The March 2 - 3 tornado outbreak: one EF-4, 39 deaths

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:40 PM GMT on March 05, 2012

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A blanket of snow 2 - 4 inches deep fell yesterday on the regions of Southern Indiana and Northern Kentucky pounded by deadly tornadoes on Friday, adding to the misery of survivors. The violent tornado rampage killed 39 and injured hundreds more, wreaking property damage that will likely exceed $1 billion. Hardest hit were Kentucky and Southern Indiana, which suffered 21 and 12 dead, respectively. Three were killed in Ohio, and one each in Alabama and Georgia. The scale of the outbreak was enormous, with a preliminary total of 139 tornadoes touching down in eleven states, from southern Ohio to Northern Florida. The National Weather Service issued 297 tornado warnings and 388 severe thunderstorm warnings. At one point, 31 separate tornado warnings were in effect during the outbreak, and an area larger than Nebraska--81,000 square miles--received tornado warnings. Tornado watches were posted for 300,000 square miles--an area larger than Texas.


Video 1. Spectacular video of the EF-4 tornado that devastated Henrysville and Marysville, Indiana on March 2, 2012. You can see small satellite vorticies rotating on the side of the main vortex.


Video 2. Another video of the EF-4 tornado that devastated Henrysville and Marysville, Indiana on March 2, 2012, taken from a gas station.

The deadliest and most violent tornado: an EF-4
The deadliest and most violent tornado of the March 2, 2012 outbreak was an EF-4 with winds up to 175 mph that demolished much of Henryville, Chelsea, Marysville, and New Pekin, Indiana. Ten minutes after that tornado demolished much of Henryville, a weaker EF-1 tornado hit the town. The twin tornadoes killed twelve people. The Henryville tornado was the only violent EF-4 tornado of the outbreak.



Figure 1. Radar reflectivity image (top) and Doppler velocity image (bottom) of the two tornadoes that hit Henryville, Indiana on March 2, 2012. The first (rightmost) hook echo on the reflectivity image belonged to the only violent tornado of the outbreak, an EF-4 with winds of 166 - 200 mph. Ten minutes after that tornado demolished much of Henryville, a second tornado hit the town. These tornadoes also caused severe damage to the towns of Chelsea, Marysville, and New Pekin, and killed twelve people.

At least eleven other tornadoes in the outbreak have been classified as EF-3s with winds of 136 - 165 mph. Capitalclimate.com reports that the EF-3 tornadoes that crossed three Eastern Kentucky counties were the first tornadoes that strong ever observed, since tornado records began in 1950. The deadliest of the EF-3 tornadoes hit West Liberty, Kentucky, killing eight. Here's a summary of the deadly tornadoes of the outbreak taken from Wikipedia:

EF-4, 12 deaths, Henrysville, Indiana
EF-3, 8 deaths, West Liberty, Kentucky\
EF-2, 5 deaths, East Bernstadt, Kentucky
EF-3, 4 deaths, Crittenden, Kentucky
EF-3, 2 deaths, Holton, Indiana
EF-3, 3 deaths, Peach Grove, Ohio
EF-3, 2 deaths, Blaine, Kentucky
EF-3, 2 deaths, Salyersville, Kentucky
EF-2, 1 death, Jackson's Gap, Alabama


Figure 2. Damage in West Liberty, Kentucky after the March 2, 2012 EF-3 tornado. Image taken from from a Kentucky National Guard Blackhawk helicopter, while landing in West Liberty, KY (Morgan County).


Figure 3. Radar image of the West Liberty, Kentucky EF-3 tornado of March 2, 2012, showing a classic hook echo. The tornado carved a 60-mile-long path through Eastern Kentucky, causing extreme damage in West Liberty. The tornado killed six in West Liberty and two near Frenchburg. At least 75 people were injured. It was the first EF-3 tornado in Eastern Kentucky since 1988.


Video 3. A woman prays for deliverance of West Liberty as the ominous wall cloud of the developing tornado approaches the town.

Incredibly fast-moving storms
The speed with which some of the storms moved was truly exceptional, thanks to jet stream winds of up to 115 mph that pushed the thunderstorms forward at amazing speeds. A number of the tornadoes ripped through Kentucky with forward speeds of 70 mph, and two tornado warnings in Central Kentucky were issued for parent thunderstorms that moved at 85 mph. NWS damage surveys have not yet determined if one of the tornadoes from the outbreak has beaten the record for the fastest moving tornado, the 73 mph forward speed of the great 1925 Tri-State Tornado, the deadliest U.S. tornado of all-time.


Video 4. A family gets in their car in an attempt to flee the Borden, Indiana tornado of March 2, 2012. Unless you know what you're doing, fleeing a tornado in a car can be extremely dangerous, especially when the tornadoes are moving at speeds of 50 - 70 mph, as many were doing during the March 2, 2012 outbreak. Most tornado fatalities occur in mobile homes and cars.

Largest 5-day and 2nd largest 2-day tornado outbreak for so early in the year?
The March 2 tornado outbreak spawned 128 tornadoes, according to preliminary reports as of 8 am EST March 7 from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. An additional 11 tornadoes (preliminary) touched down on March 3, in Florida and Georgia; 3 additional tornadoes touched down on March 1 (Wikipedia does a great job tallying the stats for this tornado outbreak.) These preliminary reports are typically over-counted by 15%, but a few delayed reports will likely come in, bringing the total number of tornadoes from the March 2 - 3 outbreak to 115 - 125, propelling it into second place for the largest two-day tornado outbreak so early in the year. The top five two-day tornado outbreaks for so early in the year, since record keeping began in 1950:

January 21 - 22, 1999: 129 tornadoes, 4 deaths
March 2 - 3, 2012: 139 tornadoes (preliminary), 39 deaths
February 5 - 6, 2008: 87 tornadoes, 57 deaths
February 28 - March 1, 1997: 60 tornadoes, 10 deaths
January 7 - 8, 2008: 56 tornadoes, 4 deaths

Though the 36 tornadoes that occurred during the February 28 - 29 Leap Day outbreak were part of a separate storm system, the five-day tornado total from February 28 - March 3, 2012 is likely to eclipse the late January 18 - 22, 1999 five-day tornado outbreak (131 tornadoes) as the most prolific five-day period of tornado activity on record for so early in the year.


Figure 4. A key ingredient for tornado formation is the presence of warm, moist air near the surface, which helps make the atmosphere unstable. On the day of the March 2, 2012 outbreak, record warm air surged northwards into the tornado formation region, setting or tying daily high temperature records at 28 airports in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia.

Ingredients for the tornado outbreak
This year's unusually mild winter has led to ocean temperatures across the Gulf of Mexico that are approximately 1°C above average--among the top ten warmest values on record for this time of year, going back to the 1800s. (Averaged over the month of February, the highest sea surface temperatures on record in the Gulf between 20 - 30°N, 85 - 95°W occurred in 2002, when the waters were 1.34°C above average). Friday's tornado outbreak was fueled, in part, by high instability created by unusually warm, moist air flowing north from the Gulf of Mexico due to the high water temperatures there. This exceptionally warm air set record high temperatures at 28 airports in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia the afternoon of the tornado outbreak (March 2.) Cold, dry air from Canada moved over the outbreak region at high altitudes. This created a highly unstable atmosphere--warm, low-density air rising in thunderstorm updrafts was able to accelerate rapidly upwards to the top of the lower atmosphere, since the surrounding air was cooler and denser at high altitudes. These vigorous updrafts needed some twisting motion to get them spinning and create tornadoes. Very strong twisting forces were present Friday over the tornado outbreak area, thanks to upper-level jet stream winds that blew in excess of 115 mph. These winds changed speed and direction sharply with height,imparting a shearing motion on the atmosphere (wind shear), causing the air to spin. High instability and a high wind shear are the two key ingredients for tornado formation.


Figure 5. The other key ingredient for tornado formation is the presence of very strong winds aloft that change speed and direction sharply with height. This change of wind imparts a shearing motion on the atmosphere (wind shear), causing the air to spin. Here, we see the upper-level wind speeds at the peak of the March 2, 2012 tornado outbreak. The jet stream can be seen as the U-shaped belt of strong winds. Jet stream winds in excess of 100 mph (deep blue colors) were present over the tornado outbreak area in this analysis of data from the NOAA North American Model (NAM) from 7 pm EST March 2, 2012. Image credit: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory.

Another bad year for tornadoes in the U.S.--what's going on?
Last year's tornado season was incredibly severe, and we are off to one of the worst early-season starts to tornado season on record now in 2012. However, it is too soon to ring the alarm bells on climate change being responsible for this. The tornado data base going back to 1950 doesn't show an increasing trend in strong tornadoes in recent decades. While climate change could potentially lead to an increase in tornadoes, by increasing instability, it could also decrease them, by decreasing wind shear. I'd need to see a lot more bad tornado years before blaming climate change for the severe tornado seasons of the past two years. One thing that climate change may be doing, though, is shifting the season earlier in the year. The 5-day total of tornadoes from February 28 - March 3 will probably break the record of 131 set in 1999 for the largest tornado outbreak so early in the year. Warmer winters, and an earlier arrival of spring due to a warming climate, will allow tornado season to start earlier--and end earlier. This year's early start to tornado season is consistent with what we would expect from a warming climate. I have a more extensive article on this subject that has just been published by Weatherwise magazine, and a 2008 post, Are tornadoes getting stronger and more frequent? Dr. Jonathan Martin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is doing interesting research on the type of situation we saw with some of the recent severe tornado outbreaks, when two branches of the jet stream, the polar jet and the subtropical jet, merge to form a "superjet." In a December 2011 interview with sciencedaily.com, he said: "There is reason to believe that in a warmer climate, this kind of overlapping of the jet streams that can lead to high-impact weather may be more frequent."

I don't see any storm systems coming over the next 10 days that could cause a major tornado outbreak, though March weather is too volatile to forecast reliably that far in advance. There is a storm system expected to develop on Thursday in the Plains we will have to watch, but so far, indications are that it will not be capable of generating a major tornado outbreak.

Portlight disaster relief charity responds to the tornado disaster
The Portlight disaster relief charity reports that volunteers from colleges and churches made a strong showing in tornado-devastated Harrisburg, Illinois on Sunday. Team Rubicon and Portlight will push east to Indiana, where volunteer work is still restricted because of gas leaks and continuing SAR (search and rescue) operations.

I'll edit this post with new stats on the tornado outbreak as they become available, and have an entirely new post on Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

Tornado (JimAtTn)
This picture of a small tornado was taken on Friday March 02, 2012 in southern Lincoln County, Tennessee about 7 miles south of Fayetteville. Photographer: Angela Currey-Echols
Tornado
3/2/12 Tornado (charles7013)
A tornado in Dodsen Brach TN.
3/2/12 Tornado
High Risk (LightningFastMedia)
Rotating wall cloud and a possible funnel yesterday, north of Evansville, IN.
High Risk
tornado damage 3/2/12 (clerese3)
3/2/12 tornado damage to a business I pass on my way to and from work. This was a beautiful brick building.
tornado damage 3/2/12
Tornado Damage - TN (GeorgiaPeach)
I uploaded this photo once already and it was rejected for having the wrong date. I explained before, but I will explain again. The tornado came through March 2nd but I had just gotten out of the hospital, so I didn't get out to take pictures of the damage until today. This is five miles from my house in Hamilton County, TN.
Tornado Damage - TN

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Quoting washingtonian115:
LOLOL.2002-03 was a cold winter.That year storms mainly struck the east coast and recurved or formed by Africa.Florida was not hardly struck but besides one storm.Their was I think 4 landfalls on the Gulf but they were weak storms.In warm winters like 05 the Gulf had gotten struck by several strong hurricanes.
EDIT.In 2008 the gulf had gotten struck by several hurricanes and that year futered a warm winter as I've said earlier.If the pattern sets up then Florida and the Gulf better watch their back..Not trying to be all doom and gloom here as i know people were affected by the tornados.
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Quoting SPLbeater:


i doesnt have GR2 analyst...and it dont look like i will soon :D


I thought damn was such a common word that it didn't need censoring.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


But I'm older than you by eons.

Therefore, I demand an immediate retraction of your closing comment. Respect your elders, boy!

Age is nothing but a number.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Well [Censored]. All you guys are going to surpass me if I don't get my act together.


i doesnt have GR2 analyst...and it dont look like i will soon :D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting KoritheMan:


*heads to Home Depot to stock up on plywood*
LOLOL.2002-03 was a cold winter.That year storms mainly struck the east coast and recurved or formed by Africa.Florida was not hardly struck but besides one storm.Their was I think 4 landfalls on the Gulf but they were weak storms.In warm winters like 05 the Gulf had gotten struck by several strong hurricanes.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Ha, but you're not old, you're 20..that makes it even more sadddening. Lol.


But I'm older than you by eons.

Therefore, I demand an immediate retraction of your closing comment. Respect your elders, boy!
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Quoting nigel20:

Wasn't the 318 unconfirmed doppler radar measurements


i havnt the slightest clue
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Stu Ostro is being quite vocal about the Henryville, IN tornado as well:

Stu Ostro
wonders why, with what the tornado's winds did to this road near Palmyra-Henryville, IN, an EF5 rating was not given.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Meh. It's only natural for the younger generation to surpass the old. But I won't go down without a fight!

Ha, but you're not old, you're 20..that makes it even more sadddening. Lol.
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Quoting SPLbeater:


318mph...thats borderline F6!!

Wasn't the 318 unconfirmed doppler radar measurements
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8317
Quoting washingtonian115:
Hmmmm ofter cold winters such as 2010,2011,1995 and 1996 for an example the east coast is struck more often by storms on the east coast and storms tend to do alot of recurvature.In warm winters like 07-08 and 04-05 and so on the Gulf,Carribean, and Florida are struck more...just a thought....


*heads to Home Depot to stock up on plywood*
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Hmmmm ofter cold winters such as 2010,2011,1995 and 1996 for an example the east coast is struck more often by storms and storms tend to do alot of recurvature.In warm winters like 07-08 and 04-05 and so on the Gulf,Carribean, and Florida are struck more...just a thought....
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Quoting hydrus:
The next group.


*drumroll*
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Can't help you're struggling to keep up with us. ;)


Meh. It's only natural for the younger generation to surpass the old. But I won't go down without a fight!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

They shouldn't be, I know I'm not. Even if the storm was moving fast, GR2Analyst and all the other advanced storm tracking tools they have available would have detected rotation. I mean, I doubt an EF2 has that weak of an appearance on radar, even if it was moving at 40, 50, 60 mph.


ok so i went and found how to rate tornaders with damamge, and the image you posted was ranked townhouse(3 stories er less). It had total destruction. Total destruction of dat townhouse would most likely be above 185mph, below 220mph. call it in the middle, around 200mph. so low end EF5 would probably fit what was in your picture. :)

tho, i really would like to see an image from the other side of the area...since the foundation was lower then driveway
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting KoritheMan:


Well damn. All you guys are going to surpass me if I don't get my act together.
The next group.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21744
Quoting KoritheMan:


Well damn. All you guys are going to surpass me if I don't get my act together.

Can't help you're struggling to keep up with us. ;)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Of course they do. So does The Weather Channel and local news stations.


Well damn. All you guys are going to surpass me if I don't get my act together.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Do they even use GR2Analyst?

Of course they do. So does The Weather Channel and local news stations.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

They shouldn't be, I know I'm not. Even if the storm was moving fast, GR2Analyst and all the other advanced storm tracking tools they have available would have detected rotation. I mean, I doubt an EF2 has that weak of an appearance on radar, even if it was moving at 40, 50, 60+ mph.

If there's ever doubt to whether or not the NWS should issue a warning, it should... Better to err on the side of caution than have this happen. And you're right: There had to have been some kind of tornado signature in radar for a tornado that strong.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

They shouldn't be, I know I'm not. Even if the storm was moving fast, GR2Analyst and all the other advanced storm tracking tools they have available would have detected rotation. I mean, I doubt an EF2 has that weak of an appearance on radar, even if it was moving at 40, 50, 60+ mph.


Do they even use GR2Analyst?
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Quoting Skyepony:


Those peak mounts you can get at Radio Shack aren't all that intrusive or damaging to a building. You promise to upload it to WU where he & everyone with internet in the building can access it online & get a forecast for it..might be game. All how ya sell it..or better yet get it to be his idea.


There's an idea; an affordable one now that I have a job. Any idea how much they go for?
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Seems a lot of the commentators are not satisfied with that explanation.

They shouldn't be, I know I'm not. Even if the storm was moving fast, GR2Analyst and all the other advanced storm tracking tools they have available would have detected rotation. I mean, I doubt an EF2 has that weak of an appearance on radar, even if it was moving at 40, 50, 60+ mph.
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297. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting KoritheMan:


Unfortunately I can't do that since I live in an apartment complex. I don't think my landlord would be particularly happy with that arrangement.

Thankfully, humans are capable of extrapolation.


Those peak mounts you can get at Radio Shack aren't all that intrusive or damaging to a building. You promise to upload it to WU where he & everyone with internet in the building can access it online & get a forecast for it..might be game. All how ya sell it..or better yet get it to be his idea.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 192 Comments: 38648
Quoting KoritheMan:


Cool.
I thought it was ominous when the tornado kills the power to the sirens..It was like...I,m gonna get you...
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21744
It always happens...People always talk about the good stuff when i'm off....
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:

NWS issues explanation after not issuing tornado warning
.

Yeah, not a very good excuse...
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:

NWS issues explanation after not issuing tornado warning
.


Seems a lot of the commentators are not satisfied with that explanation.
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Quoting hydrus:
I repaired it..:)


Cool.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


The first link doesn't work.
I repaired it..:)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21744
Quoting SPLbeater:


yeah...thats what i said. all gone except for debris around/on foundation. (EF4) which is what i showed in my image, and the damage in my image was similar to yours. ;P
Quoting Neapolitan:
Again, you're misreading the image; the home's foundation lies out of sight of the "after" photo, so we can't tell whether it's been swept clean or not.

Whether the debris is on the foundation or not and whether this was an EF4 or EF5 probably doesn't matter much to the people who lived at the house... I think we can agree that regardless it was a very powerful force of nature.
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Quoting hydrus:
I,m Posting a couple of my all time favorite tornado vids. Some of you will remember this one well. The April-26, 1991 Andover Tornado that just missed over a billion dollars worth of B-1 Bombers...Link And The Warner-Robbins Air Base in Georgia in 1953..Link


The first link doesn't work.
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I,m Posting a couple of my all time favorite tornado vids. Some of you will remember this one well. The April-26, 1991 Andover Tornado that just missed over a billion dollars worth of B-1 Bombers...Link .... And The Warner-Robbins Air Base in Georgia in 1953..Link
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21744
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

No, classic EF4 damage is having every part of the house destroyed but having most of the debris sitting ON the foundation (not my image). EF5 damage is where there is nothing or very little on the foundation, with every thing else gone (my image).
Again, you're misreading the image; the home's foundation lies out of sight of the "after" photo, so we can't tell whether it's been swept clean or not.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13603
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

No, classic EF4 damage is having every part of the house destroyed but having most of the debris sitting ON the foundation (not my image). EF5 damage is where there is nothing or very little on the foundation, with every thing else gone (my image).


yeah...thats what i said. all gone except for debris around/on foundation. (EF4) which is what i showed in my image, and the damage in my image was similar to yours. ;P
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Beautiful day today in West Palm Beach...Looks nice for the rest of the week...

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Quoting Patrap:
The May 3rd,1999 "Finger"





318mph...thats borderline F6!!
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting KoritheMan:


Unfortunately I can't do that since I live in an apartment complex. I don't think my landlord would be particularly happy with that arrangement.

Thankfully, humans are capable of extrapolation.



haha, I would feel like a caged animal living in an apartment, I like private ownership of residence, and even more, wilderness and nature around me.

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Quoting SPLbeater:


the picture i posted and TAwx13 posted had nothing but foundation left, and debris scattered around/on foundation. that is standard EF4.

rating tornadoes will always be difficult if you judge damage to house and trees n such.

you gotta know the construction of the houses, the roots of the trees, ect.

i think of when we can have SOMETHING that we can shoot into the tornado and have it send back a wind measurement. like a tornado dropsonde! :D

No, classic EF4 damage is having every part of the house destroyed but having most of the debris sitting ON the foundation (not my image). EF5 damage is where there is nothing or very little on the foundation, with every thing else gone (my image).
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Quoting wxmojo:
Having discovered an odd strong correlation with Euclidian geometry in some earlier satelite imagery prompted me to look for some more. I must say there is plenty to be found. What would cause the presence of these geometric boundaries? I thought perhaps it was an artifact of compositing smaller images into the complete image, but the last image shows clearly were the curved sew lines are between at least a few of the single images. I thought it was perhaps a one-time image processing problem, but the same geometries persist even 24 hours later. I also saw them in images taken hours before and after these sets. 
Another question is, why would the cold front inflect its curvature on the March 4 0900 image? Is that a normal behavior of a large cold front?



The geometric pattern is a result of fluid dynamics. For example, on Saturn you can see it in the polar regions Link.
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Quoting DavidHOUTX:


You have a good point. There is no doubt that the Jarrell, TX tornado was an F5. I still believe that the Henryville tornado was an EF5. When you seen a house completely removed from its foundation, that is an EF5. I know the framework and strength of the house and the reinforcements of the house matter but as some of the pictures above show, that had to be an EF5. When all you see is the basement or foundation left (no plumbing, no bathtub, nothing) that was an EF5. Especially when the asphalt is sucked up in the tornado. That is impressive and has to be the strongest tornado we can rate on the Fujita Scale


the picture i posted and TAwx13 posted had nothing but foundation left, and debris scattered around/on foundation. that is standard EF4.
Quoting DavidHOUTX:


Even though that was rated an EF4 tornado, that could have easily been an EF5 tornado. Tornadoes change strengths by the seconds. It would be an EF3 a half mile away and an EF5 when it completely removes your house from your sight.

I think we can all agree that it is almost impossible to rate a tornado to the precise rating based off of the damage and radar imagery. An EF4 and an EF5 are right there in rating when it comes to removing a house from its foundation and throwing debris a hundred miles. Perhaps they should just make it EF0 - EF3 then EF10 lol


rating tornadoes will always be difficult if you judge damage to house and trees n such.

you gotta know the construction of the houses, the roots of the trees, ect.

i think of when we can have SOMETHING that we can shoot into the tornado and have it send back a wind measurement. like a tornado dropsonde! :D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I get it :)
Besides, it doesn't matter what anyone wants: It's gonna do what it's gonna do. That's why I'm not a huge fan of making extensive predictions before hurricane season starts, especially since with hurricanes "it only takes one"


Agreed. That's why I made sure to end that particular post with a disclaimer. I am one of the most avid opponents of long-range weather prediction there is. True, we need to make progress on that front, and if someone doesn't try, we obviously won't. But I see people on here saying "the two week GFS develops three tropical cyclones, including one major hurricane which it brings to NOLA!" I'm sorry, but the details of that are going to change with each successive run, so much so that all of three storms will not appear on the model, much less the surface map, when that particular time approaches.

I will say though, that we can at least get the rough details of what the synoptic pattern might possibly be like as much as two weeks in advance. This is because global models are programmed to anticipate synoptic scale weather. But when it comes to hurricanes, which are a lot less large in scope, we have a problem. This, along with our lack of understanding of hurricane mechanics, is the prime reason why intensity forecasts have little skill. When I make an intensity prediction, I never reference models. If I do, it's extremely rare.
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Quoting OrchidGrower:
Re: 247 -- thanks, Muddertracker!

And Jedkins, I too am hoping for a sooner-rather-than-later change in Florida's weather pattern. We've had far less rain than you this year in Cape Coral. I was VERY hopeful that the anomalously warm weather we've been having would help the Gulf & Atlantic crank up an early start to rainy season. With the cool blast we've just had, I'm wondering how much this will set us back.



Ummm, the cool weather we had won't really do much. Soon warm and humid conditions will return in a couple days. Honestly we have frequently seen above normal temps and well above normal atmospheric moisture. The reason for lack of rain despite high moisture is due to a lack of favorable conditions for rain and thunderstorms, there are a lot more things that come into play besides heat and moisture. You can get heavy rain totals even in the presence of a dry and cool air mass if dynamics are favorable enough. The frontal systems that have been moving through keep losing all their upper support/dynamics thanks to La Nina. However very high moisture present this early and the coming end of La Nina are good signs that we may see brighter times ahead.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I knew it wouldn't take long for someone to misconstrue what I said. I see you've only been registered for a few weeks, which is fine, but I haven't seen you before. I don't want to see death and destruction, but I do want to experience hurricanes. A contradiction perhaps, but one's life is full of them.

More to the point, I used the phrase "get our hopes up" because I have a very odd sense of humor. I like to talk in hyperbole and sarcasm. You will see this often.

If you're still skeptical, I'll reiterate this comment I made about the tornadoes the other day:

"I feel this is a good time to remind everyone not of the same mindset, that weather enthusiasts, meteorologists, whichever you choose to label yourself, are people too. We live for extreme weather, we yearn to experience it. It is an integral, insatiable part of who we are. It is a defining characteristic. But never in a million years would any of us wish to see the amount of death and destruction that occurred today across the lower 48.

Thoughts go out to those affected."

Couldn't agree more!
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8317
Quoting KoritheMan:


I knew it wouldn't take long for someone to misconstrue what I said. I see you've only been registered for a few weeks, which is fine, but I haven't seen you before. I don't want to see death and destruction, but I do want to experience hurricanes. A contradiction perhaps, but one's life is full of them.

More to the point, I used the phrase "get our hopes up" because I have a very odd sense of humor. I like to talk in hyperbole and sarcasm. You will see this often.

If you're still skeptical, I'll reiterate this comment I made about the tornadoes the other day:

"I feel this is a good time to remind everyone not of the same mindset, that weather enthusiasts, meteorologists, whichever you choose to label yourself, are people too. We live for extreme weather, we yearn to experience it. It is an integral, insatiable part of who we are. It is a defining characteristic. But never in a million years would any of us wish to see the amount of death and destruction that occurred today across the lower 48.

Thoughts go out to those affected."

I get it :)
Besides, it doesn't matter what anyone wants: It's gonna do what it's gonna do. That's why I'm not a huge fan of making extensive predictions before hurricane season starts, especially since with hurricanes "it only takes one"
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Yeah man hopefully things will change! Make sure to have your anemometer high enough above ground and make sure there aren't any things that could block the wind. Placing it on your roof is the best bet, that's what I did.


Unfortunately I can't do that since I live in an apartment complex. I don't think my landlord would be particularly happy with that arrangement.

Thankfully, humans are capable of extrapolation.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Pros will be pros regardless of obstacles or hindrances.



Exactly!
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Quoting tampahurricane:


Yeah its been so dry and boring weather wise, im sure we will get something hopefully soon. I want to test out my new Davis Instruments Vantage Pro2. lol


Yeah man hopefully things will change! Make sure to have your anemometer high enough above ground and make sure there aren't any things that could block the wind. Placing it on your roof is the best bet, that's what I did.
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Re# 184 and 251, the "Jarrell Tornado" I've lived in Houston since '75. The day of that storm was the usual hot and muggy Texas day, very little breeze. It was later determined that the heat overcame the cap in an explosive manner ( no real forcing mechanism). Yes, it was raised to an F5 quickly when it was found that not only had the asphalt been ripped out of the ground, but sod too, with deep gouges in the ground. Slab foundations were the only thing left. One family survived the storm because they had "hacked" through a thin section of the slab floor and over time had dug a storm shelter beneath the house.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Why would we get our hopes up for the East Coast/ Gulf Coast to get hit by hurricanes?


I knew it wouldn't take long for someone to misconstrue what I said. I see you've only been registered for a few weeks, which is fine, but I haven't seen you before. I don't want to see death and destruction, but I do want to experience hurricanes. A contradiction perhaps, but one's life is full of them.

More to the point, I used the phrase "get our hopes up" because I have a very odd sense of humor. I like to talk in hyperbole and sarcasm. You will see this often.

If you're still skeptical, I'll reiterate this comment I made about the tornadoes the other day:

"I feel this is a good time to remind everyone not of the same mindset, that weather enthusiasts, meteorologists, whichever you choose to label yourself, are people too. We live for extreme weather, we yearn to experience it. It is an integral, insatiable part of who we are. It is a defining characteristic. But never in a million years would any of us wish to see the amount of death and destruction that occurred today across the lower 48.

Thoughts go out to those affected."
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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.