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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Wow

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Quoting NCHurricane2009:
By the way....

That Video "We're in the Tornado!" Dr. Master's posted is incredible. Wow! Tornado season this year is so overkill. I am speechless, way too overkill, when will it end?!


The good doc got duped on that one. That was actually from last Oct in Texas I believe. Someone had posted earlier but I can't find the video ATM.

Quoting aquak9:
MrMixon- THANK YOU!!! I didn't think ANYONE saw that, no one commented, NOTHING!!

After all this time here, FINALLY I get the recognition I so deserve!! :)


Keep doing your thing Aqua!

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MrMixon- THANK YOU!!! I didn't think ANYONE saw that, no one commented, NOTHING!!

After all this time here, FINALLY I get the recognition I so deserve!! :)
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Thanks for the link Neopolitan, some useful info. The Doppler radar for detecting tornadoes did begin use in 1991/1992, so that's at least one big reason for the large uptick in reported tornadoes since then.

My main point is that I didn't like Dr. Masters statement of 2011 having the "three largest outbreaks of all time" given the data constraints. But if Dr. Masters definition is loosely based on one storm moving across the country causing tornadoes, below are three outbreaks from the last 10 years with greater than 150 tornadoes :
May 29th - May 30th 2004 170 tornadoes
May 4th - May 6th 2003 195 tornadoes
May 22nd - May 25th 2008 161 tornadoes

Data is from the SPC details on each year (has good data since 2000)
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aqua, please add broccoli to that list....
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By the way....

That Video "We're in the Tornado!" Dr. Master's posted is incredible. Wow! Tornado season this year is so overkill. I am speechless, way too overkill, when will it end?!
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Baseball sized hail and a tonado warning reported on NOAA for western MD not far from Hagerstown. There's a storm heading for Romney WV from the south west, but it's not warned yet. The start of a wild ride tonight for the Mid-Atlantic...
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Had quarter sized hail in Chattanooga about 1 hr ago. The wind and rain was pouring down so hard that there was barely any visibility.
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Quoting aquak9:
(reviews and amends data)

Chicken Wings/Beans/Big Macs = methane production = global warming

There, ya'll happy?


All this talk of food reminds me: I've been meaning to say for the record that I, for one, got a chuckle out of the "I want my rice back" joke.... I was just too busy that day to post.
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Afternoon all,

Posted a detailed look back at our early season activity in the Atlantic hurricane season this morning....

I think that the Atlantic subtropical machine is not over. I circled an area that I think could become Invest 93L over the next days....
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(reviews and amends data)

Chicken Wings/Beans/Big Macs = methane production = global warming

There, ya'll happy?
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Fine here Sheri..

Hope you and yours are well too.
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Quoting kwgirl:
My brother who lives in Lumberton, Tx told me he had to put soaker hoses around his foundation to keep it moist. You may want to try that. It will seep into the ground but won't waste a lot of water.


Now thats an idea thanks
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Patrap Thank you so very much. How are ya?

sheri
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Quoting blsealevel:


Did that, ran water for right at 24 hrs didnt look like it did any good at all, cant wait to see my water bill now but guess it's cheaper then fixing my house slab
My brother who lives in Lumberton, Tx told me he had to put soaker hoses around his foundation to keep it moist. You may want to try that. It will seep into the ground but won't waste a lot of water.
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


I would check with some local pros on the subject but, I have been told that if you soak the ground around the slab you can prevent cracks due to fluctuating moisture content of the soil. The "pros" will also tell you not put rain gutters up the full length of the roof because this directs water away from the slab. They say to run the gutters only over the doors and to leave the rest of the roof open to drain.


Did that, ran water for right at 24 hrs didnt look like it did any good at all, cant wait to see my water bill now but guess it's cheaper then fixing my house slab
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Quoting aquak9:
Big Macs = methane production = global warming

Floodman, ya might be onto something.
That can apply to beans as well.
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Maybe bookmark this page Sheri
and see about a NOAA Alert Weather Radio

Saraland, Alabama Wu-Page


Tornado Warning

Statement as of 3:20 PM CDT on May 26, 2011

The National Weather Service in Mobile has issued a

* Tornado Warning for...
southwestern Mobile County in southwest Alabama...
this includes the cities of... Grand Bay... Bayou La Batre...

* until 400 PM CDT

* at 320 PM CDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a
severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado near Moss
Point... or near Gautier... moving east at 20 mph.

* The tornado will be near...
Grand Bay around 355 PM CDT...
Bayou La Batre around 400 PM CDT...

This includes Interstate 10 between mile markers 1 and 11.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

Do not use your car to try to outrun a tornado. Cars are easily
tossed around by tornado winds. If you are caught in the path of a
tornado... leave the car and go to a strong building.

Heavy rainfall may obscure this tornado. Take cover now! If you wait
to see or hear it coming... it may be too late to get to a safe place.

If in Mobile homes... evacuate them and get inside a substantial
shelter. If no shelter is available... lie flat in the nearest ditch
or other low spot and cover your head with your hands.


Lat... Lon 3034 8828 3038 8825 3037 8830 3039 8832
3039 8836 3038 8839 3036 8837 3035 8839
3040 8841 3051 8841 3055 8823 3037 8822
3038 8825 3034 8825
time... Mot... loc 2019z 264deg 17kt 3042 8853
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Any correlation from chicken wings?? Getting hungry now.



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Tornado sirens going off in Mobile, AL.
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Quoting Floodman:


Adrian! How are you man? Yeah, I mention these things like I mention the Hebert Boxes; anything can be correlated to anything else given enough time and effort. Me? I'm working on the correlation between the consumption of Big Macs by average American males and the frequency of snowfall events in Northern New Hampshire...I'm seeing some very promising preliminary results; now to monetize my research...LOL


Dag nab it, Flood! I thought there was someone else doing the same research as I. I got too many of the, "You are the second one to ask me that" when I called to see how many BigMacs they sold today to average males. I left out the "American" part because these days we just don't know. .... Race you to the funding!
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Tornado sirens are going off but no raining or anything I'm in Saraland,Al if anyone can post anything to show me what's going on.

please sheri
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Quoting hurricane23:
There's no significant scientific correlation between a dry May and an active Florida hurricane season. Florida's risk is fairly high every year, regardless of the start of the rainy season, and the weather patterns that cause dryness in May don't necessary translate to or cause another type of weather pattern later in the season that could lead to a South Florida hurricane landfall. In other words, the pattern in late May doesn't usually stick around the entire hurricane season. Even if it did, a tropical system would have to form in just the right place and right time to be affected by that weather pattern and affect South Florida. These things are dictated by weather patterns which can only be reasonably predicted 7 to 14 days out.

Adrian


Hey "killer," good to see you.
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hopefully get some rain out of this western carib. system this time of yr usually these systems develop around a stalled out front combining with a moonsoon trough. i dont see no front involved with the upcoming system yet.
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Fresh update - my return of daily updates!
Hurricane season about to begin - daily updates to resume. 5/26/11
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Quoting aquak9:
Big Macs = methane production = global warming

Floodman, ya might be onto something.
...I rest my case
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Big Macs = methane production = global warming

Floodman, ya might be onto something.
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Quoting hurricane23:
There's no significant scientific correlation between a dry May and an active Florida hurricane season. Florida's risk is fairly high every year, regardless of the start of the rainy season, and the weather patterns that cause dryness in May don't necessary translate to or cause another type of weather pattern later in the season that could lead to a South Florida hurricane landfall. In other words, the pattern in late May doesn't usually stick around the entire hurricane season. Even if it did, a tropical system would have to form in just the right place and right time to be affected by that weather pattern and affect South Florida. These things are dictated by weather patterns which can only be reasonably predicted 7 to 14 days out.

Adrian


If the typical conditions over Florida in May were to stick around the entire season they would never get hurricanes. Nothing in May stays the same all season, obviously. There are, however, connections that can be drawn from things that happen in May. For example, very low pressures over the central subtropical Atlantic during May are highly correlated with active hurricane seasons. In regards to Florida, a dry May implies strong ridging overhead, usually associated with a La Nina spring, which can have implications down the road depending on what else is going on.

Looking for clues in May is very helpful.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26698
Quoting Floodman:


Adrian! How are you man? Yeah, I mention these things like I mention the Hebert Boxes; anything can be correlated to anything else given enough time and effort. Me? I'm working on the correlation between the consumption of Big Macs by average American males and the frequency of snowfall events in Northern New Hampshire...I'm seeing some very promising preliminary results; now to monetize my research...LOL
I've just completed a study on the correlation between consumption of Big Macs and the need for a larger belt.

The findings of said study are not surprising :)
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Quoting blsealevel:


Sounds like Mother nature is about to do that for you
I'm waiting for my house fondation to start cracking as it is.


I would check with some local pros on the subject but, I have been told that if you soak the ground around the slab you can prevent cracks due to fluctuating moisture content of the soil. The "pros" will also tell you not put rain gutters up the full length of the roof because this directs water away from the slab. They say to run the gutters only over the doors and to leave the rest of the roof open to drain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 176 Comments: 55524
Quoting hurricane23:
There's no significant scientific correlation between a dry May and an active Florida hurricane season. Florida's risk is fairly high every year, regardless of the start of the rainy season, and the weather patterns that cause dryness in May don't necessary translate to or cause another type of weather pattern later in the season that could lead to a South Florida hurricane landfall. In other words, the pattern in late May doesn't usually stick around the entire hurricane season. Even if it did, a tropical system would have to form in just the right place and right time to be affected by that weather pattern and affect South Florida. These things are dictated by weather patterns which can only be reasonably predicted 7 to 14 days out.

Adrian


Adrian! How are you man? Yeah, I mention these things like I mention the Hebert Boxes; anything can be correlated to anything else given enough time and effort. Me? I'm working on the correlation between the consumption of Big Macs by average American males and the frequency of snowfall events in Northern New Hampshire...I'm seeing some very promising preliminary results; now to monetize my research...LOL
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FUS54 KLIX 262010
TORLIX
MSC059-262115-
/O.NEW.KLIX.TO.W.0064.110526T2010Z-110526T2115Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
310 PM CDT THU MAY 26 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHEASTERN JACKSON COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...PASCAGOULA...MOSS POINT...
ESCATAWPA...

* UNTIL 415 PM CDT

* AT 306 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR
ESCATAWPA...MOVING EAST AT 10 TO 15 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL OTHERWISE REMAIN OVER MAINLY RURAL AREAS OF THE
INDICATED COUNTY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

IN ADDITION TO THE TORNADO...THIS STORM IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING GOLF
BALL SIZE HAIL AND DESTRUCTIVE STRAIGHT LINE WINDS.



LAT...LON 3036 8842 3035 8860 3036 8862 3035 8868
3034 8869 3033 8873 3039 8876 3051 8879
3069 8844 3038 8839
TIME...MOT...LOC 2010Z 261DEG 9KT 3047 8856



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Pretty strong rotation with that storm north of Pascagoula, headed towards Mobile. I would not doubt it at all if a tornado is associated with that one.
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There's no significant scientific correlation between a dry May and an active Florida hurricane season. Florida's risk is fairly high every year, regardless of the start of the rainy season, and the weather patterns that cause dryness in May don't necessary translate to or cause another type of weather pattern later in the season that could lead to a South Florida hurricane landfall. In other words, the pattern in late May doesn't usually stick around the entire hurricane season. Even if it did, a tropical system would have to form in just the right place and right time to be affected by that weather pattern and affect South Florida. These things are dictated by weather patterns which can only be reasonably predicted 7 to 14 days out.

Adrian
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:



I hear you, Jeffs713. The last time I mowed my yard it created a dust storm. That was nearly three weeks ago and it is just getting drier. My pecan trees didn't even put out many tassels this year. Much of my yard is already burned out from the sun and no rain. We have no rain forecast through the holidays and some slight chances after that. Perhaps I should turn my yard into a rock garden? No plants. Just rocks!


Sounds like Mother nature is about to do that for you
I'm waiting for my house fondation to start cracking as it is.
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Quoting jeffs713:
All of these precip models have another thing in common - all have TX very, very dry. still.

*sigh*



I hear you, Jeffs713. The last time I mowed my yard it created a dust storm. That was nearly three weeks ago and it is just getting drier. My pecan trees didn't even put out many tassels this year. Much of my yard is already burned out from the sun and no rain. We have no rain forecast through the holidays and some slight chances after that. Perhaps I should turn my yard into a rock garden? No plants. Just rocks!
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Quoting hurricanejunky:
Hey everyone! Care to Make your 2011 Predictions?


The only prediction I am willing to make is that the US will be impacted directly by a strong storm this season.
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Quoting NRAamy:
MiamiH09...

get that fork ready.....
Fork? Should I be scared? LOL
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
I can't get over how stunning it is that we've had four EF-5 tornadoes when before that we hadn't had an EF-5 since 2008. Also, we've already had fourteen EF-4 tornadoes, more than all of last year. Unbelievable. This truly is the 2005 of tornado seasons.
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Still hanging around 3 1/2 days later, not sure how tropical it will be. Shear to the north of the area is quite destructive.

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204. beell
W of Mobile, AL (Southeastern Mississippi)


Tor Warn
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
In case anyone is interested:

Blog Update

2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast (With Video)


Just checked the GFS and ECMWF and both their 12z runs show some sort of weak tropical system in the central Caribbean about 7-8 days out.

The GFS forecasts that an anticyclone be present over the system at 168 hours with the subtropical jet north of 20N, so who knows.

12z GFS Upper Level Winds (FSU)


That time of the year when the old tubes in the computers start warming up i guess.
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Quoting jeffs713:

Not many similarities.


?
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:



I think this area forecast in the SW Caribbean bears watching the first week of June. Very possible to see Arelene if the upper level winds cooperate. Still touch and go early in the season.

so basically it wont hit my way cuz im in new orleans and worried cuz our river levels are very high!
Member Since: July 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2751
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:



I think this area forecast in the SW Caribbean bears watching the first week of June. Very possible to see Arelene if the upper level winds cooperate. Still touch and go early in the season.



Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9882
Quoting sunlinepr:


weakening some it appears.
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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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