Hurricane warnings for Mexico; tornadoes and floods for the Midwest U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:26 PM GMT on June 20, 2011

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The outer spiral bands of intensifying Tropical Storm Beatriz have reached the coast of Mexico between Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, and a hurricane warning is now in effect for the coast of Mexico from Zihuatanejo northwestward to La Fortuna. Beatriz is headed to the northwest under the influence of the large trough of low pressure over the Midwest U.S. that is causing severe weather and flooding rains there. As Beatriz nears the coast Tuesday morning, the trough may have progressed far enough eastwards so that Beatriz wil miss making a direct hit on the coast, and instead turn west and move out to sea as a ridge of high pressure builds in. Regardless of whether the core of the storm makes landfall or not, the major threat from Beatriz will be heavy rains. Rainfall amounts of 4 - 8 inches will be common along the coast, and up to a foot of rain is likely in some mountainous regions, causing significant flooding and dangerous mudslides. NHC is giving Manzanillo a 5% chance of experiencing hurricane-force winds of 74 mph or greater; these odds drop to just 1% for Puerto Vallarta, and 8% for Barra Navidad. With ocean temperatures between 29 - 30°C and wind shear predicted to drop to 10 knots later today, there is no reason why Beatriz couldn't intensify into a Category 1 hurricane by Tuesday. NHC is giving a 15% chance the Beatriz could intensify into a Category 2 or stronger hurricane. A hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to visit Beatriz this afternoon to gauge its strength. Satellite loops reveal that Beatriz has become more organized this morning, and Microwave satellite imagery indicates that Beatriz has built about 50% of an eyewall. Once this process is complete, more rapid strengthening is likely.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Beatriz taken at 8am EDT June 20, 2011. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

Significant severe weather outbreak and flooding rains possible today in the Midwest
Severe thunderstorms developed along a warm front stretching from Eastern Colorado through Nebraska and into Iowa and Wisconsin last night. The result was an active evening with numerous severe thunderstorm, tornado, and flash flood warnings. Hail to the size of baseballs and winds to 77 miles per hour were reported at Champion and Imperial, Nebraska. Many other locations reported large hail and winds greater than 60 miles per hour, and NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logged thirteen preliminary tornado reports in Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The large, slow-moving low pressure system responsible for yesterday's severe weather will touch off a new round of severe weather this afternoon, and the Storm Prediction Center has placed Eastern Nebraska, Western Iowa, and portions of three other states in their "Moderate Risk" area for severe weather. Baseball and softball-sized hail is likely in some of the stronger supercell thunderstorms that form, and there is also the risk of a few strong EF-2 and EF-3 tornadoes.



Figure 2. Today's severe risk outlook from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center.

Also of concern is the large area of 2 - 4 inches of rain this storm is likely to bring to the Missouri River watershed this week. As I discussed in detail in Friday's post, the flood control system on the Missouri River is being strained beyond its designed limits, and this week's rains are likely to worsen existing flooding and potentially cause new levee breaches on the river.


Figure 3. Predicted rainfall for the coming five days (top image) shows that a large region of 2 - 4 inches is expected over the Missouri River watershed (bottom image.) Image credit: NOAA/HPC and Wikipedia.

Critical fire conditions to give Arizona a break this week
Powerful southwest winds gusting to 50 mph affected much of Arizona yesterday, producing some of the worst fire conditions the parched state has seen all year. Sierra Vista in Southeast Arizona experienced sustained winds of 31 mph, gusting to 50 mph yesterday, causing a major spread of the dangerous Monument Fire. With air temperatures of 94° and a humidity of just 13%, it was a tough day for firefighting. The 33-square mile fire jumped fire control lines and surged into the town, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people. However, after a difficult 4-day stretch of critical fire conditions, the winds will give Arizona a break today. Winds under 10 mph are expected in Sierra Vista, and strong winds and critical fire conditions are not expected in the state until at least Friday, according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. This respite should give firefighters a chance to gain the upper hand on the three significant fires burning in the eastern part of the state. Arizona's largest fire on record, the massive 800-square mile Wallow Fire, should be mostly contained by the end of the week if this forecast holds up. According to our weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, the Wallow Fire is a long way from being the largest fire in U.S. history. That distinction belongs to the great Peshtigo Fire of 1871, which burned 5,938 square miles of Wisconsin and Michigan.

The Atlantic is quiet
The Atlantic is quiet, with no tropical cyclones predicted over the next seven days by the reliable computer models.

Jeff Masters

Questionable Building Site! (Nikongranny)
From the first time I saw this house starting to go up I questioned whether this was a safe place. Turns out "not this year."
Questionable Building Site!
Monument Fire, Tuesday (paperbag)
The Monument Fire near Sierra Vista looked like this from Bisbee 20 miles away at sunset Tuesday June 14.
Monument Fire, Tuesday
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:




This morning's EURO showed a tropical system in about the same location as the 12z GFS during the same time frame. Will be interesting to see this afternoon's EURO.
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Wow did not even know that debris balls could even get that big. Must be picking up a ton of something.
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huge debris ball
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The tornado on the ground may look like one of the great bend tornado's. For those who dont know the great bend tornado's were F2's but looked awsome beacuse of the dust they picked up.
Link
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Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
Large tornado now on the ground... possibly strong... picking up a ton of dust.
Quoting Thundercloud01221991:
* AT 158 PM CDT...STORM SPOTTERS AND NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER
RADAR WERE TRACKING A LARGE AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TORNADO 9 MILES
NORTH OF HILL CITY. DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED THIS TORNADO MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 35 MPH.


Like I said, probably an EF-3/EF-4
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32355


Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32355
TS Beatriz..

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* AT 158 PM CDT...STORM SPOTTERS AND NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER
RADAR WERE TRACKING A LARGE AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TORNADO 9 MILES
NORTH OF HILL CITY. DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED THIS TORNADO MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 35 MPH.
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Large tornado now on the ground... possibly strong... picking up a ton of dust.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
With this front in play stalled out and the moisture surge coming in from the Gulf, this has GOT to bring heavy downpours for some of us tomm into Wed.

I think a few areas may get some decent rain but local weathermen said Texas has very dry air 50,000 feet above the ground. The last 2 storms i had come over in May looked very impressive on radars and it thundered several hours but dropped only a tenth of an inch of rain both times. Alot of the rains in Texas the past few months have not reached the ground, alot of it is virga with reduced amounts making it to the ground, this has been true for Central and South Central Texas, East of here it is probably more moist?
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Recon Aproaching Beatriz... Should be interesting.
Say it will be 75 MPH by the time they get in.
The atlantic appears to be warming up for the next invest.
GFS hints at a low in the Bay of Campeche,
NOGAPS Shows the formation of a TS going into the Yucatan,
the CMC is showing an open atlantic low from a trough split in about 7 days.
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The NAO is forecast to stay negative for at least the next 2 weeks. This should help keep the trade winds low across the Tropical Atlantic, helping to warm the SSTs even more above average while building up the TCHP at the same time. It should also help lower surface pressures in the Western Caribbean/GOM where the models keep hinting at tropical development 8-10 days from now.

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Storm reports are coming in from there of very brief spin ups... nothing major on the ground yet
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I'm not surprised at all to see this system popping up ugliness in Kansas. We got close to an inch of rain out of this monster last night with plenty of lightning and some light hail. For our location and elevation, it was a notable storm. Hope the folks in Kansas are paying attention:

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Too many "ty"'s!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32355
Quoting Neapolitan:

radar

becoming rain wrapped, thatll weaken it
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:

ty


No problem. The current tornado on the ground seems to be an EF3/EF4 according to Grlevel2Analyst radar estimates.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32355
Quoting Neapolitan:

radar

ty
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:



ty
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
wow can someone posta radar pic of that tornado warned storm in Kans? Has one of the best hooks iv seen on a NWS radar! Bet there is a monster on the ground.

radar
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12z GFS is back to toying with the idea of a tropical storm in the Bay of Campeche. This is at 240 hours. Pretty far out, but not at a distance that we can just laugh at it and think it will never happen:

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200. beell
0-3km Helicity
clickable
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 144 Comments: 16770
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
wow can someone posta radar pic of that tornado warned storm in Kans? Has one of the best hooks iv seen on a NWS radar! Bet there is a monster on the ground.


Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32355
Anybody have the link to the local stream for the news station in Central Kans?
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NEXRAD Radar
Goodland, Base Reflectivity 0.50 Degree Elevation Range 124 NMI

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746

WHXX01 KMIA 201835

CHGE77

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE

NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

1835 UTC MON JUN 20 2011



DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.

PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.



EAST PACIFIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR



TROPICAL CYCLONE BEATRIZ (EP022011) 20110620 1800 UTC



...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...

110620 1800 110621 0600 110621 1800 110622 0600



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 16.6N 102.9W 17.8N 103.4W 18.6N 103.8W 19.3N 104.3W

BAMD 16.6N 102.9W 17.7N 103.9W 18.7N 104.9W 19.6N 106.0W

BAMM 16.6N 102.9W 17.7N 103.9W 18.4N 104.9W 19.0N 105.8W

LBAR 16.6N 102.9W 17.9N 103.7W 19.4N 104.8W 20.6N 105.9W

SHIP 60KTS 71KTS 77KTS 75KTS

DSHP 60KTS 71KTS 77KTS 75KTS



...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...

110622 1800 110623 1800 110624 1800 110625 1800



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 20.2N 104.9W 21.2N 107.2W 21.7N 110.9W 21.9N 115.0W

BAMD 20.2N 107.0W 21.2N 109.9W 22.1N 113.6W 22.9N 117.0W

BAMM 19.4N 106.9W 19.9N 110.0W 20.3N 114.2W 20.2N 118.1W

LBAR 21.8N 106.6W 24.8N 106.3W 27.5N 104.0W 28.4N 102.2W

SHIP 72KTS 56KTS 35KTS 18KTS

DSHP 72KTS 56KTS 35KTS 18KTS



...INITIAL CONDITIONS...

LATCUR = 16.6N LONCUR = 102.9W DIRCUR = 330DEG SPDCUR = 8KT

LATM12 = 15.4N LONM12 = 102.3W DIRM12 = 321DEG SPDM12 = 9KT

LATM24 = 14.1N LONM24 = 100.7W

WNDCUR = 60KT RMAXWD = 15NM WNDM12 = 50KT

CENPRS = 989MB OUTPRS = 1006MB OUTRAD = 200NM SDEPTH = D

RD34NE = 70NM RD34SE = 70NM RD34SW = 50NM RD34NW = 50NM



$$

NNNN


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
Tropical Weather Poll - Pacific Basin

Q: How strong will Beatriz be at the complete 2:00 PM PDT update?

A. 65 mph
B. 70 mph
C. 75 mph
D. 80 mph
E. Higher or lower than listed

My choice, as always, is highlighted in bold.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32355
194. beell
Quoting Patrap:
Notice those TVS are all in the West and NW Quad of the Low,..


Interesting Kansas view


For real. Normally you would associate that side of the surface low with the cold front.

992mb surface low wrapping the juice all the way around underneath the cooler mid-level temps that allows erosion of the cap. 4C vs 14C just to the east. Not to mention extreme helicity values around the low itself.

700mb temps
click to open in new window
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 144 Comments: 16770
wow can someone posta radar pic of that tornado warned storm in Kans? Has one of the best hooks iv seen on a NWS radar! Bet there is a monster on the ground.
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Those TVS returns may be cold air funnels or spin aloft as they dont appear to be associated with any parent T-storm.

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Dropsonde Location: Dropped in maximum wind band.

Splash Location: 16.44N 102.7W
Splash Time: 18:04Z

996mb (Surface) 230° (from the SW) 61 knots (70 mph)
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Lots of transient TVSs popping up and orbiting the NW Kansas low:

"

Areas to the northeast and east may be in for some "fun" later today...


Ive never seen a storm do that, go against the grain? how does that happen?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Looks like the eyewall is nearly 65-70% complete.



Looks like it has ingested a little dry air into the N/NE section of the core. It needs to fight that off before it can strengthen much more. The environment is very moisture-filled at the surface. Dry air must be coming from the mid-levels. Anyway, I'd say high end Cat 1 or low end Cat 2 is as high as she can go.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


You do know the coordinates from the Vortex message are in degrees/minutes, need to be converted to lat/lon.
of coarse i just entered numbers looks pretty centred to me as per images so i went with it
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
Looks like the eyewall is nearly 65-70% complete.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32355
there were two earthquakes at the same weird spot in arkansas today. Did not see any earthquakes in iceland at all?
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One thing about Beatriz is that it's a huge system. I wouldn't really look for any rapid intensification until it can tighten up some. The core looks kind of ragged to me on visible. I think Cat 2 is attainable, but it would be low end. It looks like it will run out of warm water before it can get any stronger than a low end Cat 2.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
T.C.F.W.
02E/H/B/C1
MARK
16.37N/102.53W


You do know the coordinates from the Vortex message are in degrees/minutes, need to be converted to lat/lon.
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I think that Beatriz is now a hurricane. Recon recorded 80 mph in the eyewall, and they did not mark it as suspect.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32355
Notice those TVS are all in the West and NW Quad of the Low,..


Interesting Kansas view
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Very strong super cell with a tornado reported on the ground in KAN. Velocity is maxed out on te NWS radar. Also a text book hook on it. Wish some of the chasers with vid cast were on it...
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Lots of transient TVSs popping up and orbiting the NW Kansas low:

"

Areas to the northeast and east may be in for some "fun" later today...
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T.C.F.W.
02E/H/B/C1
MARK
16.37N/102.53W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
176. beell
PDS WATCH
click for text discussion
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 144 Comments: 16770
Quoting alfabob:

These waters could support a cat 5 if there was enough time to develop and the right environmental conditions.
I disagree. Those SSTs lack depth. This can be seen in the tchp map




Maybe if the atmospheric conditions were perfect and this were a smaller system like Adrian
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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.