2011 now tied for 1st for the most EF-5 tornadoes in one year: 6

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:58 PM GMT on July 05, 2011

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The National Weather Service completed damage surveys last month in Alabama on the massive April 25 - 27 tornado outbreak, and found evidence to upgrade another tornado from the outbreak to EF-5 status with winds in excess of 200 mph: the Rainsville, Alabama tornado of April 27, 2011. Damage included houses that were completely removed from foundations and debris scattered for about one mile, trees that were debarked, and a few mobile homes completely destroyed with debris strewn for about a mile downwind. EF-5 damage included a pickup truck that was thrown and torn into multiple pieces, and an 800 pound steel safe anchored to a foundation that was torn away, thrown 600 feet, and had its door ripped from its hinges. Twenty-six people died in the tornado.


Figure 1. The remains of a school bus that was blown across Highway 75 in Rainsville, Alabama during the EF-5 tornado of April 27, 2011. This bus was originally sitting in the parking lot adjacent to the building in the distance to the right. Image credit: National Weather Service.


Figure 2. Number of strong to violent EF-3, EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes from 1950 to 2011. The year 2011 now ranks in 2nd place behind 1974, with 77 of these tornadoes. There is not a decades-long increasing trend in the numbers of these most dangerous of tornadoes, making any link to climate change for this year's terrible tornado season difficult to support. Image credit: NOAA/National Climatic Data Center (updated using stats for 2008 - 2011 from Wikipedia.)

Six EF-5 tornadoes have now been confirmed by the National Weather Service in 2011. This ties the year 1974 for most top-end tornadoes in one year. Here are the 2011 EF-5 tornadoes:

1) The April 27, 2011 Neshoba/Kemper/Winston/Noxubee Counties, Mississippi tornado (3 killed, 29 mile path length.)

2) The April 27, 2011 Smithville, Mississippi tornado (22 killed, 15 mile path length.)

3) The April 27, 2011 Hackleburg, Alabama tornado (71 killed, 25 mile path length.)

4) The April 27, 2011 Rainsville, Alabama tornado (26 killed, 34 mile path length.)

5) The May 22, 2011 Joplin Missouri tornado (157 killed, 14 mile path length.)

6) The May 24, 2011 Binger-El Reno-Peidmont-Guthrie, Oklahoma tornado. (9 killed, 75 mile path length.)


Video 1. The EF-5 tornado that hit Rainsville, Alabama on April 27, 2011 was caught on video as it was re-forming. Tornado formation videos are rare, and this video shows how dangerous it can be to wait until you see a tornado to take shelter. A powerful tornado can form right on top of you with only a few seconds warning.

The Atlantic is quiet
The Atlantic is quiet, with no threat areas to discuss. The only model showing potential activity over the next seven days is the NOGAPS, with predicts that a low pressure system with tropical characteristics may form on Saturday off the coast of North Carolina, in association with a cold front pushing off the coast. If such a storm does form, it would move northeastwards out to sea, and likely not be a threat to land.

I'll be back with a new post Wednesday or Thursday.

Jeff Masters

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475. nrtiwlnvragn
3:17 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
OLD BLOG
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10875
474. EYEStoSEA
3:09 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1492
472. Levi32
3:02 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Wednesday, July 6th, with Video
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26547
470. TropicalAnalystwx13
2:55 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
The vorticity associated with the wave out near 40W is clearly visible on the 850 mb. vorticity image from CIMSS.



There is an abundance of Upper Divergence and Lower Convergence, something we've not seen from the get go with an AOI. Previous AOI's have hard to gradually get lower level convergence, but this one already has it.





Wind Shear at this time isn't all too bad, and it should decrease as we head through the rest of today and into tomorrow. But, as it approaches the Caribbean, it should encounter moderate Wind Shear, if it doesn't decrease any, which it hasn't been doing.



Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
468. SLU
2:52 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting stoormfury:
COULD THE AREA OF DISTURBED AREA NEAR 40 W BE OUR NEW INVEST OR BRET?
an area of disturbed weather located in the cental atlantic near 40 W is beginning to show signs of organisation. cloudiness has increase in the area, and the low cloud field is showing signs of convergence.Looking at the shear map from CIMMS this morning the area is within 5-20 knot shear at the moment with shear values to decrease the next 24 hrs. there is considerable convergence and divergence as the system progresses westward. the 850mb vorticity is not that strong. the only model that is showing development is the gfs.we have known the aggession of the gfs in the early part of seasons before and we have to wait to see if any of the reliable models come on board. all the same it is an interesting feature and one rhat should be monitored closely


Yes sir! That's one that's gonna be headed our way come Friday night!
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 4857
466. TropicalAnalystwx13
2:48 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting stoormfury:
COULD THE AREA OF DISTURBED AREA NEAR 40 W BE OUR NEW INVEST OR BRET?
an area of disturbed weather located in the cental atlantic near 40 W is beginning to show signs of organisation. cloudiness has increase in the area, and the low cloud field is showing signs of convergence.Looking at the shear map from CIMMS this morning the area is within 5-20 knot shear at the moment with shear values to decrease the next 24 hrs. there is considerable convergence and divergence as the system progresses westward. the 850mb vorticity is not that strong. the only model that is showing development is the gfs.we have known the aggession of the gfs in the early part of seasons before and we have to wait to see if any of the reliable models come on board. all the same it is an interesting feature and one rhat should be monitored closely


Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
465. JBirdFireMedic
2:48 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting CybrTeddy:
460. Yup, heard about that this AM.

I'm still going to try to head out there, but in all likelihood its going to scrub Friday and more than likely on Saturday but we could get lucky, its Florida, weather in Florida in the summer is wild. My bets are on Sunday AM launch at 10:38:30 AM.


Cancelled our Orlando hotel reservation for tomorrow night. Will head straight to our vacation spot in Palm Bay. Depending on odds, and everything else, we may or may not go up to Titusville. :(
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 247
464. TropicalAnalystwx13
2:47 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Good morning all.

I see my shark conversation was carried on all night long, lol.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
463. Neapolitan
2:47 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
A bit of a U.S. milestone was passed yesterday temperature-wise. According to the NCDC, record daily high or high minimum temperature records have outnumbered record daily low or low maximum records in 2011 by more than 10,000.

The breakdown to-date:

    8,803 new record highs
    4,409 record highs tied with existing records
    --------------------
    13,252 record daily highs

    7,681 new record high minimums
    4,257 record high minimums tied with existing records
    --------------------
    11,938 record daily high minimums
  --------------------
25,190 record daily highs and high minimums set or tied
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
    3,601 new record lows
    1,851 record lows tied with existing records
    --------------------
    5,461 record daily lows

    7,210 new record low maximums
    2,418 record low maximums tied with existing records
    --------------------
    9,628 record daily low maximums
    --------------------
15,089 record daily lows or low maximums set or tied

Coincidentally, the "coldest" week of the year--that is, the one in which record lows of all kinds outnumbered record highs by the greatest margin--wasn't in winter, as you might expect, but rather the third week in May when an Omega block brought down massive amounts of cool air. Another "cold" week was the one following the Super Outbreak of tornadoes in late April.

The high temp/low temp ratio for the year as a whole is 1.67:1.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13456
462. CybrTeddy
2:45 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
460. Yup, heard about that this AM.

I'm still going to try to head out there, but in all likelihood its going to scrub Friday and more than likely on Saturday but we could get lucky, its Florida, weather in Florida in the summer is wild. My bets are on Sunday AM launch at 10:38:30 AM.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
460. JBirdFireMedic
2:43 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Cyberteddy:


1205 GMT (8:05 a.m. EDT)
The weather outlook for Friday has worsened to just a 30 percent chance that conditions will be good enough to launch Atlantis. Thunderstorms around the Kennedy Space Center will be the concern for the 11:26 a.m. EDT launch time.

The odds improve slightly to 40 percent favorable on Saturday and jump to 60 percent on Sunday.

"High clouds are streaming into the area from the southwest associated with convection in the Southeast Gulf of Mexico caused by an upper level low. Easterly flow continues today which will cause any developing weather to remain inland. A tropical wave in the Bahamas is moving west-northwest and will impact Florida on Thursday, increasing moisture and bringing scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms by Thursday afternoon and evening," forecasters reported this morning.

"By Friday, the wave will merge over Florida with an upper level trough, causing the wave to stall over the Florida area. This will bring significant cloud cover with embedded showers and isolated thunderstorms causing concerns for launch weather. Our primary concerns for launch are showers and thunderstorms within 20 nautical miles of the Shuttle Landing Facility, flight through precipitation, and cumulus clouds.

"Due to the launch time moving earlier and a slightly dryer atmosphere each day, the threat of weather decreases each day; therefore, the probability of Kennedy Space Center weather prohibiting launch decreases as well."
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 247
459. pottery
2:43 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting msphar:
Pottery. which way is that wave moving ? will it climb much or head West ?

Sorry for the late answer...
It's not a Wave apparently.
A low-level trough, that has brought the convection up from the ITCZ.
I would think WNW would be my guess for movement initially.
Looking at the pressure here this morning it was 1014. Winds were SSE.
A wave would have shown a lower pressure.

Plenty of rain so far today....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24023
458. PTXer
2:36 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Thanks for the links! Much appreciated!
Seems to be out of date though (June)
Member Since: January 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 67
457. hurricane23
2:32 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting PTXer:
Does anyone have a link for good radar coverage of the Dominican Republic?


Sure thing here you go.

D.R. Radar image

You can get more tropical radars towards the bottom of my TC links page.

Hope that helps. adrian
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13626
456. Yahuekano
2:31 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
http://www.onamet.gov.do/radar/
Member Since: May 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 18
455. PTXer
2:23 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Does anyone have a link for good radar coverage of the Dominican Republic?
Member Since: January 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 67
454. CybrTeddy
2:22 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting Skyepony:


That clearly shows a vorticity, looking at MSLP there is no low.. You don't always get one with vorticity. Does look better for rain..


There is indeed a low associated with it. The CMC develops this system off the US Coast, not off Florida.

Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
453. stoormfury
2:18 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
COULD THE AREA OF DISTURBED AREA NEAR 40 W BE OUR NEW INVEST OR BRET?
an area of disturbed weather located in the cental atlantic near 40 W is beginning to show signs of organisation. cloudiness has increase in the area, and the low cloud field is showing signs of convergence.Looking at the shear map from CIMMS this morning the area is within 5-20 knot shear at the moment with shear values to decrease the next 24 hrs. there is considerable convergence and divergence as the system progresses westward. the 850mb vorticity is not that strong. the only model that is showing development is the gfs.we have known the aggession of the gfs in the early part of seasons before and we have to wait to see if any of the reliable models come on board. all the same it is an interesting feature and one rhat should be monitored closely
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2600
452. lhwhelk
2:14 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting SLU:


Yep I remember. It was one of the least destructive landfalling cat 4's as a result.
Bret must have hit around the King Ranch area. I remember as a child riding past there and seeing the signs, "Trespassers will be shot." They meant it, too. No wonder it was so unpopulated!
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 66
451. Neapolitan
2:14 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting BobinTampa (#397):
Here's a question everyone can answer:

Do you remember how you found this site? I honestly can't remember exactly how I stumbled across it. I'm thinking that one of our local mets mentioned it on the air once but I'm not sure.

How did the rest of you end up here?


I was attempting to answer a hurricane-related question for a client a few days before Wilma hit Florida, so I Googled for some help and found what I needed in one of Dr. Masters' posts. I lurked for four years after that before finally signing up.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13456
450. blsealevel
2:10 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
A dust storm up to 50 miles wide and a mile high descended on the Phoenix area on Tuesday night, grounding flights, forcing drivers to stop and causing thousands of power outages.

The National Weather Service said strong winds with gusts of more than 60 miles per hour moved the dust cloud northwest through Phoenix and the cities of Avondale, Tempe and Scottsdale.

Link
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
448. kwgirl
1:57 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting galvestonhurricane:


Usually there are three things in the GOM where I live: seaweed, trout, and bait fish.
I know what you are saying. I have lived in the Keys all my life and all the times I have snorkled at the reef, I have never seen a shark. However, I know they are in the ocean and when I see scuba divers spearfishing where I am snorkling or even rod and reel fishermen off their boat, then I get out of the water.
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
447. atmoaggie
1:56 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Hey Bo. :) There was a cloud with some flashy things and some loud rumbling noise, with stuff falling out of it, passed over enough area today to keep us this side of the century mark. But just so. And, like you said, no relief in site. Only one city around here managed to set itself on fire with their fireworks display on the 4th. Sigh. :(

Marsh fire continues to burn in Port Arthur
By Marcus Powers

A fire blamed on last night's Port Arthur city fireworks show has burned 50 acres of marshland and continues to burn tonight.

Flames are not threatening any homes and no injuries have been reported.

The fire started during the July 4th public celebration.

Fire crews put out hot spots earlier this morning.



For some reason, if you had told me one city in the Golden Triangle had done that, I think I would have guessed Port Arthur...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
446. ProgressivePulse
1:55 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Anyone else having issues with the SSD site?
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5043
445. Skyepony (Mod)
1:50 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting hydrus:
The CMC clearly shows a low off the west coast of Florida..


That clearly shows a vorticity, looking at MSLP there is no low.. You don't always get one with vorticity. Does look better for rain..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37337
444. drg0dOwnCountry
1:45 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 11 Comments: 2032
443. CanesfanatUT
1:41 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting BobinTampa:
Here's a question everyone can answer:

Do you remember how you found this site? I honestly can't remember exactly how I stumbled across it. I'm thinking that one of our local mets mentioned it on the air once but I'm not sure.

How did the rest of you end up here?



Someone in the sports forum I moderate posted the spaghetti model map from one of the FLA canes in '04 is how I found out about WU. It was one of the early '05 canes when I found the blog - Dennis maybe? I was on for Katrina (but not registered). That was wild
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 523
441. islander101010
1:33 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
how about the nurse shark that bit a guy in the chest and they had to take him to surgery to get the jaws released! all calm the everglades is going to get some needed rain
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4326
440. galvestonhurricane
1:33 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting islander101010:
i hope this will help you feel better all calm in the atlantic tropics


Thanks that helps a little bit. Is there still possible formation off the East Coast in a few days?
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
439. ProgressivePulse
1:32 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Pattern should flatten out by day 5.


Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5043
438. islander101010
1:30 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting galvestonhurricane:
What's going on in the tropics? First day on since surgery on Monday.
i hope this will help you feel better all calm in the atlantic tropics
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4326
437. galvestonhurricane
1:30 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting kwgirl:
Yes, it was crazy to be wading into the ocean, then throwing bait in so the fish have a choice of what to bite. Good thing they took the bait and not you. Good morning everyone. Nice rain here in the keys. Finally our rainy season has started.


Usually there are three things in the GOM where I live: seaweed, trout, and bait fish.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
436. ProgressivePulse
1:28 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting TropicalTracker2011:

Will it weaken anytime soon to allow one of those waves to develop?



Little too much going on ATM which is creating a rather hostile environment across the basin. Maybe in the next week or two.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5043
435. kwgirl
1:27 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting galvestonhurricane:


Went wade fishing in the GOM and caught a tiger shark and a hammerhead shark. That was pretty crazy.
Yes, it was crazy to be wading into the ocean, then throwing bait in so the fish have a choice of what to bite. Good thing they took the bait and not you. Good morning everyone. Nice rain here in the keys. Finally our rainy season has started.
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
434. hydrus
1:26 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting galvestonhurricane:


Went wade fishing in the GOM and caught a tiger shark and a hammerhead shark. That was pretty crazy.
Caught a hammer head, never a tiger...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20493
433. galvestonhurricane
1:23 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting hydrus:
Bull sharks have a serious attitude problem. They are aggressive and will attack almost anything. I saw one attack an outboard motor with rage.


Went wade fishing in the GOM and caught a tiger shark and a hammerhead shark. That was pretty crazy.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
432. galvestonhurricane
1:22 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
What's going on in the tropics? First day on since surgery on Monday.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
430. ncstorm
1:20 PM GMT on July 06, 2011




Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14439
429. hydrus
1:19 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting CaneBob:
In Florida the sharks to be most afraid of are the Bull, Hammerhead and the most feared other than the Great White, the Tiger shark. Nurse sharks can also be aggressive against humans.
Bull sharks have a serious attitude problem. They are aggressive and will attack almost anything. I saw one attack an outboard motor with rage.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20493
428. ProgressivePulse
1:19 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting TropicalTracker2011:
Why is there shear increasing in the carribean??


Shear is not bad in the west.

Eastern Caribbean shear is caused by a TUTT dropping in from the C-Atl.

Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5043
427. weaverwxman
1:16 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
As one who grew up on the beaches of Ft.Lauderdale I have seen many sharks very close to shore especially at high tide. Sharks are always hungry and sometimes confuse people as food. After they have taken a bite and realize it is not their normal menu they tend to let go and swim away. So here is my advice, do not swim alone even close to shore. When the waves are rough and you have limited visibility do not swim.
Member Since: November 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 343
426. hydrus
1:13 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Quoting TropicalTracker2011:
Why is there shear increasing in the carribean??
Upper low moving s.w.from the Atlantic..Upper low in the gulf is affecting the Western Caribbean too..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20493
425. ProgressivePulse
1:11 PM GMT on July 06, 2011
Mean trough still seems to be set up in a bad location as we approach the meat of the season. I am hoping this changes.

A BREAK IN THE UPPER RIDGE THAT HAS BEEN ANCHORED OVER THE
GULF COAST STATES/THE SE U.S. AND N FLA OCCURS AS AN
UPPER TROUGH
DROPS INTO THE SE U.S. THIS OPENS THE DOOR THE ALLOW THE WAVE TO
ROTATE NORTHWARD AROUND THE PERIPHERY OF THE ATLC RIDGE
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5043

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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.