Summer in March continues for Midwest; Dexter, MI tornado an EF-3

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:54 PM GMT on March 17, 2012

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For the third consecutive day, Chicago, Illinois hit their warmest temperature on record so early in the year, going back to 1872. The mercury hit 82°F, giving the city its third consecutive day of 80°+ temperatures, smashing the old record by a month. Previously, the earliest Chicago had ever seen three consecutive 80 degree days was back on April 14 - 16, 1976. This morning's Public Information Statement from the National Weather Service in Chicago had this to say:

Chicago and Rockford have both broken high temperature records 3 days in a row and will likely break record highs for 5 days in a row. There is even the potential they could tie or break record highs for 6 or 7 days in a row depending on how warm temperatures get on Monday and Tuesday. It is extraordinarily rare for climate locations with 100+ year long periods of records to break records day after day after day. At the current pace... it is likely that Chicago and Rockford will not only break... but shatter their current record warmest Marches.


Figure 1. "This is the kind of sunset that you can expect to see in July, not in March. 77degrees when I took this," said the caption on this wunderphoto taken yesterday in Windom, Minnesota by wunderphotographer sally.

Minneapolis, Minnesota hit 79°F yesterday, the warmest it's ever been this early in the year, going back to 1872, and 39°F above average. This smashes the old record by a remarkable 6°F. Previous record: 73°F, set just two days previously, and also on March 7, 2000.

Bismark, North Dakota hit 81°F yesterday, which was a remarkable 41°F above normal. Not only does this tie Bismarck's warmest all-time monthly March temp on record (three other 81°F readings later in the month, with March 22,1910 being next earliest), it beats the next warmest early season record by a full 6°! The previous record was 75°F on March 12, 2007. Temperatures also soared into the 70's well into Canada's prairies on Friday, setting all-time warm temperature records for so early in the year across much of southern Canada.

International Falls, Minnesota hit 71°F yesterday, which was 36°F above normal, and their earliest 70°F reading by two weeks. Previously, the earliest 70°F reading came on March 30, 1967. Back on March 17, 1897, the temperature in International Falls hit -33°F!

Dexter, Michigan tornado rated an EF-3
NWS survey teams have confirmed that an EF-3 tornado with winds of 135 - 140 mph hit Dexter, Michigan on Thursday. It was the earliest EF-3 or stronger tornado in Michigan history, going back to 1950. The tornado skipped along a 7.2-mile path and had a width of up to 800 yards. It damaged or destroyed 128 buildings, but fortunately did not cause any deaths or injuries. The previous earliest appearance of an F-3 tornado in Michigan was on March 20, 1976. At least two other tornadoes touched down in Michigan Thursday, making it the second largest tornado outbreak in state history so early in the year. The record outbreak for so early in the year was the eight tornadoes that touched down on March 12, 1976.


Figure 2. Radar reflectivity image of the March 15, 2012 Dexter, Michigan tornado.

I'll be back Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

Lightning 2 (barbtrek)
Another shot from yesterdays storm in Michigan
Lightning 2
Setting Sol (minnesotamom)
Setting Sol
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night all
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Well now aren't you just a bundle of joy.
HHHAAAA HHHHAAA !!!
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20506
and its 2012 two hundred years ago to the year
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
sorry hydrus if its any comfort i will even feel the effects here in southern ontario or at least we did the last time it happen did you know church bells rang in new york from the same quake as well the last time it happen and there were three big ones over a six month stretch
Actually- I did some research on the 1811-1812 New Madrid Earthquake, and it was massive in more ways than one.Damage-range comparison between a moderate New Madrid zone earthquake (1895, magnitude 6.8), and a similar Los Angeles event (1994, magnitude 6.7).
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20506
Some sections of the Mississippi River appeared to run backward for a short time.[3] Sand blows were common throughout the area, and can still be seen from the air in cultivated fields. The shockwaves propagated efficiently through the firm midwestern bedrock, with residents as far away as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Norfolk, Virginia, awakened by intense shaking.[9] Church bells were reported to ring as far as Boston, Massachusetts and York, Ontario (now Toronto), and sidewalks were reported to have been cracked and broken in Washington, D.C.[10] There were also reports of toppled chimneys in Maine.[citation needed
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
you are in the New Madrid zone that area is overdue for an 8.8 to 9.1 they normally come in events of three with a little space between each one
Well now aren't you just a bundle of joy.
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where is the radar with no clutter...wasnt there somethin done to git rid of it?
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Quoting pottery:

Last decent one we had was 6.2.
My wife was driving on the highway and thought that the steering had gone bananas.
Couldn't keep the car in a straight line....

At home we lost some stuff from shelves, and about half the water from the fish tank.
A Tsunami!

The strongest I've experienced was a magnitude 5.3
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7849
The four earthquakesDecember 16, 1811, 0815 UTC (2:15 a.m.); (M ~7.2 – 8.1[2]) epicenter in northeast Arkansas. It caused only slight damage to man-made structures, mainly because of the sparse population in the epicentral area. The future location of Memphis, Tennessee experienced level IX shaking on the Mercalli intensity scale. A seismic seiche propagated upriver, and Little Prairie (a village that was on the site of the former Fort San Fernando, near the site of present-day Caruthersville, Missouri) was heavily damaged by soil liquefaction.[3]
December 16, 1811, 1415 UTC (8:15 a.m.); (M ~7.2–8.1) epicenter in northeast Arkansas. This shock followed the first earthquake by six hours and was similar in intensity.[2]
January 23, 1812, 1500 UTC (9 a.m.); (M ~7.0–7.8[2]) epicenter in the Missouri Bootheel. The meizoseismal area was characterized by general ground warping, ejections, fissuring, severe landslides, and caving of stream banks. Johnson and Schweig attributed this earthquake to a rupture on the New Madrid North Fault. This may have placed strain on the Reelfoot Fault.[3]
February 7, 1812, 0945 UTC (4:45 a.m.); (M ~7.4–8.0[2]) epicenter near New Madrid, Missouri. New Madrid was destroyed. At St. Louis, Missouri, many houses were severely damaged, and their chimneys were toppled. This shock was definitively attributed to the Reelfoot Fault by Johnston and Schweig. Uplift along a segment of this reverse fault created temporary waterfalls on the Mississippi at Kentucky Bend, created waves that propagated upstream, and caused the formation of Reelfoot Lake by obstructing streams in what is now Lake County, Tennessee.[3]
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting hydrus:
Good evening to you too Keep.....sheeesh...:)
sorry hydrus if its any comfort i will even feel the effects here in southern ontario or at least we did the last time it happen did you know church bells rang in new york from the same quake as well the last time it happen and there were three big ones over a six month stretch
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
you are in the New Madrid zone that area is overdue for an 8.8 to 9.1 they normally come in events of three with a little space between each one
9.1? I'm not to sure about that. Here is a simulation of of a 7.7 in the area.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3841
Quoting MississippiWx:
And here is the actual SST Anomaly forecast:


Neutral Atlantic there.
Still, that's plenty warm enough for all kinds of Mischief!
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Quoting pottery:

Sorry. I thought that was a Death Grimace!
Burgundy overdose maybe..:)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20506
There is also a swarm of small and some moderate quakes that have occured in the past couple of days near the Dominican Republic,Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands and Mona Passage.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14009
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127550
Quoting hydrus:
Good red.. Didnt you notice how big the tree opened his maw for seconds.?

Sorry. I thought that was a Death Grimace!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
you are in the New Madrid zone that area is overdue for an 8.8 to 9.1 they normally come in events of three with a little space between each one

That's so reassuring for him, I'm sure.

LOL, how you doing Keeper?
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And here is the actual SST Anomaly forecast:

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Quoting pottery:

You should of been locked up for that, LOL!
Poor tree.

Bad Red, huh?
Good red.. Didnt you notice how big the tree opened his maw for seconds.?
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20506
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
you are in the New Madrid zone that area is overdue for an 8.8 to 9.1 they normally come in events of three with a little space between each one
Good evening to you too Keep.....sheeesh...:)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20506
Quoting nigel20:

I've only been in minor quakes, I hope I never experience a 7.0+ M quake

Last decent one we had was 6.2.
My wife was driving on the highway and thought that the steering had gone bananas.
Couldn't keep the car in a straight line....

At home we lost some stuff from shelves, and about half the water from the fish tank.
A Tsunami!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nigel20:

I've only been in minor quakes, I hope I never experience a 7.0+ M quake
Was in a 4.3 here in GA. I think it was back in 2003. The people who lived next door thought there house was falling of the hill into the river lol.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3841
The EURO forecast of 2 meter temps for July, August, and September seem to hint at El Nino. These aren't sea surface temps, but usually this is a good indicator for what's going on in the water.

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Quoting hydrus:
The earthquakes have been quite numerous. I have never been through one, and hope I never do.
you are in the New Madrid zone that area is overdue for an 8.8 to 9.1 they normally come in events of three with a little space between each one
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Also looks like Mt. Iliamna is getting active for the first time in historical records. Large earthquake swarms in the exact area.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3841
Quoting hydrus:
I poured some red on this one and look what happened..

You should of been locked up for that, LOL!
Poor tree.

Bad Red, huh?
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Quoting pottery:

Thanks.
That covers Jul-Aug-Sep.
Looks pretty dread.
I hope that forecast is Bunk!


Yep. If that pans out,then closer to land or the so called homegrowns will be the order of this 2012 season. Apart from that,the MDR is below average right now on the sst's and that may also be a contributing factor to have homegrowns.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14009
Quoting hydrus:
The earthquakes have been quite numerous. I have never been through one, and hope I never do.

I've only been in minor quakes, I hope I never experience a 7.0+ M quake
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7849
Quoting KoritheMan:


I'd like to experience a weak one, wherein my house is still very much intact. Just one that produces a shaking sensation.

I assure you, they leave you feeling VERY defensless for a LONG time.
Terra Firma is not supposed to move around under our feet.
I don't like them at all at all.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

There were no supercells today...?

EDIT: Nevermind, saw your latest post.


u shoulda hear my gandfather today!! talk about stubborn as a MULE!!
------------------------------------------------- --
Me: This system just east of Asheboro has some weak rotation, look at the SRM and radar.*points*. Tornadoes are VERY unlikely, but something i might watch for fun.

Him: if a tornado develops, it will head SW to NE.

Me: a tornado will move whichever direction the storm is moving.

Him: if a tornado develops, it always goes NE. i have never seen any go any other way.

Me: you know, once there was some supercells out west that developed and went southwest. they produces tornadoes and the TORNADOES moved southwest, with the storm.

Him: yeah the storm can go one way but the tornado will move SW to NE

Me: *shakes head* NO, a tornado aint gonna leave the storm into open air!! it will stay inderneath the rotation present with the storm.

* He laughs and walks away*

------------------------------------------------- ----

and im like, REALLY!? listen to the guy who studies this stuff!!!geez!
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Reminds me of about a year ago, where this dude was giving away pears. We took him up on his offer, with the caveat that we had to pick them. I was standing on a ladder under the tree, and one of them fell directly on my head. It hurt. Bad.

Lucky that you managed to stay on the ladder....

"Man killed by falling Pear" would have made a great headline though...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


I'd like to experience a weak one, wherein my house is still very much intact. Just one that produces a shaking sensation.

That's what she sai--
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31462
Quoting pottery:

True. One should never stand under a Calabash tree.
Especially an inebriated one.
The fruit is hard and heavy.
I poured some red on this one and look what happened..
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20506
Quoting hydrus:
The earthquakes have been quite numerous. I have never been through one, and hope I never do.


I'd like to experience a weak one, wherein my house is still very much intact. Just one that produces a shaking sensation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


That is the forecast for pressures being high or low. This one is a 180 degrees opposite from last year when it had lower pressures in the Atlantic and that was spot on.


Thanks again.
As I say, Pretty Dread!
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Quoting pottery:

True. One should never stand under a Calabash tree.
Especially an inebriated one.
The fruit is hard and heavy.


Reminds me of about a year ago, where this dude was giving away pears. We took him up on his offer, with the caveat that we had to pick them. I was standing on a ladder under the tree, and one of them fell directly on my head. It hurt. Bad.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Guess what my friend,that was me when I posted the MSLP forecast by ECMWF.I will post it again.


Thanks.
That covers Jul-Aug-Sep.
Looks pretty dread.
I hope that forecast is Bunk!
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Is it just me or has there been a huge increase in earthquakes in Alaska.Link
Most are small but still I don't think I'v ever seen this volume of them.
The earthquakes have been quite numerous. I have never been through one, and hope I never do.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20506
Quoting pottery:

LOL, I didn't realise it was you!
What exactly is that forecast based on, do you know?


That is the forecast for pressures being high or low. This one is a 180 degrees opposite from last year when it had lower pressures in the Atlantic and that was spot on.


Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14009
Quoting hydrus:
Probably for the best. I realized a drunk Calabash Tree could be a rather disturbing sight.

True. One should never stand under a Calabash tree.
Especially an inebriated one.
The fruit is hard and heavy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SPLbeater:
now this really steams me.

i am importing some supercell pictures from today, and my frickin thing is loading every single picture n vid on, which are already there!?!?!?!?!??

There were no supercells today...?

EDIT: Nevermind, saw your latest post.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31462
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Guess what my friend,that was me when I posted the MSLP forecast by ECMWF.

LOL, I didn't realise it was you!
What exactly is that forecast based on, do you know?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

I've been doing that....
But in a rather indirect way.
I drink the Red first, you see?

heheheheh
Probably for the best. I realized a drunk Calabash Tree could be a rather disturbing sight.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20506
Quoting pottery:

Yeah. Someone posted the other day that the Trop. Atl. was forecast to be pretty dry in Jun-Jul-Aug.
I don't much care for forecasts that far out, but we shall see...


Guess what my friend,that was me when I posted the MSLP forecast by ECMWF.I will post it again.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14009
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


The ITCZ looks dry right now so the source for any rain may come from SA for now. So far in PR,it has been normal the rainfall on this month with the usual afternoon showers in the interior and some fast showers moving thru north and eastern PR at nights.

Yeah. Someone posted the other day that the Trop. Atl. was forecast to be pretty dry in Jun-Jul-Aug.
I don't much care for forecasts that far out, but we shall see...
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


what supercells from today?


ok maybe not supercells, but they had weak rotation on SRM data and where 1 county west of me. no warning went out, which is logical since the weak rotation on SRm didnt last but for maybe 30 mins.

got the duplicate fixed tho:D
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Latest models are suggesting a more favorable environment for supercells capable of producing tornadoes.

Tomorrow night at 00Z (7 pm CDT):



Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31462
Quoting hydrus:
The longer it lingers, the better chances for neutral conditions during the peak of the season I believe..No bueno.

Good point.
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Quoting hydrus:
How can something as wise as a Calabash Tree be confused. We talked about this before. Nothing on Earth manages its affairs as well as the mighty Calabash....If you think it needs a lift, just pour some some red on it. Problem solved..:)

I've been doing that....
But in a rather indirect way.
I drink the Red first, you see?

heheheheh
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Is it just me or has there been a huge increase in earthquakes in Alaska.Link
Most are small but still I don't think I'v ever seen this volume of them.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3841
Quoting KoritheMan:
La Nina still lingers, so of course they aren't.
The longer it lingers, the better chances for neutral conditions during the peak of the season I believe..No bueno.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20506

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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.