Tornadoes kill 3 in Michigan...

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:10 PM GMT on October 19, 2007

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More tornadoes hit the U.S. on Thursday and early Friday morning, causing damage and injuries in Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and Florida. A 29-year old man was killed in Kalkasaka County, Michigan, when a tornado destroyed his home. Two other people were killed in Williamston, Michigan, after a tornado destroyed their lakefront home. In Nappanee, Indiana, five people were injured and 20 homes destroyed by a tornado at 10:30 pm. At least eight people were injured in western Kentucky from a series of tornadoes that raked the area, and a tornado hit downtown Pensacola, Florida, flipping cars and damaging the town's main shopping mall. A tornado that hit near Paris, Missouri, killing two people just after midnight on Thursday, was rated as an EF-2 storm with top winds of 135 mph.

The storm system that spawned this week's severe weather has moved over the Eastern U.S., and there is a chance of severe weather today from Florida northwards to New England, according to the latest severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center. Only isloated tornadoes are likely today, as the atmosphere is not nearly as unstable as it was Wednesday and Thursday.

"Medicane" (Medepression?) hits Spain
A tropical storm-like system swept over the island of Majorca in the Mediterranean on Wednesday, triggering flooding that killed two people. The storm then made landfall on the Mediterranean coast of Spain yesterday morning near the city of Murcia. The satellite presentation of the storm at landfall (Figure 1) showed well-formed spiral bands and a cloud-free center. Murcia, Spain reported sustained winds of 30 mph, gusting to 45 mph, at 14 GMT Thursday. A personal weather station in Santa Pola recorded sustained winds of 40 mph, gusting to 45 mph, and 0.68 inches of rain during passage of the storm. We have a number of other personal weather stations in the region, but none reported higher winds, or a pressure lower than 1013 mb. Radar from the Spanish Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia (Figure 2) showed some well-organized banding. The UKMET model did not indicate the storm had a warm core, so this was likely not a true tropical depression. Sea surface temperatures were about 23° C (about 1° C warmer than normal) under the storm, which is quite a bit colder than the 26.5° C usually associated with tropical storm formation. The satellite presentation suggests that the storm was probably generating a shallow warm core near the surface, and was getting some of its energy from release of latent heat--the same energy source that powers tropical cyclones. Yesterday's "Medepression" was probably a hybrid tropical/extratropical storm, and was predominantly non-tropical.


Figure 1. Satellite image from NOAA-17 polar orbiting satellite at 10:37 GMT 10/18/07. Image credit: U.S. Navy.


Figure 2. Radar image at 6:20 GMT for the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Image credit: Spanish Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia (INM).

Warm-cored hybrid storms have been reported in the Mediterranean Sea before, and there is a large body of scientific literature published on the subject (see below). These storms can become quite severe and cause considerable damage. However, there is no system in place to name these storms, and the National Hurricane Center is not responsible for issuing warnings in the Mediterranean Sea. There are quite a few "Medicanes" in past years that would have earned names as subtropical storms had NHC been responsible for warnings in the Mediterranean Sea. There is concern that global warming may raise sea surface temperatures enough in the Mediterannean later this century to allow full-fledged hurricanes to form and threaten the densely populated cities that dot the coast.

Some of the scientific literature discussing hybrid storms in the Mediterrean Sea:

Emmanuel, K., 2005, "Genesis and maintenance of Mediterranean hurricanes", Adv. Geosci., 2, 217-220.

Lagouvardos K., V. Kotroni, S. Nickovic, D. Jovic, and G. Kallos, 1999: "Observations and model simulations of a winter sub-synoptic vortex over the Central Mediterranean", Meteorol. Appl., 6, 371-383.

Mayengon, R., 1984, "Warm core cyclones in the Mediterranean", Mariners Weather Log, 28: 6?9.

Pytharoulis, I., G.C. Craig and S. P. Ballard, 2000, "The hurricane-like Mediterranean cyclone of January 1995", Meteorol. Appl., 7, 261-279.

Rasmussen, E. A., and Turner J., 2003: Polar Lows, Cambridge Press. 214-219

Rasmussen, E. & Zick, C., 1987, "A subsynoptic vortex over the Mediterranean with some resemblance to polar lows", Tellus, 39A: 408-425.

Reale, O., and R. Atlas, 2001, "Tropical Cyclone-Like Vortices in the Extratropics: Observational Evidence and Synoptic Analysis", Weather and Forecasting, 16, No. 1, pp. 7-34.

Reale, O. ,1998, "Dynamics and classification of two sub-synoptic scale "Hurricane-like" vortices over the Mediterranean Sea", Annales Geophysicae Part II: Hydrology, Oceans & Atmosphere (Supplement II to Volume 16), EGS, C634.

How to search for strongest winds from a storm
A good way to search for the strongest winds from a storm in our personal weather station data is to load a google map for the region of interest:

http://www.wunderground.com/stationmaps/gmap.asp? zip=00000&wmo=08360

Then, click on the station plot for stations of interest. The history page will then pop up, allowing one to see plots and tabular data for today beginning at midnight local time for the station. Airport weather data and conditions from U.S. buoys are also available on the same google map. Use the search box at upper right to change the location the map is centered on.

Tropical update
The tropical Atlantic is quiet today. The GFS model is predicting formation of a tropical cyclone on Tuesday about 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands. None of the other models are going along with this forecast. If there are no major developments to report this weekend, I may not update this blog until Monday.

Jeff Masters

Pensacola Tornado (Mslider31)
Looking west down Cervantes from Barcelona.
Pensacola Tornado
Storm Clouds (pwaleska)
Storms rumbled throughout MI as October thought it was April. Great clouds, moving fast!
Storm Clouds
Beautiful Storm (Kristina)
Taken while chasing in Oklahoma around the OKC area
Beautiful Storm

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774. ShenValleyFlyFish
10:18 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
What's worse: rain all week, or rain all weekend? [sigh]

No rain at all. We had some reminders of what the stuff is yesterday, People just standing with arms outstretched letting it pour on their faces till started gusting. Not enough to break the back of the drought but welcome none the less. When it really started blowing car in front of me almost stopped dead in the passing lane then all over the road. Called down a lightning strike to thin the herd -missed us both- dawned on me later that it is entirely possible that we have larger than usual set of young drivers who have no experience with driving in the rain.
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773. TampaSpin
10:27 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
772. icmoore 10:23 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
Tampa, this morning less describes me better. Trying to get these eyes cranked open and the old brain turned on. A little slow this morning!


LOL, im on my 2 cup of MOJO when i get my third i start banging heads...lol
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772. icmoore
10:18 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
Tampa, this morning less describes me better. Trying to get these eyes cranked open and the old brain turned on. A little slow this morning!
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771. TampaSpin
10:12 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
Morning ICMoore or are you see less today....lol
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770. TampaSpin
10:11 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
456 that was what i too was looking at, but im not good enough at this to really say things like that....i was looking at obs sites and could not really see anything tho.
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768. icmoore
10:08 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
Good morning Tampa, The blog is having problems again today.
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767. Weather456
10:07 AM AST on October 20, 2007
The last visible loop has hinted that a low level vortex maybe forming near 25N/86W in the SE Gulf. It is difficult to track since it was identified on the last 3 frames during sunrise, it should become more clear as the morning progresses.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
766. TampaSpin
10:06 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
Morning StormW
Do you think some hybrid system could form around the ULL
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765. Weather456
9:59 AM AST on October 20, 2007
Floater 1 1315 UTC

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
764. Weather456
9:58 AM AST on October 20, 2007
Last try.....Next Kiko adv is at 11 am EDT
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763. Weather456
9:54 AM AST on October 20, 2007
test 123
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762. Weather456
9:53 AM AST on October 20, 2007
this blog is losing posts again
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760. Weather456
9:30 AM AST on October 20, 2007
GOES 11 Coverage

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
759. Weather456
9:15 AM AST on October 20, 2007
Our upper low is helping to pull moisture north in conjunction with a frontal trough

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
757. hurricane24
1:20 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
how long till the next kiko advisory?
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756. icmoore
9:24 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
The circulation looks a little different now like it is trying to build a core or something in the middle.
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755. Weather456
9:13 AM AST on October 20, 2007


Extratopical Low over Russia (Siberia)


For this extratropical low...cold air advection normally is dry but here it becomes low clouds over the Oceans (Same process as before).


Arrows: Direction of Wind





Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
754. icmoore
9:07 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
StormW, Looking at the water vapor loop of the GOMEX is that circulation what we were watching last night to see if it had surface circulation? What do you think about it this morning if you don't mind my asking. As you can tell I am way behind this crowd trying to learn.
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753. BahaHurican
8:55 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
Well, the rain has started again. Looking at the ir loop, it looks like the day is basically going to be like this. I sure hope at least Lake Okeechobee gets some water out of this.

What's worse: rain all week, or rain all weekend? [sigh]

See u guys later - I gotta run . . .
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22565
752. Weather456
8:43 AM AST on October 20, 2007
I forgot to post this.....another unrelated feature is an heat low over the Desert West of Australia.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
751. Weather456
8:05 AM AST on October 20, 2007
Stratocumlus and Stratus Cloud Decks

A high pressure system over the SW North Pacific is producing swift southwesterlies just to the East of Australia.

Stratus clouds over temperate waters form in a cold airmass that flows over a warmer sea surface and becomes convectively unstable. Just like what has happen below. The airmass is coming from the poles moving over warm waters of the subtropical SW Pacific. Stratus are kept low due to 1) The subsidence in the same subtropical anticyclone and 2)Not much vertical lift occurs.

NB: Stratus that grow to the mid-levels are called altostratus. Stratus/altostratus that bring rain are called nimbostratus. Stratus is like a lifted fog.

Stratocumulus on the other hand are warmed from below...so now the stratus has form..the air continues along its path but the air is becoming warmer and thicker and picking up more moisture so the clouds will be larger and higher as seen the image below. Notice the transition from the stratus to stratocumulus. Stratocumlus are also kept low but since they are further away from the subtropical ridge, they have a more vertical profile. Also they are warmed from below and thus have more lift.



Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
749. icmoore
12:27 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Happy Saturday to you Cone.
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748. InTheCone
8:20 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
Hi Storm!! Happy Saturday to you and the Blog!

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746. icmoore
12:18 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Okay Pat, you got me again. I am not usually a morning person but you got me laughing this morning. See Pat, that is one of the things we have missed around here. Thanks we are all pulling for you to get well quick!!! Oh and we miss your vast knowledge as well, of course.
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744. IKE
7:21 AM CDT on October 20, 2007
Forecast for Jackson,Mississippi on Tuesday....

"Tuesday
Showers likely and isolated thunderstorms. Cloudy... cooler. Highs in the upper 50s. The chance of rain 70 percent."
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743. icmoore
12:07 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Good morning StormW, emt, and everybody, Just catching up. But one thing for sure it looks like the aliens from outer space have a hold of this blog again today!
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742. IKE
7:05 AM CDT on October 20, 2007
Pensacola,FL. had 12.83 inches of rain from the 18-19 of October.

Mobile,AL. only had 2.08 on the same 2 days.

Difference of near 11 inches...cities are only 50 miles apart.

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741. Miamiweather
12:07 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Hey stormW what are you keeping your eyes on this morning?
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740. InTheCone
8:07 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
Morning All - Looks like real soaker for Fl. today! Hopefully alot of the rain will end up in Lake O.

""
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739. Weather456
7:46 AM AST on October 20, 2007
mornin SW
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737. hurricane24
10:50 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
732. UYA 9:22 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
These time stamps are crazy!

Who exactly is intercepting these posts on a weather blog?

LMAO!

Action: | Ignore


well think about the threat with terrioists at the mo!

in the u.k were a bit weary as the last time we celebrated something (olymipcs) london got blew up
think about it..... were in the final of the rugby and will probably win!
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736. Weather456
6:18 AM AST on October 20, 2007
This is my kind of storm - 19W

Curved Band Pattern - 1.50 ARC - 4.7

Shear Pattern - Not Applicable

CDO Central Feature - 2 3/5 Degrees LAT - CF 4.7
CDO Banding Feature - Northern Storm Periphery - BF 1.0

Eye Feature - This is calculated be CF BF=5.7. The CDO pattern is calculated by CF BF also but one is excluded. Here i used the both (Eye and CDO) in the average as they are the same..so the results wouldnt change.

Average T Numbers 4.7 5.7 5.7=5.4







Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
735. sullivanweather
6:23 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
Now that Kiko has stopped taking on the stable stratocumulus deck to its west its starting to intensify.

For a few days this stratocumulus deck was part of the inflow into the western side of this cyclone inhibiting development.
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734. Weather456
6:04 AM AST on October 20, 2007
My Kiko DT Numbers

Curved Band Pattern - Not Applicable

Shear Pattern - Not Applicable

CDO Central Feature - 1 3/5 Degrees LAT - CF 3.7
CDO Banding Feature - Difficult to Interpret

Eye Feature - Not Applicable

3.7 is 60 Knots 990 mb

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
733. Weather456
12:45 AM AST on October 20, 2007
Gulf of Mexico

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732. UYA
9:21 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
These time stamps are crazy!

Who exactly is intercepting these posts on a weather blog?

LMAO!
731. UYA
9:18 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
Yeah man...that ULL will likely be absorbed and cause some more precip. Don't know if you need it but we could use it here in FL for sure.
730. BahaHurican
5:18 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
Well, now that the rain is over (for a while, anyway :o) I think I'll go back to bed.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22565
729. BahaHurican
5:06 AM EDT on October 20, 2007
Morning UYA,


I know the front itself isn't really here. Usually that means the "end" of whatever stormy weather there is (around here, anyway). I wasn't expecting the rain to get here, however, until closer to noon.

After looking at the satloops for the last few hours, I'm thinking this instability is being created more by the ULL than the front. Based on the last few hours, it looks like that ULL will cross our way sometime over the weekend as well.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22565
728. hurricane24
9:08 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
kikos eye has gone

)-=
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727. UYA
9:08 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
726. UYA
8:54 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
No, whatever is left of the front has not made it to Central Florida yet. Whatever you are experiencing is diffluence ahead.
725. hurricane24
8:54 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
where is every 1?
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724. BahaHurican
9:48 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
Morning all.

Just got awakened by some heavy rains and the fiercest winds I've experienced in the last few weeks.

Guess the front is here . . . . LOL
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22565

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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.