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

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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Quoting srada:
Why are there a lot of comments about models not predicting a storm in the next two weeks. It is not a strong storm but the initalization is there for NC, even Dr. Masters mention it

GFS


CMC


NoGaps


even the ECMWF hints at something..am I missing something?


That's probably a cold core low, like some of the low pressure areas we've seen so far this year. If you pay attention to satellite every once in a while, you'll catch them, especially after a front moves offshore.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34842
Quoting kmanislander:
No kidding.Just got home and already 1.1 inches recorded since it started less than an hour ago. Looks like this could be a 3 to 4 inch event based upon the satellite imagery.
LOL. East End has had .19
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223. srada
Why are there a lot of comments about models not predicting a storm in the next two weeks. It is not a strong storm but the initalization is there for NC, even Dr. Masters mention it

GFS


CMC


NoGaps


even the ECMWF hints at something..am I missing something?
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Quoting TomTaylor:
yeah i wouldn't expect much for the next week or two.

perhaps by the end of the month things can get kicking

a new OLR anomaly forecast is out



still calling for lots of convection in our area in mid/late July, despite dynamic MJO models looking like they want to go ahead and take the MJO out of our region by that time.

here's the GFS



I recently realized that the ASR forecast is actually statistical, not dynamic. I would expect the GFS to be more correct, as the MJO should be leaving our area of the world by the latter portion of the month, hence why I see it being a fairly quiet month overall, though we may still get a storm out of it.
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Quoting twincomanche:
All I was trying to say in my previous post was that perhaps, just perhaps, someone could provide a good portion of our weather service as good as and perhaps at a lower cost to us taxpayers than our so so efficient government. It did not call for being ridiculed for being a idea that should not at least be considered. Call me crazy but I just don't see a lot of models of efficiency at any level of public works. Before I get yelled at, I am not attacking the people in the public sector, I am just saying the institutions are not working very well.
Its all good twin. He attacks every viewpoint that doesn't support his position.
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220. JRRP
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Quoting Neapolitan:

I agree. I'll see those, and I'll raise you such models of capitalist stewardship as BP, Union Carbide, Goldman Sachs, WorldCom, Enron.

Big Government is not the answer to all our problems, as shown by your examples. But neither is Big Business, as shown by mine.
In no way was I advocating for big business. In what way you are reading that into my post escapes me, but it gives you people who don't like our system to bash things instead of addressing the possibility that I might have a good idea.
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Quoting twincomanche:
I am not sure where you are coming from, but I bring you such models of efficiencies as the Pentagon, the Postal Service, Amtrak, the Agriculture department, Medicare, Medicaid. Need I go on?

I agree. I'll see those, and I'll raise you such models of capitalist stewardship as BP, Union Carbide, Goldman Sachs, WorldCom, Enron.

Big Government is not the answer to all our problems, as shown by your examples. But neither is Big Business, as shown by mine.

(EDIT: I see SVFF beat me to it. Kudos, but I'll let mine stand.)
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
I'll see those, raise you Wall Street and throw in current national Lorenz curve.
What has that got to do with weather services?
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Quoting Levi32:
July does look like it won't be that active of a month, but as Teddy said, that proves little about the meat of the season.
yeah i wouldn't expect much for the next week or two.

perhaps by the end of the month things can get kicking

a new OLR anomaly forecast is out



still calling for lots of convection in our area in mid/late July, despite dynamic MJO models looking like they want to go ahead and take the MJO out of our region by that time.

here's the GFS

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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
I'll see those, raise you Wall Street and throw in current national Lorenz curve.
There, that is not ridicule that is economic theory, which we obviously disagree on so I am going to fold as this is not an economics blog. You and yours are obviously winning right now, but I love this land and it's people as I can tell you do, so when it all comes crashing to the ground I will not be dancing in the street saying "I told you so." I'll be at your side trying to pick up the pieces and we'll go on from there. Peace
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Link

Heavy rain Downtown, Grand Cayman
No kidding.Just got home and already 1.1 inches recorded since it started less than an hour ago. Looks like this could be a 3 to 4 inch event based upon the satellite imagery.
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*REPOST*

Since it is quiet, here is a look at all the tropical systems that formed in July in the Atlantic basin over the past 16 years, or the start of the active period.

1995
: Barry (TS), Chantal (TS), Dean (TS), Erin (C2)
1996: Bertha (C3), Cesar (C1)
1997: Bill (C1), Claudette (TS), Danny (C1), Five (TD)
1998: Alex (TS)
1999: Two (TD)
2000: No tropical systems recorded
2001: Two (TD)
2002: Arthur (TS)
2003: Claudette (C1), Danny (C1), Six (TD), Seven (TD)
2004: Alex (C3)
2005: Cindy (C1), Dennis (C4), Emily (C5), Franklin (TS), Gert (TS)
2006: Unnamed (TS), Beryl (TS)
2007: Chantal (TS)
2008: Bertha (C3), Cristobal (TS), Dolly (C2)
2009: No tropical systems recorded
2010: Two (TD), Bonnie (TS)
2011: No tropical systems recorded as of July 5

Tropical depressions: 6
Tropical Storms: 13
Hurricanes: 8
Major hurricanes: 5
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34842
Quoting TampaTom:


It's like walking on a treadmill. You are walking, but you aren't seeing anything all that rewarding!
That depends on who is on the treadmill in front of the one you are on at the gym :)
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Quoting twincomanche:
I am not sure where you are coming from, but I bring you such models of efficiencies as the Pentagon, the Postal Service, Amtrak, the Agriculture department, Medicare, Medicaid. Need I go on?
I'll see those, raise you Wall Street and throw in current national Lorenz curve.
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July does look like it won't be that active of a month, but as Teddy said, that proves little about the meat of the season.
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*Click image to enlarge*
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34842
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
There does appear to be an area of low pressure forming directly east of Cat Island.


weak banding showing
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 6144
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Things look pretty quiet for the next two weeks. We have all the upward motion we could ask for, but those two huge troughs are really killing anything that tries to get going. July is supposed to be somewhat inactive, so there's not much really to say. By the beginning of August we should start to see a change.


This is a lot like last July, which proved to everyone that June-July means little to hurricane season once peak comes.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 25342
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


That's really one of the only regions with a lot of Wind shear.

uhm idk about you but shear is pretty high over the basin. Entire MDR region has high shear. The whole periphery of the Caribbean has high shear. Southern gulf has high shear and over the rest of the gulf there's a lot of subsidence associated with the upper level convergence from an ULL. Caribbean is the only moderately favorable region in the basin as far as the upper atmosphere is concerned. However even the Caribbean could be looking better, the eastern half has some moderate shear and is notorious for being a poor region of development thanks to low level divergence which also promotes subsidence.

Really the only hospitable environment is the W Caribbean
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Link

Heavy rain Downtown, Grand Cayman
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Quoting wxgeek723:
I have a question for all of you.

What if hurricanes were never named? Would several of you not be interested in them as you are today?


I don't think the interest would wane, but keeping track of them would definitely be more cumbersome.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Yep, I'm ready to entrust it all to the the folks who brought us our booming economy and I'm wearing hip waders, floaties and carrying an umbrella to keep from being overcome by all this trickle down.
I am not sure where you are coming from, but I bring you such models of efficiencies as the Pentagon, the Postal Service, Amtrak, the Agriculture department, Medicare, Medicaid. Need I go on?
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Things look pretty quiet for the next two weeks. We have all the upward motion we could ask for, but those two huge troughs are really killing anything that tries to get going. July is supposed to be somewhat inactive, so there's not much really to say. By the beginning of August we should start to see a change.
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I have a question for all of you.

What if hurricanes were never named? Would several of you not be interested in them as you are today?
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Quoting twincomanche:
All I was trying to say in my previous post was that perhaps, just perhaps, someone could provide a good portion of our weather service as good as and perhaps at a lower cost to us taxpayers than our so so efficient government. It did not call for being ridiculed for being a idea that should not at least be considered. Call me crazy but I just don't see a lot of models of efficiency at any level of public works. Before I get yelled at, I am not attacking the people in the public sector, I am just saying the institutions are not working very well.
Yep, I'm ready to entrust it all to the the folks who brought us our booming economy and I'm wearing hip waders, floaties and carrying an umbrella to keep from being overcome by all this trickle down.
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look at this showing big cold flont moving to the east coast and kick everything out to sea on july 15 2011 the east coast is save for three weeks or more
Member Since: April 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2278
Quoting PakaSurvivor:


Be careful of using profanity on this blog. You may get banned! :)


LOL, I take it your an unfortunate customer also! So where in the Panhandle are you? I'm in the Fort Walton Beach area.
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Quoting Levi32:


The models currently forecast the ridge to return over the southern U.S. in 4-5 days.

What about say 10 days? i really want to see the Texas ridge shift north and allow a tropical system to hit the US Gulf Coast
Member Since: June 30, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 96
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Q: How many named storms will July feature in the Atlantic basin?

A. One (Bret)

B. Two (Bret, Cindy)
C. Three (Bret, Cindy, Don)
D. Four (Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily)
E. Zero named storms or more than four storms.

My pick, as usual, is in bold.

The Answer is Blowin' in the Wind
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Quoting TropicalTracker2011:

Hey, If anything formed in the western carribean say in 5 days would the ridge still be protecting the US or would there be a weakness?


The models currently forecast the ridge to return over the southern U.S. in 4-5 days.
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no tropical storm or hurricanes hit the east coast anytime soon i am talking about the next three weeks!!
Member Since: April 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2278
Quoting TropicalTracker2011:

Im going with what i said in June. 2 named storms and didnt you say 3 in june teddy? :)


I figured that we'd be seeing a named storm in the 1st half of July. Models aren't showing that likely happening.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


People can change their predictions as they want, especially since we are in a quiet period. I had forecast three named storms in the Atlantic as well, but I changed it.

All im saying is that you have to go with your gut and i knew we would have a quiet period therefore i went with 2 but yeah people can change their mind :)
Member Since: June 30, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 96
All I was trying to say in my previous post was that perhaps, just perhaps, someone could provide a good portion of our weather service as good as and perhaps at a lower cost to us taxpayers than our so so efficient government. It did not call for being ridiculed for being a idea that should not at least be considered. Call me crazy but I just don't see a lot of models of efficiency at any level of public works. Before I get yelled at, I am not attacking the people in the public sector, I am just saying the institutions are not working very well.
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Quoting Levi32:

Hey, If anything formed in the western carribean say in 5 days would the ridge still be protecting the US or would there be a weakness?
Member Since: June 30, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 96
Member Since: April 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2278
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Quoting TropicalTracker2011:

Im going with what i said in June. 2 named storms and didnt you say 3 in june teddy? :)


People can change their predictions as they want, especially since we are in a quiet period. I had forecast three named storms in the Atlantic as well, but I changed it.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34842

Im going with what i said in June. 2 named storms and didnt you say 3 in june teddy? :)
Member Since: June 30, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 96
B. Two named storms, Bret in mid-July. Cindy in Late July.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 25342
Quoting jasonweatherman2010:
keep going far north there is less wind shear there!!


But its not going far north, the tropical wave is headed toward South Florida.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


That's really one of the only regions with a lot of Wind shear.

keep going far north there is less wind shear there!!
Member Since: April 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2278
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Shear is a killer though and will likely only enhance rain chances for the peninsula.


That's really one of the only regions with a lot of Wind shear.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34842
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
There does appear to be an area of low pressure forming directly east of Cat Island.




Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 34842
Shear is a killer though and will likely only enhance rain chances for the peninsula.
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Quoting PakaSurvivor:


Gee, another individual telling us in the panhandle we aren't a part of Florida! ;)


hahaha no don't worry I didn't say that! I just said the climate is a little different than
it is in Central and South Florida, heck the state capital and my favorite school is in the panhandle! lol
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176. DVG
Quoting PakaSurvivor:


Gee, another individual telling us in the panhandle we aren't a part of Florida! ;)


Us folks in Jax know we really aint in Fla, weeze jes in S Ga.

For sure it's been smellin like S Ga for a few weeks now.
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There does appear to be an area of low pressure forming directly east of Cat Island.


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