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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874. flaboyinga
10:55 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Hey beell, at least you're an equal opportunity hassler. You rattle everybody's cage at least once, right.
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873. sebastianjer
6:49 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Shen
Yes we're in and loving it! Lived in Rapahanock
County Virginia for 15 years, you know where it is?
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872. ShenValleyFlyFish
6:49 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
870. sebastianjer 6:09 PM EDT on October 20, 2007 Shen
How did you know I moved here from Virginia?
JER
I scanned your blog. Recognized a voice of reason and wanted to know more about you. It's in your exchanges about building your house.
In yet? How'd it turn out.
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871. G35Wayne
10:31 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Wind shear is completely dominating the basin. Hurricane season is over!!
870. sebastianjer
6:05 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Shen
How did you know I moved here from Virginia?
JER
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869. ShenValleyFlyFish
6:03 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
862. sebastianjer 5:29 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Not an expert on blog etiquette, other than not calling new comers trolls.
JER

Ah Ha: a Virginia Gentleman! A rare and endangered National Treasure.
Come home, bring your truck, we need ya (Love your blog, don't neglect it)
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868. Tigerose
5:59 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
I wasn't looking forward to any storms wfreak, just wanted some rain. Think it got hijacked, not a drop here on the south coast of NC:-(
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867. beell
9:21 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Sounds like a good rule for me JER.
Thanks
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866. Weather456
5:00 PM AST on October 20, 2007
How dry winds can still form Clouds

These dry warm winds blow off the coast and move over water that is cooler. The air cools and moisten the air to its dew point. Once its dew point is met, condensation then clouds take place. The clouds are kept low for the same reason for the SW PAC - subsidence inversion and sometimes a temperature inversion. If this inversion or seal is broken, then cumulonimbus clouds result. This process explains why some tropical cyclones display rather deep burst of convection after looking "sick".



Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
865. wfreeck
9:25 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
WANNNNNNNNN! The storms weakened before they reached me. I HATE THE WEATHER!
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864. Weather456
5:19 PM AST on October 20, 2007
BBL
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
863. ShenValleyFlyFish
5:18 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
860. beell 5:15 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Well, it wasn't very trollish if true, and it was a wx site so...I don't know???
Anybody a pro on blog ettiquette in these cases?
Obviously I'm not lol

don't know beans about Meso but thought it was a curious post since StormW had just posted a hot link to same site
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862. sebastianjer
5:29 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
860. beell 5:15 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Well, it wasn't very trollish if true, and it was a wx site so...I don't know???
Anybody a pro on blog ettiquette in these cases?
Obviously I'm not lol


Not an expert on blog etiquette, other than not calling new comers trolls.
JER
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
861. Weather456
5:21 PM AST on October 20, 2007
How dry winds can still form Clouds

These dry warm winds blow off the coast and move over water that is cooler. The air cools and moisten the air to its dew point. Once its dew point is met, condensation then clouds take place. The clouds are kept low for the same reason for the SW PAC - subsidence inversion and sometimes a temperature inversion. If this inversion or seal is broken, then cumulonimbus clouds result. This process explains why some tropical cyclones display rather deep sudden bursts of convection after looking "sick".



Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
860. beell
9:12 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Well, it wasn't very trollish if true, and it was a wx site so...I don't know???
Anybody a pro on blog ettiquette in these cases?
Obviously I'm not lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
859. TXKiwi
9:06 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Hey... Meso is just a troll using his credentials to promote another site... its spam!!!
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858. InTheCone
4:49 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Wow - impressive street cred. goin' on there! lol

Welcome aboard - look forward to reading your posts meso., if Ican understand them!!
Member Since: September 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1989
857. beell
8:46 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
I guess he "took off"
I guess so shall I before I insult someone else.
See ya'll later-takin a yardwork break.
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856. heretolearninPR
8:49 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Thanks, meso. nice site
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855. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
8:39 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
rocket science all good
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54398
854. TerraNova
4:41 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Welcome Mesovortex!
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 76 Comments: 4063
853. beell
8:37 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Meant that in a good natured way MesoV
I'm sure you hear it all the time.
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852. beell
8:31 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
We can always use a Rocket Scientist
Welcome.
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850. BajaALemt
8:14 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Cool, Storm..thanks
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849. TerraNova
4:04 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Question. Is it me or is there a circulation forming over Barbados right now? Take a look at the visible loop and you will see what I mean.

It looks like it's just a result of the cloud mass being sheared off to the northeast...I can't make out a clear circulation exepect for some anticylonic turning northeast of Martinique but that again is probably due to shear.
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 76 Comments: 4063
848. cchsweatherman
7:34 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Good afternoon. Awesome job 465 and awesome pics Dr. Masters.

Question. Is it me or is there a circulation forming over Barbados right now? Take a look at the visible loop and you will see what I mean.

Just to let you all know, I will have a full update on my website on Monday.
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847. TerraNova
3:22 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Afternoon everyone.

Wow...StormW, that program looks amazing judging by the screenshots on the site. Thanks!
Member Since: July 30, 2007 Posts: 76 Comments: 4063
846. Weather456
3:07 PM AST on October 20, 2007
yeah..i'm downloading it
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
843. Weather456
3:01 PM AST on October 20, 2007
StormW,

is that a computer program?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
842. jpritch
6:52 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Looks like the western Gulf disturbance is too close to Kiko, but take a peek at the Pacific just off the Mexico/Guatemala border.
Member Since: June 28, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 291
840. JUSTCOASTING
6:51 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Have fun with the remodeling Bonedog
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839. Weather456
2:47 PM AST on October 20, 2007
831. aquak9 2:20 PM AST on October 20, 2007

No prob
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
838. BajaALemt
6:43 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
cya bone
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837. aquak9
2:38 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Bye bonedog!

WOOF™!
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836. Bonedog
2:37 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
well back to the remodeling ... bleah
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835. aquak9
2:31 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Just spent the day driving a stationwagon, followed by 6 teens in a van, to Orlando. Fingermarks still embedded in steering wheel.

BEAUTIFUL weather here, Absolutely.
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834. Bonedog
2:29 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
your going to love it. great radio
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833. aquak9
2:27 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Hi BoneDog...just got a new Midland WR300 on it's way...can you say SWEET??!!
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832. Bonedog
2:20 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
hey folks. just stopped in to say hi. taking a break from the remodeling.
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831. aquak9
2:20 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Hey 456, EXCELLENT catch on the TRIM pic!!! Thanks for posting!!
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830. Weather456
2:08 PM AST on October 20, 2007
CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN REGION....

A surface trough continues to interact with an mid level low over the Southeastern Gulf to producing scattered cloudiness and showers from the Gulf of Honduras to Western Cuba. Meanwhile, a large area of cloudiness and showers is located over Central America in associated with the ITCZ/monsoon trough. A large upper trough is digging over the Central Caribbean accompanied by an abundance of dry air causing mainly clear skies and fair weather over Caribbean waters between 80W and 65W. A tropical wave is located near 79W south of Jamaica moving west near 4-5 LONG/Day. The only clear signature of the wave is the increase shower activity over Panama as it interacts with the ITCZ. The rest of the wave axis is enveloped in the aforementioned dry air.

Across the Eastern Caribbean, trades are blowing at around 15 knots with seas building to 4 ft. The trades are advecting an area of cloudiness over the Central and Southern Antilles causing increase shower, wind and wave activity.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
829. weatherboyfsu
6:09 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
Whats up everyone?

Whats up JEDKINS? Havent seen you in a while....

Hey, if you look at the water vapor loop....the upper level low is pumping moisture up over our area (central florida)....I dont see that changing for at least 12 hours....If we can get some heating, get some of these clouds to burn off, then watch out.....Either way i think we will get some more rain by this evening.....
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828. Weather456
1:41 PM AST on October 20, 2007
Synopsis of the South-Central/Eastern US, Gulf of Mexico and SW Atlantic west of 60W.

A sharp upper level trough continues to become less define as it moves across the Eastern CONUS/Gulf centered near 85W. Mainly fair weather exist across the South-central United States and the Northwest Gulf under the influence of surface-mid level ridge anchored over the region. Plenty of dry air aloft lies above the area with the most stable conditions near 85W-90W where there is strong upper confluence between an upper trough near 90W-85W and a ridge over the Southwest Atlantic Ocean. A cold front goes from Western Mexico, across Gulf along 24N/90W 27N/82W, across the Florida Peninsula and up the immediate waters of the Eastern United States. Meanwhile, a 1006 mb low is located near 20N/92W. These two features are producing scattered to overcast skies and showers from the Bay of Campeche to the Florida Peninsula.

Elsewhere, a mid level low is located over the Southeastern Gulf of Mexico and has induced a surface trough below the divergent flow to the east. This is helping to generate scattered cloudiness and showers from the Northwest Caribbean across Western Cuba into the extreme Southeastern Gulf of Mexico, which includes the Florida Peninsula south of 26N, the Florida Keys and Straits.

The Western Atlantic Subtropics continues to be dominated by a strong ridge centered on a 1030 mb high near 39N/50W. Widely scattered fair weather clouds are seen everywhere. The high is also producing 10-15 Knots winds over the area of 60W to 75W south of 35N increasing to 20-30 knots along the showers of the Eastern United States where the front is located.

by W456
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
827. 7544
5:46 PM GMT on October 20, 2007
is that whole mess south of cuba going to go ne over so/ fla ? thank you
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826. Floodman
12:28 PM CDT on October 20, 2007
Morning folks...just checking in to see what's going on...tropically nothing more that some isolates (Atlantic Basin, that is)...I see the shear forecast has changed again too
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825. Weather456
1:27 PM AST on October 20, 2007
824. JRRP 1:24 PM AST on October 20, 2007 Hide this comment.
WHAT´S HAPPEN ON THE LASSER ANTILLES
IS THAT A WAVE OR WHAT ???????????????


not a wave...an area of convergence in the easterly trades.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
824. JRRP
5:23 PM GMT on Octubre 20, 2007
WHAT´S HAPPEN ON THE LASSER ANTILLES
IS THAT A WAVE OR WHAT ???????????????
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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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