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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Unless shear decreases kiss that potential good-bye.For now it is a ghost storm utill other wise when conditions become prime.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17084
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 800 AM PDT...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM BARBARA WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 15.7 NORTH...LONGITUDE 94.6 WEST. BARBARA IS
MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHEAST NEAR 13 MPH...20 KM/H...AND A
NORTH-NORTHEASTWARD MOTION AT A DECREASING FORWARD SPEED IS
EXPECTED TODAY FOLLOWED BY A TURN TO THE NORTH ON THURSDAY. ON THE
FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF BARBARA WILL CROSS THE COAST IN THE
HURRICANE WARNING AREA LATER TODAY...AND MOVE OVER SOUTHEASTERN
MEXICO TONIGHT AND THURSDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 65 MPH...100 KM/H...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. BARBARA IS FORECAST TO BECOME A HURRICANE PRIOR TO LANDFALL.
RAPID WEAKENING IS LIKELY AFTER THE CENTER CROSSES THE COAST...AND
BARBARA IS EXPECTED TO DISSIPATE WITHIN THE NEXT DAY OR SO.

TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 70 MILES...110 KM
FROM THE CENTER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 995 MB...29.38 INCHES.


Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Quoting Patrap:
Barbara

Rainbow Animated GIF

it go all lopsided on us nearing landfall now not much longer
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54369
Barbara

Rainbow Animated GIF

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TXPZ23 KNES 291225
TCSENP

A. 02E (BARBARA)

B. 29/1145Z

C. 15.0N

D. 94.9W

E. ONE/GOES-E

F. T4.0/4.0/D1.5/24HRS

G. IR/EIR

H. REMARKS...1053Z TMI REVEALED AN EYE. WARM SPOT APPEARED IN EIR IMAGERY
AT 1145Z. BLACK ELONGATED EYE IS EMBEDDED IN BLACK AND SURROUNDED BY
WHITE WHICH RESULTS IN A DT OF 4.5 AFTER 1.0 IS SUBTRACTED FOR AN EYE
ADJUSTMENT. NO FURTHER ADJUSTMENTS NEEDED FOR THE ELONGATED EYE. MET IS
3.5 AND PT IS 4.0. FT IS BASED ON CONSTRAINTS LIMITING CHANGE IN FT TO
1.0 IN 6 HOURS.

I. ADDL POSITIONS

NIL


...MCCARTHY
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Morning!all,very wet,rainy and windy here in South Florida today,big difference from yesterday!!!.Checking all the Hurricane models this morning,the HWRF model in it's latest run of Barbara,hints of a possible weak low forming East of Florida in the Bahamas and moving West over South-Central Florida,anybody have any additional information or other models showing this setting??.Also in the Satellite the clouds seems to be moving West to East,but in the Doppler radar they are moving East to West coming from the Bahamas,it that is the case Florida is going to be very wet for the next few days!!, a LOT of moisture and stormy weather East over the Bahamas.
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
I'm very impressed of Barbara. Didn't expected the storm to be that close to hurricane strength. We'll see at 11 am EST.


highest wind speed i have seen from various websites so far is 71mph...
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
I'm very impressed of Barbara. Didn't expected the storm to be that close to hurricane strength. We'll see at 11 am EST.

EDIT: Stupid computer said 8:17 am... it's actually 11:17 am. Look like we'll see at 2 pm EST for partial advisory.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8030
Barbara has lost the chance of becoming a hurricane, unless if it really strengthens in the next 3-4 hours, since it is starting to make it onto land.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Quoting yonzabam:


Texas is under a severe thunderstorm warning today, although I think you'd prefer not to have your water in the form of golf ball sized hail.
Link


I'm sure we will be at the least-but no "Warnings" or "Watches" currently posted for TX.
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Some of us are still being blown whichever way the wind blows when it comes to the models. The potential is still there. The biggest difference in the GFS is that it's trying to split the energy of the monsoon circulation between the Bay of Campeche and the Western Caribbean. Thus, it's not consolidating any area of low pressure. This scenario is quite possible and it could be that all of the moisture in that area is only used as unorganized thunderstorms. Those of us who have been saying that development in the Western Caribbean was possible also said that it was just as possible that nothing developed, so again, we have not been guaranteeing some "ghost storm" like a few are implying. The potential is still there over the next week and a half. If nothing of substance comes together by then, it will probably be time to start looking somewhere else for development.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10284
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Quoting yonzabam:


Texas is under a severe thunderstorm warning today, although I think you'd prefer not to have your water in the form of golf ball sized hail.
Link


Central and west Texas yes, it's not good for them. Houston not so much.
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Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
NAM 84 Hour QPF





GFS 96 Hour QPF


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ha..I was on the wrong blog..thanks Tom..

Ryan Maue ‏@RyanMaue 1h

Barbara over 30°C+ SST in East Pac, but Gulf is ready for tropical storm activity, 27°C+ plenty for hurricanes
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02E.BARBARA/ir/geo/1km


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Quoting Skyepony:
Central FL's largest sinkhole from hurricanes in decades came in 2004, in Deltona. Grew to at least 225 feet wide and 50 feet deep, rather quickly.


click pic for 7 terrifying sinkholes..


I remember that sinkhole!!! The hurricane season of 2004 followed a VERY wet spring that year and there were numerous sinkholes across the Cent. Florida region that year. Lived in DeLand at the time and my In-Laws lived in Deltona, had to find a new way to their house due to that sinkhole.
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Quoting mcdsara1:


Except east Texas. Curses to the ridge!!!! My lawn is gonna die, again.


Texas is under a severe thunderstorm warning today, although I think you'd prefer not to have your water in the form of golf ball sized hail.
Link
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For a Special Blogger

Quoting SouthernIllinois:
The 12Z NAM run has just completed. Looks very wet for many areas.




Looks good to me... Finally maybe some rain
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Just woke up to an earthquake here in Santa Barbara! Quake has only been rated a 4.6, but it was centered roughly 5km from my dorms and at a depth of only 7km, which provided plenty of shaking to wake me and the rest of my floor up. Back to sleep now...

Details here
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Quoting SouthernIllinois:
The 12Z NAM run has just completed. Looks very wet for many areas.


thats good water giver of life without it nothing lives or grows
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54369
Thanks Doc!
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RGB Loop

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Quoting SouthernIllinois:
The 12Z NAM run has just completed. Looks very wet for many areas.




Except east Texas. Curses to the ridge!!!! My lawn is gonna die, again.
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Quoting 10Speed:
Okay, anyone that can google knows that Dr. Masters dimensions of the hole are incorrect. Apparently he inserted erroneous information from another source without realizing it. We also know that even though Agatha may have been in the mix for the surface cave in that she was not the primary cause of the hole, itself. We also know the hole is technically not even a sinkhole.

There's lots of misinformation out there to trip any of us up without us realizing it.



You don't need to be an expert to figure that last one out, just take a scroll through the blog comments during hurricane season.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24175
Morning all. Wow the picture of that sinkhole is terrifying. As a volunteer firefighter, the size of such a chasm just baffles my mind from a search and rescue/recovery standpoint. Given the depth of such a hole, each first responder would need a couple of thousand feet of rope and webbing to descend into that thing given safety lines, primary lines, anchor distance from the hole and working area while in it. Wow. Just wow. Also I did not know sinkholes are defined as occurring in limestone rock. One of the things I truly enjoy about reading these blogs is that I learn something new every day. Great read this morning.
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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. THE CURRENT INTENSITY IS SET
AT 55 KT IN AGREEMENT WITH THE LATEST OBJECTIVE DVORAK ESTIMATES.
THE WINDOW FOR INTENSIFICATION PRIOR TO LANDFALL IS CLOSING...BUT
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO FAVOR STRENGTHENING UNTIL THE
CENTER CROSSES THE COASTLINE. ALTHOUGH NOT EXPLICITLY SHOWN IN THE
WIND SPEED FORECAST...WE STILL ANTICIPATE THAT BARBARA WILL BECOME
A HURRICANE IN A FEW HOURS. WEAKENING SHOULD BE RAPID LATER TODAY
AND TONIGHT AS THE CYCLONE INTERACTS WITH THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN
OF SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO. ALTHOUGH THE CENTER IS FORECAST TO REACH
THE EXTREME SOUTHWEST GULF OF MEXICO WITHIN 36 HOURS...THE CURRENT
THINKING IS THAT THE CIRCULATION WILL HAVE BEEN SO SEVERELY
DISRUPTED BY THAT TIME THAT REGENERATION IS UNLIKELY. THIS IS
SUPPORTED BY THE GLOBAL MODELS...WHICH ALSO SHOW STRONG VERTICAL
SHEAR OVER THE SOUTHWEST GULF.

THE FORWARD SPEED HAS INCREASED SUBSTANTIALLY THIS MORNING AND THE
INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 040/11. THE ACCELERATION APPEARS TO BE
DUE TO A BELT OF MID-LEVEL SOUTHWESTERLIES THAT EXTENDS FROM THE
LOW LATITUDES OF THE EASTERN PACIFIC INTO EXTREME EASTERN MEXICO
AND CENTRAL AMERICA. WHEN THE CYCLONE MOVES OVER THE ISTHMUS OF
TEHUANTEPEC...IT SHOULD ENCOUNTER A WEAKER STEERING CURRENT AS IT
MOVES AWAY FROM THE BELT OF SOUTHWESTERLIES AND APPROACHES A BROAD
RIDGE OVER CENTRAL MEXICO. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST SHOWS A DECREASING
FORWARD SPEED OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO...WHICH IS IN GOOD AGREEMENT
WITH THE TRACK MODEL CONSENSUS.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 29/1500Z 15.7N 94.6W 55 KT 65 MPH
12H 30/0000Z 16.9N 94.0W 40 KT 45 MPH...INLAND
24H 30/1200Z 17.9N 93.9W 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
36H 31/0000Z 18.5N 94.0W 20 KT 25 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
48H 31/1200Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER PASCH/LANDSEA
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
Okay, anyone that can google knows that Dr. Masters dimensions of the hole are incorrect. Apparently he inserted erroneous information from another source without realizing it. We also know that even though Agatha may have been in the mix for the surface cave in that she was not the primary cause of the hole, itself. We also know the hole is technically not even a sinkhole.

There's lots of misinformation out there to trip any of us up without us realizing it.

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T.C.F.W.
ON APPROACH
02E/TS/B/CX
MARK
15.36N/95.25W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54369
Thanks for the update Dr. Masters,
Good Morning from the West Coast.
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I knew she had a chance at hurricane strength.
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NRL SATPRODUCTS/TC/tc13/EPAC/02E.BARBARA/tc_ssmis/

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Quoting Skyepony:
Central FL's largest sinkhole from hurricanes in decades came in 2004, in Deltona. Grew to at least 225 feet wide and 50 feet deep, rather quickly.


click pic for 7 terrifying sinkholes..
many of the large lakes in west central Florida around land o' lakes and lutz were caused by massive singles such as this that continued to wear away and collapse around the edges.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

or could it be that it was taken before the sinkhole appeared


The map seems to have been updated in 2013.
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49. JeffMasters (Admin)
Quoting MahFL:
Dr Masters has his figures all wrong, the sinkhole is much bigger.
"The Guatemala City sinkhole, estimated to be 60 feet (18 meters) wide and 300 feet (100 meters) deep, appears to have been triggered by the deluge from tropical storm Agatha."



Thanks, I changed the post to say 20 meters across (66 feet), as per the original reference to the Christian Science Monitor in Wikipedia. Wikipedia had the false figure of 18 feet I was using.

Jeff Masters
29/1145 UTC 15.0N 94.9W T4.0/4.0 BARBARA -- East Pacific
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21416
Quoting JNTenne:
Your source with a link  would be much appreciated.. That hole looks much bigger than 18' for sure..


Sorry the source I quoted is:

news.nationalgeographic.com
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Hey KEEP?

Since you are a [mod] and I can see that you are on the blog right now...

Why do some users play the 'follow the rules' card, but at the same time not be accountable to the rules themselves?

It really does get old.
Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108
Quoting Tazmanian:



if none of you like like spelling skills this dont say any thing and ingnor it and move on this is how the bickering and personal attacks starts


for now on any one that talks about my spelling skills i will call this a personal attack


Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2159
Quoting MahFL:
Looking at Google Maps the sinkhole seems to have been filled in and the roads repaired.

or could it be that it was taken before the sinkhole appeared
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12151
Appears Dr. Masters used wikipedia as his source for the sinkhole size.

Within wikipedia are conflicting sources for size:

The sinkhole appears to be about 60 feet (18 meters) wide and about 30 stories deep, said James Currens, a hydrogeologist at the University of Kentucky.

CONRED estimates it is 100 feet deep and 65 feet across.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11215
41. Skyepony (Mod)
Central FL's largest sinkhole from hurricanes in decades came in 2004, in Deltona. Grew to at least 225 feet wide and 50 feet deep, rather quickly.


click pic for 7 terrifying sinkholes..
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thanks for the new scratch pad doc

look its scratched up already and I just got here

will B make the cut checking now lets see
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54369
Looking at Google Maps the sinkhole seems to have been filled in and the roads repaired.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



if none of you like like spelling skills this dont say any thing and ingnor it and move on this is how the bickering and personal attacks starts


for now on any one that talks about my spelling skills i will call this a personal attack

TAZ your spelling like anyone else it there own we can do what we want
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12151
like all ways i dont think dr m evere look at the gfs and other modes be for posting



Some people might call this a personal attack, too.

You are insinuating that Dr. Masters is dumb or lazy and not looking at the weather models! Seriously?!?
Member Since: June 14, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2108
That hole is definitely more than 18' and looks more like a cenote than a hole caused by a leaky pipe
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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.