Super Tuesday tornado outbreak: deadliest in 23 years

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:00 PM GMT on February 06, 2008

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Violent tornadoes rampaged across the South last night, killing at least 52 people, injuring hundreds, and destroying thousands of buildings. The death toll from the 2008 Super Tuesday Tornado Outbreak makes it the deadliest tornado outbreak in the past 23 years. The last time tornadoes killed so many people in the U.S. was on May 31, 1985, when 88 people died in a tornado outbreak that hit Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania. What is really unusual about yesterday's Super Tuesday Outbreak is that it occurred in early February. Only one other tornado outbreak in the past century killed so many people so early in the year--the great Warren, Arkansas tornado outbreak of January 3, 1949, which killed 60 people.


Figure 1. Storm reports for the Super Tuesday tornado outbreak of 2008. Image credit: NOAA's Storm Prediction Center.

Tornado outbreak fueled by record warm temperatures
Yesterday's outbreak was fueled by record warmth over the South. Record high temperatures were recorded in Little Rock, Arkansas (75), Shreveport, LA (78), El Dorado, AR (77), Memphis, TN (75), Jackson, MS (81), and Charleston, SC (79), to name a few locations. A strong cold front associated with a powerful winter storm over the north central U.S. pushed into this warm, unstable air mass, triggering Tuesday's bout of violent weather. From what I've seen of the damage photos so far, some of these tornadoes were undoubtedly strong EF-3 and possibly violent EF-4 twisters. I did not see any damage characteristic of the highest EF-5 level. Among the areas hard-hit were Memphis, TN (Figure 2), where a tornado smashed through the Hickory Ridge shopping mall on the southeast side of town, killing one person. In Jackson, Tennessee, a tornado devastated Union University, destroying 40% of the all the student dormitories and damaging another 40%. At least 1100 cars were damaged at the university, but no one was killed.


Figure 2. Radar reflectivity image of the February 5, 2008 Memphis, Tennessee tornado.

How bizarre is this?
The Super Tuesday tornadoes disrupted polling in many locations in Tennessee and Arkansas, where voters were forced to take cover when tornadoes swept through in the late afternoon and early evening. In a bizarre twist, the town of Clinton, Arkansas was hit by a tornado on a day when Arkansas voters journeyed to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton in the state's democratic primary. The Clinton tornado also ripped through the town of Atkins, Arkansas, about 30 miles southwest of Clinton. Three people died and damage was very heavy in Atkins, a small town of about 3,000 people.


Figure 3. Radar reflectivity image of the February 5, 2008 Atkins/Clinton tornado as it approached Clinton, Arkansas. Note the classic hook-shaped echo characteristic of a tornado.


Figure 4. Radar velocity image of the February 5, 2008 Atkins/Clinton tornado as it approached Clinton, Arkansas. Note the area of blue and red echoes just south of Clinton. The blues and reds show that strong winds going both towards and away from the radar exist in a small area, denoting the presence of a parent mesocyclone (rotating thunderstorm) and a tornado.

Continued threat of severe weather today
Severe weather continues today, with tornado watches posted in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. Stay turned to our Severe Weather Pages and Interactive Tornado Page to keep up with what's happening. Today's weather should not be nearly as violent as yesterday's, however.

Jeff Masters

Tornadic Supercell (RevBE)
Lightning picture captured a little after 10:00 pm CDT as a tornado warned supercell moved through Davidson and western Wilson county this evening. Damage is being reported. I was approximately 30 miles away from the storm.
Tornadic Supercell
Deadly night (RevBE)
It was a deadly night in Tennessee with tornadoes moving through. This storm produced a tornado in my county that demolished buildings and set a gas pumping station ablaze.
Deadly night

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102. weatherboykris
8:45 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
The bottom line is that you cannot blame any one severe weather outbreak on GW.La Nina tends to increase the number of tornadoes in a given year.

Atlantic Hurricanes
Remember to bookmark the site.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
101. vortfix
8:34 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
SHORT TERM FORECAST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
324 PM EST THU FEB 7 2008

.NOW...
THROUGH 530 PM...A FEW MODERATE TO BRIEFLY HEAVY RAIN SHOWERS WILL
AFFECT AREAS ALONG AND NORTH OF THE INTERSTATE 4 CORRIDOR. HEAVIER
SHOWERS FROM DELTONA TO NEW SMYRNA BEACH WILL MOVE NORTHEAST AT 25
MPH. ADDITIONAL SHOWERS FROM SCOTTSMOOR TO MIMS ALONG INTERSTATE 95
WILL MOVE ACROSS THE MOSQUITO LAGOON AND THE NEARSHORE ATLANTIC
WATERS. OCCASIONAL CLOUD TO GROUND AND CLOUD TO WATER LIGHTNING
STRIKES WILL BE POSSIBLE IN THE STRONGER CELLS.
100. vortfix
8:07 PM GMT on February 07, 2008

99. atmoaggie
7:48 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
Aha. See Link about ENSO and tornados research using historical data. Most conclusions are moreso that observation frequency increases drown out any other signal (same has been said about GW and tornados), but some useful info there. Still looking for the theory work.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
98. vortfix
7:44 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1027 AM CST THU FEB 07 2008

VALID 071630Z - 081200Z

...NO SVR TSTM AREAS FORECAST...

..CENTRAL FL THROUGH TONIGHT...
A SURFACE FRONT HAS STALLED ACROSS CENTRAL FL FROM N OF TAMPA BAY TO
NEAR DAYTONA BEACH. THIS BOUNDARY WILL MOVE LITTLE THROUGH THE
PERIOD...AND MAY PROVIDE A FOCUS FOR AT LEAST ISOLATED THUNDERSTORM
DEVELOPMENT THIS AFTERNOON BASED ON MLCAPE VALUES NEAR 1500 J/KG AND
WEAK CONVECTIVE INHIBITION. MEANWHILE...A MID LEVEL SHORTWAVE
TROUGH NOW OVER THE SRN PLAINS WILL MOVE EWD TO THE SE ATLANTIC
STATES. THIS WAVE WILL PASS A LITTLE N OF THE BAROCLINIC ZONE IN
FL...AND THE STRONGER DEEP LAYER FLOW/VERTICAL SHEAR WILL REMAIN ON
THE COOL SIDE OF THE BOUNDARY. STILL...ISOLATED STORMS ALONG THE
FRONT COULD PRODUCE STRONG/DAMAGING GUSTS BOTH THIS AFTERNOON AND
LATER TONIGHT...THOUGH THE THREAT SHOULD REMAIN MARGINAL.
97. vortfix
7:42 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
Here is a page from NOAA that explains tornadoes and other tornado information.
Not really a 101 type information....worth reading for everyone.
96. Kipper26
7:32 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
People need to understand that tornadoes can happen any time of the year. Here in Ohio we have had tornadoes as late as November and as early as February. If people were educated on the things that cause tornadoes and serve thunderstorm they would have a better understanding of when they need to be more aware of what's going on with the weather,and take action when needed.
95. atmoaggie
7:30 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
Here is a plot of the 10 year average, this year, and the last 3 years worth of tornado numbers for the country in a running total.

Our persistent La Nina generates anomalously high shear right? Would that be a good reason why we are so far above the average for tornado numbers?

I refuse to believe that the GW or Bush did it (I am not religious enough for that). Except for about 2 days (which did not account for most of the activity) we have not been especially warmer than the 3 previous years worth of Januarys.

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
93. atmoaggie
7:19 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
89. FatPenguin 6:43 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
Kerry is a boob for bringing up global warming so soon after this tragedy, but common sense dictates that a warmer climate will expand the tornado season earlier (and later) into the year.


Ummm, in the southeast tornado season has no clear beginning or ending. There is actually a secondary maximum of tornado activity during the winter months for most of the gulf coast states. The notion of an earlier beginning or later ending only applies to tornado alley.

Now if we wanted to apply the idea that more shear would be present in a warmer climate(which has been stated as a reason not to get too riled up about warmer SSTs and TCs) now you are talkin'. Shear, along with strong updrafts, are exactly what causes tornados. Could more of it cause more tornadic activity? I expect so, although there might be a negative feedback I haven't considered (as is usually the case while trying to attribute changes to an exceedingly complex system in such a simple cause/effect).
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
92. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
6:58 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
906 central pressure for Hondo from the RSMC Reunion while the JTWC has the pressure a little higher...? At any rate this is a Category Five Cyclone now with the Dvorak Intensity now at 7.0.



JTWC 929 mb 125 knots
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43666
91. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
6:50 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
RSMC Reunion Tropical Cyclone Advisory
Tropical Cyclone Hondo
Severe Tropical Storm Ivan


System #1
============

At 18:00 PM UTC, Very Intense Tropical Cyclone 10R [906 hPa] located near 15.0S 82.9E had 10 minute sustained winds of 120 knots with gusts up to 170 knots. The cyclone is reported moving south-southeast at 3 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: 7.0

Hurricane-Force Winds within 20 NM radius from center

Storm-Force Winds within 30 NM radius from center extending up to 40 NM in western semi-circle

Gale-Force Winds within 70 NM from center extending up to 90 NM in southwestern quadrant

Near Gale-Force Winds within 80 NM from the center extending up to 140 NM southwest quadrants.

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 15.6S 83.7E - 100 knots (CYCLONE Tropicale Intense)
48 HRS: 17.6S 85.5E - 80 knots (CYCLONE Tropicale)
72 HRS: 20.1S 86.4E - 50 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)

Additonal Information
=====================
Very Intense Tropical Cyclone Hondo shows an annular pattern (yet slightly eroded in the southeastern part) The environment is favorable, low level inflow are well established, wind shear is weak and upper level divergence rather good. However the system has a rather small size and should then quickly react to modifications in the environmental conditions. Hondo is located between two competing steering flows, subtropical high pressures in the southwest and equatorial upper level ridge that remains the dominate steering flow. Hondo is then expected to keep on tracking slowly southeastward then quicker beyonf 36 hours weakness in the subtropical ridge in the southeast. Weakening is expected to be stronger beyond 48-60 hours as the system moves into cooler sea surface temperatures.

System #2
=============

At 18:00PM UTC, Severe Tropical Storm 11R [984hPa] located near 14.5S 62.5E had 10 minute sustained winds of 50 knots with gusts up to 70 knots. The storm is reported moving southeast at 11 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: 3.5

Forecast and Intensity
========================
24 HRS: 16.7S 63.3E - 60 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)
48 HRS: 18.0S 62.2E - 60 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)
72 HRS: 17.5S 61.0E - 50 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)

Additional Information
==========================
Upper level conditions has improved as a cut-off low shifts south of the system and therefore enhances polewards upper level divergence. System is under the steering influence of the thick west-northwestward flow generated by the mid level equatorial ridge. The system should therefore keep on tracking east-southeastward for the next 24 hours then as the subtropical ridge strengthens near 70E and a weakness in the subtropical high pressure shifts south of the system, steering flow should be weaker resulting in a gradual decrease of the speed and in a southward track before moving west-southwest as the subtropical ridge rebuilds in the southwest
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43666
90. vortfix
6:49 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
Oh never mind no such animal exists.


LOL....I know what you mean NE!
89. FatPenguin
6:43 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
Kerry is a boob for bringing up global warming so soon after this tragedy, but common sense dictates that a warmer climate will expand the tornado season earlier (and later) into the year.
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 315
88. NEwxguy
6:31 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
86. vortfix 5:51 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
Sen. Kerry Blames Tornados on Global Warming

he is from my state,but would be willing to trade for a politician that doesn't talks on stuff he doesn't know what he's talking about.
Oh never mind no such animal exists.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
87. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
6:02 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
TCWC Wellington
STORM WARNING


At 12:00 PM UTC, Extratropical Low Ex-Gene [960 hPa] located near 38S 167W has 10 minute sustained winds of 65 knots decreasing to 55 knots in the next 6-12 hours. The low is moving southwest at 15 knots.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43666
86. vortfix
5:51 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
Sen. Kerry Blames Tornados on Global Warming

Former Democratic presidential nominee blames 'intense storms' that have killed more than 50 on climate change.
By Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute
2/6/2008 5:07:05 PM

Politicians using tragedy to advance an agenda has been a tried-and-true strategy. Paint the idea green and a natural catastrophe became political fodder for former Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry (Mass.).



Kerry appeared on MSNBC on February 6 to discuss storms that have killed at least 50 people throughout the Southeastern United States. So, of course, Kerry used the platform to advance global warming alarmism.



[I] don't want to sort of leap into the larger meaning of, you know, inappropriately, but on the other hand, the weather service has told us we are going to have more and more intense storms Kerry said. And insurance companies are beginning to look at this issue and understand this is related to the intensity of storms that is related to the warming of the earth. And so it goes to global warming and larger issues that we're not paying attention to. The fact is the hurricanes are more intensive, the storms are more intensive and the rainfall is more intense at certain places at certain times and the weather patterns have changed



Kerry's assertion tornado activity is related to any type of climate change is questionable based on the writings of at least one meteorologist. Roger Edwards, a meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center of the National Weather Center in Norman, Okla., has doubts about any global warming and tornado relationship.



As of this writing, no scientific studies solidly relate climatic global temperature trends to tornadoes Edwards wrote on the Earth & Sky Web site in April 2007. I don't expect any such results in the near future either, because tornadoes are too small, short-lived, hard to measure and count, and too dependent on day to day, even minute to minute weather conditions



85. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
5:43 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
RSMC REUNION
SOUTHWEST INDIAN OCEAN


System #1
=============

At 12:00 PM UTC, Intense Tropical Cyclone Hondo [915 hPa] located near 15.0S 82.7E had 10 minute sustained winds of 115 knots with gusts up to 165 knots. The cyclone is reported moving south-southeast at 3 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: 6.5

Hurricane-Force Winds within 20 NM radius from center

Storm-Force Winds within 30 NM radius from center extending up to 40 NM in western semi-circle

Gale-Force Winds within 70 NM from center extending up to 90 NM in southwestern quadrant

Near Gale-Force Winds within 80 NM from the center extending up to 140 NM southwest quadrants.

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 15.5S 83.1E - 90 knots (CYCLONE Tropicale)
48 HRS: 16.7S 84.6E - 70 knots (CYCLONE Tropicale)
72 HRS: 19.5S 86.0E - 50 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)

Additonal Information
=====================
Intense Tropical Cyclone Hondo has intensified over the last hours and shows an annular pattern (yet slightly eroded in the southeastern part) on the microwave imagery. The environment is favorable, low level inflows are well established, wind shear is weak, and upper level divergence is rather good. However the system has a rather small size and should then quickly react to modifications in the environmental conditions. Hondo is located between two competing steering flows, subtropical high pressures in the southwest and equatorial upper level ridge that remains the dominant steering flow. TC Hondo is then expected to keep on tracking slowly southeastward, then quicker beyond 36 hours towards a weakness in the subtropical ridge in the southeast. Weakening is expected to be stronger beyond 48-60 hours as it enters cooler sea surface temperatures.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center

System #2
===============

At 12:00PM UTC, Moderate Tropical Storm Ivan[990hPa] located near 13.9S 61.3E had 10 minute sustained winds of 40 knots with gusts up to 60 knots. The storm is reported moving south-southeast at 10 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: 3.0

Forecast and Intensity
========================
24 HRS: 15.7S 64.2E - 60 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)
48 HRS: 17.2S 64.7E - 60 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)
72 HRS: 18.0S 63.7E - 60 knots (Forte Tempête Tropicale)

Additional Information
==========================
Upper level conditions has improved as a cut-off low shifts south of the system and therefore enhances polewards upper level divergence.

System is under the steering influence of the thick west-northwest flow by the mid-level equatorial ridge. The system should therefore keep on tracking east-southeastwards for the next 24 hours then as the subtropical ridge strengthens near 70E and a weakness in the subtropical high pressures shifts south of the system, steering flow should be weaker resulting in a gradual decrease of the speed and in a southward track. Available NWP are not in good agreement. US and ARPEGE model do not deep the system and track globally eastwards. The forecast is close to ECMWF model scenario as this model properly analyzes the system in location and intensity.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43666
84. NEwxguy
4:15 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
Yeh,Storm very unusual isn't it for it to be there most of the winter?
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
83. HIEXPRESS
3:55 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
Shuttle Launch Blog
Countdown clock
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2155
79. vortfix
3:45 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
The article that INSTABILITY posted earlier in #71 contains this statement:

Forecasters started warning the public last week about the potential for dangerous tornadoes Tuesday, he said.
Carbin said forecasters issued an outlook six days before Tuesday's storms, saying a tornado outbreak was possible.

"Certainly no one wants to talk well in advance about a deadly outbreak, because there are too many uncertainties," he said. "They are rare, so you can't be overly confident. But if you look at our forecast products over the week, it was handled well from a watch and warning standpoint yesterday."


I was well aware personally of the upcoming severe event more than a week out.
I'm sorry if you were caught unaware sleepysentry.
But several of us had been discussing and following this weather on another blog for a week.
77. IKE
3:45 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
76. NEwxguy 9:41 AM CST on February 07, 2008
A lot of people feel this is a tropical blog,and won't comment unless it is tropical in nature,I guess.


True.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
76. NEwxguy
3:41 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
A lot of people feel this is a tropical blog,and won't comment unless it is tropical in nature,I guess. During the non hurricane time of season,I try to make note of any active weather,especially something as serious as the outbreak the past couple of days.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
74. IKE
3:17 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
70. KRL 4:26 AM CST on February 07, 2008 Hide this comment.
The extensiveness of damage is horrific. A friend of mine in TN had her home destroyed and lost everything.

I think it's time this country starts addressing the issue of continuing to build out population centers in areas that are so prone to natural disasters, especially for earthquake prone cities, flood zones by major rivers, and southern coastal areas for hurricanes. The more developers build the more targets are created for these extreme weather events to strike. It's a numbers game and since we can't control the weather, we can at least begin to control not putting so much of our national infrastructure and people in high odds areas and harm's way.

It's apparent we're going into a weather cycle in the years ahead that is going to be more and more severe so we might as well deal with it head on.


What gets me puzzled, is a majority of us(myself included), spend all hurricane season long posting on storms that a great majority of the time don't affect the US or anyone sometimes, but tornadoes that kill 55+ aren't talked about much on Dr. Masters blog.

Under 80 posts in just under a day. If it was a hurricane with that much damage, the post count would be well over 1,000 in the same time period.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
73. NEwxguy
2:58 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
watching the news last night,the tornado damage is mind boggling,I really feel all the people out in that area.The weather has been so out of character,here in the Boston area,we had a group of heavy thunderstorms move through around midnight,extremely rare for this time of year.La Nina really have the weather patterns all messed up.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15079
71. INSTABILITY
12:01 PM GMT on February 07, 2008
Storm predictor says tornado outbreak was forecast early
By MURRAY EVANS
Associated Press Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY --The public had days of warning before deadly tornadoes tore through five states, a meteorologist with the National Storm Prediction Center said Wednesday.

The storms that swept across Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas on Tuesday night killed at least 55 people, a death toll that ranks among the top 15 from tornado outbreaks since 1950, said Greg Carbin, the warning coordination meteorologist at the center in Norman, Okla., just south of Oklahoma City.

Forecasters started warning the public last week about the potential for dangerous tornadoes Tuesday, he said.

Carbin said the last time this many people died in a tornado outbreak was May 3, 1999, when 46 people were killed during an outbreak of 70 twisters that touched down in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas, including an incredibly powerful tornado that stayed on the ground for 38 miles and ripped across the Oklahoma City metropolitan area from southwest to northeast.

Carbin said that until National Weather Service workers and local emergency management crews examine the damage, it will be impossible to know exactly how many tornadoes touched down Tuesday or their exact strength.

He said 67 eyewitness accounts of tornadoes have been reported, but he said the number of actual twisters won't be that high, because of multiple persons seeing the same funnel. He said a reasonable guess is "30 to 40" tornadoes touched down.

Carbin said forecasters issued an outlook six days before Tuesday's storms, saying a tornado outbreak was possible.

"Certainly no one wants to talk well in advance about a deadly outbreak, because there are too many uncertainties," he said. "They are rare, so you can't be overly confident. But if you look at our forecast products over the week, it was handled well from a watch and warning standpoint yesterday."

Tuesday's outbreak was caused when a strong storm system that typically affects the nation during this time of the year collided with a springtime air mass filled with moisture. As the system passed over Oklahoma during the early morning hours, it produced only mild thunderstorms and rain before moving east.

But as the atmosphere warmed from the normal heating of the day, it led to the development of more severe thunderstorms that spawned the tornadoes.

"It's not often you get the ingredients to coincide to the extent they did last night, perhaps once every 10 years," Carbin said.

Michelann Ooten, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said the tornado outbreak points up the year-round danger of twisters, even though they are more likely to occur in the spring.

"Do our people typically anticipate tornadoes in February? Absolutely not," she said. "But this points up truly you can have tornadoes any time of the year, which is why you need to have a NOAA weather radio and have that tool at your fingertips to get you through whatever emergency or disaster you find yourself a victim of."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
70. KRL
10:26 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
The extensiveness of damage is horrific. A friend of mine in TN had her home destroyed and lost everything.

I think it's time this country starts addressing the issue of continuing to build out population centers in areas that are so prone to natural disasters, especially for earthquake prone cities, flood zones by major rivers, and southern coastal areas for hurricanes. The more developers build the more targets are created for these extreme weather events to strike. It's a numbers game and since we can't control the weather, we can at least begin to control not putting so much of our national infrastructure and people in high odds areas and harm's way.

It's apparent we're going into a weather cycle in the years ahead that is going to be more and more severe so we might as well deal with it head on.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 229
69. KoritheMan
6:40 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
Taz... the current shear pattern reminds me of last year when shear in February dropped to as low as 10 knots (averaged across the entire Caribbean); it has been above average in the tropical Atlantic. Not to mention that the Atlantic is FAR colder than even last year, which had the coolest SSTs since 1995:

1995 also managed to produce 19 storms and become the most active year in the Atlantic since 1933 (2005 bumped it into third place though, obviously, but I'm speaking of at the time). I'm not saying 2008 will be a repeat of 1995, though (believe me, I know better than that). All we can do is watch though. Anything can change within the next few months though, but I'm not ABOUT to be stupid and try and predict what hurricane season is going to be like until the end of May.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19119
68. Tazmanian
4:18 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
By GONZALO SOLANO, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 38 minutes ago



QUITO, Ecuador - Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano shot columns of ash miles into the air on Wednesday, as officials ordered the evacuation of 3,000 villagers living near its slopes.


Some 1,000 villagers from the western flanks of the 16,575-foot volcano fled their homes for shelters at dawn, said Roberto Rodriguez, director of Civil Defense. He said 11 families who refused to leave, fearing looters, were removed by force.

"We've taken all of the precautions possible," President Rafael Correa told reporters on Wednesday, adding that a state of emergency already in place in the area will be extended for 60 days.

Juan Salazar, the mayor of the nearby village of Penipe, said 3,000 people needed to be evacuated — a figure that included the 1,000 villagers who had already fled.

Experts at the Geophysics Institute warn that the intense activity shows no sign of slowing down, and compared it to the massive 2006 Tungurahua eruptions that buried entire villages, leaving at least four dead and thousands homeless.

"The volcano has entered a new explosive eruption cycle, a process which does not seem to be slowing down," said Hugo Yepez, director of the Geophysics Institute.

The institute said Wednesday's eruptions shot ash 6 miles into the air.

Populations on Tungurahua's western flank have been most affected, particularly the communities of Bilbao, Cusua, Chacauco and Puela. The popular tourist town of Banos near the volcano, is currently not at risk.

There were no reported victims, according to Rodriguez, the Civil Defense director.

Ash billowing from Tungurahua, whose name means "throat of fire" in the local indigenous Quichua language, has already covered thousands of acres of farmland, destroying property, crops and livestock.

Tungurahua, located 95 miles southeast of the capital of Quito, has been active since 1999.
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114054
67. CrazyC83
3:50 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
If La Nina spawns big outbreaks, could we be looking at Super Outbreak II this March or April?
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 142
66. AllyBama
3:29 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
Thanks for the infor Skye..that is quite interesting and informative..
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 132 Comments: 20614
65. Skyepony (Mod)
3:23 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
Thumbing through some NWS field inspections, click links for more info.

MEMPHIS TN area

...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY CREW DETERMINES EF-2
TORNADO IN NORTHEAST SHELBY COUNTY AND SOUTHEAST TIPTON COUNTY
TENNESSEE...

...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY CREW DETERMINES EF-2
TORNADO ACROSS NORTHERN DESOTO COUNTY MISSISSIPPI AND SOUTHERN
SHELBY COUNTY TENNESSEE...

...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY CREW DETERMINES TWO TORNADOES IN LAFAYETTE COUNTY MISSISSIPPI... TWO TORNADOES OCCURRED IN LAFAYETTE COUNTY ON THE EVENING OF FEBRUARY 5. THE TORNADOES WERE RATED EF1 AND EF3.

...MADISON COUNTY STORM DAMAGE ASSESSMENT SURVEY RESULTS... ...EF4 DAMAGE RATING AT UNION UNIVERSITY IN JACKSON TENNESSEE...

...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY CREW DETERMINES EF-2
TORNADO IN NORTHEAST SHELBY COUNTY AND SOUTHEAST TIPTON COUNTY
TENNESSEE...


LOUISVILLE KY

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY CONDUCTED IN CENTRAL HARDIN
COUNTY CONFIRMED THAT TWO SEPARATE EF-2 TORNADOES TOUCHED DOWN.

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY CONDUCTED IN AND NEAR
BRANDENBURG IN MEADE COUNTY CONFIRMED THAT AN EF-1 TORNADO TOUCHED
DOWN AROUND 1154 PM EST.

...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CONFIRMS TWO SEPARATE EF-3 TORNADO
TOUCHDOWNS IN ALLEN AND MONROE COUNTIES IN SOUTH-CENTRAL KENTUCKY
FROM THE 5-6 FEBRUARY SEVERE WEATHER EVENT... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY TEAM IS STILL COMPILING
INFORMATION ON THE ALLEN COUNTY AND MONROE COUNTY TORNADOES. HOWEVER
IT APPEARS THAT BOTH WERE OF EF-3 STRENGTH...WITH MAXIMUM WIND
SPEEDS AND PATH WIDTHS OF 160 MPH AND A HALF MILE...RESPECTIVELY.


...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CONFIRMS EXTENSIVE STRAIGHT-LINE WIND
DAMAGE WITH AN EMBEDDED EF-1 TORNADO TOUCHDOWN IN MERCER COUNTY NEAR
HARRODSBURG DURING THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF 6 FEBRUARY 2008...

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY CONDUCTED IN WASHINGTON
COUNTY KENTUCKY CONFIRMED THAT TWO TORNADOES TOUCHED DOWN. (EF-1 & EF-2)

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY CONDUCTED IN CENTRAL
SPENCER COUNTY KENTUCKY CONFIRMED THAT TWO EF-0 TORNADOES TOUCHED
DOWN.

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY CONDUCTED IN CENTRAL HARDIN
COUNTY KENTUCKY CONFIRMED THAT AN EF-2 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN ONE TO
TWO MILES SOUTHWEST OF CECILIA AROUND 1222 AM EST.

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY CONDUCTED IN CENTRAL
SPENCER COUNTY KENTUCKY CONFIRMED THAT AN EF-0 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY CONDUCTED IN EASTERN MEADE
COUNTY KENTUCKY CONFIRMED THAT A WEAK EF-1 TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN
BRANDENBURG AROUND MIDNIGHT EST.

If I missed an area anyone is intested in check here.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36085
62. hurricane23
2:11 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
57. Tazmanian 7:57 PM EST on February 06, 2008
i have noted for the pass few weeks or so wind shear in the Caribbean been runing a round 20 to 30kt sould it be like 50 to 60kt at this time of year ??? and i have noted a small part of the gulf that has 30 to 40kt of wind shear

No chance Taz!

Try again in a few months.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13597
61. WxWyz
1:49 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
Tornado, I've seen that many a time on the maps. Especially when those much warmer chinook winds start coming down off the Rockies. Not always weather associated with it.
60. MNTornado
1:38 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
Looking at the WU US Regional Weather Map I'm wondering about this warm front over the Dakota's. I have never seen such a straight line in a front before. It appears to be perfectly straight from Canada all the way South though South Dakota. Is this a little strange, or am I just out of touch?
Member Since: July 1, 2005 Posts: 154 Comments: 19313
59. WxWyz
1:05 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
It's comforting to know there are other weather freaks like me out there! If those with a computer would take the time to explore their local NWS office web site, they might actually become interested in weather and what a huge role it plays in our day to day life.
58. aquak9
12:59 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
Thanks ya'll.

On a more personal note, I was a basket case at work yesterday. "Weather freak" they call me. They laughed, as I paced back and forth, feeling helpless.

And today, numb, I shake my head...already knew I'd be taking today off from work, knew this would be so bad...so many only care about the weather over their own roof, and have zero compassion or empathy for the events around us.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25506
57. Tazmanian
12:57 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
i have noted for the pass few weeks or so wind shear in the Caribbean been runing a round 20 to 30kt sould it be like 50 to 60kt at this time of year ??? and i have noted a small part of the gulf that has 30 to 40kt of wind shear

Link
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114054
56. WxWyz
12:53 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
That's sad but funny, Tornado. That incident pretty well sums up my whole point of view. He's lucky he didn't become a statistic. You're either going to be smart about it, or you're going to be like him. Weather can be like a snake...beautiful in it's own right but don't play with it, respect it!
55. MNTornado
12:49 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
Believe it or not, I new a guy that I worked with who went to pick up his wife at work during a thunder storm with a tornado warning in progress. He got frustrated because the company where she worked wouldn't let her or anyone else out of the building. The tornado sirens were blaring away and he sat in his car outside the front door of his wifes employer and wouldn't go inside to shelter. He thought that the whole thing was just so much nonsense. Then he complains at work the next day that they wouldn't let his wife out of the building until the tornado warning had expired.
What can I tell you, some people just don't get it.
Member Since: July 1, 2005 Posts: 154 Comments: 19313
54. WxWyz
12:47 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
You are right on that aquak9. To me a "watch" is the signal to be ready to move at a moments notice. We have a tornado siren a block away but I would never rely on it in the middle of a stormy night. I realize the Weather Alert radios can be a nuisance at times when a dozen alerts are broadcast for every county but yours! Fortunately, we have not had a tornado in my towns history. But that well known fact would never get me to put my guard down for a second. There's always that first time.
53. aquak9
12:30 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
Good evening, compassionate people.

I saw an earlier post here, that a lotta folks don't know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. IMHO, a "watch" seems almost a weak term. I've posted it so many times...since a radar loop takes 5 minutes to complete, one shouldn't wait for a "warning". A tornado can be on the ground for minutes before the warning ever gets broadcast. Tornadoes don't wait for permission to touch down.

Just an opinion.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25506
52. WxWyz
12:15 AM GMT on February 07, 2008
If I may interject one more comment...I think the average "non-weatherwise" person, especially those who live in an area where thunderstorms are fairly frequent, don't comprehend the vast difference between a harmless summer air mass thunderstorm and a monster supercell thunderstorm. I have heard the comment from storm victims "We get lightning storms here all the time so we didn't pay much attention to it". Especially at night, that can be a fatal mistake. Again, Weather Radios and education!

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.