Violent EF-5 Tornado Causes Catastrophic Damage in Moore, Oklahoma

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:00 PM GMT on May 21, 2013

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A massive and violent tornado 1.3 miles wide smashed through Moore, Oklahoma near 3 pm CDT Monday, causing catastrophic damage along a 17-mile long path. The National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma announced that it has found at least one area of EF-5 damage near Briarwood Elementary School, with winds of 200 - 210 mph. Damage was extreme and covered a huge area, and many buildings swept away down to their foundations. The tornado was on the ground for 51 minutes, from 2:45 - 3:36 pm CDT. This averages out to a 20 mph forward speed, and the tornado was initially moving even slower--20 mph. Violent tornadoes typically move considerably faster, sometimes at speeds in excess of 60 mph, and the relatively slow motion of the Moore tornado contributed to the extreme damage by exposing buildings to a longer period of violent winds than usual. A tornado warning for the storm was issued at 2:40 pm CDT, sixteen minutes before it touched down. On average, a tornado warning comes about thirteen minutes before touchdown. A tornado emergency was declared for Moore at 3:01 pm, about twenty minutes before the tornado entered the west side of the city. The debris ball from the tornado, as seen on Doppler radar, expanded to over two miles in diameter, and debris was carried over 100 miles from Moore. The National Weather Service office in Tulsa, Oklahoma reported at 4:13 pm CDT that they were "seeing reports of light tornado debris falling in the Tulsa metro area again this evening, likely from the Moore area." Tulsa is 100 miles east-northeast of Moore.


Figure 1. The Moore, Oklahoma tornado of May 20, 2013. Image credit: WIkipedia.


Figure 2. A fire burns in the Tower Plaza Addition in Moore, Oklahoma, following a tornado on Monday, May 20, 2013. Photo: Sue Ogrocki, ASSOCIATED PRESS.


Figure 3. Flipped vehicles are piled up outside the heavily damaged Moore Medical Center in Moore, Oklahoma, after a powerful tornado ripped through the area on May 20, 2013. On the enhanced Fujita Scale, the maximum degree of damage (11), indicating EF-5 winds of 210 mph, is "Significant damage to building envelope" on an institutional building like a hospital or government office. The damage to the Moore Medical Center may qualify as EF-5 damage. Image credit: Brett Deering/Getty Images)

Here is the tornado warning that was issued at 2:40 pm CDT, sixteen minutes before the tornado touched down:

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
240 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN MCCLAIN COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
SOUTHERN OKLAHOMA COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
NORTHEASTERN GRADY COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
NORTHERN CLEVELAND COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...

* UNTIL 315 PM CDT

* AT 238 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR NEWCASTLE...AND MOVING EAST AT 20 MPH.

IN ADDITION TO A TORNADO...LARGE DAMAGING HAIL UP TO GOLF BALL SIZE IS EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...NORMAN...MOORE...NEWCASTLE...BRIDGE CREEK AND VALLEY BROOK.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW IN A STORM SHELTER OR AN INTERIOR ROOM OF A STURDY BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS.


At 3:01 pm CDT, five minutes after the tornado touched down and about twenty minutes before the tornado hit the west side of Moore, the NWS issued a "Tornado Emergency" advisory:


BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
301 PM CDT MON MAY 20 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN MCCLAIN COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
SOUTHERN OKLAHOMA COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...
NORTHERN CLEVELAND COUNTY IN CENTRAL OKLAHOMA...

* UNTIL 345 PM CDT

* AT 259 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS AND STORM SPOTTERS WERE TRACKING A LARGE AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TORNADO NEAR NEWCASTLE. DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED THIS TORNADO MOVING NORTHEAST AT 20 MPH.

THIS IS A TORNADO EMERGENCY FOR MOORE AND SOUTH OKLAHOMA CITY.

IN ADDITION TO A TORNADO...LARGE DESTRUCTIVE HAIL UP TO TENNIS BALL SIZE IS EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...MIDWEST CITY...MOORE...NEWCASTLE...STANLEY DRAPER LAKE...TINKER AIR FORCE BASE AND VALLEY BROOK.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND LIFE THREATENING SITUATION. IF YOU CANNOT GET UNDERGROUND GO TO A STORM SHELTER OR AN INTERIOR ROOM OF A STURDY BUILDING NOW.

TAKE COVER NOW IN A STORM SHELTER OR AN INTERIOR ROOM OF A STURDY BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM DOORS AND WINDOWS.


Figure 4. The annual number of EF-3 and stronger tornadoes, 1954 - 2012. The greatest number of these dangerous tornadoes was 131 in 1974, the year of the notorious "Super Outbreak." The minimum was just 15, set in 1987. The average is 43 per year. Image credit: NOAA.


Figure 5. Violent EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes make up only 1% of all tornadoes, but account for well over half of all deaths. Image credit: tornadoproject.com.

A very bad tornado in an otherwise quiet year for violent tornadoes
According to NOAA, the U.S. has averaged 43 EF-3 or stronger tornadoes per year during the period 1954 - 2012. With tornado season nearly half over, we are well below the average pace for these most dangerous tornadoes--only nine EF-3 and EF-4 tornadoes have been recorded so far in 2013. An average year should have had at least fifteen of these tornadoes by this point in the year. Here are the nine EF-3 and stronger tornadoes so far in 2013:

EF-5, 200 - 210 mph winds, May 20, Moore, Oklahoma. Many deaths and injuries.
EF-4, 166 - 200 mph winds, May 19, Shawnee, Oklahoma. 2 deaths.
EF-4, 180 mph winds, May 15, Granbury, TX. 6 deaths, 24+ injuries.
EF-4, 165 - 185 mph winds, May 18, Rozel, Kansas.
EF-4, 170 mph winds, February 10, Hattiesburg, MS. 0 deaths, 82 injuries,
EF-3, 140 mph winds, May 15, Cleburne, TX. No deaths or injuries.
EF-3, 160 mph winds, January 30, Adairsville, GA. 1 death, 17 injuries, 363 buildings damaged or destroyed.
EF-3, 145 mph winds, April 11, Kemper County, AL. 1 death, 9 injuries.
EF-3, 136 - 165 mph winds, May 19, Luther - Carney, Oklahoma.

Moore tornado likely to be one of the five most damaging tornadoes in history
Moore has the unenviable distinction of having previously experienced the 4th costliest tornado in world history, the notorious May 3, 1999 Bridgecreek-Moore EF-5 tornado. There have been only six billion-dollar (2011 dollars) tornadoes in history:

1) Joplin, Missouri, May 22, 2011, $2.8 billion
2) Topeka, Kansas, June 8, 1966, $1.7 billion
3) Lubbock, Texas, May 11, 19780, $1.5 billion
4) Bridge Creek-Moore, Oklahoma, May 3, 1999, $1.4 billion
5) Xenia, Ohio, April 3, 1974, $1.1 billion
6) Omaha, Nebraska, May 6, 1975, $1 billion

The May 3, 1999 Bridge Creek-Moore tornado killed 36 people and injured 583. It damaged or destroyed 8132 homes, 1041 apartments, 260 businesses, 11 public buildings and seven churches. According to rough estimates of the size of the damaged area made by helicopters operated by news9.com and kfor.com, the damage footprint from the May 20, 2013 tornado is easily twice as large. I expect that after the damage tally from the May 20 tornado is added up, Moore will hold two of the top five spots on the list of most damaging tornadoes in history, and the May 20 tornado may approach the Joplin tornado as the costliest twister of all-time.


Figure 6. Severe weather outlook for Tuesday, May 21, calls for a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather over Northeast Texas, Southwest Arkansas, and small portions of Southeast Oklahoma and Northwest Louisiana. You can follow today's severe weather outbreak from our Severe Weather page.

Here we go again: Another big severe weather day today in the Midwest
The Moore tornado was the first of twenty tornadoes reported on May 20--the third consecutive day with twenty or more tornadoes in the Midwest. Each of these days had a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather, as advised by NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC.) The SPC is calling for a fourth consecutive day with a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather today (Tuesday), with the greatest danger occurring over Northeast Texas, Southwest Arkansas, and small portions of Southeast Oklahoma and Northwest Louisiana. Once again, we can expect to see isolated supercells capable of spawning dangerous violent tornadoes during the late afternoon and early evening hours. The severe weather outbreak moves east and will begin to wind down on Wednesday, when only a "Slight Risk" of severe weather is expected over New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, plus northern portions of Kentucky, West Virginia, and Maryland.


Video 1. Remarkable time-lapse sequence of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado on May 20, 2013, taken from a news helicopter.


Video 2. Stormchasers caught the dramatic sounds and sights of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado of May 20, 2013 as it moved through the city.


Video 3. Video of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado of May 20, 2013 taken from a smartphone as the tornado moved across an open field.

Jeff Lechus filmed this remarkable video from his car while trying to get to his son. The flying debris near his car was extremely dangerous, and he is lucky he is alive.

Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt discusses the deadliest tornadoes of all time in his April, 2011 post. Since that post, the Joplin, Missouri tornado of May 22, 2011, killed 158 people, making it the 7th deadliest tornado in history.

My post, 2011: Year of the Tornado from December 2011, detailing the remarkable tornado records set in 2011.

I saved a 10-frame animation of the radar reflectivity image from the Moore tornado here.

I greatly appreciate all the valuable links members of the WU community have posted here, and I have used many of them in my posts over the past day. Keep up the great work!

How to help
Portlight Strategies, an organization that supports disaster victims with disabilities, will be working with shelter operators and disability stakeholder organizations in Oklahoma to serve the needs of people with disabilities. Further information and how to offer additional support can be found on their website.

Donations can be made to American Red Cross disaster relief at redcross.org/weather or by texting WEATHER to 90999 to donate $10.

Donations can be made on The Salvation Army's website or by texting STORM to 80888 to donate $10. You can also call to make donations of other monetary amounts at (800) 725-2769.

Jeff Masters

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We have no idea how many died yesterday. Let's just keep it at 24 since that's the lowest confirmed number I've seen.
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Preliminary storm report trend for the period: 05-21-2013/12z to 05-22-2013/12z
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 430 Comments: 130817
Quoting nervouspete:


I think you're right. Emily from KFOR seemed to not grasp the gravity of what was going on either from what I saw of her. Whether that changed later or not when I stopped watching, I don't know.

If people come to you when you're filming your story with something to say, that's fine. But you shouldn't intrude when someone's house has been blown away. I hear that oftentimes the media are hated upon leaving a town. I recall hearing things about Sandy Hook. It's frustrating, because the media are needed to report on things, and they generally do a good job - especially local media - but the big networks just lose sight and treat people like fodder sometimes.
When did you see Emily Sutton from KFOR interview someone? She is a studio met who was out chasing for the first season on air and guess, what, the first thing she got handed was a violent tornado, two days in a row. She did a darn good job.

KFOR has Reed Timmer also, but he was on different cells.

Without the OKC media and their knowledge of severe weather in Oklahoma, many more Oklahomans would have died in this outbreak.

I will now resign for my self-appointed position of trying to speak the truth and educate the ignorant.

Ps. Overnight authorities told all the media to get out of ground zero because they were so loud, rescue people could not hear cries for help. Of course, this is Oklahoma and they were polite about it. They relocated them to parking lots removed from the devastated areas.
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Slight risk expanded.Day 1 convective outlook
National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center Norman OK
1128 am CDT Tuesday may 21 2013


Valid 211630z - 221200z


..there is a MDT risk of severe thunderstorms for N-cntrl/northestern Texas...Southern
Arkansas...northwestern la...far southeastern OK...


..there is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms from the Southern Plains to the
Tennessee/Ohio valleys and the lower Great Lakes/northeast...


..substantial severe weather expected across north-central Texas to the
arklatex this afternoon and evening...


.Srn plains to lower MS valley...
Significant severe weather episode initially unfolding across the
Red River with supercells producing large hail along and north of the
composite outflow/cold front pushing southward from the Big Country to far
southeastern OK ahead of a well-defined shortwave trough over the southern High
Plains. Air mass S of the boundary is becoming strongly unstable as
gradual surface heating continues amidst lowest 100 mb mean mixing
ratios of 14-17 g/kg and 700-500 mb lapse rates of 8 to 9.5 degree c/km
sampled in all regional 12z radiosonde observations. As mlcin is minimized along the
dryline mixing eastward across the Edwards Plateau...additional supercell
development is anticipated with southward extent.


A belt of 50-60 knots middle-level swlys attendant to the compact
shortwave trough will promote risks for all severe types /some of
which will be significant/. Morning convection-allowing WRF and hrrr
simulations are insistent that upscale growth will occur throughout
the afternoon. Given the degree of instability...buoyancy and
shear...setup may yield a derecho accelerating eastward towards the
arklatex region by early evening. Here too...the strongest low-level
S/swlys will remain...promoting embedded mesovortices capable of
producing a couple of significant tornadoes. Otherwise...potential
does exist for widespread/destructive damaging wind gusts.


..TN valley to the lower Great Lakes/northeast...
A broad area of organized severe potential is expected along the eastern
extent of the elevated mixed layer plume sampled in 12z radiosonde observations. With
robust heating...moderate to strong instability is anticipated...but
most of the region will remain on the fringe of sufficient
deep-layer shear for supercells. Three zones of focus for sustained
convection are apparent. One will be downstream of an ongoing
cluster across western Tennessee. The others should be along a quasi-stationary
front bisecting New York into southern New England and perhaps in association
with a weak mesoscale convective vortex moving into lower Michigan. Multicell clusters and a few
supercells will be primarily capable of isolated damaging winds and
severe hail.

Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 23278
MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0750
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1127 AM CDT TUE MAY 21 2013

AREAS AFFECTED...MIDDLE TN...SRN KY

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE

VALID 211627Z - 211730Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...40 PERCENT

SUMMARY...A LOOSELY ORGANIZED QLCS OVER WRN TN SHOULD AT LEAST
MAINTAIN CURRENT INTENSITY OR POSSIBLY STRENGTHEN WITH EWD
PROGRESSION INTO MIDDLE TN AND SRN KY. WITH STRONG
HEATING/DESTABILIZATION DOWNSTREAM BECOMING MORE FAVORABLE FOR SFC
BASED STORMS...A THREAT FOR STRONG-SVR WIND GUSTS COULD EVOLVE.
TRENDS WILL BE MONITORED FOR A POSSIBLE WW.

DISCUSSION...RECENT RADAR MOSAIC SHOWS A LOOSELY ORGANIZED QLCS
POSITIONED ROUGHLY FROM CKV TO 40 S MKL AS OF 1615Z. ALTHOUGH
ASCENT/NEW CELL DEVELOPMENT DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE STRONGLY FOCUSED
ALONG THE LEADING EDGE OF THE COLD POOL ASSOCIATED WITH THIS
LINE...SEVERAL EMBEDDED STRONG CELLS WERE NOTED. ADDITIONAL TSTM
DEVELOPMENT APPEARS LIKELY OVER THE NEXT FEW HRS GIVEN MUCAPE VALUES
NEAR 2000 J/KG...PARTICULARLY ALONG THE INTERSECTION OF A REMNANT
OUTFLOW BOUNDARY ORIENTED W-E FROM EARLIER CONVECTION.
ADDITIONALLY...AN INCREASING THREAT FOR STRONG-SVR WIND GUSTS AND
SMALL-MARGINALLY SVR HAIL MAY EVOLVE OUT OF THIS LINE...AS SFC OBS
ARE NEARING THE CONVECTIVE TEMPERATURE IN THE LOW 80S F PER MODIFIED
12Z BNA SOUNDING...BECOMING MORE FAVORABLE FOR SFC-BASED PARCELS.
PRIMARY UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDS THE DEGREE OF ORGANIZATION AND
SUBSEQUENT AREAL COVERAGE OF ANY DMGG WIND THREAT THAT MAY
EVOLVE...BUT TRENDS WILL CONTINUE TO BE MONITORED FOR A POSSIBLE WW.

..ROGERS/KERR.. 05/21/2013
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 23278
I always question why those city of central US that are affected every year by tornados, don't build their house of masonry walls,I make the question because here in Dominican Republic we build house like that because the cyclones...I know the EF4 AND EF5 winds are even more strong that a Cat.5 Hurricane but atleast the damage will don't be that catastrophic!!!!!!
Masonry walls

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From MyFOXTampaBay: "It%u2019s very unusual for two powerful tornadoes to take roughly the same path, but that%u2019s exactly what Monday%u2019s twister in Oklahoma did. This shows a side-by-side comparison to a killer tornado that hit the same area in 1999, bringing winds of up to 300 mph. Monday's track is in red."

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News conference with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin and others. KFOR livestream.
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I hope we got it right this time.


Link
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SETUP MAY YIELD A DERECHO ACCELERATING EWD TOWARDS THE
ARKLATEX REGION BY EARLY EVENING.


Well to all the Derecho fans you might get one today.
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Please, if anyone that reads these warnings lives near them, dont ignore them, be ready to act in case if it gets worse...
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What would be worse than yesterday is if we had a similar system over the US, but also had a tropical system making landfall in the western gulf.

The large boost of moisture from the hurricane's remnants would supercharge the storm cells even further.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2893
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27378
Statement as of 12:12 PM CDT on May 21, 2013
The National Weather Service in Nashville has issued a

* Severe Thunderstorm Warning for...
Hickman County in middle Tennessee...



* until 1245 PM CDT

* at 1211 PM CDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated a
severe thunderstorm capable of producing one inch diameter hail...
and damaging winds in excess of 60 mph. The storm was 5 miles south
of Centerville... moving northeast at 20 mph.

* Locations impacted include...
Centerville...

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

Severe thunderstorms contain damaging winds 58 mph or stronger... or
hail one inch or larger. For your safety... take shelter inside a
sturdy building now.


Lat... Lon 3592 8731 3577 8722 3573 8723 3572 8726
3571 8725 3570 8726 3570 8729 3567 8732
3565 8737 3562 8748 3563 8752 3578 8760
time... Mot... loc 1705z 246deg 15kt 3573 8746


Forecaster:

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Quoting weathermanwannabe:
And our news media (TWC included) needs to start re-thinking (sensitivity training perhaps for front-line reporters)as to how to, or how not to, interview people immediately following such a disaster when they are clearly in shock. I was taken aback last night watching coverage on CNN when a reporter was interviewing a survivor about what happened. The Man was clearly in shock, holding a laundry basket with a few belongings, and the reporter, when it was clear that the man could not really answer any more questions, then leaned over and asked him what was in the basket..........Extremely poor taste and unacceptable under those circumstances.....That man needed grief and loss counseling.


I think you're right. Emily from KFOR seemed to not grasp the gravity of what was going on either from what I saw of her. Whether that changed later or not when I stopped watching, I don't know.

If people come to you when you're filming your story with something to say, that's fine. But you shouldn't intrude when someone's house has been blown away. I hear that oftentimes the media are hated upon leaving a town. I recall hearing things about Sandy Hook. It's frustrating, because the media are needed to report on things, and they generally do a good job - especially local media - but the big networks just lose sight and treat people like fodder sometimes.
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Some of the tornado footage comes from a helicopter. I would venture to say this is an extremely dangerous to do. With all the up and down drafts associated with a tornado and hail, an aircraft is in serious danger!
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Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Tuesday 21 May 2013
Condition:Partly Cloudy
Pressure:29.8 inches
Tendency:falling
Visibility:10 miles
Temperature:72.1°F
Dewpoint:65.8°F
Humidity:81%
Wind:SSE 10 mph
Humidex: 84


GOT TO GO BE BACK AROUND 3
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 181 Comments: 56987
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
And our news media (TWC included) needs to start re-thinking (sensitivity training perhaps for front-line reporters)as to how to, or how not to, interview people immediately following such a disaster when they are clearly in shock. I was taken aback last night watching coverage on CNN when a reporter was interviewing a survivor about what happened. The Man was clearly in shock, holding a laundry basket with a few belongings, and the reporter, when it was clear that the man could not really answer any more questions, then leaned over and asked him what was in the basket..........Extremely poor taste and unacceptable under those circumstances.....That man needed grief and loss counseling.


I heard about this guy on the radio this morning. Most people were really upset with him. I agree they need to be more sensitive to people when they are going through an emotional time.
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A Severe Thunderstorm Warning remains in effect until 130 PM EDT
for south central Wayne and northeastern Ontario counties...

At 1251 PM EDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar continued to
indicate a severe thunderstorm capable of producing quarter size
hail... and damaging winds in excess of 60 mph. This storm was
located near Phelps... or 10 miles northwest of Geneva... moving east
at 25 mph.

Some locations in the warning include...
Phelps...

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

In addition to large hail and damaging winds... continuous cloud to
ground lightning is occurring with this storm. Move indoors
immediately! Lightning is one of natures number one killers.
Remember... if you can hear thunder... you are close enough to be
struck by lightning.


Lat... Lon 4294 7716 4302 7716 4305 7690 4301 7688
4301 7696 4296 7695 4291 7696
time... Mot... loc 1653z 268deg 20kt 4298 7707



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Thanks for the update Doc,
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 181 Comments: 56987


The VERY light winds at 500mb are resulting in some erratic storm motions over CentFl today.
Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108

NHC Experimental Marine Graphicast

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 430 Comments: 130817
If you guys have 3-D glasses check this out.

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Quoting CaribBoy:
Still WAITING :-)


Me too!!!
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And our news media (TWC included) needs to start re-thinking (sensitivity training perhaps for front-line reporters)as to how to, or how not to, interview people immediately following such a disaster when they are clearly in shock. I was taken aback last night watching coverage on CNN when a reporter was interviewing a survivor about what happened. The Man was clearly in shock, holding a laundry basket with a few belongings, and the reporter, when it was clear that the man could not really answer any more questions, then leaned over and asked him what was in the basket..........Extremely poor taste and unacceptable under those circumstances.....That man needed grief and loss counseling.
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Global Climate Change Indicators
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Climatic Data Center



Many lines of scientific evidence show the Earth's climate is changing. This page presents the latest information from several independent measures of observed climate change that illustrate an overwhelmingly compelling story of a planet that is undergoing global warming. It is worth noting that increasing global temperature is only one element of observed global climate change. Precipitation patterns are also changing; storms and other extremes are changing as well.

How do we know the Earth's climate is warming?

Thousands of land and ocean temperature measurements are recorded each day around the globe. This includes measurements from climate reference stations, weather stations, ships, buoys and autonomous gliders in the oceans. These surface measurements are also supplemented with satellite measurements. These measurements are processed, examined for random and systematic errors, and then finally combined to produce a time series of global average temperature change.
A number of agencies around the world have produced datasets of global-scale changes in surface temperature using different techniques to process the data and remove measurement errors that could lead to false interpretations of temperature trends.

The warming trend that is apparent in all of the independent methods of calculating global temperature change is also confirmed by other independent observations, such as the melting of mountain glaciers on every continent, reductions in the extent of snow cover, earlier blooming of plants in spring, a shorter ice season on lakes and rivers, ocean heat content, reduced arctic sea ice, and rising sea levels.



Simulated global temperature in experiments that include human influences (pink line), and model experiments that included only natural factors (blue line). The black line is observed temperature change.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 430 Comments: 130817
Wind shear....


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 430 Comments: 130817
Thanks for dispelling these fearmongers insinuating we need to freeze in the winter, bake in the summer, and return to the horse and carriage right now before we become extinct due to the "deadly" CO2 (and associated) gases.
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64. SLU
Quoting GTcooliebai:
We'll see if that wave will make it all the way to the western Caribbean and serve as a catalyst for development down the road. No guarantees though.


Yes and it will be there by the last few days of May.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 181 Comments: 56987
Quoting Grothar:


We have a home in NE Pennsylvanian near the NY border.


I always wanted to live there.
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Quoting Torito:
Grothar, do you live in groton? xD



We have a home in NE Pennsylvanian near the NY border.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27378
Published on May 20, 2013

View of the twister right over us from the shelter!

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 430 Comments: 130817
Tornado Watch box up for Texas

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Quoting BigTuna:
Wow.. 0:54 in that Jeff Lechus video is the first time in years I've actually yelled at my screen. "You're going FORWARD?!"
my thought EXACTLY!
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Grothar, do you live in groton? xD

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My neck o' the woods about to have a line push over..
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Quoting Grothar:



I am right there now.


Stay safe grothar :P
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Quoting CaribBoy:
Still WAITING :-)



Drought buster....
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Quoting Torito:



I am right there now.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27378
Dallas if a storm can form



little rock, waco, and shreveport on the boundaries.
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Still WAITING :-)

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Wait until it loads.


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27378
Statement as of 12:44 PM EDT on May 21, 2013
... A Severe Thunderstorm Warning remains in effect until 100 PM EDT
for east central Ontario County...


At 1242 PM EDT... National Weather Service Doppler radar continued to
indicate a severe thunderstorm capable of producing Golf Ball size
hail... and damaging winds in excess of 60 mph. This storm was
located 7 miles west of Geneva and just north of Route 20... moving
east at 15 mph.

Some locations in the warning include...
Geneva...

Lat... Lon 4286 7719 4294 7717 4291 7696 4288 7695
4286 7697 4281 7697
time... Mot... loc 1644z 266deg 13kt 4288 7711




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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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