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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816. pottery
12:25 AM AST on May 31, 2008
Evening, Kris.
( actually, its morning here )
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814. weatherboykris
4:24 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
806. StormJunkie 4:20 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
cold water temps

??? Area is way above climo no?


Still a bit chilly, though.

Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
813. scottsvb
4:24 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
you can monitor that area.. but nothing will develop...point blank..sorry it just wont happen
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812. weatherboykris
4:24 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Evening guys.
Member Since: December 9, 2006 Posts: 125 Comments: 11346
811. Drakoen
4:22 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
808. pottery 4:22 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Scott.
Thats very authoratative of you, my dear fellow.


I was wondering what SJ was quoting lol. The ignore list is one of the best things WU has on here.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31905
810. moonlightcowboy
11:20 PM CDT on May 30, 2008
I'll be glad when RAMSDIS completes their new beta site. But, there are some features available in the old site that lets me do this:

RAMSDIS thermal IR loop


And, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do this on the new site.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29613
809. ajcamsmom2
11:20 PM CDT on May 30, 2008
781. Weather456 11:01 PM CDT on May 30, 2008
So how many waves did they have by this time last year? I think we have gotten our fair share of rain in S. LA this month...North Louisiana had a great deal of flooding...So, does that mean we are safe this season, cuss it really hasn't been that hot either???
Member Since: March 15, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 2498
808. pottery
12:21 AM AST on May 31, 2008
Scott.
Thats very authoratative of you, my dear fellow.
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807. Drakoen
4:20 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
803. StormJunkie 4:20 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Only on EAtl right Drak?


Yea.
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806. StormJunkie
4:20 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
cold water temps

??? Area is way above climo no?
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805. Drakoen
4:19 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
I must say I am impressed with this African easterly wave though I won't embellish it because sometimes these things are easy come easy go especially this time of year. We will see what happens.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31905
804. moonlightcowboy
11:19 PM CDT on May 30, 2008
Gotcha, Drak. I forgot about those limitations there.
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803. StormJunkie
4:19 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Only on EAtl right Drak?
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802. scottsvb
4:18 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
OK listen up guys...although the waves off africa look impressive and nice to see... they will fizzle in the cold water temps..chances this time of year of anything making it to even 40W is less than 10%. Main features will be the carribean,gulf and bahamas till after the 4th of July.
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801. Drakoen
4:18 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
800. moonlightcowboy 4:17 AM GMT on May 31, 2008 Hide this comment.
Drak, what kind of trouble are you having with RAMSDIS?


I can't access the animations. They restricted it for their personnel.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31905
800. moonlightcowboy
11:16 PM CDT on May 30, 2008
Drak, what kind of trouble are you having with RAMSDIS?
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29613
799. StormJunkie
4:13 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Agreed, but it also depends on which region you are viewing.

As far as fastest updating and shortest interval, GHCC is it. Personally my favorite.
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798. Drakoen
4:12 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
796. StormJunkie 4:11 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Nemoc ROTA has animations.

Above the images. Gives you several options for how to view it as well.


The time intervals are too wide for me.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31905
797. weatherblog
4:09 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
I think 90L is now a TD...it seems 90L can also become a TS before it starts enteracting with land. I also think chance of reformation in the BOC is 35% at most, but maybe that can change...
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796. StormJunkie
4:10 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Nemoc ROTA has animations.

Above the images. Gives you several options for how to view it as well.
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795. thelmores
4:08 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
if convection persists overnight, seems TD would not be out of the question.....

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794. extreme236
4:09 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Well anyway, good night all.
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793. Drakoen
4:06 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
SJ, I like NEMOC though they don't have animations I do like the graphics. Also the sequencing is good for tracking almost like the Hovmoller Diagram.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31905
792. extreme236
4:07 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Im having some trouble locating the center exactly without visible imagery.
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791. extreme236
4:05 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
With the pressure as low as it is, it wouldnt surprise me if winds were higher than 30 knots...not sure how long it has left before moving inland so I guess we will just have to see.
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790. StormJunkie
4:06 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
787...lol

And nice post number!
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789. StormJunkie
4:04 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
To heck with that Drak

E Atl-Eumetsat

Zoom on any region-GHCC

And best detail Nemoc Rota and NRL Monteray

Just my two cent though!
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788. Drakoen
4:01 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
777. moonlightcowboy 4:00 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Drak, I didn't think you were a fan of EUMETSAT.


I am when waves have a good circulation. Its very clear on that imagery and I can speed it up too. As you know, I do favor RAMSDIS imagery but I can't access the imagery so I have to make with what I have.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31905
787. pottery
12:01 AM AST on May 31, 2008
WAKE UP HIEXPRESS, something is about to happen !
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786. StormJunkie
4:01 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Sounds like 10 to 12 hours thel???
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785. moonlightcowboy
11:01 PM CDT on May 30, 2008
Yeah, Pottery, that's really the one we've been watching closely and talking about in the last several posts. And, may be the one the models are picking up on, too?
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29613
784. StormJunkie
4:00 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Welcome back drus :~)
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783. thelmores
4:00 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
pretty cold tops their Junkie.....

how much time till landfall, or are we there?
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781. Weather456
12:00 AM AST on May 31, 2008
the average number of waves by May 31 is 7.5...we've had about 10 so far.
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780. pottery
11:59 PM AST on May 30, 2008
MLC, the current wave just exiting the Af. coast is looking good now too.
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779. HIEXPRESS
11:58 PM EDT on May 30, 2008
ZZzz..
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
778. druseljic
4:00 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
768. StormJunkie 3:53 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
765. lmao

One beer is not going to turn it into the CMC or anything!

My first post this year, thanks for the laugh!! I needed that. Looks like the season is on...
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777. moonlightcowboy
10:58 PM CDT on May 30, 2008
Drak, I didn't think you were a fan of EUMETSAT.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29613
776. StormJunkie
3:56 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Serious deepening in the last few frames.



I would not be at all surprised for this to make TD just before landfall if this keeps up all night. Exactly what happened with Alma.
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775. pottery
11:55 PM AST on May 30, 2008
True, MLC.
Cannot be long now, before the ITCZ gets here.
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774. Drakoen
3:56 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Great links to monitor development of Africa

Eumetsat MPE
Eumetsat Visible imagery
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773. moonlightcowboy
10:56 PM CDT on May 30, 2008
767. Yeah, Drak. For over a couple of weeks now, we've been saying it's early climatology-wise, especially for frequency and organization. But, yes, this one looks to have particular potential.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29613
772. thelmores
3:49 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
is it me, or does the waves coming off Africa pretty far north for so early in the year??
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771. Drakoen
3:54 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
768. StormJunkie 3:53 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
765. lmao

One beer is not going to turn it into the CMC or anything!


The GFS gets tipsy easy especially after 190hr+ everything just explodes.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31905
770. moonlightcowboy
10:49 PM CDT on May 30, 2008


758. Pottery, it keeps eeking northwards! It's coming. Total Precipital Water seems to be getting more saturated.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29613
769. Weather456
11:52 PM AST on May 30, 2008
763. Drakoen 11:48 PM AST on May 30, 2008

Yeah


MLC,

yeah but I posted this on my blog on tuesday....

The last set of areas are across West Africa...two clearly evident tropical waves lie along 12W south of 13N and 11E south of 13N. Showers have diminish along the wave closest to the coast but the GFS, ECMWF, and CMC have been hinting the development of a tropical cyclone around Saturday/Sunday when either of these waves emerges.

Source
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768. StormJunkie
3:53 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
765. lmao

One beer is not going to turn it into the CMC or anything!
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767. Drakoen
3:50 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
MLC the regularity is one thing. But now they are developing the lower to mid level circulations in May lol, thats dangerous if that pattern continues into July. This one by far has the best defined circulation especially in the mid levels.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31905
766. extreme236
3:51 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
759. stormdude77 3:46 AM GMT on May 31, 2008
Stay safe up there, extreme!


Hopefully everything should be okay. They just canceled the one tornado warning and my mets on TV said that the tornado threat for the rest of the night is minimal and the main threat is just some hail and damaging winds.
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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