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 MiamiHurricanes09:
Interesting...not buying it though.


Actually, I think that's defiantly a possibility if all the conditions work right.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24457
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Interesting...not buying it though.


Whats your Opinon?

Ive already stated mine:

91L becomes a Sub tropical depression then gets ripped apart with Shear bringing showers to S. and C. Florida for a Day or two.
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Quoting Levi32:
18z HWRF
Interesting...not buying it though.
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New Models for 91L will be out in the next 2 Hours.

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18z HWRF
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Quoting sammywammybamy:

ZzZz...zZz...Zz...z


Oh yee of little 'Faith,'

Its going to be a very interesting 'year,' or 2.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
time to go ... the pace of the blog is making me winded.

ZzZz...zZz...Zz...z
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Complete Update

Finally :)






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Ok. ..someone jump on this question, now is a good time for me to learn....As I stare at the visuals of this 91L.....what is it I'm looking for to make it so? Know a little about earthquakes, more about tornadoes......but AOI's, invests, not so much....
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
as the sun sets in the sky
Look at the flow from the cost! SO COOL:D
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
What is left of 91L after 60+ knts of shear Will eventually make its way into Florida and then into the Gulf..



We kneed, these little 'aperitifs,' in order not to choke on the extravaganza of the main course?

Then again, with a SST in Excess of 80/F who No's what will come to transpire? We already had a bit of the ''Reincarnation,'' stuff in Australia, earlier this year as Aussie will testify when what had been, recycled itself! back into a big 'hullie,'
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531. flsky
Not entirely.... haha

Quoting DestinJeff:


it's not the size of the chart that matters. either way, it's a motion in the ocean.
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as the sun sets in the sky
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
529. flsky
You need to be very careful what you post here. Otherwise, you'll never hear the end of it!

Quoting DestinJeff:


haha... I forgot about the DOOMCON levels.

The Chart has made an appearance or two already, although I intend to let that live on in the annals of blog-history. I intend to do that.

Surely another horse will die, and I will subsequently beat it all season long. Stay tuned.
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528. JRRP
Quoting xcool:
JRRP nooway!!!

jejejje
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526. flsky
You are correct w/Lincoln, and quite poetic otherwise!

Quoting PlazaRed:
One of your President 'Chappies,' said,

you can fool all of the people, some of the time and you can fool some of the people all of the time but you cant fool 'all' of the people 'all' of the time.

I think he was called Lincoln?

In my pointless opinion the crux of the climatic absorbency has been passed and from the center outwards the change will become apparent.

Clingers will cling?
Dreamers will dream?
Doubters will doubt?
Casters will Cast,
Those who have to live through it will stand aghast!
Tomorrow is just a memory from today, when it Dawns.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What is left of 91L after 60+ knts of shear Will eventually make its way into Florida and then into the Gulf..

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
One of your President 'Chappies,' said,

you can fool all of the people, some of the time and you can fool some of the people all of the time but you cant fool 'all' of the people 'all' of the time.

I think he was called Lincoln?

In my pointless opinion the crux of the climatic absorbency has been passed and from the center outwards the change will become apparent.

Clingers will cling?
Dreamers will dream?
Doubters will doubt?
Casters will Cast,
Those who have to live through it will stand aghast!
Tomorrow is just a memory from today, when it Dawns.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
oooo- a much thicker, more potent chart
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 26252
Quoting DestinJeff:


haha... I forgot about the DOOMCON levels.

The Chart has made an appearance or two already, although I intend to let that live on in the annals of blog-history. I intend to do that.

Surely another horse will die, and I will subsequently beat it all season long.
Stay tuned.




Season Chart in HD
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515. xcool
bye all going to class
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Oh how I have missed satellite shots of Africa. They are helpful in planning activities for 4-6 weeks from now.


:) Hey....

What Happen to the "Season Chart" and the Defcon Levels?
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512. xcool
It's about to getting busy out there in the Tropical ;) Jmoooo
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


No one is on the Blog..

The Blog is very slow...


High!

So as not to ruin a quiet night be 4 the storms lets look into the 'armpit of Africa!' as Skye called it a few months ago and although it has produced some very significant drops of moisture in the past, this year I do tend to think that the prawn has been turned into a Queen and the lesser islands to the north of the 'shoulder,' might have to take a background seat as the big 'nasties,' will start to flow early and no doubt several Fore-Casters, will run screaming to their close down buttons stating and '[quoteing'} the echo's of,''Thou shalt not be Amazed!
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plaza- I think we are all equal, no matter where we live.

that's sweet of you to say, though.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 26252
Quoting aquak9:
AAUURRGGHH!!! monster CV rolling offa Africa!!!


Lol.
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Quoting PlazaRed:


Intriguing!!

Reminds me of the Manhattan Project?

Very quiet on here, Everybody must be comparing Invest statistics!!


No one is on the Blog..

The Blog is very slow...
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505. xcool
JRRP nooway!!!
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AAUURRGGHH!!! monster CV rolling offa Africa!!!
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 26252
Quoting aquak9:
plaza- see post 494.

nuthin nuclear, just some strong storms.


Thanks for that! I was just thinking back a long time.

With something like this going to happen everything is going to be vulnerable, lets hope they got the warnings out.

Sometimes I feel like a fool for not understanding what you experience in the US, in more detail. People would die of shock, here, if they had a dose of what you have over there.
We are only dust in the wind compared to the people who are going through this as 'salt of the earth.'

Its going to be an interesting Year, aquak9.
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502. JRRP
lol
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Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1950
plaza- see post 494.

nuthin nuclear, just some strong storms.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 26252
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Intriguing!!

Reminds me of the Manhattan Project?

Very quiet on here, Everybody must be comparing Invest statistics!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54827
The researchers scoured data from passive microwave satellites from 1987 to 2008 to see how hurricanes behaved in the 24 hours before a storm underwent rapid intensification. Such a big-picture approach, in contrast to the case studies atmospheric scientists often perform, revealed clear patterns in storm dynamics. They found that, consistently, low-shear storm systems formed a symmetrical ring of thunderstorms around the center of the system about six hours before intensification began. As the system strengthened into a hurricane, the thunderstorms deepened and the ring became even more well-defined.

Link
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Scrolled through and didn't see it posted:


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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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Cant wait for the Computer models to come out.
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Dang...



MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0495
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0547 PM CDT WED APR 20 2011

AREAS AFFECTED...CNTRL TX

CONCERNING...SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 171...

VALID 202247Z - 202345Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 171
CONTINUES.

ONGOING CLUSTER OF THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS CNTRL TX CONTINUES TO
DISPLAY THE POTENTIAL FOR PRODUCING LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WIND
GUSTS...AND PERHAPS AN ISOLATED TORNADO. MIDLEVEL ROTATION HAS BEEN
OBSERVED IN MANY OF THESE STORMS...WITH SEVERAL LEFT SPLITTING
STORMS PROGRESSING NWD INTO A MORE STABLE ENVIRONMENT...EVIDENT IN
WEAKENING RADAR REFLECTIVITY TRENDS WITH STORMS OVER COLEMAN/TOM
GREEN COUNTIES OVER THE PAST 1-2 HRS. LATEST SFC SUBJECTIVE ANALYSIS
PLACES A WEAK SFC LOW JUST W OF JCT...WITH EFFECTIVE FRONT SLOWLY
SHIFTING SWD...REINFORCED BY THUNDERSTORM OUTFLOW. LOW-LEVEL
CONVERGENCE WILL CONTINUE TO BE MAXIMIZED IN THE VICINITY OF THE SFC
LOW AND ALONG THE COLD FRONT...WHICH SHOULD FOCUS ADDITIONAL
THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT...WHILE THUNDERSTORMS N OF THE FRONT REMAIN
DRIVEN MAINLY BY BOUNDARY INTERACTIONS. THE THREAT FOR LARGE HAIL
AND DAMAGING WINDS WILL LIKELY CONTINUE INTO THIS EVENING...THOUGH
THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY SHOULD DIMINISH WITH TIME WITH THE ONSET OF
DIABATIC COOLING.

FARTHER E...WEAK LOW-LEVEL CONVERGENCE ALONG THE NEARLY STATIONARY
FRONT HAS FAILED TO INITIATE CONVECTION...UNABLE TO OVERCOME WEAK
CINH AS THUNDERSTORM ANVILS HAVE SPREAD OVERHEAD. WITH THE LOSS OF
DIABATIC HEATING...IT APPEARS THAT THE POTENTIAL FOR ANY
THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT WILL REMAIN LOW INTO THE LATE EVENING.


..ROGERS.. 04/20/2011


ATTN...WFO...FWD...EWX...SJT...MAF...

LAT...LON 29400172 31140173 31979805 30259803 29400172
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For you tropical history buffs...Has there even been an Invest in March and April in the same year?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Keeper! what kind of hell is that lightly to unleash on Texas? At post 491?

Or is it just a thermonuclear accident?
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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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