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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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
From 5AM to 7AM it was like a TS for me!!




LOL
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115244
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54479
Yes lol
Quoting 12george1:

Wow. I think I may actually know you! Is your name Jonah?
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4686
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
IF A SHARP INVERTED
SURFACE TROUGH/SURFACE LOW DOES NOT DEVELOP...HEAVY RAINS COULD
CONTINUE FOR MUCH OF THE 7-DAY FORECAST PERIOD AND BEYOND.



Geeze, how much we talking here? That doesn't sound good at all. I do believe the GFS has been outperforming the ECMWF lately so there is a little hope in that. I'll be scoping for a surface trough/low in the Bahamas tomorrow that is for sure, lol.
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!.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
IF A SHARP INVERTED
SURFACE TROUGH/SURFACE LOW DOES NOT DEVELOP...HEAVY RAINS COULD
CONTINUE FOR MUCH OF THE 7-DAY FORECAST PERIOD AND BEYOND.



Geeze, how much we talking here? That doesn't sound good at all. I do believe the GFS has been outperforming the ECMWF lately so there is a little hope in that. I'll be scoping for a surface trough/low in the Bahamas tomorrow that is for sure, lol.


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.

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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Yes!:)

Wow. I think I may actually know you! Is your name Jonah?
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Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4686
Quoting clwstmchasr:
Quoting tropicfreak:


He lives in the Caymans... just look at the handle... lol.

Wunderkidcayman, we value your posts... but dude, chill on it just a little. Don't post on stuff that isn't so, to over-exaggerate it.

dude leave us caymanian alone we did you nothing
now I am chill and I post it because its so so sit down lol

Quoting Saltydogbwi1:
Link

there seems to be a mid level spin in the GoH looking at this loop... maybe left over from the storms this morning anyone else see it?

yeah kinda see it
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Oh wow I feel stupid. I have been hitting the refresh button for 20 minutes on the wrong page thinking what is going on. I guess everyone has those moments.

Doing a blog on Barbara right now.
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Yes!:)
Quoting 12george1:

Hi SFLWeatherman, are you the one who created the First Choice Weather website and Facebook page?
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4686


back to scan mode for now to the left u can see B spinning herself out
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Did a new one Rain totals in WPB since Midnight!

Hi SFLWeatherman, are you the one who created the First Choice Weather website and Facebook page?
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From 5AM to 7AM it was like a TS for me!!
Quoting Tazmanian:




LOL from the little showers?
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4686
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128749
Did a new one Rain totals in WPB since Midnight!
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4686
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HASTINGS NE
840 PM CDT WED MAY 29 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HASTINGS HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN PHILLIPS COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS...
SOUTHWESTERN FRANKLIN COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA...
SOUTHEASTERN HARLAN COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA...

* UNTIL 900 PM CDT

* AT 838 PM CDT...A SEVERE SQUALL LINE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING TORNADOES
THAT MAY NOT BE VISIBLE DUE TO HEAVY RAIN WAS LOCATED 2 MILES
SOUTHEAST OF WOODRUFF...OR 16 MILES NORTH OF PHILLIPSBURG....AND
MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.

HAZARD...DEVELOPING TORNADO AND QUARTER SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED ROTATION.

IMPACT...MOBILE HOMES WILL BE HEAVILY DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.
SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO ROOFS...WINDOWS AND VEHICLES WILL
OCCUR. FLYING DEBRIS WILL BE DEADLY TO PEOPLE AND ANIMALS.
EXTENSIVE TREE DAMAGE IS LIKELY.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
HARLAN COUNTY DAM...REPUBLICAN CITY AND NAPONEE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS TORNADO WARNING REPLACES THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING THAT
WAS IN EFFECT FOR THE SAME AREA.

HEAVY RAINFALL MAY HIDE THIS TORNADO. DO NOT WAIT TO SEE OR HEAR THE
TORNADO. TAKE COVER NOW.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
today Precip. 5.66




LOL from the little showers?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115244
IF A SHARP INVERTED
SURFACE TROUGH/SURFACE LOW DOES NOT DEVELOP...HEAVY RAINS COULD
CONTINUE FOR MUCH OF THE 7-DAY FORECAST PERIOD AND BEYOND.



Geeze, how much we talking here? That doesn't sound good at all. I do believe the GFS has been outperforming the ECMWF lately so there is a little hope in that. I'll be scoping for a surface trough/low in the Bahamas tomorrow that is for sure, lol.
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today Precip. 5.66
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4686
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Got up at 5:40AM to rain coming down big time and now going to bed with big rain coming down!




LOL thats this little showers nothing big
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115244
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54479
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normal rule is convection maintains its self min of 12 hrs over COC
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54479
Got up at 5:40AM to rain coming down big time and now going to bed with big rain coming down!
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4686
Link

there seems to be a mid level spin in the GoH looking at this loop... maybe left over from the storms this morning anyone else see it?
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Quoting hurricaneben:


That should be the second overall death. The first occurred when a 44 yr old woman was killed by a tree downed by the precursor disturbance. Another question that's somewhat related to Barbara's crossing over the higher terrain, since the area Don made landfall in was so flat, how did it fizzle so quickly? Was it the ridge of high pressure that basically killed off tropical activity? I wonder.


"Ridge of Death" as my brother would say. But yeah, the high was not too far away in Texas. Shear and stable air killed off Don. Was kinda tiny to begin with to put a dent in the drought that was occurring at the time.
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Quoting hurricaneben:


That should be the second overall death. The first occurred when a 44 yr old woman was killed by a tree downed by the precursor disturbance. Another question that's somewhat related to Barbara's crossing over the higher terrain, since the area Don made landfall in was so flat, how did it fizzle so quickly? Was it the ridge of high pressure that basically killed off tropical activity? I wonder.


That year Texas was suffering through one of their worst droughts so there was so much dry air coming off of Texas due to the lack of rain that allowed Don to fizzle almost instantly
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Quoting Civicane49:
Convection has developed over the low-level center of 91E since the past few hours.

being sheared to the nw a little wait see if it maintains
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54479
Evening All! Lotsa rain around SEFL today, hope the ECMWF is wrong with it's impressive rain totals.

000
FXUS62 KMFL 292337
AFDMFL

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
737 PM EDT WED MAY 29 2013

.UPDATE...
MODELS ARE IN GOOD AGREEMENT THAT ACTIVITY WILL DIMINISH THIS
EVENING...AND THEN REDEVELOP LATE TONIGHT INTO THURSDAY MORNING
ALONG THE EAST COAST ONCE AGAIN. SO CUT BACK POPS THROUGH
06Z...AND KEPT 50-60 PERCENT FOR THE EAST COAST TOWARDS MORNING.
SOME DRIER AIR MAY MAKE ITS WAY SOUTH TOWARDS PALM BEACH COUNTY
THURSDAY AFTERNOON...WHICH MAY LOWER THE HEAVY RAINFALL THREAT
PAST THAT TIME.

THE GFS STILL INSISTS ON DEVELOPING A SHARP INVERTED SURFACE
TROUGH OVER THE ATLANTIC NEAR THE BAHAMAS TOMORROW
AFTERNOON/EVENING. THIS WOULD THEN INTERFERE WITH THE DEEP
TROPICAL MOISTURE PLUME THAT HAS BEEN PUSHING INTO SOUTH FLORIDA
OVER THE PAST COUPLE DAYS. THE 18Z NAM HAS LATCHED MORE ONTO THIS
IDEA AS WELL...BUT DOES NOT DEVELOP A SHARP INVERTED TROUGH OR
SURFACE LOW UNTIL FRIDAY. THE ECMWF KEEPS THE TROPICAL PLUME
CONTINUING INTO THE REGION FOR MUCH OF THE NEXT 10 DAYS...WITH
SOME IMPRESSIVE RAINFALL TOTALS. SO THERE IS SOME UNCERTAINTY WITH
JUST HOW MUCH RAIN SOUTH FLORIDA WILL RECEIVE. THE FLOOD WATCH IS
IN EFFECT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING DUE TO THE POTENTIAL OF HEAVY
RAINFALL AT LEAST THROUGH THIS TIME PERIOD. IF A SHARP INVERTED
SURFACE TROUGH/SURFACE LOW DOES NOT DEVELOP...HEAVY RAINS COULD
CONTINUE FOR MUCH OF THE 7-DAY FORECAST PERIOD AND BEYOND.
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Rotation is becoming quite defined on this discrete supercell located about 93 miles west-southwest of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

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Quoting RevInFL:
Weather on AOL is reporting a US surfer has been killed in the waves of Hurricane Barbara.


That should be the second overall death. The first occurred when a 44 yr old woman was killed by a tree downed by the precursor disturbance. Another question that's somewhat related to Barbara's crossing over the higher terrain, since the area Don made landfall in was so flat, how did it fizzle so quickly? Was it the ridge of high pressure that basically killed off tropical activity? I wonder.
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Quoting clwstmchasr:


He lives in the Caymans... just look at the handle... lol.

Wunderkidcayman, we value your posts... but dude, chill on it just a little. Don't post on stuff that isn't so, to over-exaggerate it.
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NOVA on PBS is very good tonight.
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Weather on AOL is reporting a US surfer has been killed in the waves of Hurricane Barbara.
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Convection has developed over the low-level center of 91E since the past few hours.

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Quoting weatherh98:
So here's a question...

Should Barbara survive the crossing completely, it keeps the name Barbara.... But will it count towards the atlantic season total as well?


Going by Central Pacific / Eastern Pacific storms.... yes.

If you look at the 2009 season lists for the Central Pacific and Eastern Pacific, Lana, Felecia, Guillermo and Hilda are on both lists.

Have never seen policy that says that is so however.
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A nice cluster of storms has blown up right on the center of 91E.

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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128749
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128749
91E is trying to reach TD status!

TXPZ22 KNES 300001
TCSENP

A. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE (91E)

B. 29/2345Z

C. 13.1N

D. 112.4W

E. FIVE/GOES-E

F. T1.5/1.5/D0.5/24HRS

G. IR/EIR/VIS

H. REMARKS...DT=1.5 BASED ON .3 BANDING ON LOG10
SPIRAL. PT=1.5. MET=2.0. FT IS BASED ON DT.

I. ADDL POSITIONS

NIL


...SCHWARTZ
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14338
791. txjac
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The Isthumus of Tehuantepec is much lower in elevation than the region to its northwest, yes, but let's not confuse it to be totally conducive for tropical cyclones. It has roughly the same elevation as the Yucatan Peninsula, which brought Category 2 Hurricane Ernesto down to a low-grade tropical storm overnight. Barbara has a long night ahead, and it probably won't survive the crossing.


LOL ...quit downing my rain chances ...I just want it to cross ...and wander its merry way into Houston bringing some much needed rain
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The Isthumus of Tehuantepec is much lower in elevation than the region to its northwest, yes, but let's not confuse it to be totally conducive for tropical cyclones. It has roughly the same elevation as the Yucatan Peninsula, which brought Category 2 Hurricane Ernesto down to a low-grade tropical storm overnight. Barbara has a long night ahead, and it probably won't survive the crossing.

Not to mention it is going slow. If this was a fast crossing, then we'd be talking about how strong and where Barbara will go when reaches the BOC. But right its more about "IF" she will survive.
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Quoting Dakster:
Chicklit I read that on Sunday and was saddened by it.

WeatherH98 - Quite possible, whatever the reason they rarely survive the crossing and shear is a big problem for her survival as I mentioned earlier. I really don't want to see her survive and get into the bathtub GOM water. We all know that the gulf coast doesn't really need a Hurricane going thru it.
yes and the chances are above average this year anyway... I suppose time will tell... Ill say it hits the BOC with 30-35 mph winds before the shear get to it...
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Any comments?? about the blob east of Florida, it's a HUGE stormy field!!,it seems to be moving East?, butlooking at the Models they move everything from East to West,just wondering if we are going to get all this weather here in South Florida,or it will move away East to the Atlantic?,opinions or commentary's are appreciated.
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Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Chicklit I read that on Sunday and was saddened by it.

WeatherH98 - Quite possible, whatever the reason they rarely survive the crossing and shear is a big problem for her survival as I mentioned earlier. I really don't want to see her survive and get into the bathtub GOM water. We all know that the gulf coast doesn't really need a Hurricane going thru it.
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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.