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Severe weather moves into the Mississippi Valley

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:59 PM GMT on March 31, 2007

Severe weather continues today across the Plains, where flooding has been the main problem in the past 24 hours. Portions of Texas received up to seven inches of rain in the past day (Figure 1), causing closure of many roads. Seven tornadoes touched down in Texas yesterday, and one near Hallettsville injured three people. Four twisters touched down Thursday, and as many as 70 on Wednesday. The tornado outbreak killed four people on Wednesday. The strongest storm surveyed so far was an EF3 tornado that hit Holly, Colorado, killing one person and injuring eleven. The tornado was unusual in that it did not show up on radar until a few minutes after it touched down, and moved from east to west. Holly was not not under a watch, no warnings were issued, and the town sirens did not go off. Our tools and knowledge are still not good enough to always detect these storms before they touch down, unfortunately. The heavy rains these storms have brought--and the up to six feet of snow in the mountains of Wyoming--should help drought conditions relax in the Plains, though.

Expect the severe weather action to shift to the Mississippi Valley today and Alabama tomorrow. However, the storm system is gradually losing its punch, and we may not see any more tornadoes by Sunday out of the system.


Figure 1. Total storm precipitation estimated by radar for the Dallas/Fort Worth region for the period March 29 - March 31.

Jeff Masters
Hail Storm
Hail Storm
Hail Storm on March 30, 2007. Camp Wood, Texas
Holly Colorado tornado
Holly Colorado tornado
A F4 tornado (winds up to 199 mph) struck Holly, CO on Wednesday, March 28, with only minutes notice. A lot of clean-up has already been done. In this photo, the floor of another home that was completely destroyed ended up in this home. Six homes were completedly destroyed, and at least 65 more were severely damaged, many more sustained some sort of damage. Several farms were also severly damaged or destroyed. A 29 year old mother of two was killed, and 11 more were injured seriously enough to be taken to the hospital.

Tornado

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

Thanks Dr.M,getting bad later today.
It's been quite a spring so far. With a typhoon soon in the Pacific it could be an interesting summer as well.
Expect the severe weather action to shift to the Mississippi Valley today and Alabama tomorrow. However, the storm system is gradually losing its punch, and we may not see any more tornadoes by Sunday out of the system.

Works for me! Thanks for the update :)
La Nina has continued to strengthen:



Of course, the official average is based on 3 months and it must last for 5 consecutive 3 month periods to be official; however, La Nina conditions are alreading occurring and affecting the weather.
01W has continued to intensify threw the morning hours and remains a fairly large system with favorable conditions in front expect futher intensification probably more than currently forcasted.

IR loop of 01W

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Also Jaya continues to undergo rapid intensification...

So much for March coming in "like a lion", and going out "like a lamb"! March was a lion from start to finish in many places.
Wow, 01W...first northern hemisphere storm. when does the western pacific hurricane season officially start anyways?
TS Kong-rey (01W) is at 35 knots and 1000 hPa
They have no official season - it runs year-round. However, most storms typically form from May through December so you could say that that is their normal season. A storm in March is pretty unusual, because conditions are least favorable at this time of the year (the opposite of the peak in September).
very interesting. thnx MichaelSTL
Hopefully that is not an indication of how things will run in the Atlantic Season! ProgressivePulse here! New look for the season and beyond!
Tong-rey is now officially a Tropical Storm.

And the Great Experiment continues ...
14. TS2
Forecast to reach Cat 1 too DB
Look at the cloud tops.

t
Pretty far south, shear is dropping.
Indeed continues to get organized....



I just started a blog. Please, check it out!
HURRICANIC very good blog,will post updates there about the two storms.
Well the models near us show not much at all happening over the next 48 hrs it seems. There is an interesting spot in the Gulf near the Texas cost involved in a stationary front., but they say its dissipating. The Buoys show a respectable profile.
Link This article appeared today, Just thought I would share it.
GFS was showing a moster storm today for So Cal next week. A major change from what earlyer runs. Looks like 3-5 inches of rain. This could put a dent in the dryest season to date. >_>
blob action off east coast of Mexico, hmmm
just a blob No need to worry:}
28. IKE
Posted By: HIEXPRESS at 2:29 AM CDT on April 01, 2007.
Cat 5 Spins up in Gulf - Moving WEST!


By July or August that may be a reality...then it's $5 a gallon for gas. Then my car gets a 200,000 mile break.
29. MZT
Last year was quite active in the N Pacifis. Very short lull this winter...
Hey, looks like a new invest in the S. Pacific . . . 97S

About 10S 90E
Here is kong-rey:

With the hail and tornado season having an active March....should we anticipate more of the same for April-May? Any forecast models that someone can share...I have some, but they don't extend out past 1 week.
Tropical Storm 01W (Kong-rey) Warning #5
===============================
Tropical Storm 01W (Kong-rey) has 1 minute sustained winds of 55 knots with wind gusts of 70 knots, moving west-northwest at 9 knots.

Tropical Storm 01W is located 430 nm east-southeast of Guam. The wave height associated with this system is 18 feet.

The next JTWC tropical storm warning is at 21:00pm Sunday
Hi, I'm new, may have posted this twice in error, still learning. Not a weather buff at all, would be interested in anyone's thoughs as to why we have felt as if we are living in a wind tunnel this week in SOUTHERN BELIZE. And when is it going to stop.....
norfolknob,

Are u living in southern Belize? If so, welcome! We are always glad to see any new comments from the Caribbean area!

On the wind, it's usually fairly windy in the Bahamas at this time of year. I take it that's not the case where you are?

I'm sure there are some maps around that can give some clue as to why there have been heavy winds there.

Question on Kong-Rey:

Somebody remind me what causes those little "sun-ray" type clouds radiating out from the centre of the storm? For some reason I associate them with a storm that is getting ready to deepen and intensify.
38. TS2
I do aswell Baha..but i'm not sure what causes them
ppppppssssssat
I'm back
hhmmm....just as I suspected
7.6 Earthquake in Solomon Islands. Tsunami watch has just been canned for Hawaii. No Aprils fools Joke.
Earthquake Near Solomon Islands Sparks Tsunami Alert (Update1)
By Emma O'Brien and Ed Johnson

April 2 (Bloomberg) -- An earthquake of magnitude 7.6 struck near the coast of the Solomon Islands, spurring a tsunami warning for Australia, Indonesia and South Pacific island nations.

The quake occurred at 7:39 a.m. Solomon Islands time, 45 kilometers (25 miles) south southeast of the coastal settlement of Gizo, in the New Georgia archipelago and 345 kilometers west northwest of the capital, Honiara, at a depth of 10 kilometers, the U.S. Geological Survey said in an e-mailed alert.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami alert for the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Nauru, Chuuk, New Caledonia, Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Australia and Indonesia.

Towns and villages were damaged in the Solomon Islands when a tsunami swept ashore, Agence France-Presse reported, citing an unidentified police official, who said there were no reports of casualties. The center said it received reports of a 15- centimeter high wave at Honiara.

The Solomon Islands, about 2,500 kilometers from the eastern coast of Australia, has a population of about 550,000 people and experiences frequent earth tremors and volcanic activity.

A tsunami watch extends to Fiji, Guam, New Zealand, the Philippines, Japan, Tonga and Samoa, the center said in an e- mailed statement.

``An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours,'' the center said in an e-mailed statement. ``Authorities should take appropriate action in response to this possibility.''

An aftershock of magnitude 6.7, also at a depth of 10 kilometers, hit 539 kilometers west northwest of Honiara at 7:47 a.m. Solomon Islands time, the USGS said on its Web site.

To contact the reporters on this story: Emma O'Brien in Wellington on eobrien6@bloomberg.net ; Ed Johnson in Sydney at ejohnson28@bloomberg.net .

Last Updated: April 1, 2007 19:03 EDT
I wanna say ribbon clouds, been digesting too much dry air, gonna weaken.

Belize winds may drop toward next weekend by the forecast through WU.
: BahaHurican vary good April fool day joke


Posted By: BahaHurican at 5:38 PM MDT on April 01, 2007.

Earthquake Near Solomon Islands Sparks Tsunami Alert (Update1)
By Emma O'Brien and Ed Johnson

April 2 (Bloomberg) -- An earthquake of magnitude 7.6 struck near the coast of the Solomon Islands, spurring a tsunami warning for Australia, Indonesia and South Pacific island nations.

The quake occurred at 7:39 a.m. Solomon Islands time, 45 kilometers (25 miles) south southeast of the coastal settlement of Gizo, in the New Georgia archipelago and 345 kilometers west northwest of the capital, Honiara, at a depth of 10 kilometers, the U.S. Geological Survey said in an e-mailed alert.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami alert for the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Nauru, Chuuk, New Caledonia, Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Australia and Indonesia.

Towns and villages were damaged in the Solomon Islands when a tsunami swept ashore, Agence France-Presse reported, citing an unidentified police official, who said there were no reports of casualties. The center said it received reports of a 15- centimeter high wave at Honiara.

The Solomon Islands, about 2,500 kilometers from the eastern coast of Australia, has a population of about 550,000 people and experiences frequent earth tremors and volcanic activity.

A tsunami watch extends to Fiji, Guam, New Zealand, the Philippines, Japan, Tonga and Samoa, the center said in an e- mailed statement.

``An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines near the epicenter within minutes and more distant coastlines within hours,'' the center said in an e-mailed statement. ``Authorities should take appropriate action in response to this possibility.''

An aftershock of magnitude 6.7, also at a depth of 10 kilometers, hit 539 kilometers west northwest of Honiara at 7:47 a.m. Solomon Islands time, the USGS said on its Web site.

To contact the reporters on this story: Emma O'Brien in Wellington on eobrien6@bloomberg.net ; Ed Johnson in Sydney at ejohnson28@bloomberg.net .

Last Updated: April 1, 2007 19:03 EDT
Unfortunately, not a joke.

Google it. It happened tomorrow in the Solomons.
That is NOT a joke. Link I think you know that thousands of news sources would not be in such a joke, especially something like that.
Skye,

I am trying to think of a way to access previous blogs, because I know we talked about this last year. I just don't have a real idea of WHEN or what we called the things.

I think it was a West Pacific storm we were talking about then, too, though.
15 cm tsunami reported.
I am trying to think of a way to access previous blogs

On the right, there is a section for archived blogs (Entries for 2007); for past years, go to "Complete Archive", which will show a list of the years and months with entries, then pick a month and it will show you every entry during that month.
I wanna say the special guest from nhc? One of the big WP storms last season.
Anyway, what is it that you are looking for?
Wasn't the special guest from NHC, maybe NOAA that did a blog on a typhoon last season where the clouds looked like Baha's 5:53 pic of kong-rey on the south side? I can't think of the handle to find the blog. He's only wrote a few of them. Ribbon clouds probibly wasn't the name of those, I got nothing searching there. They have a forecasting signifigance.
oh is looking for word to the hurricane forcast that comes out monday and the TSR forcast?


i cant wait
I remember that Zeta had the same appearance:

Is this what you all are looking for?

Posted By: atmosweather at 9:11 PM PDT on September 09, 2006.
BTW - Florence is, for the moment at least, explosively deepening. Why? You can tell by looking at satellite imagery. The cirrus clouds from the CDO are "fanning out", a typical characteristic of a storm experiencing almost zero shear and great outflow.

from here.
now this looks nic

lol
How long after an earthquake do you need to worry about a Tsunami? Is the weather worse then normal this year? I don't remember so very many of these devasting events before...so close together...so spread across the Globe...
LowerCal,

I think that's it. What did u search for?

Michael, I couldn't figure out what to search FOR. I didn't have s storm name or anything. So I was stuck.

I have a feeling it's at least partially because the news reporting is a bit better. We're getting to hear about more events that do not affect us directly.
In some cases, it has been worse; for example, Madagascar:

Cyclone Indhala compounds food insecurity in Madagascar
by Anita Swarup in Nairobi

Cyclone Indhala, the fifth cyclone to hit the Indian Ocean island state of Madagascar in the space of three months, has exacerbated food insecurity on the island, destroying crops and hampering relief operations. The country is still picking itself up after a string of natural disasters and government and relief agencies are already overstretched. And about 80% of the country's vanilla production, Madagascar's top foreign exchange earner, has been lost to the latest cyclone.

This is the first time that the island has been hit by so many cyclones in such a short period. Cyclone Bondo struck on 25 December 2005 and then four in rapid succession this year - Clovis on 3 January, Favio on 18 January, Gamede on 26 February and, most recently, Indlala on 15 March. The seasonal rains were made worse by the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone moving slightly south, causing continuous rains from the end of December 2006 to the present moment.

"If the weather conditions continue and there is not more humanitarian aid, the situation on the island will seriously deteriorate," says Kifflemariam Amdemariam of the Disaster Management team at the Federation's Regional delegation for Eastern Africa in Nairobi.

The Malagasy Red Cross Society and French Red Cross through the Red Cross/Red Crescent Indian Ocean Regional Intervention Platform (PIROI) immediately went into action as soon as the cyclone hit the island. French Red Cross technical staff, supported by local Red Cross volunteers, responded through providing water and sanitation, shelter and the distribution of 40 tons of basic relief supplies from their base in Reunion.
[more]

Sounds like the Philippines last year and Florida in 2004...
Started with the blog search trying different words with "cirrus". Finally got that comment with "cirrus" and "outflow" I think. Then I used "fanning cirrus" with "wunderground" to get the actual comment page.

BTW the blog search is a lot better than it was but still has a long way to go. Might want to make a comment to Aaron.
Speaking of Madagascar, Jaya seems to be making a beeline for almost the same landfall point as Indlala. Only good points so far are 1) smaller size 2)faster forward movement, meaning hopefully less time to shed torrents of rain over land and 3) currently the bulk of the heaviest rain seems to be on the north side of the system, meaning hopefully most of the area previously badly affected by Indlala will escape the worst effects of this one.


AMS Journals Online
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Volume 60, Issue 7 (April 2003)
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences

Article: pp. 873891 | Abstract | PDF (4.20M)
Midlatitude Cirrus Clouds Derived from Hurricane Nora: A Case Study with Implications for Ice Crystal Nucleation and Shape

Kenneth Sassena, W. Patrick Arnottb, David O'C. Starrc, Gerald G. Maced, Zhien Wange, and Michael R. Poellotf

a. Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska
b. Desert Research Institute, Reno, Nevada
c. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
d. Department of Meteorology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
e. University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland
f. Atmospheric Sciences Department, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota
ABSTRACT

Hurricane Nora traveled up the Baja Peninsula coast in the unusually warm El Nio waters of September 1997 until rapidly decaying as it approached southern California on 24 September. The anvil cirrus blowoff from the final surge of tropical convection became embedded in subtropical flow that advected the cirrus across the western United States, where it was studied from the Facility for Atmospheric Remote Sensing (FARS) in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 25 September. A day later, the cirrus shield remnants were redirected southward by midlatitude circulations into the southern Great Plains, providing a case study opportunity for the research aircraft and ground-based remote sensors assembled at the Clouds and Radiation Testbed (CART) site in northern Oklahoma. Using these comprehensive resources and new remote sensing cloud retrieval algorithms, the microphysical and radiative cloud properties of this unusual cirrus event are uniquely characterized.

Importantly, at both the FARS and CART sites the cirrus generated spectacular halos and arcs, which acted as a tracer for the hurricane cirrus, despite the limited lifetimes of individual ice crystals. Lidar depolarization data indicate widespread regions of uniform ice plate orientations, and in situ particle replicator data show a preponderance of pristine, solid hexagonal plates and columns. It is suggested that these unusual aspects are the result of the mode of cirrus particle nucleation, presumably involving the lofting of sea salt nuclei in strong thunderstorm updrafts into the upper troposphere. This created a reservoir of haze particles that continued to produce halide-salt-contaminated ice crystals during the extended period of cirrus cloud maintenance. The inference that marine microbiota are embedded in the replicas of some ice crystals collected over the CART site points to the longevity of marine effects. Various nucleation scenarios proposed for cirrus clouds based on this and other studies, and the implications for understanding cirrus radiative properties on a global scale, are discussed.

Manuscript received March 18, 2002, in final form August 27, 2002

DOI: 10.1175/1520-0469(2003)0602.0.CO;2
Link to below article Lowercal..a common thread maybe. Link
Another link that may help...Link
If Jaya does strike, that will make 6 systems in 4 months, or a hurricane every three weeks on average. 2004 was bad for FL, But this has got to be worse.

The question I'd like to pose: is this increased activity the continuation of the trend that began in the ATL in 2005, or is it an new trend of heightened activity that will continue throughought 2007?

Even Australia has had a fair amount of systems so far this season.
Catarina ,March 2004..One last linkie..Link
bumpy
bumpy
Taz,

u are adding extra bumps and making it extra bumpy.

I hope u noticed that Kong-Rey is now forecast to pass almost directly over Saigon. Since it on the Mariana Trench, they shouldn'd have much of a storm surge, am I correct?

And any rain yr way so far?
Baha, clarification -

I Googled "fanning cirrus" with "wunderground" to get that comment page.
Thanks for the interesting links Pat.
A while back someone had posted a link that gave the monthly water temps in the Gulf of Mexico over the past few years...I copied it to my favorites and just tried to pull it up and can't...Could someone please post the link again for me...I sure would appreciate it.
Thanks, Lisa
OK...now it worked...for anyone that is interested that did not get it before, it is @ http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/indices/sstoi.atl.indices
I thought March would be up today, but, I guess I was just wishing
Thanks, Cal - that sounds a bit easier.

I have to agree with you that the blog search tool is not the easiest to use. . . .

G'nite all!
New invest up 98P.

This one is in the S Pacific, in the Fiji area. Doesn't look like much so far. . .

But that is now three of the 7 watch areas involved.
I found what I was refuring too. It was during Florence. From one of Dr Master's blogs...

Florence battles dry air; Hurricane Hunters investigate new disturbance
Posted By: JeffMasters at 11:22 PM GMT on September 06, 2006
Florence continues to struggle with wind shear today, and is managing just a slow intensification. Compounding Florence's troubles is the presence of some dry air at mid levels, as revealed this afternoon in the appearance of arc clouds at the surface. Dr. Jason Dunion of NOAA's Hurricane Research Division has posted a blog this evening showing some examples of these arc clouds. What happens is that a ribbon of dry air at mid levels gets sucked into a thunderstorm inside of Florence, which then creates a strong downdraft that leaves its mark at the surface as an arc cloud that expands out in a semicircle.


They're arc clouds...the line that followed about the ribbon of dry air stuck.
A comment about the large number of big storms - Madagascar and Australia this winter (their summer); Phillipines last summer; the amazing wandering Ioke; and of course the Atlantic in 2005. A few of these would be catagory 6 if there were such a thing. More energy to work with would be expected to result in more energy expended in storms. Just look at water temperatures across the globe.

Another interesting observation: Look how quickly we cycled ENSO. La Nina 2005, El Nino 2006, and La Nina again today. These things used to be a multi-year cycle.
tsunami hit the Solomon islands. Quakes were 8.0 & 6.7 magnitude.....
Link
The weather forcast for North and Central Florida on Friday was way outa wack too. The forcast was for partly cloudy and no frontal system but stratus clouds blanketed the area and we had drizzle all day. What is up with that??? Rain wasn't forcast till Sunday, which of course was dry and sunny as a sunflower.
The planet dont read NWS forecast..
What is that big blob coming off of Mexico, just south of Texas, into the Gulf?..........Since it's too early for the visible satellite, I can't tell; Is it just a strong cell of thunderstorms?
With the hail and tornado season having an active March....should we anticipate more of the same for April-May? Any forecast models that someone can share...I have some, but they don't extend out past 1 week.
Cloudlover; pursuant to some discussion yesterday from the WC severe weather expert, April and May are the peak months for tornado activity...........Also, with La Nina conditions on the way, this type of activity may be "enhanced" in the coming months..
biff~ it was a backdoor cold front. The last one didn't bring us anything but clouds, so this one got down played. MBL NWS had a slight chance for days before & played it up more the day before.
Weathermanwannabe! Here is the discussion from the NHC!

...DISCUSSION...

GULF OF MEXICO...
CLUSTER OF MODERATE CONVECTION PUSHING E FROM THE COAST OF
MEXICO IS PRODUCING NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND TSTMS IN THE WRN GULF
FROM 22N-26N W OF 94W. BOTH LOW LEVEL REFLECTIVITY AND STORM
RELATIVE VELOCITY DATA FROM THE BROWNSVILLE RADAR SHOW SOME MESO
CYCLONIC TURNING IN THIS REGION AS WELL. THIS ACTIVITY IS
ASSOCIATED WITH MID TO UPPER DYNAMICS AHEAD OF THE TROUGHING
EXTENDING S THROUGH BAJA...ALONG WITH MOIST LOW LEVEL SE FLOW.
UPPER MOISTURE/CIRRUS OVER THE CONVECTION IS SPREADING E OVER
MUCH OF THE GULF WITH THE DOMINATING W TO WSW UPPER FLOW.
OTHERWISE CONDITIONS ACROSS THE GULF ARE FAIRLY QUIET WITH THE
WRN PORTION OF AN ATLC SFC RIDGE OVER THE AREA...AND 5-15 KT
RETURN FLOW DOMINATING. RIDGING WILL CONTINUE OVER THE GULF
THROUGH TUE NIGHT AND THEN WEAKEN INTO WED IN ADVANCE OF A WEAK
COLD FRONT TO PUSH INTO THE N CENTRAL WATERS. POTENTIAL FOR
SHOWERS/TSTMS IN THE NW GULF WILL CONTINUE OVER THE NEXT DAY OR
SO WITH MOIST LOW LEVEL SE FLOW AND THE MID TO UPPER TROUGHING W
OF THE AREA.


As long as upper level winds behave as they have for the last 18 months, shouldn't be any major storms forming in Gulf or coastal Atlantic.
I doubt that that has any chance for development whatsoever, given the amount of shear. However, things will be very different in a couple months... especially with the strengthening La Nina...
Thanks Cane.....BTW, welcome back to all the regulars and it looks like it will be a very active season this year with the mild Winter and La Nina starting to develop....Looking forward to some great, and orderly, discussions in the next few months........
Hopefully not a too active season.

I'm hoping for 20-22 named storms.
when are they going to fix all the buoys in the gulf???? arrrrg
I agree; we tend to get excited around here about active seasons, but, the human toll is just too great....We should always hope for the least number of storms, but, Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate!
If we're lucky she won't be in a bad mood and not throw several Major Hurricanes at the US.
Time will tell but the "break" that she gave us last year was badly needed after the previous season....................You never know...
I'll be looking forward looking around the blogs during Hurricane Season to see what people have. What about you Weathermanwannabe...will you be looking forward to looking around the blogs during H Season.
I tend to stay on this one because I like Dr. Masters analysis and there are a great group of knowledgable regulars here..........I've learned a lot over here.
It gets exciting when the hurricane hunters start flying out to the target zones. Traffic on WU is at peak during those sorties.
Yep...This site is Damn popular at that time