Can a Sharknado hit Los Angeles?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:38 PM GMT on July 17, 2013

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I learned something from watching the movie "Sharknado", SyFy Channel's twisted cross between Jaws, The Day After Tomorrow, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which premiered last Thursday (and will be aired again this Thursday.) My hurricane disaster kit is incomplete without a chainsaw. Not only can a chainsaw come in handy to remove fallen debris after the storm--it can be an essential self-defense weapon in case a hurricane spawns a "Sharknado"--a powerful waterspout that picks up man-eating sharks out of the ocean and hurls them miles inland.



"Sharknado" is set in Los Angeles, where huge and dangerous Hurricane David is making landfall. The satellite images of the hurricane show a very nasty-looking storm that is at least Category 3, but has the rather unusual (and impossible) characteristic that it spins clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. Thousands of bloodthirsty sharks swarm inland with the hurricane's storm surge and are hurled through the air by the EF-4 waterspouts turned tornadoes that accompany the storm. A lot of blood spurts, a lot of bad acting and lame dialog occur, and plenty of improbable or impossible meteorological events happen--complete with cheesy computer graphic animations. ("Sharknado" seriously challenges The Day After Tomorrow for greatest number of impossible meteorological events packed into a single movie.) But, as long as you don't take the movie too seriously, and look at it as a campy low-budget parody of both disaster movies and horror movies, "Sharknado" is a hoot. I give "Sharknado" two stars (out of four.) The movie is produced by "B" movie studio Asylum, and stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid. "Sharknado" is airing again at 7pm EDT/6pm CDT on Thursday, July 18, on the SyFy Channel.


Figure 1. Hurricane Linda heads north along the Baja California coast towards towards San Diego on September 12, 1997, as seen by the NOAA GOES-9 satellite. Images and rendering by Marit Jentoft-Nilsen of NASA.

Hurricanes do occur in Southern California
Southern California has been affected by one full-fledged hurricane in recorded history, a Category 1 storm that brought 80 mph winds to San Diego on October 2, 1858. More recently, a 1939 tropical storm brought 52 mph winds to the coast south of Los Angeles, and caused $2 million in property damage--mostly to shipping, shore structures, power and communication lines, and crops. Forty-five lives were lost at sea during the storm. Hurricane Linda of 1997, which occurred during a strong El Niño event that significantly warmed the ocean waters along the Mexican Pacific coast, was forecast by the National Hurricane Center for a couple of advisories to make landfall near San Diego as a minimal hurricane or strong tropical storm. Category 5 Linda was the strongest hurricane ever observed in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, but weakened over cold water and turned out to sea without affecting Southern California. A Category 3 or stronger storm affecting Southern California, as depicted in "Sharknado", is pretty much impossible in the current climate, though. The California Current that flows southwards along the coast of California and Baja Mexico features waters temperatures that are too cold to support a major hurricane.

Falls of fish from the sky
There have been numerous reports of waterspouts or tornadoes picking up fish out of the sea or out of lakes and creating a "rain of fish." For example, hundreds of perch bombarded residents of the small Australian outback town of Lajamanu in 2010. In the U.S., thousands of small fish, frogs and crayfish fell from the sky during a rainstorm at Magnolia Terminal near Thomasville, Alabama, on the morning of June 28, 1957. Many of the fish were alive and were placed in ponds and swimming pools. An F2 tornado fifteen miles to the south spawned by the outer bands of Hurricane Audrey was likely responsible for getting the creatures airborne. William Corliss' intriguing book, "Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomena", has an entire chapter devoted to unusual creatures and objects that have fallen from the sky. He relates that in 1946, a scientist at the American Museum of Natural History named E. W. Gudger documented 78 reliable reports of fish falls from all over the world. The largest fish was a large-mouthed bass 9 1/4 inches long, and the heaviest was a six pound fish that fell in India. There were no reports of large, 2000-pound great white sharks, as depicted by "Sharknado", though. Wunderground, for now, has decided not to create a new "Sharknado" weather icon for the web site, due to the low probability of such an event occurring with the current laws of physics being what they are.


Video 1. Official trailer for "Sharknado."

Jeff Masters

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Quoting 64. 954FtLCane:


Thought I'd share this. I took this about 20 minutes ago. I live in Oakland Park just west of 95 and it poured for what seemed like most of this morning. It finally stopped pouring and it is currently only sprinkling. Both the county and city have been out but not much can be done since we have a canal in our back yard that is flooded out and our street out front is as well. As they said, there is no where for the water to go. Someone please take this rain away!

No comment.
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Thought I'd share this. I took this about 20 minutes ago. I live in Oakland Park just west of 95 and it poured for what seemed like most of this morning. It finally stopped pouring and it is currently only sprinkling. Both the county and city have been out but not much can be done since we have a canal in our back yard that is flooded out and our street out front is as well. As they said, there is no where for the water to go. Someone please take this rain away!
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Quoting 62. Murko:
I would highly recommend that NO ONE watches Sharknado. Apart from a little novelty, the acting, direction and editing made me want to tear my own eyes out.

However, I am looking forward to the sequels: Here-e-cane, Earthquack and Shih Tzunami.

Shih Tzunami...good one!
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I would highly recommend that NO ONE watches Sharknado. Apart from a little novelty, the acting, direction and editing made me want to tear my own eyes out.

However, I am looking forward to the sequels: Hare-e-cane, Earthquack and Shih Tzunami.
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Quoting 57. barbamz:


You got me, lol! Happened in some lessons about literature treating rhetoric termini technici that I had to memorize this stuff.


I hope txjac (and others of course) gets some rain!

The storm has become a remnat low!
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That area/wave between Florida and the Bahamas is being ventilated by the Tutt/ULL surrounding it (see below) which keeps on enhancing the baroclinic convection but not subject to tropical development.

Link

However, the rain continues for South Florida and the Bahamas.
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I thought i would find a nice new post from Mr. Masters....I seen the title and it translated in my mind to 'Better luck next time'

Oh well.

Atlantic looks nice today...excluding the northern Bahamas.
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Quoting 55. hurricanes2018:

I C the SAL by the I of the C.
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Quoting 49. sar2401:

LOL, Barb. Did you go to Catholic school? It seems like only we Catholic school graduates have much use for Latin nowadays. :-)


You got me, lol! Happened in some lessons about literature treating rhetoric termini technici that I had to memorize this stuff.


I hope txjac (and others of course) gets some rain!
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Quoting biff4ugo:
You are the BEST Dr. M!

I needed that.

At least they didn't ride a shark strapped to a rocket, full of dynamite, into a volcano! That would be too macho!

That's planned for the sequel. You'll hear about it here first. :-)
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Quoting 32. Grothar:


You know me, I never write panicky blogs, but this rain is really getting serious. Normally we used to get the quick thunderstorms and 10 minute rains, but these past two months are terrible.


I've had 4.62" of rain so far this month..
And average is 4.80"..
Almost a months worth of rain here in 17 days..
I hope you don't get too much..
Water/Flooding is the worst..
Hardly anything is salvageable..



Quoting 23. mikatnight:


I get the feeling you're not out to make friends and influence people. Last time I quote ya.


Hey Mik..
I like what you post and all that but I wouldn't go personal on here..
Mods are getting hyper..
My suggestion is use the " - " button and Iggy option if you don't like someones post..
I've had to myself..
Just sayin'.. :)
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Quoting 20. mikatnight:
Stupid laws of physics! Thank god Hollywood is not bound by such pesky obstacles. I believe Bassnadoes are a serious threat here. Even worse, are the LargeMouthBassnadoes. You get hit with one of them babies, it'll take your head clean off. (So, tell me punk, do you feel lucky?)



I guess we need to start fishing with kites. In the current climate
largemouthnadoes are more likely downwind of lakes, ponds and
the lower stagnant reaches of rivers while smallmouthnadoes are more likely
near upper well oxygenated reaches of rivers. Troutnadoes only occur in early to mid spring and may be eliminated by global warming when local trout stocking
efforts are abandoned. The exception is browntroutnadoes which
occur in warmer conditions than other trout prefixed storms.


By the way a clockwise cyclostrophically balanced NH tropical cyclone is theoretically possible but the odds against are almost infinitely large
and none have ever been recorded.

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the wave by the islands was the wave the GFS tried to develop into dorian
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Today

http://moe.met.fsu.edu/cgi-bin/gfstc2.cgi?time=20 13071706&field=Sea+Level+Pressure&hour=180hr

+180 hrs

With the High holding it's position and strenght i would not be surprised if we get a few Cape Verde systems in the GOMEX. Can anyone here compare this to the setup in 2005?
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Quoting barbamz:


Serious Grothar = contradictio in adjecto
(look it up in Wiki, guys, lol)


This time I post the Epac, fitting the blog entry.

LOL, Barb. Did you go to Catholic school? It seems like only we Catholic school graduates have much use for Latin nowadays. :-)
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I am watching this tropical wave at 23.5 west
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No comment...just lurking...
Link
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Quoting Grothar:


You know me, I never write panicky blogs, but this rain is really getting serious. Normally we used to get the quick thunderstorms and 10 minute rains, but these past two months are terrible.

Morning, Gro. Seems like Florida just can't catch a break this season. If it's not you guys in south Florida, then the Panhandle is getting pounded. The rains have left us in SE AL but not the moisture, since the temperature right now is 84 and the dewpoint is 75. All it takes is the right butterfly flapping his wings and it sets off thunderstorms. It doesn't look like there's going to be much change for south Florida until the A-B high to retract its fangs, but then something worse than rain increases in probability. I guess we just have to hope for the best. :-(
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You know me, I never write panicky blogs, but this rain is really getting serious. Normally we used to get the quick thunderstorms and 10 minute rains, but these past two months are terrible.

someday i hope to be able to say that...elephant butte lake...which supplies the water for farmers here in east new mexico and el paso county...is at 3 percent of capacity.....never before has it been so low...now we are under a flash flood watch today as we may get as much as 3 inches of rain in the next 36 hours
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Quoting 37. Grothar:


I've often thought the humor should be limited. That is why I only write serious posts.


Serious Grothar = contradictio in adjecto
(look it up in Wiki, guys, lol)


This time I post the Epac, fitting the blog entry.
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who is that hot girl in the video
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Small little wave about to move through the islands.




And nice healthy waves in the Atlantic and about to move off of Africa. (Watch these closely)

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27914
Quoting 37. Grothar:


I've often thought the humor should be limited. That is why I only write serious posts.


.
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Wow, Dr. Masters. Wow! A Sharknado blog entry. Has this blog jumped the tornado?

By the way, chainsaws contribute to global warming :(



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Thanks Dr. If sea levels do rise in the coming decades, and you get the right storm with a very high storm surge, we may get a few sharks cruising the streets of South Beach one day...........
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The heat and humidity working its magic on water surface temps. This morning the Lake Erie water temperature at Buffalo, NY was 76F, which ties the daily record high. The daily record high water temperature was also set in 2012, 1993, 1988, 1987, and 1936.

The all-time record high water temperature is 80F, set on July 25, 2011, and August 14-16, 1988. Lake Erie surface water temperatures have been warming more rapidly than surface air temperatures, primarily due to decreasing ice cover. The effect is most pronounced in the springtime, when ice covered waters remain at 32F and now are able to rapidly warm into the 40s and 50s.
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Quoting 17. pcola57:


Hey Washi..
I think even the mods CAN'T ban Dr. Masters for humor..
It is after all, his blog.. :)
We need humor in this blog..

What say you Dr. Masters???


I've often thought the humor should be limited. That is why I only write serious posts.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27914
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 433 Comments: 132803
In the interest of full disclosure, both the SyFy (formerly Sci-Fi) Channel and The Weather Channel are owned by NBCUniversal. Weather Underground is part of The Weather Channel.
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Quoting 23. mikatnight:


I get the feeling you're not out to make friends and influence people. Last time I quote ya.
Why do I need to make friends with people who hate me first off and second people I'll never meet in real life?.I've already made some good friends on this site and their about the only ones I ever talk to.We never had any friendly exchanges on the blog anyway..so I can't say it's bitter sweet..:).
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 19158
Quoting 32. Grothar:


You know me, I never write panicky blogs, but this rain is really getting serious. Normally we used to get the quick thunderstorms and 10 minute rains, but these past two months are terrible.


We used to get those type of events that your getting just back in the 1990s, remember it well. If not every summer then every other summer, it was a given.
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9769
Quoting 3. RitaEvac:
Didn't get any rain till after 7PM last evening, then received more rain overnight for a whopping 0.75" total this morning. And there's Gro over there getting 3"


You know me, I never write panicky blogs, but this rain is really getting serious. Normally we used to get the quick thunderstorms and 10 minute rains, but these past two months are terrible.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27914
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 433 Comments: 132803
You know the tropics are quiet when the topic of the day is Sharknado! See we have invest 97L (yes, I am kidding!).
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The winds are blowing stronger at the lower levels, notice the flag at the bottom moving faster,or harder wth

Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 9769
Quoting 4. 7544:
morning everyone is that blob in the bahammas also goin to head west to south fl where they ie gro. is already getting buckets of rain today .anyone nned a boat lol


We are getting buckets of rain down here. The geckos are holding on to twigs and just floating.

As I wrote in the last blog. This is definitely a blob.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27914
Quote from previous blog -

Quoting 1305. 7544:


yep but will it also move west to south fl tia

bahamas is goin to be the sweet spot this year imo wait till a storm reaches there it will explode


You may have a point. Patterns for a season are certainly notable. I wonder too, will Chantal's path be repeated? Time will tell us all...
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Quoting 24. Grothar:
Doc, if you really like these, you have to see Sharktapus. Probably the finest of its genre. If you are into space movies, there is also the classic "Plan 9 from Outer Space". This is probably one of your best blogs.


Ahh yes Sharktapus. One of the greatest movies of all time. Right behind Killer Clowns from Outer Space. :-P
Member Since: June 9, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 892
I was laughing throughout the entire movie, to the point that my face started to hurt. Best Worst Movie Ever?
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Doc, if you really like these, you have to see Sharktapus. Probably the finest of its genre. If you are into space movies, there is also the classic "Plan 9 from Outer Space". This is probably one of your best blogs.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27914
Quoting 9. washingtonian115:
Hey thanks Doc.I was wondering since this is a funny topic is humor allowed now and can we post pics?.If you could respond thanks.


I get the feeling you're not out to make friends and influence people. Last time I quote ya.
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Morning all. Quite an entertaining read Dr. Masters. Having grown up in Southern California, Earthquakes were the "gonna getchas" rather than hurricanes so preparedness followed suit for tremors and not storms. What is interesting though is that there have been other tropical systems that have impacted Southern California and even though not directly, they have still resulted in significant impact to the area. Even though it was before my time, my parents told me about the resulting flooding in the mid 1970s, namely from Hurricane Kathleen. The storm came inland over Baja but the resulting precipitation in Southern California was quite impressive.



Image source: http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/tropical/rain/kathlee n1976rain.gif
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Quoting 17. pcola57:


Hey Washi..
I think even the mods CAN'T ban Dr. Masters for humor..
It is after all, his blog.. :)
We need humor in this blog..

What say you Dr. Masters???
Sharnado looks like it'll be a classic..just when I thought nothing could be worst than trolls 2..
Link
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 19158
Stupid laws of physics! Thank god Hollywood is not bound by such pesky obstacles. I believe Bassnadoes are a serious threat here. Even worse, are the LargeMouthBassnadoes. You get hit with one of them babies, it'll take your head clean off. (So, tell me punk, do you feel lucky?)
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Quoting 18. biff4ugo:
You are the BEST Dr. M!

I needed that.

We did.
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You are the BEST Dr. M!

I needed that.

At least they didn't ride a shark strapped to a rocket, full of dynamite, into a volcano! That would be too macho!
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Quoting 9. washingtonian115:
He thanks Doc.I was wondering since this is a funny topic is humor allowed now and can we post pics?.If you could respond thanks.


Hey Washi..
I think even the mods CAN'T ban Dr. Masters for humor..
It is after all, his blog.. :)
We need humor in this blog..

What say you Dr. Masters???
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Nice, nice, nice blog, Dr. Masters, lol!
May I recommend someone who could be very helpful when a sharknado hits?


Source is a Russian website with similar jokes on their muscular president who likes posing for cameras. German Focus Magazine online had a coverage of it earlier, so I found it.
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Quoting 9. washingtonian115:
He thanks Doc.I was wondering since this is a funny topic is humor allowed now and can we post pics?.If you could respond thanks.

Ummm that looks like the clown of Stephen King's ''It''.
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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