First tornado death of 2013 ends record 219-day streak without a tornado death

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:50 PM GMT on January 30, 2013

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A powerful tornado ripped through Adairsville, Georgia, northwest of Atlanta, at 11:19 am EST this morning, killing at least one person in a mobile home park. The tornado caused major structural damage in the downtown district, and overturned approximately 100 cars on I-75 near Exit 306 (see eyewitness video here, with swear words.) Eight injuries, some serious, are also being reported from a tornado just southeast of Calhoun, GA around 11:30am EST. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed most of the Southeast in their "Slight Risk" region for severe weather for Wednesday, a step down from the "Moderate Risk" potential issued on Tuesday for the Midwest. Three other tornadoes have hit Georgia today, and there were 79 reports of wind damage due to high winds as of 2 pm EST along the cold front that triggered today's severe weather, from Alabama to Pennsylvania. Tornado watches continue for a wide swath of the Southeast this afternoon, from Alabama to North Carolina.


Figure 1. Car overturned by the tornado near Adairsville, Georgia, on January 30, 2013. Image courtesy of WSB-TV on http://pic.twitter.com/2lAL0Lmc.



Figure 2. Radar reflectivity (top) and Doppler velocity (bottom) images of the tornado that hit Adairsville, Georgia at 11:19 am EST Wednesday, January 30, 2013. Adairsville is under the circle with a "+" in it.


Figure 3. A wild weather day in the Southeast: NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logged four preliminary reports of tornadoes as of 2 pm Wednesday, along with 79 reports of damaging winds.


Video 1. View of the Adairsville, Georgia tornado of January 30, 2013. Note the blue power flashes as the tornado brings down power lines.

Record string of 219 days without a tornado death ends
Today's fatality ends the longest continuous stretch without a tornado death ever recorded in the U.S.--219 days. The last time the U.S. saw a tornado death was at Venus in Highlands County, Florida, from an EF-0 tornado associated with Tropical Storm Debby on June 24, 2012. The previous record was 197 straight days without a tornado death, which ended on February 28, 1987. Part of the reason for the long stretch without a tornado death during 2012 - 2013 was the relative lack of tornadoes. According to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (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 jet stream was positioned unusually far north in Canada during much of 2012, which brought drought to much of Tornado Alley. It's tough to get tornadoes when you're experiencing near-record drought conditions and very few thunderstorms. Saskatchewan, Canada saw as many tornadoes in July 2012 as all of the U.S., thanks to the more northward position of the jet stream.


Figure 4. 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.

Record moisture and rains
Today's severe weather outbreak was helped by record levels of January moisture, as a flow of unusually moist air rode northwards from the Gulf of Mexico, where water temperatures were about 0.5°F above average. Meteorologists use a term called "precipitable water" to discuss how much water vapor is in the atmosphere. Precipitable water is defined as how much rain would fall on the ground if one took a vertical slice of the atmosphere above a given location and condensed all the water vapor into rain. Precipitable water levels tend to be highest in the summer, since warm air holds more waver vapor, and can exceed two inches in the Midwest U.S. In winter, though, it is rare to see precipitable water values higher than one inch. However, precipitable water was well over an inch well into Canada, and three upper air stations--Detroit, MI, Lincoln IL, and Caribou, Maine--set all-time records for January moisture, and four other stations had their 2nd highest January moisture on record. From the 00Z January 30 to 00Z January 31 upper air balloon soundings taken at the 73 radiosonde stations in the contiguous U.S., we observed these record or near-record precipitable water values for January:

Detroit, MI: New Record: 1.21" Old record: 1.20" 1/11/75
Lincoln, IL: New record: 1.46" Old Record: 1.35" 1/12/60
Caribou, Maine: New Record: 1.21" (Ties old record of 1.21" 1/14/2005)
Alpena, MI: 2nd place, 0.99". First place: 1.01", 1/5/97
Buffalo, NY: 2nd place, 1.21". First place: 1.34", 1/15/95
Wilmington, OH: 2nd place, 1.44" First place: 1.51", 1/12/2005
Gray, ME: 2nd place, 1.36" First place: 1.38" 1/20/96

Green Bay (4th), Albany, NY (4th), Sterling, VA (4th), Shreveport (6th), Little Rock (3rd), Nashville, TN (10th), Chatham, MA (10th), and Maniwawi, Quebec (4th) all had top-ten January precipitable water values. Radiosonde data goes back to 1948.

The exceptional moisture led to record rains in many regions of the Midwest, with numerous locations setting daily precipitation records. Two airports recorded their wettest January day on record, including Madison, WI (1.84", previous record 1.80" on January 1, 1892) and Houghton Lake, MI (1.21", old record 1.08" on in 1938.) Top-five wettest January days in recorded history were also set at Muskegon, MI (2.48"), Marquette, MI (1.21"), and South Bend, IN (1.94".) Here where I live, in Southeast Michigan, being outside yesterday was like walking through a surreal white soup. Rains like nothing I've ever seen in January fitfully poured from the sky throughout the day, ponding up on the frozen ground. Eerie white fog swirled over the sodden snow drifts as thunder rumbled overhead in temperatures 25°F above average. What planet was this? The heavy rains of 1.60" that fell in 26 hours at the nearby Flint airport made this month our wettest January in recorded history, with 3.66" of precipitation.

Jeff Masters

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NC/SC Power Outages..........Link
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URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOUNT HOLLY NJ
253 PM EST WED JAN 30 2013

DEZ002>004-NJZ012>014-016>027-311000-
/O.EXT.KPHI.HW.W.0001.130130T1953Z-130131T1000Z/
KENT-INLAND SUSSEX-DELAWARE BEACHES-MIDDLESEX-WESTERN MONMOUTH-
EASTERN MONMOUTH-SALEM-GLOUCESTER-CAMDEN-NORTHWESTERN BURLINGTON-
OCEAN-CUMBERLAND-ATLANTIC-CAPE MAY-ATLANTIC COASTAL CAPE MAY-
COASTAL ATLANTIC-COASTAL OCEAN-SOUTHEASTERN BURLINGTON-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...DOVER...GEORGETOWN...REHOBOTH BEACH...
NEW BRUNSWICK...FREEHOLD...SANDY HOOK...PENNSVILLE...GLASSBORO...
CAMDEN...CHERRY HILL...MOORESTOWN...MOUNT HOLLY...JACKSON...
MILLVILLE...HAMMONTON...CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE...OCEAN CITY...
ATLANTIC CITY...LONG BEACH ISLAND...WHARTON STATE FOREST
253 PM EST WED JAN 30 2013

...HIGH WIND WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 AM EST THURSDAY...

* WINDS...SOUTH 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 60 MPH.

* TIMING...THE STRONGEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED BETWEEN 10 PM AND 4
AM.

* IMPACTS...SCATTERED TREES AND POWER LINE DAMAGE IS EXPECTED.
THIS WOULD RESULT IN POWER OUTAGES. SOME DAMAGE TO SMALL OR
COMPROMISED STRUCTURES COULD OCCUR.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HIGH WIND WARNING MEANS A HAZARDOUS HIGH WIND EVENT IS EXPECTED
OR OCCURRING. SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS OF AT LEAST 40 MPH OR GUSTS
OF 58 MPH OR MORE CAN LEAD TO PROPERTY DAMAGE.

&&

$$
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Chile 6.7 quake
_________________
No tsunami risk...
The quake hit near Copiapo. Copiapo was the site where 33 Chilean miners were trapped and rescued months later with a capsule.

There is no info about damages if any... as of yet.

________________
TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT NUMBER 1
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER EWA BEACH HI
1022 AM HST WED JAN 30 2013

TO - CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE STATE OF HAWAII

SUBJECT - TSUNAMI INFORMATION STATEMENT

THIS STATEMENT IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ACTION REQUIRED.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME - 1016 AM HST 30 JAN 2013
COORDINATES - 28.1 SOUTH 70.7 WEST
LOCATION - CENTRAL CHILE
MAGNITUDE - 6.7 MOMENT

EVALUATION

BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA A DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS
NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII. REPEAT. A
DESTRUCTIVE PACIFIC-WIDE TSUNAMI IS NOT EXPECTED AND THERE IS NO
TSUNAMI THREAT TO HAWAII.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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Wind is really starting to pick up in SE PA... It's coming
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TORNADO WARNING
GAC177-273-302115-
/O.NEW.KTAE.TO.W.0001.130130T2041Z-130130T2115Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
341 PM EST WED JAN 30 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TALLAHASSEE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN LEE COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST GEORGIA...
TERRELL COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST GEORGIA...

* UNTIL 415 PM EST

* AT 337 PM EST...A DEVELOPING TORNADO HAS BEEN DETECTED BY THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE 22 MILES SOUTHWEST OF SMITHVILLE...OR NEAR
CLARKS MILL...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 50 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
CHICKASAWHATCHEE...DAWSON MUNICIPAL A/P...SASSER...BRIDGES
CROSSROAD...BRONWOOD...OLIVERS MILL...NEYAMI AND SCRUTCHINS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW! LEAVE MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES FOR SAFER STRUCTURES.
MOVE TO A HALLWAY OR CLOSET ON THE LOWEST FLOOR AWAY FROM WINDOWS AND
OUTSIDE WALLS.

&&

LAT...LON 3192 8408 3162 8437 3162 8450 3162 8451
3164 8455 3164 8454 3169 8452 3192 8429
TIME...MOT...LOC 2042Z 223DEG 45KT 3168 8442

$$
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
NEWS: strong 6.7 quake rattles Chile Coast...


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Quoting WunderGirl12:


How do you drive on Snot?

WunderGirl12
Comes from all those hockers being spit out of moving cars!!!!!

Very difficult to drive on or walk on......
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Thanks Dr Masters. Hope there are no more deaths
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1216
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
first driving on snot and ice, now this:


How do you drive on Snot?

WunderGirl12
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


i think it was fine.
10% tornado was fine.
30% wind was fine
5% tornado was definitely fine.

btw Officials: 8 injuries in one home from a tornado just southeast of Calhoun, GA around 11:30am EST. Some injuries described as critical.

and

Rainfall rates over 3" per hour in metro Atlanta. Chamblee reported 0.61" of rain in 9 minutes (2:53-3:02pm)



Typically very heavy rains like what are associated with this front are not found with PW's like what are seen over Georgia right now:



Interesting...

Normally the air mass would be a little on the "dry" side for that. However you can thank the very strong and efficient low level jet for that.

Also, if you have very strong convection, your going to get very heavy rain, regardless of total atmospheric moisture in the air.


A closer look at 850 mb moisture flow(low level jet) tells it all:

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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
331 PM EST WED JAN 30 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PEACHTREE CITY HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHERN MARION COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL GEORGIA
SOUTHEASTERN TALBOT COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL GEORGIA
NORTHWESTERN TAYLOR COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL GEORGIA
SOUTHEASTERN UPSON COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL GEORGIA

* UNTIL 400 PM EST

* AT 329 PM EST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO 11 MILES
SOUTHWEST OF GENEVA...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 70 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
JUNCTION CITY...MARION ESTATES...WESLEY CHURCH AND CARSONVILLE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BASED ON DOPPLER RADAR...IT MEANS
THAT STRONG ROTATION HAS BEEN DETECTED IN THE STORM. A TORNADO MAY
ALREADY BE ON THE GROUND...OR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP SHORTLY. IF YOU
ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS DANGEROUS STORM...MOVE INDOORS AND TO A
BASEMENT OR INTERIOR ROOM ON THE GROUND FLOOR. STAY AWAY FROM
WINDOWS. IF DRIVING...DO NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER A HIGHWAY OVERPASS.

IF YOU ARE IN A MOBILE HOME OR VEHICLE...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE
A STURDY SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

IF YOU SEE WIND DAMAGE...HAIL OR FLOODING...WAIT UNTIL THE STORM HAS
PASSED...AND THEN CALL THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TOLL FREE AT 1 8
6 6 7 6 3 4 4 6 6. YOU CAN ALSO TWEET YOUR REPORT USING HASHTAG GAWX.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 800 PM EST WEDNESDAY EVENING
FOR NORTHERN GEORGIA.

&&

LAT...LON 3249 8466 3250 8464 3253 8464 3252 8469
3255 8468 3290 8424 3281 8412 3280 8415
3269 8420 3268 8419 3268 8416 3233 8465
TIME...MOT...LOC 2031Z 228DEG 61KT 3247 8462

$$
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Thank you Dr. Masters for this informative update.
Heres a few lines I copied.

"Rains like nothing I've ever seen in January fitfully poured from the sky throughout the day, ponding up on the frozen ground. Eerie white fog swirled over the sodden snow drifts as thunder rumbled overhead in temperatures 25°F above average."

I dont think by a long way you will be the only person asking that.
Here in Spain it was 22/C today with people sunbathing on the beaches. There was also that 100 ft wave somebody surfed down in Portugal as well recently.
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EF-2 Tornado Confirmed in Crawford County
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We're getting the full cold side now in C IL. Spfld at 32, just under 33 here, and StL 34. Pretty good rain out of the somewhat unexpected backside line about 9 this morning. Forecast low for Fri down to single digits now. 14mph W wind w/ 36 gusts bringing it in. Stay safe out East! It's a shame the streak has been broken.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
first driving on snot and ice, now this:



Wow I've personally never driven on snot or ice. Although as bad as ice is to drive on, I've personally never seen anyone attempt to drive on snot, although I would imagine it's even more treacherous than driving on ice...
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
NEWS: strong 6.7 quake rattles Chile Coast...
That's big. Not good either.
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NEWS: strong 6.7 quake rattles Chile Coast...
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
first driving on snot and ice, now this:


only once I read that on those...
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January 30th, 2013 in SE PA. 66 degrees! Unreal and never did I recall this happening before. Anyone know if it had or has? Did I miss something?
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When shall SE/SC PA see some storms???
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That "cooler" rain shield ahead of the front is saving the day so far, as far as a tornado threat, for the Florida Panhandle.........Line appears to be weakening further to the South as noted by Tallahassee NWS earlier as it approaches the Big Bend region. Remember reading a post from them a few months back as to the "stabilizing" influence of Apallachee Bay as these lines approach this area...........Seems to hold true for the moment.
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
@TWCBreaking

Officials: 8 injuries in one home from a tornado just southeast of Calhoun, GA around 11:30am EST. Some injuries described as critical.


oh no...
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@TWCBreaking

Officials: 8 injuries in one home from a tornado just southeast of Calhoun, GA around 11:30am EST. Some injuries described as critical.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
The spc is being vary. Bad olny a sight risk today


i think it was fine.
10% tornado was fine.
30% wind was fine
5% tornado was definitely fine.

btw Officials: 8 injuries in one home from a tornado just southeast of Calhoun, GA around 11:30am EST. Some injuries described as critical.

and

Rainfall rates over 3" per hour in metro Atlanta. Chamblee reported 0.61" of rain in 9 minutes (2:53-3:02pm)
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first driving on snot and ice, now this:
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The spc is being vary. Bad olny a sight risk today
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GFS 4days im hoping for this:
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Interesting video. Thank you for the update, Dr. Masters, however unfortunate it may be.
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I've been pretty impressed with the transverse banding on the cloud shield associated with the thunderstorms in the Eastern US today. It looked a little better a couple hours ago, but you can still see individual cloud bands cutting across the main bulk, especially over Kentucky and Tennessee, where the jet streak is strongest.

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From the Rome Tribune times


https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embe dded&v=3FngIK6JFk8#!
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Thanks Doc.

Best wishes to those in the line of the storm .
Sad to hear what happened in GA .
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6842
Thanks...unexpected but interesting entry doc...
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TODAY'S SEVERE WEATHER FORECAST....
____________________________________

Red shades indicates tornado-risk area
Tstorms expected to move into the NE by midnight or later

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Thank you, Dr. Masters.
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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.