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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424. HIEXPRESS
1:03 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
421. Weather456
Just kidding. You're right. It's huge.

Landspouts?Article
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423. RadarRich
1:01 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
Hey Bonedog, just watched a great show on the dicovery channel on Tornado Storm Chasers, was pretty kewl.
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422. RadarRich
12:40 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
Good Evening Folks,
Just signed in. Did my normal run thru the satellite imageries and I am seeing a developing scenario just north of the Yucatan. On the water vapor loop and infared, there seems to be some serious spin getting its act together. I would definitely not be surprised to see an invest declared for this area very shortly. This was that ULL which I believe has potential to form a surface low. JMO by satelitte obsevation only, really nothing more. What influence that front may have is beyond my expertise, which is low at best, any opinions?
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421. Weather456
8:55 PM AST on October 19, 2007
419. HIEXPRESS 8:54 PM AST on October 19, 2007 Hide this comment.
What crash? Good pic, only 5.8MB.


well my bad.....for those with low speed maybe
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
420. Bonedog
12:54 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
Hey folks. Back for a few after a long day of driving. Chase was a bust as far as weather goes. I had a few heavy downpours that was about it. I did catch a nice lightning strike in Pink off the coast and some rain/fog across of the Lake in my backyard that was about it. Alot of traffic, wet drizzley roads but not much of anything else. That front fizzled as it aproached me :(
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
419. HIEXPRESS
12:52 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
What crash? Good pic, only 5.8MB.
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418. Weather456
8:39 PM AST on October 19, 2007
i have a feeling that the pic JLPR crash the blog for most users
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
417. HIEXPRESS
12:46 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
It's getting ready to rain those lil black boxes in WPB. Plenty more where that came from, but we can't see it right now as Key West Radar is down.
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415. UYA
12:17 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
I'll Roger that Storm! Let the Dollar ride....I'm sure you'll win it back soon. LOL
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413. UYA
12:09 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
OK StormW....I'm saying this and that's all about Catarina.

The strangest and most interesting part is that it even happened!
They have some very smart engineers in Brazil.
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412. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
12:14 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
uya u seem a little snippy or is it just me
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
411. JLPR
12:13 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
yeah look at this map Catarina all alone there no other storm is marked in that Basin

Track Map
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410. Weather456
8:06 PM AST on October 19, 2007
I'm speaking of near the end...when it came ashore and dissipated...look at the loop again...they generally don't move that way.

true..they move along the subtropical ridges which are anticlockwise in the southern hemisphere as appose to clockwise in the N Hemisphere.



__________________________________________

ITC Thanks


Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
407. UYA
12:00 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
There's not exactly a real large database on South Atlantic hurricanes.
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406. UYA
12:05 AM GMT on October 20, 2007
Just like the North Atlantic Storm....they all don't do as expected.
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404. UYA
11:57 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
Atlantic Tropical Weather Discussion
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


000
AXNT20 KNHC 200001
TWDAT

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
805 PM EDT FRI OCT 19 2007

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR NORTH AMERICA...CENTRAL
AMERICA...THE GULF OF MEXICO...THE CARIBBEAN SEA...NORTHERN
SECTIONS OF SOUTH AMERICA...AND THE ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE
AFRICAN COAST FROM THE EQUATOR TO 32N. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION
IS BASED ON SATELLITE IMAGERY...METEOROLOGICAL ANALYSIS...
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS...AND RADAR.

BASED ON 1800 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY THROUGH
2315 UTC.

...TROPICAL WAVES...

TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 45W S OF 17N MOVING W 10-15 KT. THE
TROPICAL WAVE WAS REPOSITIONED BACK A FEW DEGREES TO MATCH UP
BETTER WITH THE APEX OF THE LOW LEVEL INVERTED-V SIGNATURE AND
THE NEW MASS OF CONVECTION THAT FORMED. WIDELY SCATTERED
MODERATE CONVECTION IS FROM 9N-15N BETWEEN 40W-47W...AND FROM
4N-9N BETWEEN 38W-42W.

WEAK TROPICAL WAVE IS IN THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN ALONG 73W S OF
17N MOVING W 10-15 KT. THIS WAVE HAS BEEN CHALLENGING TO TRACK
OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS WITH THE CURRENT POSITION SOLELY
BASED ON FORWARD CONTINUITY. CONVECTION IS OVER LAKE MARACAIBO
VENEZUELA FROM 8N-11N BETWEEN 70W-72W.

...THE ITCZ...
ITCZ AXIS IS CENTERED ALONG 9N13W 6N30W 8N46W 6N56W. BESIDES
THE CONVECTION MENTIONED IN THE TROPICAL WAVE SECTION...
SCATTERED MODERATE TO STRONG CONVECTION IS INLAND OVER W AFRICA
FROM 7N-13N BETWEEN 7W-14W. ISOLATED MODERATE CONVECTION IS
FROM 3N-7N BETWEEN 33W-36W...AND E OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS FROM
12N-16N BETWEEN 55W-60W.

DISCUSSION...

GULF OF MEXICO...
AS OF 2100 UTC...A COLD FRONT EXTENDS FROM THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE
TO NE MEXICO ALONG 31N86W 27N90W 25N95W 25N99W. A PREFRONTAL
TROUGH EXTENDS FROM N FLORIDA TO THE BAY OF CAMPECHE ALONG
31N83W 24N90W 20N96W. SCATTERED MODERATE CONVECTION IS FROM
21N-25N BETWEEN 92W-96W...AND FROM 24N-26N BETWEEN 85W-88W.
ELSEWHERE...SCATTERED MODERATE TO ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION IS
OVER THE STRAITS OF FLORIDA FROM 23N-25N BETWEEN 80W-84W.
SCATTERED MODERATE CONVECTION IS OVER CENTRAL FLORIDA FROM
26N-29N BETWEEN 80W-81W. IN THE UPPER LEVELS...THE BASE OF A
TROUGH IS OVER THE NW GULF OF MEXICO WITH STRONG SUBSIDENCE. A
SMALL UPPER LEVEL LOW IS N OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA NEAR 22N87W
WITH SIGNIFICANT UPPER LEVEL MOISTURE E OF 90W. EXPECT...
CONTINUED CONVECTION OVER THE E GULF AND FLORIDA DURING THE NEXT
24 HOURS DUE TO THE COLD FRONT AND PREFRONTAL TROUGH.



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403. UYA
11:58 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
Catarina track.....Storm...it went West...good enough for you?


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


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402. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
11:58 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
i remember that night could'nt beleif what my eyes were seeing after that night i firmly beleive any thing is possible ever sense
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
401. InTheCone
7:54 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
Hey 456 - Your posts just keep my eyes poppin' - I can't keep up!!

You always have the graphics that keep me lookin' - even if it's from the tornadoes in the midwest!! I grew up in St. Louis and even saw a tornado in the distance, so for all you do - the weather bloggers salute you - to turn a phrase(or possibly a commercial- lol!!)
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400. JLPR
11:52 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
i see storm that one sure was an exception and a weird one
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398. subtropicaljoe
11:51 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
I know that's a ULL on the Yuc tip but it sure does give one "Wilma flashbacks" where it's sitting.
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397. JLPR
11:56 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
other than that i dont know storm
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395. opbandman
6:49 PM CDT on October 19, 2007
StormW - It is spinning "wrong"

Do I get a cookie?

(It's kinda weird seeing it do that)
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392. JLPR
11:54 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
What storm
its rotating clockwise?
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391. UYA
11:53 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
Hurricane Catarina...a "Right" Spinner....I think we all know about that one.
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390. Weather456
7:47 PM AST on October 19, 2007
Evening InTheCone
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
389. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
11:53 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
its clockwise cirulation
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
387. UYA
11:51 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
There is no Cyclone activity currently in the South Atlantic either.
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385. JLPR
11:50 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
interesting unique Brazil Hurricane in the south Atlantic Basin
Only this one has developed to hurricane status
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384. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
11:47 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
always has been just a little rough sometimes
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
383. UYA
11:49 PM GMT on October 19, 2007

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting



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382. jpritch
11:40 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
I really don't see any lower level circulation under that ULL.
Member Since: June 28, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
381. icmoore
11:45 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
I agree. Great blog. A lot of us watching, reading, and learning tonight. I know I am.
Member Since: July 18, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 4147
380. InTheCone
7:40 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
Terrific weather blog tonite - WOW!! There's REAL info. flying here tonite! Thanks everybody, this is what I thought this blog was about!
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378. Skyepony (Mod)
11:29 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
TerraNova~ Seems it should take at least 2 days or more to really get going from now if the ULL works down or about that long if a low forms & gets cut off the end of the front & relocates under the ULL. So yeah, it's a slightly longer route to work down. Does seem a low maybe trying to form at the end of the front. Looks like it passed over buoy 42055.
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377. Weather456
7:36 PM AST on October 19, 2007
319. Weather456 6:17 PM AST on October 19, 2007
I will post illustrations later tonight or on Saturday, but i just want to review the conditions that led to last night severe weather activity over Eastern Plains of the US

Warm moist air was being provided by the low level jet coming from the Gulf of Mexico

Mid-Upper dry air from the West provided for an unstable situation.

The Jet Stream provided the upper level energy needed to spin up the mesocyclones and this was induced by an upper trough across the Central US. As u may know almost all cold fronts are associated with upper tofs.

CAPE Values were high across most major cities across the Eastern Plains






Dew Points on the left


Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
376. JLPR
11:30 PM GMT on October 19, 2007


there are a few strong wind vectors but no type of rotation with the catl disturbance
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374. UYA
11:29 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
A few hypotheticals involved there Terra.
Most likely the ULL will be absorbed and any surface vortice would be shredded.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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