March is the 13th warmest on record; major tornado outbreak expected

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:30 PM GMT on April 25, 2011

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March 2011 was the globe's 13th warmest March on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies rated March the 9th warmest on record. March 2011 global ocean temperatures were the 12th warmest on record, and land temperatures were the 12th warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were below average, the 12th or 15th coolest in the 34-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). The global cool-down from November, which was the warmest November on record for the globe, was due in large part to a La Niña episode in the Eastern Pacific. The large amount of cold water that upwells to the surface during a La Niña typically causes a substantial cool-down in global temperatures. The coldest place on the globe in March, relative to average, was Central and Western Canada. The Asian portion of Russia was exceptionally warm, relative to average.

Our weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a nice summary of some of the remarkable weather extremes of March 2011.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for March 2011. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

Congo sets its all-time heat record
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, the world's 12th largest country, set a new all-time extreme heat record on March 8, 2011, when the temperature hit 39.2°C (102.6°F) at M'Pouya. Congo's previous all-time hottest temperature was 39.0°C (102.2°F) at Impfondo on May 14, 2005. Congo is the first nation to set an all-time extreme heat or cold record in 2011. Last year, a record 19 nations, plus the UK's Ascension Island territory, set all-time extreme heat records. I thank weather records researchers Maximiliano Herrera, Christoper C. Burt, and Howard Rainford for their assistance researching these records.

A moderately warm and wet March for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., March temperatures were warmer than average, ranking the 39th warmest in the 117-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Only New Mexico had a top ten warmest March; no states had a top ten coldest March. Precipitation was above average, with the month ranking as the 34th wettest March since 1895. Texas had its driest March on record, and top ten driest Marches were experienced in New Mexico and Oklahoma. Washington, Oregon, California, and Pennsylvania had top ten wettest Marches.

La Niña remains weak
La Niña conditions remain weak over the Eastern Pacific, with sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the equatorial Eastern Pacific about 0.6°C below average. An animation of SSTs since late December shows the weakening La Niña nicely. Springtime is the most common time for a La Niña event to end; since 1950, half of all La Niñas ended in March, April, or May. The weakness displayed by the current La Niña event has prompted NOAA's Climate Prediction Center to predict that La Niña will be gone by June.

Sea ice extent in the Arctic 2nd lowest on record during March
March 2011 Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent was second lowest on record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Satellite records extend back to 1979. This breaks a string of three consecutive months of record low Arctic sea ice cover.

Major tornado outbreak expected today through Wednesday
Another huge tornado outbreak is likely this week over the U.S., as a strong storm system that is developing over the Mississippi Valley today moves slowly eastwards during the week. A 3-day tornado total of over 100 twisters is quite possible today through Wednesday. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has issued its "moderate risk" forecast for severe weather today, centered over Arkansas. This region has a significant risk of tornadoes, some of them strong EF-2 and EF-3 strength. A more serious threat of severe weather exists for Tuesday over Arkansas and surrounding states, with the Storm Prediction Center calling the situation "potentially significant/dangerous." The heightened severe weather risk extends through Wednesday, with a moderate risk of tornadoes and severe weather in Tennessee and surrounding states. Preliminary tornado reports for the year 2011 show that this year is probably already the busiest tornado season on record for this point in the season. This week's action will substantially pad the record.


Figure 2. Severe weather threat for Monday, April 25, 2011.

St. Louis tornado rated an EF-4
A violent EF-4 tornado ripped through St. Louis near 8pm local time Friday night, carving a 22-mile path of destruction up to 0.4 miles wide, and severely damaging Lambert International Airport. The airport, the world's 30th busiest, was closed much of the weekend, but has now re-opened. The tornado, rated an EF-2 when it hit the airport, ripped off the roof from Concourse C, blew out more than half of the windows in the main terminal, and moved an aircraft that was parked at a gate twenty feet. The tornado also passed over a residential area just west of the airport in the community of Bridgton, causing severe EF-4 damage, according to the National Weather Service office in St. Louis. This was the first violent EF-4 tornado of the year.


Figure 3.
Remarkable video from a security camera at the St. Louis airport showing the roof being torn off Concourse C.


Figure 4.Before and after damage photo of Beaverton Drive in Bridgeton, Missouri, after the April 22, 2011 tornado. This damage was rated EF3. Image credit: National Weather Service office in St. Louis and Google.

Jeff Masters

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Well, well, well. What do we have here...
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5132
I think that is the same cell that I am watching from the air. Keeps building back and forming new wall clouds. Have seen a couple of good funnels and then they lift.
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957
welcome, They have latched onto the cell that appears to be ready to explode. I have already seen from their video one small tornado and currently a large vortex forming. And one it seems they are hauling away from..
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189
Large hook echo just north of Plano Texas
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189
Quoting plywoodstatenative:
Gene Yates and Justin.


thanks
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957
Quoting Grothar:


I said it was back, I didn't say it was working. (LOL) Just noticed that myself.

Lol! The site really needs to be fixed. I really like that site.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5132
emcf, the one that is just southwest of where a wall cloud rotation was spotted.
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189
Rita watching the one just north of Hillsboro in TX
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189
emcf, has been off and on with this cell. Tornado was on the ground, now it looks like something is ramping up. no visible but heavy rotation like something is about to drop and then some.
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 47 Comments: 11915
Gene Yates and Justin.
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189
Quoting plywoodstatenative:
Tornado On the ground currently outside of Dallas Texas.
http://chase.tornadovideos.net/pages/full_screen


What team has a tornado on the ground?
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957
Rita, give me locations such as city name or such that you can see off that map. I have a map of chaser up, and I will compare to what I have currently. see if what i am seeing is currently what everyone is talking about.
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189
Quoting plywoodstatenative:
Grothar, go onto www.tornadovideos.net and look for Live videos. There are chasers with video cameras including Reed Timmer chasing presently.


Thanks for the tornado link, plywood!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ameister12:

That's awesome, but the satellite images are from April 16.


I said it was back, I didn't say it was working. (LOL) Just noticed that myself.
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There was just a report of a tornado on the ground about 3 minutes east of us at the Stewart/Montgomery Co. line.
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I'm not sure if anybody noticed, but there is a PDS tornado watch.



URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 205
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
325 PM CDT MON APR 25 2011

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

MUCH OF ARKANSAS
NORTHERN LOUISIANA
SOUTH CENTRAL MISSOURI
EXTREME SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA
NORTHEAST TEXAS

EFFECTIVE THIS MONDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 325 PM UNTIL
1100 PM CDT.

...THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION...

DESTRUCTIVE TORNADOES...LARGE HAIL TO 2.5 INCHES IN DIAMETER...
THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO 80 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE
POSSIBLE IN THESE AREAS.

THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 70 STATUTE
MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 15 MILES NORTH OF WEST PLAINS
MISSOURI TO 30 MILES SOUTHWEST OF SHREVEPORT LOUISIANA. FOR A
COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE
UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU5).

REMEMBER...A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR
TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...CONTINUE...WW 201...WW 202...WW
203...WW 204...

DISCUSSION...NUMEROUS STRONG/SUPERCELL THUNDERSTORMS ARE NOW
AFFECTING PORTIONS OF NORTHEAST TX/SOUTHEAST OK INTO WESTERN AR.
FAVORABLE AND INTENSIFYING LOW LEVEL WIND FIELDS...COUPLED WITH A
RAPIDLY DESTABILIZING AIR MASS WILL SUPPORT A RISK OF TORNADOES
/SOME STRONG/ AS WELL AS VERY LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS THROUGH
MUCH OF THE EVENING.

AVIATION...TORNADOES AND A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL
SURFACE AND ALOFT TO 2.5 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE
WIND GUSTS TO 70 KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO
500. MEAN STORM MOTION VECTOR 25035.


...HART
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5132
Link

Has a large tornado on the ground currently, feed is somewhat fixed on the system however.
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189
Quoting AstroHurricane001:


Ex-91L will soon be entering the warm SSTs of the Gulf Stream, potentially increasing in convection before being absorbed into the spring storm complex currently over the CONUS. This was predicted by computer models last week.


The AOI has been tracking more or less where the shallow BAM was putting it before they pulled the invest. No surprise there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
On the storm south of Fort Worth:

TORNADO WARNING
TXC035-217-251-425-252115-
/O.NEW.KFWD.TO.W.0026.110425T2027Z-110425T2115Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
327 PM CDT MON APR 25 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN FORT WORTH HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTH CENTRAL BOSQUE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS...
NORTHWESTERN HILL COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS...
SOUTHERN JOHNSON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS...
NORTHEASTERN SOMERVELL COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS...

* UNTIL 415 PM CDT

* AT 326 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WITH A HISTORY OF
PRODUCING TORNADOES WAS 4 MILES WEST OF RIO VISTA...MOVING EAST
AT 25 MPH. ANOTHER TORNADO WAS POSSIBLE 2 MILES SOUTH OF GLEN
NEMO.


* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
KEENE AROUND 340 PM CDT...
COVINGTON AROUND 350 PM CDT...
ALVARADO AROUND 355 PM CDT...
GRANDVIEW AROUND 400 PM CDT...
ITASCA AROUND 405 PM CDT...
VENUS AROUND 410 PM CDT...

THIS WILL IMPACT I-35W BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 5 AND 27.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

MOVE TO AN INTERIOR BATHROOM...CLOSET...OR HALLWAY ON THE LOWEST
FLOOR OF YOUR BUILDING. COVER YOURSELF WITH BLANKETS...PILLOWS...OR A
MATTRESS FOR PROTECTION.

IN ADDITION TO TORNADOES...LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS ARE LIKELY
WITH THIS STORM.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 600 PM.

&&

LAT...LON 3230 9769 3233 9764 3232 9762 3242 9755
3242 9732 3244 9709 3227 9708 3215 9700
3213 9704 3210 9748 3211 9771
TIME...MOT...LOC 2026Z 271DEG 22KT 3226 9742

$$
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 47 Comments: 11915
Grothar, go onto www.tornadovideos.net and look for Live videos. There are chasers with video cameras including Reed Timmer chasing presently.
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189
Quoting Grothar:
Hey, everybody, Look what is back.

Link

That's awesome, but the satellite images are from April 16.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5132
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Ft. Worth TV Coverage


How do you find all of those links? I can never get them.
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Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957
Tornado On the ground currently outside of Dallas Texas.
http://chase.tornadovideos.net/pages/full_screen
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189
Hey, everybody, Look what is back.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I would focus right now on whats going on in reality with the tornadoes again in the Texas region.
Member Since: November 15, 2005 Posts: 16 Comments: 4189
Afternoon all. I'm back from a brief jaunt out to the NW foreshore, and will post pics in a few. The weather has actually been quite good today, but looking at this




strongly implies that by sundown we'll be seeing some downpours... at least I hope so.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sammywammybamy:
Almost looks like summertime on that loop...And on the map with the Bermuda High loomin large...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 24767
Ft. Worth TV Coverage
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11861
Right hand upper cut with that hook
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Quoting nishinigami:
Visiting family in Stewart county TN before heading to Alaska this summer. Currently under tornado warning. Rotation is heading towards us.
Greetings...You will probably have a "few" rotations coming at you before its all over with.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 24767
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If ex-91L will made it again to the invest status,will it be 91L or 92L?
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There is a hook and a half on the Dallas radar right now. Can't embed it sorry.
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Visiting family in Stewart county TN before heading to Alaska this summer. Currently under tornado warning. Rotation is heading towards us.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Awesome, check out visible satellite loop of Mobile Bay, can see how the air that goes over the bay is stable with no clouds north of the bay. But with clouds and instability around it with the cumuls clouds...
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 192 Comments: 59118
Quoting RitaEvac:
Cell going east of Tyler looks like a classic giant hailstorm

Definitely. The one south of Fort Worth is a classic tornadic supercell, too.
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Ex91L isn't going to make it to the mainland.
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70dbz now
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Powerhouse squall line forming in North TX, powerhouse storm south of Fort Worth.

Some of the discrete cells in front of the squall line are very serious storms, with tops 40k+, and radar returns in excess of 60 dbZ.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 192 Comments: 59118
Cell going east of Tyler looks like a classic giant hailstorm
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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