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 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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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Levi was talking something similar to that.

"The strong trade winds this winter are finally having a significant impact on the tropical Atlantic waters, which have become much cooler since January, especially off of western Africa. Typical of a La Nina winter, the coastal U.S. waters remain much warmer than normal, something that makes the upcoming hurricane season something to pay attention to despite the El Nino that's trying to come on."



As far as the (possible) El Nino is concerned, I just don't see how we're going to see significant (or at least rapid) equatorial warming with that huge cold pool off the west coat. Some people are saying a full-fledged El Nino by June. No. Sorry.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
The 7 day GFS (unlike most people, I don't care to look beyond that point) sends the majority of shortwave perturbations well to the north of where they've generally been concentrated up to this point. Should such a trend continue into hurricane season, we might see less recurvature this year as opposed to the last few. This setup would be favorable for strikes on the east coast, especially if the amplitude of the troughs digs just a bit more southward. Alternatively, if we see a longwave trough set up over the Rockies or central US, with downstream ridging, that would be a classical setup for numerous Gulf Coast strikes.

This is all speculation though, so don't get your hopes up.

Why would we get our hopes up for the East Coast/ Gulf Coast to get hit by hurricanes?
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 7969
Quoting hydrus:
I think what I said is true. The brain is at the very least super-complex. You managed all that from just one image. You could probably write a book with this..:)


Looks like a frame from "Dumbo" in the "Elephants on Parade" scene. Disney and the underage drinking memes.
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Note the GOM Image from ESL by LSU/MODIS today and the clouds over the Warmer SST's.






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Quoting KoritheMan:
The 7 day GFS (unlike most people, I don't care to look beyond that point) sends the majority of shortwave perturbations well to the north of where they've generally been concentrated up to this point. Should such a trend continue into hurricane season, we might see less recurvature this year as opposed to the last few. This setup would be favorable for strikes on the east coast, especially if the amplitude of the troughs digs just a bit more southward. Alternatively, if we see a longwave trough set up over the Rockies or central US, with downstream ridging, that would be a classical setup for numerous Gulf Coast strikes.

This is all speculation though, so don't get your hopes up.

Levi was talking something similar to that.

"The strong trade winds this winter are finally having a significant impact on the tropical Atlantic waters, which have become much cooler since January, especially off of western Africa. Typical of a La Nina winter, the coastal U.S. waters remain much warmer than normal, something that makes the upcoming hurricane season something to pay attention to despite the El Nino that's trying to come on."

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32566
Quoting KoritheMan:
The 7 day GFS (unlike most people, I don't care to look beyond that point) sends the majority of shortwave perturbations well to the north of where they've generally been concentrated up to this point. Should such a trend continue into hurricane season, we might see less recurvature this year as opposed to the last few.

This is all speculation though, so don't get your hopes up.

I'm thinking the same thing and were a pattern such as this should continue into to the hurricane season...then we could have more impacts in the Caribbean and the US
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8359
Quoting presslord:


Should we charge for admission?


Only if you leave the containers above the ground. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
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Quoting BahaHurican:
RE the shower curtain....
Does this include if it has little fishies on it?


That's the LSD shower curtain right? The peyote shower curtain usually has some funky 70's colors and a talking armadillo on it. ;)
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Quoting StormGoddess:


Thank you for your comment Xyrus, that makes two rude comments for no reason now.
This definitely leads me to believe that this is not the place for me to chit chat about the weather during the off season.
In case you have forgotten Xyrus, this is a weather site. Coming on here and making an innocent comment about seeing a face in the clouds would be (or so I thought) something normal to do.
Yes, Xyrus, I have a science degree. Does that make you happy? Will you leave me alone now? Thanks....I appreciate that.
Also I have an artistic nature, and an imagination.
Imagine that.
This is the last time I will entertain a rude comment towards me on this blog. The only reason I responded to you Xyrus, is because I enjoyed reading you in the past, even though I don't agree with some of what you say.
Have a nice day.



I'm not sure how you interpreted my post as rude. There was nothing in it that targeted you specifically. The "you" in the post was a general case. A number of people see faces, shapes, symbols, etc. in clouds or what have you and some try to associate something of significance with them. This, I believe, is what ncmore (who you quoted in your post) was claiming.

My whole post was a counterpoint to that. The brain is very good at pattern recognition, so therefore if you (the general case, not you specifically) see particular shapes in particular objects or phenomena it is because that is how your brain is interpreting it. In other words, there is nothing of significance other than that which you (the general case, not you specifically) assign to it.

Whether or not you have a science degree doesn't influence how I feel one way or the other (although it is always nice to have someone with a science background on here). I don't judge people by what kind of degree they have. To my knowledge, a degree doesn't mean that someone is good person or not.

At any rate, you are implying that my post was some kind of personal attack on you when that was hardly the case. Perhaps this is a result of the other rude comment you read before (I didn't see it or didn't read it). But to my knowledge I haven't made it a habit of verbally attacking individuals on this board, least of all individuals that I know little or nothing about.
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The 7 day GFS (unlike most people, I don't care to look beyond that point) sends the majority of shortwave perturbations well to the north of where they've generally been concentrated up to this point. Should such a trend continue into hurricane season, we might see less recurvature this year as opposed to the last few. This setup would be favorable for strikes on the east coast, especially if the amplitude of the troughs digs just a bit more southward. Alternatively, if we see a longwave trough set up over the Rockies or central US, with downstream ridging, that would be a classical setup for numerous Gulf Coast strikes.

This is all speculation though, so don't get your hopes up.
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Oh..there was no credit on that video..but it's probably Lon Curtis's or KXAN. Not positive, but these two are most likely...
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Facts and all...do matta'

Some should try um sumtime.

: )

David Kenny Named Chairman and CEO of The Weather Channel Companies
By Chris Ariens on January 24, 2012 9:34 AM



The Weather Channel Companies is owned by a consortium of NBC Universal, and private equity firms Bain Capital, and The Blackstone Group. Kenny succeeds Mike Kelly, who joined the company as President and CEO in 2009. Kelly will serve as a special adviser to Kenny and as an adviser to Bain Capital, which has been in the news recently as it is the firm co-founded by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
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Quoting SPLbeater:


i cant believe the words is bein typed, but i agree with neapolitan in that statement:)

wat that photo shows is this

And this picture is EF4 example(thx to wikipedia). nothing but basement(foundation) left, with scattered debris around it. low end EF4, which is what 170mph is, is a good rating IMO.


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
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
The May 3rd,1999 "Finger"



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Quoting Jedkins01:
A lot of people criticize the Weather Channel here, and I myself am upset with some of the directions they've taken recent times thanks to the ownership of NBC. However, Dr. Greg Forbes is still an amazing meteorologist, and my favorite person to tune in to for severe weather info.


Pros will be pros regardless of obstacles or hindrances.
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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.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Well, it does look like La Nina is coming to an end, and generally speaking La Nina means less severe weather and drought in Florida. That being said, it does take a while for something as large scale as that to translate to a change in weather locally, but eventually Florida should see less of the drought and boring weather that has dominated us, and hopefully more rain and thunderstorm action.

BTW I live in the Tampa Bay areas as well, I feel your pain! I know its the dry season, but year to date rain is only 3.12 here, and 2 inches of that came within a few days a while ago, quite below average.


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
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


And also,the cooler waters that are located West of the U.S/Mexico that means a negative PDO,would stop the warm waters to advance westward.

agreed
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8359
Quoting OrchidGrower:
Re: #184 -- I don't know why I remember this, but the Jarrell (Texas) tornado was originally labeled as an F4, then quickly raised to F5 when it was found to have scrubbed asphalt off the ground.


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
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
Link

Rare Jarrell, TX footage. Not all that pleasant.
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Quoting tampahurricane:
Does anyone see a patter change for Florida, its been so dry around the tampabay area. I also just bought a Davis Instruments Vantage Pro 2. Which will be installed tomorrow, so it needs to get some weather tests :)


Well, it does look like La Nina is coming to an end, and generally speaking La Nina means less severe weather and drought in Florida. That being said, it does take a while for something as large scale as that to translate to a change in weather locally, but eventually Florida should see less of the drought and boring weather that has dominated us, and hopefully more rain and thunderstorm action.

BTW I live in the Tampa Bay areas as well, I feel your pain! I know its the dry season, but year to date rain is only 3.12 here, and 2 inches of that came within a few days a while ago, quite below average.
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@RTS player,
The blot posted above a while ago looks like a robe with angel wings and smoke, but with no head. But that is by design.

Looked to me like two Cardinals (bird kind) sitting atop snow-covered branches. lol Very little in life that is not subjective - including tornado ratings. After all, we are human.
:)

'Nite, bloggers. Have fun.
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Quoting OrchidGrower:
Re: #184 -- I don't know why I remember this, but the Jarrell (Texas) tornado was originally labeled as an F4, then quickly raised to F5 when it was found to have scrubbed asphalt off the ground.


That would be correct. It was also moving at an estimted 3 mph. Another curiosity: It was moving southwest..very very rare...lots of discussion about gravity waves and this tornado. TAMU had very good information out on the 1997 event, if you are interested.
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Quoting nigel20:
If the area between 10S and 30S in the tropical pacific cools, then it would be hard for the warm equatorical waters next to south america to move west and create an el nino. IMO


And also,the cooler waters that are located West of the U.S/Mexico that means a negative PDO,would stop the warm waters to advance westward.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14603
Tropical Cyclone Irina 000000 UTC Mar 6th 2012

CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
2.5 / 997.4mb/ 35.0kt

Raw T# 2.3
Adj T# 2.3
Final T# 2.3

Scene Type: SHEAR

------------------------------------------------- ---
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Re: #184 -- I don't know why I remember this, but the Jarrell (Texas) tornado was originally labeled as an F4, then quickly raised to F5 when it was found to have scrubbed asphalt off the ground.
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And my first try at posting an animation is...SUCCESS!!! :D:D:D:D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
If the area between 10S and 30S in the tropical pacific cools, then it would be hard for the warm equatorical waters next to south america to move west and create an el nino. IMO
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8359
Quoting Barefootontherocks:


You're welcome.

I know this is not what you asked for in your next question. It is a searchable archive of storm events from the perspective of archived atmospheric conditions, outlooks, watches and mesoscale discussions issued by SPC, warnings issued, and storm reports. Would give you a different kind of "retrospective." Also, the NWS local forecast offices publish the results of their tornado surveys...

Much thanks again.. this should give me a good place to start and hopefully I'll come across existing archives of what I'm looking for..
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
wow.

Looks like a "heat wave" next week for most of the U.S. AND southern Canada...
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Quoting JNCali:

Much thanks BFOTR!


You're welcome.

I know this is not what you asked for in your next question. It is a searchable archive of storm events from the perspective of archived atmospheric conditions, outlooks, watches and mesoscale discussions issued by SPC, warnings issued, and storm reports. Would give you a different kind of "retrospective." Also, the NWS local forecast offices publish the results of their tornado surveys on their websites, and, for unusual and historic events, many do an extensive write-up that may include radar images or loops. Some offices publish tornado track maps in their event reports that can be opened and viewed in GE, and maybe soon will have photos that correspond with places on the track. Again, a different kind of retrospective look, and it may take a while before they are published. (Add: Sometimes several weeks after the event.)

Someone else might be better able to help you with radar. WU has archives where you can view a 24-hour loop, but not sure how close you can zoom in. I think Plymouth State has some archives... help JN out here, guys, please... but, again, I don't know how close you'd be able to look at the storm path. By clicking "KML" button, you can view NOAA radar on GE, but I don't know if saving a file will save the radar appropriately. I should know that, but I don't. LOL
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A lot of people criticize the Weather Channel here, and I myself am upset with some of the directions they've taken recent times thanks to the ownership of NBC. However, Dr. Greg Forbes is still an amazing meteorologist, and my favorite person to tune in to for severe weather info.
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Global SST anomolies

Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8359
Quoting Xyrus2000:


It's all in your head. The human brain is exceptionally good at pattern recognition, and influencing what it perceives in random noise is very easy to do. Even in sources guaranteed to be purely random your brain will see patterns, whether they're visual or auditory. Where do you think movies like "White Noise" come from?

Probably one of the most obvious cases of the human brain implying some sort of order to nonsense are the Rorschach images used in the Rorschach test. The images themselves have no meaning at all, but what people see in them can be quite revealing. One person may see a butterfly while another person may see the face of a demon. It's very subjective and can give an indication of the mental state of person taking the test.

In short, you're seeing faces because you want to see faces. Just like when you see a bunny in the clouds, or you see Jesus in a cheese sandwich, or see Elvis on your shower curtain. It's because you want see it there.


===

Ink blots are not random, and they are often symmetrical, which increases the likelihood of seeing something like bats, faces, or angels in them.

Additionally, there may even be "controls" inserted in the tests which actually are intended to be "something".

The blot posted above a while ago looks like a robe with angel wings and smoke, but with no head. But that is by design.

We used to do water color in art class, and while "random" streams could generally produce vague representations of things like women or fish, etc, which were common themes, they usually required a LOT of deliberate work to produce to an artistic quality.

The ink blot above is clearly not random, and is a perfectly symmetrical device constructed to trick some poor soul into saying something self-condemnatory or self-convicting on the pretense of science.


"Random" images would be asymmetric more often than not, and would even have discontinuities.

These images are neither, therefore the tests are rigged.
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Quoting DocNDswamp:

Thank you DocNDswamp you are very kind. :)
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Tropical Pacific SSTs
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8359
Good night everyone
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8359
Does anyone see a patter change for Florida, its been so dry around the tampabay area. I also just bought a Davis Instruments Vantage Pro 2. Which will be installed tomorrow, so it needs to get some weather tests :)
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United States Tornadoes of 2011*
Updated: February 4, 2012
*2011 data subject to revision.


Comparisons are made for the period 1950-2011.
This is the official NOAA/NWS period of record
for tornado events in the United States. Annual and single tornado fatality
records (for the purposes of comparison with 2011) are extended back to the
greatest known fatality outbreak in U.S. history, the Tri-State Tornado Outbreak
of March 1925. Notable records established in 2011 are highlighted in bold font.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It's already been rated an ~170 mph EF4...I think it's obviously higher, maybe EF5 strength, which would coincide with the images of soil/asphalt being ripped out of the ground in Henryville.
I hadn't seen the asphalt/soil photos. At any rate, click here for the StreetView image of the home in question. "Drive" to the southwest along henryville-Otisco Road, then look back at the home; you'll see that its foundation is considerably lower than that of the garage and front flatwork, and that there's lots of room for debris to be hiding.
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Quoting Xyrus2000:


It's all in your head. The human brain is exceptionally good at pattern recognition, and influencing what it perceives in random noise is very easy to do. Even in sources guaranteed to be purely random your brain will see patterns, whether they're visual or auditory. Where do you think movies like "White Noise" come from?

Probably one of the most obvious cases of the human brain implying some sort of order to nonsense are the Rorschach images used in the Rorschach test. The images themselves have no meaning at all, but what people see in them can be quite revealing. One person may see a butterfly while another person may see the face of a demon. It's very subjective and can give an indication of the mental state of person taking the test.

In short, you're seeing faces because you want to see faces. Just like when you see a bunny in the clouds, or you see Jesus in a cheese sandwich, or see Elvis on your shower curtain. It's because you want see it there.



Maybe God has a funny sense of humor and put what appears to be the image of Jesus in a cheese sandwich to watch superstitious people go nuts...

:)
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Quoting ncstorm:


Completely? okay...hey I know what I see and yes it can be explained to cloud formations according to "science" but I dont see it that way but hey to each his own. I am not knocking anyone's perception on how they view events. The tornados were evil because they took lives. Lets agree to leave it that.



Granted, there are things that cannot be explained by science, I am one to know, but tornadoes aren't evil beings, that is one thing science does know.


Its part of human nature to put images in things we want to have them in, tornadoes have evil faces, and fair weather clouds have smiley faces, that is why.

When I was young, there were demons crouching in dark corners, but now i know, that just because an area is dark doesn't mean a demon is crouching in it...
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Quoting SPLbeater:


Glad to hear it

i now have about...7% more confidence in NWS tornado rating thx to that statement:D


You might want to check out Jim LaDue's blog. If you look to the right on his page, you'll notice a link to Jeff Masters' wunderblog.

Jim LaDue is one of the experts. He works for NWS in the training branch. Also chases storms and photographs them. Here's one of his blogs from last November when he chased a supercell. Includes pre and post analysis of the storm.
:)
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Not sure if I agree with JTWC's intensity of 50 knots for Irina... She's not looking too good.


i wouldnt agree either with satellite..but

50 knots displayed in ASCAT lol.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It's already been rated an ~170 mph EF4...I think it's obviously higher, maybe EF5 strength, which would coincide with the images of soil/asphalt being ripped out of the ground in Henryville.


i cant believe the words is bein typed, but i agree with neapolitan in that statement:)

wat that photo shows is this

And this picture is EF4 example(thx to wikipedia). nothing but basement(foundation) left, with scattered debris around it. low end EF4, which is what 170mph is, is a good rating IMO.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Not sure if I agree with JTWC's intensity of 50 knots for Irina... She's not looking too good.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 7969
Quoting Barefootontherocks:

"Textbook" supercell


Radar image of a violent tornadic supercell

There's a lot of basic but good info at SPC Tornado FAQ page where these two images came from. 'Course that's speaking to supercell tornadoes.

I read what you wrote earlier about the bat (lol Freudian typo) tub and mattress during a EF4 or 5. You're right. It would be much more comforting to be underground.
:)

Much thanks BFOTR!
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
Quoting presslord:



AAARRRGGGHHH!!! It's my ex-wife!!!!!!!!!


Wowiie! I can concur!

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

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