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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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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373. TerraNova
7:17 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
If the ULL were to deepen down to the surface, wouldn't that slow down development (or if a LLC developed near the ULL, such as TD 10)? In other words, this slow process of deepening would take longer and leave less time for strengthening, wouldn't it?
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 76 Comments: 4063
372. decimus785
7:18 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
366. Skyepony 7:15 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
decimus785~ Yeah, clouds forming especially in the center. The kinda coulds you can see on RGB (I left that link in my last comment). You can see them filling in the last 4 frames. Normally you can't much see an ULL on RGB. You can see them well on WV.


Thanks Skyepony
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371. Skyepony (Mod)
11:16 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
It's gonna get smacked by that front very soon.
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370. Weather456
7:16 PM AST on October 19, 2007
BBL
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
369. Weather456
7:09 PM AST on October 19, 2007
Kiko (Updated)

Curved Band Pattern - Not Applicable

Shear Pattern - Not Applicable

CDO - Central Feature Banding Feature

Central Feature - Well Define - 1 degree (CF 2)

Banding Feature - 0.5 arc (DT 0.5)

2 0.5 = 2.5

Eye Pattern - Not Applicable

2.5 is 35 Knots with a pressure of 1005mb

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
368. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
11:05 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
its being pulled north by front coming down and forced east by dry air building over coast off texas just shy of la with a flow of vapour coming off mex into boc moving east as well shear is dropping over yu channel front mving se e will now pull ene track ull over gom off fla over panhandle across ga and exit into atlantic ne sc. as i see it right now
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53528
367. cantoriesnumber1fan
11:14 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
Hot darn, that ULL is working it's way to the surface...interesting!
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366. Skyepony (Mod)
11:09 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
decimus785~ Yeah, clouds forming especially in the center. The kinda coulds you can see on RGB (I left that link in my last comment). You can see them filling in the last 4 frames. Normally you can't much see an ULL on RGB. You can see them well on WV.
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365. Weather456
7:07 PM AST on October 19, 2007
I like all of the maps you've been posting BTW!

Kinda adds something to the blog!!


Trust me...u dont really know how good that makes me feel that u say that. I view u as role model when it comes to weather. Thank u very much.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
364. decimus785
7:05 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
when do you guys know when the ULL is spinning down?

Is it when youi see clouds forming?
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362. JLPR
11:08 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
whats going on with that area in the catl
its the most interesting area there since Karen
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360. JLPR
11:05 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
yeah i remember that ull it went west across the Caribbean all the way from the Lesser Antilles
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359. Weather456
7:05 PM AST on October 19, 2007
Floater on Central ATL disturbance

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
357. TampaSpin
11:03 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
just an observation from WV, but it does some storms are starting to form aroung the ULL. JMO
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356. BahaHurican
6:58 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
Evening everybody.

That ULL is the one that kicked the last numbered invests out of the Caribbean. It's been migrating westward since basically this time last week. It's been looking like it wanted to fill in / build down to the surface since it approached the area of the Caymans.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21886
355. rareaire
11:01 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
stormW is that swirly thing going to develop into anything it looks big! thanks
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354. Weather456
7:01 PM AST on October 19, 2007
I know that...then I must have misunderstood your post...as reference was made to the buoy obs as the ULL is thought to be working down to the surface, and then you posted the surface observations.

its ok..its all cool
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
353. Skyepony (Mod)
10:52 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
Tip of the Yucatan looks like a spot to watch (the ULL). Trying to spin down lower there the last few frames. Shear there is dropping fast as well. 5- 10kts & falling. It's close to land now & about to get front smacked. The tail of that front is a classic place for a cut off low to form & that looks to be trying too. Which would put two areas trying to pull together too close together. Most likely an ugly mess crossing FL at some point. Maybe an invest at worst before it crosses.

The outflow boundry with the front today was incredible..
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352. G35Wayne
11:01 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
that big ULL has turned towards FL
350. Weather456
6:55 PM AST on October 19, 2007
345. StormW 6:54 PM AST on October 19, 2007 Hide this comment.
341. Weather456 6:51 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
Surface Obs with satellite overlay of the Yucatan Region


The obs would depict the wind flow from the low over the peninsula...not the ULL.


StormW...i dont expect to track an upper level low using surface obs...What i posted was to see if a surface circulation was present via surface obs
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
349. UYA
10:53 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
The most likely scenario regarding the ULL over the Yucatan is it will be snagged by the trough and be absorbed and open.
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348. decimus785
6:51 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
335. Weather456 6:45 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
332. decimus785 6:42 PM AST on October 19, 2007 Hide this comment.
Where is the ULL?

Upper Level Low


In the Yucatan channel...that's where it is centered


i just ask because i'm not an expert,i was sseing that ULL for 2 days already when it was still west of jamaica

so could it develop?
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347. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
10:48 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
track mark 21.9n/87w
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53528
344. Weather456
6:53 PM AST on October 19, 2007
339. decimus785 6:51 PM AST on October 19, 2007 Hide this comment.
332. decimus785 6:42 PM AST on October 19, 2007 Hide this comment.
Where is the ULL?

Upper Level Low

I know,but where do you guys see an ULL


Over the Northern Yucatan Peninsula...best viewed using water vapor imagery and 200mb vort
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
343. TampaSpin
10:48 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
ULL Link
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341. Weather456
6:49 PM AST on October 19, 2007
Surface Obs with satellite overlay of the Yucatan Region
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
339. decimus785
6:46 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
332. decimus785 6:42 PM AST on October 19, 2007 Hide this comment.
Where is the ULL?

Upper Level Low


I know,but where do you guys see an ULL
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338. TampaSpin
10:47 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
42055 Bay of Campeche 1750 82.8 84.7 N 16 18 29.77 +0.00 n/a n/a
42056 Yucatan Basin 1750 83.1 85.6 SE 18 20 29.77 -0.03 4.9 6
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336. TampaSpin
10:44 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
Bouy 42055 N wind and bouy 42056 SE wind
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335. Weather456
6:44 PM AST on October 19, 2007
332. decimus785 6:42 PM AST on October 19, 2007 Hide this comment.
Where is the ULL?


Upper Level Low
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
333. TampaSpin
10:40 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
looking at observations sites we got a circulation at the surface it appears developing.
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332. decimus785
6:39 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
Where is the ULL?
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331. Weather456
6:40 PM AST on October 19, 2007

328. TampaSpin 6:34 PM AST on October 19, 2007 Hide this comment.
Is the ULL trying to work its way down to the surface...


Its trying

925 HPA Vort
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
330. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
10:35 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
this is a possible developing situation
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53528
328. TampaSpin
10:34 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
Is the ULL trying to work its way down to the surface...
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327. Weather456
6:32 PM AST on October 19, 2007
325. HurricaneGeek 6:24 PM AST on October 19, 2007 Hide this comment.
Is looking good huh? W456?


yeah
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
326. Weather456
6:24 PM AST on October 19, 2007
The area in the Central Atlantic is not associated with a tropical wave.

On Quikscat...a tropical wave is identified as a wave-like perturbation in the easterly flow...souteast-northeast.

The area in the central ATL on Quikscat

Straight line east-northeasterly winds....slowing down as it approaches 40W. Now when fast air moves into slower air...or when air slows down...convergence is caused. So the area in the CATL is rather an area of convergence in the easterly tradewind flow.

This is the thinking at least for now and based on the lastest quikscat from earlier today. But i think a tropical wave maybe associated based on TPW which shows the low level moisture oriented in a sort of wave-like pattern.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
325. HurricaneGeek
6:25 PM EDT on October 19, 2007
Is looking good huh? W456?
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324. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
10:19 PM GMT on October 19, 2007
its startin its north movement now for a bit vapour on increase in ull
trackmark 21.9n/87w
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53528

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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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