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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986. Skyepony (Mod)


Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
What happens when Barbara ends up in the GOM?

If it's still together or has a reprise it probibly would be renamed. Lot of shear.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

he was flagged and reported due to the sexual content in the point hes making which up till now I still don't know is what it is except sexual harassment to a country and its people


I don't think it was meant as sexual harassment against a country or its people - just a sexual undertone.
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She gets tore up.
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Quoting drg0dOwnCountry:
What happens when Barbara ends up in the GOM?

nothing nothing at all but being dead
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
What happens when Barbara ends up in the GOM?
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Quoting KoritheMan:


LOL

To be fair, I feel I've noticed a change in wunderkid this year. I can't quite put my finger on the extent of that change, but he seems less like a wishcaster. So far.

lol you've noticed
thats because I'm not wishcasting its logical and educated reasioning
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
Quoting CosmicEvents:

Add:
YES....YES....YES------->Close to CAYMANS.....YES


LOL

To be fair, I feel I've noticed a change in wunderkid this year. I can't quite put my finger on the extent of that change, but he seems less like a wishcaster. So far.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
He's only telling the truth.... IIRC, BoH is a favoured cyclogenesis area for early season storms... not sure why this is offensive.

Listen. Just because you are very interested in storms forming in your area doesn't mean you are wrong. Especially May - June anybody can expect to see development there, if at all in the Car...

he was flagged and reported due to the sexual content in the point hes making which up till now I still don't know is what it is except sexual harassment to a country and its people
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
Geez... I just noticed the time and I gotta get up and out at 4:30!

It's been sweet, but I gotta go... night all...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21187
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

FLAGGED AND REPORTED
He's only telling the truth.... IIRC, BoH is a favoured cyclogenesis area for early season storms... not sure why this is offensive.

Listen. Just because you are very interested in storms forming in your area doesn't mean you are wrong. Especially May - June anybody can expect to see development there, if at all in the Car...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21187
Quoting Dakster:
Hey Cosmic...

Not so sure that won't get you a 24hr. ban... but nice reply.

NO Dakster that is dead wrong on so many level
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852

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Quoting Dakster:


I am from South Florida, anything higher than 100 foot is a mountain to us.
At least in The Bahamas we expect a mountain to be 200 ft tall... lol

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21187
Quoting CosmicEvents:

Add:
YES....YES....YES------->Close to CAYMANS.....YES

FLAGGED AND REPORTED
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
Hey Cosmic...

Not so sure that won't get you a 24hr. ban... but nice reply.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
GOM/ATL/CARIB = Doom to all who enter.




ATL yes
GOM most of it except on the Coast of BOC
CARIB only in the East and Central
W Carib lower and is still dropping
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
after Barbara dies best shot for redevelopment/development is the GOH/W Caribbean because

BOC/GOM----GOH/W Carib
YES----------YES---------Warm SST
NO-----------YES---------Moist Atmosphere
NO-----------YES---------Less Shear
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
967. Hugo5
possible twin tornados near OKC.
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Quoting Astrometeor:


Went through Utah via the interstates, came around a bend in the mountain and it was almost a mirage seeing Salt Lake City sitting there in the valley below. Quite impressive. Also, I can confirm the salt flats do indeed taste like salt.
Been to SLC once, on the train, but got no views because train arrived and left at night... If all goes well I get to stay for a couple days and see some sights and sites...

And hopefully this will all happen during the lull in the season so I won't miss anything...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21187
Noctilucent clouds as seen from Estonia. I want to see some of these someday.



Quoting Dakster:


I know the route you took and it is quite impressive.

I don't want to know how you know the salt flats taste like salt, even though it makes perfect sense.


:D We pulled off a stop designed for letting people step onto the flats, and we picked up little grains of the stuff and licked it.
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GOM/ATL/CARIB = Doom to all who enter.



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Quoting Astrometeor:


Went through Utah via the interstates, came around a bend in the mountain and it was almost a mirage seeing Salt Lake City sitting there in the valley below. Quite impressive. Also, I can confirm the salt flats do indeed taste like salt.


I know the route you took and it is quite impressive.

I don't want to know how you know the salt flats taste like salt, even though it makes perfect sense.
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..from Will Chism,

Portlight Made the Arkansas News.


Portlight Strategies Inc and SAR team Yankee 1 quickly responds to Oklahoma
tornados! And with your donations we will continue to Respond.





Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127371
Quoting BahaHurican:
Hmmm... also trying to get to Utah and Idaho this summer... Rockies are great! I've got my eye on a Canada Rockies trip for next vacation, but we'll see how that pans out...


Went through Utah via the interstates, came around a bend in the mountain and it was almost a mirage seeing Salt Lake City sitting there in the valley below. Quite impressive. Also, I can confirm the salt flats do indeed taste like salt.
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Quoting lobdelse81:
If much weaker systems in the past were able to cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic side (and regenerate in the process)traversing more mountainous terrain than Barbara is currently traversing, then why do a lot of you guys think that this system will not amount to anything in the Bay of Campeche and just dissipate???? I can even cite several examples of the past where this type of scenario occurred: Cosme-Allison 1989, Alma-Arthur 2008, TD lle-Hermine 2010.

because weak broad systems can survive over mountainous terrain they have slack circulations and able to go around mountains and redevelop their LLC easier and better

small strong storms can not really survive because their small for one and one mountain can severely destroy its LLC and then they look its LLC it losses it big time and take very very very long if at all to come back

plus condition are not good for recovery position in the BOC/GOM at this time
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
Quoting lobdelse81:
If much weaker systems in the past were able to cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic side (and regenerate in the process)traversing more mountainous terrain than Barbara is currently traversing, then why do a lot of you guys think that this system will not amount to anything in the Bay of Campeche and just dissipate???? I can even cite several examples of the past where this type of scenario occurred: Cosme-Allison 1989, Alma-Arthur 2008, TD lle-Hermine 2010.


Not too far north of Barbara are fast upper winds out of the west that would rip her up....that's why. However...it seems their is a broad circulation around Barbara...so maybe the "core" with the name Barbara gets destroyed but the broad circulation sort of becomes this quasi-stationary monsoonal-like low that festers below the more favorable upper winds...but such a development would be slow....
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Quoting Dakster:


Couldn't disagree with that statement.

Trying to go to Utah this summer too.

Canadian Rockies (BANFF) is awesome too.
Hmmm... also trying to get to Utah and Idaho this summer... Rockies are great! I've got my eye on a Canada Rockies trip for next vacation, but we'll see how that pans out...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21187
Quoting lobdelse81:
If much weaker systems in the past were able to cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic side (and regenerate in the process)traversing more mountainous terrain than Barbara is currently traversing, then why do a lot of you guys think that this system will not amount to anything in the Bay of Campeche and just dissipate???? I can even cite several examples of the past where this type of scenario occurred: Cosme-Allison 1989, Alma-Arthur 2008, TD lle-Hermine 2010.

In all the cases you listed, the tropical cyclone from the eastern Pacific dissipated over Mexico or Central America; its remnants moved into the Gulf/Caribbean and regenerated. This would be possible if it weren't for an abundance of dry air and wind shear in the Bay of Campeche.
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Today's storm reports:



Versus yesterday's reports:

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Quoting lobdelse81:
If much weaker systems in the past were able to cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic side (and regenerate in the process)traversing more mountainous terrain than Barbara is currently traversing, then why do a lot of you guys think that this system will not amount to anything in the Bay of Campeche and just dissipate???? I can even cite several examples of the past where this type of scenario occurred: Cosme-Allison 1989, Alma-Arthur 2008, TD lle-Hermine 2010.


From what I have heard, there is quite a bit of shear awaiting Barbara on the other side in the Bay, so even if the circulation makes it, hell will be waiting. Those storms you cite, however, had more favorable conditions in which they were able to traverse and reorganize on the other side.
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952. flsky


Incredible image.
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If much weaker systems in the past were able to cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic side (and regenerate in the process)traversing more mountainous terrain than Barbara is currently traversing, then why do a lot of you guys think that this system will not amount to anything in the Bay of Campeche and just dissipate???? I can even cite several examples of the past where this type of scenario occurred: Cosme-Allison 1989, Alma-Arthur 2008, TD lle-Hermine 2010.
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Outlook for central OK tomorrow:

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Quoting AussieStorm:
Interesting!!!!


yes I found it interesting as well I calculated it and marked it and so far Barbara missed every forecast plot since Advisory #1 to its South and East
kinda odd anyway gave me a good giggle
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
Quoting Thrawst:


I'm going to the University of Miami! Close to home yanno? :P

And nahhh just became an adult in March! 18 whaaaaat?


Nice... I'm a UM Alumn... Bet you couldn't tell by my avatar though.
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Ok, guys i'm done for today...I'm Exhausted!!!!I was acting like Morgan Freeman moments ago,, :) good night everyone.


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@Earth_Pics Earth Pics
Storm approaching at Liguria, Italy.
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Quoting Thrawst:


I'm going to the University of Miami! Close to home yanno? :P

And nahhh just became an adult in March! 18 whaaaaat?
Haha, yeah being 18 is sweet. Good luck with your studies at THE U!
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 7885
943. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
India Meteorological Department
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #6
DEPRESSION BOB02-2013
5:30 AM IST May 30 2013
================================

At 0:00 AM UTC, the depression over coastal West Bengal and neighborhood near 22.0N 88.7E, close to Canning, West Bengal moved west northwestward and now lays near 22.3N 87.8E, north of Digha, West Bengal.

The system will likely move northwestward and weaken gradually into a low pressure area during the next 12 hours.
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(click to enlarge)
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Interesting!!!!

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Quoting Bluestorm5:
So where are you going for college? Also, I thought you're older haha :)


I'm going to the University of Miami! Close to home yanno? :P

And nahhh just became an adult in March! 18 whaaaaat?
Member Since: July 18, 2010 Posts: 50 Comments: 1790
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I see nothing that would suggest multiple low-level circulations...just one, rapidly-weakening area of low pressure.

click winds and HDW-L and you will see it yes there is one masive broad circulation but there is another smaller one with it closer to the Guatemalan W coast
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
Barbara starting to look better as an invest when she started out than how she is now

surface obs on the sat loop starting to show multiple LLCs Barbara's death shouldn't be long now

I see nothing that would suggest multiple low-level circulations...just one, rapidly-weakening area of low pressure.
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Barbara starting to look better as an invest when she started out than how she is now

surface obs on the sat loop starting to show multiple LLCs Barbara's death shouldn't be long now
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 10852
Quoting Thrawst:


Nice! I applied there and they were the 1st college to accept me! Unfortunately I'm not going there.
So where are you going for college? Also, I thought you're older haha :)
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 7885

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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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