Rare Japanese tornado kills 1, injures 48

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:28 PM GMT on May 07, 2012

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A rare strong tornado ripped through Ibaraki Prefecture in eastern Japan 30 miles northeast of Tokyo on Sunday, killing a teenage boy, injuring 48 people, and damaging or destroying 890 buildings. The tornado carved a path of destruction 15 km long and 500 meters wide, said the Japan Meteorological Agency. The tornado was given a preliminary rating of F-2, with winds of 113 - 157 mph (Japan uses the traditional "F" scale to rate tornadoes, not the "EF" scale used in the U.S.) The tornado also damaged homes in a housing complex in Tsukuba where 20 people from seven families from Fukushima Prefecture had evacuated following the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, caused by the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011. I bet those families are feeling disaster-prone!


Video 1. A rare tornado in Japan hits approximately 30 miles northeast of Tokyo on May 6, 2012.

Japan's tornado climatology
Tornadoes are rare in Japan, due to the fact the nation is surrounded by ocean, which tends to stabilize the air. Between 1961 - 2010, an average of 15 tornadoes per year hit Japan, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. Only four F-3 tornadoes have hit Japan. The most recent F-3 hit on November 7, 2006, in the Wakasa area of Saroma, Hokkaido. Nine people died and 26 were injured. Over 30 buildings, including a dwelling, warehouses and temporary structures were damaged or destroyed. No violent F-4 or F-5 tornadoes have been recorded in Japan, according the Japan Meteorological Agency, though other sources list a December, 1990 tornado as having been an F-4. Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has more details in his latest post, Deadliest Tornadoes. Only one F-2 tornado hit Japan in both 2010 and 2011. A 1997 study published in the Journal of Climate found that Japanese tornadoes occurred most frequently in September and least frequently in March, and that typhoons were responsible for about 20% of all the tornadoes. A list of Asian tornado outbreaks maintained at Wikipedia lists the deadliest Japanese tornado as one on 6 September, 1881, which killed 16 people.


Figure 1. Distribution of tornadoes in Japan, 1961 - 2010. Image credit: Japan Meteorological Agency.

Jeff Masters

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86 and no pop ups yet? woah:)
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6492
Quoting hydrus:
Could be hinting at a sub-tropical storm..jmo

Nah, I think it would be of tropical origins. Sea Surface Temperatures are definitely warm enough to support a tropical system.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Since we are currently not in a La Nina or El Nino situation could we have a early active tropical season?


History shows that years we transition into El-nino tend to have early season TS formation.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Since we are currently not in a La Nina or El Nino situation could we have a early active tropical season?


Active early and then taporing off as we had into el nino
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6492
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The GFS ensembles have come aboard with an area of low pressure in the western Caribbean at the end of May (22nd-24th).

It's not just the main model anymore.

EDIT: As Levi just stated below.


Hey TAwx13. Are the models still hinting on developement in the eastern pacific?
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8023
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Oh don't worry, I'm not. ;)

North Carolina primaries are today so all schools get a half-day.



AAHHH i see well im sick today really not doing well
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6492
Please keep political discussions off the blog... There are whole websites for political discussions (especially racist or bigoted ones). This website (about the weather) is definitely not one of those.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5881
Didnt this happen last year? we had model support fr weeks, I want to say we only got an invest out of it
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6492
Quoting weatherh98:


No blogging during school young sir!

Oh don't worry, I'm not. ;)

North Carolina primaries are today so all schools get a half-day.
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Quoting Levi32:
The threat for some kind tropical or subtropical mischief in the Caribbean, eastern Gulf of Mexico, or southwest Atlantic between May 20th and June 5th is gaining support. The GFS operational run has been showing fun and games at 384 hours for 3 weeks now, but the ensemble mean, the average of dozens of slightly altered runs of the same model, is now showing a strong signal of low pressure and precipitation in the 12-15 day period, which is more significant.



Since we are currently not in a La Nina or El Nino situation could we have a early active tropical season?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The GFS ensembles have come aboard with an area of low pressure in the western Caribbean at the end of May (22nd-24th).

It's not just the main model anymore.

EDIT: As Levi just stated below.

Could be hinting at a sub-tropical storm..jmo
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21183
Quoting hydrus:
That set up looks quite familiar, just not so early in the year.




SSSHHHHHH!! Hydrus...
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The GFS ensembles have come aboard with an area of low pressure in the western Caribbean at the end of May (22nd-24th).

It's not just the main model anymore.

EDIT: As Levi just stated below.



No blogging during school young sir!
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6492
Quoting DavidHOUTX:
I hope we get the rain that is forecasted in Texas near future, raining here over 2 hours this morning and there is .05 in my rain gauge south of Austin, it did clean the streets but that is about it, very light rain but I will take it now bring on the heavy stuff Thursday and Friday hopefully.
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Look at the MJO. The MJO just doesn't want to leave the Caribbean this year!

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting Levi32:
The threat for some kind tropical or subtropical mischief in the Caribbean, eastern Gulf of Mexico, or southwest Atlantic between May 20th and June 5th is growing. The GFS operational run has been showing fun and games at 384 hours for 3 weeks now, but the ensemble mean, the average of dozens of slightly altered runs of the same model, is now showing a strong signal of low pressure and precipitation in the 12-15 day period, which is more significant.



That set up looks quite familiar, just not so early in the year.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21183
The GFS ensembles have come aboard with an area of low pressure in the western Caribbean at the end of May (22nd-24th).

It's not just the main model anymore.

EDIT: As Levi just stated below.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The threat for some kind tropical or subtropical mischief in the Caribbean, eastern Gulf of Mexico, or southwest Atlantic between May 20th and June 5th is gaining support. The GFS operational run has been showing fun and games at 384 hours for 3 weeks now, but the ensemble mean, the average of dozens of slightly altered runs of the same model, is now showing a strong signal of low pressure and precipitation in the 12-15 day period, which is more significant.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Neapolitan:
What's an "illegal"? Why are you using an adjective in a sentence whose structure clearly calls for a noun?


How about future Democrats? Big storms here on the Northshore of Lake Ponchartrain yesterday...we could use some more....ferns are drying up
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Quoting cedarparktxguy:



Na, just another load of illegals... Thank you Rick Perry
What's an "illegal"? Why are you using an adjective in a sentence whose structure clearly calls for a noun?
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Quoting BobWallace:


It really doesn't take very much intelligence to understand that 70% is less than 100%.

Neapo certainly demonstrates a large knowledge base and a fair amount of intelligence in his many posts, but this one was nothing more than slapping an underhand lob over the fence.


Couldn't agree more. This guy likes to come on here and cause problems all the time that's why I just ignore his post as it's just a matter of time before the ban hammer gets slammed down on him. Nea is infact one of the best posters on here and to insult him like this is uncalled for.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
583. MTWX
Quoting ScottLincoln:


Some context...?


I'm a radar technician... The Columbus, MS NEXRAD is my baby!!
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Quoting NEFL:


Wow you are really smart! If i could 'like' this i really would! Thanks a bunch! I think i'll vote for you as the coolest/smartest blogger since Joe Bastardi!
You're welcome. I figured what Scott Lincoln so eloquently explained in #564 might go over the heads of some, so I dumbed it down so for those "special" few who would appreciate it. But putting me in the same sentence with Bastardi? I dunno; that's setting the bar awfully low, isn't it? Bastardi couldn't correctly forecast snow in the middle of a blizzard. Why, he'd have trouble predicting sunshine in the Sahara. (And don't even get me started on his climate "knowledge".) ;-)
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Quoting NEFL:


Wow you are really smart! If i could 'like' this i really would! Thanks a bunch! I think i'll vote for you as the coolest/smartest blogger since Joe Bastardi!


It really doesn't take very much intelligence to understand that 70% is less than 100%.

Neapo certainly demonstrates a large knowledge base and a fair amount of intelligence in his many posts, but this one was nothing more than slapping an underhand lob over the fence.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ScottLincoln:


Precipitation probability for a given region can be defined as:

POP = [chance that precip will form] x [coverage of precip]

A 70% chance of rainfall could mean that there is a 70% of storms forming, but if they form, they are expected to have 100% coverage. It could be reverse. Or a combination. As such, you can see why such forecasts are difficult to verify.

There are three ways I know of to try and verify probability forecasts such as those.
1) Round off the POP to a yes or no answer (ex: 0-49% = no; 50-100% = yes) and then verify over a long period of time in a binary way.
2) Create a running score where a higher score is bad and a lower score is good; points are defined as the difference between the POP and the verification. 50% POP forecast with rainfall occurring would yield 50 points, 30% POP forecast would yield 70 points. 100% POP forecast with no rainfall would yield 100 points. This is used often by various forecasting contests.
3) Accumulate statistics for each POP category (10%, 20%, 30%, etc) and see if the corresponding occurrence of rain was the same (10%, 20%, 30%, respectively).

Without doing something like that, it really isnt correct to call one of those forecasts "wrong" or "right."

Ah, come one. That's too much work!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


CAPE



Lifted index


However the atmosphere will become less stable

Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6492
Quoting ncstorm:




There's your spin the CMC was developing last week.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651

Quoting dabirds:
536) You didn't even get 2? Well over 6 to your SW. Should dry out enough to let them finish the soybeans with these lower temps and humidity + sunshine over next 4 days though. Not sure about low spot corn replant though - guess that'll depend on how much we get this weekend. Sure like the temps in the long range though, much more seasonable.
In the last 14 days I have personally dumped about 1.4" of rain, which corresponds to the NWS value of 1-1.5 inches in the last 14 days; however most of that fell longer than 10 days ago.  I watched 3 separate thunderstorm clusters on three consecutive days go poof right through me only to re-fire up to the east or south of us.  It's weird here, we have a dirty factory plant to our west that has it's own mythical legacy of choking off any storm that flirts with us.  


Past Precipitation IL NWS.  I'm near Tuscola, south of Champaign.  


Every storm seems to fight a very routine dry east wind here.  I need to move... sigh


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MTWX:
Got all the way out to the NEXRAD this morning to find out the NWS wouldn't release it to us to do some work = waste of a good 1 1/2 hours of shift ;)


Some context...?
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3192
With shear dropping over Florida looks like we should get some nice afternoon showers on the east coast. Almost looks like summertime.
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A severe storm is about to cross the border south of Laredo.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
571. MTWX
Good Afternoon all!! Got all the way out to the NEXRAD this morning to find out the NWS wouldn't release it to us to do some work = waste of a good 1 1/2 hours of shift ;) Whats new in everyones neck of the woods?? Severe storms yesterday afternoon brought us some much needed rain, but there was a good amount of tree damage in the area to go along with it. Winds were 30-40 mph throughout the event with gusts in the mid 60s!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Monster cell crossing the border into Texas south of Laredo.

Z4 73 dBZ 48,000 ft. 66 kg/m² 100% chance 100% chance 3.25 in. 21 knots WNW (284)
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
569. MahFL
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
warming will be steady from here on out unless we get lots of cloudiness to surpress it but not likly


Winds also cool the sea.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The surface trough over the eastern Caribbean has been stationary over the past week are so

Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8023
Well, gotta give it to the GFS. They are persistent and why the precip charts, which I will not repost, :) seem to keep most of our rain off shore. I think.



Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 120
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
warming will be steady from here on out unless we get lots of cloudiness to surpress it but not likly

Agreed
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8023
Quoting nigel20:

The atlantic is really warming at the moment
warming will be steady from here on out unless we get lots of cloudiness to surpress it but not likly
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
Quoting NEFL:


Heck yesterday i had a 70% chance of rain and got nothing, and that was the forecast for the day of and they couldnt even get it right.


Precipitation probability for a given region can be defined as:

POP = [chance that precip will form] x [coverage of precip]

A 70% chance of rainfall could mean that there is a 70% of storms forming, but if they form, they are expected to have 100% coverage. It could be reverse. Or a combination. As such, you can see why such forecasts are difficult to verify.

There are three ways I know of to try and verify probability forecasts such as those.
1) Round off the POP to a yes or no answer (ex: 0-49% = no; 50-100% = yes) and then verify over a long period of time in a binary way.
2) Create a running score where a higher score is bad and a lower score is good; points are defined as the difference between the POP and the verification. 50% POP forecast with rainfall occurring would yield 50 points, 30% POP forecast would yield 70 points. 100% POP forecast with no rainfall would yield 100 points. This is used often by various forecasting contests.
3) Accumulate statistics for each POP category (10%, 20%, 30%, etc) and see if the corresponding occurrence of rain was the same (10%, 20%, 30%, respectively).

Without doing something like that, it really isnt correct to call one of those forecasts "wrong" or "right."
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3192
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


latest sst temps atlantic basin may 8 2012

The atlantic is really warming at the moment
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8023
Looking at the SPC data, it seems like this event will be more SC Texas, and not as much SE Texas. CAPE is kinda "meh" (right now generally under 1000 in the Houston area), and CIN is in the high 100s (right at the edge of shutting off convection). Also LI is pretty unfavorable right now over SE TX.

That said... if it stays clear for a few more hours, the whole game is changed as the atmosphere will definitely become less stable. (the wildcard in all of this is RH)
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5881


latest sst temps atlantic basin may 8 2012
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53809
NOAA just released its April summary. No real surprises; it's been warm:

--"Several warm periods across the contiguous U.S. during April brought the national average temperature to 55°F, 3.6°F above average, marking the third warmest April on record. These temperatures, when added with the first quarter and previous 11 months, calculate to the warmest year-to-date and 12-month periods since recordkeeping began in 1895."

--12 states experienced an April "Much Above Normal". An additional 26 were "Above Normal". The remainder were "Near Normal". None were "Below Normal"

Hot

--Interestingly enough: "Eight states — Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia — had average April temperatures cooler than their March temperatures. However, these temperatures were still above the long-term average for the month."

--"The 12 month period beginning May 2011 through April 2012, which includes several warm episodes for the country — second hottest summer, fourth warmest winter, and warmest March — was the warmest consecutive May-April year-long period for the contiguous United States. Twenty-two states were record warm for the 12-month period and an additional 19 states were top ten warm. The 12-month running average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 55.7°F, 2.8°F above the 20th century average.
"
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It's 11:16 AM here...Already 92.6 degrees with a heat index of 106...30% of a pop up...I'm getting to old for this heat..went and hired the neighbors son to cut the yard...LOL
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Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8023
Quoting pottery:
Good Morning !

THE SUN IS SHINING BRIGHT AND CHEERFUL......

first time in a long time, too.

Hopefully you'll have good weather for atleast the next couple of days pottery
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8023


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
The situation in Guadeloupe is very bad as torrential rains have caused massive floodings and now the first death.

Link

That's very sad condolences to the family members of the victim
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8023
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630

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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.