Barbara Nearing Mexico at Hurricane Strength; Midwest Tornado Outbreak Today

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:02 PM GMT on May 29, 2013

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Hurricane warnings are flying for the Pacific coast of Mexico, where Tropical Storm Barbara is rapidly intensifying as it makes landfall. Barbara should be ashore by 2 pm EDT (11 am PDT), and is expected to intensify to a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds before landfall. Barbara formed on Tuesday night (May 28), an unusually early date for the formation of the Eastern Pacific's second storm of the year. The record earliest second storm of the year occurred just last year, on May 21 (Tropical Storm Bud.) The previous record was set in 1984, when the second named storm (Boris) formed on May 29. Reliable records of Eastern Pacific hurricanes go back to 1949. Barbara wasted no time getting organized, and is gathering strength in impressive fashion as it nears landfall in Mexico's Bay of Tehuantepec area. The storm's main threat is very heavy rains of up to a foot, which will be capable of causing dangerous flash floods and mudslides over the next 2 - 3 days. However, wind damage and the expected 3 - 5 foot storm surge are also a concern, since the area of the coast it is hitting, though not heavily populated, has very little hurricane experience. According to NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks website, only one Eastern Pacific hurricane has ever hit the Bay of Tehuantepec--Category 1 Hurricane Rick of 1997. Radar out of Puerto Angel, Mexico shows that Barbara has built a partial eyewall, and the storm has already spread heavy rains ashore along portions of the Mexican coast. Satellite loops show that Barbara is a relatively small storm, with a modest area of heavy thunderstorms.


Figure 1. Radar image of Barbara from Puerto Angel, Mexico, taken at 9:30 am EDT (6:30 am PDT) May 29, 2013. Image credit: CONAGUA.

May tropical storm landfalls are rare in the Eastern Pacific
Only eight named storms that formed in May have hit land in the Eastern Pacific since accurate hurricane records began in 1949--an average of one storm every eight years, according to NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks website. Just one of these May storms made landfall as a hurricane--Category 1 Hurricane Agatha of 1971, which hit Mexico west of Acapulco. But one of the deadliest and most destructive Eastern Pacific tropical cyclones of all-time was a May storm that never reached hurricane strength--Tropical Storm Agatha of May 29, 2010, which had top winds of only 45 mph at landfall. Agatha dissipated just one day after making landfall, but its remnants lingered over Central America for six days, dumping torrential rains that triggered deadly flash floods and landslides; Mazatenango, Guatemala, reported 22.27 inches of rain from May 25 - 30, 2010. At least 190 people died, mostly in Guatemala, making Agatha the 7th deadliest Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone in history. Agatha's $1.2 billion in damage made it the 6th most expensive Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone on record. Fortunately, Barbara is hitting a region of the coast that is relatively sparsely populated compared to where Agatha hit, and Barbara is not likely to cause anywhere close to the devastation that Agatha wrought.


Figure 2. Journey to the center of the Earth: a massive sinkhole 66 feet (20 m) across and 100 ft (30 m) deep opened up on May 29, 2010 in Guatemala City after heavy rains from Tropical Storm Agatha. The sinkhole collapsed suddenly, taking a three-story house that was used as factory, claiming fifteen lives. The sinkhole formed because Guatemala City is built upon volcanic pumice deposits, which are unconsolidated and of low density, allowing easy erosion. According to Sam Bonis, a geologist at Dartmouth College, because of lax city zoning regulations and building codes, leaking pipes went unfixed long enough to create the conditions necessary for this hole to form (it technically wasn't a sinkhole, since sinkholes form in limestone rock.) How do you patch something like this?

Tropical cyclone development unlikely in the Atlantic during the coming seven days
Barbara is expected to push northwards and cross into the Gulf of Mexico by Friday, but the storm is small enough and moving slowly enough that Barbara will likely dissipate before reaching the Gulf. If the storm were able to maintain at least tropical depression status and cross into the Gulf, it would keep the name Barbara. If Barbara were to dissipate before reaching the Gulf, then regenerate into a tropical storm in the Gulf, it would be named Andrea. However, conditions do not favor redevelopment of Barbara's remnants into an Atlantic tropical depression, since wind shear is expected to be quite high over the Gulf late this week. None of the reliable computer models is calling for tropical cyclone development in the Atlantic during the next seven days.

AP will be doing a hurricane twitter chat on Thursday at 1 p.m. EDT: #APStormChat

The National Hurricane Center is doing a hurricane chat on Thursday at 2 pm EDT: #HurriChat


Figure 3. Large tornado on the ground near Corning, Kansas, at 4:32 CDT May 28, 2013. Image credit: Ron Heinen, via twitter.


Figure 4. Radar reflectivity image of the tornado that hit Corning, Kansas at 4:32 pm CDT May 28, 2013.


Figure 5. Severe weather outlook for Wednesday, May 29, calls for a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather over much of Oklahoma and Kansas, plus portions of the Texas Panhandle. You can follow today's severe weather outbreak from our Severe Weather page.

Multi-day severe weather outbreak in the Midwest continues today
It was an active day for tornadoes in the Midwest on Tuesday, with NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) logging eighteen preliminary tornado reports, with twisters touching down in Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. No injuries were reported from these tornadoes, but damage was reported near Corning, Kansas, and Fenton, Michigan. The latest forecasts from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center call for a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather today (Wednesday), with the possibility of a significant tornado outbreak over much of Oklahoma and Kansas, plus portions of the Texas Panhandle.

Wunderblogger Lee Grenci has a post, The Moore Tornado, describing how the rapid intensification of the May 20, 2013 Moore, Oklahoma tornado occurred.

Jeff Masters

Overhead Clouds at Sunset (Nikongranny)
Overhead Clouds at Sunset

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Barbara is Halfway across. Although it still has to endure about 4-5 more hours of crossing before it can be proclaimed a survivor.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
There are way too many Mesoscale Convective Systems across the country tonight.
Too much moisture and poor curvature on the hoodies above the low levels.
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I did a full blog update on Barbara, feel free to check it out.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7948
Quoting hurricane23:


Oh cmc..



Time to invest in a boat if you don't have one, lol.
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.
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
TROPICAL STORM BARBARA DISCUSSION NUMBER 7
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP022013
800 PM PDT WED MAY 29 2013

BARBARA CONTINUES TO QUICKLY WEAKEN WHILE MOVING FURTHER INLAND OVER
THE ISTHMUS OF TEHUANTEPEC. CONVECTIVE CLOUD TOPS HAVE WARMED
CONSIDERABLY...AND WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY RECENT REPORTS OF
TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS ESTIMATED TO
BE 45 KT BASED ON A NORMAL INLAND DECAY RATE. THE LOW-LEVEL
CIRCULATION IS LIKELY BEING DISRUPTED BY THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN OF
SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO...AND BARBARA IS THEREFORE EXPECTED TO WEAKEN
TO A TROPICAL DEPRESSION IN THE NEXT 12 HOURS. THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST SHOWS BARBARA EMERGING OVER THE EXTREME SOUTHWESTERN GULF
OF MEXICO AS A REMNANT LOW IN ABOUT 24 HOURS. HOWEVER...NONE OF
THE GLOBAL MODEL FIELDS SHOW A CLOSED SURFACE WIND CIRCULATION AT
THAT POINT...AND IT IS VERY POSSIBLE THAT BARBARA WILL DISSIPATE
BEFORE REACHING WATER. IN ANY CASE...ONCE THE REMNANTS OF BARBARA
REACH THE GULF OF MEXICO...THEY WILL BE MONITORED FOR SIGNS OF
REGENERATION.

OF MORE IMMINENT CONCERN IS THE AMOUNT OF RAIN THAT IS FALLING OVER
PORTIONS OF SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO. EVEN THOUGH BARBARA IS
WEAKENING...DISTURBED WEATHER ASSOCIATED WITH ITS REMNANTS IS
LIKELY TO PERSIST OVER SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO AND PORTIONS OF CENTRAL
AMERICA FOR SEVERAL MORE DAYS. THIS WILL CONTINUE A HEIGHTENED
RISK OF DANGEROUS FLOODING AND MUD SLIDES OVER THE REGION.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 30/0300Z 17.1N 93.8W 45 KT 50 MPH...INLAND
12H 30/1200Z 18.1N 93.6W 30 KT 35 MPH...INLAND
24H 31/0000Z 18.8N 93.9W 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
36H 31/1200Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER BERG/BEVEN
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14327
...BARBARA DUMPING HEAVY RAINFALL ACROSS PORTIONS OF SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO...
8:00 PM PDT Wed May 29
Location: 17.1°N 93.8°W
Moving: NNE at 9 mph
Min pressure: 995 mb
Max sustained: 50 mph

Ironically though. The NHC was calling for it to be a 35 mph TD when it got to this location...Halfway across the Isthmus.
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Quoting Hurricane1956:
Thank you very much!! for your answer,even if a low develop over the Bahamas,where is all that moisture to our East will go with the low?,it will move West into South/Central Florida?,and if a low do not develop, again is all that moisture to our East moving West into our area.


In either case it looks like the moisture plume just sits there where it is. The surface winds either get cut off or continue training rain to varying degrees into FL like the current radar below. But the plume just sits there.


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@NHCDirector

Key reminder, impacts often occur outside cone. MT @WeatherWes: @NHCDirector: Hurricane forecast cone 2-9% more narrow this year.
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Quoting hurricane23:


Oh cmc..


Oh the cmc... Why am I in a lesser rainfall total hole?
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7948
this is reminding me of Debby from last year with the models seeing two lows..sure made for some interesting times on the blog

18z GFS


12zEuro


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Quoting Astrometeor:


Just remember that TA isn't right all the time. ;)

I thought it was a pretty nice day, it doesn't have to be an explosive outbreak all the time in order for us to be entertained. Hope tomorrow is better for ya buddy.
I know. I just thought there would be few cells, but they all turned linear. I'm just glad everybody is okay. I just want to track a strong tornado in open field like that tornado TIV ran into (although some homes got damaged).
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There are way too many Mesoscale Convective Systems across the country tonight.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
Quoting ProgressivePulse:


Yikes, let's hope the low develops ;-)


Oh cmc..

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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Please tell me how it's not bust? I'm not seeing many tornado reports for 15% area.
Quoting Tazmanian:



hi


severe weather was a big bust
303 severe wx reports, 21 of those being tornado reports. Not at all a bust.

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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
NOVA on PBS is airing TWO new episodes tonight. The second episode is about the Moore OK tornado from last week.


hey BaltoBrian nice new pic of you (that is you right kinda hard to tell its kinda squished)
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12157
Quoting ProgressivePulse:


GFS/NAM develop a low pressure area in the Bahamas which will wrap dry air in over the peninsula, cutting off the flow of tropical moisture. ECMWF/EURO do not develop an area of low pressure and keep this moisture plume training into the area for 7+ days. As Hurricane23 stated the latter models are forecasting over a foot of rain during the period.
Thank you very much!! for your answer,even if a low develop over the Bahamas,where is all that moisture to our East will go with the low?,it will move West into South/Central Florida?,and if a low do not develop, again is all that moisture to our East moving West into our area.
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MONTAGUE TX-
915 PM CDT WED MAY 29 2013

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 930 PM CDT FOR
SOUTHEASTERN MONTAGUE COUNTY...

AT 915 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS TORNADO WAS
LOCATED 6 MILES SOUTHWEST OF FORESTBURG...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 35 MPH.

THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
FORESTBURG AROUND 925 PM CDT...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Rotation is becoming quite defined on this discrete supercell located about 93 miles west-southwest of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Tornado was confirmed by spotters, but unclear whether it lifted. Kind of heading at Clinton now, tracking a little more to NE than ENE - per TV coverage.

Thanks for giving such a good location in your comment.
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
It's posted half hour ago... SPC started the day forecasting 15% chance of tornado, but things just didn't work out like TA13 just said.


Just remember that TA isn't right all the time. ;)

I thought it was a pretty nice day, it doesn't have to be an explosive outbreak all the time in order for us to be entertained. Hope tomorrow is better for ya buddy.
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On cell phone... im watching PBS show called nova, from 9-10pm cdt.
Analysis and video of Moore tornado, may wanna hurry and tune in
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Rotation is becoming quite defined on this discrete supercell located about 93 miles west-southwest of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


Local news just reported a possible, very breif, touchdown of a tornado and continued lowering of the base.

Heavy hail to the north of the circulation.
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Quoting Astrometeor:
Like so Kyle:

It's posted half hour ago... SPC started the day forecasting 15% chance of tornado, but things just didn't work out like TA13 just said.
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NOVA on PBS is airing TWO new episodes tonight. The second episode is about the Moore OK tornado from last week.
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Quoting Hurricane1956:
If I may ask,what all of this means? about a surface through low?,I can see all the HUGE!!! stormy field to our East over the Bahamas and beyond,this means that all of that moisture & stormy weather will be moving East into South Florida??in the next few days,thank you!.


GFS/NAM develop a low pressure area in the Bahamas which will wrap dry air in over the peninsula, cutting off the flow of tropical moisture. ECMWF/EURO do not develop an area of low pressure and keep this moisture plume training into the area for 7+ days. As Hurricane23 stated the latter models are forecasting over a foot of rain during the period.
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Closeup satellite loop of Barbara as she is making landfall from CIMSS blog.

Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
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Like so Kyle:

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Hey SFLWeatherman send some of that north a bit to Titusville! Also curious but NHC has Barbara surviving her trip over land as a depression currently and the southern area of BOC has low shear....
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Quoting hurricane23:


Depends :0)

Both Euro and Canadian models have over foot of rain. The signal is there. GFS is much drier because it's developing a weak low in the Bahamas and wrapping drier air in here on its west side.



Yikes, let's hope the low develops ;-)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The 15% tornado area was removed at 1630z, and the SPC stated that veer-back-veer wind profiles and inadequate heating may reduce the threat level.
Quoting Astrometeor:


We weren't expecting long track tornadoes like yesterday. Today fulfilled itself with multiple weak, short tornadoes plus long-lived severe wind events in multiple areas. 300+ reports of either high winds/hail/tornadoes/damage. Sounds like a good day to me.


Ok, I guess...
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Please tell me how it's not bust? I'm not seeing many tornado reports for 15% area.

The 15% tornado area was removed at 1630z, and the SPC stated that veer-back-veer wind profiles and inadequate heating may reduce the threat level.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Please tell me how it's not bust? I'm not seeing many tornado reports for 15% area.


We weren't expecting long track tornadoes like yesterday. Today fulfilled itself with multiple weak, short tornadoes plus long-lived severe wind events in multiple areas. 300+ reports of either high winds/hail/tornadoes/damage. Sounds like a good day to me.
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Going to bed now have a good night all i have work tomorrow maybe lol if i get rain tomorrow morning i will not have work!
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4681
02E OVERLAND CYCLONE

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54398
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

It wasn't a bust.
Please tell me how it's not bust? I'm not seeing many tornado reports for 15% area.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



hi


severe weather was a big bust

I guess nearly 300 reports of severe weather is a big bust...
For the tornadoes, there weren't near as many tornadoes, especially strong, as there could be. But there was still definitely active severe weather tonight that has caused damage.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7948
Quoting wxchaser97:

Barbara is weakening since she is over land and most of the storms have taken on a linear mode. Sorry to hear you have had a bad night.
Thanks... so nothing interesting to track, eh? Great...
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Quoting Tazmanian:



hi


severe weather was a big bust

It wasn't a bust.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
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I'm on here all time got up at 5:40 lol to get on here!:)
Quoting 12george1:

Good. Usually I'm not on here unless it is like hurricane season and/or there are active tropical cyclones. So I didn't notice you until now.
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4681
Quoting Bluestorm5:
So, what's going on with Barbara and severe weather tonight? I'm having a crappy evening, so... some weather would cheer me up.

Barbara is weakening since she is over land and most of the storms have taken on a linear mode. Sorry to hear you have had a bad night.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7948
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Hey how you doing!?!?

Good. Usually I'm not on here unless it is like hurricane season and/or there are active tropical cyclones. So I didn't notice you until now.
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
So, what's going on with Barbara and severe weather tonight? I'm having a crappy evening, so... some weather would cheer me up.



hi


severe weather was a big bust
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So, what's going on with Barbara and severe weather tonight? I'm having a crappy evening, so... some weather would cheer me up.
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Hey how you doing!?!?
Quoting 12george1:

Nice! My name is George Cooper; we are friends on Facebook.
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4681
839. beell
And then there was this cluster *

1989 Pacific Typhoon Season
Severe Tropical Storm Ken-Lola

Duration July 29-August 7
Peak intensity 100 km/h (65 mph) (10-min) 980 mbar (hPa)

...The monsoon trough spawned a tropical depression on July 29. Poorly organized, it moved quickly and became a tropical storm on July 30. Operationally, Tropical Storm Ken continued northeastward with the rest of the convection, with Tropical Storm Lola forming further westward, but the ill-defined circulation actually continued westward, leading to one storm with two names. Ken-Lola turned to the southwest, stalling before heading northwest again. Ken-Lola reached a peak of 65 mph (105 km/h) winds before hitting eastern China on August 3, causing little damage as it slowly dissipated until August 7. Ken-Lola shows the troubles of tracking poorly organized systems...
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Quoting Tazmanian:




LOL

Okay!! Gust up to 35MPH!
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4681
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Yes lol

Nice! My name is George Cooper; we are friends on Facebook.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
From 5AM to 7AM it was like a TS for me!!




LOL
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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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