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 calkevin77:


Sounds like the name of an indie band and album


haha the blog gets even more random with every comment.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Quoting yonzabam:
Killer Beavers Rampaging In Belarus

Only one person killed, so far, but it's kinda surreal.

Link


Sounds like the name of an indie band and album
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

lol should make you a commentator for a fighting game you know


haha ikr?
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Quoting Torito:



RAGE!

lol should make you a commentator for a fighting game you know
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
Quoting FIUStormChaser:


I understand that this trough of low pressure is under heavy shear, but how many times has a system formed over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and the Florida Straights/ Bahamas.

A few times a year?

We tend not to get more in-transit blow-ups as opposed to in situ formations... The ULL building down to surface thing happens in this area as well. I take this current blowup as a hurricane season onset sign [i.e. that appropriate parameters are in place] because I don't think we see cyclogenesis of low pressure systems in the area outside of hurricane season. [IMO this one is TC related as a sort of outflow channel for Barbara - though I'm sure I'm not explaining it correctly.]
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Just got back from lunch; another exact "landfall" debate in progress......Same every season........ :)


LAWL
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
well now we know the real eye and by the looks of it when it makes landfall it will get slapped by some high mountains
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
Lol more rain coming all day now

Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4984
Just got back from lunch; another exact "landfall" debate in progress......Same every season........ :)
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON RADAR SAYS LAND FALL SATELLITE SAYS NOT AND NHC SAY NOT



RAGE!
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Quoting daddyjames:


Satellite is only updated every 15 mins. Plus, I think NHC did mention that the center was tilted to the South, southeast in the previous update.

sigh
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716






Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 175
should be crossing the coastline now...just my guess
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91E. Swirl is a bit naked, but it's trying.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Yes it is

So other radar site posted Doc's blog has a spatial issue then or what? That is a huge spatial error for a radar to satellite comparison for just a 15 minute lag if that.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:

Look at it on Satellite


Satellite is only updated every 15 mins. Plus, I think NHC did mention that the center was tilted to the south, southeast in the previous update.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3733
Quoting ncstorm:
Updated Torcon Index

Wednesday, May 29

Severe thunderstorm and tornado outbreak likely in south and east SD, central and south MN,
WI, northwest IL, IA, NE, southeast WY, northeast and east-central CO, KS, OK, north and west
MO, northwest AR, east TX panhandle, west and central TX from Midland and Del Rio east to near
San Antonio and Paris TX.

Isolated to scattered severe thunderstorms in NY, north PA, VT, NH, MA, north CT, north RI. A chance of a very isolated severe thunderstorm in northeast IL, south MI, north IN, north OH.

TOR:CON details:
AR northwest - 3 to 4
CO northeast - 2 to 3
CT north - 2 to 3
IA - 4
IL northwest, west-central - 3 to 4
IL northeast - 2
IN north - 2
KS west half - 7
KS east - 5
MA - 2 to 3
MI south - 2
MN central - 2
MN south - 3 to 4
MO north, west - 4
NE east - 4
NE west - 3 to 4
NH - 2
NY southwest, northeast - 2
NY central, southeast - 2 to 3
OK west - 7
OK central - 5 to 6
OK east - 4 to 5
PA north - 2 to 3
RI north - 2 to 3
SD south, east - 2 to 3
TX east panhandle, northwest near Abilene - 7
TX west near Del Rio, Midland, San Angelo - 4
TX central - 3 to 4
VT - 2
WI - 3 to 4
WY southeast - 2
other areas - less than 2


I've never been much of a tornado watcher, but watching the increasing amounts of chasing vids has aroused my interest.

That Torcon warning covers a really vast area, from Texas to Illinois. With predictions averaging around 5, meaning there's a 50% chance of a tornado within 50 miles, the scene is set for some hectic activity.

A lot of the territory is agricultural, but if the prediction is accurate, it's hard not to see towns being hit. Hope it doesn't pan out like that, though.
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:

Look at it on Satellite

ok yeah ok so the other radar was showing a ghost eye well thats something to tell the kids
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
Quoting daddyjames:


The whole point is to maintain continuity with the weather system. Thus, Barbara (if it survives) will always be an EPAC storm that "crossed over" into the Atlantic Basin. And the name would be retired from the EPAC list.
Good answer.

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON RADAR SAYS LAND FALL SATELLITE SAYS NOT AND NHC SAY NOT


Radar is not calibrated....
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Yes it is
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
From the southernmost radar site...is that the eye on upper left?
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4984
Quoting BahaHurican:
That's some pretty amazing imagery...

I'm starting to get a bit suspicious about Barb... like she has friends in TX or LA or someplace...

Texas and Louisiana has had way too many storms in the past 6 years. I will be amazed if we go another year with just Texas or Louisiana hits in the Gulf with nowhere else along the Gulf or Florida
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON RADAR SAYS LAND FALL SATELLITE SAYS NOT AND NHC SAY NOT
radar is faster than satellite
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Quoting ILwthrfan:


Also known as Darwinism.


No, he was a grandfather, he has already passed along his genetic material. No natural selection going on here.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3733
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Next question...

Hypothetical Barbara shenanigans....

if "Barbara" retains her name into the Gulf of Mexico,
and becomes a major deadly and destructive storm...

How do you deal with "retiring" the name...
is it retired from the Pacific list...
or ????

; )
Now THIS is a good question...

[folds hands and waits for answer]
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
From the southernmost radar site...is that the eye on upper left?

Ok so which is correct then
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON RADAR SAYS LAND FALL SATELLITE SAYS NOT AND NHC SAY NOT

Look at it on Satellite
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4984
Just want to remind to all that many of you thought that she wouldn`t even pass the 50mph because she was to close to land to strength- I remember I even say that I had seen other tc done the same as she did and strength in less the time.This can be an example of how fast tc can develop even closed to land.
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From the southernmost radar site...is that the eye on upper left?
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Quoting SouthernIllinois:

That is insane. I find it really interesting that this run of the GGEM is suggesting roughly the same amount of precipitation for the Midwest as the 12Z GFS did. To me, that's a clear indication that the GGEM may NOT be overdoing the total accumulated precip amounts for South Florida on this run. Because if it was, then wouldn't it be blowing the rain amounts out of proportion in the Midwest as well? And it's clearly not. That would make the most sense to me.

Bottom line. That's one scary map.
Even scarier when you consider that it's predicting similar amounts over the NW Bahamas, where we had 10 -15 inches in a day just last week...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON RADAR SAYS LAND FALL SATELLITE SAYS NOT AND NHC SAY NOT
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
Quoting SouthernIllinois:

That's nice work. I'm assuming you extrapolated the data from NWS spotter totals or Base reflectivity NEXRAD total precip amount signatures...

NEXRAD total precip
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4984
Quoting daddyjames:


The whole point is to maintain continuity with the weather system. Thus, Barbara (if it survives) will always be an EPAC storm that "crossed over" into the Atlantic Basin. And the name would be retired from the EPAC list.


but then imagine the complaints if "Barbara" is placed on the Atlantic list in the future...

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Quoting BahaHurican:
College of DuPage vis. image



Hope this lull lasts for a while.

Though it is still sprinkling outside, that's an improvement on heavy downpours...

I note there is a very strong cell to our south... coming up from the S side of Andros. I haven't had a chance to look at a loop to see what direction it's moving, or how fast, but it looks like things might get dicey over Andros, New Providence and Eleuthera later this evening...


I understand that this trough of low pressure is under heavy shear, but how many times has a system formed over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and the Florida Straights/ Bahamas.

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Quoting ncstorm:
Updated Torcon Index

Wednesday, May 29


OK west - 7
OK central - 5 to 6
OK east - 4 to 5


Oh, man . . . :(
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3733
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Next question...

Hypothetical Barbara shenanigans....

if "Barbara" retains her name into the Gulf of Mexico,
and becomes a major deadly and destructive storm...

How do you deal with "retiring" the name...
is it retired from the Pacific list...
or ????

; )


The name would be retired from the Pacific list.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24574
Good afternoon all.

Statement as of 1:29 PM EDT on May 29, 2013

... The Urban Flood Advisory for significant flooding of poor
drainage areas remains in effect until 230 PM EDT for the island of
Key West...

At 122 PM EDT... National Weather Service meteorologists received
several reports of significant street flooding in areas of Key West
normally prone to flooding... such as Duval street and front street.
Also... measured amounts in the last couple of hours at the Key West
Airport are near an inch and a half... and at the weather forecast
office... over three inches.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

Additional rainfall amounts of up to an inch are possible in the
warned area in the next hour.

Do not drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the
roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow your car to cross
safely.


Lat... Lon 2454 8181 2455 8182 2457 8182 2458 8180
2459 8181 2460 8180 2459 8178 2459 8175
2460 8175 2460 8174 2458 8172 2455 8173

And...

... May 28 daily rainfall record set at Key West international...

Preliminary rainfall total at Key West International Airport is 2.40
inches on may 28... breaking the previous rainfall record of 2.09
inches set on this date in 1907. Rainfall records at Key West date
back to 1871.

These data are preliminary and have not undergone final quality
control by the National climatic data center /ncdc/.
Therefore... these data are subject to revision. Final and certified
climate data can be accessed at www.Ncdc.NOAA.Gov.

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Source. It's starting I think.
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Next question...

Hypothetical Barbara shenanigans....

if "Barbara" retains her name into the Gulf of Mexico,
and becomes a major deadly and destructive storm...

How do you deal with "retiring" the name...
is it retired from the Pacific list...
or ????

; )


The whole point is to maintain continuity with the weather system. Thus, Barbara (if it survives) will always be an EPAC storm that "crossed over" into the Atlantic Basin. And the name would be retired from the EPAC list.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3733
246. VR46L
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

now but as she moves N-NNE she gets over higher terrain


Not convinced of that ....
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6997
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."



Also known as Darwinism.

Well defined Barbara well onshore, it appears at least from radar imagery that this storm continued to intensify after landfall briefly. That structure looks more like 80 knot storm rather than 65 knots.



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Rain totals in WPB since Midnight! i did this!
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4984
Updated Torcon Index

Wednesday, May 29

Severe thunderstorm and tornado outbreak likely in south and east SD, central and south MN,
WI, northwest IL, IA, NE, southeast WY, northeast and east-central CO, KS, OK, north and west
MO, northwest AR, east TX panhandle, west and central TX from Midland and Del Rio east to near
San Antonio and Paris TX.

Isolated to scattered severe thunderstorms in NY, north PA, VT, NH, MA, north CT, north RI. A chance of a very isolated severe thunderstorm in northeast IL, south MI, north IN, north OH.

TOR:CON details:
AR northwest - 3 to 4
CO northeast - 2 to 3
CT north - 2 to 3
IA - 4
IL northwest, west-central - 3 to 4
IL northeast - 2
IN north - 2
KS west half - 7
KS east - 5
MA - 2 to 3
MI south - 2
MN central - 2
MN south - 3 to 4
MO north, west - 4
NE east - 4
NE west - 3 to 4
NH - 2
NY southwest, northeast - 2
NY central, southeast - 2 to 3
OK west - 7
OK central - 5 to 6
OK east - 4 to 5
PA north - 2 to 3
RI north - 2 to 3
SD south, east - 2 to 3
TX east panhandle, northwest near Abilene - 7
TX west near Del Rio, Midland, San Angelo - 4
TX central - 3 to 4
VT - 2
WI - 3 to 4
WY southeast - 2
other areas - less than 2
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242. VR46L
Quoting SouthernIllinois:

That eye is holding up better than I thought it seems. Of course, that could just be the appearance from the attenuation of the radar beam creating an optical illusion.


Yeah she seems to be holding up well!

RGB

Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6997
Next question...

Hypothetical Barbara shenanigans....

if "Barbara" retains her name into the Gulf of Mexico,
and becomes a major deadly and destructive storm...

How do you deal with "retiring" the name...
is it retired from the Pacific list...
or ????

; )
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Hurricane Barbara
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
...BARBARA BECOMES A HURRICANE AS IT NEARS THE COAST OF MEXICO...
11:00 AM PDT Wed May 29
Location: 15.8°N 94.3°W
Moving: NNE at 10 mph
Min pressure: 990 mb
Max sustained: 75 mph


-.-
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Quoting VR46L:


Yes but she is going over the lowest of the terrain ....


now but as she moves N-NNE she gets over higher terrain
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
Thanks, Dr Jeff.
Well if any TC was near a perfect position to cross over intact, Barbara has a shot if it can move relatively quick enough into the lower BOC by tomorrow... It's small size means could wind down easily and probably moving a little right of the ideal lowest elevation, thru Chivela Pass, but only a short chunk of the Sierra Madre mts to cross for potential minimal disruption of the LLC... The 12Z GFS I briefly viewed does model the mid level core coming thru intact, so it's a curiosity to watch, and if anything I think favors remaining Barbara into the BOC... Of course, a big "if" is if NHC can discern a sfc circulation to track continuously. Beyond that, as mentioned, whatever remains of the TC will most probably become quickly shredded by shear on Friday.

G'day!
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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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