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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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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Quoting KoritheMan:


Not appreciably. Surface observations show SW winds of 20 mph, and the storm is well to the east, and in the process of recurving.
dang it, Kori! You keep on beating me to the punch lol
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Korithe and Tom, thank-you most kindly!!
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Quoting listenerVT:
I have a friend in Manila. Does anyone know how much the city is being affected by Super Typhoon Songda?
I wouldn't worry about it.

Sunlinepr and keeper both posted the forecast track for Songda a few replies ago and it looks like the only concern for the Philippines is on the east side, and since manila is on the west side, your friend should be fine.

Here's the wunderground forecast for manila Link. Looks like some scattered t storms and some wind...which isnt really anything unusual over there
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Quoting listenerVT:
I have a friend in Manila. Does anyone know how much the city is being affected by Super Typhoon Songda?


Not appreciably. Surface observations show SW winds of 20 mph, and the storm is well to the east, and in the process of recurving.
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I have a friend in Manila. Does anyone know how much the city is being affected by Super Typhoon Songda?
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{{{ {{ ♥ Sharon ♥ }} }}}
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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.


How terribly sad, especially being random and unexpected. As I sit here with thunderstorms racing through the region, after having a tornado watch all day my heart most surely goes out to you.

~ ♥ ~
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Quoting bigwes6844:
anybody think we will see development soon anywhere in the gulf or atlantic soon?
Models aren't really developing anything significant over the next two weeks.

However, they do all seem to agree on an area of low pressure over the Caribbean in early in June, so we will have to keep an eye on that as time progresses.
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:


I am so very sorry to read of the loss of your family friend. My thoughts and prayers for Sharon's family and yours as well.


Thank you! I just needed to say her name connected to the event - it keeps me humble in the face of mother nature and I don't want to forget her. The tornado was there in an instant and she was trying to get to her safe spot. The whole area was just decimated. Her husband is in the hospital waiting for surgery from his injuries. I appreciate your response and for letting me vent!! Have a great nite.
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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."
yes I did see this and I was going to comment on it earlier but I forgot.

I don't know how you could ever repay them since they are facing almost certain death, however, it appears they have come to terms with their lives and realized that they won't be living much longer anyway. Nonetheless, no one is requiring them to do this.

That is one loyal and honorable group of men
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Quoting bigwes6844:
anybody think we will see development soon anywhere in the gulf or atlantic soon?


Yes. The southwest Caribbean looks primed for development around June 2 - 3, according to many of the global models.
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Quoting bigwes6844:
anybody think we will see development soon anywhere in the gulf or atlantic soon?


yep in the SW Caribbean next week
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Quoting TomTaylor:
thanks for the update on Japan, Nea. Hopefully Songda will stay clear of the disaster zone.

On a side note, I also find it interesting how quickly we forget about old news. Fukishima right now is as bad as its ever been, yet it has seemingly fallen off the face of the earth with regards to media coverage.



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."
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Quoting Levi32:
It's currently 80 degrees outside here at campus...in May. Amazing. We've already tied or broken the record high for today, and the forecasted high of 83 degrees tomorrow would smash that record too. We haven't had a heatwave like this since 1947.
Quoting kmanislander:


Uh oh. More anomalies :-)
More anomalies on the way, too

Average anomaly for the next 8 days


Looks like a large portion of interior Alaska and Canada will be a solid 5-8 degrees above average for the next week. Keep in mind those are in degrees c too.
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anybody think we will see development soon anywhere in the gulf or atlantic soon?
Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2636

50kt Wind Probability is the probability of entering area where sustained winds, on account of tropical cyclones, greater than 50 knots may blow sometime during the specified forecast period at each sub-division of prefectures. There are 374 subdivisions in total.
50kt Wind probability is issued for each sub-division where the probability is expected to exceed 0.5 percent within 72 hours.
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Seems like Songda still, could affect Japan... At least with TS winds... Sea contamination and radioactive fallout could be spread by the effects of the system...



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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.


I am so very sorry to read of the loss of your family friend. My thoughts and prayers for Sharon's family and yours as well.
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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.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Meanwhile, back in Japan:

Fukushima Faces 'Massive' Radioactive Water Problem

As a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency visits Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled nuclear plant today, academics warn the company has failed to disclose the scale of radiation leaks and faces a “massive problem” with contaminated water.

The utility known as Tepco has been pumping cooling water into the three reactors that melted down after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. By May 18, almost 100,000 tons (24 million gallons) of radioactive water had leaked into basements and other areas of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, according to Tepco’s estimates. The radiated water may double by the end of December.

“Contaminated water is increasing and this is a massive problem,” Tetsuo Iguchi, a specialist in isotope analysis and radiation detection at Nagoya University, said by phone. “They need to find a place to store the contaminated water and they need to guarantee it won’t go into the soil.”

The 18-member IAEA team, led by the U.K.’s head nuclear safety inspector, Mike Weightman, is visiting the Fukushima reactors to investigate the accident and the response. Tepco and Japan’s nuclear regulators haven’t updated the total radiation leakage from the plant in northern Japan since April 12.
Japan’s nuclear safety agency estimated in April the radiation released from Dai-Ichi to be around 10 percent of that from the accident at Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union in 1986, while a Tepco official said at the time the amount may eventually exceed it.

“Tepco knows more than they’ve said about the amount of radiation leaking from the plant,” Jan van de Putte, a specialist in radiation safety trained at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, said yesterday in Tokyo. “What we need is a full disclosure, a full inventory of radiation released including the exact isotopes.”

The government plans to release details on the radiation released at the “appropriate time,” said Goshi Hosono, an adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan who is overseeing the crisis response and appears at daily briefings at Tepco’s headquarters.

Bloomberg Article...

The "appropriate time"? Appropriate for whom? The good people of Japan? Or the nuclear industry?

And if you've read this far, perhaps you'll be willing to read a bit further: Is Fukushima now ten Chernobyls into the sea?
thanks for the update on Japan, Nea. Hopefully Songda will stay clear of the disaster zone.

On a side note, I also find it interesting how quickly we forget about old news. Fukishima right now is as bad as its ever been, yet it has seemingly fallen off the face of the earth with regards to media coverage.

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424. JRRP
Quoting FirstCoastMan:
Can someone post the link to the 00z gfs?Thanks

Link

only 00z gfs ??
Link
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5960
Quoting FirstCoastMan:
Can someone post the link to the 00z gfs?Thanks


Oh wait my bad I misread the UTC timing its still 18z, they have 00z to the far right so I assumed that was it.
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Quoting FirstCoastMan:
Can someone post the link to the 00z gfs?Thanks

Link


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Can someone post the link to the 00z gfs?Thanks
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00z GFS is still on.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
anyone have a good link for the ECMWF?


One

Two

Three
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26652
anyway guys I am out till early morn see u all then
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416. xcool
UPDATE BY:Jim Williams.....Please join me on June 1st for my annual Hurricane Season Kickoff Show. As usual I will release my top 20 cities and islands that I think will be hit by named storms. Last year I picked the only cities to be affected in the U.S as Miami & Ft Lauderdale were affected by T-Storm Bonnie.There will also be some giveaways for callers that stump the panel courtesy of Early Alert Inc. We will give away Siberian Ice as well as hurricane playing cards which have historical hurricanes on the back of each card with statistics. The show will begin at 8:00PM ET on June 1st on hurricane TV
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.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
He changed the URL of his website. Here's the new ECMWF model page: Link.

And this is the new link to his website: Link.


thanks!!
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I have that one, there was one that easternuswx had last year, it was really good

what happened to it?
He changed the URL of his website. Here's the new ECMWF model page: Link.

And this is the new link to his website: Link.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting KoritheMan:


Reportedly, there were two fatalities near Buckhead in Fulton County, when straight-line winds toppled a tree onto a car, killing the two women inside.


thanks alot. just got off the phone with my daughter all in fine thank god.

To you also Ice
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Quoting emcf30:
Can someone tell me what happened in Atlanta tonight. Just got back from a spring football game and heard on TV of fatalities. My oldest daughter lives there can't get ahold of her. Thanks. Figured I check here first


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.

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On 01 June 2011 JTWC will start classifying the formation potential of tropical disturbances in the Significant Tropical Weather Advisories as Low, Medium, and High.


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54259
Quoting Bitmap7:

Link


I have that one, there was one that easternuswx had last year, it was really good

what happened to it?
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
anyone have a good link for the ECMWF?

Link
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Quoting twincomanche:
I thought the start to Summer was June 21.

Oops, I work with the school systems and everyone is getting out of school over the next several days and that means summer vacations.
Glad the hurricane crew is here to keep us all informed. goodnight!
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anyone have a good link for the ECMWF?
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I'm out for tonight. Back tomorrow. Gnite.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54259
Quoting emcf30:
Can someone tell me what happened in Atlanta tonight. Just got back from a spring football game and heard on TV of fatalities. My oldest daughter lives there can't get ahold of her. Thanks. Figured I check here first


Reportedly, there were two fatalities near Buckhead in Fulton County, when straight-line winds toppled a tree onto a car, killing the two women inside.
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399. Skyepony (Mod)
Metro Atlanta weather | 3 dead; 155,000 without power
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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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