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 FIUStormChaser:


Isn't there high shear in the gulf of 30-50kts? I'm not sure this might even have a chance of materializing



This is still a week out when the GFS has that storm in the middle of the Gulf. A lot can change between now and then.
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Good morning everyone

Ensemble from 00z run:

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Quoting Bobbyweather:

Actually, a tropical wave (maybe two) formed about ten days ago or earlier. But I get your point.
Yeah i saw them but ussually once we get or first wave then there is no stopping till the end of season now its probably a week already with no Wave but maybe its waiting for the mjo
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1233. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting belizeit:
Keeper you have been so long on here can you remember the Tropical Wave season starting so slow before?
in a normal year a long time ago we would start seeing them by mid to late may so there on time I think

one thing I notice this year that's really different is how much water vapor is over the atlantic with very little or almost nothing for dry air around
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
School starts at 7 am. I have to drive to there every morning so I got to get up really early to get ready, eat, and drive.

Man, it starts early. Here in Korea, high school starts at 8 am. Anyways, again, congratulations!
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Quoting hydrus:
It still there , but not as strong. It did have it over the Yucatan for a while, which might affect model runs.


Isn't there high shear in the gulf of 30-50kts? I'm not sure this might even have a chance of materializing

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1230. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)

2013 Storms




All

Active

Year




Atlantic


green ball02E.BARBARA



East Pacific


green ball91E.INVEST



Central Pacific



West Pacific


green ball95W.INVEST



Indian Ocean


green ball94B.INVEST



Southern Hemisphere
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Quoting belizeit:
Hi there i see your a new member on here ! We bloggers that have been on here for years don't take models to serious in the SW carrib because systems that form there ussually take over 4 days to cosolidate so we rarly see anything comming out of the SW Carrib



Yeah 200 hours was a long way out. Models really forecast that much into the foreseeable future accurately.
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Quoting Bobbyweather:

Congrats! I have to wait two more years to graduate... I wish that time came soon.

Off topic, but I can't believe that you wake up at five in the morning! When do you sleep?
School starts at 7 am. I have to drive to there every morning so I got to get up really early to get ready, eat, and drive.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8032
1227. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting hydrus:
I thought she hung in there pretty good for a little cat-1...
she was a fighter surprised lots I think
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Quoting belizeit:
Keeper you have been so long on here can you remember the Tropical Wave season starting so slow before?

Actually, a tropical wave (maybe two) formed about ten days ago or earlier. But I get your point.
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1225. Skyepony (Mod)
NAVY has Barbara in the Atlantic.
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Keeper you have been so long on here can you remember the Tropical Wave season starting so slow before?
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1223. hydrus
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
looks done like dinner

I thought she hung in there pretty good for a little cat-1...
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Well, woke up at 5 am as usual for school and went there to take an 30 questions exam. At 9:30 this morning, I was officially done with high school and went back home. Can't wait to go back to high school in few weeks to graduate and start a new chapter in life!

Congrats! I have to wait two more years to graduate... I wish that time came soon.

Off topic, but I can't believe that you wake up at five in the morning! When do you sleep?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
doing good taco just chilling watchin like everyone else

I don't think B is going to do much

Me either but "Hey" never know living on the Gulf Coast....

Taco :o)
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Really! What is up with that CMC? I think it does it just so everyone doesn't get bored and fall asleep...

Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1219. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting taco2me61:


Hey there Keeper hows it going for you today?
For me I'm just checking in to see what this Ex-Barbra will be doing over the next week.


Taco :o)
doing good taco just chilling watchin like everyone else

I don't think B is going to do much
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1218. hydrus
Quoting FIUStormChaser:
The models have backed off on a Atlantic system?

GFS and CMC used to show a system heading NE out of the Carribean
It still there , but not as strong. It did have it over the Yucatan for a while, which might affect model runs.
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Well, woke up at 5 am as usual for school and went there to take an 30 questions exam. At 9:30 this morning, I was officially done with high school and went back home. Can't wait to go back to high school in few weeks to graduate and start a new chapter in life!
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8032
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
he is joking ya know that right

its ok to laugh a little its good for one's soul


Hey there Keeper hows it going for you today?
For me I'm just checking in to see what this Ex-Barbra will be doing over the next week.


Taco :o)
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
the kid is going to have a fit when he finds out
+1
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

not atlantic unless NHC call it

Well, it is in the Atlantic basin if you see the running best track. But that's not the point. I just wanted to say it's not an Atlantic TD, which you agree with.
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Quoting FIUStormChaser:
The models have backed off on a Atlantic system?

GFS and CMC used to show a system heading NE out of the Carribean


Not particularly...

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1211. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting FIUStormChaser:
The models have backed off on a Atlantic system?

GFS and CMC used to show a system heading NE out of the Carribean
the kid is going to have a fit when he finds out
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OK KS

I don't know what radar settings to use to better see if something is looking tornadic.


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Quoting Bobbyweather:

Well, I guess Barbara is in the Atlantic. But it's not officially an Atlantic tropical depression until an advisory is issued. (Right?)

not atlantic unless NHC call it
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12180
Quoting FIUStormChaser:
The models have backed off on a Atlantic system?

GFS and CMC used to show a system heading NE out of the Carribean
Hi there i see your a new member on here ! We bloggers that have been on here for years don't take models to serious in the SW carrib because systems that form there ussually take over 4 days to cosolidate so we rarly see anything comming out of the SW Carrib
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1207. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Bobbyweather:

Well, I guess Barbara is in the Atlantic. But it's not officially an Atlantic tropical depression until an advisory is issued. (Right?)
correct ssd has the floater on the atlantic side to end it there I think
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1206. hydrus
Quoting belizeit:
Thank You Have a great day.
It was for humor purposes only.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
he is joking ya know that right

its ok to laugh a little its good for one's soul
Yes thats why i thanked i love this Blogg and all the diversity we have to it
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The models have backed off on a Atlantic system?

GFS and CMC used to show a system heading NE out of the Carribean
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



North Atlantic
Barbara

------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
East Pacific
91E
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
Central Pacific
No Storms
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------
West Pacific
95W
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------

Well, I guess Barbara is in the Atlantic. But it's not officially an Atlantic tropical depression until an advisory is issued. (Right?)
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Quoting redwagon:


Does he mean numerical as in the Japanese model, we ought to have one like that?

Ritaevac, are you guys needing rain where you are? Probably not as bad as centex, but some Houston people
were hoping for rain over the last few blogs.


Yes, ground is getting dry, and can see grass starting to stress, was watering last night after mowing.
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1201. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting belizeit:
Thank You Have a great day.
he is joking ya know that right

its ok to laugh a little its good for one's soul
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I just love his ambittion he has been calling for a TS to develope in the Carribean since the 24 of May and nothing has yet happened . And he still keeps at it i would have thought he would have learned already that the Computer models love to create Ghost Storms
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Quoting RitaEvac:
“Let me be blunt: The state of operational U.S. numerical weather prediction is an embarrassment to the nation, and it does not have to be this way,” wrote Cliff Maas, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington on his weather blog.


Does he mean numerical as in the Japanese model, we ought to have one like that?

Ritaevac, are you guys needing rain where you are? Probably not as bad as centex, but some Houston people
were hoping for rain over the last few blogs.
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Quoting Torito:
SO DRY HERE.



We are supposed to storms (maybe) on Sunday, that might help. We'll be traveling to State College that day, so I'm guessing there will a deluge and maybe a tornado or two :)
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1197. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #8
DEPRESSION BOB02-2013
11:30 AM IST May 30 2013
===============================

At 6:00 AM UTC, the depression over coastal West Bengal and neighborhood remained practically stationary near 22.3N 87.5E, about 30 km southeast of Midnapore, West Bengal.

The system is likely to move slowly west northwestward and weaken gradually into a low pressure area during the next 24 hours.
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1196. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Bobbyweather:

What is the exact definition of trolling anyway?
He just said there are no TCs in the Atlantic, which is true as of now, there's no problem with that.



North Atlantic
Barbara

------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------




East Pacific
91E
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------




Central Pacific
No Storms
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------




West Pacific
95W
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------









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Quoting hydrus:
Reproted !!..:)
Thank You Have a great day.
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1194. hydrus
Quoting mikatnight:
Ok, I know I'm pushing my luck here, but if you haven't seen Mr. Reynolds in this, you gotta check it out!
How does he do it for so long?

Saw that a while back. Massive bar chord riffs that are at the very least extremely difficult.
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Quoting Torito:
Haha so low confidence level in model data here.



Has nothing to do with low confidence in model data, but everything to do with the low being forecast to dissipate at the end of that track.
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Quoting belizeit:
Wunderkid your trolling makes this Blogg interesting

What is the exact definition of trolling anyway?
He just said there are no TCs in the Atlantic, which is true as of now, there's no problem with that.
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1191. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
looks done like dinner

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1190. hydrus
Quoting belizeit:
Wunderkid you makes this Blogg interesting
Reproted !!..:)
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Quoting belizeit:
Wunderkid your trolling makes this Blogg interesting



he is right we do not any TDs but we do have Tropical Depression BARBARA but that dos not make it are 1st TD its from the Epac
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

we do not have any tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin yet anyway
Wunderkid you makes this Blogg interesting
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my favorite band has been and is govt mule . warren haynes and his crew are great. raining hard here e cen florida
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4780
Quoting belizeit:
I see we have our first TD for the Atlantic

we do not have any tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin yet anyway
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12180

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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.