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 TropicalAnalystwx13:
I don't think I've ever been so wrong before. The system was very elongated at noon yesterday [and seemed to be becoming more so] and accordingly I made a statement that it may never get classified. I leave for three hours and come back to see its designated as a tropical depression. Made the prediction it would only intensify to 50 mph in my blog (that I never published because I got sidetracked with the tornadoes). Woke up this morning and thought it wouldn't intensify anymore...it's on the verge of Cat 2 intensity right now.

Whatever.
just goes to show no matter how smart we may be
weather can really make us look not as smart as we think we are
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I don't think I've ever been so wrong before.

Whatever.


you say that quite often..... :)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I don't think I've ever been so wrong before. The system was very elongated at noon yesterday [and seemed to be becoming more so] and accordingly I made a statement that it may never get classified. I leave for three hours and come back to see its designated as a tropical depression. Made the prediction it would only intensify to 50 mph in my blog (that I never published because I got sidetracked with the tornadoes). Woke up this morning and thought it wouldn't intensify anymore...it's on the verge of Cat 2 intensity right now.

Whatever.
But you did something many people don`t do and its recongnize when there forecast was wrong.:D good job.
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TXPZ23 KNES 291807
TCSENP

A. 02E (BARBARA)

B. 29/1745Z

C. 15.7N

D. 94.2W

E. THREE/GOES-E

F. T4.5/4.5/D1.5/24HRS

G. IR/EIR/VIS/SSMIS

H. REMARKS...SYSTEM HAS DEVELOPED RAPIDLY OVER THE LAST 24 HOURS. 1423Z
SSMIS SHOWED AN EYE-LIKE FEATURE IN 37 GHZ IMAGE WITH THE CENTER SLIGHTLY
FARTHER SOUTH IN 85 GHZ DATA. BANDING-TYPE EYE MEASURES 16/10 FOR A DT
OF 4.5 WITH MET AND PT AT 4.0. FT IS BASED ON DT.

I. ADDL POSITIONS

29/1423Z 15.3N 94.6W SSMIS


...MCCARTHY
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093

460
WFUS53 KGID 291958
TORGID
NEC035-292030-
/O.NEW.KGID.TO.W.0017.130529T1958Z-130529T2030Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HASTINGS NE
258 PM CDT WED MAY 29 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HASTINGS HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTH CENTRAL CLAY COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA...

* UNTIL 330 PM CDT

* AT 254 PM CDT...A CONFIRMED TORNADO WAS LOCATED 3 MILES NORTH OF
CLAY CENTER...OR 18 MILES EAST OF HASTINGS....AND MOVING NORTH AT
30 MPH.

HAZARD...DAMAGING TORNADO AND QUARTER SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE...EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT CONFIRMED TORNADO.

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...
HARVARD.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TO REPEAT...A TORNADO IS ON THE GROUND. TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN
INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID
WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE
CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.



LAT...LON 4054 9799 4054 9811 4070 9813 4070 9788
TIME...MOT...LOC 1958Z 194DEG 24KT 4060 9803

TORNADO...OBSERVED
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
I don't think I've ever been so wrong before. The system was very elongated at noon yesterday [and seemed to be becoming more so] and accordingly I made a statement that it may never get classified. I leave for three hours and come back to see its designated as a tropical depression. Made the prediction it would only intensify to 50 mph in my blog (that I never published because I got sidetracked with the tornadoes). Woke up this morning and thought it wouldn't intensify anymore...it's on the verge of Cat 2 intensity right now.

Whatever.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
Barbara Long Floater - Visible Imagery Loop

zoom active
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
A couple of small spins goin' on offshore the Keys...



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What the heck. Edit..Ya beat me Keep.:)
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Walk On The Ocean
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HASTINGS NE
258 PM CDT WED MAY 29 2013

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HASTINGS HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTH CENTRAL CLAY COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA...

* UNTIL 330 PM CDT

* AT 254 PM CDT...A CONFIRMED TORNADO WAS LOCATED 3 MILES NORTH OF
CLAY CENTER...OR 18 MILES EAST OF HASTINGS....AND MOVING NORTH AT
30 MPH.

HAZARD...DAMAGING TORNADO AND QUARTER SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE...EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT CONFIRMED TORNADO.

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...
HARVARD.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TO REPEAT...A TORNADO IS ON THE GROUND. TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN
INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID
WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE
CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

&&

LAT...LON 4054 9799 4054 9811 4070 9813 4070 9788
TIME...MOT...LOC 1958Z 194DEG 24KT 4060 9803

TORNADO...OBSERVED
HAIL...1.00IN

$$

BRYANT
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it will be an overland cyclone soon if not already
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting CybrTeddy:
One thing I'm noticing about Barbara is that none of the major models are even halfway close to the intensity it is currently v. what they've actually been initializing it as. The GGEM doesn't even recognize an active tropical cyclone in the area.


Probably due to its very small size..Just a guess.
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The HWRF was not far off with Barbara. This model tends to exaggerate storms.
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471. txjac
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
lol where are you??


West side of Houston ...
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Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 3:00 PM EDT Wednesday 29 May 2013
Condition:Mostly Cloudy
Pressure:29.9 inches
Tendency:rising
Visibility:12 miles
Temperature:75.7°F
Dewpoint:70.9°F
Humidity:85%
Wind:W 13 gust 20 mph
Humidex: 92
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
There are a couple of cells East & Northeast of Amarillo that seem to be building to strong/severe levels. With the surge of moisture feeding into the area these make me nervous if they end up making it East into Oklahoma. It looks like they may merge into a linear pattern and cause some nasty straight line wind damage.
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Look at S FL!

84HR
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4957
Barbara eye is 15.9N 94.0W moving NE
eye partially covered on E side
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12479
One thing I'm noticing about Barbara is that none of the major models are not even halfway close to the intensity it is currently v. what they've actually been initializing it as. The GGEM doesn't even recognize an active tropical cyclone in the area.


Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24478
lol where are you??
Quoting txjac:
Life is so unfair ...for four days now I have watched the rain to the west of me ...just waiting for it to make its way to me ...no such luck
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4957
Quoting MrMixon:


Honestly, if it rains two feet you might as well go straight to this boot...



lol good one
should have a case as part of the disaster kit.

Just kidding kids!

Page one of the Hurricane Protocol 2013 hurricane guide clearly states, "Be: Sober"!

Besides, getting high limits the ability to access and process information - which is what all us freaks on this site live for!
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Areal Flood Watch for Palm Beach and Broward County in FL until 8:00am Friday. http://bit.ly/PMiDkc
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4957
462. txjac
Life is so unfair ...for four days now I have watched the rain to the west of me ...just waiting for it to make its way to me ...no such luck
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
The MDR has cooled a bit in the past week. I wonder if the cause is the positive NAO or there are other factors involved.


I think this explains very well!!!!!!

May 20 forecast,week and some days...
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OVERLAND CYCLONE
02E/H/B/C1

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
pinhole?

: )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093


Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
BIG CORONAL HOLE SUN
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454. whitewabit (Mod)
Barbara making landfall

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Barbara is making landfall.

Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
If "landfall" is defined as any part of the eye hitting the coast, then yes, she appears to have made landfall.

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The MDR has cooled a bit in the past week. I wonder if the cause is the positive NAO or there are other factors involved.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14565
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

ADT numbers are only around 3.5 because they are not on the eye.



4.5 is realistic, though perhaps slightly conservative.

29/1745 UTC 15.7N 94.2W T4.5/4.5 BARBARA -- East Pacific

yep
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12479
remember the CMC run yesterday with 3 systems?? this looks like a map in July..

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16041
To the rest of my fellow Texans, it looks like a new WW might be in order later today. A bunch of scattered showers are starting to pop up in Central TX as the temps climb.



MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0856
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0206 PM CDT WED MAY 29 2013

AREAS AFFECTED...WEST AND NORTHWEST TX...SOUTHERN OK

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE

VALID 291906Z - 292100Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...60 PERCENT

SUMMARY...CONDITIONS ARE BECOMING MORE FAVORABLE FOR SCATTERED
THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT ACROSS PARTS OF WESTERN AND NORTHWEST
TX...AS WELL AS SOUTHERN OK. WW ISSUANCE MAY BE REQUIRED THIS
AFTERNOON.

DISCUSSION...AS OF 19Z...THE SURFACE DRYLINE EXTENDS FROM NEAR AMA
SOUTHWARD TO EAST OF MAF. STRONG HEATING HAS BEEN OCCURRING ACROSS
THE PORTION OF WEST TX EAST OF THE DRYLINE...WHERE MLCAPE VALUES ARE
CURRENTLY 2500-3000 J/KG. MID/HIGH CLOUDS ARE ALSO DIMINISHING
ACROSS SOUTH-CENTRAL OK INTO NORTHWEST TX WHERE INCREASED DIURNAL
HEATING HAS BEGUN. THE RESULT IS A RATHER WIDESPREAD AREA OF WEAK
CAP AND STRONG INSTABILITY. 18Z SOUNDINGS SHOWED VERY STEEP MID
LEVEL LAPSE RATES ARE PREVALENT THROUGHOUT THE REGION...WHICH MAY
PROMOTE RAPID THUNDERSTORM INTENSIFICATION ONCE INITIATION OCCURS.
EFFECTIVE SHEAR WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR ROTATING STORMS AND STRONG LOW
LEVEL WINDS MAY BE SUFFICIENT FOR A FEW TORNADOES.
HOWEVER...ORIENTATION OF THE UPPER LEVEL FLOW SUGGESTS THAT STORMS
WILL LIKELY MERGE AND GROW UPSCALE RATHER QUICKLY TODAY...WITH LARGE
HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS BEING THE PRIMARY THREATS.

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Really close to a Cat.2 Hurricane
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I believe Barbara has now really made landfsll
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12479
Quoting ILwthrfan:


What is the most updated Dvorak numbers? I would think she is somewhere at least 4.5-5?

ADT numbers are only around 3.5 because they are not on the eye.



4.5 is realistic, though perhaps slightly conservative.

29/1745 UTC 15.7N 94.2W T4.5/4.5 BARBARA -- East Pacific
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updated

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16041
Here is the 24 hour rainfall forecast for Barbara from the Ensemble Tropical Rainfall Potential (eTRaP). Southern Mexico is expected to have several inches of rain and one spot can receive up to 10 inches. Heavy rain remains the biggest threat as it is capable of creating dangerous floods and mudslides.

Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting mikatnight:


I'M GONNA NEED SOME TALLER BOOTS!


Honestly, if it rains two feet you might as well go straight to this boot...

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441. VR46L
Quoting Bluestorm5:
I'm on a different computer so I don't have bookmarks. Which page have the microwaves so I can see the structure of the storm?


There's also this

Morphed Integrated Microwave Imagery at CIMSS
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Barbara will surely be a terrible storm for Mexico, but if she had another day over water, things would have been so much worse.
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Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4957
I'm out for now. Still can't believe today was my final high school class. Homework tonight and exam tomorrow morning and I'm officially done with high school.

Quoting Civicane49:


No problem.

Yeah. It is slightly old, though.
Hopefully the new scan comes in before official landfall. Look beautiful.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8041
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Good afternoon. Barbara looks excellent, really a classic hurricane coming onshore, thankfully it is pretty much out of time to strengthen but impacts are definitely going to be worse than originally expected.



Any bit of strength it builds up now can only help it survive its journey over Mexico and into the BOC.


What is the most updated Dvorak numbers? I would think she is somewhere at least 4.5-5?
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:
Folks in FL this is setting up to be a very dangerous flood set up. Could be atleast 2 feet of rain over the next 2 weeks in some areas.


I'M GONNA NEED SOME TALLER BOOTS!
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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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