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 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: 12697
I see we have our first TD for the Atlantic
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1184. JNTenne
Earth Crust Displacement is happening!! (jk)



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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?

Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
LIE IN OUR GRAVES

When I step into the light
My arms open widely.
When I step into the light,
My eyes searching wildly.
Would you not like to be
Sitting on top of the world with your legs hanging free?
Would you not like to be OK, OK, OK?

When I'm walking by the water,
Splish splash, me and you taking a bath.
When I'm walking by the water,
Come to my toes, to my ankles, to my head, to my soul,
Then I'm blown away.

When I'm walking by the water,
Splish splash, me and you taking a bath.
When I'm walking by the water,
Come to my toes, to my ankles, to my head, to my soul,
Then I'm blown away.

I can't believe that we would lie in our graves
Wondering if we had spent our living days well.
I can't believe that we would lie in our graves
Wondering what we might have been.
I can't believe that we would lie in our graves
Wondering if we had spent our living days well.
I can't believe that we would lie in our graves
Wondering what we might have been.

Would you not like to be,
Would you not like to be,
I can't believe that you would not like to be,
Would you not like to be,

ok, ok, ok,
ok, ok, ok,
ok, ok, ok,
ok, ok, ok,

and we dance away.

Dave Matthews, Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, LeRoi Moore, Boyd Tinsley
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
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.


lol my favorite quote in the article
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thats why surfing is so fun you could always take the last wipeout. kind of like turning the key on your car.
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1179. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Extreme Heat Alert

Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Thursday 30 May 2013
Condition:Mainly Sunny
Pressure:30.1 inches
Tendency:rising
Visibility:12 miles
Temperature:75.2°F
Dewpoint:66.9°F
Humidity:75%
Wind:SSW 2 mph
Humidex: 88



highs today may reach 92 with humidex levels surpassing 100 degree's
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54864
Quoting RitaEvac:


Yes as of now
ok then it's two
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Quoting Luisport:
The two allready count with this surfer?


Yes as of now
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Quoting RitaEvac:


Heard 2
The two allready count with this surfer?
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Quoting Luisport:
So it makes 3 deaths?


Heard 2
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Is shear relaxed enough for her?
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1173. Torito
ill be back later... l8rs.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Quoting RitaEvac:
61 yr old American surfer killed from Hurricane Barbara
So it makes 3 deaths?
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Quoting RitaEvac:
U.S. vs. European hurricane model: Which is better?


“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.
Meteorologists agree that the two American supercomputers that provide storm models are underpowered — which is why the National Weather Service plans on upgrading those computers in the next two years. The two main forecasting computers — one in Orlando, Fla., and the other in Reston — will receive $25 million in upgrades as part of the Hurricane Sandy supplemental bill that was recently approved by Congress.


Computer upgrade? Must be part of that "pork" good ol' Mr. Coburn likes to wax on...
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1170. Torito
Quoting RitaEvac:
61 yr old American surfer killed from Hurricane Barbara


Moral of that story: dont be stupid enough to surf in a hurricane making landfall, YOU WILL DIE.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
1169. Torito
Quoting washingtonian115:
You all are still hoping for a Caribbean storm.Lol.


So? xD all the models have barbara hanging out where it is in that warm air pocket for a day or two before it goes wherever, since models cant agree past 18 hours...
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
You all are still hoping for a Caribbean storm.Lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
“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.
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1165. WxLogic
Morning
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1164. Torito
Models are pretty much all signaling regeneration at this point, other than hwrf.


Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Barb already crossed as far as I'm concerned.
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1161. Torito
What the heck is wrong with the one model???? No, just no.

Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
61 yr old American surfer killed from Hurricane Barbara
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1159. Torito
Haha so low confidence level in model data here.

Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
We got 2" yesterday and raining again now. I managed to punch in all the precipitation readings back to the beginning of the year on the RainLog.org site I mentioned yesterday.



Also, don't forget ScottLincoln's suggestion of being an official recorder by joining CoCoRaHS (Community Cooperative Rain, Hail, Snow). You have to have their specific collector which will run you about $45 with shipping, but it's a pretty cool way to contribute to science without a great deal of effort.
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1157. Torito
SO DRY HERE.

Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
1156. Torito
Quoting pcola57:


This is one freaky weather year Torito..


Yea, it is... it is heading to 90 degrees here in Maryland...

Link
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
I do have to say though after a little while of the ensemble not showing a Carib storm now the ensembles are bring it back in the 00Z run and now more ensemble are joining the other showing Carib system in 06Z I'm going to create a forecast on what I think may happen if a carib storm could be on the table
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12697
1154. Torito
Quoting Bobbyweather:

The UKMET model track forecast sure looks interesting. It makes Barbara return to the EPac.


It has been wrong for the entire forcast of barbara, so i wouldnt bet on it taking that route..
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
1153. pcola57
Quoting Torito:
Nogaps changed its model run YET AGAIN. Sorry, Pcola.



This is one freaky weather year Torito..
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1152. Torito
Quoting Bobbyweather:

I wish I had a list for this...
It does look small.

But usually size is measured by the radius or diameter of "gale-force winds", which Barbara currently doesn't have.


i know the smallest was tropical storm marco, followed by major hurricane tracy, but i dont have any information on the rest.

TRACY:


MARCO: (which looks strangely similar to barbara....)



Tropical storm marco was 25 miles wide.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Quoting Torito:
Nogaps changed its model run YET AGAIN. Sorry, Pcola.


The UKMET model track forecast sure looks interesting. It makes Barbara return to the EPac.
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1150. Torito
Nogaps changed its model run YET AGAIN. Sorry, Pcola.

Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Quoting Torito:
Anyone think this is one of the top ten smallest tropical systems on record? It looks pretty small to me.

I wish I had a list for this...
It does look small.

But usually size is measured by the radius or diameter of "gale-force winds", which Barbara currently doesn't have.
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Quoting Torito:
Anyone think this is one of the top ten smallest tropical systems on record? It looks pretty small to me.

if it still is a tropical cyclone and if it is it still can't beat marco 08
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12697
1147. Torito
From TWC:

Hurricane Barbara made landfall about 20 miles west
of Tonala, Mexico, in the state of Chiapas at 12:50 p.m. PDT on May 29, 2013.

While Tropical Depression Barbara's circulation interacted with the higher terrain of Chiapas state Wednesday evening, a new burst of convection near its center of circulation Thursday morning opened the small possibility the system could regenerate as it emerges in the Bay of Campeche. According to the National Hurricane Center, the name "Barbara" would be kept if advisories are continued in what is considered the "Atlantic Basin."

The primary threat from Barbara remains heavy rainfall, triggering additional flooding and mudslides in the region. Storm total rainfall may reach 20 inches, in isolated spots. In just 18 hours, Arriaga, Mexico picked up a whopping 16.02 inches of rain. Already there have been several rockslides and mudslides onto roads in Guatemala in recent days.

Barbara's formation on May 28 was the second earliest date on record (dating to 1949) of the eastern Pacific season's second named storm, runner up only to last year's Tropical Storm Bud, which formed on May 21. According to Weather Underground's Dr. Jeff Masters, there was only one other May hurricane landfall in the east Pacific basin, dating to 1949, "Agatha" in 1971 as a Category one hurricane.

Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
1146. Torito
The National Weather Service in Norman has issued a

* Severe Thunderstorm Warning for...
western Atoka County in southeast Oklahoma...
northern Bryan County in southeast Oklahoma...
southeastern Johnston County in southeast Oklahoma...

* until 930 am CDT

* at 849 am CDT... National Weather Service meteorologists detected a
severe thunderstorm located near silo... moving northeast at 40 mph.

Hazards in the warning include...
half dollar size hail...
damaging winds in excess of 60 mph...

* locations impacted include...
Atoka... Caddo... Tushka... silo... Caney... Kenefic... Armstrong...
Mead... Nida and Bentley.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

Move inside a sturdy building until the storm has passed.

Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
1145. Torito
Anyone think this is one of the top ten smallest tropical systems on record? It looks pretty small to me.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
I think we'll all be ready to not see this anymore!

Statement as of 8:00 PM EST on December 2, 2012

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico...
An area of low pressure located over the east-central Atlantic Ocean
about 800 miles southwest of the western Azores is producing an area
of gale-force winds north of the center. This system is in the
process of acquiring frontal characteristics and development into
a subtropical cyclone is not expected. This system has a low
chance...near 0 percent...of becoming a subtropical cyclone during
the next 48 hours as it moves northward and then northeastward at
15 to 20 mph. This will be the last special tropical weather
outlook issued on this system. Additional information can be found
in high seas forecasts issued by the National Weather Service.
Elsewhere...tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the
next 48 hours.
&&
High seas forecasts issued by the National Weather Service can be
found under AWIPS header nfdhsfat1 and WMO header fznt01 kwbc.
$$
Forecaster Brown
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1142. Torito
Quoting pcola57:
New Drought Monitor..



12 week animation comparison..



Drought is really getting better now.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
1141. Torito
this is one of the times when i ignore the NHC, because i feel that the forcast cant be right if none of the models are correct, and alot of their forcast is based off of that.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4316
Quoting Waltanater:
Actually, it's "farther!" :)


I think either way is good...

FURTHER ON UP THE ROAD

Further on up the road,
Someone's gonna hurt you like you hurt me.
Further on up the road,
Someone's gonna hurt you like you hurt me.
Further on up the road, baby,
Just you wait and see.

You gotta reap just what you sow;
That old saying is true.
You gotta reap just what you sow;
That old saying is true.
Just like you mistreat someone,
Someone's gonna mistreat you.

You been laughing, pretty baby,
Someday you're gonna be crying.
You been laughing, pretty baby,
Someday you're gonna be crying.
Further on up the road,
You'll find out I wasn't lying.

Further on up the road,
Someone's gonna hurt you like you hurt me.
Further on up the road,
Someone's gonna hurt you like you hurt me.
Further on up the road, baby,
Just you wait and see.

Joe Medwick
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
1138. pcola57
New Drought Monitor..



12 week animation comparison..

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Quoting WDEmobmet:


I believe that shows conditions on the 8th of June... and at 998, strong tropical storm/'minimal hurricane.

But be warned thats the 06Z, not neccessarily the most reliable model
ok thanks
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Quoting SouthernIllinois:
Morning, FMG. Morning BobbyWeather, Torito, ST Scott, VR46L, Everyone Else. Nice to see the gang all here!


Good morning to you too SI! Hope you get the rain you are needing..:)
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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.

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