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

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

Share this Blog
40
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

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

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

Viewing: 570 - 520

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17Blog Index

With 144 unfiltered tornado reports for Friday, (I'm using unfiltered because before we got the unfiltered/filtered option, they were all unfiltered) it was the biggest tornado outbreak since April 27, 2011, surpassing each and every day of the May 21-26 tornado outbreak sequence, which featured the Joplin tornado.

Amazing for early MARCH.





Things are lining up for another huge tornado year over the next few months. I hope everybody is as prepared as they can be...



Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting SPLbeater:


actually i think im gonna see if the 2 short dudes down the street wanna play football er basketball(whatever)

2 months older then me, 30 pounds and 40 pounds lighter, 6 inches and 5 inches shorter. easy advantage fer me lol.

back l8tr


Good,have some fun.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


That cool area in the Southern Caribbean is caused by the gale winds from the Colombian low that has been in the area for a while.


OK...didn't know
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
The day three slight risk of excessive rainfall has been upgraded to a moderate risk as a cold front sags southward for round one of the upcoming heavy rainfall event. The remaining slight risk has also been expanded.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Read a book that you like.


actually i think im gonna see if the 2 short dudes down the street wanna play football er basketball(whatever)

2 months older then me, 30 pounds and 40 pounds lighter, 6 inches and 5 inches shorter. easy advantage fer me lol.

back l8tr
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Good afternoon... Cold day up here today, but heading near 70 Thursday... Bring on the warmth! CPC says it's on the way

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8032
Quoting KeyWestSun:


that doesnt apply to me
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting SPLbeater:
Im bored.


Read a book that you like.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Is that laughter or ridicule I hear?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nigel20:
March 5 2012

The southern caribbean SSTs are much colder when compared to 2011, but the GOM is generally warmer when compared to 2011


That cool area in the Southern Caribbean is caused by the gale winds from the Colombian low that has been in the area for a while.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Read the ads if you're bored. Now it says:

Cuba Travel: discover Cuba through it's people
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Im bored.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
My favorite weather forecaster Frankie MacDonald, hits the nail on the head for the storm last week in Minnesota. <>img src="">

Now Frankie has issued a warning for Colorado. <>img src="">
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Right in the middle of Texas's 1950's superdrought, there were two separate rain events that were actually much larger than the Tennessee floods! The first one was a freak storm in September 1952 and the second involved the remains of 1954's Hurricane Alice (the first one :P).

The 1952 event was one of the largest to ever occur in the Texas Hill Country, possibly even exceeding the June 1935 and October 1998 events. Several counties saw totals in excess of 20" with a max of 26" upstream of Austin. The Colorado River surged to a level greater than the typical Mississippi River flow. The flood gouged out the Hill Country, but thankfully was mostly caught by a near empty Lake Travis, which was at a record low that still stands today.

The Hurricane Alice flood in June 1954 dropped possibly over 30" of rain upstream of Del Rio and caused the Rio Grande to barrel along the Texas border as the largest flood ever measured in Texas discharge-wise, with flows greatly exceeding 1,000,000 cubic feet per second! Like the 1952 event, this one was also caught, this time by the newly constructed Falcon Dam, which resulted in the formation of Falcon Lake several years ahead of schedule.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Greetings all. Hadn't been here in a while so I log in and there at the top of the blog entry, an ad:

Dinah Shore Weekend 2012: The largest lesbian event in the world.

Anyone else see that or did I blink too fast?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DavidHOUTX:


That will change come Friday and into the weekend if this massive rain event pans out!

I'm sure that texas could do with some rain, but not the flooding
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
Quoting hydrus:
Extremely busy. I am glad to hear you were in school.

Yeah...thanks!
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
March 5 2012

The southern caribbean SSTs are much colder when compared to 2011, but the GOM is generally warmer when compared to 2011
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
Quoting RitaEvac:


TX handles floods and disasters better than the other 49 states, we're tougher, better and reason why were our own country


Right on. Most recent proof is Hurricane Ike. Sure a lot of us didn't have power, but it was not even in the news 3 days later because we recovered so fast. We are used to these things.

Now a blizzard... not so much lol
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
Quoting DavidHOUTX:


Oh we need a flood here. A lot of SE Texas gets their water supply from the lakes (Lake Houston supplies almost all of Houston except for well water in the far suburbs). The Lake levels need to be brought up from the "run off".

I have lived in Houston almost all of my life and we have usually had a bad flood every 5-10 years. We haven't had one since 2000. We are definitely due for one. And coming right after the worst drought in history, I will gladly welcome it.


Everybody talking about only needing soaking light/moderate rains, the damn water system is gone, gotta have a flood to get that back up...to survive!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A wind advisory has been issued for Puerto Rico. These strong winds are caused by a strong High Pressure to our north.

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
328 PM AST TUE MAR 6 2012

...WINDY CONDITIONS EXPECTED TO START ACROSS THE AREA AFTER
MIDNIGHT TONIGHT..

PRZ001>010-012-013-VIZ001-002-070730-
/O.NEW.TJSJ.WI.Y.0002.120307T0600Z-120308T0700Z/
SAN JUAN AND VICINITY-NORTHEAST-SOUTHEAST-EASTERN INTERIOR-
NORTH CENTRAL-CENTRAL INTERIOR-PONCE AND VICINITY-NORTHWEST-
WESTERN INTERIOR-MAYAGUEZ AND VICINITY-CULEBRA-VIEQUES-
ST. THOMAS/ST. JOHN/ADJACENT ISLANDS-ST CROIX-
328 PM AST TUE MAR 6 2012

...WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM WEDNESDAY TO 3 AM AST
THURSDAY...

A BUILDING SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE AND RESULTANT TIGHTENING
PRESSURE GRADIENT ACROSS THE LOCAL REGION WILL RESULT IN LOCALLY
WINDY CONDITIONS ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA. AS THE LEADING EDGE OF
THE FRONT APPROACHES THE LOCAL ISLANDS TONIGHT...A NOTICEABLE
INCREASE IN WINDS CAN BE EXPECTED WITH SIGNIFICANT GUSTS
EXPECTED...ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE LOCAL WATERS...HIGHER ELEVATIONS
AND EXPOSED AREAS.

* TIMING...THIS STRONG WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO PREVAIL FROM MIDNIGHT
TONIGHT THROUGH EARLY MORNING THURSDAY. WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO BE
THE STRONGEST ON WEDNESDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS...SOME BRANCHES BREAK OFF TREES...AND SOME SMALL TREES
BLOWN OVER. MINOR WINDS DAMAGE POSSIBLE...PRIMARLY TO WEAKENED
TREES AND LOOSE OBJECTS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

WINDS OF 25 TO 35 MPH ARE EXPECTED ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE HIGHER
ELEVATIONS OF PUERTO RICO AND THE U.S VIRGIN ISLANDS.

A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS OF 25 MPH OR
GREATER ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE ADVISORY AREA. PEOPLE IN THE
ADVISORY AREA SHOULD SECURE ANY LOOSE OUTDOOR ITEMS SUCH AS
GARBAGE CANS OR LAWN FURNITURE. TRUCKS AND HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES
SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR STRONG GUSTY WINDS...ESPECIALLY ACROSS
HIGHER TERRAIN AND MOUNTAINS PASSES.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nigel20:
Not much weather related activity is going on at the moment, so the blog will be slow


That will change come Friday and into the weekend if this massive rain event pans out!
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
If you cant comment, without cussing, or quoting it, note the "Community Standards Policy" they are explicit on that matter.

The WunderBlogs are a forum for our members to express their opinions and ideas about weather, the outdoors, and nearly everything. Some blogs, such as Dr. Masters' Blog, have special community standards that apply only to them. For the blogs at large, as well as special or featured blogs, our Terms of Service apply. Please remain within the bounds of the Terms of Service.

This document will strive to provide pointers for operating within the Wunderground community.

Rules of the Road

Please do not carry on personal disputes in the blogs.

Threats, intimidation, especially that which extends
into the real world will be dealt with by extreme action.

Foul language is not allowed.

Please avoid topics that would be considered adults only. Many children come to this site looking for information about the weather.

Do not circumvent administrative action by creating new users, etc.

No spam.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129780
Quoting nigel20:

Yeah...I was a bit busy with school matters, so I didn't have much time to post...how have you been?
Extremely busy. I am glad to hear you were in school.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22582
March 5 2011
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
Quoting ScottLincoln:


If most of it runs off like it does during a flood, it wont be able to recharge the aquifers. Reservoirs will be faced with forcing through water to prevent flooding or structure loss, at the expense of losing water supply. It might help certain water supplies when compared to having no rain at all, but in many places the bad could outweigh the benefit. Several steady, light-moderate rain events would but what it really needs.

Trust me, as a hydrologist, I do grasp the drought situation in Texas. Texas needs rain... but not a flood nearing Nashville magnitude.


TX handles floods and disasters better than the other 49 states, we're tougher, better and reason why we were our own country
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ScottLincoln:


If most of it runs off like it does during a flood, it wont be able to recharge the aquifers. Reservoirs will be faced with forcing through water to prevent flooding or structure loss, at the expense of losing water supply. It might help certain water supplies when compared to having no rain at all, but in many places the bad could outweigh the benefit. Several steady, light-moderate rain events would but what it really needs.

Trust me, as a hydrologist, I do grasp the drought situation in Texas. Texas needs rain... but not a flood nearing Nashville magnitude.


Oh we need a flood here. A lot of SE Texas gets their water supply from the lakes (Lake Houston supplies almost all of Houston except for well water in the far suburbs). The Lake levels need to be brought up from the "run off".

I have lived in Houston almost all of my life and we have usually had a bad flood every 5-10 years. We haven't had one since 2000. We are definitely due for one. And coming right after the worst drought in history, I will gladly welcome it.
Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 635
FYI, gotta bowling bowl low pressure in the middle of the Atlantic
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Nature knows what is best, doesn't listen to anything, does what is natural, and a flood is what it will do in TX when it's ready. Knowing exactly what the lands need to recover. Doesn't care about your property, house, car, and all the other junk man has built on the land. When it's decided, your job is to survive it, if not....called natural selection.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SPLbeater:


notin much jus hangin out. slow today, maybe you could bring some life to the blog(but if you accomplish that by suggesting climate change crap or politics, dont bother) :D
Not much weather related activity is going on at the moment, so the blog will be slow
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
Quoting ScottLincoln:


If most of it runs off like it does during a flood, it wont be able to recharge the aquifers. Reservoirs will be faced with forcing through water to prevent flooding or structure loss, at the expense of losing water supply. It might help certain water supplies when compared to having no rain at all, but in many places the bad could outweigh the benefit. Several steady, light-moderate rain events would but what it really needs.

Trust me, as a hydrologist, I do grasp the drought situation in Texas. Texas needs rain... but not a flood nearing Nashville magnitude.


Yes, SE TX has already had it's soaking rains from late fall up to now,
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A pi$$ ant soaking rain that doesn't fill up lakes, etc... with water is moot when your trying to survive by having water on hand. If man really tried to control this, he'd fail, because he would be dropping pi$$ ant rain instead of filling the lakes with a flood that animals and man need to survive on day to day. Man is stupid, and will always pay the price.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hydrus:
Long time since I saw you post...Rain is coming.:)

Yeah...I was a bit busy with school matters, so I didn't have much time to post...how have you been?
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
Quoting RitaEvac:


Yes, it really does. You are failing to grasp the situation in TX. Reservoirs and Lakes and aquifers have tanked to historical levels to even beyond historical levels.

It must flood. There isn't any vegetation left it died last year, so the hell with vegetation, fill the state with water


If most of it runs off like it does during a flood, it wont be able to recharge the aquifers. Reservoirs will be faced with forcing through water to prevent flooding or structure loss, at the expense of losing water supply. It might help certain water supplies when compared to having no rain at all, but in many places the bad could outweigh the benefit. Several steady, light-moderate rain events would but what it really needs.

Trust me, as a hydrologist, I do grasp the drought situation in Texas. Texas needs rain... but not a flood nearing Nashville magnitude.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SPLbeater:


notin much jus hangin out. slow today, maybe you could bring some life to the blog(but if you accomplish that by suggesting climate change crap or politics, dont bother) :D
I think it was much colder when Ford was president..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22582
Quoting nigel20:
Good day...wats up everyone?


notin much jus hangin out. slow today, maybe you could bring some life to the blog(but if you accomplish that by suggesting climate change crap or politics, dont bother) :D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting ScottLincoln:

No, it really doesn't. That won't cure the drought. Most of that would just run off and cause severe flooding. There reaches a point where rainfall amounts are so great that drought severity is near moot, you will have flooding. And when the water runs off in a flood, it isn't being soaked up by the soil in a way that helps vegetation.


Yes, it really does. You are failing to grasp the situation in TX. Reservoirs and Lakes and aquifers have tanked to historical levels to even beyond historical levels.

It must flood. There isn't any vegetation left it died last year, so the hell with vegetation, fill the state with water
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ScottLincoln:

No, it really doesn't. That won't cure the drought. Most of that would just run off and cause severe flooding. There reaches a point where rainfall amounts are so great that drought severity is near moot, you will have flooding. And when the water runs off in a flood, it isn't being soaked up by the soil in a way that helps vegetation.

Agreed.
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
Quoting nigel20:
Good day...wats up everyone?
Long time since I saw you post...Rain is coming.:)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22582
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


I hadn't realized that Tennessee was settled in 1012.
Tennessee has very old human remains. Over 20,000 years old. Which is older than the Clovis remains . very significant find.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22582
Quoting RitaEvac:
TX needs this


No, it really doesn't. That won't cure the drought. Most of that would just run off and cause severe flooding. There reaches a point where rainfall amounts are so great that drought severity is near moot, you will have flooding. And when the water runs off in a flood, it isn't being soaked up by the soil in a way that helps vegetation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good day...wats up everyone?
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 12 Comments: 8465
Quoting Neapolitan:
You're entitled to your opinion, of course--but there are clearly a number of people at NOAA who disagree with you. ;-)

1,000 year flood

rain

The very best scientific estimate is that rainfall events of the magnitude of the one that happened in Tennessee in May, 2010, have just a 0.1% chance of happening in any given year there. Now, I see several people here erroneously suggesting that a 1,000-year rainfall event is somehow the same as a 1,000-year-old record being broken. Such a false assumption is understandable, as the wording of the phrase "X year event" can be confusing to someone who hasn't studied just what it means. But that can be remedied with a little study, I think...


To be honest, I doubt that those doing the analysis disagree with me regarding the uncertainty - it's probably more like they agree that there are huge error bars, but they needed to come up with a best guess anyway despite that uncertainty.

It is widely understood that the smaller chance event you try and calculate, the higher the error bars. With a "50-100yr"/1-2% event, it is mostly curve fitting with a small amount of extrapolation. "100-500yr "/<1% events are almost entirely extrapolation. These curve fitting and extrapolation estimates are heavily biased by the largest few events, and dry/wet periods can provide an incorrect result. I've been working with them recently to try and get the latest intensity climatology data. Looks like it may have changed even since the original documents from the 1960s and 1970s, yet we come up with statistics over periods longer than that. I respect their effort to make a best guess with very limited data, but perhaps I disagree with some in how useful or applicable such guesses are. Especially in a rapidly-changing climate, such measures become increasingly meaningless.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
TX needs this

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
gee it is SLOW today
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting ScottLincoln:


You don't necessarily need a 1000 year record to estimate a 0.1% chance flood. But seriously... we have maybe 100yrs of data on the Cumberland River. And climate/land-use has not stayed constant over that time frame. I'd argue that even with 100yrs of data, we are stretching it to calculate "50-100yr" (more accurately called 1-2%) flood events.
You're entitled to your opinion, of course--but there are clearly a number of people at NOAA who disagree with you. ;-)

1,000 year flood

rain

The very best scientific estimate is that rainfall events of the magnitude of the one that happened in Tennessee in May, 2010, have just a 0.1% chance of happening in any given year there. Now, I see several people here erroneously suggesting that a 1,000-year rainfall event is somehow the same as a 1,000-year-old record being broken. Such a false assumption is understandable, as the wording of the phrase "X year event" can be confusing to someone who hasn't studied just what it means. But that can be remedied with a little study, I think...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13792
Low level lapse rates still going up....doesn anybody know f a site that measures low and mid level lapse rates down to 1? SPC doent go below 5...
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting ScottLincoln:


That makes me chuckle every time I read something like that.
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


I hadn't realized that Tennessee was settled in 1012.


tennessee was settled in like...after 1700. which is 300 years roughly.

How the heck do you git a 1000 year record, when it aint even close to been founded for that long? LOL
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting WxGeekVA:


It was settled.... By Native Americans....


That were constantly moving and kept no historical record
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 570 - 520

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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

Local Weather

Overcast
30 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron