A record 199 days without a tornado death; 1st tornado of 2013 hits Louisiana

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:10 PM GMT on January 10, 2013

Share this Blog
33
+

The U.S. has set a weather record of the sort we like to see: the longest continuous stretch without a tornado death. We've had 199 days without a tornado fatality, beating the record of 197 straight days that ended on February 28, 1987. The last U.S. tornado death was at Venus in Highlands County, Florida, from an EF-0 tornado associated with Tropical Storm Debby on June 24, 2012. After a horrific 2011 that saw 553 Americans die in tornadoes--the 2nd highest total since 1950--the 2012 tornado season was not far from average for deaths, according to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. The 2012 tornado death toll was 68, ranking 25th highest since 1950. The average yearly toll between 1950 - 2011 was 91. According to SPC, the total number of tornadoes during 2012 was just 936. This is the first time since 2002 that fewer than 1000 tornadoes have been recorded. The reason for the low tornado total in 2012 was the massive drought that gripped much of Tornado Alley. It's tough to get tornadoes when you're experiencing near-record drought conditions and very few thunderstorms.


Figure 1. June 24, 2012: A tornado spawned by Tropical Storm Debbie crosses Lake Winterset in Winter Haven, Florida. Another tornado from Debbie on this day caused the last tornado death in the U.S., at Venus in Highlands County, Florida. Image credit: wunderphotographer whgator3.


Figure 2. The total number of U.S. tornadoes stronger than EF-0 from 1950 - 2012 does not show a significant long-term trend. However, this database is not very reliable, and we cannot use it to make judgements about how tornadoes may be changing in the long term. Data taken from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC). Since not all tornadoes from 2012 have been given an EF scale rating yet, the numbers from 2012 are estimated by assuming that the same proportion of EF-0 tornadoes that existed in 2011 also occurred in 2012.

First U.S. tornado of 2013 hits Louisiana
A powerful low pressure system centered over Texas that has dumped over 5" of rain over Southeast Texas and 10" over portions of Louisiana has generated the first U.S. tornado of 2013. The tornado touched down in Plaquemine, Louisiana at 8:35 am CST this morning, when a squall line of severe thunderstorms moved through. Light to moderate roof damage was reported at an industrial plant on Highway 405, about 80 miles west-northwest of New Orleans. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has portions of Southeast Louisiana, Southern Mississippi, and Southern Alabama in their "Slight Risk" region for severe weather and tornadoes, so hopefully our record streak without a tornado death will not come to an end today.


Figure 3. Radar-estimated precipitation from the past three days from the Lake Charles radar. Over 10" of rain (dark pink colors) is estimated to have fallen over South Central Louisiana.

Earth's extreme weather: no big deal, compared to Venus
Our colleagues at TWC are airing a new series that starts tonight (Thursday) at 9pm EST/8pm CST, called "Deadliest Space Weather." We've put the trailer for tonight's episode on Venus up on the wunderground video section. As I highlighted in my book review of Dr. James Hansen's must-read book, Storms of My Grandchildren, Dr. Hansen argues that Earth's climate may eventually wind up like Venus', with a run-away greenhouse effect: "After the ice is gone, would Earth proceed to the Venus syndrome, a runaway greenhouse effect that would destroy all life on the planet, perhaps permanently? While that is difficult to say based on present information, I've come to conclude that if we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty." In tonight's episode of "Deadliest Space Weather", astronomers and planetary scientists will reveal why the climate of Venus went so horribly wrong, why a similar climate may one day descend on the Earth--and what will happen when it gets here.

Jeff Masters

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: 416 - 366

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10Blog Index

Quoting not2beeasilyconned:
I suppose this all due to global warming, despite the fact there hasn't been any for the best part of 17 years now.

This blog is the world record in manipulation and selective use of statistics.


Is that so ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I suppose this all due to global warming, despite the fact there hasn't been any for the best part of 17 years now.

This blog is the world record in manipulation and selective use of statistics.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting calkevin77:


There are reasons why they print suffocation warning labels on plastic grocery bags :)


Quoting yonzabam:



That used to be the case, but welfare payments help them to multiply in a way that Darwin never foresaw.


Yeah, true, unfortunately.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneFreeCR:
Sure, the Earth warms and cools and has throughout its existence. But the process has been VERY much slower (tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years) and even at that many animals and plants (people are animals, don't forget) failed to adapt quickly enough and went extinct. Now our current experiment is taking place over a couple of hundred years -- almost no species will be able to adapt rapidly enough to keep up with that pace. You think humans will?

Interesting.
But as you know, viruses, wood-boring beetles, pathogens of most kinds, have very short life-spans and can adapt (or evolve) much faster than mammals, trees, food-crops.

Many people dont understand this, and think that we live in Isolation from Nature.
We do not, and the idea that we can somehow keep negatively affecting the environment without bringing down brimstone on our heads is a pretty naive one. Ignorant, in fact.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FunnelVortex:


whoa!!! Narelle did it fast!
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting AussieStorm:

Stephen Gregory
@HEDZ_09
Neptune Rd, St John's, Division No. 1, Newfoundland and Labrador A1B, Canada


incredible!!!! How many inches,no... how many feet are there, about 5'?
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:
Sometimes, reading this blog leads me into deep despair.

But then I realise that Evolution continues, and the ones that are slow to Evolve are keeping the thing balanced.
At least, that's the only positive thing I can get from it all.


That used to be the case, but welfare payments help them to multiply in a way that Darwin never foresaw.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2955
Quoting pottery:
Sometimes, reading this blog leads me into deep despair.

But then I realise that Evolution continues, and the ones that are slow to Evolve are keeping the thing balanced.
At least, that's the only positive thing I can get from it all.


There are reasons why they print suffocation warning labels on plastic grocery bags :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Sure, the Earth warms and cools and has throughout its existence. But the process has been VERY much slower (tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years) and even at that many animals and plants (people are animals, don't forget) failed to adapt quickly enough and went extinct. Now our current experiment is taking place over a couple of hundred years -- almost no species will be able to adapt rapidly enough to keep up with that pace. You think humans will?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Sometimes, reading this blog leads me into deep despair.

But then I realise that Evolution continues, and the ones that are slow to Evolve are keeping the thing balanced. Evolution needs to be a slow process.
At least, that's the only positive thing I can get from it all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:
USDA declares drought disaster in much of Wheat Belt

Crop condition ratings for winter wheat were the worst on record in early December, the most recent figures available. Some experts said up to a quarter of the crop will be abandoned because of poor development.


Growers are certain to collect record insurance payments for losses on their 2012 crops, hit by the worst drought in half a century. Indemnities totaled $10.7 billion at the start of this week, up $670 million from the preceding week and just shy of the record $10.8 billion paid on 2011 losses.

Some analysts expect the final payout to reach $20 billion to $25 billion to create the first money-losing year for insurers in a decade



Winter wheat makes up three quarters of the US wheat crop. To lose a quarter of it would be a disaster, not only for insurers, but for food prices in the developing world. I'd expect more food riots throughout the world.

It has many knock on effects. Pig breeders in the UK are going out of business because poor harvests in the US and other regions have pushed up feed prices.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2955
I'm off to bed, got a long very hot day once I wake up. So not going to enjoy it.

Goodnight all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JNCali:
Forecast Minimum Temps for Monday 7pm..


Wow. 20 degrees colder here in Austin TX than in DC and NYC according to that image. These last few winters have been bizarre.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting luvtogolf:


It's weather. It's climate. The earth warms and cools. It has for billions of years and will continue to do so.
Those same scientist that support "G.W" or "climate change" also supports and relizes that the climate has changed over the course of a million years without the help of "man"

But no.It's all just man made and everything is our fault...


Post 396..so that's where all the snow and cold is EH!(No insult to canadians).Bring some of that down here.This winter sucks!!!!!!

Why are people hiding?.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17477
397. Skyepony (Mod)
Much of Newfoundland had it's power knocked out by the storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Stephen Gregory
@HEDZ_09
Neptune Rd, St John's, Division No. 1, Newfoundland and Labrador A1B, Canada
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting yonzabam:



Other tiresome claims that are continually repeated, no matter how many times they are corrected include:

1) The world hasn't warmed since 1998.

2) It's the sun.

3) The Earth has had climate change when man wasn't putting greenhouse gases into the air, so this is just a natural event.

4) The climategate emails prove it's all a scam.

5) CO2 makes up just 0.04% of the atmosphere, so that is insignificant.

6) Volcanoes put far more CO2 into the air than man.

And my personal favourite - this is a belter.

7) Al Gore bought a beachfront house, which proves he doesn't believe sea levels are rising.





It's weather. It's climate. The earth warms and cools. It has for billions of years and will continue to do so.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
394. Skyepony (Mod)
USDA declares drought disaster in much of Wheat Belt

Crop condition ratings for winter wheat were the worst on record in early December, the most recent figures available. Some experts said up to a quarter of the crop will be abandoned because of poor development.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NOAA's NCDC ‏@NOAANCDC
Extreme to exceptional #drought decreased from 21.3% to 20.8% of contiguous U.S. over last week http://www.drought.gov
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ScottLincoln:

I take it that you haven't actually looked at the scientific literature from the 1970s, have you. If you had, you would have realized that very few scientists were actually predicting global cooling during that period, and the majority were predicting global warming.

This is a tired, incorrect, worn-out claim that never seems to die, regardless of how incorrect and misleading it is. If you keep using it after being corrected, we can only begin to wonder if you are doing it on purpose and not out of ignorance.



Other tiresome claims that are continually repeated, no matter how many times they are corrected include:

1) The world hasn't warmed since 1998.

2) It's the sun.

3) The Earth has had climate change when man wasn't putting greenhouse gases into the air, so this is just a natural event.

4) The climategate emails prove it's all a scam.

5) CO2 makes up just 0.04% of the atmosphere, so that is insignificant.

6) Volcanoes put far more CO2 into the air than man.

And my personal favourite - this is a belter.

7) Al Gore bought a beachfront house, which proves he doesn't believe sea levels are rising.



Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2955
Okay so my local news station (fox 5 which signed over to hypuweather) forecast a high of 46 degrees on tuesday with continued 40's and then 30's through the rest of the week after Monday..this better be right..They are forecasting a high of about 70- degrees on Sunday.Which is very discusting to me this time of year...


Where is everyone?.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17477
390. etxwx
Heat, Flood or Icy Cold, Extreme Weather Rages Worldwide
NYT - By SARAH LYALL
Published: January 10, 2013
Excerpt: “Each year we have extreme weather, but it’s unusual to have so many extreme events around the world at once,” said Omar Baddour, chief of the data management applications division at the World Meteorological Organization, in Geneva. “The heat wave in Australia; the flooding in the U.K., and most recently the flooding and extensive snowstorm in the Middle East — it’s already a big year in terms of extreme weather calamity.”

Such events are increasing in intensity as well as frequency, Mr. Baddour said, a sign that climate change is not just about rising temperatures, but also about intense, unpleasant, anomalous weather of all kinds.

More here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

or if he has more info or to clarify on his "live" blog. Angela Fritz participates lots more than Dr Masters. Angela is good fun. Great conversationalist.
Yes Angela is more conversational than the Doc is.I like when Admin spend time and talk with the members on the forum.It makes them feel like one of us except for someone in a higher postition.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17477
Quoting FunnelVortex:


To be fair, a warmer atmopshere holds more moisture which leads to more snow in the northern latitudes.

Also, a single snow event is not sufficient enough to support argument against AGW.


It is not contradictory to say that in some situations, snowfall could increase under global climate warming, and could decrease in other situations. To automatically dismiss the notion shows a lack of full understanding of snow in its relation to the earth's climate.

Snow is precipitation, not temperature. Although it has a dependency on temperature, it is not a direct 1:1 relationship. More snow doesn't necessarily mean colder global temperatures or vice versa. As temperatures cool, it starts at with no snow. Then as temperatures near freezing, snowfall increases quickly. As temperatures continue to fall below freezing, snowfall decreases due to limits on atmospheric moisture.

Trends in snowfall since the 1970s have not been the same for each month (via Rutgers):

Reduction in snow amounts are evident in the summer months and in the fall/spring months, with a slight increase in the depths of winter. Both of these trends are consistent with a warming climate. Winter months with a steady or slightly increasing temperature now have access to more moisture, increasing snow totals. The spring/summer/fall months are warming enough to reduce the number of precipitation events falling as snow.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3233
Quoting washingtonian115:
He only does in new situations.Like that time they signed over to TWC..

or if he has more info or to clarify on his "live" blog. Angela Fritz participates lots more than Dr Masters. Angela is good fun. Great conversationalist.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FunnelVortex:


The Doc just hangs out on the sides. I've never seen him participate in the blogs.
He only does in new situations.Like that time they signed over to TWC..
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17477
Quoting washingtonian115:
That would be nice so we can have something other than the current topic to discuss.Imagine Doc's reaction.


The Doc just hangs out on the sides. I've never seen him participate in the blogs.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting islander101010:
weak spin south of western cuba


No convection...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FunnelVortex:



I bet ya we are gonna get an invest next week.
That would be nice so we can have something other than the current topic to discuss.Imagine Doc's reaction.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17477
weak spin south of western cuba
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
That sounds too familiar to me, if my area would receive most of what was forecasted I would be in great shape. Predicted rainfall totals for Saturday here .10 to .25, there is the drought weather I am use to. LOL


Did you not get any of that last week? I know there was a sharp cut off on the amounts in southeast Texas, didn't know if you caught any of that or not?

Our rainfall deficit can not compete with yours. -50 feet lake levels are just flat out catastrophic, especially when you consider they have been at those levels for what 2-3 years now? At least -20 - 30 in a lot of places down there a few years ago.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting washingtonian115:
Anybody rotting for May to come quickly?.If we're lucky we'll get two storms again.Lol I think we'll more than likely see though an invest.



I bet ya we are gonna get an invest next week.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Anybody rooting for May to come quickly?.If we're lucky we'll get two storms again.Lol I think we'll more than likely see an invest.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17477
Forecast Minimum Temps for Monday 7pm..
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
Quoting TomballTXPride:


Nice try.

You forgot the massive ice age and global cooling predictions made by scientists in the wake of the cold periods in the 1970's.

Can't cherry pick, now. :)


My 2cents. But maybe the 70's scientists were wrong about the cool down. Maybe the scientific exploration and such have now superseeded the scientists predictions from the 70's.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomballTXPride:


Nice try.

You forgot the massive ice age and global cooling predictions made by scientists in the wake of the cold periods in the 1970's.

I take it that you haven't actually looked at the scientific literature from the 1970s, have you. If you had, you would have realized that very few scientists were actually predicting global cooling during that period, and the majority were predicting global warming.

This is a tired, incorrect, worn-out claim that never seems to die, regardless of how incorrect and misleading it is. If you keep using it after being corrected, we can only begin to wonder if you are doing it on purpose and not out of ignorance.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3233
Quoting ILwthrfan:
We were forecasted to receive between 1 and 1.5" of rain last night, instead we got a widespread 1/4". Personally dumped .1". Frustrating not getting any rain up here. That drought will expand east easily this spring unless we get something major across the Missouri River Valley in the coming 2 months. Very dry again around here, as river beds are very low and ponds and lakes(-2 to -4 ft)are dropping once again.

That sounds too familiar to me, if my area would receive most of what was forecasted I would be in great shape. Predicted rainfall totals for Saturday here .10 to .25, there is the drought weather I am use to. LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
373. VR46L
Quoting FunnelVortex:


I actually do think Andrea could form within the next few days...


I dont ,lol ..I think the Euro keeps it cold core but I have been wrong before
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6950
Quoting FunnelVortex:


I actually do think Andrea could form within the next few days...
I can't say I'll be all to surprised considering sst are running higher out there this year vs last year.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17477
359 ARiot: What are some other sneaky agendas? Physics? I'm starting to suspect it's all politics too. Maybe we could get a committee formed to investigate them too!

Yeah! Gravity is obviously a conspiracy to keep the down-trodden masses down.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
We were forecasted to receive between 1 and 1.5" of rain last night, instead we got a widespread 1/4". Personally dumped .1". Frustrating not getting any rain up here. That drought will expand east easily this spring unless we get something major across the Missouri River Valley in the coming 2 months. Very dry again around here, as river beds are very low and ponds and lakes(-2 to -4 ft)are dropping once again.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
369. VR46L
Quoting TomballTXPride:


Haha. You know, I noticed that!! I had a hunch back in August and September when all the blobs were posted by you. But now, I am 100% certain you like to keep an eye out on the clouds.

:)



I am always on the look out for some interesting Clouds
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6950
Quoting washingtonian115:
I have a agenda...It's called waiting for hurricane season.I rather here about this made up storm "Andrea" than all this arguing.


I actually do think Andrea could form within the next few days...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good Friday Weather World. Mid 40s here now, 75 this afternoon, maybe some more rain for my area by Saturday? Lake Travis went up 6 to 9 inches but still down 50 feet. Unreal how much rain La. is getting, unfortunately they will probably get more soon. Have a great day!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I never knew thermodynamics had an extreme agenda.

DOWN WITH ENTHALPY!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 416 - 366

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10Blog 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
44 °F
Overcast