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 WDEmobmet:
rough road ahead



6k ft peaks, nothing to sneeker at
My beautiful country.
Quoting MississippiWx:
I said this had the potential of becoming a 70mph storm. Looks like that was still conservative. Barbara is at least 75mph, if not stronger than that. I stated the other day that the shape of the Mexican coastline where the storm was forecast to make landfall could help it strengthen quickly. I'm sure that's not the main factor, but it most likely helped some.

She is a 85mph hurricane imo.
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:
DAMM!!!


the heat lost last night and florida is about to become atlantis..the world is coming to an end :)
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Quoting Saltydogbwi1:
img src="">

in Cayman half hour ago
I am on the computer @ work and cannot see the image. What is it ? TIA
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Big rain coming S FL!!
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Quoting barbamz:
The song for the cane :-)
Heino: Die schwarze Barbara / The black Barbara
Rough translation of the first lines of the lyrics:
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la
Yes indeed the most beautiful girl in the world
is my Barbara
What I like about her most
That's her black hair
She has such sky-sky-sky-blue eyes
And a purple mouth
Yes, yes she is so "wunderbar" (wonderful)
The black Barbara


I hope the hurricane Barbara won't be as harmful as this (artificial) german folk song from Heino who is nearly as old as Grothar (however, everybody knows him and this song in Germany, though not everybody would admit).

The real Barbara:
http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/htdocs_dyn_apache/PUBL IC/sat_pages/thumbs/medium/atlantic/central_americ a/ir_color/20130529.1800.goes15.ir.central_america .jpg
So, Barb... would "WundarBlog" be us in German ;o)

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Surface trough over the Keys and S FL looks like it is about to start moving NW. Also wouldn't be surprised to see a surface low begin to form WSW of Key West as the winds are starting to veer more NE.

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taken down
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Isn't Barb crossing on the other side of the Yucatan?


This.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



That old


Yes TAZ, I can read the time and date. However, I cannot force the NHC to release a new forecast discussion onto their website. That is the most current one available on their page.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3731
lol looking at the new radar loop shows eye moving more and more E than N trying to avoid land

Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11707
Quoting WDEmobmet:
rough road ahead



6k ft peaks, nothing to sneeker at
Isn't Barb crossing on the other side of the Yucatan?
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I see that Barbara became a hurricane today. I thought that it would! Thankfully, it will not have much time left to strengthen any further. Despite this, I think Barbara has a higher chance of making it to the BOC, but I'm still not so sure about it.
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The song for the cane :-)
Heino: Die schwarze Barbara / The black Barbara
Rough translation of the first lines of the lyrics:
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la
Yes indeed the most beautiful girl in the world
is my Barbara
What I like about her most
That's her black hair
She has such sky-sky-sky-blue eyes
And a purple mouth
Yes, yes she is so "wunderbar" (wonderful)
The black Barbara


I hope the hurricane Barbara won't be as harmful as this (artificial) german folk song from Heino who is nearly as old as Grothar (however, everybody knows him and this song in Germany, though not everybody would admit).

The real Barbara:
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I said this had the potential of becoming a 70mph storm. Looks like that was still conservative. Barbara is at least 75mph, if not stronger than that. I stated the other day that the shape of the Mexican coastline where the storm was forecast to make landfall could help it strengthen quickly. I'm sure that's not the main factor, but it most likely helped some.

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Quoting WDEmobmet:


most def is still intensifing
That visible is actually showing the tilting.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Not always the case, a larger, more broad storm has a better chance of surviving than a compact, tightly wound storm.

yep plus with higher vorts in smaller storms hitting mountains it can get destroyed and thrown all over the place
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11707
Quoting KeysieLife:


But it's ok for you to personally attack Dr. M by stating he isn't doing his research before posting?

If you think spelling is the issue, well, you're totally missing the point buddy!
Stop talking about his spelling if his spelling is not the issue.

I know from experience [and have been recently reminded thanks to Android] that spelling doesn't come easy to everybody. Picking on somebody's spelling because you don't like it - or them - is just mean and petty.

Additionally, the Doc himself can handle contradictions of his posts without getting his knickers in a wad. I think the Doc is a big enough man to deal with his own "problems", if he sees Taz's disagreement as a problem. If Taz did you something personally, you can deal with your personal problem instead of hiding behind comments about others.

I have been noticing a very annoying trend recently of people trying to "tease" or "get at" Taz in the hopes he will get angry and therefore be banned.

Please stop. It is very immature, especially coming from Grown People. Most of the youngsters here are surprisingly live and let live, and can accept that lots of different people from different situations and backgrounds participate in this blog. They also manage to let go of grudges quickly. The rest of us need to learn from their examples sometimes.

I thought it might be a good idea to get this off my chest now, before the season gets properly started.
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Quoting Saltydogbwi1:
img src="">

in Cayman half hour ago

yep
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11707
Quoting daddyjames:
For those of you commenting that the "radar image of Barbara does not match the satellite image"

TROPICAL STORM BARBARA DISCUSSION NUMBER 5
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP022013
800 AM PDT WED MAY 29 2013

AFTER A SIGNIFICANT INTENSIFICATION EPISODE EARLIER THIS
MORNING...RADAR AND SATELLITE DATA SHOW LITTLE CHANGE IN
ORGANIZATION OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS. RADAR IMAGERY SUGGESTS A
BANDING-TYPE EYE AS OPPOSED TO A CLOSED EYEWALL. BASED ON A
COMPARISON OF VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY TO THE PUERTO ANGEL MEXICAN
RADAR IMAGES...THE CENTER IS TILTED SLIGHTLY SOUTHWARD WITH HEIGHT.
THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH THE MODERATE NORTHERLY VERTICAL SHEAR
DIAGNOSED BY THE NUMERICAL GUIDANCE



That old
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Quoting TomTaylor:

If all other conditions are constant, a stronger storm has a better chance of surviving a cross over land than a weaker one. A stronger storm will definitely weaken more than a weak storm but that's because it has more to lose in the first place. Odds of surviving land are definitely higher for a stronger storm. Inertia explains this.


Not always the case, a larger, more broad storm has a better chance of surviving than a compact, tightly wound storm.
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rough road ahead


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img src="">

in Cayman half hour ago
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EPac TWO on 91E increased from 30% to 40%
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 11707
Quoting bappit:

But he could have had more kids. Picasso and Tony Randall are examples.


Yeah, but the damage was done . . . but I'll go with an honorable mention.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3731


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Quoting TomTaylor:

If all other conditions are constant, a stronger storm has a better chance of surviving a cross over land than a weaker one. A stronger storm will definitely weaken more than a weak storm but that's because it has more to lose in the first place. Odds of surviving land are definitely higher for a stronger storm.
makes sense
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219


most def is still intensifing
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Quoting daddyjames:


No, he was a grandfather, he has already passed along his genetic material. No natural selection going on here.

But he could have had more kids. Picasso and Tony Randall are examples.
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:
We may have a surface low developing WSW of Key West just as the Canadian model has been forecasting for days. Infact this is the only model that has been showing this. If the Canadian is correct then talk about a big win for the GGEM.

Not likely; a huge Tutt cell over the Gulf (including off-shore of Key West) which is why the area so clear:

Link

Also; the two bouys in that general area are not working..... :(

Station PLSF1
NDBC
Location: 24.693N 82.773W
There are no recent (< 8 hours) meteorological data for this station

Station SANF1
NDBC
Location: 24.454N 81.877W
There are no recent (< 8 hours) meteorological data for this stati
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The fact that Barbara is stronger now means it has an even lower chance of surviving the crossing into the Bay of Campeche. Tropical cyclones in general don't have a good friendship with mountainous terrain, but this is especially true for hurricanes and major hurricanes.

If all other conditions are constant, a stronger storm has a better chance of surviving a cross over land than a weaker one. A stronger storm will definitely weaken more than a weak storm but that's because it has more to lose in the first place. Odds of surviving land are definitely higher for a stronger storm. Inertia explains this.
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For those of you commenting that the "radar image of Barbara does not match the satellite image"

TROPICAL STORM BARBARA DISCUSSION NUMBER 5
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP022013
800 AM PDT WED MAY 29 2013

AFTER A SIGNIFICANT INTENSIFICATION EPISODE EARLIER THIS
MORNING...RADAR AND SATELLITE DATA SHOW LITTLE CHANGE IN
ORGANIZATION OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS. RADAR IMAGERY SUGGESTS A
BANDING-TYPE EYE AS OPPOSED TO A CLOSED EYEWALL. BASED ON A
COMPARISON OF VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY TO THE PUERTO ANGEL MEXICAN
RADAR IMAGES...THE CENTER IS TILTED SLIGHTLY SOUTHWARD WITH HEIGHT.
THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH THE MODERATE NORTHERLY VERTICAL SHEAR
DIAGNOSED BY THE NUMERICAL GUIDANCE
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3731
Quoting bappit:

Fig leaf convection.


The first naked squirrel sighting of the season. It's ON now.
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000
WTPZ32 KNHC 291751
TCPEP2

BULLETIN
HURRICANE BARBARA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 5A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP022013
1100 AM PDT WED MAY 29 2013

...BARBARA BECOMES A HURRICANE AS IT NEARS THE COAST OF MEXICO...


SUMMARY OF 1100 AM PDT...1800 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...15.8N 94.3W
ABOUT 65 MI...105 KM ESE OF SALINA CRUZ MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH...120 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNE OR 20 DEGREES AT 10 MPH...17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...990 MB...29.23 INCHES


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6-10 Day GFS Ensemble precip accum.
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DAMM!!!
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BARBARA is now a hurricane!

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Quoting barbamz:

91E. Swirl is a bit naked, but it's trying.

Fig leaf convection.
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Quoting Torito:


xD i ate doritos (reduced fat!) this morning, and yeah, i hit the F5 key alot.


rofl :)O
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Quoting daddyjames:


Hmm, seems like the headline is a little misleading. The man attacked the beaver first, in fact went out of his way to do so. Why don't people understand that the animal IS going to defend itself.

From the article:

"The fisherman, who has not been named at the request of his family, was driving with friends toward the Shestakovskoye lake, west of the capital, Minsk, when he spotted the beaver along the side of the road and stopped the car. As he tried to grab the animal to have his picture taken, it bit him several times. One of the bites cut a major artery in his leg, according to Sulim."


Honorable mention for Darwin Award.
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Quoting muddertracker:


Torritos Locos...chill man..it's going to be a long season. You can't start out like this! You're F5 key won't be able to take it.

:):)


xD i ate doritos (reduced fat!) this morning, and yeah, i hit the F5 key alot.
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Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5219
Quoting BahaHurican:
Good answer.



Only get those on Wednesdays, the rest of the weeek I am not good for anything ;-).
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3731
We may have a surface low developing WSW of Key West just as the Canadian model has been forecasting for days. Infact this is the only model that has been showing this. If the Canadian is correct then talk about a big win for the GGEM.

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Quoting Torito:



RAGE!


Torritos Locos...chill man..it's going to be a long season. You can't start out like this! You're F5 key won't be able to take it.

:):)
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:
Very Weird with Barbara !!! Satellite shows something and radar shows something different.
Easy... Radar is showing mid-level, sat is showing low-level?

Radar is projecting onto different base map, which could also contribute.
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Quoting calkevin77:


Sounds like the name of an indie band and album


'Toad The Wet Sprocket' is one of my all time favourite band names. They were pretty successful, too.

Toad The Wet Sprocket
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My lab paper that followed an experiment i was working on for over a month, pretty proud of myself for how well it turned out. It ended up supporting golbal warming in the end.

Link
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON RADAR SAYS LAND FALL SATELLITE SAYS NOT AND NHC SAY NOT


The radar is incorrect -- satellite images show the eye nearing the coast. There is still room for further intensification.
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Very Weird with Barbara !!! Satellite shows something and radar shows something different.
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Quoting calkevin77:


Sounds like the name of an indie band and album


haha the blog gets even more random with every comment.
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.