Moore Tornado an EF-5; $2 Billion Damage Estimate: 3rd Costliest Tornado in History

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:22 PM GMT on May 22, 2013

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The Moore, Oklahoma tornado of May 20, 2013 is now ranked an EF-5, making it one of only 59 U.S. tornadoes to achieve that distinction since record keeping began in 1950. The National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma announced Tuesday that their damage survey teams found an area of EF-5 damage near Briarwood Elementary School, with winds of 200 - 210 mph indicated. There were no EF-5 tornadoes observed in 2012, and the last time the U.S. had an EF-5 was on May 24, 2011, when the Oklahoma towns of Calumet, El Reno, Piedmont, and Guthrie were hit by an EF-5 with 210+ mph winds that killed nine people. The maximum width of the 2013 Moore tornado's damage swath was a huge 1.3 miles. Detailed damage survey information in Google Earth Format provided by the Norman, OK NWS office shows that the typical width of the EF-0 and greater damage swath was about 0.6 miles, and the EF-4 damage area was about 0.1 miles across at its widest. EF-4 damage occurred along approximately 4 miles of the tornado's 17-mile long path. The damage swath from the May 20, 2013 tornado as it cut through the most densely built up portions of Moore was roughly 1.5 times as wide as the one from the May 3, 1999 EF-5 tornado. That tornado was the 4th costliest in history ($1.4 billion 2011 dollars), so it is a good bet that the 2013 Moore tornado will end up being even more expensive. This morning, the Oklahoma Insurance Department said the preliminary tornado damage estimate could top $2 billion. This would make the 2013 Moore tornado the 2nd most expensive tornado in history (as ranked by NOAA/SPC) or 3rd most expensive (as ranked by insurance broker Aon Benfield.) The nine billion-dollar tornadoes (2013 dollars) are:

1) Joplin, Missouri, May 22, 2011, $2.9 billion
2) Tuscaloosa, Alabama, April 27, 2011, $2.3 billion (not in SPC's list)
3) Moore, Oklahoma, May 20, 2013, $2 billion
4) Topeka, Kansas, June 8, 1966, $1.8 billion
5) Lubbock, Texas, May 11, 1970, $1.5 billion
6) Bridge Creek-Moore, Oklahoma, May 3, 1999, $1.4 billion
7) Hackleburg, Alabama, April 27, 2011, $1.3 billion (not in SPC's list)
8) Xenia, Ohio, April 3, 1974, $1.1 billion
9) Omaha, Nebraska, May 6, 1975, $1 billion


Figure 1. The Moore, Oklahoma tornado of May 20, 2013 (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)


Figure 2. The damage swath of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado of May 20, 2013. EF-4 damage (red colors) occurred along roughly 4 miles of the 17-mile path, and the EF-4 damage swath was up to 0.1 miles wide. The tornado's maximum width of 1.3 miles (EF-0 and greater damage) occurred over a relatively small portion of the path, before the storm reached Moore. Image credit: NWS Norman.


Figure 3. On May 20, 2013, a supercell thunderstorm in central Oklahoma spawned a destructive tornado that passed just south of Oklahoma City. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this natural-color image of the storm system at 2:40 p.m. Central Daylight Time (19:40 Universal Time), just minutes before the devastating twister began. The red line on the image depicts the tornado’s track. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

There have been bigger tornadoes
The 1.3 mile maximum width of the 2013 Moore tornado's damage swath was not a record. Wikipedia documents that the EF-3 Edmonson, Texas tornado of May 31, 1968 had a damage path width between 2 and 3 miles (3.2 and 4.8 km) wide. The EF-4 Wilber - Hallam, Nebraska tornado on May 22, 2004 was of similar size, with a damage path up to 2.5 miles wide. Doppler radar measurements indicate that the May 4, 1999 Mulhall, Oklahoma EF-4 tornado--which thankfully passed mostly over farmland--would have caused damage over a path 4 miles wide at its peak size, had it encountered a built-up area. The EF-5 tornado that devastated Greensburg, Kansas on May 4, 2007 was 1.7 miles wide.


Figure 4. Damage swath of the Wilber - Hallam, Nebraska EF-4 tornado of May 22, 2004 was up to 2.5 miles wide, making it one of the largest tornadoes on record.


Figure 5. Severe weather outlook for Wednesday, May 22, calls for a "Slight Risk" of severe weather over portions of the Ohio Valley and Northeast U.S. You can follow today's severe weather from our Severe Weather page.

No tornadoes reported on Tuesday; "Slight Risk" of severe weather on Wednesday
The severe weather outbreak of May 18 - 22 peaked on Sunday and Monday. We did not record any tornadoes on Tuesday, though there were many reports of large hail and damaging winds, including three thunderstorms with wind gusts over 74 mph. Tuesday was the first day since May 14 that no tornadoes were recorded in the U.S. And after issuing four consecutive "Moderate Risk" outlooks for severe weather, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is going with only a "Slight Risk" for severe weather on Wednesday in the U.S., with the main severe weather action expected to affect portions of the Ohio Valley and Northeast U.S. The primary threat will be straight-line wind damage and large hail, though we can't rule out a few tornadoes. During the three-day period May 18 - May 20, 70 tornadoes (preliminary) were recorded by SPC.


Video 1. Charles Cook caught the birth of the May 20, 2013 tornado at Newcastle, OK. It moved from there to Moore where it caused catastrophic devastation.


Video 2. NOAA's GOES-East satellite collected this view of the storm system that spawned a deadly tornado over Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013. The animation runs from 10:45 a.m. through 6:45 p.m., Central Daylight Time. Images courtesy NASA GOES Project Science: ‪http://goes.gsfc.nasa.gov/‬

The Norman, OK NWS office has an excellent page with detailed info on the Moore tornado.

I did a 10-minute Skype interview with democracynow.org on Tuesday morning, discussing the Moore tornado.

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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last frame of the 12z Euro

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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have our radar back with new tools.



Can you give me the link to that radar image Tropicsweatherpr ?? I live in DR and that's the closest image I've seen to our territory
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Observed at: Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 3:00 PM EDT Wednesday 22 May 2013
Condition:Mostly Cloudy
Pressure:29.7 inchesTendency:falling
Visibility:15 miles
Temperature:72.3°F
Dewpoint:63.9°F
Humidity:75%
Wind:S 7 mph
Humidex: 83
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3:25 p.m. EDT Wednesday: Water rescues occurring in Schenectady, N.Y., due to torrential downpours. Two to three feet of water reported on Crane Street.
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The 12z Euro has some interesting developments. Link
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Quoting Patrap:
McIDAS images of GOES-15 (GOES-West) and GOES-13 (GOES-East) 0.63 µm visible channel data showed the line of rapidly-developing thunderstorms over southern and central Oklahoma during the early afternoon hours — Moore is located about halfway between Oklahoma City (OKC) and Norman (OUN).

[link to cimss.ssec.wisc.edu]

Earlier in the day the GOES-13 satellite had been placed into Rapid Scan Operations (RSO) mode (providing images as frequently as every 5-10 minutes), while the GOES-15 satellite was placed into Super Rapid Scan Operations (SRSO) mode (providing bursts of imagery at 1-minute intervals) after 20:15 UTC.

According to the preliminary NWS damage survey, the tornado began around 19:45 UTC just west of Newcastle, and ended around 20:35 UTC just east of Moore.


An AWIPS comparison of 1-km resolution Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.64 µm visible channel and 11.45 µm IR channel images about an hour before the tornado arrived in Moore revealed the presence of shadowing from overshooting tops and cloud-top IR brightness temperatures as cold as -68º C.



here is a high resolution anim I saved as I tracked the event

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ECMWF kind of starts to get something going in the Caribbean starting at 168.

Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 245
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


It looks like GOES-13 will be out for a while but GOES-14 will start operations early Thursday morning.

Subject: Product Outage/Anomaly: GOES-13 (GOES-East) Data Outage:
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
--------------030405020606030205070503
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

*Update#6:* GOES-13 has been placed into storage mode while the anomaly
is investigated. There is no new information at this time.

GOES-14 imaging should be available starting at about 0600Z tomorrow,
May 23rd. The imager will start up in a recovery mode, which has
reduced sectors so that additional star calibrations can be
taken. Until
this is complete, the imagery should not be considered within normal
tolerance.

Transition to the normal schedule should take place about 1400Z
tomorrow, May 23rd. ****

Update#5: ****Recovery efforts forGOES-13 continue and the spacecraft
health and safety are nominal. GOES-14 is being activated and
the first
images will be available @ 0500 UTC on Thurs. May 23rd, 2013.****

Update#4: ****Recovery efforts forGOES-13 continue and the spacecraft
health and safety are nominal. GOES-14 is being activated and
the first
images will be available @ 0500 UTC on Thurs. May 23rd, 2013.

**Update#3: **Initial****GOES-13 recovery procedure was unsuccessful.
Return to service time line being reevaluated.**

Link


Yes I know it's out but is there any other ones looking in the area at the moment
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... Tropical funnel clouds possible...

At 103pm... the National Weather Service has received a report of
a funnel cloud in the vicinity of Grand Lake la.

A very moist and unstable tropical airmass is in place across the
area. Meanwhile... the vertical wind profile over the area is light
and variable. These conditions are favorable for the development
of tropical funnel clouds... especially where rain cooled
boundaries... known as outflow boundaries... and the seabreeze
collide.

These tropical funnel clouds are usually short-lived and do not
reach the ground. If The Funnel cloud becomes more severe and
reaches the ground... minor damage may occur... and a Tornado
Warning will likely be issued.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Son of a-- wow!


Whoa, great photo.

That was either Joplin EF-5 damage or Chuck Norris damage. They are very similar.
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McIDAS images of GOES-15 (GOES-West) and GOES-13 (GOES-East) 0.63 m visible channel data showed the line of rapidly-developing thunderstorms over southern and central Oklahoma during the early afternoon hours %u2014 Moore is located about halfway between Oklahoma City (OKC) and Norman (OUN).

[link to cimss.ssec.wisc.edu]

Earlier in the day the GOES-13 satellite had been placed into Rapid Scan Operations (RSO) mode (providing images as frequently as every 5-10 minutes), while the GOES-15 satellite was placed into Super Rapid Scan Operations (SRSO) mode (providing bursts of imagery at 1-minute intervals) after 20:15 UTC.

According to the preliminary NWS damage survey, the tornado began around 19:45 UTC just west of Newcastle, and ended around 20:35 UTC just east of Moore.


An AWIPS comparison of 1-km resolution Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.64 m visible channel and 11.45 m IR channel images about an hour before the tornado arrived in Moore revealed the presence of shadowing from overshooting tops and cloud-top IR brightness temperatures as cold as -68 C.

Link
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Heavy rain and t-storms here in west bay grand cayman and funnel clouds forming around
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
Anyone have an updated Carib satellite


It looks like GOES-13 will be out for a while but GOES-14 will start operations early Thursday morning.

Subject: Product Outage/Anomaly: GOES-13 (GOES-East) Data Outage:
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
--------------030405020606030205070503
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

*Update#6:* GOES-13 has been placed into storage mode while the anomaly
is investigated. There is no new information at this time.

GOES-14 imaging should be available starting at about 0600Z tomorrow,
May 23rd. The imager will start up in a recovery mode, which has
reduced sectors so that additional star calibrations can be
taken. Until
this is complete, the imagery should not be considered within normal
tolerance.

Transition to the normal schedule should take place about 1400Z
tomorrow, May 23rd. ****

Update#5: ****Recovery efforts forGOES-13 continue and the spacecraft
health and safety are nominal. GOES-14 is being activated and
the first
images will be available @ 0500 UTC on Thurs. May 23rd, 2013.****

Update#4: ****Recovery efforts forGOES-13 continue and the spacecraft
health and safety are nominal. GOES-14 is being activated and
the first
images will be available @ 0500 UTC on Thurs. May 23rd, 2013.

**Update#3: **Initial****GOES-13 recovery procedure was unsuccessful.
Return to service time line being reevaluated.**

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14321
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

225-250 mph.

From where are you sourcing this information?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Son of a-- wow!


Teddy, that image is scary.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26477
Anyone have an updated Carib satellite
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Proud of the University of Southern Mississippi here in Hattiesburg for having great perspective and showing that we empathize with others who have suffered from tornadoes.

Southern Miss Halts Solicitations for Campus Beautification Campaign


The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation announced today that its tornado relief and campus beautification campaigns were entering a quiet phase as the nation focuses its attention on tornado victims in Oklahoma. During this time the Foundation will refrain from publicly soliciting donors for the campaigns.

“Today, we continue the restoration of our Hattiesburg campus,” said University President Rodney Bennett, “but our hearts and minds are with the tornado victims in Oklahoma.”

“It is inappropriate for us to continue to publicly request funds for our tornado relief and restoration efforts at a time where there has been such a significant loss of life in Oklahoma,” Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of the USM Foundation Bob Pierce said. “We were impacted by the tornado on February 10, but we were blessed that no one in the Hattiesburg area died. The focus right now should be on those in Oklahoma. Out of respect to those who lost loved ones, homes and businesses, we are postponing the request for further contributions at this time.”


Entire article: Link
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Quoting JNTenne:
obrigado, você é um estudioso e cavalheiro!


HA!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26477
"I think I can help you."

No fair, Gro - you were around when that language was invented.
Member Since: September 16, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 193
Quoting CybrTeddy:


I'm fully aware of that, click "F5" on your keyboard and watch what happens. :)


Heh, F5...
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Quoting SouthernIllinois:

Joplin was two years ago, in 2011.


I'm fully aware of that, click "F5" on your keyboard and watch what happens. :)
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Quoting SouthernIllinois:

JCali? Is that you?
shhhhh, don't tell anyone else okay?
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2.34" of rain here in Altamonte Springs in 10 minutes.
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To clarify, that picture is from the Joplin EF-5 two years ago today, but similar damage is being seen across Moore.
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Quoting Grothar:


I think I can help you.

Ir para suas configurações. Procure a palavra Língua ou "Language", e mover-se para "Inglês" Clique em "Inglês" e clique na opção "Salvar"
obrigado, você é um estudioso e cavalheiro!
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Son of a-- wow!
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Quoting ARiot:
Just remember there will be several fake photos circulating on damage and personal injuries. There will also be many inspiring, viral photo/text combinations floating all around.

The photo of the woman who took furniture through the leg appears legit, as it was picked up by news outlets and is on a few mainstream websites. The only reason it gave me pause is that it's just one photo, rather than a few from various angles. The reason for that appears to be that she had the photo taken of her leg injury and gave it to a local Fox station who in turn released it. (from what I can tell)



The woman pictured there was a teacher at Briarwood Elementary in Moore, and was impaled while protecting her students. She was interviewed on CNN's Piers Morgan, and it definitely is legit.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

From where are you sourcing this information? The official tornado survey does not indicate 250mph winds at the surface.


http://articles.ky3.com/2011-05-27/enhanced-fujit a-scale_29592840

May 27, 2011|interview by meteorologist Dave Snider, KY3 News

Share on emailShare on printShare on redditMore Sharing Services

JOPLIN, Mo. -- The National Weather Service provided additional insight into the decision to rate the tornado last Sunday at the top of the Enhanced Fujita Scale. The tornado was given an initial rating of an EF-4 before it was upgraded the next day.

Bill Davis with the National Weather Service said investigators look at structural damage and how far heavy objects were thrown. This tornado, for example, tossed concrete parking lot "bumpers" that sit low to the ground and can weigh up to 300 pounds.

The NWS investigators also noted that tractor-trailers parked near the Wal-Mart store were thrown farther than 1/8th mile. Manhole covers were also lifted and tossed.

The tornado's path is an estimated six miles long. It's from three-quarters of a mile to a mile wide at some points. The winds are estimated to have briefly hit between 225 and 250mph.
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Moore Tornado 3rd Costliest on Record

The Moore, Oklahoma tornado of May 20, 2013 is now ranked an EF-5, making it one of only 59 U.S. tornadoes to achieve that distinction since record keeping began in 1950. This morning, the Oklahoma Insurance Department said the preliminary tornado damage estimate could top $2 billion.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
We now have 91E


A little late there, Taz. :) That has been up for quite awhile.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26477

000
ABPZ20 KNHC 221731
TWOEP

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1100 AM PDT WED MAY 22 2013

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

AN AREA OF DISTURBED WEATHER HAS DEVELOPED ABOUT 450 MILES SOUTH OF
ACAPULCO MEXICO...AND GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT IS POSSIBLE AS IT MOVES
WESTWARD TO WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH. THIS SYSTEM HAS A
LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART
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Quoting JNTenne:
marde! i set my language to Portuguese for fun and now I can't figure which tab is 'Settings' so I can change it back to English :(


I think I can help you.

Ir para suas configurações. Procure a palavra Língua ou "Language", e mover-se para "Inglês" Clique em "Inglês" e clique na opção "Salvar"
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26477
We now have 91E
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have our radar back with new tools.



Now put all the radars in the caribbean up and watcg the show
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The Weather Channel‏@weatherchannel1 min
Severe t'storm watch until 10pm for much of WV, western PA, eastern OH, eastern KY, far western MD & parts of SW VA. Includes Pittsburgh.
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New York's mid-Hudson Valley has had two tornado warnings since yesterday, although the nastiest storms on radar have been up state across the capital region. The radar from the latest batch of storms:

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Quoting washingtonian115:
At least the rain is keeping you all cool.I shall get my wish come Friday when this sticky stuff is suppose to be out of hear.We don't need 70mph gust to knock the temps down.No sir-ree-bob.


It's been hot and humid before the rain started.

But a 70 MPH gust sounds like something I would like to see.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
2:26 p.m. EDT Wednesday: Tractor trailer blown over on Interstate 88 in Schenectady County, N.Y. due to thunderstorm winds.
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173. whitewabit (Mod)
the only place I have seen the Cayman Radar was on Crown Weather Link

But haven't be able to find a address for it by its self ..
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Quoting EricSpittle:

According to Google Translate it is: definições
... lol looks like it's "configuracoes" and don't even think about asking my to pronounce it!
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Quoting FunnelVortex:


Here it is raining.

We have been getting rain all week.

we got storms late Sunday and Monday night and some showers yesterday. It apparently rained last night also. Now we are having a steady rain.

I welcome it to prevent me from slipping back into the drought.
At least the rain is keeping you all cool.I shall get my wish come Friday when this sticky stuff is suppose to be out of here.We don't need 70mph gust to knock the temps down.No sir-ree-bob.
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Quoting JNTenne:
marde! i set my language to Portuguese for fun and now I can't figure which tab is 'Settings' so I can change it back to English :(

According to Google Translate it is: definições
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Quoting washingtonian115:
If anyone cares to hear about the current local conditions it is near 90 outside with persistent humidity that seems to have gone no where since Monday.We need regular rain showers..not none of that 2012 mess..


Here it is raining.

We have been getting rain all week.

we got storms late Sunday and Monday night and some showers yesterday. It apparently rained last night also. Now we are having a steady rain.

I welcome it to prevent me from slipping back into the drought.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2873
Quoting Patrap:
Wunderground use's 90 Different Languages.

Check your "setting's" page for the list.
marde! i set my language to Portuguese for fun and now I can't figure which tab is 'Settings' so I can change it back to English :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If anyone cares to hear about the current local conditions it is near 90 outside with persistent humidity that seems to have gone no where since Monday.We need regular rain showers..not none of that 2012 mess..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.