Bud a heavy rain threat for Mexico; 1-year anniversary of Joplin tornado

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:07 AM GMT on May 22, 2012

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Tropical Storm Bud intensified into a 40 mph storm this morning in the Eastern Pacific, off the coast of Mexico, and poses a significant flooding threat to the country late this week. The storm has been slow to organize due to its large size, as seen on satellite loops. But with favorable SSTs of 29 - 30°C and light to moderate wind shear in the 5 - 15 knots range expected along its path, Bud should steadily organize today and Wednesday, and become Hurricane Bud by Thursday. A trough of low pressure is expected to swing north of the storm late this week, turning Bud to the north towards the Mexican coast between Manzanillo and Acapulco. However, the trough of low pressure may not be strong enough to bring Bud ashore, and the storm could linger near the coast for several days, potentially deluging the coast with very heavy rains capable of triggering dangerous flash floods and mudslides, beginning on Friday.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Bud.

Record earliest date for formation of the season's second named storm
Bud is the second named storm to form in the Eastern Pacific in 2012--Tropical Storm Aletta, which formed on May 15, was the first. Bud's appearance on May 21 marks the earliest date since record keeping began in 1949 for formation of the season's second named storm. The previous record was set in 1984, when the second named storm formed on May 29. Only two other years have had two named storms in May in the Eastern Pacific--2007 and 1956, which both had the second named storm of the year form on May 30. If Bud ends up making landfall in Mexico as a hurricane, it would be only the second Eastern Pacific May hurricane on record to hit Mexico. The other was Hurricane Agatha of May 24,1971, which hit the same stretch of coast that Bud is threatening. Agatha made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane about 45 mi (75 km) from Zihuatanejo, Mexico. The village of Playa Azul was hard hit by the storm, with up to half of the village's homes destroyed. Ocean temperatures this year in the region where Aletta and Bud formed are only slightly above average, so the large scale atmospheric patterns are probably more to blame for this year's exceptionally early start to hurricane season in the Eastern Pacific.


Figure 2. True-color visible satellite image of Alberto taken by the Aqua satellite at 2 pm EDT Monday May 21, 2012. Image credit: NASA.

Alberto headed out to sea
Tropical Depression Alberto is racing northeastwards out to sea, and has been substantially weakened by very high wind shear of 50 knots and passage over cool ocean waters of 24°C (75°F). Alberto will not trouble any land areas, and does not have long to live before being completely dismantled by the high wind shear.


Figure 3. Aerial view of damage from the May 22, 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado. Image credit: Wikipedia.

One-year anniversary of the Joplin, Missouri EF-5 tornado
May 22 marks the 1-year year anniversary of the deadly Joplin Missouri tornado. The massive EF-5 tornado with winds in excess of 200 mph mowed a 14-mile path of destruction up to one mile wide across the southern portion of the city. The tornado killed 161 people--the highest death toll from a U.S. tornado since 1947, and the seventh deadliest tornado in U.S. history. The tornado did $3 billion in damage, making it the most expensive tornado in world history. The death toll from the tornado undoubtedly would have been higher had the National Weather Service not issued a tornado warning a full 24 minutes in advance of the tornado. This is nearly double the average tornado warning lead time of thirteen minutes.

Links
The most remarkable audio I've ever heard of people surviving a direct hit by a violent tornado was posted to Youtube by someone who took shelter in the walk-in storage refrigerator at a gas station during the Joplin tornado. There isn't much video.


Video 1. Video of the Joplin, Missouri tornado of May 22, 2011, entering the southwest side of town. Filmed by TornadoVideos.net Basehunters team Colt Forney, Isaac Pato, Kevin Rolfs, and Scott Peake.

Jeff Masters

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895. Grothar
4:40 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
First bit of yellow appear around the convection. cold cloud tops are forming.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23751
894. weatherbro
1:49 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting Jedkins01:
I'm upset with the current model forecast for the invest in the Caribbean, cause guess what that would likely mean? More beneficial rain for southeast Florida, but central and north Florida would miss out AGAIN.

In fact such a track for a system is a common path that brings dry air into our area here after it passes by to the east. Such an occurrence would likely disrupt the wet season pattern which is wanting to take shape.


I really, really hope the models shift west, or just well east or keep it way, but just east of Florida or southeast Florida is actually worse case scenario, dryness wise for us here in West Central Florida.


Guess us in Central and north Florida will have to wait till June 1st. But on the bright side, the GFS southwestwards into Jacksonville by Tuesday. But it's an outlier though(and it's not paying attention to the ULL that'll be just SE of the Carolina's by that time frame which will be spun-up by the remnants of Alberto)...And the ridge axis that will set up from Cancun/the eastern Gulf up to the Ohio Valley will completely breakdown by Monday-enabling the Atlantic ridge to send it towards the Carolina's.
Member Since: May 26, 2007 Posts: 47 Comments: 1214
893. wunderkidcayman
1:34 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
NHC changed past track and curent position of 94L kman is right pinpointing the low not a good idea yet until thing get going
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9598
892. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
1:31 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
891. biff4ugo
1:24 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
The visual video that follows the audio posted in Dr. Masters Blog, tracking back to where everybody took shelter is stunning.
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 113 Comments: 1501
890. wunderkidcayman
1:21 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting kmanislander:


See my post 883. This is not unusual with broad disorganized low pressures especially in a high shear environment where the so called center tends to follow the area of strongest convection

that is so true

so I am expecting the 94L to reposition it self to the south near honduras just a side note(if it continues to stick around for about 24-48 more hours in the area that it is now developing that south low it will be in really good conditions in terms of shear
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9598
889. yqt1001
1:19 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
I love how OLS takes visible images at night. Can see population centers in Mexico. :P

Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1285
887. islander101010
1:16 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
gfs is consistant with this unusual course hopefully its just a trough
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4018
886. wunderkidcayman
1:15 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting SaratogaSteve:


when do you expect weather conditions to improve in Grand Cayman? I'll be there from 5/24 - 5/31.

oh umm today I think we will have a break through mid day today after that back to stormy weather this is what I say but the offical forecast from the locat met office say conditions will improve today and drecreasing chance of showers but I really don't really trust it


Quoting weatherh98:
NHC has it wrong..



IMHO its at 19 N 83 W


yes NHC has it wrong but I still say it is not at 19N
more like 18N or 17N
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9598
885. kmanislander
1:15 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
I will come back on in a couple of hours
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
884. kmanislander
1:14 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

hey kman you se what I am seeing with the vort though
the south side is growing stronger while the norther side is weaker


See my post 883. This is not unusual with broad disorganized low pressures especially in a high shear environment where the so called center tends to follow the area of strongest convection
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
883. kmanislander
1:12 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting weatherh98:
NHC has it wrong..



IMHO its at 17 N 83 W


These broad lows typically have several small gyres within the overall low pressure envelope. 94 L was designated late yesterday at the position where the pressure was lowest and which also coincided with one of at least two circulations evident from sat. Imagery. In the past we have seen the original position of a low invest abandoned and repositioned when another area within the envelope assumes dominance for the time being and that could happen with this feature.

The deepest convection tends to create the lowest pressure and this gives the impression that the surface low is " jumping from place to place".

For these reasons you should not focus on any one position as the so called center has a tendency to dance around where pressure is broad and strong convection is spread out.
Look at the big picture.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
882. MrstormX
1:11 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting weatherh98:


Look at the west pac storm!!!


Yea, that's a biggie.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4355
881. yqt1001
1:10 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting weatherh98:


Thats a low pressure for 50


55kts is 65mph so 997mb isn't all that low. 990 is roughly 75mph so if anything it's a bit high.

Satellite blackout over Bud so no new images for a while. :/
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1285
880. weatherh98
1:09 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting Neapolitan:
ATCF says Bud is blossoming:

EP, 02, 2012052312, , BEST, 0, 132N, 1074W, 55, 997, TS, 50, NEQ, 20, 20, 20, 20


Thats a low pressure for 50
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6439
879. weatherh98
1:08 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting MrstormX:
Perhaps it's because I haven't seen an EPAC storm for a year, but Bud looks pretty big circulation wise to me.


Look at the west pac storm!!!
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6439
878. Neapolitan
1:08 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
ATCF says Bud is blooming:

EP, 02, 2012052312, , BEST, 0, 132N, 1074W, 55, 997, TS, 50, NEQ, 20, 20, 20, 20, 1009, 240, 20, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, BUD, M,
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13306
877. wunderkidcayman
1:07 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting kmanislander:
Good morning

Another very wet day on tap here. Strong convection training towards us from the SSW looks capable of dropping 8 inches of rain today. Sure hope that doesn't happen but not looking good on that front.

The low pressure in the NW Caribbean is still very broad and elongated all the way from Honduras to the South coast of Cuba. The 850 and 925 mb vort also match up over this wide swath but the only place even remotely conducive to development would be down near the coast of Honduras and Nicaragua. Too much shear near 20 N.

Rain will be the big threat today in Cayman along with strong gusty winds

hey kman you se what I am seeing with the vort though
the south side is growing stronger while the norther side is weaker
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9598
876. MrstormX
1:06 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Perhaps it's because I haven't seen an EPAC storm for a year, but Bud looks pretty big circulation wise to me.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4355
875. ProgressivePulse
1:05 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
NWS a little humorous this morning.

000
FXUS62 KMFL 231127 AAA
AFDMFL

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
.PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 330 AM EDT WED MAY 23 2012/

DISCUSSION...
YESTERDAY MOTHER NATURE BISECTED S FLA WITH RECORD RAINFALL SE AS A
A WILDFIRE BROKE OUT E OF NAPLES. WHAT IS IN STORE THE NEXT 3 DAYS?
THE HEADLINE ABOVE IS THE GENERAL THINKING.

Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
874. weatherh98
1:04 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
NHC has it wrong..



IMHO its at 19 N 83 W
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6439
873. Bitmap7
1:02 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Anyone has the link to the site that shows the atmospheric moisture data gathered from the weather balloons?
Member Since: May 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 429
872. SaratogaSteve
1:02 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
same with the 925 vort but 12Z not out yet
but show it with the 0600 and 0900 one and should show that same trend on the 12Z map


when do you expect weather conditions to improve in Grand Cayman? I'll be there from 5/24 - 5/31.
Member Since: July 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4
871. ncstorm
1:00 PM GMT on May 23, 2012


Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13481
870. weatherh98
1:00 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Don't worry about him. He seems to have a grudge against me or something.

Oh well.


Are you in school still?

GOOD MORNING FOLKS!!!
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6439
869. wunderkidcayman
12:59 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
same with the 925 vort but 12Z not out yet
but show it with the 0600 and 0900 one and should show that same trend on the 12Z map
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9598
868. kmanislander
12:58 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Good morning

Another very wet day on tap here. Strong convection training towards us from the SSW looks capable of dropping 8 inches of rain today. Sure hope that doesn't happen but not looking good on that front.

The low pressure in the NW Caribbean is still very broad and elongated all the way from Honduras to the South coast of Cuba. The 850 and 925 mb vort also match up over this wide swath but the only place even remotely conducive to development would be down near the coast of Honduras and Nicaragua. Too much shear near 20 N.

Rain will be the big threat today in Cayman along with strong gusty winds
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
867. Bitmap7
12:58 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
as of 12Z 850 vort has grown bigger rounder and stronger with the honduras low and much weaker and flat with the cuba low


Yup in contrast to yesterdays vort, the Honduras vort seems to be taking over.



Member Since: May 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 429
866. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:57 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting NICycloneChaser:


You're really saying that storms are only interesting if they hit land? He never once said that this was about to loads of damage, just that it was showing signs of developing quickly, which is true. EPAC storms develop in the same way as Atlantic ones do, so if you truly have a passion for meteorology rather than just watching the hype of an impending landfall then you'd have an interest in them too.

Plus, quotation marks generally mean that it's not even his words/opinion, so don't tell him to calm down.

Don't worry about him. He seems to have a grudge against me or something.

Oh well.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30297
864. wunderkidcayman
12:53 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
as of 12Z 850 vort has grown bigger rounder and stronger with the honduras low and much weaker and flat with the cuba low
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9598
863. StormTracker2K
12:50 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Hot off the press.


Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
862. weatherh98
12:46 PM GMT on May 23, 2012


Its still really elongated....

Bud is much stronger tha the last advisory
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6439
861. StormTracker2K
12:45 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting severstorm:
Thank would be great really needing the rain on the west side. Seems like everytime they call for rain it dont. Think POSITIVE


Yeah it looks as if the tropical moisture is going to take hold of FL as the "Offical start of the rainy season" appears to be on the way.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
860. severstorm
12:41 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting StormTracker2K:
Outdoor plans for Memeorial Day across FL maybe non-existant.

Thank would be great really needing the rain on the west side. Seems like everytime they call for rain it dont. Think POSITIVE
Member Since: November 25, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 956
859. weatherh98
12:40 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting StormTracker2K:
Here's the good news with all these tropical systems heading for FL is the RAIN!! Infact what could be Beryl may do a Fay type track.



Hey i said that last night at least someone agrees
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6439
858. StormTracker2K
12:39 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Outdoor plans for Memeorial Day across FL maybe non-existant.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
857. MahFL
12:19 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting NICycloneChaser:


.. so don't tell him to calm down.


I'll do what I like.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 2913
856. NICycloneChaser
12:07 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting MahFL:


East Pacific storms are not that intersting or dangerous. Hardly any hit land. Calm down.


You're really saying that storms are only interesting if they hit land? He never once said that this was about to loads of damage, just that it was showing signs of developing quickly, which is true. EPAC storms develop in the same way as Atlantic ones do, so if you truly have a passion for meteorology rather than just watching the hype of an impending landfall then you'd have an interest in them too.

Plus, quotation marks generally mean that it's not even his words/opinion, so don't tell him to calm down.
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1970
855. yqt1001
12:04 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.4 / 991.8mb/ 53.0kt

23/0832 UTC 17.3N 139.8E T3.5/3.5 SANVU -- West Pacific

Almost..


Should be upgraded...


Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1285
854. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:02 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting yqt1001:
Sanvu looks to be very close to typhoon status.


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.4 / 991.8mb/ 53.0kt

23/0832 UTC 17.3N 139.8E T3.5/3.5 SANVU -- West Pacific

Almost..
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30297
853. yqt1001
12:01 PM GMT on May 23, 2012
Sanvu looks to be very close to typhoon status.

Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1285
852. LargoFl
11:58 AM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting StormTracker2K:
Our local met here at channel 9 (Tom Terry) says he is favoring a GFS type track and he believes this will be Beryl come Sunday as it comes ashore in C or N FL.

i hope he is right ST..we need all that rain it can produce here in central florida
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33491
851. MahFL
11:58 AM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
"Funny how inactive this thread is now when the most dramatic part of Bud's life is occurring. I was just waiting until that nonsense with the LLC to the east of the deep convection stopped after a Kelvin wave moved through and now it might be fully under that dense CDO and if it is, this Bud is ready to burst (aka, explode). Over the last 8 hours, Bud has looked better than it ever has and the CDO is displaying behavior that suggests something dramatic is about to unfold or is. Its size looked much larger but the main part is fairly condensed and tight. Unless you look at the new RBTOP, it doesn't appear as if anything crazy is happening but with this particular imagery, you can see the sign that RI or EI is imminent:

Link

Time sensitive, but look at the rapid swirling going on with the coldest cloud tops, whenever a TC shows that its bombing. The other clue is that the CDO is becoming more curved at the edges and expanding slightly to the east which wasn't happening during the last 30 hours."


East Pacific storms are not that intersting or dangerous. Hardly any hit land. Calm down.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 2913
850. Grothar
11:58 AM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Is that a...?



No, I think it's a....
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23751
849. yqt1001
11:56 AM GMT on May 23, 2012
I would've posted this yesterday if I hadn't been banned (long story but in the end it was mostly accidental :P ) but since the most favourable conditions for RI will be tonight I have a feeling we still might see hurricane Bud. It just needed an eyewall for tonight, which it seemed to have built.

Although I don't think it's strengthening anymore, appearance hasn't changed much in the last few hours.
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1285
848. Grothar
11:56 AM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting LargoFl:
hopefully if this pans out we will get some rain in central florida


Looks like it could be more than some.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 64 Comments: 23751
847. LargoFl
11:55 AM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting intampa:
all's i can say is all these lows spinning round out there yall better get some rain up on the tampa area.... just saying.....
I second that, not a cloud in the sky this morning
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33491
846. LargoFl
11:54 AM GMT on May 23, 2012
Quoting Grothar:
It is unlikely to see 94L develop today. The wind shear is very high, but should be retreating in a day or two. Shear Tendency is lessening. The steering currents would certainly indicate a North or Northeast movement over the next few days. There is a strong blocking high in the Atlantic which should keep 94L close to the Southeast Coast and possibly get moved back towards Florida. Too bad no one is going to see this blog. Best one I've done. :)





hopefully if this pans out we will get some rain in central florida
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33491
845. TropicalAnalystwx13
11:48 AM GMT on May 23, 2012
"Funny how inactive this thread is now when the most dramatic part of Bud's life is occurring. I was just waiting until that nonsense with the LLC to the east of the deep convection stopped after a Kelvin wave moved through and now it might be fully under that dense CDO and if it is, this Bud is ready to burst (aka, explode). Over the last 8 hours, Bud has looked better than it ever has and the CDO is displaying behavior that suggests something dramatic is about to unfold or is. Its size looked much larger but the main part is fairly condensed and tight. Unless you look at the new RBTOP, it doesn't appear as if anything crazy is happening but with this particular imagery, you can see the sign that RI or EI is imminent:

Link

Time sensitive, but look at the rapid swirling going on with the coldest cloud tops, whenever a TC shows that its bombing. The other clue is that the CDO is becoming more curved at the edges and expanding slightly to the east which wasn't happening during the last 30 hours."
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30297

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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.