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

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

Share this Blog
8
+

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
()

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 674 - 624

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16Blog Index

Quoting alfabob:

There is very minimal banding and the lopsided feature is another sign of annular development. Moisture in the surrounding area will continue to be pulled into the center and a circular flow will begin to surround it; that is what that v in the convection means, it is being rapidly pulled. There is already a dense moisture field in the center covering most of the eye.
satellite interpretation is very subjective so I'm going to drop this argument. Time will tell what happens
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alfabob:

Just remember who called the last annular cane.


Staying humble is the biggest challenge in this field.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Seems like the only break to become annular, would be if it moves far from land, and keeps in high SSTs

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alfabob:

Just remember who called the last annular cane.
As of right now, Beatriz doesn't look annular at all. Look at the microwave image loop sunlinepr posted and the ir rainbow pic you posted. The intense convection around the core is extremely lop sided, with the large majority of it on the western side. Also seen on the microwave imagery is some spiral banding. Finally, the eye feature is ragged, small, and not very cleared out - there are still many mid to low level clouds in the eye.

For Beatriz to become annular, the intense convection around the eye would have to become near symmetrical, spiral banding would have to become minimal to non existent, the eye would need to become better defined and clear out.

Simply put, Beatriz is far from annular. And due to its extremely close proximity to land and the presence of rough mountainous terrain over land, as well as its forecasted track over cooler SSTs and a more stable and dry air mass within the next 2 days, I highly doubt this will become an annular hurricane.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alfabob:
Could be a close call on those islands, if it does continue to become annular then steering is going to be harder to predict. Definitely going to cause major damage all along the coastline up to around Puerto Vallarta.
I highly doubt Beatriz will become annular
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
Hey guys, I just completed a blog entry on Beatriz. Please check it out.
nice write up kori
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
That island "Maria Madre" could be hit by Beatriz
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
It is possible, although unlikely at this time, that Beatriz has reached her peak. Land interaction is only going to be a bigger problem from here on out, and by tomorrow night/Wednesday morning, it will begin to enter significantly cooler waters and dry air.

I doubt this system will become a Category 2 hurricane, and I may have to trim back my 85-90 mph peak to more like 75-80 mph.
Agreed.

I was expecting a cat 2, perhaps high end cat 2 if it stayed further away from land. However, Beatrice has had plans of her own and has been hugging the coastline for a while now, and has come increasingly closer to land. At least 1/3rd of the storm is over land now. Not to mention the land is very rugged and mountainous. Additionally, this system is fairly large and larger systems can take a while to get well organized, as noted by the ragged looking core. So it makes sense that this system hasn't really intensified in the last 6hrs.


Since the storm is expected to move over cooler SSTs, a drier and stabler air mass, as well as increased interaction with land, I don't expect this storm to become much stronger. If it continues on a more eastern or northern course, riding the coastline, then I'd say its reached its peak
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Morning folks 34w 6n looks pretty interesting no?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This heat wave and drought have Elway drinking again! :)

Evening TraumaBoyy. Hoping your night is quiet and full of coffee and donut breaks!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
653. Ylee
Sorry, jason, I should've backtracked further...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
652. Ylee
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
closest radar site in mexico is not working at this time
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting traumaboyy:


Agreed!!

Great Job on your Blog Kori!!


Thanks!

Good evening, Ron. I hope you don't mind if I call you that?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
Wish there was some kind of doppler radar to look at out of Mexico.


Agreed!!

Great Job on your Blog Kori!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wish there was some kind of doppler radar to look at out of Mexico.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
...BEATRIZ STRENGTHENS A LITTLE MORE...CENTER VERY CLOSE TO THE COAST OF MEXICO...
11:00 PM PDT Mon Jun 20
Location: 18.4°N 103.9°W
Max sustained: 80 mph
Moving: NNW at 12 mph
Min pressure: 983 mb
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23641
Quoting Tygor
the trees that have suddenly just started dropping their leaves here in San Antonio

What you are seeing is the result of almost no rain this year. The trees are extremely stressed and many are dieing. It's the same over here in Beaumont. All the tallow trees are turning red and loosing their leaves.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


Believe me, I'm wanting rain just as much as you. I'm in Louisiana, and the ground is exceptionally dry. Never seen anything like this.


I'm in MS and it's dry here but nothing like Texas and parts of La....I'm pulling for them....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FrankZapper:
Yea, nice summary of Beatriz and tropics in general. Keep up the good work!


Thanks!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting EYEStoSEA:


Very good blog, Kori ! I agree... thinking that ole Beatriz is stealing our GOM rainmakers thunder.


Believe me, I'm wanting rain just as much as you. I'm in Louisiana, and the ground is exceptionally dry. Never seen anything like this.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
Hey guys, I just completed a blog entry on Beatriz. Please check it out.
Yea, nice summary of Beatriz and tropics in general. Keep up the good work!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
Hey guys, I just completed a blog entry on Beatriz. Please check it out.


Very good blog, Kori ! I agree... thinking that ole Beatriz is stealing our GOM rainmakers thunder.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
633. Tygor
Quoting FrankZapper:
Half the state if your lucky. The News reported things are so bad that ranchers are selling their emaciated cattle at a loss.
In related news, Senator McCain today said illegals are starting a lot of the fires in his drought stricken State. Opponents called his statement hateful and untrue.


I don't really care about lawns/gardens etc., but I worry about the deer dying behind the house and the trees that have suddenly just started dropping their leaves here in San Antonio. I'm a transplant to San Antonio from Wisconsin, but I don't remember our trees dropping leaves in June (I could be completely misremembering though). Rain would be nice for our yard as we spent about 5k on it last year, but that's just money gone at this point. I would rather lose the money than burn the aquifer dry.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tygor:


You should know better than to wish for rain in Texas, because it isn't coming here. All kidding aside half the state should see at least 1/4" this week.
Half the state if your lucky. The News reported things are so bad that ranchers are selling their emaciated cattle at a loss.
In related news, Senator McCain today said illegals are starting a lot of the fires in his drought stricken State. Opponents called his statement hateful and untrue.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
628. DDR
ITCZ action tonight again
may end up with 6 more inches by week's end.
Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alfabob:

Conditions were too hostile for anything to really form mostly due to the size of Beatriz's wind field and the outflow; though conditions are becoming more favorable in the entire region and moisture in the gulf has continued to increased.

Thanks for the info...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting EYEStoSEA:


Maybe tomorrow it will surely look better than this!
Looking pretty puny right now....




I hope so, because you are right that is PUNY!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tygor:


You should know better than to wish for rain in Texas, because it isn't coming here. All kidding aside half the state should see at least 1/4" this week.

Yea you are right. I should know better but I am getting desperate. ALL of my gardens are dying and I have just gave up on most of them. I it just too hot here!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 674 - 624

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.