Alma dies without causing a major disaster; tornadoes rip Midwest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:03 PM GMT on May 30, 2008

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Tropical Storm Alma has dissipated over the high mountains of Honduras, and thankfully did not dump enough rain to cause a major flooding disaster in Central America. At 3pm EDT yesterday, Alma became the first tropical storm since records began in 1949 to make landfall on the Pacific coast of Central America. All previous Eastern Pacific storms have hit Mexico, which is considered part of North America. Alma came ashore in Nicaragua, near the Honduras border, as a tropical storm with 65 mph winds. So far, one person has been killed in Nicaragua, due to a fallen power cable. However, Alma has not dumped enough rain to cause widespread flooding--rainfall amounts in Nicaragua the past two day have been 3-8 inches. Costa Rica has had rains of similar magnitude, which have caused isolated mudslides that have blocked roads. Additional rain from Alma's remnants should total less than two inches in Costa Rica and four inches in Nicaragua. However, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula are likely to get 4-8 inches of rain over the next two days from this system, which could cause significant flooding and mud slides.


Figure 1. Current satellite image of Alma's remnants.

There is a large area of disturbed weather that has developed in the Western Caribbean between Jamaica and the Yucatan Peninsula in the past few hours, in association with a trough of low pressure extending from the center of Alma. This morning's 7:37am EDT QuikSCAT pass showed winds of up to 50 knots (58 mph) in this region, but no hint of a circulation or wind shift. It is possible that this disturbed area could start to develop on its own later today, as a westward-moving tropical wave currently near Jamaica interacts with it. This area should expand and spread into Honduras, Belize, and Mexico's Yucatan by Saturday. However, I'm not expecting a major flooding disaster with heavy loss of life anywhere in Central America from Alma's remnants. The GFS model is predicting that moisture from Alma will eventually work its way north and bring heavy rains to Florida by June 7. No models are predicting a tropical storm in the Atlantic during the coming week.


Figure 2. Doppler radar winds from the Kearney, Nebraska tornadoes of May 29, 2008. Note that a twin set of vorticies appears in this image, denoting that two adjacent tornadoes may have hit.

Tornadoes rip the Midwest again Thursday; tornadoes expected today in Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri
Numerous strong tornadoes raked the Midwest last night, adding to the extensive damage already wreaked by one of the worst months of tornado damage in U.S. history. Last night's most significant destruction occurred in Jewell, Kansas, and Kearney, Nebraska. In Jewell, numerous businesses were destroyed and the town water tower toppled. In Kearney, multiple twisters hit, and a 90-car train was knocked off of its tracks. Wunderblogger Mike Theiss caught up to the Kearney tornado, and describes his experience in his blog today. All told, there were 55 tornado reports Thursday, but no deaths or injuries.

The Storm Prediction Center is calling for a "Moderate" risk of severe weather across Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri this afternoon---one level below their "High" risk level that was posted yesterday. Expect another significant tornado outbreak today. The Weather Underground Severe Weather page and Tornado page are good places to go to follow the severe weather. Also, tune in to the chase accounts and awesome storm photos from Wunderblogger Mike Theiss. Mike is in Tornado Alley this week, performing his annual chase efforts.

Jeff Masters

TIV 1 under thunderstorm (MikeTheiss)
Photo of the original TIV (Tornado Intercept Vehicle) driving out from underneath thunderstorm. Photo copyright Mike Theiss
TIV 1 under thunderstorm
Osbourne Kansas Tornado (MikeTheiss)
Blurry photo of the Osbourne Kansas tornado taken while driving. Photo copyright Mike Theiss
Osbourne Kansas Tornado
Storm Chasers with eerie skies (MikeTheiss)
Photo of Cloud 9 Tours members parked underneath some really eerie looking skies. Photo copyright Mike Theiss
Storm Chasers with eerie skies
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1416. BahaHurican
1:54 PM GMT on June 01, 2008
New blog.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21886
1415. Drakoen
3:38 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
New Blog is up!
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30157
1414. HurakanPR
3:38 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
456,i don't think Dr. Masters requires a degree in meteorology to participate in this forum. But instead to share our knowledge and experiences. Good for you and those that are studying the subject. Im sure you are a great asset for those of all with less oportunities to do so.
1413. TexasRiverRat
3:36 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
My question is: Say the Low,T.D.,or T.S. moves into mexico, Will the rains move towards texas or just keep on heading West?
1412. taco2me61
3:35 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Good Morning Everyone,

Just checking in and see what is going own with the storm in the caribbean.... Some good reading and Great Links in here today thanks....

Back to lurking....

Have a good day and will be back later....

Taco :0)
Member Since: July 7, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 3247
1411. all4hurricanes
3:33 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
I didn't form in the Caribbean everyone contradicted me and I was right it didn't form (yet) ARTHUR OMJ OMJ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2370
1410. Drakoen
3:30 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Photobucket
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30157
1409. extreme236
3:30 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
All and all, if this develops it won't be hard for it to reach TS status, considered the already low pressure (1005mb) and the earlier QS winds suggesting TS strength.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1408. Cavin Rawlins
3:29 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
90L/EAST ATL/Why so many waves in may
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1407. guygee
3:28 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1365. atmoaggie 2:54 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
I think QuikSCAT is instantaneous winds. For a TS speeds a one minute average would be used. Gusts can easily be 60% higher than the one minute average.

Hey atmoaggie!
I am thinking that since QuikSCAT is looking at reflections from capillary waves over a 12.5 km^2 cell (at best, they are really sub-pixeling that), wind gusts are getting averaged out pretty well. How that translates into an "N minute" average wind I have no clear idea. Interesting question to be answered there!
Member Since: September 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3148
1406. IpswichWeatherCenter
3:28 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/radial_search.php?lat1=18.5N&lon1=88.7W&uom=E&dist=500&ot=A&time=3


winds are dropping...

IN 90L

Whats going on with 98A?
Member Since: April 27, 2008 Posts: 29 Comments: 2097
1405. extreme236
3:27 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Its supposed to go to Mexico anyway.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1404. TheWeatherMan504
3:27 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
if 90L is speeding up that means it wont probaly curve back to the NE when it gets in the BOC its going to mexico.
Member Since: May 18, 2008 Posts: 2 Comments: 1042
1403. TheCaneWhisperer
3:26 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
I've been noticing THIS trend out of the GFS lately. Bermuda High bounces around a bit and returns to that general location @ around 1020mb.
1402. Drakoen
3:25 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1398. IpswichWeatherCenter 3:21 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1396. That is no way right...


Yes that is right.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30157
1401. extreme236
3:25 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
If it keeps moving at that speed we may actually have the potential for a tropical cyclone tomorrow.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1400. Drakoen
3:24 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Yes 90L is speeding up the low level flow behind the system is increasing.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30157
1399. Tazmanian
3:23 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
WONT41 KNHC 311519
DSAAT
SPECIAL TROPICAL DISTURBANCE STATEMENT
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1130 AM EDT SAT MAY 31 2008

THE BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE PREVIOUSLY LOCATED OVER THE WESTERN
CARIBBEAN SEA HAS MOVED INLAND OVER BELIZE AND THE YUCATAN
PENINSULA THIS MORNING. THIS SYSTEM IS ACCOMPANIED BY A LARGE AREA
OF SQUALLS AND GUSTY WINDS PRIMARILY OVER THE WATERS NORTH AND EAST
OF THE CIRCULATION CENTER. SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT IS NOT EXPECTED
TODAY AS THE SYSTEM MOVES SLOWLY WESTWARD OVER THE YUCATAN
PENINSULA. HOWEVER...THERE IS SOME POTENTIAL FOR A TROPICAL CYCLONE
TO FORM IF THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE MOVES OVER THE BAY OF CAMPECHE
ON SUNDAY.

EVEN IF NO DEVELOPMENT OCCURS...LOCALIZED HEAVY RAINS AND FLOODS ARE
POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS OVER PORTIONS OF
HONDURAS...EL SALVADOR..GUATEMALA...BELIZE...AND SOUTHEASTERN
MEXICO. FUTURE TROPICAL DISTURBANCE STATEMENTS WILL BE ISSUED ON
THIS SYSTEM AS NECESSARY. FOR INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR
AREA...PLEASE CONSULT STATEMENTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114924
1398. IpswichWeatherCenter
3:21 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1396. That is no way right...
Member Since: April 27, 2008 Posts: 29 Comments: 2097
1397. extreme236
3:21 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
000
WONT41 KNHC 311519
DSAAT
SPECIAL TROPICAL DISTURBANCE STATEMENT
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1130 AM EDT SAT MAY 31 2008

THE BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE PREVIOUSLY LOCATED OVER THE WESTERN
CARIBBEAN SEA HAS MOVED INLAND OVER BELIZE AND THE YUCATAN
PENINSULA THIS MORNING. THIS SYSTEM IS ACCOMPANIED BY A LARGE AREA
OF SQUALLS AND GUSTY WINDS PRIMARILY OVER THE WATERS NORTH AND EAST
OF THE CIRCULATION CENTER. SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT IS NOT EXPECTED
TODAY AS THE SYSTEM MOVES SLOWLY WESTWARD OVER THE YUCATAN
PENINSULA. HOWEVER...THERE IS SOME POTENTIAL FOR A TROPICAL CYCLONE
TO FORM IF THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE MOVES OVER THE BAY OF CAMPECHE
ON SUNDAY.

EVEN IF NO DEVELOPMENT OCCURS...LOCALIZED HEAVY RAINS AND FLOODS ARE
POSSIBLE DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS OVER PORTIONS OF
HONDURAS...EL SALVADOR..GUATEMALA...BELIZE...AND SOUTHEASTERN
MEXICO. FUTURE TROPICAL DISTURBANCE STATEMENTS WILL BE ISSUED ON
THIS SYSTEM AS NECESSARY. FOR INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR
AREA...PLEASE CONSULT STATEMENTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

$$
FORECASTER AVILA/RHOME
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1396. thelmores
3:20 PM GMT on May 31, 2008


looks like NHC says 90L is a=half way across the yucatan.....
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
1395. stormkat
3:16 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
if we do have an active cape verde season the east coast is definitely in the bulls eye this year...the azores high has set up shop way further north then it was last year and thids will let troughs in august turn the storms into the east coast...it will follow the weakness...so if i was on the east coast i would sure pay attention if their is limited dust storms on the african coast...we have to wait and see for middle of june and july how things will develop....stormkat
Member Since: May 9, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 335
1394. extreme236
3:15 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
NHC has issued a new TC marine warning graphic. They are saying TC development now possible in the 36-48 hour time frame.

Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1393. IKE
3:14 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Check out the low spinning south of Bermuda......

Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1392. IpswichWeatherCenter
3:11 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1386:

thanks....

IS there a gap where the nhc post there advisorys on there site from Issueing?
Member Since: April 27, 2008 Posts: 29 Comments: 2097
1391. IKE
3:10 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
GZ NOGAPS takes 90L into Mexico...fires it up some after leaving the Yucatan....

Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1390. Cavin Rawlins
3:10 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Perfect Circulation



Geography of the Yucatan

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1389. IpswichWeatherCenter
3:09 PM GMT on May 31, 2008





The first one is closer to 90L...

This confirms that 90L is moving
Member Since: April 27, 2008 Posts: 29 Comments: 2097
1388. Tazmanian
3:08 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
is the big H set up to be has strong has it was in 2007???
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114924
1387. stormkat
3:07 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
no extreme im just saying what is the set up the next 7 days and all the ingredients are coming together...the sst are rising fairly quickly...i just know the GOM and what to expect..im not saying anything about a cat 5 but yes a cat 3 is very possible when it hits the warm waters ..it can take off like a rocket...just concerned right now...stormkat
Member Since: May 9, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 335
1386. HurrikanEB
3:06 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1332. IpswichWeatherCenter 2:38 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
What time In British Summer Time are the Atlantic advisory's for this season?

Including Intermediates...


Umm...don't quote me, but i believe that once a storm forms advisories will be issued at 5am/pm and 11am/pm with intermediates at 2am/pm and 8am/pm Eastern Daylight time...So that comes out to 10am/pm and 4am/pm for the advisories in Britian and 7am/pm and 1am/pm for the intermediates...
Member Since: May 2, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1332
1385. IpswichWeatherCenter
3:06 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
img src="http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/vis.jpg" alt="" /

I think Alma/TD01L has stopped moving...
Member Since: April 27, 2008 Posts: 29 Comments: 2097
1384. Drakoen
3:06 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Yep, SJ! I'm favoring EUMETSAT more lol.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30157
1383. IKE
3:06 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1377. extreme236 10:03 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
stormkat it sounds like your making a bit of a doom forecast. Lets not get ahead of ourselves.


Can't say he doesn't put it on the line...I've got it circle on my calendar ST(nka stormkat)...we'll see if your right.......
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1382. IpswichWeatherCenter
3:05 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1375

Yeh but quikscat is down so and thats the latest one....

Now i'm confused.. and it said Aiscat (or however you spell it) on the site i got it from

Member Since: April 27, 2008 Posts: 29 Comments: 2097
1381. Drakoen
3:05 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
There's no consolidation of the convection of the coast of Africa which is probably the only thing that would give it potential to be tagged as an invest.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30157
1380. StormJunkie
3:05 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Nice link Drak. The high res pages and the shift and zoom features are pretty cool.

Thank-you!
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16295
1379. atmoaggie
3:04 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
OK, gotta go. The boss is wondering just when I'll get off the puter. Later, all.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
1378. IKE
3:04 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Always unreliable NAM model(12Z), with moisture in the NW Caribbean in 3 1/2 days......

Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1377. extreme236
3:03 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
stormkat it sounds like your making a bit of a doom forecast. Lets not get ahead of ourselves.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1376. TampaSpin
3:02 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Like to chat all day but, got things to do....everyone stay CIVIL....peace out....
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
1375. atmoaggie
3:02 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1369. IpswichWeatherCenter 2:57 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1365. Its the Aiscat (or however you spell it) one...


Says "QuikSCAT" on the bottom of the plot. Now I am confused. Is Aiscat one and the same now?
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
1374. StormJunkie
3:00 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1359

How you feeling ST?
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16295
1373. IKE
2:59 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1367. TampaSpin 9:55 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
Ike look how much the Nor. GOM warmed in 7 days.......wow and those that say the next 7 days won't mount to much is crazy.......LMAO


My forecast has highs from as high as 94-96 the next 5+ days! The GOM is heating up.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1372. stormkat
2:59 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
yes tampa i agree and thats what is worrying me right now....with that trough expecting to dig down by thurs and strengthen the high over texas leaving us for the sharks....stormkat
Member Since: May 9, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 335
1371. Cavin Rawlins
2:59 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1358. sporteguy03 10:50 AM AST on May 31, 2008
456,
Weren't some of the models forecasting some development off Africa?


yeah...they are showing more or less showing nothing above TD/maybe weak TS status

ECMWF
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1370. Tazmanian
2:58 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
ok 236
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114924
1369. IpswichWeatherCenter
2:57 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1365. Its the Aiscat (or however you spell it) one...
Member Since: April 27, 2008 Posts: 29 Comments: 2097
1368. extreme236
2:56 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
The NHC will be able to provide us with more updates on the tropics at about 2am when the first Tropical Weather Outlook is issued.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
1367. TampaSpin
2:55 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Ike look how much the Nor. GOM warmed in 7 days.......wow and those that say the next 7 days won't mount to much is crazy.......LMAO
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
1366. extreme236
2:55 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Great EUMETSAT link Drak.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234

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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.