No new tornado deaths yesterday; Super Typhoon Songda hits Category 5

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:04 PM GMT on May 26, 2011

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The tornado onslaught of 2011 continued over the Midwest yesterday, as dozens of tornadoes touched down, primarily in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Arkansas. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logged 81 preliminary reports of tornadoes in eleven states. Even California got into the action, with a tornado near Chico causing minor damage. Mercifully, no deaths were reported from yesterday's tornadoes. Too many thunderstorms formed too close to each other to allow strong or violent tornadoes to grow, as the many thunderstorms interfered with each others' organization. The preliminary tornado count for the 5-day outbreak that began Saturday is 243. Preliminary tornado reports are an overestimate, since some storms get counted multiple times. These over-counts were 35% - 40% in the case of the April 14 - 16 tornado outbreak and April 25 - 28 Super outbreak, so we can expect that the May 21 - 25, 2011 outbreak will end up with close to 150 tornadoes. This would rank as the third largest tornado outbreak in history, giving 2011 the three largest tornado outbreaks of all-time. Prior to 2011, NOAA rated the April 3 - 4, 1974 Super Outbreak as the largest tornado outbreak of all-time, with 148 tornadoes. According to a list of tornado outbreaks maintained by Wikipedia, only two other tornado outbreaks have had as many as 150 twisters prior to 2011--the May 2004 outbreak (385), and the May 2003 outbreak (401). However, these outbreaks occurred over an eight-day and eleven-day period, respectively, and were not due to a single storm system.


Figure 1. Satellite image taken at 23:32 UTC (7:32pm EDT) May 25, 2011, showing a line of tornadic thunderstorms over the Midwest. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.


Figure 2. Tornado near Fariview, Oklahoma, on May 24, 2011. Image credit: Mike Theiss, www.ExtremeNature.com.


Video 1. "We are in the tornado!" is all this poor guy caught in a car during a tornado can say, while buildings fly apart around him. He is very lucky to have survived. Video shot in Navarro County, Texas on May 24, 2011.

The death toll from Tuesday's tornadoes over Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas is now 16, which would bring the death toll from this year's tornadoes to 506, according to yesterday's NOAA tornado statistic update. This makes 2011 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 (90 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.)

Only a "Slight Risk" day for severe weather today
The Storm Prediction Center has placed portions of twenty states, from Alabama to Vermont, in their "Slight Risk" region for severe weather potential. The slow-moving low pressure system responsible for all the tornado activity this week is weakening, and the primary severe weather threat today is from large hail and damaging straight-line thunderstorm winds. However, there are still likely to be tornadoes today, and I expect we'll see a dozen or so twisters touch down from some of the stronger thunderstorms that develop.


Figure 3. Severe weather threat for Wednesday, May 25, 2011.

Links
Here is an interactive hi-res satellite image showing Joplin before and after the tornado. Some non-interactive images are here.

The New York Times has an interactive tornado fatality map showing how this year's killer tornadoes have mostly clustered over the Southeast U.S., with the glaring exception of the Joplin, Missouri tornado.

NOAA's Visualization Laboratory has an impressive animation of the satellite imagery during the month of April, showing the locations of all the tornadoes as they happened.


Figure 4. Satellite image of Super Typhoon Songda.

Super Typhoon Songda the first Category 5 tropical cyclone of 2011
The first typhoon of 2011 is also the globe's first Category 5 tropical cyclone of the year. Super Typhoon Songda intensified dramatically over the past 24 hours in an environment of light wind shear and warm sea surface temperatures of 30°C, to reach Category 5 status with top sustained winds of 160 mph. Tropical Cyclone Yasi, which devastated Queensland, Australia in early February, was the globe's previous strongest tropical cyclone of 2011, with 155 mph winds.

Fortunately, Songda is expected to miss making a direct hit on the Philippines, though evacuations have been ordered in low-lying areas. Satellite-estimated rainfall for the coming 24-hour period is predicted to be less than 4 inches along the northeast coast of the Philippines' Luzon Island, which should not cause major flooding problems. Songda is expected to turn northwards and threaten the island of Okinawa on Saturday. Sea surface temperatures decline rapidly north of the Philippines, and Songda is expected to weaken significantly before reaching Okinawa, where sea surface temperatures are approximately 26°C. Wind shear will also increase to high levels by Saturday, and Songda should be at most a Category 2 typhoon by the time it reaches Okinawa.

Jeff Masters

Tornado! (CalicoBass)
Tornado Warning for us. It went just past us, was beautiful to watch.
Tornado!
Large Hail! (aderocher78)
First round of large hail.
Large Hail!
Possible Tornado (Griff3488)
I was west bound I 74 when I drove into this storm. They said On the radio it was a tornado on the ground.
Possible Tornado
Joplin 5/22/11 EF5 aftermath (N0RCO)
I went to joplin to look at the destruction this EF5 tornado did. Absolutely devastating in my opinion!
Joplin 5/22/11 EF5 aftermath
Lightning Strike (weatherfanatic2010)
I caught this totally by accident. I was trying to take a picture of the cloud formation and this flashed right as I took the picture. Unbelievable luck!!
Lightning Strike
Mammatus over Indy (jay1hawker)
View of sky before storm, May 25, 2011 Indianapolis
Mammatus over Indy

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499. IKE

Quoting hydrus:
Models are still pickin up somethin down ther...
I think it's going to happen. Too many models are showing it. Season starting right on time.
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Quoting IKE:

I thought about that...you may be right.

Nothing down there now....yet.....


not till late sunday early monday should we start to see a surface reflection see what todays and tomorrows model runs show we are almost under 120 hr mark so the poss of a system is improving with each run from here on out as long as the models continue to show dev.
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GFS...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22727
Quoting IKE:

I thought about that...you may be right.

Nothing down there now....yet.....


Models are still pickin up somethin down ther...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22727
I think that Tropical wave that is about to enter the E Caribbean may have something to do with it
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494. IKE

Quoting wunderkidcayman:
man I think we may even have 93L by late this weekend
I thought about that...you may be right.

Nothing down there now....yet.....


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493. MahFL
Aye smokey in downtown Jax.
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Quoting IKE:
I would think we'll have 93L by early next week in the western Caribbean. Maybe it brings some needed rains to areas that need it.
man I think we may even have 93L by late this weekend
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489. IKE
I would think we'll have 93L by early next week in the western Caribbean. Maybe it brings some needed rains to areas that need it.
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cnn just reported fema is almost out of money yes we are at the bottom of the piggy bank believe me the big shots who got us spread all around the world will be "getting it" after the big one hits
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487. IKE
Throw in the non-tropical NAM 6Z run @ 84 hours....


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486. Skyepony (Mod)
Friday's video for hurricane preparedness week..get a plan.



Here's something for ya'll that would rather wake up to Maiden that Craig Fugate.
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Songda may help to disperse some of that radiation around Fukushima though it is forecast to weaken as it moves north.

Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11424
wont let me post it try something else
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Forgot her.
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Marine Weather Discussion

Excerpt:

BY SAT...AN AREA OF WEAK LOW PRES WILL START TO FORM OVER THE SW CARIBBEAN...ENHANCED BY SW MONSOON TROUGH FLOW FROM THE E PACIFIC. THIS WILL BECOME THE MAIN FORECAST ISSUE BY SUN. GLOBAL MODELS INCLUDING THE GFS...ECMWF...UKMET AND NOGAPS SHOW THIS LOW DEEPENING ALTHOUGH THE GFS...ECMWF AND UKMET ARE FAIRLY MEASURED WHILE THE NOGAPS IS MORE AGGRESSIVE. THE GFS AND ECMWF ARE SHOWING THE LOW MIGRATE N TO THE NICARAGUAN COAST BY TUE...AND WHILE THE LOW DOES NOT DEEPEN APPRECIABLY...THE PRES GRADIENT BETWEEN THE LOW AND RIDGING N OF THE AREA IS ENOUGH TO ALLOW FRESH TO STRONG E TO SE WINDS FROM THE SE CARIBBEAN TO THE NW CARIBBEAN BY TUE
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Quoting aquak9:
Hi ike, everyone. We're really smoky here in downtown Jacksonville. Eck. Coughy smelly stanky musty smoke.

Beats radiation any day, tho.


Speaking of radiation. Have you noticed the media blackout on Fukishima? Its as if it never happened.
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480. IKE

Quoting aquak9:
Hi ike, everyone. We're really smoky here in downtown Jacksonville. Eck. Coughy smelly stanky musty smoke.

Beats radiation any day, tho.
Morning. Just checked by rain gauge, I had .05 inches of rain. Oh boy!
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Hi ike, everyone. We're really smoky here in downtown Jacksonville. Eck. Coughy smelly stanky musty smoke.

Beats radiation any day, tho.
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so you guys are starting to now believe what I told you about Western Caribbean development
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From San Juan NWS discussion:


THE GFS MODEL GUIDANCE IS FORECASTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF A LOW
PRESSURE CENTER JUST SOUTH OF CUBA AND JAMAICA BY THE MIDDLE OF THE
UPCOMING WEEK. THIS LOW WILL THEN MOVE SLOWLY TO THE NORTHEAST
ACROSS CUBA...PRODUCING A LARGE AREA OF MOISTURE ACROSS THE LOCAL
ISLANDS. ANOTHER LOW PRESSURE CENTER IS ALSO EXPECTED TO DEVELOP
NORTH OF PUERTO RICO BY THE END OF UPCOMING WEEK. THESE
FEATURES...IF VERIFY...WILL PRODUCE ANOTHER ROUND OF WET WEATHER
PATTERN OVER THE FA DURING THE BEGINNING OF JUNE. STAY TUNED
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14921
476. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Skyepony, can you share with all of us that link where you saw that?


My bad.. that's ten Chernobyls into the sea.
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475. IKE
From the Tallahassee,FL discussion.....

LONG TERM...(MONDAY THROUGH NEXT FRIDAY)...
GLOBAL GUIDANCE HAS COME INTO BETTER AGREEMENT FOR THE EARLY PORTION
OF NEXT WEEK CONCERNING THE EVOLUTION OF ENERGY LEFT BEHIND BY A
DEPARTING TROUGH. MONDAY WILL FIND OUR FORECAST AREA LOCATED BETWEEN
STRONG RIDGING ALOFT EXTENDING FROM THE WESTERN/CENTRAL GULF
NORTHEAST TO THE TN/OH VALLEYS...AND THE AFOREMENTIONED UPPER LEVEL
ENERGY/DISTURBANCE OVER THE FLORIDA PENINSULA/BAHAMAS. AT THE
SURFACE...FLOW WILL BE LIGHT TO MODERATE FROM THE EAST BETWEEN HIGH
PRESSURE TO OUR NORTH...AND BROAD LOW PRESSURE ACROSS THE WESTERN
CARIBBEAN.

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472. Fluid
Fukushima:

It may be that matters there are a little more serious than previous indications:

http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=1855&catego ry=Environment
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http://moe.met.fsu.edu/tcgengifs/cmc/2011052700/s lp24.png

here we go.
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Good Morning everyone....Could someone please give me a link to the tropical models...My pc recently crashed and Ive lost all my model sites..Thanks for any help!!!!
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469. IKE
Latest ECMWF @ 144 hours...


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what was the chant at woodstock? we need some rain hopefully the energy somehow is drawn up out of the carib.
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467. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting aquak9:
good morning all

I'd like to know what the IAEC finds at Fukushima. Possibly they will shed some truthful light on the REAL situation?


Saw something lastnight comparing it to seven Chernobyls in the sea.

& the plume continues on..
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Good morning to all. The models continue to show Western Caribbean development.



CMC



NOGAPS



ECMWF

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14921
Guys check out all the models, they all show something south of cuba.GFS shows a stronger system from the last run that was just a broad low.
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good morning all

I'd like to know what the IAEC finds at Fukushima. Possibly they will shed some truthful light on the REAL situation?
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Quoting Pipejazz:


Tom and Nea, Did you see this? Chilling.
180 members aged between 54 and 78 of the SkilledVeteransCorps -- a self-named self-organized group of retired academics, soldiers, crane and bulldozer operators, construction workers, engineers, welders, etc -- will run the risk of being exposed to deadly levels of radiation to rebuild the cooling systems at the FukushimaDaiichi NuclearPowerStation with the explanation that "as [we] are nearing the end of [our] lives, [we] don't have as much to live for as those younger than [us]."
According to its founder, 72-year-old retired engineer Yasuteru Yamada,
"Our generation, who has, consciously or unconsciously, approved the construction of the Fukushima nuclear power plants and enjoyed the benefits of the vast supply of energy...should be the first to join the Skilled Veteran Corps.
Young people with a long future should not have to be placed in a position of having to undertake such a task. Radiation exposure of the generation that will reproduce the next generation should be avoided.
It's clear that human activity is essential. The place is contaminated and the radiation is very strong. It's reasonable that older people should have priority in working in the plant."

I, too, saw that. What an amazingly selfless thing to do. When future generations of Japanese speak of patriots, workers giving up their lives to help mitigate the problems at Fukushima--kamikaze-like, in the best Bushido tradition--will be at the top of the list.

Of course, it's a bit infuriating, too, since a large part of this could have been prevented. But we all, know that part of the story. Or at least what TEPCO deems us worthy of hearing. :-\
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13805
traumaboyy u got mail
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Quoting iceagecoming:


Super heavy downpours, lots of atmospheric electrical
discharge. I think the news said it was a large tree
branch in Buckhead area that fell on a car.


News 5;
A spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department reported that two women were killed after a tree fell on their vehicle in the 3800 block of Paces Ferry Road. Fire crews worked to reach the pair, but were pronounced dead at the scene.

A 19-year-old was killed on Stroud Drive in Mableton while cleaning up limbs in his grandfather’s yard. A gust of wind blew a tree down on top of the teen, killing him.



Ok, I'm sorry I don't like any loss in life, but when would anyone with common sense go outside to clean up branches in the middle of a storm? Common sense could've prevented this death *sigh*
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Quoting traumaboyy:


Hey Kori!!....was that close to your house??

Models kicking for 2-3 june already huh??


I'm only about an hour away from Sun, so yes, fairly close. A little too close for comfort, at any rate, especially given the strength of it.

Yes sir! The tropics are raring to go!
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Quoting FrankZapper:
Hey Trauma. They keeping you busy tonight?


Working my gluteus maxemi off....How U are??
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Quoting boyzNme:
not sure who is still on, no real need to respond, i just wanted to say. the tornadoes in cashion, OK killed a friend of ours on tuesday. my family made it through the joplin tornadoes, but sharon wasn't as lucky. mother nature is not forgiving. we all watch the weather here and it sometimes becomes remote to us without a name. sharon you will be sorely missed by your schippy family. everyone stay safe, alert and aware.


Boyz... I'm very sorry to hear about your friend! Prayers for all who were close to her, and especially to her family.

I guess it's a risk every day. My sister-in-law didn't take my warning serious enough in Dallas on Tuesday and ended up sheltering from baseball sized hail under a gas station roof. If the supercell hadn't absorbed several others and been too disorganized to put out a single tornado, her story might have been as sad as your friend Sharon's.

Again, my condolences.
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Quoting traumaboyy:


Hey Kori!!....was that close to your house??

Models kicking for 2-3 june already huh??
Hey Trauma. They keeping you busy tonight?
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Quoting KoritheMan:
.


Hey Kori!!....was that close to your house??

Models kicking for 2-3 june already huh??
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Damn, that thing was an EF3? Have a source?
Link

No loss of life fortunately. We usually get
lots of funnel clouds over the Lake in the summer and an occasional EF0 or 1 but I can't remember anything like this. Shows the power of this system and it ain't quite over yet.
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.
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A rare EF3 tornado caused considerable damage today in Bush,LA. Bush is just north of Lake Pontchartrain. Compared to the EF4 and 5s of the Midwest recently this might seem a bit tame, but for Bayou Country it was a really big one.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I have a knack for sniping responses. Nothing personal.
hah I noticed. No problem though, its always good to hear other people's input
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Quoting TomTaylor:
dang it, Kori! You keep on beating me to the punch lol


I have a knack for sniping responses. Nothing personal.
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Quoting listenerVT:
Korithe and Tom, thank-you most kindly!!
No problem, I'm part Filipino and I have relatives in the Philippines, so whenever I see something spinning up in the west pacific I get a little uneasy
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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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