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Florida's tornadoes and El Niño

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:54 PM GMT on February 05, 2007

Friday's devastating tornadoes in Central Florida, where 20 people lost their lives, marked the second most deadly tornado outbreak in Florida history. Only the February 22-23, 1998 tornado outbreak in Kissimmee, which killed 42 and injured 260, was worse. Two of Friday's tornadoes were rated as EF-3 (Category 3 on the new Enhanced Fujita Scale), with winds near 160 mph. The Enhanced Fujita Scale became the official scale for rating tornadoes as of February 1, 2007, and Friday's tornadoes were the first to be ranked with the new damage scale. The new scale replaces the old Fujita Scale, which required winds of a tornado to be much higher in order to get an F3 or higher rating. Modern engineering studies have determined that devastating damage can occur at much lower wind speeds, and that the Fujita Scale did a poor job of correlating between damage and wind speed. For example, tornadoes capable of causing incredible damage (EF 5 rating) are now known to occur at wind speeds of 200 mph and higher. On the old F-Scale, an F-5 rating started at 261 mph. See the Tornado FAQ for a full comparison of the old Fujita Scale with the new Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Strong and violent tornadoes are rare in Florida, but when they do occur, it tends to be during winter when a moderate or strong El Niño event is occurring. More than 60% of Florida's killer tornadoes occur between midnight and noon, which was also the case with Friday's outbreak. This was the second major Florida tornado outbreak this winter. Earlier this winter, a series of three tornadoes, including two rated at F2, hit near Daytona Beach on Christmas Day, injuring 16 people. During El Niño winters, the jet stream winds tend to be stronger over Florida, a key ingredient needed for tornado activity (Figure 1).


Figure 1. Incidence of strong (F2 and higher) tornadoes over Florida between 1950 and 1998. Note the highest numbers of strong tornadoes occurred during the major El Niño years of 1983 and 1998. Image credit: NOAA.

Jeff Masters
Tornado damage in DeLand, Florida
Tornado damage in DeLand, Florida
Living room furniture left in place while walls were removed by tornado. TV looks perfect! Note the siding wrapped around a pole above TV.
Tornado damage in DeLand, Florida
Tornado damage in DeLand, Florida
Metal siding-wrapped light pole in trailer park.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

El Niño what El Niño its gone
Dr. Masters the 1998 tornado outbreak also severly affected Seminole County (Sanford) where deaths also occured.

This is actually the third tornado outbreak in Central Florida. There were tornadoes that struck about one quarter mile from my house early in November. I think they were classified F1 on the old Fugita scale.
It's effects will still be here for severa lweeks,Taz.
And Ogal,unless there are many deaths like with this outbreak,an occurence of just a few tornadoes normally won't be called an 'outbreak'.
ok its effects
weatherboykris so whats new with this monday updates
oh yeah.It's Monday.I forgot.
Nothing new Taz.The report says that El Nino's holding on by a thread.
Good afternoon,

TSR'S february update is out and its not good news as they have increased there numbers to 16/9/4

They also believe that theres an 81% percent chance of seeing a tropical activity for the U.S. this upcoming season.
i would like a update on hows the dry air and Saharan dust are doing
i would like a update on hows the dry air and Saharan dust are doing
well see last year tsr was completely wrong
LOL Taz!

It looks as if after early Jan the Saharan dust storms diminished - just because the last story I can find on them was in Jan?!?.


Regarding El Nino La Nina patterns -- from San Francisco weather office 1998:


“1998 SAW A TRANSITION FROM A STRONG EL NINO TO A MODERATE LA NINA. DURING THE SPRING AND EARLY SUMMER...STRONG EL NINO CONDITIONS OVER THE TROPICAL PACIFIC RAPIDLY ABATED AND COOLER THAN NORMAL SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES WERE IN PLACE BY JUNE...TYPICAL OF A MODERATE LA NINA.”


I put the dates in for 2007 as compared to the same period, same area:1998 and from the graphs it appears we are in abating El Nino. Will it continue into la Nina and associated patterns? - or will El Nino resurge?? -- seems to be the $64 thousand dollar question now.

We look to be a little further along moving out of El Nino but not yet La Nina if anything?!?? as compared to '98.
Taz when ever u want to check on the Saharan Air across the basin visit CIMSS.

Current look at the basin.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

PS!We still got 115 days till june1 nothing to worry about as we are months away from the heart of the season.

Animated countdown till june1
thanks 23
what is this ???
img src="http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/global_nlom32/navo/IAS.gif" width="498" height="407"
Hello WBK & TAZ
what is this map about
lol
hello catastropheadjuster
From this report:

Saharan Dust Impacts and Climate Change


There is a graph of Saharan dust measured at Barbados on page 2 that shows in 1998 (the second most active year and also a la Nina year) there was a noticeable reduction in Saharan Dust After a NOTICEABLE SPIKE the year before.


I need to find the 2006 data and a better indicator of current dust/atmospheric aerosol concentrations.
Total concentrations of Atmospheric Aerosols, their physical attributes and the levels they are observed is, I guess, a hot, unresolved topic in climatology.

DOE: Site
hey everyone... supposed to get 3-6 inches of snow tommorow.. strong alberta clipper w/ plenty o' moisture... yea!
Go Colts!
i may be geting 3-6 inches of rain overe the next few days starting wed
that stinks
where you located?
South florida is where I am and I know we are going to be getting more and more rain. Literally have fish on my porch because of it.
TAZ~ That map you posted..SSH= Sea Surface height. It's telling you how much higher or lower the ocean is than normal, in MM. Sea Surface Pressure, water temp & earth magnetics can all effect SSH.
cool thanks sky
JFL~ Thanks, I'd lost that 1st link. I like this one out of there.


Got the El Niño update in my blog. Clicking my name will take you there..
Thanks - That is a good one - I was thinking the surface map showed a shift to more southern Saharan storms. That’s important.
Definately important & more locally informative. I think I'd like the one I posted more as a tie-dye T-shirt.
hey guys...
... Snow Advisory in effect from 7 am EST /6 am CST/ Tuesday to
midnight EST /11 PM CST/ Tuesday night...

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis has issued a Snow
Advisory... which is in effect from 7 am EST /6 am CST/ Tuesday to
midnight EST /11 PM CST/ Tuesday night.

Snow is expected to develop across the area between the mid morning
hours and noontime on Tuesday... and continue into the late evening
hours. At the present time... snowfall accumulations of 3 to 6 inches
are expected.

A Snow Advisory means that periods of snow will cause primarily
travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads and
limited visibilities... and use caution while driving.
Tropical Cyclone Nelson [CAT 1] forms north of Mornington Island, Australia.

Its center pressure is 992 hPa with wind gusts at about 50 knots, and is expected to further strengthen to a CAT 2 cyclone [about 45-64 knots]
I live in Citrus County Fl, where the tornados gathered themselves as they raced across the state. We had warning that they were in Crystal River but the tornado appreared to lift and "bounce" across our county coming down again on the county line "Wildwood", sumter county where they stayed on the ground. My question is this: Does the topography of the ground affect the storms. Do they really raise themselves as the elevation raises? We have had several instances where this phenomenom has seemed to spare us the devestation seen farther east.
Hello Summer.
I think topography matters, but it is not absolute. There was a tornado that went through the Grand Teton national park in Wyoming, which was tracked by observing the blown down trees after the storm. That tornado stayed on the ground despite tracking over land that varied in elevation by more than 3,000 feet. No place on the Florida Peninsula reaches 250 feet (there are a few higher places in the panhandle). I don't think that low hills like that can make much difference, although I could be wrong.
What is ironic, although NOT funny, is that on Jan 30 Steve Lyons on the Weather Channel gave a segment on the new enhanced Fujita scale. In response to a question about when we would see the new scale used, he said that February was climatologically not a very active month, and that the cold weather forecast for February would surpress tornado formation.

Oops.


On another note, I thought it was interesting that the 3rd highest number of tornadoes in Florida during the cooler months was in 1972, also an El Nino year.
I was looking at the comparison of the two scale and noticed a few typo's.. http://www.wunderground.com/tornadoFAQ.asp

On the old scale it has F1 listed three times... I think it should be F1 then F2 and then F3...

I make so many typos I am now an expert on them :)
According to the local news tonight this was domestic animal round up day in the tornado areas. If you know someone missing a pet, look in the local shelter. Thay had some touching reunion stories. Many animals were a mile or more away from where they should be. One guy's geese~ part his flock was picked up & scattered, farthest a mile, fine but dirty. Another guy's little dog found a mile away, unscathed. A woman was sleeping on the couch in a house & her brown lab wolk her as he dragged her to the floor & then forced the black lab on top of her, until today the brown lab was last seen exiting the house through the hole in the roof..found near 2 miles away unscathed, it was atleast an 85lb dog.

The local abc news is arranging for 150,000 NOAA radios to be sold at more than reasonable prices in the ECFL area within the next 5 days. There was alot of people in moble homes & regular homes saying that box saved my life with it's 3 min warning, enough to get to the bath tub...
Neat article covering tornadoes in 'canes as well as the ENSO effect on them in FL.

I did a little climo research...2 recent El Niño years & signigicant Florida tornado outbreak dates...

1983 FEB 1st & 2nd & APRIL 9th
1998 FEB 2nd & FEB 22nd & 23rd
2007 FEB 2nd & ?

I can't find an El Nino year that had a Feb 2nd outbreak without having another.
I was shrimping on the lagoon 24 hours before the tornadoes & saw the erie & ominous "shoved together looking" stratocumulus suddenly appear back lit by the full moon. I thought we were going to get it right then... Other years, in the Spring, Florida gets storms with large(softball)hail. Haven't found a correlation except is seems those were'nt ElNino Years or years with strong tornadoes reported. Later - back to work!
On the GFS almost near term the next big storm seems to be shaping up around the 12th for Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee, but, probably involving all the SE also.

In the last storm the Tornadoes occurred just a bit south and east of the “critical” GFS mslp/precip areas.
A few more notes from my research lastnight. El Nino years & tornado out breaks.

1973~ Jan 28 APR 19 May 29
2003~ MAR 28 APR 25-26

These 2 years El Nino cooled early in the year, like this year~ where the other ones I posted lastnight, lingered a little longer.

Interesting note 2005 crashed the quickest, earliest in the year like this year but all the tornadoes that year happened with the 'canes. Also El Niño wise it's hard to compare this year, looking at the 3 month averages it's probibly gonna come up a month short of an offical true El nino. 1962/1963 did this but it didn't get near as severe, with the warmest being +.7
"2005 crashed the quickest, earliest in the year" - sky

It seems that way. The transitory period between events seems to really be important with continental tornadoes.?!

1998 was a heck of a year for sure.

'05 kinda isn't comparing to this year though. No winter peninsula outbreaks where this winter we're 2 & counting.

The long term GFS was interesting. That must be why Tom Terry had that glum look when he said no severe weather for the short term forecast. Perhaps it has an active imagination like last 'cane season.
Hi everyone
JFL~ got me wondering about the others

~coming off nino years with Tornado outbreaks on Feb 2nd
1983 I think I did some skimboarding in Barry:)
1998 was bad..

~other coming off nino years with tornado outbreaks
1973 just a few tropical storms.
2003~some cat 1's.
They found that Jack Russel Terrior that lived at the historic Alexander House in Volusia County. There's other links in there to video, pics, stories, victim resource info, partial deceased list, donating to the tornado victims & etc.
Tropical Cyclone Nelson [Category 2]

as of 5:00am (Australian|EST), Brisbane Tropical Cyclone Warning Center reports Nelson to have 10 min sustained wind of 55 knots with wind gusts of 75 knots. The pressure near the center is 980 hPa.
Nobody wants to see a Jack Russell lost. They are smarter than most humans.
El Nino kicked back in late 2003 or at least tried to.

To throughly confuse the matter look at these.

El Niño in retreat, Pacific in transition
June 26, 1998


El Niño Continues to Grow: Pacific Ocean Shows Higher Than Normal Sea Surface Heights
December 02, 2002


A Quirky El Niño
March 14, 2003


Where is La Niña?
July 03, 2003


Weak El Nino brewing in Pacific Ocean Thursday, November 6, 2003

Warm Pacific Water Wave Heads East, But No El Niño Yet July 27, 2004


El Niño: The Weak, Getting Weaker February 22, 2005


In the "Busy" note the stripes and points off central America and the ambiguity (unfortunately) in the forecast. Main site

...or just roll the dice!

Oh here is the latest ocean topo:

Latest El Niño/La Niña Jason Data

If you are not sure you should use the terms La Nino/El Nina!!!
Hey guys I think this question has been asked here before, but I need someone to 'clearly' explained to me step by step how to copy and paste photos, weather maps, charts, etc. on to blogs and forums like this...As some of you already now, I like to post past weather articles and such on here, but I would also like to paste photos, maps to go along with those posts, but I never took the time to learn how...well, there's no time like the present, so if someone would please help me out this simple process... thanks...
All I do is:

Right-Click an image and click properties. Then I copy-paste the URL in here:

(img src="URL HERE" width=640)

(The "()" are actually "<")
The width=640 is for this blog. If a picture is bigger than 640, I suggest you type in width=640 (thats the size of this blog).

That's all you need to know... I think.
How to add images and other tips for blogging.Jeff MAsters Link...from this page Link
More Wunderground features..Link
Nelson expected to once again intensify once it moves away from land.

(Track)


At 7:00 am EST Tropical Cyclone Nelson, Category 2 with central pressure 983
hectopascals, was centred over land near latitude 16.7 south and longitude 141.8
east which is 135 kilometres northeast of Karumba and 425 kilometres west of
Cairns.

Tropical Cyclone Nelson is expected to continue moving inland in an
east-southeasterly direction today while gradually weakening. The system is
expected to move into the Coral Sea on Thursday where it will re-intensify.

The Australia region is really weird; remember how Larry and Monica went from east to west (the normal direction tropical cyclones move in the low latitudes)? So, what is making Nelson move backwards?
STL that region has always left me thinking but i definatley remember watching monica and larry move from east to west.

In general The steering current basically pushes them along. In non-tropical areas steering winds blow from west to east and hence so to do weather systems. In tropical areas steering winds blow from east to west and hence so to do tropical weather systems. The boundary that separates steering from west to east from steering from east to west is the subtropical ridge of high pressure, typically located near 30 degrees north latitude (farther south in winter and farther north in summer). South of this ridge of high pressure we find "trade winds" (blowing from east to west) north of this high pressure ridge we find westerlies (blowing from west to east).

Visible pic of Larry at landfall
I know that; however, Nelson was also moving east when it was at a much lower latitude (near 10S). In the Atlantic, this is almost unheard of; it has only happened once in recorded history.
Yep very true.
Hello, STL and Huricane23.
Hey everybody, I was reading the comments earlier today about FLORIDA TORNADOES, and I decided to GIVE SOME BAD NEWS. I HAVE BEEN READING BLOGS ON ACCUWEATHER.COM AND SEEING THE GFS 18UTC AND THE EUROPEAN MODELS AND THEY ARE SAYING THAT WE ARE GOING TO BEGIN A VERY ACTIVE PERIOD BETWEEN THE 13TH OF FEBRUARY THROUGH AT LEAST THE 20TH(WE DONT KNOW BEYOND) AND THEY ARE SAYING WE ARE HEADING INTO A MORE STORMIER WEATHER PATTERN DUE TO AN ACTIVE SOUTHER BRANCH OF THE JETSTREAM SLAMMING INTO CALIFORNIA. WHAT THIS WILL DO IS CREATE A MAJOR SNOWTORMS IN THE NE AND SEVERE WEATHER IN THE SOUTHEAST TYPICAL OF A FEBRUARY YEAR, BUT THIS IS NOT ALL THEY ARE SAYING THAT WHEN THESE LOW PRESSURE AREAS DEVELOP THEY WILL EXPLODE DUE TO THE PRESENCE OF A CANADIAN HIGH WHICH WILL FEED VERY COLD AIR INTO THE SYSTEM AS IT TAPS INTO WARM MOIST GULF AIR. IT WILL BE A SYSTEM AFTER ANOTHER, AND THE BAD NEWS IS YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS FOR FLORIDA (TORNADOES).THE MAIN SYSTEM WE HAVE TO WATCH IS THE 13TH-16TH THEY ARE CALLING IT THE VALENTINES STORM!
Some news from 11 n 61 w, SSt is down to 76 F, and while that is not too unusual, the sighting and photographing of 2 killer whales S.E. off Barbados is strange indeed. What does it all mean I wonder ???
Hey pottery and 882mb!
Whats up, 23 ?
76 degrees? That is a little cool... this map has SSTs over 27ºC, although what you have might just be a local effect (notice the upwelling in the southern Caribbean; this occurs every winter):

I'll be watching that the next week,882mb.Shear profiles seem impressive.
Nothing much just chilling with my wife in my living room while she watches american idol.
American Idol sure makes for a fun night!
Shear profiles do seem impressive. A 100+ jetstreak will be moving through the SE at the time.
Remember about the VALENTINES SNOWSTORM:However, these kinds of storms are not what snow lovers in the eastern U.S. are looking for. In order for that kind of storm to occur we have to have low pressure develop near the Gulf Coast and move northeastward and eventually also tapping Atlantic moisture. There are some signs that we may go into a weather pattern that favors such a storm track sometime next week. The first thing we need to see is the Pacific jet stream breaking through the ironclad ridge on the West Coast and bringing rain to Southern California. One such system will sacrifice itself to the gods of the ridge this week, but a second and third such system may be able to crash through the ridge late this weekend or early next week. If that happens it will help to initiate low pressure in the southern Plains next week with a growing area of rain along the Gulf Coast and snow and ice to the north. Then the question will be: can this disturbance in the southern branch of the jet stream phase with energy in the northern branch in time for the storm to intensify as it reaches and moves northward along the East Coast? That indeed is one too many questions to answer. But it is a possibility out there a week or so down the road, so snow geese....there is at least some hope.
882mb not my thing for sure.
Its that is funny when you see all these people that think they can sing but they can anyway i rather watch SPONGEBOB. lol!
STL mail call
Yeah, STL. I took off to the north coast today, and it was too cold for me man. Went in and out real quick. As you say, a local upwelling at the N E pt . of Trinidad is known to keep things cool and clean sea-wise there. Its the only place around the island that we get corals. The Orinoco affects everywhere else around here.
The northeast could be in for some nasty weather if this pans out.
I'm out. Nite all...............
Posted By: SteveDa1 at 10:52 PM GMT on February 06, 2007.
All I do is:

Right-Click an image and click properties. Then I copy-paste the URL in here:

(img src="URL HERE" width=640)

(The "()" are actually "<")
The width=640 is for this blog. If a picture is bigger than 640, I suggest you type in width=640 (thats the size of this blog).

That's all you need to know... I think.


Posted By: Patrap at 10:53 PM GMT on February 06, 2007.
How to add images and other tips for blogging.Jeff MAsters Link...from this page Link



Thanks guys...I will try it in a little bit...
911 Telephone Outage for the United States
WVC047-070815-

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
911 TELEPHONE OUTAGE EMERGENCY
MCDOWELL 911
RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON WV
1205 AM EST WED FEB 7 2007

...911 TELEPHONE OUTAGE EMERGENCY...

THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE
MCDOWELL 911.

911 SERVICE MAY BE DISRUPTED DUE TO THE COMBINATION OF A FIRE AND
LINES DOWN FROM THE SNOW. IF YOU CAN NOT GET THROUGH TO
911...PLEASE CALL YOUR LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT.

MUCH OF THE PHONE SERVICE IS OUT THROUGHOUT MCDOWELL COUNTY.
HOWEVER YOU MAY BE ABLE TO CALL WITHIN YOUR OWN TELEPHONE
EXCHANGE. THEREFORE...IF YOU CAN NOT GET THROUGH TO 911 OR
CONSTANTLY GET A BUSY SIGNAL...THEN TRY YOUR LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT.


her some in you dont see too march


Over the least 24 hours measurable volcanic activity has remained low.

A photograph taken from the tourist helicopter yesterday shows that the dome is continuing to grow slowly from the top, which is currently towards the western side of the crater
might have an iteresting tropical season if a ts or hurricane pass over monserat volcano
After heavy rain last night seismicity is slightly raised over recent days with a few more rockfall signals
this is just heavy rain from some passing showers i wounder how badly a ts system would effect it?
Man! Check out the 6Z GFS at 288 or so.

Big snowstorm in the south all the way to the gulf coast 8-10 inches or more.
Of course this is so far out people shouldn't take it seriously. Interesting all the same tho..
Ah to dream....
Interesting but as we know will change in futher runs but worth keeping an eye on the models as we get close to next week.



GFS @288HRS


GFS @300 HRS



GFS @312 HRS
FOR MONDAY FEBRUARY 12 - FRIDAY FEBRUARY 16: A STORM DEVELOPING IN THE SOUTHERN PLAINS IS EXPECTED TO BRING SEVERE WEATHER TO PARTS OF THE GULF COAST AND NORTHERN FLORIDA. MODEL SOLUTIONS THEN GREATLY DIVERGE ON THE EXPECTED PATH OF THIS STORM AS IT MOVES EASTWARD. SOLUTIONS RANGE FROM A SNOW STORM IN SOUTHERN VIRGINIA TO A NOREASTER THAT BRINGS SNOW TO THE MAJOR CITIES ALONG THE EAST COAST. OTHER SOLUTIONS BRING RAIN TO THE EAST COAST AND KEEP THE SNOW IN THE APPALACHIANS. IN SUMMARY, THE FORECAST SPECIFICS RELATED TO THIS STORM ARE UNCLEAR, BUT ALL MODELS ARE IN AGREEMENT OF A STORM FORMING AND MOVING TOWARDS THE EAST COAST.

courtesy HPC.




Seems like the real issue in Florida was the lack of warning. Trailer parks need a radio activated siren on an independent power source when Tornado warnings or sightings occur in the area.
At 3am, who is watching the news???
For days now, On the Op-Ed pages of the Orlando Sentinel, the debate over tornado warning systems in Florida has raged on.

Years ago, volunteer fire departments in our area had co-opted the local civil defense sirens to alert their members to an emergency. Members frequently failed to be alerted by this system, for reasons that included ambient noise, the soundproofing in modern structures, and distance from the siren. Sirens might work on the open plains of Kansas, but they are not as effective through areas not as acoustically favorable such as around hills, complexes of buildings, near Interstate highways with their sound barriers, and through wooded areas. Over time, Fire Departments adopted a more advanced system using portable radios that were remotely activated by a transmitted signal. This system is still in use today, augmented by other wireless devices like cell phones and alphanumeric pagers.

The weather radios sold today are much cheaper than the radio receivers/paging units used by public safety entities, but they utilize the same technology, and because of the frequency they use, are reliable over a wide area. Other advanced options are text and/or e-mail alerts to portable devices, and reverse 911.

Orlando Sentinel editors, supporting the position that sirens are necessary and should be installed immediately statewide, opined that "Warnings from weather radios aren't omnipresent like those from sirens, however. Sirens can be heard whether one is indoors or outdoors." As one who relied on such a system for a number of years, I can tell you this just is not true. I lived one-half mile from our siren, and often, especially during stormy weather conditions, or when operating power tools, I could not hear the siren. The people right next door to the sirens sure could hear them though. Would you want one next to your house? Radio paging is much more effective. Once many persons in an area such as a trailer park are alerted, the preparation activity in the area should alert others in the area.

Persons who live or work in structures that do not provide protection from the weather that can occur here must pay attention to severe weather watches. The watch should give adequate time to make sure that a plan is made to move quickly move to a place of safety, and the means to receive an alert are close at hand. If we simply must throw some money at the problem, build more tornado shelters, and make weather radios available at minimal cost.
P.S. - Public Safety buildings should be built to withstand the worst of the hazards that an area has to deal with. Let's quit putting our resources behind the disaster curve right from the start. NO MORE cheap metal buildings for our first responders!
HIEXPRESS~ You bring up some good debates going on in this area right now. I totally don't believe in the sirens for many reasons. Some as you point out, they could easily not be heard. A NOAA radio we can be at the other end of the house running a powertool & hear. Also it tests every week so I know it's in working order. It is activated directly from my local NWS so there is no presious seconds lost on a middle man to sound the alarm. I think it was last years outbreaks & I don't remember which state, some of their alarms didn't sound because they were old & in disrepair, people that depended on them died & the town is to blame. It's not the town's responsibility, especially when these radios are as cheap as $12...it's like having a smoke detector. I saw a graph the other day it's easier to get killed in FL by a tornado than a house fire. So why aren't NOAA radios required? Because you don't get a big discount on your homeowners insurance for having them. The reverse 911 system would also be good, it's already in place. Though the phone doesn't always wake me up where the NOAA radio you can't sleep through.
Are there no building codes in areas that need them ???
The codes don't deal with such rare events. It is up to the individual or agency to go beyond the code as resources allow. For "critical infrastructure", this should be a no-brainer.
The counties are all differnt, south & coastal are good, some interior areas need some upgrading. Better codes didn't happen til after Andrew so if it was built before 1993 they didn't apply. From the 1900s-'70s there was more a hurricane conscious effort. But when subdivision showed up in the '80's it got real shoddy in that big boom, as well as alot of trailer havens were allowed. It had been a quiet 'cane time, the local officals got money hungry & let stuff slide badly.
Have you seen the latest sub-surface anomaly maps?
Sure looks like a La Nina is on the way:



The center of the negative anomalies is more than 6ºC below normal; by comparison, the positive anomalies never got past 5-6ºC above normal.
yep,active hurricane season is coming.You think it'll beat '05?
We would need nearly constant activity from June to December.
I wonder if this possible storm next week could bring a significant snow event to eastern NC. I live near Greenville NC which is halfway b/w Raleigh and the coast...

Floodie
There are more factors than ENSO that affect the Atlantic; activity has varied from 1 to 28 storms (by far the most variable ocean basin in the world) and the last hurricane season that occurred during La Nina (1999; the second half of 2005 trended towards La Nina conditions but it never got strong enough to be offically recognized) had 12 storms, which was actually less than in 2004 (15 storms), and it had an El Nino. Interestingly, the current El Nino is not official yet either (official means that conditions persist for at least five consecutive three month periods).
It is still possible that the average of December-February may still be 0.5 or above, even if one month is neutral or negative.
we could see 28 storms this year???
Weather History
Did you know that...
Today's factoid has nothing to do with weather, but it is interesting nonetheless. On this date in 1812, a strong earthquake struck the area around the small town of New Madrid, Mo. The jolt was so strong that the Mississippi River ran backwards and an island in the river sunk. The fault where this earthquake occurred is actually still active

lol mississippi river going backwards thats a hot one
LOL... I feel safer going with 14-16 storms, 7-8 hurricanes and 3-4 major hurricanes, which is more like the short-term average (since 1995). You never really know what is really going to happen, although once the season gets under way it is easier (for example, an active start can mean a very active season overall but not always).
i go with my forcast of 30 name storms may be 35 name storms if we get going in may or june
La Nina means almost nothing - really; for example, look at 1973 here. Now, look at what happened here.
1974 and 1975 wern't terribly active either, despite a three year long La Nina (save for one period where the 3 month average was -0.4).
Those were all cold AMO though,STL.And the AMO is a huge predictor of seasonal activity.With it warm,a La Nina will enhance it more.
And those were near-normal seasons in a below normal period.They had La Ninas.To me,it would seem a La Nina in a warm AMO would greatly favor activity.We'll need to wait and see.
they where uesing names for Subtropical storm names????
Subtropical Storms are given names Taz.
MSTL, Its hard to say. Ambiguous years trending towards a slight, slow cooling seem to sometimes be more active. That’s El Nina and La Nino for ya!

El Nina and La Nino!!! - I love saying that. I guess its not as funny as an explosively flatulent horse on a romantic sleigh ride though!
Kris~ The latest sub-surface anomaly map is wild. It just keeps getting colder. It should come up in Region 1&2 then spread west along the surface. Region 3&4 is what the 3 month average is done on. So it's gotta go west before we can even say cold La Nina conditions now, (though 3 & 4 were +.4 last week so it's just now neutral) then the 3 month average thing to be offical.
I agree with MichaelSTL, you can't really use ENSO to come up with how many storms.
Not exactly,Skye.But it is a good indicator of wether we'll be less or more active.
El Nino may help slow what may have been a bad year. Like 2004 we may have seen a much busier year without it. Alot has to do with the world usually has about the same # a year. Some areas tend to have more, but it varies. S Hemisphere seems slow this year. What is our storm count so far compared to the average? If it is slow we could expect more in the Northere Hemisphere but we still wouldn't know if Atlantic or Pacific might take the brunt or an even spread til season.
Well,if it does cycle like what you're sayin Skye,then the Atlantic should be active this year.
The Southern Hemisphere has had 12 storms so far; at the same time last year they had 10 storms, which means that this year has actually been more active.
So you think the SH is running behind? I hadn't seen the #'s, just seems that way...hadn't been many to watch so far & their ~not quite half way through.
But not nessecarily more than usual,STL.Do you know what the norm is?
Well that's good news, thanks Michael. Seems it was most active last year 2nd 1/2.
Here is a table of the basins and the average number of storms in each one; there are an average of 31 storms in the Southern Hemisphere each year (the last few years have been below average, although it seems the trend has been towards more strong storms).
With 12 already...The Southern Hemispheric season is approaching its peak,though.Isn't it?
The peak is mid-February to mid-March.
Thought so.
Hi everyone. I see that it could be an active HS this year
This is an interesting map; it shows the track of every single storm worldwide from 1985 to 2005 (click for larger version):

I've seen that map before
Yes,TS2 an active HS seems likely.And nice map,STL.
How are you doing today,TS2?
Good. I've posted that three times to you kris on different blogs.LOL
I know TS2.
Thats a good tape JFLORIDA
Afternoon guys...
Afternoon 23. Hows it going/
hey h23.
JFL~ I had to turn the volume way up to hear the sirens, but could hear people talking. The siren shut off mid way, I wonder if the tornado took it.
Iam doing ok guys off from work today.Probably going to play basketball at the gym with some friends later.How about yourself?
I'm good.
I guess it did Sky - or it took out the power supply - I can't believe those guys just kept taping with it so close - as it goes by you can see the tops of the buildings close up and the wind is making a pressure vapor cloud just over their tops.
Michael, seems the stronger storms thing has been across the globe.

Webster

Thanks for checking the #'s went there to look around all they had was the hurricanes & then I's pulled away.
Yeah when those shingles started flying by from left to right I'd of had to run for underground.

A NOAA box has batteries for back up too...I'll have to send that on to the newspaper so pushing for sirens around here.
NOAA news they put out a push for their radios, good list of features & some events where a radio saved scores of people.

NOAA budget request
MichaelSTL where did you get that map from? It is awesome!

And as for the deep south snowstorm, I can dream I guess. Feb 19/20 is getting kinda late for that sort of thing though.
Afternoon everyone.

Hey, JFL... is there another way for me to access that F5 video from 1991 besides YouTube?

I teach and my school's web filter blocks YT.

Floodie
Posted By: StSimonsIslandGAGuy at 2:09 PM EST on February 07, 2007.

MichaelSTL where did you get that map from? It is awesome!

You can find the map at wikipedia and much more useful information.

Traditionally, areas of tropical cyclone formation are divided into seven basins. These include the north Atlantic Ocean, the eastern and western parts of the Pacific Ocean (considered separately because tropical cyclones rarely form in the central Pacific), the southwestern Pacific, the southwestern and southeastern Indian Oceans, and the northern Indian Ocean. The western Pacific is the most active and the north Indian the least active. An average of 86 tropical cyclones of tropical storm intensity form annually worldwide, with 47 reaching hurricane/typhoon strength, and 20 becoming intense tropical cyclones (at least of Category 3 intensity.
floodzonenc

I don’t think so - thats one is my favs because the view is so close. I think its on a few tornado videos - its form 91 - try a search on one that gets through under “Tornado On McConnell AFB” I guess it actually got worse near Andover - it looks larger at least (you tube).


This is a good one too for seeing the winds.
I think it was the same outbreak.



BTW: Overpasses are tornado death traps - Despite what you might have heard, highway overpasses are death traps, not good shelters, in a tornado

"Evidence from the May 3, 1999 Oklahoma tornadoes shows the danger: Of 17 people sheltering under an I-35 overpass, all but one were blown out by the wind; one was killed. A few miles away, one person was dismembered and about a dozen others suffered serious injuries"

Duh - you guys probably know this but you can full screen those videos by pressing the button in the lower right of the video window.
Hopefully soon they will be able to integrate the severe weather warning system and the 911 emergency/location system and somehow automatically call people when a tornado (or severe weather) is approaching them, specifically. At least it would wake them up -- and hopefully motivate them to seek shelter.

Most of the telephone lines are buried and everyone probably has at least ONE handset/cellphone that doesn’t rely on external power
actually I read that they had a 911 callback program that could call 2000 numbers a minute, but if you have 150,000 houses like in Volusia County, that takes over an hour! That is good for notifying people about hurricane evacuations, but not for tornadoes.
I think it would be better to just give every household a weather radio that would switch on when a tornado warning was issued.
The Perfect Storm for tornado and storm chasers would be one where it is a slow moving storm, with many long lived tornadoes in a low precipitation enviroment away from any populated area but great roads, oh and no hail. Most people, when they hear the phrase The Perfect Storm, think of fall of 1991, when the Andrea Gail left Gloucester, Massachusetts...headed for the fishing grounds off the North Atlantic.


Perfect Storm
Large View of the Perfect Storm infrared image at 1200 UTC (0700 EST) on October 30, 1991 NOAA IMAGEGOES 7 (Infrared) Courtsey NOAA -NWS



Called The Perfect Storm because it was three storms combined into one — created an almost apocalyptic situation in the Atlantic ocean, where boats encountered waves of 100 feet (30 meters). This storm was one of the strongest and most terrifying that many could remember. Wolfgang Petersen directed The Perfect Storm moive, starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

But when we talk about the perfect storm with tornado and storm chasing, we are talking about an event that would be easy to film up close, that drops many tornadoes over several hours. Have I seen the perefect storm myself yet? Not yet, but almost. In 2000, I was able to film a slow moving storm with my car motor turned off, parked in the path of the oncoming tornado.

2000t.jpg (8049 bytes)I wrote: "During this time I didn't have to move my car once. I sat in the same place for at least 20 minutes making it easy to photograph. This slow tornado movement was truly a chasers dream for photographing and a rare occurrence for tornado photography."

But this was just one tornado. Another chase I might call nearly the perfect storm was in 2002.
Tornado Photos step by stepThis storm kept dropping tornado after tornado. We did have to keep driving to keep up with the movement of the storm, but it almost continually had a tornado on the ground for almost 35 minutes. We had a good view of it most of the time and got some great video of it.

Still, I would say I haven't met the prefect storm that I keep dreaming of getting. I know that many other chasers dream of chasing some big tornado event. Even after a great year of chasing tornadoes, most chasers still wish for more tornadoes, bigger tornadoes, a closer encounter. The perfect storm, the grandest of tornado events seems to be just one more chase away. Maybe someday we will be able to say at the end of the chase, today was the perfect storm. But maybe not. Maybe the possibility of a greater event than todays, or yesterdays will make the perfect storm an event only to be chased, but never attained. Even as near as I got in 2003 to an F3 tornado near O'Neil Nebraska, I wonder if I can better that event.
Chase 2003 Tornado Photos and stories
I wrote after that chase: "I realized I had made a stupid mistake and left no way to escape. I was stuck in my car and had to ride out the tornado in the worst possibly location. The large building seemed to be holding, but large debris passed over the top of the car and flew by the sides of the building."

Tornado and storm chasing will always give all of us chasers the possibility of one greater event than the last, one more possibility of new video never gotten before. Maybe the perfect storm is and will always be, the hope of tomorrows encounter. Most chasers I have talked with are never totally satisifed with their latest encounter. For most chasers, I believe the perfect storm is still waiting for us to find. I will be there looking for it (The Perfect Storm), and I know many of you will be there also. See you on the plains of the US looking for that perfect storm.
162. ryang
Hello
Guys, that article is from tornadochaser.net...I'm just practicing copying and pasting photos, maps, etc...I'm getting there...


...still experimenting with images guys...I'll be posting many more over the forthcoming weeks until I get this thing down pat...
It looks like the Houston area could see some severe weather in a few days. Here is the Houston GFS meteogram.



Look at the third chart. I have never seen the red line go so high! Here is part of the key to the meteogram.

Stability Indices

The stability indices are measures of the potential for strong or severe weather. The indices shown here are the Lifted Index (LI) and the Total-Totals Index (TTI).
LI
The LI, indicated by the red line, is a measure of the thunderstorm potential which accounts for low level moisture availability.
LI values greater than 0 mean thunderstorms are unlikely
LI values between 0 and -2 mean thunderstorms are possible with good trigger
LI values between -3 and -5 mean thunderstorms are probable
LI values less than -5 mean a strong potential for severe thunderstorms

TTI
The orange and yellow bars indicate the value of the TTI.
TTI is a derived index, and is dimensionless.
TTI is a measure of the vertical stability of the atmosphere, and over central and eastern North America is also a good indicator of the potential for severe weather.
Values of TTI of around 40-45 indicate the potential for thunderstorms. Around 50, severe thunderstorms are possible. Around 55, storms producing tornados are possible. This rule-of-thumb does not hold over western North America where there is alot of high terrain (Rocky Mountains and West Coast).
The base line for the bar graph of TTI is 40.


The LI is at about -6, and TTI is up around 60!
Victims of Christmas twister feel abandoned

Rebecca Mahoney | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted February 7, 2007

DeLAND -- A Christmas Day tornado ripped apart Georgiana Durden's porch, punching holes in the roof of her mobile home and leaving her DeLand neighborhood in tatters.

Weeks later, she's still waiting for help with repairs.

Yes No
Yes No
Yes No
On Friday, another storm tore through Central Florida, damaging homes, toppling trees and reducing communities to rubble.

Within days, the Federal Emergency Management Agency rolled in to help, along with high-powered politicians and aid from scores of volunteers.

Victims of Volusia County's December storms lost as much as those whose lives were thrown into disarray last week.

But the disparity in attention and aid has left Christmas Day victims feeling overlooked and underserved by the government and charities now hard at work elsewhere.

"I feel sad that these people lost their homes, but we did, too," Durden said Tuesday, as she stood outside her home in Fernwood Estates. "What's the matter with us? We're not different; we're the same."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is reconsidering its denial of the state's request for a federal disaster declaration after the Christmas storms, which would have provided money for temporary housing, home repairs, loans and other financial aid.

Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, hopes to change that over breakfast in Washington this morning with the head of FEMA, R. David Paulison.

"I'm hoping we have the appeal resolved by that time," Mica said, "or you'll see a large nuclear cloud over Washington, D.C."

Mica, however, was one of many politicians who toured devastated areas after last week's tornadoes, but not after the Christmas Day storms. Senator Bill Nelson also got his first look at the damage last week. Gov. Charlie Crist visited Central Florida three times since Friday's storms, but neither he nor former Gov. Jeb Bush showed up after the Christmas tornado.

"It's not right the way we are being treated," said Linda Berryman, 56, who estimates the Dec. 25 storm caused about $13,000 in damage to her DeLand home.

If the politicians had toured her neighborhood and others pummeled by the December storm, they might have seen how bad the damage was and worked harder to get federal aid, Berryman said.

Durden said a FEMA inspector did show up in her mobile-home park Tuesday. Residents immediately crowded around him, she said, thinking the government had arrived. They soon learned that he was there by mistake.

"It was an insult, this guy showing up," Durden said.

The latest slight came on Tuesday, when Crist expanded a statewide hurricane-relief fund to include tornado victims, but not those affected by the Dec. 25 storms.

"We have a policy that it has to be a FEMA disaster-declared area before we can go in to help," said Fonda Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Florida Disaster Recovery Fund. "No, we cannot help them [the Christmas tornado victims] at this time."

FEMA's response has frustrated and baffled local officials, who say they don't understand why victims of the same kind of tragedy are not treated equally.

"My heart's breaking for them. Their lives have been devastated just like the people that have lost their homes and everything in this [latest] tornado," County Chairman Frank Bruno said. "They feel that it's totally unfair. . . . I agree with them."

The county is offering some assistance to low-income residents of both storms but doesn't have the money to offer the kind of aid FEMA can provide, Bruno said.

"We can't afford to give long-term individual disaster relief," Bruno said. "That's just not in our budget."

The reason the latest victims are getting so much help is probably because the magnitude of the Feb. 2 storms was so much greater than the earlier storm, Stetson University political-science professor T. Wayne Bailey said.

Even though damage estimates for the storms are similar, the Feb. 2 tornadoes killed 20 people and damaged many more homes across a three-county area.

"When there are deaths, that does establish a profound link to the amount of help available," Bailey said.

By contrast, December's storm fell on a holiday and did not gain national media attention, he said.

"Certainly the Dec. 25 storm was not making headlines on CNN," Bailey said. "We were deep into turkey and college football. The result is that the holiday drowned out the pleas of the victims of this first strike."

Meanwhile, December victims like Durden are slowly working to put their lives back together -- even as they still cling to hope that help is on its way.

Said Durden, "I pray every day that we are going to get the help we need."

Etan Horowitz and Nancy Imperiale of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report. Rebecca Mahoney can be reached at 386-851-7914 or rmahoney@orlandosentinel.




169. 882MB
Hey everybody, Models still in good agreement in an ACTIVE WEATHER PATTERN FOR THE GULF COAST, SOUTHEAST AND NORTHEAST!Looks like one STORM AFTER ANOTHER!
170. 882MB
Just look at what ACCUWEATHER has to say:(The weather is always changing, sometimes very subtly, and other times very dramatically. Next week will shift from extreme cold to winter storms. The Pacific jet stream will finally cross the country. Consequently, cold air from the north and moist air from the south will cross paths, and the intersection may have a lot of snow and ice. The first storm, in what could be a series of nasty weather events, will form over the central states Monday with rain in Texas, ice in Kansas and snow farther north. This system will track across the Mississippi Valley Monday night and reach the East on Tuesday. A significant amount of snow is possible from Missouri to Maryland. A second storm may come along later next week.)This is the storm that could be a big one the second one!
The northeast has less of a chance because of the cold and I live near Montreal. I would love to get another snowfall but i think I still have to wait at least 10 days...

I read that too 882mb on Accuweather.
Fishing invest Lake Ponchatrain..Link
BTW everyone, I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me some links about the weather. I recently formatted my computer and I forgot to keep all my favorites with me...

Go to my blog and post some if you want to help :)
Thanks.
LSU earth scan Lab
Randyman~ when you right click & go to properties, notice the size, before you copy. If it's over 200000 link it.
Wow, that is cool patrap. Between the 27th and 28th it really exploded...
Remember a song by Leon Everett called Hurricane?
My goodness was it foggy today...

Good evening,

Looking at the cooling in models tonight and in my opinion la nina conditions look almost likely across the pacific ocean.
ewwww.cat just vomited.
goodnight
Anybody out there remember when Sharon Resultan started working with TWC? Seems like 1985-ish, ??
She first appeared on-air at The Weather Channel in 1993. Link

Why?
These guys never appeared on TWC! Who cares??

You people have managed to clutter this blog with so many bandwidth draining graphics.....You can't even get in here any longer can you?
I have all the whistles...I even had trouble!
Post the high def graphs.....and never consider someone may still be on dial-up!
Please.....never consider anyone but yourselves while you continue to impress each other with who can out-post the other guy with draining charts!
What a bunch of idiots!
Just below Florida in the gulf just north of the western end of Cuba there is a spot showing some, Well…. Almost rotation. If it was a little later in the year Id be concerned!

0600am UTC
Reunion RSMC Advisory

Tempête Tropicale Modérée 07R (Dora)

10 min sustained winds of 45 knots with center pressure of 990 hPa


24 hours Becoming Extratropical -- 50 knots.
48 hours (EXTRATROPICAL) -- 60 knots
72 hours (EXTRATROPICAL) -- 70 knots
GFS Critical Thickness 150 hrs out!



Gfs Critical again...162 hrs out!




Nothing here shows me an East Coast problem!
I may as well burn this blog up! There's still room!
I would however be concerned if I lived in Amarillo, Texas.
anyone watching the warm waters spreading out from africas coast. It seems that those warm waters have finnaly reached the warm waters off of the coast of south america. And notice the ring around central america pacific side.
Graphics rule!
Posted By: mrpuertorico at 4:58 AM CST on February 08, 2007.

anyone watching the warm waters spreading out from africas coast. It seems that those warm waters have finnaly reached the warm waters off of the coast of south america. And notice the ring around central america pacific side.


Not sure I follow you... there is no way water from Africa can cross South America into the Pacific. In any case, those warm waters off South America are going to cool big time - by like 6 degrees Celcius when this reaches the surface...
Might be time to get a new computer!..LOL

BTW, thanks for the tornado coverage Dr. Masters. Saw it first hand. Not a pretty site.
(Climate prediction febuary update)

A transition from weak El Niño conditions to ENSO-neutral conditions is expected by March-May 2007.

Most of the statistical and coupled models, including the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS), indicate that SST anomalies will continue to decrease and that ENSO-neutral conditions are likely to develop during March-May 2007 (Fig. 4). There is considerable uncertainty in the forecasts for periods after May 2007.

There forcasting Neutral conditions come spring time.

MORE HERE