Tornadoes, floods, and fires continue to pound U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:13 PM GMT on April 27, 2011

Share this Blog
8
+

The nation's unprecedented April tornado-fest continued full force last night, with NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logging 57 tornado reports, 295 cases of damaging thunderstorm winds, and 254 reports of large hail. The 2-day tornado count from this latest huge April tornado outbreak is already 102. With another "high risk" forecast for tornadoes today, the tornado total for this week's outbreak may rival the April 14 - 16 tornado outbreak (155 confirmed tornadoes) as the greatest April tornado outbreak in history. It is unprecedented to have two such massive tornado outbreaks occur so close together, and the April preliminary tornado count of 654 is truly stunning. Even adjusting this number downwards 15% (the typical over-count in preliminary tornado reports) yields a probable April tornado total of 550. This easily crushes the previous April tornado record of 267, set in 1974. An average April has "only" 163 tornadoes, so we are already 300% over average for the month, and may approach 400% after today's outbreak. According to a list of tornado outbreaks maintained by Wikipedia, only two other tornado outbreaks have had as many as 150 twisters--the May 2004 outbreak (385), and the May 2003 outbreak (401). One positive note--there has only been one violent EF-4 or stronger tornado this year, despite the fact we've already had about 2/3 of the 1200 tornadoes one typically gets for the entire year. Over the past 20 years, we've averaged 7 violent EF-4 or EF-5 tornadoes per year, so we should have had 4 or 5 of these most dangerous of tornadoes so far this year.


Figure 1. Satellite image of last night's storm at 8pm EDT April 26, 2011. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

Fortunately, no one was killed in last night's tornado frenzy, but four twisters caused injuries, with 7 injuries in Hesterman, Mississippi, and 3 in Beekman, Louisiana. Over 100 homes were damaged when a tornado struck Edom, Texas, approximately 75 miles East of Dallas. One woman was injured when her mobile home was destroyed. The only killer tornado of the current outbreak occurred on Monday night at 7:30 pm CDT when a 1/2 mile-wide EF-2 tornado struck the small town of Vilonia, Arkansas. Four people died in the town, where 50 - 80 buildings were destroyed. Tornado warnings were issued 30 minutes before the storm hit, contributing to the relatively low loss of life.


Figure 2. Storm chaser video of a tornado yesterday in Ben Wheeler, Texas.

Another very dangerous tornado outbreak expected today
The busiest April in history for tornadoes continues full-force today, as NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has issued their highest level of severe weather potential, a "High Risk" forecast, for Northern Alabama, Southern Tennessee, and adjoining portions of Georgia and Mississippi. This is the second day in a row, and third time this year, that SPC has issued a "High Risk" forecast. The devastating North Carolina tornado outbreak of April 16, which generated 52 confirmed tornadoes that killed 24 people in North Carolina and 2 people in Virginia, was the other "high risk" day. Numerous tornado warnings have already been issued in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Ohio, and Alabama this morning, but today's main action is expected to erupt late this afternoon as the cold front from a low pressure system currently over Arkansas moves eastwards over the "high risk" area. Strong daytime heating in a very moist, unstable airmass will allow a tremendous amount of energy to build up ahead of the front. The arrival of the cold front will force the warm, moist air upwards, allowing the pent-up energy to burst out and fuel supercell thunderstorms.

Related post: Are tornadoes getting stronger and more frequent?


Figure 3. Severe weather threat for Wednesday, April 27, 2011.

Unprecedented flooding predicted on Ohio River
This week's storm system, in combination with heavy rains earlier this month, have pushed the Ohio River and Mississippi River to near-record levels near their confluence. The Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois is expected to crest at 60.5 feet on May 1. This would exceed 100-year flood stage, and be the highest flood in history, besting the 59.5' mark of 1937. Heavy rains of 10 - 15 inches have inundated the region over the past few days, and one levee breach at Black River levee near Poplar Bluff, Missouri, has resulted in the evacuation of over 500 homes. Poplar Bluff has received 15.45" of rain since Friday morning. The greatest rain gauge-measured precipitation from the storm occurred in Springdale, Arkansas, where 19.70" inches has fallen since Friday morning.


Figure 4. The latest River Flood Outlook from NOAA shows major flooding is occurring over many of the nation's major rivers.

Extraordinary intentional levee breach of Mississippi River halted by lawsuit
In a sign of just how extreme this flooding situation is, yesterday the Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for flood control efforts on the Mississippi River, announced plans to intentionally destroy a levee protecting the west bank of the Mississippi River in Southwest Missouri. The destruction of the levee is intended to relieve pressure on the levees at Cairo, Illinois, at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. Cairo is currently under a voluntary evacuation order. The levee to be destroyed, located at Birds Point, is called a "fuse-plug" levee, and was designed to be destroyed in the event of a record flood. The levee protects 132,000 acres of prime farmland along the New Madrid Spillway, which is designed to take 550,000 cubic feet per second of water flow out of the Mississippi and redirect it down a 3 - 10 mile wide, 36 - 56 mile long path along the west side of the Mississippi. An 11-mile long section of the levee upstream at Birds Point, and 5-mile long stretch at the downstream end, are set two feet lower than the surrounding levees and filled with holes to accommodate dynamite. These levees will be destroyed if the Army Corps has its way, but a lawsuit by the state of Missouri is currently blocking the way. The Army Corps has now agreed to wait until Saturday to decide whether or not to blow the levee. The Army Corps' website has an unofficial damage estimate of $100 million for destroying the levees and flooding the New Madrid Spillway. At least 100 people live in the spillway and have been evacuated, and it would likely take many years for the farms to recover after flooding. The levees have been blown and the spillway opened only once before, back during the record flood of 1937.

Midwest deluge enhanced by near-record Gulf of Mexico sea surface temperatures
The deluge of rain that caused this flood found its genesis in a flow of warm, humid air coming from the Gulf of Mexico. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs )in the Gulf of Mexico are currently close to 1 °C above average. Only two Aprils since the 1800s (2002 and 1991) have had April SSTs more than 1 °C above average, so current SSTs are among the highest on record. These warm ocean temperatures helped set record high air temperatures in many locations in Texas yesterday, including Galveston (84°F, a tie with 1898), Del Rio (104°F, old record 103° in 1984), San Angelo (97°F, old record 96° in 1994). Record highs were also set on Monday in Baton Rouge and Shreveport in Louisiana, and in Austin, Mineral Wells, and Cotulla la Salle in Texas. Since this week's storm brought plenty of cloud cover that kept temperatures from setting record highs in many locations, a more telling statistic of how warm this air mass was is the huge number of record high minimum temperature records that were set over the past two days. For example, the minimum temperature reached only 79°F in Brownsville, TX Monday morning, beating the previous record high minimum of 77°F set in 2006. In Texas, Austin, Houston, Port Arthur, Cotulla la Salle, Victoria, College Station, Victoria, Corpus Christi, McAllen, and Brownsville all set record high minimums on Monday, as did New Orleans, Lafayette, Monroe, Shreveport, and Alexandria in Louisiana, as well as Jackson and Tupelo in Mississippi. Since record amounts of water vapor can evaporate into air heated to record warm levels, it is not a surprise that incredible rains and unprecedented floods are resulting from this month's near-record warm SSTs in the Gulf of Mexico.


Figure 5. Departure of sea surface temperature from average for April 25, 2001. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

Fierce winds fan Texas, New Mexico fires
Fierce winds fanned raging fires across eastern New Mexico and Western Texas yesterday, thanks to a powerful flow of air feeding into the Midwestern storm system. Temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90s combined with humidities less than 10% combined to make yesterday a nightmare fire day for firefighters attempting to control the worst springtime fires in the history of the region. At 3:53 pm MDT yesterday in Carlsbad, New Mexico, the temperature was 87°F, winds were 38 mph gusting to 46, and the humidity was 8%--a perfect storm for extreme fire weather. In Fort Stockton, Texas near the huge Rock House fire, the temperature was 91°F, winds were 35 mph gusting to 44, visibility was reduced to 5 miles due to haze and smoke, and the humidity was 5% at 5:53pm CDT. According to the Interagency Fire Center, wildfires in 2011 have already burned nearly 2.3 million acres in the U.S. This is the greatest acreage on record so early in the year, and is more area than burned all of last year. The largest U.S. acreage to burn since 1960 was the 9.9 million acres that burned in 2007, so we area already 25% of the way to the all-time record fire year--with summer still more than a month away. The fire weather forecast for today is better then yesterday, with winds not expected to blow nearly as strong.


Figure 6. Major wildfires and smoke plumes as visualized using our wundermap with the "fire" layer turned on.

For those who want to lend a helping hand to those impacted by the widespread destruction this month's severe weather has brought, stop by the portlight.org blog.

Jeff Masters

Rare Sight (Freakofnature1)
I haven't seen a storm like this in quite some time. Still no rain in Seguin, Tx. Pic taken in Seguin storm near Martindale.
Rare Sight
Mississippi @ Burlington (BURGuy)
Seating along the shore
Mississippi @ Burlington
Base of Anvil Cloud 4/26/11 (HuskerMama)
Taken within minutes after the storm cell had passed directly overhead.
Base of Anvil Cloud 4/26/11
Southern Lightning (WeatherRose)
This is a shot of a lightning strike associated with some severe storms moving through this evening in Southaven, MS.
Southern Lightning

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1473 - 1423

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30Blog Index

1473. kwgirl
1:59 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Good morning. It is indeed a sad day. I think TWC did an excellant job of warning people. I watched it last night following the storms. As to discussion of building strength, I don't think there is a building that can withstand a direct hit from an F-4 or F-5. The Tuscaloosa damage reminds me of the Hurricane Andrew aftermath. The tornado was probably an F-4. By the looks of the radar, Northern Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas are in for it today. Hopefully it will not be as bad or will fizzle out. My prayers are with all the victims of these horrible storms.
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
1471. emcf30
1:51 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Quoting clwstmchasr:
TWC just reported the death toll now at 213. Staggering amount considering the warning systems, television, etc that we have in place today. Really shows how bad of an outbreak this is.


But also, like Jim Cantore stated, the tornado that moved thru Tuscaloosa is in the 2% range. No matter if you seek shelter in a interior room, it does no good. The tornado was so strong. He stated you really needed to be underground with a concrete slab, on top of you, IE fortified shelter. This is scary stuff and I agree with him.
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
1470. seflagamma
1:51 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
That death toll is unbelievable...in such a sad way...and so much damage...

Glad your son is ok and his car insurance should pay for the hail damage...
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 294 Comments: 40839
1469. IKE
1:50 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1468. Jax82
1:47 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Unfortunately these powerful tornadoes yesterday hit densely populated areas and downtowns. Even with a 30 minute warning and watching the tornado from your home computer, if you were in the path and took shelter, you can still be blown away. Its going to take weeks to survey the damage to determine the power of the tornadoes but im guessing the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham tornado was the most deadly since it was so long tracked and went thru 2 major cities.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 1261
1467. weaverwxman
1:47 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
My sister lives in Arab, Al. and I have not been able to get in touch with her. I started trying to reach out for her about 3:30pm CDT yesterday. Heres to hoping she is OK and Hoping for the best for all of the areas affected by the GIANT OUTBREAK....
Member Since: November 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 343
1466. IKE
1:46 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
I've never seen a list as long as the one for yesterday on the SPC Storm Reports. Simply incredible.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1463. Orcasystems
1:37 PM GMT on April 28, 2011

Complete Update






Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
1462. IKE
1:37 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
1457...1459...thanks to both of you.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1460. SouthDadeFish
1:36 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Massive list from all the damage reports yesterday via NWS: Link
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
1458. SouthDadeFish
1:34 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Death toll is now above 200.... At 202. Unbelievable. Link
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
1457. jeffs713
1:33 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Quoting IKE:
My son called me...lives in Knoxville,TN....he's okay...but his new 3 month old car is a total loss from hail damage.
Thank goodness he is ok. Cars can be replaced.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5792
1456. jeffs713
1:32 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Quoting FLdewey:

Absolutely! Before moving on to the Fire Department I started off with the Red Cross. The FREE training you receive is incredibly valuable 24/7/365.

Now if you've never taken classes before that's okay - the Red Cross will put you to work today. Grunts are always in short supply. ;-) Having said that Aqua is right - if you wish to become an offical Red Cross volunteer sign up and start taking some classes.

Carried over to the new page:

If you're anywhere near any of the affected areas the best thing you could do is volunteer. Get in touch with the local Red Cross chapter and get your hands a little dirty. The need is great for simple things like distributing water and food to rescue workers. There is also a need for administrative tasks at shelters.

Don't think you can't volunteer - not everything involved in disaster relief requires you to be in top physical shape. Shelters need administrative support, food service, even just being a shoulder to cry on helps enormously.

If now isn't the right time for you take it as a reminder that just a few classes at your local Red Cross will make you a valuable asset in times of disaster.

Many local municipalities, if they don't hold the classes themselves, can direct you to nearby classes. Speaking locally, I know the city of Tomball and Magnolia sometimes run classes, and The Woodlands frequently runs classes, too.

Don't wait until the skills are needed to show your interest. Get out there now, get some classes done, so when disaster does strike nearby, you are ready to go, and provide some help. The first 24-48 hours are by far the most important for volunteers, as that is when the most difference can be made on a human scale.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5792
1455. IKE
1:32 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
My son called me...lives in Knoxville,TN....he's okay...but his new 3 month old car is a total loss from hail damage.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1454. emcf30
1:27 PM GMT on April 28, 2011


Video of four violent wedge tornadoes from different supercells in eastern Mississippi into Alabama, including the birth of the Tuscaloosa tornado. Sadly, th...
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
1453. reeldrlaura
1:22 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
( Patrap)
Member Since: July 31, 2005 Posts: 93 Comments: 6007
1451. BahaHurican
1:17 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Seems jazz is the music of the south this a.m.

Anyway, I gotta run - got a 10 a.m. appointment.

PLEASE stay as safe as you can!! We have a lot of bloggers in areas that have already been hit as well as in those that are under threat today. BE CAREFUL!!!

God bless.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
1450. aquak9
1:16 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
If now isn't the right time for you take it as a reminder that just a few classes at your local Red Cross will make you a valuable asset in times of disaster.

If you wanna be Red cross, TAKE THOSE CLASSES!!

You can't just become a Red Cross volunteer overnight.

But please, help anywhere, everywhere.

And donate blood.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25485
1448. BahaHurican
1:13 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Quoting FLdewey:
If you're anywhere near any of the affected areas the best thing you could do is volunteer. Get in touch with the local Red Cross chapter and get your hands a little dirty. The need is great for simple things like distributing water and food to rescue workers. There is also a need for administrative tasks at shelters.

Don't think you can't volunteer - not everything involved in disaster relief requires you to be in top physical shape. Shelters need administrative support, food service, even just being a shoulder to cry on helps enormously.

If now isn't the right time for you take it as a reminder that just a few classes at your local Red Cross will make you a valuable asset in times of disaster.
Good post, dewey. In fact, even if you r nowhere near a disaster area, it's a good idea to take some Red Cross classes. Disasters happen everywhere, and Red Cross training can be useful at any time. I put this out especially to those in hurricane-prone areas as the season approaches. This is certainly one way to get ready for the season.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
1447. seflagamma
1:13 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
What a sad morning for so many after all this severe weather.

I see many of you are debating storm cellers and basements, etc.

Tornadoes are something that happen every spring in the Mid South area.

Where I grew up in Blytheville Ark, we could not have basements because of the water level it would always be flooded.. Even our storm cellers had to be mostly above ground but you build a mount of dirt over the top.

We had one right off our back kitchen door into the laundry room... it was about 5' x 8' with a small opening with bench down each wall to sit on... most of the time it did have a few inches of water on the floor .... but at least you were safe when tornadoes were all over the place.

Bathtubs with a mattress on top of you are suppose to be safe if you have no basement or celler to get in...

I don't think you can build a house strong enough for an F5 tornado...but you can build one strong enough for the smaller ones that mostly destroy mobil homes and awnings, etc.

I will take a hurricane anyday over a tornado.. at least we have advance warning for hurricanes.. a tornado does not provide much of a warning..
Been in a few of them and have had damage to home from one in Jonesboro back in early 70's..

Being able to have a basement is the best.. you can just stay down there while this is going on..put a bed down there and all your supplies...

I pray Nature will calm down for a while and give us a break in all these natural disasters.

Hello everyone..

Cannot wait for Dr Jeff's update today to see what he has to say.
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 294 Comments: 40839
1445. emcf30
1:11 PM GMT on April 28, 2011


Storms killed 8 in VA.
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
1444. PSLFLCaneVet
1:11 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Quoting FLdewey:
If you're anywhere near any of the affected areas the best thing you could do is volunteer. Get in touch with the local Red Cross chapter and get your hands a little dirty. The need is great for simple things like distributing water and food to rescue workers. There is also a need for administrative tasks at shelters.

Don't think you can't volunteer - not everything involved in disaster relief requires you to be in top physical shape. Shelters need administrative support, food service, even just being a shoulder to cry on helps enormously.

If now isn't the right time for you take it as a reminder that just a few classes at your local Red Cross will make you a valuable asset in times of disaster.



Excellent post, Brother. Kudos.
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
1443. Patrap
1:10 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Ive canceled my Jazz Fest plans and will be working with Presslord on seeing how portlight can help some families.

So sad,,so many lives lost,so many affected.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125455
1442. jeffs713
1:09 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Quoting biff4ugo:
OK, now I want a basement in Florida.
Same here for SE TX. I've actually priced it for a new house... it adds about 40 or 50% to the cost of the house, due to the waterproofing and such.

Also 1428. Its not nearly that much, more like 60-70%.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5792
1440. PSLFLCaneVet
1:08 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Quoting Patrap:
Well,the morning light bring the saddest news we all feared.




Indeed. Just horrific...:(
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
1439. BahaHurican
1:07 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Death toll up to 193.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
1438. Patrap
1:06 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Well,the morning light bring the saddest news we all feared.


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125455
1437. jeffs713
1:06 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Quoting PakaSurvivor:
Aquak9 - You can if you use FEDEX. I get tamales every December from my sister-in-law from New Mexico (if my brother-in-law doesn't eat them all on the way to FEDEX)

mmm.. Tamales...

Good morning, morning crew!
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5792
1436. BahaHurican
1:05 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Apparently India has some bad tornadoes as well.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
1435. PSLFLCaneVet
1:04 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Tuscaloosa News:

Besides fatalities, casualties and destruction of homes and businesses in the tornado's path, the city's infrastructure was badly wounded. Tuscaloosa Emergency Management Agency off 35th Street had severe damage, and the city's Environmental Service Facility was nearly destroyed with garbage and trash trucks damaged as well.

"We've lost our ability to remove debris and garbage," Maddox said.

Link
Member Since: July 23, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 12414
1434. BahaHurican
1:04 PM GMT on April 28, 2011


I think someone posted this before.

Here is an interesting website about tornado climatology.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
1433. BahaHurican
12:59 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Press, somehow I don't think this is a good day to go fishing off SC.....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
1431. presslord
12:58 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
How you can help:Link
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10458
1429. aquak9
12:57 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
paka- thanks- I think apple pie this morning, is something we all need...
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25485
1428. Thundercloud01221991
12:56 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Quoting clwstmchasr:
I know that Alabama is not in "Tornado Alley" but it sure seems that over the past 10 years it seems that they have been hit a lot and by some of the worst tornadoes.

Also, does someone know the percentage of world-wide tornadoes that occur in the US?


probably around 95% of the tornadoes
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
1427. BahaHurican
12:56 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Quoting biff4ugo:
OK, now I want a basement in Florida.
But will it flood? That's what's so problematic about basements south of the Piedmont line. The basement becomes the low point, and the water pours in there... so you have a choice between being bopped in the head or drowning.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
1426. Neapolitan
12:55 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13256
1424. presslord
12:53 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
The NWS Storm Prediction Center has issued a
Tornado Watch for portions of

southeast Georgia
eastern North Carolina
eastern South Carolina
coastal waters

Effective this Thursday morning and afternoon from 850 am until
400 PM EDT.

Tornadoes...hail to 1.5 inches in diameter...thunderstorm wind
gusts to 70 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 south of Savannah
Georgia to 75 miles northeast of New Bern North Carolina. For a
complete depiction of the watch see the associated watch outline
update (wous64 kwns wou2).

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 249...ww 250...ww 251...

Discussion...broken band of pre-frontal convection will persist for
the next few hours...with additional development possible closer to
the coast as daytime heating proceeds. The environment is expected
to remain moderately unstable /MLCAPE aoa 1500 j per kg/...with
sufficient vertical shear to maintain a threat for damaging
winds/large hail...as well as a couple of tornadoes with embedded
supercells/bows.

Aviation...tornadoes and a few severe thunderstorms with hail
surface and aloft to 1.5 inches. Extreme turbulence and surface
wind gusts to 60 knots. A few cumulonimbi with maximum tops to
500. Mean storm motion vector 24035.


...Thompson

Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10458
1423. BahaHurican
12:53 PM GMT on April 28, 2011
Back to the houses thing... this is a topic that comes up every hurricane season.... could better building practices have prevented deaths?

In the case of tornados, it seems to me the number one building thing to do is to minimize or eradicate mobile homes. In the event of a hurricane, mobile home dwellers can evacuate to a shelter. Where do all the residents of a mobile home park go when they have only a few minutes to get away from a tornado?

The other thing that seems to be a lifesaver is a basement. I saw a picture this a.m. that suggested the wooden house which had "disappeared" [3 women were killed in the process] was built on stilts, that is with open space under the flooring, I'm assuming to minimize the effects of flooding. This design is excellent for the kinds of climate problems pple in the area were likely to have dealt with in the past, but not so effective for tornados, which would [and did] lift and toss / shred said house. There was obviously no basement dug into the ground at this house.

Would being made of stone / concrete / brick make such a design less vulnerable to tornados? Would a small "storm basement" in the same yard have helped to protect the lives of those ladies? [I'm keeping in mind that conditions which produce tornados also can produce massive flooding.]

I don't think it's a simple question of "stupid houses'. I'm sure people who are replacing their lost homes want to build better, stronger ones. But what is really going to be best for them going forward still presents a bit of a puzzle...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686

Viewing: 1473 - 1423

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30Blog Index

Top of Page

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.