Tornado Scientist Tim Samaras and Team Killed in Friday's El Reno, OK Tornado

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:43 PM GMT on June 02, 2013

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Veteran tornado scientist Tim Samaras, his son, environmental photographer Paul Samaras, 24, and meteorologist Carl Young, 45, died while chasing Friday's EF-3 tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma. The tornado killed at least nine people, in total. "Thank you to everyone for the condolences. It truly is sad that we lost my great brother Tim and his great son, Paul," said the brother of Tim Samaras, Jim Samaras, on Tim's Facebook page. "They all unfortunately passed away but doing what they LOVED." Tim, his son Paul, and Carl Young were all featured chasers on the Discovery Channel’s series, Storm Chasers, and Tim was known throughout the chase community as a conscientious and safety-minded chaser. Carl Young, who holds a Masters degree in meteorology from the University of Nevada, joined Samaras in the field in 2003. According to his Discovery Channel biography, Young and Samaras chased over 125 tornadoes together: "Carl's finest moment came on June 11, 2004 near Storm Lake, Iowa. Working with Tim, they defied the odds and deployed their probes right in the path of a tornado. The six-camera video probe captured amazing footage from multiple angles while the sensor probe recorded data that revealed just how fast wind speeds are close to the ground."


Figure 1. TWC's Mike ‪Bettes‬ crew caught this image of the El Reno, Oklahoma tornado of May 31, 2013 before the tornado caught them and rolled their vehicle. The tornado killed tornado scientists/storm chasers Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young.


Figure 2. Storm chasers in North Dakota aligned themselves to spell out "T S" in honor of Tim Samaras today. Image credit: spotternetwork.org.

Tornado science loses a pioneer
Tim Samaras had been a tornado scientist for over 25 years. He was the founder of TWISTEX, the Tactical Weather Instrumented Sampling in Tornadoes Experiment, a 2011 field experiment designed to help learn more about tornadoes and increase lead time for warnings, which resulted in many peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations. One of Tim Samaras' most widely recognized contributions to tornado science is his placement of an aerodynamically-designed probe in the path of an EF-4 tornado near Manchester, South Dakota on June 24, 2003. The probe measured a world-record pressure fall of 100 mb over a 40 second period.

One of the publications from the TWISTEX program, "Near-Ground Pressure and Wind Measurements in Tornadoes" recounts this close call Tim had in a tornado in 2011: "As the storm approached, the crew noted that the supercell was moving more sharply to the right of its former course, placing them near the projected path of the low-level mesocyclone. The crew drove south on Highway 259, attempting to position south of the low-level mesocyclone before it crossed the highway. With considerable tree cover in this region hampering the visual observation of the storm's features, TWISTEX crews could not position south of the mesocyclone on Highway 259 before the mesocyclone reached this road. Thus, the two mobile mesonet stations, M2 and M3, had an unplanned tornado encounter with a developing tornadic circulation while the mesonet was traveling south on Highway 259."


Figure 3. One of Tim Samaras' most widely recognized contributions to tornado science is his placement of an aerodynamically-designed probe in the path of an EF-4 tornado near Manchester, South Dakota on June 24, 2003. The probe measured a world-record pressure fall of 100 mb over a 40 second period. See the NWS article and conference paper on the event. Thanks to wunderground member Scott Lincoln for this link.

A storm chasers' nightmare
Cars and tornadoes can prove a dangerous mix even for the world's most experienced storm chasers. Driving at high speeds though heavy rain, large hail, and high winds is hazardous. If one is lucky enough to chase down a tornado, even the most experienced chasers can find themselves in a serious life-threatening situation when unexpected events occur. The exact circumstances of the deaths of Tim Samaras and his team are not clear, but the El Reno tornado was an extremely dangerous one to chase. Tornadoes by their nature are unpredictable, and can change course unexpectedly, or pop up suddenly. It's particularly dangerous when a tornado is wrapped in rain, making it hard to see, or if a chaser is operating in a heavily populated area, where roads may suddenly become congested. All four of these conditions occurred Friday during the El Reno tornado. The El Reno tornado was wrapped in rain and difficult to see as it headed west towards Oklahoma City, and suddenly made a jog to the southeast as a Weather Channel team led by Mike Bettes was attempting to get in front of the storm, and the tornado lifted their vehicle off the ground, rolled it multiple times, and hurled it 200 yards into a nearby field. Austin Anderson was driving the Tornado Hunt vehicle, and suffered several broken bones and was hospitalized. Although Austin will have to undergo surgery in the next few days, doctors say he is expected to make a full recovery. StormChasingVideo.com storm chaser Brandon Sullivan and his chase partner Brett Wright got caught in the tornado northwest of Union City, OK and slammed with debris as the tornado hit a barn that exploded in front of them. Meteorologist Emily Sutton and storm chaser Kevin Josefy of local Oklahoma City TV station KFOR also had a very close call with the El Reno tornado Friday afternoon. They got too close to the tornado, and were forced to floor the car in reverse to escape flying debris. With branches of trees crashing around them, Sutton began feeling debris hitting her back, and realized that the rear windshield of the car must have gotten destroyed. Both were uninjured. Reed Timmer's armor-plated "Dominator" chase vehicle had its hood torn off by the tornado. Wunderground member Levi32 was out storm chasing during the El Reno Tornado, and got stuck in traffic on Highway 4 and couldn't move. "We looked up above the car and saw the wall cloud over top of us, with very quick rotation and rising scud indicating the updraft. We were definitely too close."


Video 1. Severe storm researcher and engineer Tim Samaras talks about his view on tornadoes and what remains to be understood in this interview posted on May 21, 2013.


Video 2. A tornado passes over one of Tim Samaras' specially designed six-camera video probes on June 11, 2004 near Storm Lake, Iowa.

Tornadoes and cars: a dangerous mix
A vehicle is about the worst place you can be in a tornado, as the tornado's winds can easily roll a car. (The only place less safe is probably a mobile home, as a tornado's winds can roll mobile homes almost as readily, and mobile homes don't come with seat belts and air bags.) At least five of the deaths in Friday's El Reno tornado occurred in vehicles. There was one local TV station that urged residents without underground shelters to get in their cars and "get south" in advance of the tornado that was approaching Oklahoma City, since chasers were reporting that the El Reno tornado may have been so strong that only an underground shelter would have provided adequate protection. This terrible piece of advice likely contributed to the incredible traffic jams that we saw on I-35, I-40, I-44, and other local roads Friday night. Thousands of cars were bumper-to-bumper on the roads as a dangerous tornado approached them. Had the El Reno tornado plowed directly down one of these car-choked interstates, the death toll could have easily exceeded 500. If you are located in a metro area and don't have an underground shelter, the best thing to do it to take shelter in an interior windowless room or hallway, with protective furniture over your body. Getting in a car and attempting to flee the tornado is the worst thing you can do in an urban area. You may not be able to see the tornado if it is dark or the tornado is wrapped in rain. You are likely to encounter hazardous winds, rain, and hail, run into unexpected traffic, or flooded or debris-blocked roads that will put you directly in the path of the tornado. Even without an underground shelter, most people will be able to survive a dangerous EF-4 tornado. Case in point: during the Mannsford, Oklahoma EF- 4 tornado of 1984, a packed church received a direct hit, and everyone in the church survived. The only fatality was a man who drove to the church to get his wife. It is often better to abandon your vehicle and take shelter in a ditch, if you are caught in a car during a tornado. However, if there is already flying debris in the air, leaving your car and exposing yourself to the debris in order to get to a ditch may be more hazardous than staying in your car. Furthermore, ditches are prone to flash floods. Four deaths during the El Reno tornado were from a family of seven that sheltered in a drainage ditch, and were washed into the Deep Fork River by a flash flood. Searchers are still looking for the other three bodies. A 2002 research paper, "UNSAFE AT ANY (WIND) SPEED? Testing the Stability of Motor Vehicles in Severe Winds" found that: "The stability and superior safety of being in a vehicle in severe winds, relative to occupying a mobile home or being outdoors, should be considered." Also, TWC's severe weather expert, Dr. Greg Forbes, commented on the pros and cons of abandoning one's vehicle for a ditch in a 2009 blog post, "Tornado Safety - Cars Versus Ditches: A Controversy." His personal take on what he would do if his car was being overtaken by a tornado, and no sturdy buildings were nearby to take shelter in: "I can't see myself getting out of the vehicle. I'd try first to drive away from the tornado. Both the NWS and the American Red Cross actually also advocate this. If you can determine which way the tornado is moving toward, face your body toward that direction and then go to the right, as shown in the diagram below. That is usually toward the south or southeast. The reason that it's best to head this way is that if you went to the left you would normally get into the region where largest hail and blinding rain occur in the kind of supercell, rotating thunderstorms that often spawn tornadoes. If I had no such driving option and I did feel the urge to get out of my car, I'd try to get into a building, and into a ditch well away from the car as the last resort."

My condolences and prayers go to all of the family and friends of Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young. Their deaths are a terrible shock to the meteorological community, and a great loss for tornado science. I hope that their deaths will lead towards safer tornado chasing, and help spur efforts to use emerging drone technology to take measurements in dangerous storms such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Here is what's left of Tim's truck after his deadly encounter with the EF3 tornado.

I don't mean to take away from the tragedy of this loss of life, but I am so thankful a violent tornado did not move through OKC with all that traffic on the interstates. Otherwise, this picture would have been one of hundreds.... OKC was spared a catastrophe.

My condolences go out to the families who have lost loved ones this tornado season. Tornadoes are truly terrifying beasts.
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Quoting sar2401:

Holy crap! It's no wonder they were killed. :-( What was the EF rating on this tornado again?

It has received a rating of an EF3 given the structures it hit, but there's no doubt in my mind that it was stronger.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
Quoting sar2401:

Umm...no. The upgrades were mainly to improve winter storm forecasting, something the CMC has always been relatively good at. The CMC is pretty good at picking up where a low might form almost anywhere in North America, but its record with path and strength for tropical and subtropical systems has been dismal at best. I would have to see some operational evidence that this has changed with the new upgrades before putting a lot of faith in the CMC for tropical systems.
I was also thinking that the qualities CMC is best for - picking out low formation - would work anywhere in the basin, but being fine-tuned for larger non-tropical lows might cause the "blowing everything up to cat-5" feedback we often see.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Here is what's left of Tim's truck after his deadly encounter with the EF3 tornado.


Holy crap! It's no wonder they were killed. :-( What was the EF rating on this tornado again?
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Quoting ndscott50:
Condolences to the Samaras and Young families.

Hopefully the chasing community and the weather channel can organize an investigation to find out what happened and learn lessons to prevent this in the future.

I was discussing this with a Search and Rescue team member in Colorado. We were comparing it to a recent avalanche that killed 5 very experienced backcountry travelers in May. Many of the rescuers in that incident were surprised at the route the group caught in the avalanche took feeling it was a poor choice. One factor suspected is a type of group think. Someone made the decision to cross a known avalanche terrain trap. The group as a whole may have failed to adequately question the decision, knowing it came from an expert.

In Oklahoma there were a number of experienced storm chasers on site. In retrospect it appears several poor decisions may have been made. They were on the north side of a rain wrapped tornado, with only a north/south road available. There were also traffic concerns. I wonder if the number of experienced storm chasers gave a false sense of security to the group and perpetuated errors in decision making?
Hopefully a full investigation can take place. It is easy to write it off as a freak occurrence but I suspect if they dig into what happened a lot can be learned that will help protect people in the future.

It's actually much worse than groupthink - it's too much information. Almost all the chasers locate themselves using GPS and that information is viewed by all the other chasers in the area. All of them know who the real "experts" are and watch which way they're headed. The herd follows the experts. In this case, the experts were making some bad decisions as well as dealing with a large and sometimes unpredictable cyclone. I suspect that, by the time the experts knew they were in trouble, it was too late, and they had no escape route, due to the lack of bridges over the Candian River and congested roads. As bad as it was to lose three chasers and have others injured, it really is amazing that more of them didn't get injured or killed. There are some things just not worth doing, for love nor money.
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Here is what's left of Tim's truck after his deadly encounter with the EF3 tornado.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
From what i can see at this time


Link
yeap
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Quoting stormchaser19:
Thanks.Dr.Masters..
From the previous blog

CMC UPGRADE
MAJOR UPGRADE TO THE GLOBAL DETERMINISTIC PREDICTION SYSTEM GDPS-
VERSION 3.0.0) AT THE CANADIAN METEOROLOGICAL CENTRE
ON WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 13, 2013, STARTING WITH THE 1200 UTC RUN, THE
CANADIAN METEOROLOGICAL CENTRE (CMC) OF THE METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE
OF CANADA (MSC) WILL IMPLEMENT VERSION 3.0.0 OF ITS GLOBAL
DETERMINISTIC PREDICTION SYSTEM (GDPS), HEREAFTER REFERRED TO AS
GDPS-3.0.0. THE MAIN CHANGES OF THIS UPDATE ARE:

- CHANGES TO THE 4D-VAR DATA ASSIMILATION SYSTEM: - THE USE OF
ADDITIONAL REMOTE SENSING DATA: - AN INCREASE IN HORIZONTAL
RESOLUTION FROM 33 TO 25 KM: - IMPORTANT CHANGES IN THE GEM MODEL
PHYSICS: - AND 1200 UTC RUNS NOW DONE TO 240 HOURS AS FOR 0000 UTC
RUNS.

OBJECTIVE SCORES DONE IN DEVELOPMENT AND PARALLEL RUN PHASES SHOW
IMPROVEMENTS IN THE FORECASTS WITH MOST METRICS THROUGHOUT MOST OF
THE ATMOSPHERE, IN PARTICULAR OVER NORTH AMERICA IN WINTER.
THESE
IMPROVEMENTS ARE OF AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE USUALLY SEEN ONLY ONCE IN
A DECADE.
A SUBJECTIVE EVALUATION BY OPERATIONAL METEOROLOGISTS AT
CMC CONFIRMED THOSE IMPROVEMENTS. OTHER FORECAST SYSTEMS WHICH
DEPEND ON GDPS OUTPUT ALSO BENEFIT FROM THE GDPS-3.0.0. CHANGES
WERE MADE TO THE REGIONAL DETERMINISTIC PREDICTION SYSTEM (RDPS) TO
HARMONIZE IT WITH THE NEW GDPS, AND THE RDPS FORECASTS ARE ALSO
IMPROVED AS A RESULT, SO ITS VERSION NUMBER IS ALSO INCREASED TO
3.1.0, AND IS HEREAFTER REFERRED TO AS RDPS-3.1.0.
I was thinking as I read this that considering that CMC is designed to give optimal performance for winter storms impacting Canada, it does a pretty darned good job with tropical cyclogenesis...

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
And a word from somebody I found funny before now:

@Ralphie_May
Stars of the Weather Channel's 'Storm Chasers' were killed in a tornado in Oklahoma. Sometimes God just cleans the gene pool up.

I cannot believe some people.
Who is this ralphie may.?
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21416
At the end of the day what could inspire anyone to get so close to a tornado understanding the risks and defying common sense and logic. I am sorry for any loss of life but their deaths were indeed meaningless because it did not have had to happen.
Member Since: June 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1365
From what i can see at this time


Link
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looks like there may be a Mid level center trying to get going near the NE tip of the yucatan peninsula look at the visible images
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3:44 p.m. EDT Sunday: Severe storms increasing west of Washington, D.C.

3:32 p.m. EDT Sunday: Thunderstorm capable of producing quarter-sized hail and damaging winds has been reported in Woodstock, N.H. This storm is headed toward Plymouth, N.H.

3:31 p.m. EDT Sunday: A thunderstorm wind gust of 60 mph reported near Guerette, Maine.

3:19 p.m. EDT Sunday: The middle of Bennington, Vt., is covered with 8-10 inches of flood water.
Member Since: October 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2026
Quoting sar2401:

We've had those high PWAT numbers over SE Alabama for 3 days and we've gotten...nothing...zip...nada. It's 93 with a dewpoint of 72 right now and we have a few scattered storms to our NW trying to form up into a line but it's skinny and weak. Without some instability, the PWAT is just a number.
Of course--but as noted in comment #67, we'll have plenty of instability and lift to make those incredibly high PWAT indices more than "just a number". ;-)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
And a word from somebody I found funny before now:

@Ralphie_May
Stars of the Weather Channel's 'Storm Chasers' were killed in a tornado in Oklahoma. Sometimes God just cleans the gene pool up.

I cannot believe some people.


This is the kinda stuff that turned me atheist... Seriously, those people disgust me.
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And a word from somebody I found funny before now:

@Ralphie_May
Stars of the Weather Channel's 'Storm Chasers' were killed in a tornado in Oklahoma. Sometimes God just cleans the gene pool up.

I cannot believe some people.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275

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Quoting Neapolitan:
Those higher PWAT numbers are in the 99th percentile for this time of year, and are in fact bumping up against the theoretical maximum. As such, I suspect we'll see some flood watches issued. From our own Scott Lincoln:

Something

We've had those high PWAT numbers over SE Alabama for 3 days and we've gotten...nothing...zip...nada. It's 93 with a dewpoint of 72 right now and we have a few scattered storms to our NW trying to form up into a line but it's skinny and weak. Without some instability, the PWAT is just a number. I hope we'll see more instability in the Gulf over the next few days but it's not looking hopeful right now.
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Condolences to ALL of the families impacted by this storm.

As i said before, lucky that we are not hearing more about deaths/injuries from the storm chasers:

This is from the TWC video I linked to before, showing the locations of storm spotters literally "in" the tornado.

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if the area of disturbed weather persists we may get tropical development very soon near the yucatan as the GFS model has been indicating for days.
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Quoting yonzabam:
Flash Floods and Tornadoes Kill 12 in Oklahoma and Arkansas

A UK take on the events from the UK Guardian newspaper. The usual anti American rhetoric in the comments section, I'm afraid. Okay, if it's a political story, but weather?

Link

The story is actually a rehash from the US Associated Press. Only the comments are from the UK. Frankly, comments I've seen on Yahoo from US residents about severe weather in the South have been much more vicious.
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Flash Floods and Tornadoes Kill 12 in Oklahoma and Arkansas

A UK take on the events from the Guardian newspaper. The usual anti American rhetoric in the comments section, I'm afraid. Okay, if it's a political story, but weather?

Link
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Ditto, from back blog.

The NWS Norman writeup, "The central Oklahoma tornadoes and flash flooding May 31, 2013 includes photos and radar loops, tracks and preliminary ratings.



An FYI for those not familiar with the territory:

Live TV coverage from chasers on the scene reported (at least some of the) chaser vehicles impacted Near I 40 and hwy 81, 81 being the only way south where you can cross the Canadian River for miles (west to east) in either direction. Hwy 81 is pretty much on a N-S line from El Reno to Minco.

This tornado formed SW of El Reno and just north of the River. If chasers were under or near the storm when it formed, and videos seem to show this, looks like some at least drove east to the only possible road where they could to get south and away. Meanwhile, the east-moving cell turned SE, then NE right about at the escape route, as shown in the video.

All I have to say.
bfout
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3:12 p.m. EDT Sunday: Thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado reported near Eagle Lake, Maine. The storm is headed toward Saint Agatha, Maine.
Member Since: October 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2026
Posted in the back blog without realizing this new on was up.

This is for Doc M who mentioned on TWC today using drones for tornado research.
Oklahoma State University working on storm drones.

"The drones could be operating in roughly five years, designers estimate. But there are limitations on immediately using the technology, including current Federal Aviation Administration rules that mandate where and how drones can be safely launched in U.S. air space. The agency's regulations also require operators of such machines to physically see the aircraft at all times, limiting the range to a mile or two (1.6 to 3.2 kilometers)."


RIP to the chasers and all who perished in the tornadoes and flooding in Oklahoma and Missouri May 31, thirteen total at last count, including three in Missouri flooding. It is unclear how many of the ten confirmed dead in Oklahoma perished from tornadoes or floods, or both. One confirmed death reported by The Oklahoman, OKC newspaper, happened when a family took shelter in a ditch and were swept away by flood water.
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Tornado Warning for Aroostook County in ME until 3:45 PM EDT
Member Since: October 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2026

A t-storm wind gust of 60 mph was reported in Saint Francis, ME.
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Thank you Dr. Masters for the updated blog..
Condolences to the Samara and Young families..
A touching memorial from their comrades..
I have a feeling they will find the camera and gear..
When they do it possibly may be their finest contribution..
Being they were true scientists, that would be what they would want and expect..
GB to them..
Thanks again
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Heartbreaking to hear of the stormchasers passing.. As well as all affected by these tornados. Stay safe everyone.
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Quoting K8eCane:


is this the ukmet?


Yes, that is from the UKMET forecast office, based on their global model.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11215
storms this time of year are ugly and sheared. if we get one sometime this week it will look similar to debby of last year
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maya_sugarmanMaya Sugarman 17 m

A photo of destruction in Lake Hughes by #PowerhouseFire, at 19,500 acres. More photos @KPCC: http://kp.cc/15tXhRE Link
Member Since: October 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2026
500mb vorticity very elongated. It still absorbing the circulation if ex90L. It will a little while before this can consolidate.

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AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
244 PM EDT SUN JUN 2 2013

.DISCUSSION...


LITTLE CHANGE IN THE OVERALL FORECAST WITH DEEP TROPICAL MOISTURE
EXPECTED TO PERSIST ACROSS THE REGION THROUGH AT LEAST MID-WEEK
WHICH WILL MAINTAIN ELEVATED CHANCES OF CONVECTION ACROSS THE
REGION. THE GLOBAL MODELS CONTINUE TO INDICATE A BROAD SURFACE LOW OR
TROUGH MOVING FROM THE VICINITY OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA NORTHWARD
INTO THE SOUTHERN OR EAST CENTRAL GULF BY TUESDAY...WITH THE GFS
MODEL MOVING THE TROUGH MORE NORTHWARD AND EASTWARD THAT THE ECMWF
MODEL. BOTH THE GFS SHORT RANGE ENSEMBLE AND THE ENSEMBLE GUIDANCE
INDICATE A SLOWER PROGRESSION OF THE LOW AS COMPARED TO THE GFS
OPERATIONAL RUN. SO THERE IS THE USUAL UNCERTAINTY...BUT THERE DOES
NOT APPEAR TO BE MUCH DISAGREEMENT ABOUT THE POTENTIAL FOR DEEP
TROPICAL MOISTURE AND CONVECTION THROUGH AT LEAST MID WEEK...THERE
IS MODEL CONSENSUS ON THE POTENTIAL FOR CONVECTION. SO NUMEROUS TO
SCATTERED SHOWERS AND CHANCES OF THUNDERSTORMS ARE MAINTAINED
THROUGH WEDNESDAY. FOR MONDAY THE CONVECTION WILL LIKELY CONTINUE
TO BE DIURNALLY DRIVEN WITH MAINLY AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING
SHOWERS/THUNDERSTORMS. BY TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY A MID TO UPPER
LEVEL TROUGH MAY AFFECT THE REGION THAT MAY RESULT IN GREATER
OVERALL SYNOPTIC LIFT THAT COULD ENHANCE THE POTENTIAL FOR
CONVECTION. LASTLY...FORECAST SOUNDINGS INDICATE THAT PWAT`S ALONG THE EAST
COAST COULD BE AROUND 2.2 INCHES MONDAY AND TUESDAY WHEREAS ALONG
THE WEST COASTAL ZONES THEY COULD CLIMB TO NEAR 2.4 OR 2.5 INCHES
BY TUESDAY.


Those higher PWAT numbers are in the 99th percentile for this time of year, and are in fact bumping up against the theoretical maximum. As such, I suspect we'll see some flood watches issued. From our own Scott Lincoln:

Something
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Quoting Ricki13th:


Actually I been noticing upper level winds are decreasing in the Northern Gulf and heading south and the upper level ridge over the Yucatan and Mexico is moving into the NW Caribbean due to latent heat from the intense convection in that area. However, shear is very diffult to forecast.


you got that right
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My video today is going to be around 4 hours late I'm afraid, mostly due to my own carelessness in the processing of the video so be aware I'm going to still be using the 06z and 00z runs.
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Quoting jeffs713:

And that actually proves my point. I'm not saying the CMC is ALWAYS wrong - I'm just saying that if the CMC is the only thing showing something, chances are that its out to lunch. There is also a chance it could be right now and then - even a stopped clock has the right time, twice a day.


Now i agree with you, that is what i'm trying to say, if true that CMC is far the worst of the reliable models, but sometimes he handle the situation very well...despite being inconsistent the most of the time...
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Quoting ndscott50:
Condolences to the Samaras and Young families.

Hopefully the chasing community and the weather channel can organize an investigation to find out what happened and learn lessons to prevent this in the future.
. . .

In Oklahoma there were a number of experienced storm chasers on site. In retrospect it appears several poor decisions may have been made. They were on the north side of a rain wrapped tornado, with only a north/south road available. There were also traffic concerns. I wonder if the number of experienced storm chasers gave a false sense of security to the group and perpetuated errors in decision making?
Hopefully a full investigation can take place. It is easy to write it off as a freak occurrence but I suspect if they dig into what happened a lot can be learned that will help protect people in the future.


very lucky that many more were not hurt/killed.

Post-analysis of the May 31 tornado on TWC - including locations of spotters in the tornado

Link


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Quoting jeffs713:

And that actually proves my point. I'm not saying the CMC is ALWAYS wrong - I'm just saying that if the CMC is the only thing showing something, chances are that its out to lunch. There is also a chance it could be right now and then - even a stopped clock has the right time, twice a day.
Haha at the last part. Okay I thought I knew what you meant. Actually the GFS could be seeing a change in the synoptic pattern across the Gulf that would lessen the chance for development. And remember it nailed Debby's track whereas the other models had it going one way while the GFS other way. The GFS performed great last year as well.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
new map shows shear dropping out in the NW Caribbean while shear increases in the GOM and Bahamas


Actually I been noticing upper level winds are decreasing in the Northern Gulf and heading south and the upper level ridge over the Yucatan and Mexico is moving into the NW Caribbean due to latent heat from the intense convection in that area. However, shear is very diffult to forecast.

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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Post 45. Shows the ECMWF agreeing with the CMC on formation and track, not on intensity though. Regardless I think a sheared system, perhaps similar to Debby and Gordon in 2000. The GFS has not handled the situation well, with one run having a developed storm and the other splitting the storm into pieces of energy and shooting them off to the Northeast, to nothing now.

And that actually proves my point. I'm not saying the CMC is ALWAYS wrong - I'm just saying that if the CMC is the only thing showing something, chances are that its out to lunch. There is also a chance it could be right now and then - even a stopped clock has the right time, twice a day.

I've always leaned towards the consensus within multiple model runs - if something agrees with the CMC, the CMC might be onto something. But the CMC has a reputation for consistently spinning up EVERYTHING, and the other models don't come up with anything even remotely similar. (CMC = Constantly Making Cyclones) Granted, when the CMC spins up its daily storm, it is an area to watch on the other models - but not obsess over. (not saying anyone is doing that now... just stating my personal position)
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Quoting K8eCane:


is this the ukmet?

Not exactly, but the data is based on the UKMET.
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Quoting jeffs713:
The CMC has, and always will be focused on the continent during the winter. It has never done well for the tropics, and quite honestly, likely never will. Its intent is to focus on Canada, during their worst weather season - the winter.

The Euro and GFS are both global in nature, and are much better references for tropical cyclogenesis.

The NAM is best for watching the synoptic pattern and how it will influence an already-formed storm.

The GFDL and HWRF are best for watching an already-formed storm on a smaller scale.

And the NOGAPS and UKMET are there to give additional viewpoints on a global scale.

Trying to hang your hat on a CMC run is akin to bet on a horse race using a Sports Illustrated magazine as your guide. (hint: its pretty useless)

Post 45. Shows the ECMWF agreeing with the CMC on formation and track, not on intensity though. Regardless I think a sheared system, perhaps similar to Debby and Gordon in 2000. The GFS has not handled the situation well, with one run having a developed storm and the other splitting the storm into pieces of energy and shooting them off to the Northeast, to nothing now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Luisport:
A thunderstorm wind gust knocked down multiple trees in Cambridge, NY
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
MET OFFICE TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE FOR NORTH-EAST PACIFIC



AND ATLANTIC



GLOBAL MODEL DATA TIME 12UTC 02.06.2013



NEW TROPICAL STORM FORECAST TO DEVELOP AFTER 72 HOURS

FORECAST POSITION AT T+ 72 : 25.1N 89.0W



VERIFYING TIME POSITION STRENGTH TENDENCY

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

12UTC 05.06.2013 25.1N 89.0W WEAK

00UTC 06.06.2013 26.1N 90.2W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE

12UTC 06.06.2013 26.3N 88.9W MODERATE INTENSIFYING RAPIDLY

00UTC 07.06.2013 27.9N 86.9W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE

12UTC 07.06.2013 31.7N 83.2W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE

00UTC 08.06.2013 35.7N 78.5W MODERATE INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY

12UTC 08.06.2013 38.5N 74.4W STRONG INTENSIFYING RAPIDLY





THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AS GUIDANCE FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

RSMCS. IT REQUIRES INTERPRETATION BY TROPICAL CYCLONE SPECIALISTS

AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A FINAL PRODUCT





MET OFFICE, EXETER, UK




is this the ukmet?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A thunderstorm wind gust knocked down multiple trees in Cambridge, NY
Member Since: October 27, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2026
new map shows shear dropping out in the NW Caribbean while shear increases in the GOM and Bahamas
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12151
MET OFFICE TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE FOR NORTH-EAST PACIFIC



AND ATLANTIC



GLOBAL MODEL DATA TIME 12UTC 02.06.2013



NEW TROPICAL STORM FORECAST TO DEVELOP AFTER 72 HOURS

FORECAST POSITION AT T+ 72 : 25.1N 89.0W



VERIFYING TIME POSITION STRENGTH TENDENCY

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

12UTC 05.06.2013 25.1N 89.0W WEAK

00UTC 06.06.2013 26.1N 90.2W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE

12UTC 06.06.2013 26.3N 88.9W MODERATE INTENSIFYING RAPIDLY

00UTC 07.06.2013 27.9N 86.9W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE

12UTC 07.06.2013 31.7N 83.2W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE

00UTC 08.06.2013 35.7N 78.5W MODERATE INTENSIFYING SLIGHTLY

12UTC 08.06.2013 38.5N 74.4W STRONG INTENSIFYING RAPIDLY





THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AS GUIDANCE FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

RSMCS. IT REQUIRES INTERPRETATION BY TROPICAL CYCLONE SPECIALISTS

AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A FINAL PRODUCT





MET OFFICE, EXETER, UK


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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.