc in image ya see two eyes and open mouth that looks to be sayin WTF this is april
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
and so shall it be


There ya go....Keeper said so !! I'm just glad this last system was and still is north of me......right now anyway....
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Quoting iflyu2:


Thanks Eyes! From your mouth to God's ears!
and so shall it be
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Quoting Grothar:


If you are a good girl this year, I will show you the trick on how to post the images. It really is a good site. Right now it is not working properly. Seems as if many of the sites are not in good working order.


Sures sounds nice to be called a girl again....:} You're so kind......
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:


Grothar, that IS a good link....have saved..TY :)


If you are a good girl this year, I will show you the trick on how to post the images. It really is a good site. Right now it is not working properly. Seems as if many of the sites are not in good working order.
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Quoting JLPR2:


Haha, yeah, way too early, makes you wonder how the rest of the season is going to be...
But I believe I read somewhere that an active early season doesn't mean its going to be active during the reast of it. I think... XD
very true we could see another invest or two maybe even a named storm then jun 1 will come along and we wont see nothing till august other than a few teasing invests and aoi's
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Quoting Levi32:


It is. It eliminates any toying with other subjective interpretations. If it's non-frontal, over tropically-warm water, has a closed circulation with gales, then it deserves a name based on the accepted criteria.


I believe with the extremely high wind shear, they might be holding off on naming it.
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91L Viz to Night IR on the Floater, animated Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129844
Quoting EYEStoSEA:


That is good to see....here's wishing it will spread over a large area.....maybe it is a sign of more rain to come.....hopefully


Thanks Eyes! From your mouth to God's ears!
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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.

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