Joplin tornado toll at 116; dangerous tornado outbreak expected today

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:50 PM GMT on May 24, 2011

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Severe weather is expected again today in storm-torn Joplin, Missouri, as rescuers sift through the rubble of their town that was devastated by the deadliest U.S. tornado since at least 1947. A violent high-end EF-4 tornado with winds of 190 – 198 mph carved a 7-mile long, ¾ to one mile-wide path of near-total destruction through Joplin beginning at 5:41pm CDT Sunday evening. In nine terrifying minutes, the tornado killed at least 116 people, injured 500 more, and obliterated huge sections of the town. Damage from the tornado is so severe that pavement was ripped from the ground, and the level of damage is so extreme that this is likely to surpass last month's Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado as the costliest tornado of all-time.


Figure 1. Radar reflectivity image of the supercell thunderstorm that spawned the Joplin, Missouri tornado, one minute before the tornado touched down at 5:41pm CDT. There is a hook echo apparent, though not a classic well-defined one.


Figure 2. Radar-estimated rainfall for the period May 22 – 24 over the region surrounding Joplin. Rains of 1.83" fell on the city yesterday, a record for the date.

The Joplin tornado's place in history
According to our weather historian, Christopher C. Burt in his post, The World's Deadliest Tornadoes, the death toll of 116 from the Joplin tornado ranks as the deadliest U.S. tornado since at least 1947, when a violent F-5 tornado hit Woodward, Oklahoma, killing 181. However, it is now thought that the Woodward tornado was actually one of a series of tornadoes, and the tornado that hit Woodward killed 107 people. If that is true, we have to back all the way to 1936 to find the last U.S. tornado that killed more people than 2011's Joplin tornado. In 1936, violent tornadoes a day apart hit Tupelo Mississippi (216 killed), and Gainesville, Georgia (203 killed.) NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) rates this year's Joplin tornado as the 9th deadliest U.S. tornado of all-time.

This year's tornado death toll now stands at 482, making it the deadliest year for tornadoes in the U.S. since 1953, when 519 people died. That year, three heavily populated cities received direct hits by violent tornadoes. Waco, Texas (114 killed), Flint, Michigan (115 killed), and Worcester, Massachusetts (89 – 94 killed) all were hit by violent F-4 or F-5 tornadoes. A similar bad tornado year occurred in 1936, when violent tornadoes hit Tupelo Mississippi (216 killed), and Gainesville, Georgia (203 killed.)


Video 1. The last year with more tornado deaths than 2011 was 1953, when three great tornadoes killed more than 90 people each. This old newsreel video shows destruction from the first of these deadly 1953 tornadoes, the May 11, 1953 F-5 tornado that hit downtown Waco Texas, killing 114 people. The wunderground youtube channel has almost 300 old newsreel videos of historically significant weather events.

What's going on?
It's been an incredibly dangerous and deadly year for tornadoes. On April 14 - 16, we had the largest tornado outbreak in world history, with 162 tornadoes hitting the Southeast U.S. That record lasted just two weeks, when the unbelievable April 25 – 28 Super Outbreak hit. Unofficially, that outbreak had 327 tornadoes, more than double the previous record. The legendary April 3 – 4 1974 Super Outbreak has now fallen to third place, with 148 tornadoes. Damage from the April 25 – 28, 2011 outbreak was estimated to be as high as $5 billion, making it the most expensive tornado outbreak in history; the Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado of April 27 may end up being the most expensive tornado of all-time—until the damage from Sunday's Joplin tornado is tabulated. Officially, 875 tornadoes hit the U.S. In April 2011, making it the busiest tornado month in history. The previous record was 542 tornadoes, set in May 2003. The previous April tornado record was 267, set in 1974, and April has averaged just 161 tornadoes over the past decade.

So what's going on? Why are there so many tornadoes, and so many people getting killed? Well, the high death toll this year is partly just bad luck. Violent EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes usually miss heavily populated areas, and we've had the misfortune of having two such tornadoes track over cities with more than 50,000 people (the Joplin tornado, and the Tuscaloosa-Birmingham EF-4 tornado in Alabama, which killed 61 people on April 27.) This sort of bad luck occurred in both 1953, when F-5 tornadoes hit Flint, Worcester, and Waco, and in 1936, when F-5s hit Tupelo and Gainesville. However, this year's death toll is more remarkable than the 1953 or 1936 death tolls, since in 2011 we have Doppler radar and a modern tornado warning system that is very good at providing an average of twelve minutes of warning time. The warning time for the Joplin tornado was 24 minutes. The first tornado warning wasn't issued until 1948, and virtually all tornadoes from the 1950s and earlier hit with no warning. On average, tornado deaths in the United States decreased from 8 per 1 million people in 1925 to 0.12 per 1 million people in 2000. Had this year's tornadoes occurred 50 years ago, I expect the death toll would have exceeded three thousand.


Figure 3. Number of strong to violent EF-3, EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes from 1950 to 2011. There are no obvious trends in the numbers of these most dangerous of tornadoes. Image credit: NOAA/National Climatic Data Center (updated using stats for 2008 – 2011 from Wikipedia.)

Tornadoes require two main ingredients for formation—instability and wind shear. Instability is at a maximum when there is record warm air with plenty of moisture at low levels, and cold dry air aloft. April 2011 sea surface temperature in the Gulf of Mexico were at their third highest levels of the past 100 years, so there was plenty of warm, moist air available to create high instability, whenever approaching storm systems pulled the Gulf air northwards into Tornado Alley, and brought cold, dry air south from Canada. The La Niña event in the Eastern Pacific, in part, caused this spring's jet stream to have very strong winds that changed speed and direction with height. This sort of shearing force (wind shear) was ideal for putting a twist on thunderstorm updrafts, allowing more numerous and more intense tornadoes than usual to occur. Was this year's heightened wind shear and instability the result of climate change? We don't know. Over the past 30 years, there have not been any noticeable trends wind shear and instability over the Lower Mississippi Valley, according to the NOAA Climate Scene Investigations team. Furthermore, there have been no upward trend in the number of violent EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes over the past 60 years, or in the number of EF-3 and stronger tornadoes (Figure 3.) However, this year's remarkable violent tornado activity—17 such tornadoes, with tornado season a little more than half over—brings our two-year total for the decade of 2010 – 2019 to 30. At this rate, we'll have more than 150 violent tornadoes by decade's end, beating the record of 108 set in the 1950s. In summary, this year's incredibly violent tornado season is not part of a trend. It is either a fluke, the start of a new trend, or an early warning symptom that the climate is growing unstable and is transitioning to a new, higher energy state with the potential to create unprecedented weather and climate events. All are reasonable explanations, but we don't have a long enough history of good tornado data to judge which is most likely to be correct.

More severe weather today
Yesterday, survivors of the tornado endured a 12-hour period with two severe thunderstorm warnings, a record 1.83” of rain, hail, and lightning that struck two police officers. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) recorded 11 preliminary reports of tornadoes yesterday, along with 315 reports of damaging winds and 182 reports of hail up to 3.5” in diameter. The severe weather threat is much higher today, and SPC has placed a large section of eastern Kansas and eastern Oklahoma in their "High Risk" region for severe weather potential, and warn of the potential for long-lived strong tornadoes. This is their third "High Risk" forecast for the year, and the first since the terrible April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak. That day was the busiest tornado day in world history, with 198 tornadoes occurring in a 24-hour period. Over 300 people died. The other "High Risk" forecast by SPC came during the final day of the April 14 – 16 outbreak over the Southeast U.S. Fifty-two tornadoes hit that day, and 26 people died in North Carolina and Virginia. The severe weather threat will continue into Wednesday, when additional tornadoes are likely along a swath from Arkansas to Indiana.


Figure 4. Severe weather threat for Tuesday, May 23, 2011.

Links
The most remarkable audio I've ever heard of people surviving a direct hit by a violent tornado was posted to Youtube by someone who took shelter in the walk-in storage refrigerator at a gas station during the Joplin tornado. There isn't much video.


Video 2. Video of the Joplin, Missouri tornado of May 22, 2011, entering the southwest side of town. Filmed by TornadoVideos.net Basehunters team Colt Forney, Isaac Pato, Kevin Rolfs, and Scott Peake.

Helping out tornado victims
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 Red Cross website, or portlight.org blog. Portlight has been very active bringing aid to the victims of this year's tornadoes. Below is the damage survey from the Joplin tornado:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SPRINGFIELD MO
938 PM CDT MON MAY 23 2011

...JOPLIN TORNADO GIVEN A PRELIMINARY HIGH END EF-4 RATING...

* DATE...22 MAY 2011
* BEGIN LOCATION...APPROXIMATELY 3 MILES SOUTHWEST OF JOPLIN
* END LOCATION...1 MILE SOUTHEAST OF DUQUESNE
* ESTIMATED BEGIN TIME...541 PM
* ESTIMATED END TIME...550 PM
* MAXIMUM EF-SCALE RATING...EF-4
* ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED...190-198 MPH
* ESTIMATED PATH WIDTH...3/4 OF A MILE
* PATH LENGTH...7 MILES
* FATALITIES...116 REPORTED AS OF 3 PM MONDAY
* INJURIES...400 REPORTED AS OF 3 PM MONDAY
* BEGIN LAT/LON...37.06 N / 94.57 W
* END LAT/LON...37.06 N / 94.39 W

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SURVEY TEAMS RATED THE TORNADO THAT KILLED OVER 100 PEOPLE IN AND AROUND JOPLIN AS A HIGH END EF-4 TORNADO.

BASED UPON SURVEYS COMPLETED TODAY...MAXIMUM WINDS WERE ESTIMATED BETWEEN 190 AND 198 MPH. THE TORNADO HAD A MAXIMUM WIDTH OF 3/4 TO ONE MILE.

THE TORNADO INITIALLY TOUCHED DOWN AROUND 541 PM NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF COUNTRY CLUB AND 32ND STREET. ADDITIONAL SURVEYS ARE EXPECTED TO BE CONDUCTED TO FURTHER DEFINE THE STARTING POINT AND INTENSITY AT THIS LOCATION.

DAMAGE BECAME MORE WIDESPREAD AS THE TORNADO CROSSED MAIDEN LANE...CAUSING SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO NEARLY ALL WINDOWS ON THREE SIDES OF ST JOHNS HOSPITAL AS WELL AS TO THE ROOF. THE TORNADO FURTHER INTENSIFIED AS IT DESTROYED NUMEROUS HOMES AND BUSINESSES TO THE EAST AND NORTH OF THE HOSPITAL. THE HIGHEST RATED DAMAGE IN THIS AREA WAS TO A CHURCH SCHOOL THAT HAD ALL BUT A PORTION OF ITS EXTERIOR WALLS DESTROYED AS WELL AS TO A NURSING HOME. WINDS IN THAT AREA WERE ESTIMATED AT 160 TO 180 MPH.

THE TORNADO CONTINUED TO DESTROY OVER 100 HOMES BETWEEN 32ND AND 20TH STREETS. THREE STORY APARTMENT COMPLEXES HAD THE TOP TWO FLOORS REMOVED...OTHER TWO STORY COMPLEXES WERE PARTIALLY LEVELED.

A BANK WAS TOTALLY DESTROYED WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE VAULT.

A DILLONS GROCERY STORE ALSO HAD SIGNIFICANT ROOF AND EXTERIOR WALL DAMAGE. LASTLY...THE EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR WALLS OF A TECHNICAL SCHOOL...A MORTAR AND REBAR REINFORCED CINDER BLOCK BUILDING...FAILED.

THE TORNADO CROSSED RANGELINE ROAD NEAR 20TH STREET. THE MOST INTENSE DAMAGE WAS NOTED JUST EAST OF THIS INTERSECTION WHERE A HOME DEPOT WAS DESTROYED BY AN ESTIMATED 190 TO NEARLY 200 MPH WINDS.
IN ADDITION...THE CUMMINS BUILDING...A CONCRETE BLOCK AND HEAVY STEEL BUILDING...HAD ITS STEEL ROOF BEAMS COLLAPSE. SPORTS ACADEMY AND THE WALMART ALSO SUFFERED SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE.

THE TORNADO CONTINUED TO MOVE EASTWARD ALONG AND SOUTH OF 20TH STREET DESTROYING NUMEROUS WAREHOUSE STYLE FACILITIES AND RESIDENCES THROUGH DUQUESNE ROAD. WINDS IN THIS AREA MAY ALSO APPROACH 200 MPH.

THE TORNADO CONTINUED TO DESTROYING NUMEROUS HOMES BEFORE WEAKENING AS IT TURNED SOUTHEAST TOWARD INTERSTATE 44.

SUBSEQUENT DAMAGE SURVEYS WILL BE REQUIRED TO DETERMINE THE SCOPE OF ADDITIONAL REPORTS ALONG AND SOUTHEAST OF THE INTERSECTION OF HIGHWAY 71 AND INTERSTATE 44.

FOR REFERENCE...THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:

EF0...WIND SPEEDS 65 TO 85 MPH.
EF1...WIND SPEEDS 86 TO 110 MPH.
EF2...WIND SPEEDS 111 TO 135 MPH.
EF3...WIND SPEEDS 136 TO 165 MPH.
EF4...WIND SPEEDS 166 TO 200 MPH.
EF5...WIND SPEEDS GREATER THAN 200 MPH.

Jeff Masters

May 22, 2011 (WisconsinCowboy)
Hailstones in Westfield, WI
May 22, 2011
Wall cloud (weatherfanatic2010)
wall cloud with scud clouds rising up into it that looked like a funnel but were actually not ratating with the wall cloud.
Wall cloud
Tornado? (thomasanthony)
This is a shot looking west toward Topeka Kansas, about 5 miles away, as the wall cloud came closer to my position.
Tornado?
Wall Cloud (thomasanthony)
Rotating wall cloud coming through Perry Kansas. That speck towards the top is a helicopter.
Wall Cloud
Cleora, OK Tornado (okeedoky)
Very active tornado day 5/22 was. About the same time as Joplin, MO was getting hit, we had this one come right over the Grand Lake RV park and put down some EF-3 damage on the other side of the hay field you see.
Cleora, OK Tornado

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727. Skyepony (Mod)
Joplin Missouri Tornado - May 22, 2011

Severe storms producing tornadoes affected Southwest Missouri (NWS Springfield County Warning Area) during the afternoon and evening of May 22, 2011. Large portions of Joplin Missouri were severely damaged. Results of damage assessed yielded a rating of an EF5 (greater than 200 mph).

Latest reports from Tuesday evening 5/24 indicate an estimated 122 fatalities and several hundred injured in the Joplin MO area. The Joplin tornado is the deadliest since modern recordkeeping began in 1950 and is ranked 8th among the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history.
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Extensive house damage reported in Saginaw...
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Really not good for Dallas the cell has taken a SE direction then it previous E. It might make a direct hit on Downtown and if that happens it would be somthing out of a horror movie.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Cousin in College Station, TX, hope all are ok.
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i got to take a break be back in 15 or so
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54452
What happens if an F-5 goes over a small lake?
Will it empty a pool, for instance?
Curious.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54452
Nasty Hook headed straight for dallas... ouch hope everyone is keepin an eye out.
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(Sorry, this is per my local Fox newscasters.)
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Am watching that one. I'm in Broken Arrow, and have friends in Coweta and Bixby. Could get interesting still.

Looks like more activity is building back in KS, but I'm not sure how far South it will build.
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DFW oh my
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People in Dallas really need to pay attention to this storm.
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Yeah, apparently a 'nado is crossing I-35W just below Keller. And also a rope tornado near Ponder.
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WDPN31 PGTW 241500
MSGID/GENADMIN/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/JTWC//
SUBJ/PROGNOSTIC REASONING FOR TYPHOON 04W WARNING NR 18//
RMKS/
1. FOR METEOROLOGISTS.
2. 12 HOUR SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS.
A. TYPHOON (TY) 04W (SONGDA), LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 500 NM
EAST-SOUTHEAST OF MANILA, PHILIPPINES, HAS TRACKED WEST-NORTHWEST-
WARD AT 09 KNOTS OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS. ANIMATED INFRARED SATELLITE
IMAGERY REVEALS CLOUD TOPS ARE COOLING AND CONSOLIDATING AROUND THE
LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER (LLCC). ANIMATED WATER VAPOR IMAGERY
SHOWS IMPROVING OUTFLOW AS AN UPPER LEVEL TROUGH NORTHWEST OF THE
SYSTEM FILLS. TOTAL PRECIPITABLE WATER LOOPS INDICATE SUBSTANTIAL
INFLOW OF HIGHLY SATURATED AIR INTO THE SOUTHERN HALF OF THE SYSTEM.
ENHANCED INFRARED IMAGERY SHOWS A PRONOUNCED ASYMMETRY IN THE
CONVECTION, WITH THE HIGHEST TOPS CONCENTRATED OVER THE SOUTHERN
SEMICIRCLE. A 240732Z SSMI PASS SHOWS NEARLY CONTINUOUS LOW LEVEL
BANDING AROUND THE LLCC AND AN INCREASE IN DEEP CONVECTION RELATIVE
TO PREVIOUS PASSES. TY 04W IS TRACKING STEADILY THROUGH A BREAK IN
THE SUB-TROPICAL RIDGE OVER THE PHILIPPINE SEA. CONDITIONS ALONG
TRACK ARE FAVORABLE FOR INTENSIFICATION, WITH HIGHLY DIFFLUENT FLOW
IN THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE AND LESS THAN 10 KTS OF VERTICAL WIND SHEAR,
AND SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES OF 29-30 DEGREES CELSIUS. THE CURRENT
INTENSITY ANALYSIS IS BASED ON DVORAK ESTIMATES OF 65 KNOTS FROM
PGTW AND KNES. THERE IS GOOD AGREEMENT AMONG THE FIXING AGENCIES AND
HIGH CONFIDENCE REGARDING THE CURRENT POSITION.
3. FORECAST REASONING.
A. THE FORECAST REASONING HAS NOT CHANGED SINCE THE PREVIOUS
PROGNOSTIC REASONING BULLETIN.
B. THE SUB-TROPICAL RIDGE WILL BUILD AND INTENSIFY OVER THE NEXT
72 HOURS AS AN UPPER LEVEL ANTICYCLONE BUILDS NORTH OF THE MARIANAS
AND SHIFTS WESTWARD. TY 04W WILL STEER ALONG THE WESTERN PERIPHERY
OF THAT RIDGE AND THEN RECURVE THROUGH THE RYUKUS, GRADUALLY
ACCELERATING AND TRACKING SEAWARD OF KYUSHU AND SHIKOKU. DURING THE
FIRST 72 HOURS, VERTICAL WIND SHEAR WILL REMAIN WEAK WHILE SEA
SURFACE TEMPERATURES AND OCEAN HEAT CONTENT WILL REMAIN HIGH,
ALLOWING SONGDA TO STEADILY INTENSIFY THROUGH 20 DEGREES NORTH
LATITUDE. MODEL GUIDANCE IS IN GOOD GENERAL AGREEMENT REGARDING
TRACK AND SPEED THROUGH THE FIRST 72 HOURS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF
EGRR AND JGSM, WHICH TRACK THE SYSTEM OVER EXTREME NORTHEASTERN
LUZON AND INTO THE LUZON STRAIT. NOGAPS, GFS, AND GFDN, AS WELL AS
CONSENSUS, ALL INDICATE THAT TY 04W WILL ROUND THE WESTERNMOST ARC
OF THE RIDGE AND ENTER ITS RECURVATURE PHASE NEAR TAU 66, AT
APPROXIMATELY 20 DEGREES NORTH LATITUDE. SIMULTANEOUSLY THE SYSTEM
WILL REACH ITS MAXIMUM INTENSITY. THE TRACK FORECAST THROUGH TAU 72
FOLLOWS CONSENSUS.
C. SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE AND OCEAN HEAT PROFILES INDICATE THAT
TY 04W WILL ENCOUNTER SHARPLY LESS FAVORABLE OCEANOGRAPHIC
CONDITIONS NORTH OF 25 DEGREES NORTH LATITUDE. SOME OF THE
OCEANOGRAPHIC EFFECTS WILL BE MITIGATED BY A TEMPORARY BOOST IN
OUTFLOW DUE TO AN APPROACHING MID-LATITUDE TROUGH. THE TROUGH IS
EXPECTED TO DIG AS FAR SOUTH AS TAIWAN NEAR 281200Z AND BOOST
POLEWARD OUTFLOW, WHICH WILL KEEP THE SYSTEM ABOVE TYPHOON INTENSITY
THROUGH THE NORTHERN RYUKUS. BY THE TIME TY 04W MOVES INTO THE
NORTHERN RYUKUS, HOWEVER, VERTICAL WIND SHEAR WILL BEGIN TO INCREASE
SIGNIFICANTLY AND COUPLE WITH THE UNFAVORABLE OCEANOGRAPHIC
CONDITIONS TO WEAKEN THE STORM. THE JTWC FORECAST REMAINS CONSISTENT
WITH THE PREVIOUS FORECAST AND CLOSE TO, BUT SLIGHTLY FASTER AND
EQUATORWARD OF MODEL CONSENSUS AFTER TAU 72 IN ORDER TO ACCOUNT FOR
OBSERVED TENDENCIES DURING RECURVATURE SCENARIOS.//
NNNN

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WTPN31 PGTW 242100
MSGID/GENADMIN/NAVMARFCSTCEN PEARL HARBOR HI/JTWC//
SUBJ/TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING//
RMKS/
1. TYPHOON 04W (SONGDA) WARNING NR 019
01 ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE IN NORTHWESTPAC
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS BASED ON ONE-MINUTE AVERAGE
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
---
WARNING POSITION:
241800Z --- NEAR 12.3N 128.5E
MOVEMENT PAST SIX HOURS - 275 DEGREES AT 08 KTS
POSITION ACCURATE TO WITHIN 015 NM
POSITION BASED ON EYE FIXED BY SATELLITE
PRESENT WIND DISTRIBUTION:
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 075 KT, GUSTS 090 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 064 KT WINDS - 025 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
025 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
025 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
025 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS - 045 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
045 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 110 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
095 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
095 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
110 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
REPEAT POSIT: 12.3N 128.5E
---
FORECASTS:
12 HRS, VALID AT:
250600Z --- 13.3N 127.1E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 090 KT, GUSTS 110 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 064 KT WINDS - 035 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
035 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
035 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
035 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS - 055 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
055 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
055 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
055 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 120 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
110 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
110 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
120 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 24 HR POSIT: 315 DEG/ 08 KTS
---
24 HRS, VALID AT:
251800Z --- 14.5N 125.9E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 100 KT, GUSTS 125 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 064 KT WINDS - 040 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
040 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
035 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
040 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS - 065 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
060 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
060 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
065 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 125 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
115 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
115 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
125 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 36 HR POSIT: 325 DEG/ 09 KTS
---
36 HRS, VALID AT:
260600Z --- 16.0N 124.9E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 110 KT, GUSTS 135 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 064 KT WINDS - 040 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
040 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
040 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
040 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS - 070 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
065 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
065 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
065 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 130 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
125 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
120 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
125 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 48 HR POSIT: 345 DEG/ 08 KTS
---
EXTENDED OUTLOOK:
48 HRS, VALID AT:
261800Z --- 17.6N 124.4E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 115 KT, GUSTS 140 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 064 KT WINDS - 045 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
045 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
040 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
040 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS - 070 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
070 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
065 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
070 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 135 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
125 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
120 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
130 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 72 HR POSIT: 355 DEG/ 09 KTS
---
72 HRS, VALID AT:
271800Z --- 21.0N 124.0E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 105 KT, GUSTS 130 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
RADIUS OF 064 KT WINDS - 040 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
040 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
040 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
040 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 050 KT WINDS - 070 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
070 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
065 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
065 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
RADIUS OF 034 KT WINDS - 135 NM NORTHEAST QUADRANT
135 NM SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
130 NM SOUTHWEST QUADRANT
130 NM NORTHWEST QUADRANT
VECTOR TO 96 HR POSIT: 030 DEG/ 18 KTS
---
LONG RANGE OUTLOOK:
NOTE...ERRORS FOR TRACK HAVE AVERAGED NEAR 250 NM
ON DAY 4 AND 350 NM ON DAY 5... AND FOR INTENSITY
NEAR 20 KT EACH DAY.
---
96 HRS, VALID AT:
281800Z --- 27.3N 127.8E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 080 KT, GUSTS 100 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
BECOMING EXTRATROPICAL
VECTOR TO 120 HR POSIT: 055 DEG/ 22 KTS
---
120 HRS, VALID AT:
291800Z --- 32.2N 136.1E
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS - 055 KT, GUSTS 070 KT
WIND RADII VALID OVER OPEN WATER ONLY
BECOMING EXTRATROPICAL
---
REMARKS:
242100Z POSITION NEAR 12.6N 128.1E.
TYPHOON (TY) 04W (SONGDA), LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 460 NM EAST-
SOUTHEAST OF MANILA, PHILIPPINES, HAS TRACKED WESTWARD AT 08 KNOTS
OVER THE PAST SIX HOURS. ANIMATED INFRARED SATELLITE IMAGERY DEPICTS
A CONSOLIDATING LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER (LLCC) WITH A ROUND
10NM EYE. A 241649Z AMSR-E IMAGE DEPICTS TIGHTLY-CURVED BANDING
WRAPPING INTO THE WELL-DEFINED CENTER. ANIMATED WATER VAPOR IMAGERY
SHOWS IMPROVED POLEWARD OUTFLOW AHEAD OF AN UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH
POSITIONED OVER THE EAST CHINA SEA. THERE IS HIGH CONFIDENCE IN THE
CURRENT POSITION BASED ON THE EYE. THE CURRENT INTENSITY IS ASSESSED
AT 75 KNOTS BASED ON DVORAK ESTIMATES OF 77 KNOTS FROM PGTW AND
KNES. TY 04W IS TRACKING WESTWARD UNDER THE MID-LEVEL SUBTROPICAL
RIDGE AND IS FORECAST TO TURN POLEWARD ALONG THE WESTERN PERIPHERY
OF THE STEERING RIDGE WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS. MODEL GUIDANCE IS IN
FAIR AGREEMENT BUT SHOWS SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES IN THE TRACK SPEED
AFTER TAU 72. NOGAPS AND GFDN ARE THE FASTEST MODELS WHILE JGSM AND
ECMWF ARE SLIGHTLY SLOWER THAN THE MODEL CONSENSUS. THE UKMO MODEL
IS WEST OF ALL THE OTHER AIDS AND IS ERRONEOUSLY TOO LOW ON
INTENSITY THROUGHOUT THE FORECAST. THESE DIFFERENCES WILL BE
DISCUSSED MORE FULLY IN THE 25/00Z PROGNOSTIC REASONING BULLETIN.
THIS FORECAST MAINTAINS CONSISTENCY WITH PREVIOUS TRACKS AND IS
POSITIONED SLIGHTLY SLOWER THAN THE MODEL CONSENSUS AT THE EXTENDED
TAUS DUE TO THE EXCESSIVE TRACK SPEEDS NOTED IN NOGAPS AND GFDN AND
CLOSER TO THE ECMWF MODEL. MAXIMUM SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT AT
241800Z IS 28 FEET. NEXT WARNINGS AT 250300Z, 250900Z, 251500Z AND
252100Z.//
NNNN

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54452
This caught me by surprise. ECMWF 12z has a system in the GOMEX by June 1st.
Link
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I think north DFW has a tornado on the ground.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
This one, SW of Tulsa, has some potential...

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Radar resolves several vortex signatures around Dallas. Hopefully they're interfering with each other. If any one cell becomes dominant, it could get bad. At the moment, it looks mostly disorganized. Though the hook echo South of Denton looks pretty good and it's going almost straight east.

I hope my amateur eyes are right...
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In other news,JMA just upgraded Songda to Typhoon.

TY 1102 (Songda)
Issued at 00:40 UTC, 25 May 2011

Scale -
Intensity Strong
Center position N12°30'(12.5°)
E128°10'(128.2°)
Direction and speed of movement W Slowly
Central pressure 960hPa
Maximum wind speed near the center 40m/s(75kt)
Maximum wind gust speed 55m/s(105kt)
Area of 50kt winds or more Wide 130km(70NM)
Area of 30kt winds or more NE330km(180NM)
SW260km(140NM)

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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54452
703. mbjjm
severe studios back up.
Member Since: August 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 310
Kansas now has atleast 2 fatalities now confirmed by Highway patrol
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1937
Massive supercell west of Dallas...
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This seems fairly normal so far. I think there was too strong a line, and it's formed up destructively. Independent cells in OKC were worse than the aggregation in Tulsa.
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699. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #37
TYPHOON SONGDA (T1102)
9:00 AM JST May 25 2011
==================================

SUBJECT: Category Three Typhoon In Sea East Of Philippines

At 0:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Songda (960 hPa) located at 12.5N 128.2E has 10 minute sustained winds of 75 knots with gusts of 105 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west slowly.

Storm Force Winds
==================
70 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
===============
180 NM from the center in northeastern quadrant
140 NM from the center in southwestern quadrant

Dvorak Intensity: T4.5

Forecast And Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 14.2N 126.2E - 80 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon)
48 HRS: 16.8N 124.4E - 80 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon)
72 HRS: 20.5N 123.1E - 80 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon)

Additional Information
=====================
Typhoon will move northwest for the next 24 hours then move to north northwest

Typhoon will keep present intensity for the next 24 hours

Final Dvorak T-Number will be 5.5 after 24 hours
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698. mbjjm
tornado west of denton,tx

Live coverage
Member Since: August 23, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 310
Dallas live feed

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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54452
Quoting Zaphod:
Warning headed for Tulsa.

At least so far this is a one-line storm. What is the chance of another line forming up and moving across?
Honestly thought Tulsa have a worse storm when looking at it this am. This doesn't seem all that rough, compared to what they are used to.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
DFW area in extreme danger right now that lone super cell just to teh north is starting to get very strong roation on radar, hook is also forming or fromed.(cannot tell NWS radar is to small for my eyes!)
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0940
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0707 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011

AREAS AFFECTED...EXTREME ERN KS THROUGH WRN MO
CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...TORNADO WATCH LIKELY VALID 250007Z - 250100Z

STORMS WILL LIKELY DEVELOP EWD THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF ERN KS AND WRN MO. THREAT WILL EXIST FOR ISOLATED TORNADOES...LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WIND.

LLJ WILL SHIFT NEWD THROUGH ERN KS AND WRN MO DURING THE EVENING IN ASSOCIATION WITH VORT MAX PIVOTING THROUGH OK AND KS.
ATMOSPHERE REMAINS MODERATELY UNSTABLE PRIMARILY ALONG AND SOUTH OF A WARM FRONT THAT EXTENDS FROM CNTRL MO WWD THROUGH CNTRL KS.
INSTABILITY IS MORE MARGINAL ACROSS NERN KS AND NWRN MO. HOWEVER...WARM FRONT MAY LIFT FARTHER NWD DURING THE EVENING AS LLJ SHIFTS EWD RESULTING IN NWD DESTABILIZATION WITH TIME.
LARGE 0-1 KM HODOGRAPHS...STRONG EFFECTIVE SHEAR AND MODERATE INSTABILITY WILL SUPPORT SUPERCELLS.
POTENTIAL WILL EXIST FOR ISOLATED TORNADOES...WITH GREATEST TORNADO THREAT LIKELY WITH STORMS LIFTING NWD THROUGH WARM SECTOR ALONG AND SOUTH OF THE WARM FRONT.

..DIAL.. 05/25/2011
ATTN...WFO...SGF...EAX...TOP...
LAT...LON 40439519 40449456 39799413 38139362 37289361 37059427 37089483 37579498 38629499 39819527 40439519

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Springfield MO sounding not showing that much CAPE and fairly low values for nado activity (Could still happen, of course):


(click for full size)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Warning headed for Tulsa.

At least so far this is a one-line storm. What is the chance of another line forming up and moving across?
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No 00 Z sounding for OKC.

But DFW shows the juicy well enough:

(click for full size)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting KrippleCreekFerry:
TWC reports softball to bowling ball sized hail NW of DFW


... no, they reported softball-sized. Do you get some kind of thrill out of spreading misinformation?
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688. ljk
wow looks like that storm in north texas ate that other storm and turned into a monster hook echo.
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just 14 minutes worth - WOW

TORNADO WARNING NORMAN OK - KOUN 739 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011
TORNADO WARNING TULSA OK - KTSA 736 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011
TORNADO WARNING WICHITA KS - KICT 736 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011
SVR T-STORM WARNING WICHITA KS - KICT 733 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011
TORNADO WARNING NORMAN OK - KOUN 733 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011
TORNADO WARNING FORT WORTH TX - KFWD 733 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011
TORNADO WARNING WICHITA KS - KICT 730 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011
FLASH FLOOD WARNING HASTINGS NE - KGID 730 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011
TORNADO WARNING NORMAN OK - KOUN 729 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011
TORNADO WARNING TULSA OK - KTSA 729 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011
TORNADO WARNING FORT WORTH TX - KFWD 728 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011
SVR T-STORM WARNING TULSA OK - KTSA 727 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011
TORNADO WARNING FORT WORTH TX - KFWD 726 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011
TORNADO WARNING BLACKSBURG VA - KRNK 825 PM EDT TUE MAY 24 2011
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Norman bugged out as advised by their Protocols and all contingencies were followed.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128730
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54452
Messages from SPC

ADMINISTRATIVE MESSAGE
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0528 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011

THE AIR FORCE WEATHER AGENCY /AFWA/ AT SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE WILL
TAKE OVER SPC ISSUANCES OF THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS IN AN EMERGENCY
BACKUP UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE...

1. ALL CATEGORICAL DAY 1 AND DAY 2 OUTLOOKS
2. ALL NECESSARY WATCH BOXES

MESOSCALE DISCUSSIONS...WATCH STATUS MESSAGES...AND PROBABILISTIC
OUTLOOKS WILL NOT BE ISSUED UNTIL THE BACKUP ENDS. SPC IS PREPARING
TO TAKE COVER FROM AN APPROACHING TORNADO.

A NEW STATUS ADM MESSAGE WILL BE ISSUED ONCE THE FORECAST
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SPC HAVE BEEN FULLY RESTORED...DICTATING THE
END OF THE EMERGENCY.

..THOMPSON.. 05/24/2011



ADMINISTRATIVE MESSAGE
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0618 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011

THE IMMEDIATE TORNADO THREAT HAS PASSED AND THE SPC HAS RESUMED ALL
NORMAL FORECASTER OPERATIONS THEREIN.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND COOPERATION.

..THOMPSON.. 05/24/2011

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Any predictions for the total # of Tornadoes by the end of today?
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54452
Quoting cmahan:
Tornado warning here for Denton County TX now. I wonder if the neighbor whose bass is coming through my walls realizes his music too loud for him to hear the sirens if they go :/


I would go and tell him personally, you never know when you can save a life.
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Tornado warning here for Denton County TX now. I wonder if the neighbor whose bass is coming through my walls realizes his music too loud for him to hear the sirens if they go :/
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from cnn.com



The weather agency's Storm Prediction Center in Norman was evacuated and employees took shelter as a tornado approached, a spokesman told CNN. Responsibilities were transferred to the U.S. Air Force Global Weather Central at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
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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.