Hurricane Barbara Hits Mexico; Severe Weather Outbreak Continues in Midwest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:29 PM GMT on May 30, 2013

Share this Blog
48
+

The Eastern Pacific's Hurricane Barbara is still alive as a tropical depression at the edge of the Atlantic's Gulf of Mexico, and has the potential to gain new life as an Atlantic tropical cyclone later today. Barbara made landfall near 4 pm EDT (1 pm PDT) May 29, 2013, on Mexico's Bay of Tehuantepec coast, as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. The storm killed two people, and brought heavy rains of 16.02" (407mm) to Arriaga in the state of Chiapas in an 18-hour period. Barbara remains a serious rainfall threat today. The storm intensified remarkably rapidly, becoming a hurricane just 21 hours after it became a tropical depression. According to NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks website, only one other Eastern Pacific hurricane has ever made landfall in May--Category 1 Hurricane Agatha of 1971, which hit Mexico west of Acapulco. Barbara is just the 2nd hurricane ever to make landfall in the Bay of Tehuantepec (the other: Category 1 Hurricane Rick of 1997.) Barbara's formation date of May 28 was the 2nd earliest appearance of the Eastern Pacific's 2nd named storm of the year; the record earliest second storm of the year occurred just last year, on May 21, 2012 (Tropical Storm Bud.) The average date for the formation of the Eastern Pacific's 2nd storm is June 25. Barbara's landfall location was the most easterly on record for an East Pacific hurricane. Records of Eastern Pacific hurricanes go back to 1949, but aren't really reliable until 1966.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Barbara taken at 4:30 pm EDT on May 29, 2013. At the time, Barbara was making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Barbara survived its overnight crossing of Mexico's Isthmus of Tehuantepec with its circulation intact, but lost nearly all of its heavy thunderstorm activity. This morning, the center of Barbara was located just inland from the southernmost waters of the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche. Barbara was drifting northwest, towards open water, at 3 mph. With wind shear a moderate 10 - 20 knots over Barbara, the storm has the potential to be classified as an Atlantic tropical depression later today if its center emerges over water. However, latest satellite loops have shown a steady reduction in the storm's heavy thunderstorms this morning, and Barbara may lose its circulation before it has time take advantage of the Gulf of Mexico's warm waters. Since Barbara is a small storm, the moderate wind shear may be too great for it to withstand. None of the reliable computer models predict that Barbara will survive into Friday. If Barbara is able to re-intensify to a tropical storm, it would keep the name Barbara, becoming the first Atlantic storm ever to have an Eastern Pacific name. Formerly, Eastern Pacific storms crossing into the Atlantic would be given a new name, but a recent NHC policy change allows storms to keep their names when they cross from one ocean basin to another. If Barbara were to dissipate before reaching the Gulf, then its remnants regenerate into a tropical storm in the Gulf, it would be named Andrea. If you want to discuss this year's hurricane season via Twitter, AP will be doing a hurricane twitter chat today (Thursday) at 1 p.m. EDT: #APStormChat; the National Hurricane Center is doing a hurricane chat at 2 pm EDT: #HurriChat.

Double ocean tropical cyclones: a rare breed
According to the Hurricane FAQ, since 1923 there have been four East Pacific tropical storms or hurricanes that have maintained their circulations while crossing into the Atlantic Ocean, becoming tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean:

Northeast Pacific Tropical Storm Alma (May 2008) became a remnant low in the Atlantic, where it merged with another tropical wave which generated Atlantic Tropical Storm Arthur. Arthur hit Belize as a tropical storm, killing nine and doing $78 million in damage.

Northeast Pacific Hurricane Cosme became Atlantic Tropical Storm Allison in June 1989. Allison hit Texas as a tropical storm, and heavy rains from Allison--up to 30" in some regions of Texas and Louisiana--triggered floods that killed eleven people and did $1 billion in damage. (A later incarnation of Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 also hit Texas, and caused such extensive flooding that its name was retired.)

An unnamed Northeast Pacific Tropical Storm (September-October 1949) became Atlantic Hurricane (Storm #10) and hit Freeport, Texas as a Category 4 hurricane, killing two people.

An unnamed Northeast Pacific Tropical Storm (October 1923) became Atlantic Hurricane (Storm #6) and made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in Louisiana.

There have been eight Atlantic tropical storms or hurricanes that have maintained their circulations while crossing into the East Pacific Ocean, and were then tropical storms in that ocean.


Figure 2. Severe weather outlook for Thursday, May 30, calls for a "Slight Risk" of severe weather over much of the Midwest. You can follow today's severe weather outbreak from our Severe Weather page.

Multi-day severe weather outbreak in the Midwest brings more tornadoes and flooding
It was an active day for tornadoes in the Midwest on Wednesday, with NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) logging 23 preliminary tornado reports. Twisters touched down in Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The tornadoes missed heavily populated areas, and no injuries and only minor damage was reported. The latest forecast from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center call for a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather today (Thursday) over much of Oklahoma, with the potential for several strong EF-2 and EF-3 tornadoes.


Figure 3. Five-day rainfall forecast for the period ending at 7am EDT Tuesday, June 4, calls for very heavy rains of 3 - 5" over much of Missouri. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

As discussed by wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt in his latest post, Some Phenomenal Rainfalls the Past Week in the U.S., the country has seen a lot of very heavy rainfall over the past week that has caused serious flooding. Of particular concern is Iowa, where Governor Terry Branstad issued a disaster proclamation on Tuesday for 13 Iowa counties, due to recent storms and flooding.The Iowa State Climatologist, Harry Hillaker, announced on May 29th that this has been the wettest spring (March-May) on record for the state since records began 141 years ago. A state average of 16.4” has been preliminarily reported. The previous wettest spring was 15.5” way back in 1892. He warned that “Iowa is at a tipping point for a major flood event”. Rains of 1 - 2" are expected over Eastern Iowa the remainder of the this week, which will keep most rivers above flood stage. Another round of rains of 1 - 2" are likely on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, when the next storm system rolls through. That system also has the potential to bring a severe weather outbreak to the Midwest.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 999 - 949

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25Blog Index

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The measurements Wurman collected should be enough for EF5 designation as is. Not sure why NWS Topeka wouldn't go with it.


There was their reasoning for not going EF-5:

Mobile Doppler radar winds measured in excess of 166 mph near surface winds. Stronger winds measured aloft above 300 feet however not known if those were present at ground level and damage indicators suggest winds stronger than EF4 were not present.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Funny thing about triple integrals is... my AP Calculus attempted to teach that to us. In a high school. Seriously.

EDIT: I took Calculus BC (considered a harder version of Calculus). My dad, who is a engineer, said that stuff was Calculus III stuff.


Triple integrals,is hard bro.(xyz)3 Variables,almost takes 2 page resolve one!!!Lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting scottsvb:
Remember that these Model runs will change each time. Also until a low forms, it could just be a inverted trough with dry air to its west and heavy rain to it's east late next week.

We will have a better idea by Sunday..but before then, models are for enjoyment run after run.


Yeah, but GFS is already showing the storm in the time lapse that we call ''acceptable''


!I think GFS is not kidding this time!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomTaylor:
I enjoy math if it applies to things which I am interested in. For example, I'm in vector calculus right now. Some of the stuff we do can be computationally exhausting (like triple integrals), but it was interesting learning how to compute things like the gradient, divergence and curl (measure of rotation). I could see right away how these ideas apply to meteorology and fluid flow in general.
Funny thing about triple integrals is... my AP Calculus attempted to teach that to us. In a high school. Seriously.

EDIT: I took Calculus BC (considered a harder version of Calculus). My dad, who is a engineer, said that stuff was Calculus III stuff.

EDIT 2: According to most students in college, Calculus I is about limits and derivatives. Calculus II is about antiderivatives and integration. Calculus III is using different things using Cal. I and Cal. II lessons. In AP Calculus BC, I learned up to Calculus III level before dropping out the spring course. Yes... Calculus III in high school.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8009
Remember that these Model runs will change each time. Also until a low forms, it could just be a inverted trough with dry air to its west and heavy rain to it's east late next week.

We will have a better idea by Sunday..but before then, models are for enjoyment run after run.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormchaser19:


Yeah bro, this is calculus III here in DR..partial derivative is part of Cal III also, but the great stuff is calculus IV..
Yea I'm taking that this fall.
Quoting stormchaser19:


The calculus of the gradient is another part of the vector calculus,which apply very good in the meteorology!!
Oh yeah gradient too, sorry I'm tired lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Flooding is becoming a larger threat as storms pass over areas that have already received heavy rainfall.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
00z and GFS showing apparently Debby Vol.2


Member Since: Posts: Comments:


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0896
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1128 PM CDT THU MAY 30 2013

AREAS AFFECTED...EXTREME ERN OK THROUGH MUCH OF AR

CONCERNING...TORNADO WATCH 258...

VALID 310428Z - 310630Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR TORNADO WATCH 258 CONTINUES.

SUMMARY...THREAT FOR ISOLATED LARGE HAIL...DAMAGING WIND AS WELL AS
ISOLATED TORNADOES WILL PERSIST INTO THE EARLY MORNING...ESPECIALLY
FROM CNTRL THROUGH NRN AR.

DISCUSSION...STORMS CONTINUE DEVELOPING OVER CNTRL THROUGH NRN AR
WITHIN ZONE OF WARM ADVECTION AND ISENTROPIC ASCENT ASSOCIATED WITH
40-50 KT SLY LLJ. STORMS HAVE EVOLVED INTO MORE COMPLEX
STRUCTURES...BUT A FEW OF THE STORMS STILL EXHIBIT SUPERCELL
CHARACTERISTICS...AND 0-2 KM HODOGRAPHS REMAIN QUITE LARGE ALONG THE
LLJ AXIS. THE VWP FROM LITTLE ROCK INDICATES 0-2 KM STORM RELATIVE
HELICITY FROM 300-400 M2/S2 BASED ON CURRENT STORM MOTIONS.
HOWEVER...STORMS MAY BE SLIGHTLY ELEVATED BASED ON CURRENT SURFACE
OBSERVATIONS AND EFFECTIVE HELICITY IS PROBABLY SOMEWHAT SMALLER.
THOUGH THE TORNADO THREAT IS NOT AS GREAT AS EARLIER THIS
AFTERNOON...PRIMARILY DUE TO A LESS UNSTABLE BOUNDARY LAYER...STORMS
REMAIN IN AN ENVIRONMENT WITH MODERATE INSTABILITY AND SUFFICIENT
EFFECTIVE SHEAR FOR SUPERCELL STRUCTURES...A FEW OF WHICH MAY STILL
BECOME CAPABLE OF PRODUCING ISOLATED TORNADOES.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomTaylor:
I enjoy math if it applies to things which I am interested in. For example, I'm in vector calculus right now. Some of the stuff we do can be computationally exhausting (like triple integrals), but it was interesting learning how to compute divergence and curl (measure of rotation). I could see right away how these ideas apply to meteorology and fluid flow in general.


The calculus of the gradient is another part of the vector calculus,which apply very good in the meteorology!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Near Marlow, OK.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomTaylor:
I enjoy math if it applies to things which I am interested in. For example, I'm in vector calculus right now. Some of the stuff we do can be computationally exhausting (like triple integrals), but it was interesting learning how to compute divergence and curl (measure of rotation). I could see write away how this applies to meteorology and fluid flow in general.


Yeah bro, this is calculus III here in DR..partial derivative is part of Cal III also, but the great stuff is calculus IV..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I thought geo was a car?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Think I will take math 90
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:


Hell no. I appreciate it for what it is and its importance to humanity, but that's about the extent of it, lol.
I enjoy math if it applies to things which I am interested in. For example, I'm in vector calculus right now. Some of the stuff we do can be computationally exhausting (like triple integrals), but it was interesting learning how to compute things like the gradient, divergence and curl (measure of rotation). I could see right away how these ideas apply to meteorology and fluid flow in general.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:


How a large, violent tornado stood still for nearly an hour (Bennington, Kansas)


Very impressive. Great article.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Will be interesting if this strong tropical wave will be market by NHC with any percent of probability!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Texas Storm Chasers
@TxStormChasers
This supercell was bearing down on Pauls Valley, OK around 8 PM.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looking over Bennington tornado information on NWS page, it appears that only damage up to EF3 is found in the path but DOW suggested EF4+ winds so they only went up one rating. No support for EF5. Maybe either DOW are overestimating the winds OR damage scale need to be adjusted again.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8009
Another discrepancy:

The National Weather Service says the maximum path width of the tornado was 0.85 miles. However, Wurman says 100 mph winds extended out about 1.5 miles.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32039


Near Bray, OK this evening
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:


How a large, violent tornado stood still for nearly an hour (Bennington, Kansas)


Great article!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Gearsts:
Strong wave on the GFS but way to early to worry if only it was late JULY.


That may be the big convective area just beggining to emerge West Africa.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14258
Quoting AussieStorm:


How a large, violent tornado stood still for nearly an hour (Bennington, Kansas)

"There was about a 2.5 km region (1.5 mile diameter) with winds of 100 mph or more,” Wurman said. "If this were moving, say, 2 mph, it would mean 45 minutes of 100 mph winds."

Bennington is very lucky. There would be nothing left of that city if the tornado had done such.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32039
So weird.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
As I said well earlier, the tornado near Bennington, Kansas has been rated an EF4. Exact winds of 180 mph. Josh Wurman and his DOW team recorded a maximum gust of 247 mph. He said that if the tornado had occurred over a populated area, it would've been an EF5.


How a large, violent tornado stood still for nearly an hour (Bennington, Kansas)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The measurements Wurman collected should be enough for EF5 designation as is. Not sure why NWS Topeka wouldn't go with it.
Is the rating still preliminary to look over datas or is it final? It's not the first time NWS ignored the measurements as TIV reported 175 mph winds before instruments blew away. That tornado ended up 140 mph EF3.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8009
Quoting Gearsts:
Strong wave on the GFS but way to early to worry if only it was late JULY.


It's been showing this off and on the last couple of days. As an admonishment, these vigorous tropical waves with embedded surface lows have the tendency to develop farther west amidst more favorable environmental conditions.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Strong wave on the GFS but way to early to worry if only it was late JULY.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Guess NWS didn't find scouring of ground or other EF5 damage.

The measurements Wurman collected should be enough for EF5 designation as is. Not sure why NWS Topeka wouldn't go with it.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32039
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
As I said well earlier, the tornado near Bennington, Kansas has been rated an EF4. Exact winds of 180 mph. Josh Wurman and his DOW team recorded a maximum gust of 247 mph. He said that if the tornado had occurred over a populated area, it would've been an EF5.
Guess NWS didn't find scouring of ground or other EF5 damage.
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8009
Good news concerning the GOES-13 recovery effort!

Link

Looks like they may have the sat operational by 05Jun. Good news for Hurricane season and from a Spaceweather perspective...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I am also kind of let down that we don't have a sloppy, asymmetrical tropical storm in the GOM or the Western Caribbean to track and get some weather from.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Less than 24 hours left for the Atlantic season to start.

Countdown
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14258
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Night guys :)


Night, Dean!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
As I said well earlier, the tornado near Bennington, Kansas has been rated an EF4. Exact winds of 180 mph. Josh Wurman and his DOW team recorded a maximum gust of 247 mph. He said that if the tornado had occurred over a populated area, it would've been an EF5.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32039
Night guys :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"Sneaked in to get your numbers and some else's... like Va's"
He's creeping around ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Am I the only one who feels let down that we didn't experience three tropical cyclones in the Pacific during the month of May? I just love setting new records. They make me want to snuggle with them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Yeah, as best I can tell from the satellite imagery, Barbara's remnants are sliding west. Nonetheless, this area has become a fairly healthy and symmetrical "blob". Probably will be gone in 12 hours though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:


:)


Is the convection near ex-Barbara far east of where any remaining llc may be? I wouldn't mind the rain here, as the last few days (10 days for that matter) have not brought much rain. I would welcome another TS Barry 2007.


That convection is what remains of day-time thunderstorms that have since moved into the BOC. I don't know if there is any circulation left of Barbara or how these thunderstorms will react with Barbara's remnants as they march westward.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I made a New blog! The 2013 Hurricane Season : What to Expect for the Upcoming Season Check it out if you want :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Time to Buckle for the Night - Stay Safe - Stay Dry - Stay Warm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Over 250 reports so far:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Now we've established what part of the spectrum you are on ;)


:)


Is the convection near ex-Barbara far east of where any remaining llc may be? I wouldn't mind the rain here, as the last few days (10 days for that matter) have not brought much rain. I would welcome another TS Barry 2007.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Out of the moderate threat for the rest of the evening.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting washingtonian115:
All this talk about math and I had a hard time with Geometry in H.S.lol.I stick at math.


If you plan on becoming a meteorologist you will need through at least Calculus 2, Linear Algebra, College Statistics at a minimal...and if you do poorly on your math placement test prepare to take a large helping of prerequisites. Don't forget the need for Physics classes as well as Thermodynamics, if you can't do these things then you are better off going the Emergency Management route imo.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
949. Gaara
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
My blog is almost done. Should be posting it soon! :)


Will it be as good as grothar's BobLoblawBlobBlog?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 999 - 949

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25Blog Index

Top of Page

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.