Alma dies without causing a major disaster; tornadoes rip Midwest

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

Share this Blog
1
+

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
()

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1366 - 1316

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29Blog Index

1366. extreme236
2:54 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Great EUMETSAT link Drak.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1365. atmoaggie
2:50 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
This would turn it into a tropical storm.

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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1364. extreme236
2:48 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Taz it made landfall just 2-3 hours ago. Its only moving at about 8-10 mph.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1363. ajcamsmom2
9:52 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
OK, so I guess what you are telling me is that there is no way 90L will get a name before June 1st? I really thought we would have a named fish storm before then.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1362. Weather456
10:49 AM AST on May 31, 2008
Yeah Drak...I c ur point

Impressive wave

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1360. all4hurricanes
2:49 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Can cyclones form on land I know Cindy became a depression on the Yucatan but is this storm large enough to gather all the moisture it needs from the Gulf and Caribbean?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1359. stormkat
2:45 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
well if all this plays out in 7 days someone along the la ms are alabama coast is goint to have there bells rung...we will see....stormkat
Member Since: May 9, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 335
1358. sporteguy03
2:49 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
456,
Weren't some of the models forecasting some development off Africa?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1357. IpswichWeatherCenter
2:48 PM GMT on May 31, 2008


This would turn it into a tropical storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1356. Drakoen
2:49 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1348. jphurricane2006 2:45 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
hey drak, you have that Eumestat link from last night?


Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1355. Drakoen
2:47 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1351. Weather456 2:46 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1339. Drakoen 10:40 AM AST on May 31, 2008
A good upper level anticyclone is aloft, vertically stacked with the mid level rotation of the coast of Africa. In other words the wave is establishing an outflow aloft.

Sounds like ur expecting development? Not disagreeing with u but I thought I was the only seeing those observations.

It's one of those thing where I like to wait and see. Also I like to follow climatology which seemed to work well with Alma.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1354. IKE
9:45 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
GOM warming up.......

through May 29th.........

Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1353. nrtiwlnvragn
10:46 AM EDT on May 31, 2008
120hr Forecast GOM SST
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1352. Tazmanian
7:45 AM PDT on May 31, 2008
looks like 90L is half way overe land i say it will be back overe water with in the next 4hrs or so and if it stays like this why overe land for the next 4hrs then a good bet well have a TD may be a 40 mph TS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1351. Weather456
10:43 AM AST on May 31, 2008
1339. Drakoen 10:40 AM AST on May 31, 2008
A good upper level anticyclone is aloft, vertically stacked with the mid level rotation of the coast of Africa. In other words the wave is establishing an outflow aloft.


Sounds like ur expecting development? Not disagreeing with u but I thought I was the only seeing those observations.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1350. atmoaggie
2:43 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1343. nrtiwlnvragn 2:43 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1336. atmoaggie

12.5km QuikSCAT Winds


Thanks. Must be the storm-centered data generation software that is broken.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1349. TampaSpin
10:40 AM EDT on May 31, 2008
Extreme and StormKat i was in the GOM fishing this week the waters are getting warmer DAILY as the overnight temps raise NIGHTLY. Heck the temps at night are sometimes not falling below 75deg. So if the high is over 90deg. Warming is happening very quickly and you will see a big rise this week..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1347. Drakoen
2:44 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1344. Weather456 2:43 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1311 Drak,

Thats nothing new...been there for a good while now.


lol. I was just posting what I saw. I didn't see that last night so....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1346. IKE
9:42 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
1340. extreme236 9:40 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
Oh it certainly wouldn't surprise me CA.

IKE, thanks for posting those temps. I didn't realize they were at that level quite yet. The one SST map I used showed only 24-25 degree SSTs off the coast of part of the Panhandle


Those are right at the coast...it is slightly cooler out in the gulf a few miles....upper 70's....200 miles out it's in the low 80's too.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1345. atmoaggie
2:41 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
IKE, thanks for posting those temps. I didn't realize they were at that level quite yet. The one SST map I used showed only 24-25 degree SSTs off the coast of part of the Panhandle

SST does have a diurnal cycle of about 3 degrees F on the shallow, weak current, continental shelf areas. Some of the SST sources do not capture this. The best way to see it is to go historical with some hourly buoy readings.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1344. Weather456
10:28 AM AST on May 31, 2008
1311 Drak,

Thats nothing new...been there for a good while now.

===========================================

If 90L was still over water it would be Td 01...impressive


Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1343. nrtiwlnvragn
10:42 AM EDT on May 31, 2008
1336. atmoaggie

12.5km QuikSCAT Winds
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1342. zoomiami
2:42 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Drak - could you post the link to those graphics please. TIA
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1341. Chicklit
9:35 AM EST on May 31, 2008
My gardenias are crisping at the bud
(like in 2004...oh please, no).
Nature has a way of making up for imbalances.
Of course, everyone talks about '05 being such a bad year, but in Central Florida, we had two hurricanes within two weeks and can't remember when the third came around, maybe three or four weeks later.
Of course we had tons of rain then, starting in August, and before it was dry like this. Just an observation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1340. extreme236
2:38 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Oh it certainly wouldn't surprise me CA.

IKE, thanks for posting those temps. I didn't realize they were at that level quite yet. The one SST map I used showed only 24-25 degree SSTs off the coast of part of the Panhandle.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1339. Drakoen
2:37 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
A good upper level anticyclone is aloft, vertically stacked with the mid level rotation of the coast of Africa. In other words the wave is establishing an outflow aloft.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1338. IKE
9:38 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
1325. plywoodstatenative 9:34 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
Ike the other thing to consider is that the models had alma forming on the atlantic side, maybe this is what the models were saying.


Could be.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1337. IpswichWeatherCenter
2:38 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1329.

ROFLTD (Rolls over floor laughing then dies)

I thought 90l was formed from the ENERGY of Alma not the actual structure.

Isn't Alma back in the epac as that tiny blob

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1336. atmoaggie
2:34 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
I saw someone posted a QuikSCAT plot earlier, but couldn't read the timestamp. Is it back up?

Can someone post a link to where there is current data?

JPL/NASA ftp site only has data through day-of-year 148 (today is 152)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1335. extreme236
2:38 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
I know its not a criteria Jp, but they typically don't declare a system over land. They have before though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1334. IKE
9:36 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
1322. extreme236 9:32 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
Stormkat, SSTs won't really be any warming in 7 days than they are now. SSTs in the Northern Gulf are barely 26 degrees C and are even less off the Florida Panhandle.


Extreme...they've warmed up at least 3 degrees in the last 2-4 weeks.....

Panama City, FL 82.0 °F
Apalachicola, FL 84.0 °F
Grand Isle, LA 82.9 °F
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1333. CaneAddict
2:36 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
1327. extreme236 2:36 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
CA, I doubt it will be declared a TD overland, but my guess is that it may have briefly been a TD before landfall...we have to watch it in the BoC. Land has taken a toll on the convection of the system but the overall structure is intact, but then again its only been over land for about 2 hours or so.
Action: | Ignore User


I doubt it will to but i wouldnt be surprised.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1332. IpswichWeatherCenter
2:35 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
What time In British Summer Time are the Atlantic advisory's for this season?

Including Intermediates...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1331. extreme236
2:36 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
SSTs in the Gulf probably can't support much more than a Cat 1 or 2 hurricane. It would be doubtful to see anything stronger in the Gulf for another month or so once the SSTs increase more.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1329. IKE
9:33 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
1320. jphurricane2006 9:31 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
so in other words IKE, the models had a gender conflict lmao

No its a boy....No its a girl....No its a boy....No its a girl

lol


Yeah...Alma's trying to have a sex change now....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1328. Drakoen
2:34 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
90L is able to main its broad circulation center because the Yucatan Peninsula does not have a mountainous topography which means there is little orographic (topographic) lift.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1327. extreme236
2:33 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
CA, I doubt it will be declared a TD overland, but my guess is that it may have briefly been a TD before landfall...we have to watch it in the BoC. Land has taken a toll on the convection of the system but the overall structure is intact, but then again its only been over land for about 2 hours or so.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1326. stormkat
2:32 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
extreme i really hope you are right ....i know the gulf to well ...sst can jump up in a heartbeat i know ike will tell you that....stormkat
Member Since: May 9, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 335
1325. plywoodstatenative
2:33 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Ike the other thing to consider is that the models had alma forming on the atlantic side, maybe this is what the models were saying.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1324. extreme236
2:32 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Oh yes, 90L certainly looks impressive but definatly isn't a TD now...but if it holds up like that across its trek of the Yucatan than it would allow for quicker development in the BoC.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1323. CaneAddict
2:30 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Good morning folks!

I see we have Invest 90L, What i have observed is the fact that land interaction is NOT really taking a toll on this disturbance...It actually seems to still be organizing further despite it's land interaction....This could be due to it taking in moisture from both sides of the Yucatan and living off of it....I would not be surprised to see a Tropical Depression declared while it is still over land. Organization is at or very near depression status.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1322. extreme236
2:31 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Stormkat, SSTs won't really be any warming in 7 days than they are now. SSTs in the Northern Gulf are barely 26 degrees C and are even less off the Florida Panhandle.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1321. Cazatormentas
2:20 PM GMT on Mayo 31, 2008
Did you see the last image of 90L? I would say it is just a tropical depression... I believe sometimes to judge the range of a storm by only winds could be incorrect. What do you think about that?



I have located the low center myself, writting the "L".

Regards from Spain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1319. extreme236
2:28 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Yep thats true Ike...I say I prefer to watch models after rather than before but yet I do anyway :-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1318. atmoaggie
2:27 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
Good morning everyone. I just wanted to post and say that I am the same person as HurricaneGeek, just under a new handle. =)

Got tired of being called "geek" for short, did you? lol.

Morning all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1317. stormkat
2:26 PM GMT on May 31, 2008
the sst are starting to heat up in the GOM and i dont like that...that spells trouble for anyone along the gulf coast...i hate to see what they will be in 7 days.also we will have a trough digging in from the rockies by thursday thats what is going to push this huge high over texas protecting them and leaving us wide open.......stormkat
Member Since: May 9, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 335
1316. IKE
9:27 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
1307. extreme236 9:22 AM CDT on May 31, 2008
Yep, the models can be right, but every time I look at the models and see a consensus on something I get an expectation that something will form and it drives me crazy lol. I much rather prefer watching models after something forms rather than before lol


It had Alma forming..days before it happened...although some had it forming on the Atlantic side.....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860

Viewing: 1366 - 1316

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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

Local Weather

Overcast
30 °F
Overcast