Tornadoes kill 3 in Michigan...

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:10 PM GMT on October 19, 2007

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: 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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1024. beell
4:18 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
nite zoom i am i/zoo miami/zoomiami
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1023. zoomiami
4:17 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
-5 hmm? do they have you confused with the artic?
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1022. tiggeriffic
4:17 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
nite zoo!
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1021. tiggeriffic
4:16 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
wb beell
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1020. zoomiami
4:15 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
well - I'm off, otherwise I will be miserable in the morning. Have a good night.
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1019. beell
4:12 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
Just came back in. Needed to run thru small localized rain shower (wx talk). It is Saturday night.
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1018. Rodek
4:16 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
Check out how cold it is in Florida!! Look at my zip code 32547. :)
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1017. zoomiami
4:09 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
mine are 16, 17, 24, 26
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1016. tiggeriffic
4:13 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
I can ususally open my windows this time of year to keep the house fairly cool, still running the AC right now, even at night and I keep mine about 77 degrees
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1015. zoomiami
4:12 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
someone from north carolina said the same thing - as strong as the front was you would think that the rain would make it the east coast.
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1014. tiggeriffic
4:12 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
I am youngest of 4 also, I have 2 kids one is 18 and the other is 3
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1013. tiggeriffic
4:10 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
we were supposed to be inundated with rain early yesterday from the mid west...disipated before it got here, had no more than a few clouds.
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1012. zoomiami
4:10 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
youngest of 4 - she's 16, won't be driving until next March, so Mom is still taxi cab.
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1011. zoomiami
4:09 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
when do you usually start cooling down?
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1010. tiggeriffic
4:09 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
ah, my teenager is in college in RI, too far to drive him to the movies, LOL
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1009. zoomiami
3:55 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
watching the water vapor - same thing is happening - the rain seems to be gone before it gets into south fl
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1008. tiggeriffic
4:07 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
know the feeling, was outside this evening and got eat up with gnats and mosquitos...not right for october...
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1007. zoomiami
3:54 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
Went to pick my teenager up from the movies - back again
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1006. zoomiami
4:06 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
The weather pattern is strange this month - it feels more like august the october. And all the rain & heat have given us a new batch of mosquitos - could do without them.
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1005. tiggeriffic
4:06 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
hey zoo, thought you left a while ago, LOL
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1004. tiggeriffic
4:04 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
hello, hello, hello, is there anybody in there?

Dating my age for who ever gets that as a song. LOL
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1003. zoomiami
4:05 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
tigger - looks like you out lasted everyone!
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1002. tiggeriffic
4:01 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
beell, where you go man?
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1001. tiggeriffic
3:47 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
nite baha, thanks for the compliment!

and i think i was a little to far north for Jose, LOL, my brain is fried, it is midnight for pete's sake, LOL
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1000. tiggeriffic
3:57 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
Jose, where are you, SC?
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999. BahaHurican
11:54 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
Tigger, I am glad he posted it for the lazy ones among us who wanted to see the finished product but who were too lazy to do more than refresh . . .

The truck looks GREAT!!! LOL Makes me wish I was of an age to be riding in a little red wagon . . .

Anyway, I'm out for the night. Tomorrow's Sunday, so I don't know if I'll be popping in as early as usual, but I'll be around!

Good night, one and all.
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998. tiggeriffic
3:53 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
Jose, sounds as tho the majority of them were before we were truely industrialized! Less cars, less emmitions, few power plants, etc in the early 1900's and more droughts...sounds like Al Gore was blowing the preverbial smoke of emitions before their time!
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997. Jose27N82W
3:15 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
This year Narisma et al published a paper that investigated the incidences of long-term droughts lasting ten years or longer throughout the world during the 20th century (see - Narisma, G.T., Foley, J.A., Licker, R. and Ramankutty, N. 2007. Abrupt changes in rainfall during the twentieth century. Geophysical Research Letters 34: 10.1029/2006GL028628). The researchers discovered 30 such long-term droughts during the century. Seven occurred from 1901 to 1920, seven occurred from 1921 to 1940, eight occurred from 1941 to 1960, five occurred from 1961 to 1980 and only three occurred from 1981 to 2000. These data do not support Al Gore’s contention that, because of global warming (anthropogenic or natural), “droughts are becoming longer and more intense.”
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996. tiggeriffic
3:44 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
brb, need a smoke and dont do it in the house =)
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995. tiggeriffic
3:33 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
nite moonlight! dont let the horse flies bite, roflmao
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994. beell
3:36 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
Do like i did tig. Grab a big long NWS post and paste.-on topic! License to diverge for a bit

mlc-still a mild odorclusion. need air freshener. none on shelf?

Rest well
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993. moonlightcowboy
3:27 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
What's the extended forecast for Halloween? See that's weather-related! We don't want the truck to get wet!!! Perfectly, ok!

Yeah, beell is kewl. And clowns, too, are cool, cause they make people laugh (beell does, lol) and laughter is good for the soul! That's a good thing!

--Beell, SL, Tigger, all....have a good sleep!

"Hold down the fort and keep the gates closed!"


MLC<----------------out for some shut-eye!
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992. tiggeriffic
3:35 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
was givin beell his props for the clown Moonlight! LOL, not the FD, but they are heros too. Had Andy at the FD today, a wife was there too, talked to him...I told Andy she has the hardest job in the FD, waiting to find out if her husband is coming home. =(
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991. tiggeriffic
3:24 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
ok, yeah we have posted a few off topic, but I put my fifty cents worth (inflation ya know) about the drought! and that IS weather related!
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990. moonlightcowboy
3:32 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
...pardon, ma'am (tigger). You're right, the firemen are the HEROES, kudos!
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989. tiggeriffic
3:32 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
lol moonlight, just shocked me is all, dont mind it going up, don't wanna p/o someone =)
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988. SouthernLady
10:32 PM CDT on October 20, 2007
ROTFL tigger...SO right!!!!
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987. tiggeriffic
3:30 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
hey beell, look at it this way, yeah, girls do like the cowboys, but they like hero's more, rodeo clowns are the heros of the rodeo cuz they protect the cowboys! =)
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986. tiggeriffic
3:28 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
doesn't matter how much rain we got earlier in the month when our temps have been above normal and drying things right back out.
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985. SouthernLady
10:28 PM CDT on October 20, 2007
ROTFL beell...Dang, if I don't talk weather, they will ban me..OK..RAIN! I need it!!!
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984. moonlightcowboy
3:18 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
...beell, you clown! Yeah, man, you know ladies love cowboys! lol. How about that firetruck.

A W E S O M E !!!

...tigger, I can take it down, but I sure wanted to brag on it!
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983. tiggeriffic
3:26 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
what did you post it for? LOL
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982. BahaHurican
11:16 PM EDT on October 20, 2007
I'm not sure how far below normal the water levels were. I do know they got some precip. earlier this month, so things have improved somewhat there.

Unfortunately, a similar kind of relief doesn't seem as if it's forthcoming for the most drought-stricken areas in the SE . . . . :o(
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981. beell
3:25 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
mlc!-hanging w/the ladies all night, now you wanna talk weather!
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980. moonlightcowboy
3:24 AM GMT on October 21, 2007

...hey, tigger! Best gall durn firetruck I've ever seen!
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979. tiggeriffic
3:24 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
hey moonlight! what up?
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978. moonlightcowboy
3:14 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
...occluded, stationary...low looming?
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977. tiggeriffic
3:17 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
i know sc is not as bad off as GA, however, our lakes are lower than they have been in 50 years according to the local news
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976. tiggeriffic
3:15 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
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975. beell
3:11 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
cool. an alternate plan. gotta love those MOM's
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974. tiggeriffic
3:04 AM GMT on October 21, 2007
ty on the wagon, I am in Charleston, SC...if it is dry on 31st, regular T or T, if it is raining, to the mall we go! All I know is that if I had know a cardboard box could bring that much joy to one kid, I would have built a train out of them. My neighbor knows The Chief of FD's in Charleston, he remember's when he first came into the department...and G-Pa has been retired for 15 years or so, anywho, he is gonna call Chief Rusty and see if he can get Andy and his Fire Truck in the Christmas Parade.
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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