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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"Many people might guess that smoking and lightning are the most common causes of wildfires; however, both are in the minority. Most wildfires are caused by people burning debris, vehicle exhaust, sparks from trains and heavy equipment, camping, smoking, arson and lightning.."Link
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The Horseshoe Two fire in AZ had sustained winds of 40-45 mph and a wind gust of 81 mph yesterday. It ripped the door off of a water tanker. Firefighters spent most of yesterday in "safety zones" and everyone is doing fine.
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70. Jelf
Below is a link to an enhanced Google map covering the Missouri River. Click a symbol for current river flows and forecasts.

To zoom to a location, click Menu ==> Search and enter that location.

To see a detailed topographic map, click Hybrid ==> MyTopo.

http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?q=https ://sites.google.com/site/gmap4files/p/news/missour i_river.txt&ll=43.761599,-101.071993&t=h&z=6&label =on

Joseph Elfelt
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Quoting Houdude:
Any idea where the NWS is getting this from:

WEEKEND LOOKING DRIER AS UPPER
RIDGE QUICKLY BUILDS OVER N TX PER ECMWF BUT WHAT MAY BE THE FIRST
TROPICAL SYSTEM IN JUNE TRACKS INTO THE CENTRAL AND WESTERN
CARIBBEAN.

45

MARINE

The GFS model has something coming up the central GOM around July 1st. That is way out there in terms of modeling into the future.
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Quoting jeffs713:
Actually, I recall a major fire sometime in the last year or two caused by an out-of-work firefighter... so not terribly out of line.


That was 2002, The Rodeo fire.
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Wow -- from Post 31 -- big mass of dry air all over the Gulf; so depressing! I hope the blip of moisture clipping extreme SE Florida is going to head westwards.

What's looking like our best shot at moisture for the South? Any reasonable chance the Midwest trough actually pulls up Beatriz - especially since she's becoming a stronger storm?

If not, is it reasonable to expect moisture will surge northwards into the Gulf this week anyway?
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Quoting scott39:
Out-of-work firefighter seeking employment is way, way out of line Nea!!

Quoting Neapolitan:

Wanna bet? ;-)


Ha! I was just about to post a link to info about the Rodeo fire (EDIT: yeah, me and everyone else...).

"The arsonist...was Leonard Gregg, a Cibecue resident who worked as a seasonal firefighter for the tribal fire department. He told investigators he had set two fires that morning (the first was quickly put out) in hopes of getting hired by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs for a quick-response fire crew. Gregg had previously worked as a BIA fire crew member, and was indeed among the first to be called in to fight the Rodeo Fire."
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Quoting scott39:
Out-of-work firefighter seeking employment is way, way out of line Nea!!


http://www.kpho.com/story/14922510/rodeo-fire-sta rter-to-be-released-from-prison

Ooops, beaten to it. Sorry for the repost.
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interesting feature
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Quoting scott39:
Out-of-work firefighter seeking employment is way, way out of line Nea!!

Wanna bet? ;-)
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Quoting scott39:
Out-of-work firefighter seeking employment is way, way out of line Nea!!
Actually, I recall a major fire sometime in the last year or two caused by an out-of-work firefighter... so not terribly out of line.
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Quoting Neapolitan:

And he provided absolutely no proof or evidence.

As was stated the other day here when someone else said the same thing, every fire in the southwestern U.S. in the past ten years or so has been initially blamed on "illegals" (whatever that disparaging term means), and such claims always make great headlines. But what doesn't make headlines--at least in certain newspapers and on certain cable and radio shows--is when it's found a particular fire was caused by lightning, or a discarded cigarette, or kids playing with matches, or illegal fireworks, or a spark from an ORV, or an unpermitted burning of brush, or a runaway campfire by legal backpackers, or an out-of-work firefighter seeking employment, or a signal fire gone out of control...

I'm not saying undocumented aliens are incapable of starting a wildfire--but of all the methods they use to avoid detection by the law, burning down half-a-million acres is probably way, way down the list...
Out-of-work firefighter seeking employment is way, way out of line Nea!!
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57. JeffMasters (Admin)
Quoting stoormfury:
Dr Masters last year you made 456 a feature blogger. after a few features he vanished from the radar. have you have any knowledge of his where abouts?


He became busy with other interests, I have not heard from him since last summer.

Jeff Masters
Going to keep this post updated...

Current Severe Weather Watches:




* 522

Current Mesoscale Discussions:




* 1318

Reports:

Tornado: 0
Wind: 14/0
Hail: 25/3
Total: 39/3


Risks:



Current day 1 risk: MODERATE
Current day 2 risk: SLIGHT
Current day 3 risk: SLIGHT
Current day 4 risk: PREDICT. TOO LOW
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Quoting stoormfury:
Dr Masters last year you made 456 a feature blogger. after a few features he vanished from the radar. have you have any knowledge of his where abouts?


He has a job at a forecasting office where he lives, he doesn't venture much on here anymore.
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T.C.F.W.
02E/TS/B/CX
MARK
15.83N/103.86W
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For some reason, some of the images I post do not appear on the blog. Does anybody know why?

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Dr Masters last year you made 456 a feature blogger. after a few features he vanished from the radar. have you have any knowledge of his where abouts?
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Quoting Neapolitan:

I didn't say that. But there are laws against hiring undocumented migrant workers; shall we also start referring to, say, American farm and factory owners who employ them as "illegals"? Here's a take that echoes mine, and I'll say no more on the matter here.


"Illegal Employers" makes perfect sense to me, thank you.
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This is from AccuWeather:


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Quoting weatherh98:


Oh cool

Why is this cool... it would mean much more than 4-8in of rain.
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Any idea where the NWS is getting this from:

WEEKEND LOOKING DRIER AS UPPER
RIDGE QUICKLY BUILDS OVER N TX PER ECMWF BUT WHAT MAY BE THE FIRST
TROPICAL SYSTEM IN JUNE TRACKS INTO THE CENTRAL AND WESTERN
CARIBBEAN.

45

MARINE
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Quoting alfabob:

Yea but when comparing to 925mb vorticity (which I don't have the link), CIMSS is wrong. The vorticity never moved that far north and seems to still be over land according to RGB. Whenever I am using CIMSS I try to verify it with visual because half the time its making stuff up.


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Quoting beell:
25. beell 3:36 PM GMT on June 20, 2011

@Neap: Never mind. I see your preferred term. "Undocumented aliens".

Not having documents and from another country.
No law against that. Right?
; - )

I didn't say that. But there are laws against hiring undocumented migrant workers; shall we also start referring to, say, American farm and factory owners who employ them as "illegals"? Here's a take that echoes mine, and I'll say no more on the matter here.
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39. wpb
recon ready to cross the coat of mexico heading sw.
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Thanks Jeff...
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Quoting HurricaneDevo:


Perhaps it is real Aliens??
I'm with H'Devo.
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25. beell 3:36 PM GMT on June 20, 2011

@Neap: Never mind. I see your preferred term. "Undocumented aliens".

Not having documents and from another country.
No law against that. Right?
; - )
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Quoting Neapolitan:

And he provided absolutely no proof or evidence.

As was stated the other day here when someone else said the same thing, every fire in the southwestern U.S. in the past ten years or so has been initially blamed on "illegals" (whatever that disparaging term means), and such claims always make great headlines. But what doesn't make headlines--at least in certain newspapers and on certain cable and radio shows--is when it's found a particular fire was caused by lightning, or a discarded cigarette, or kids playing with matches, or illegal fireworks, or a spark from an ORV, or an unpermitted burning of brush, or a runaway campfire by legal backpackers, or an out-of-work firefighter seeking employment, or a signal fire gone out of control...

I'm not saying undocumented aliens are incapable of starting a wildfire--but of all the methods they use to avoid detection by the law, burning down half-a-million acres is probably way, way down the list...


Perhaps it is real Aliens??
Member Since: April 19, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 175
Another intense blow-up on convection near the center...This may help speed-up the building of the eyewall, and Beatriz may be very close to hurricane status right now.

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Quoting alfabob:
With pressure still decreasing, the chances for development within the BOC should continue to increase also.


I doubt it. 850 mb Vorticity has really decreased in the past 18 hours, a sign that it is weakening and/or dissipating.

18 hours ago:



Latest:

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Quoting jeffs713:

I think twhcracker was using a completely unplausible explanation to show that McCain's assertion is pretty far "out there".


exaccctttly. my sarcasm mode was on.
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 1448
Quoting kwgirl:
That is a weird radar or my mind is just seeing things. It looks like the storm is stationary and the land is coming to meet it. Must be the close-up view or something. I have even tried blinking and it still looks that way to me.LOL


haha, if you look at the lat/long lines, you can see that it is Beatriz that is moving. The first time I looked at this radar, or whatever it is called (Which was Alex of last year), I felt the same way. You'll get used to it eventually. It shows the movement of a TC very clearly, which is helpful in deciding where it will go.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I think the chances for a Category 2 hurricane Beatriz are higher than originally thought. With Dr. Masters saying that rapid strengthening is possible once it finishes its eyewall, and the National Hurricane Center also saying rapid strengthening is possible, I think its possible that Beatriz could reach Category 3 strength, although that may be a bit of a stretch.

That is a weird radar or my mind is just seeing things. It looks like the storm is stationary and the land is coming to meet it. Must be the close-up view or something. I have even tried blinking and it still looks that way to me.LOL
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"As was stated the other day here when someone else said the same thing, every fire in the southwestern U.S. in the past ten years or so has been initially blamed on "illegals" (whatever that disparaging term means"...)

Neap,

I have no problem with using some common sense and caution before slapping a label and blame around for a wildfire. A point that should be made.

Just curious. What term would you prefer when referencing illegal aliens?
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Click image to expand.
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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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