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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337. VR46L
2:52 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Good Morning chaser !!

Hope you get the weather you want !

I see a break in the Bad weather for me in a few days !

Hallelujah!!
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6832
331. Barefootontherocks
2:44 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Twenty-three now Tuesday's tor report number. Some due to NWS wind damage survey upgrades. Clickable graphics link to SPC storm reports text.


Member Since: April 29, 2006 Posts: 151 Comments: 18360
329. LargoFl
2:30 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
328. LargoFl
2:28 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
just a news note: more than 100 people were injured in Peru after that earthquake hit there yesterday
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
327. LargoFl
2:25 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
stormy in the northeast huh..............
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
326. pcola57
2:25 PM GMT on January 31, 2013

Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
325. LargoFl
2:23 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
7-day for Tampa bay..cold doesnt last long here...
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
324. LargoFl
2:22 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
well i guess after that storm yesterday we are all back into the normal winter pattern, cold and in the northern states the snows are back again, which i know some really want...me i long for the 80's again lol
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
323. VR46L
2:21 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Quoting pcola57:
Jet Stream is robust just south of you this am VR46L..



Some visability issues as well..





Just 4 more days to go and the weather will pick up, well according to the models .
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6832
322. LargoFl
2:20 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
321. VR46L
2:19 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Quoting pcola57:


Good Morning VR46L..
Isn't amazing what we can see and visually explore now..
I'm so in awe of our technology these days..
It keeps getting better and better..


It really does . I just love all the satellite imagery now available .Could spend hours just looking at the stuff . Bit of a junkie like that and not ashamed to be !!

BTW Good Morning to you too!
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6832
320. pcola57
2:18 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Jet Stream is robust just south of you this am VR46L..



Some visibility issues as well..



Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
319. LargoFl
2:17 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Quoting goosegirl1:


We didn't lose power here in WV but we did have a wild storm and a very long, windy night. It was 75 degrees yesterday right before the storm hit, and 31 this morning with heavy snow showers.
thats good you didnt lose power..yeah yesterday it was 80 here, now low 60's going down to the low 40's tonight..big change for everyone i think today huh
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
318. pcola57
2:12 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Quoting VR46L:


That's a great image of the sun and sun spots .

Looks beautiful!!


Good Morning VR46L..
Isn't amazing what we can see and visually explore now..
I'm so in awe of our technology these days..
It keeps getting better and better..
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
317. goosegirl1
2:10 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Quoting LargoFl:
I wonder just how many of the folks that Post in here along with us..Lost power yesterday?..Im guessing a few but we'll see in the days to come as power is restored to them..Hydrus was on yesterday then stopped posting..his state got hit real hard..hope he is ok...anyone else know of people who lost power?


We didn't lose power here in WV but we did have a wild storm and a very long, windy night. It was 75 degrees yesterday right before the storm hit, and 31 this morning with heavy snow showers.
Member Since: December 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1224
316. VR46L
2:08 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Quoting pcola57:




Updated 01/30/2013 @ 15:15 UTC
Solar Update
Solar activity is currently very low with only minor B-Class activity detected within the past 24 hours. A small new sunspot is trying to form to the west of Sunspot 1665. There is currently no chance for strong solar flares.

The Visible Solar Disk (Wednesday) - SDO



That's a great image of the sun and sun spots .

Looks beautiful!!
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6832
315. pcola57
2:04 PM GMT on January 31, 2013



Updated 01/30/2013 @ 15:15 UTC
Solar Update
Solar activity is currently very low with only minor B-Class activity detected within the past 24 hours. A small new sunspot is trying to form to the west of Sunspot 1665. There is currently no chance for strong solar flares.

The Visible Solar Disk (Wednesday) - SDO

Solarham.net

Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
314. pcola57
1:57 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Quoting StormPro:
Scientist names something a Doodad? Wow


I know right?..
I guess whatcha-ma-call-it is next..Lol.. :)
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
313. StormPro
1:55 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Quoting pcola57:


NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

NGC 4372 and the Dark Doodad
Image Credit & Copyright: Ivan Eder

Explanation: The delightful Dark Doodad Nebula drifts through southern skies, a tantalizing target for binoculars in the constellation Musca, The Fly. The dusty cosmic cloud is seen against rich starfields just south of the prominent Coalsack Nebula and the Southern Cross. Stretching for about 3 degrees across this scene the Dark Doodad seems punctuated at its southern tip (lower left) by globular star cluster NGC 4372. Of course NGC 4372 roams the halo of our Milky Way Galaxy, a background object some 20,000 light-years away and only by chance along our line-of-sight to the Dark Doodad. The Dark Doodad's well defined silhouette belongs to the Musca molecular cloud, but its better known alliterative moniker was first coined by astro-imager and writer Dennis di Cicco in 1986 while observing comet Halley from the Australian outback. The Dark Doodad is around 700 light-years distant and over 30 light-years long.
Scientist names something a Doodad? Wow

My bad...I see he is a writer. "It was a dark and stormy night...."
Member Since: August 4, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 606
312. pcola57
1:52 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Felleng this am..





New Invest 98P..located between 160-170W and 20-30S..



Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
311. pcola57
1:44 PM GMT on January 31, 2013


NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

NGC 4372 and the Dark Doodad
Image Credit & Copyright: Ivan Eder

Explanation: The delightful Dark Doodad Nebula drifts through southern skies, a tantalizing target for binoculars in the constellation Musca, The Fly. The dusty cosmic cloud is seen against rich starfields just south of the prominent Coalsack Nebula and the Southern Cross. Stretching for about 3 degrees across this scene the Dark Doodad seems punctuated at its southern tip (lower left) by globular star cluster NGC 4372. Of course NGC 4372 roams the halo of our Milky Way Galaxy, a background object some 20,000 light-years away and only by chance along our line-of-sight to the Dark Doodad. The Dark Doodad's well defined silhouette belongs to the Musca molecular cloud, but its better known alliterative moniker was first coined by astro-imager and writer Dennis di Cicco in 1986 while observing comet Halley from the Australian outback. The Dark Doodad is around 700 light-years distant and over 30 light-years long.
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
310. pcola57
1:40 PM GMT on January 31, 2013




Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
309. SFLWeatherman
1:28 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
The cold is coming in!!!:) at 7:07 i was out Outdoor and it was 73 and than by 7:40 it was 62 and now it is 59!!!:) in WPB
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4392
308. pcola57
1:27 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Good Morning All..
A chilly 34 degress this am..

Conditions PNS Pensacola Naval Air Station


Pressure
30.21 in

Visibility
10.0 miles

Clouds
Clear -

Moisture
Humidity
89%
Rainfall
0.00 in

Snow Depth
Not available.
METAR
METAR KNPA 311256Z 00000KT 10SM CLR 01/M01 A3021 RMK AO2 SLP230 T00111006 $

Temperature
34 °F
Dew Point
31 °F

Wind
Speed / Dir
Calm
Wind Gust

Health

UV
0 out of 16

Pollen
6.40 out of 12


Ozone
Good
PM2.5
Good

Flu Activity

Widespread
View Flu Map
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6770
307. percylives
1:12 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
Here in central VA we lost power for a short period last night and though there is a flood watch for the Roanoke River we got only a moderate amount of rain about 60 miles ENE of the city.

The biscuits are out and I wish I could share them with some of you folks. If there is anything better for breakfast than a biscuit cooked in a black iron skillet on top of a woodstove, you have to be in New Orleans at Cafe Du Monde to get it.
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 99
306. AussieStorm
12:58 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
I'm going to bed, I have an early Dr's appointment. Stay warm and safe all, Have a good Thursday, Goodnight.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
305. LargoFl
12:55 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
FLOOD STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG SC
1209 AM EST THU JAN 31 2013

...THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE FOLLOWING RIVER
IN NORTH CAROLINA...

FRENCH BROAD RIVER AT BLANTYRE AFFECTING HENDERSON AND TRANSYLVANIA
COUNTIES.

.RUNOFF FROM PREVIOUS HEAVY RAIN WILL RESULT IN THE RIVER REMAINING
ABOVE FLOOD STAGE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

CAUTION IS URGED WHEN WALKING NEAR RIVER BANKS...KEEP CHILDREN AWAY
FROM DRAINAGE AREAS AND CULVERTS.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RIVER FORECASTS ARE BASED ON OBSERVED AND
FORECAST RAINFALL. IF ACTUAL RAINFALL VARIES FROM THE FORECAST
VALUES...THE RIVER STAGE WILL VARY ACCORDINGLY.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
304. LargoFl
12:45 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BLACKSBURG VA
743 AM EST THU JAN 31 2013

...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BLACKSBURG VA HAS ISSUED
A FLOOD WARNING FOR THE FOLLOWING RIVERS IN VIRGINIA...

ROANOKE RIVER AT ALTAVISTA AFFECTING CAMPBELL AND PITTSYLVANIA
COUNTIES

...FORECAST FLOODING CHANGED FROM MINOR TO
MODERATE SEVERITY FOR THE FOLLOWING RIVERS IN VIRGINIA...

ROANOKE RIVER AT ROANOKE AFFECTING CITY OF ROANOKE...CITY OF SALEM
AND ROANOKE COUNTIES

THE LATEST INDICATIONS ARE THAT THE ROANOKE RIVER AT ROANOKE WILL
CREST A LITTLE OVER 12 FEET LATER TODAY WHICH IS JUST ABOVE THE
MODERATE FLOOD STAGE. THE RIVER HAS CRESTED UPSTREAM AT GLENVAR
AND IS NEAR CREST AT SALEM AT THIS TIME. MINOR FLOODING
IS EXPECTED AT ALTA VISTA LATE TODAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH FLOODED AREAS...THE WATER MAY BE MUCH DEEPER
THAN YOU THINK.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
303. LargoFl
12:43 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
GFS...........
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
302. LargoFl
12:42 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
didnt cool down yet in south florida....
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
301. wxchaser97
12:40 PM GMT on January 31, 2013
What a drastic change in the weather from 24hrs ago. Yesterday at this time it was very warm and drizzling. This morning it is cold, winds, and there are off and on lake effect snow showers. All the standing water and anything wet has been frozen solid already.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7927
It is probably quite messy in Boone, North Carolina this morning. After seeing significant flooding last evening, it is currently 25F with snow. The low tonight is 17F.

Probably going to be some slick spots out there. ;)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31454


This is my outlook tomorrow, issued today for Friday. Looks like I'll have possibly severe weather. I have my camera ready, I also have a tank full of gas, I feel like going for a chase.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
I wonder just how many of the folks that Post in here along with us..Lost power yesterday?..Im guessing a few but we'll see in the days to come as power is restored to them..Hydrus was on yesterday then stopped posting..his state got hit real hard..hope he is ok...anyone else know of people who lost power?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
COOL HERE THIS MORNING BUT NOT BAD AT ALL....
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878
Car's running to heat up, time to head off to work. Everyone have a great Thursday. Aussie, have a great Friday.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Morning, folks,

Coffee's hot and so is the wood stove. Biscuits going on soon.

At the end of the first month of 2013 the US, according to the National Climate Data Center, has now set 1653 new daily high temperature records and 323 new daily low temperature records. This is a 5:1 ratio which is much better than the 20:1 ratio we were suffering through last year at this time.

Let's hope that yesterday was not a harbinger of things to come when the country set 315 new highs and 5 new lows for a 63:1 ratio.

Let winter be winter.

Climate Data Center records website for your bookmark set.

Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 99
Good morning, everyone. Evening, Aussie. A chilly 31 degrees here this morning.

I was still at the hospital yesterday morning when my alarm would have gone off, so I turned it off. I was so tired last night after teaching with only an hour's sleep that I forgot to turn it back on. Just woke up. So breakfast this morning is store bought apple pie. Enjoy! I'm headed for Largo's coffee, I need lots of it this morning!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Video of Adairsville tornado damage:

Link
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Quoting Bobbyweather:

So close to Madagascar. Is it expected to make landfall?

Nope, will slide south then south east

Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting Civicane49:

So close to Madagascar. Is it expected to make landfall?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LargoFl:
well looks like the severe stuff ends today,hopefully..

Looks like it's out to see or to affect Canada and Nova Scotia.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Dangerous wind chills of 20 to 55 degrees below zero are expected Wednesday night through Thursday afternoon across the north central U.S., generally from northeast Montana to southwest Minnesota. The worst conditions are expected in North Dakota. People should limit outdoor activities and dress in multiple layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing to reduce the risk for frostbite.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36878

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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.

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