On Sunday, November 17, 2013, the upper midwest part of the country experienced a tornado outbreak.
While tornadoes were reported in parts of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, the hardest hit states were Illinois and Indiana. Yesterday’s outbreak had a total of ninety-one tornado reports throughout the day. As of right now, the death toll stands at six.
In this country tornadoes are rare in November and even more so in the northern states. One of the contributing factors to this severe weather was unseasonably warm weather over that part of the country.
On November 17, the town of Washington, Illinois (one of the hardest hit towns by the tornadoes) experienced a high temperature of seventy degrees. Ordinarily this town has a high temperature in the mid to upper 40s in the middle of November. In a few days this town might experience some snow fall. When you have unseasonably high temperatures and a powerful cold front advancing into the region, you know that you’ll most likely be in store for some wild weather.
The National Weather Service knew that Illinois and Indiana were going to be some of the most likely areas to be hit by tornadoes in the upcoming outbreak. The organization issued two Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) tornado watches that covered those states. Tornado Watch #561 was from 8:40 AM CST and lasted until 4:00 PM CST, covering almost all of Illinois and parts of Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri. Tornado Watch #562 was from 11:20 AM until 8:00 PM EST, covering most of Indiana, the southern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula, and parts of western Ohio.
Let’s take a look at some of the tornado videos along with shots of the destruction. Read more…
For those of us in the southern and eastern part of the United States, we had an easy 2013 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season.
Tropical Storm Andrea quickly developed early in the hurricane season and it struck the Florida panhandle, killing three people. After that we had two hurricanes, but neither of them struck the continental U.S. Otherwise, that’s about it as far as named tropical cyclones affecting the United States.
Over in the western part of the Pacific Ocean it’s a different story. So far the 2013 Pacific typhoon season has experienced thirty named storms with thirteen of them developing into typhoons. Ordinarily this type of news doesn’t concern us. It’s only when a super storm, such as that of Super Typhoon Haiyan, strikes a populated area that it makes the news all around the world.
Super Typhoon Haiyan was a tropical cyclone of incredible power. This is also a storm that developed quickly, going from a disorganized area of low pressure on November 2nd to a tropical storm on the 4th to a super typhoon on November 6th. Super Typhoon Haiyan reached its maximum strength right before making its first landfall in the Philippines on November 7, 2013. At that point in time the super typhoon had 10-minute sustained winds of 145 mph, 1-minute sustained winds of 195 mph, and wind gusts reaching a whopping 235 mph. If the measurements are accurate, then Super Typhoon Haiyan will hold the record of being the world’s strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall, a record that has been previously held by 1969′s Hurricane Camille.
At this point in time, the official death toll from Super Typhoon Haiyan stands at 2,275 from the Philippines alone. Of course, the areas hit hardest by the storm are still being searched and this number is expected to rise. Some parts of the Philippines estimate that the final death toll may reach 10,000 victims. Read more…
Throughout the day on Saturday, October 5, Tropical Storm Karen continued to weaken as it approached the northern Gulf of Mexico.
The maximum sustained winds decreased to a point where Tropical Storm Karen was downgraded to a tropical depression. As of 11 am EDT this morning, Tropical Depression Karen dissipated. The storm system is now just an unorganized mass of wind and rain as it tracks due east at 13 mph.
According to the last public advisory, the remains of Tropical Storm Karen were located about 85 miles southwest from the mouth of the Mississippi River. The storm’s maximum sustained winds were measured at 30 mph, and the system is tracking to the east at 13 mph. A cold front moving across the southern states is assisting with the storm’s movement to the east.
Northern Florida and parts of southern Georgia and the coastal area of South Carolina can expect extended periods of rainfall and the possibility of localized flooding. In addition to the rain, those areas can also expect strong and steady wind with gusts reaching thirty to forty miles per hour.
That concludes our coverage of Tropical Storm Karen.
It’s been 36 hours since our initial look at Tropical Storm Karen in the Gulf of Mexico.
As of the original posting, the tropical storm has moderately weakened.
The latest public advisory states that Tropical Storm Karen has maximum sustained winds of only 45 mph. Remember that for a tropical cyclone to be classified as a tropical storm, it must have 1-minute maximum sustained winds between 39-72 mph. So with the storm’s maximum sustained winds of only 45 mph, that means that the storm is barely strong enough to still be classified as a tropical storm. If the winds sink below the 39 mph mark then it will be downgraded into a tropical depression.
Tropical Storm Karen is currently located about 205 miles to the south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and about 230 miles south of Morgan City, Louisiana. The storm is still moving to the north-northwest at about 7 mph, though it’s forecast to make a sharp turn to the east within the next 24-36 hours. Read more…
After what has been an eerily quiet 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, we finally have our first major storm taking direct aim at the United States.
TROPICAL STORM KAREN developed into an organized storm some time late last night or early this morning after passing over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
As of the latest public advisory, Tropical Storm Karen is located in the Gulf of Mexico about 45 miles north of Mexico and 485 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, and the tropical system is tracking to the north-northwest at around 12 mph.
Right now the satellite views don’t look too impressive. We can see the beginning stages of the storm rotating around a central point, but there is no “eye” or distinct point of central rotation.
The forecast by the National Hurricane Center is calling for gradual strengthening of the storm for the next 24-48 hours, probably reaching hurricane strength. After that point the wind shear is expected to intensify and weaken the storm before it makes landfall between Grand Isle, Louisiana and Indian Pass, Florida. Read more…
There’s no doubt that yesterday’s tornado that struck the town of Moore, Oklahoma was a devastating event.
The tornado’s damage path is around seventeen miles long and about a mile wide. Entire neighborhoods have been erased from the map. Two schools were heavily damaged from the storm. Hundreds of cars were tossed aside like toys. Around 20,000 families have been displaced because of the tornado’s incredible path of destruction.
Sadly, 237 people were injured from the storm, and as of the last official statement, 24 people were killed. Last night the death toll was 51 people, but that number was lowered this morning by the office of the medical examiner. The excuse for having an incorrect death count was that apparently many of the victims were counted twice.
The National Weather Service is still examining the wreckage and making a decision about the true power of the storm. We know that the tornado was at least a strong EF-4 tornado, but latest reports claim that destruction has been found that equals the incredible power of an EF-5, the strongest class of tornadoes. Word has it the tornado had a peak wind speed of a whopping 210 mph.
In reality, the ultimate strength of the May 20, 2013 tornado that struck Moore, OK is meaningless. It’s just a statistic for the record books. The reality is that this was a monster storm that nearly wiped out an entire town. The incredible amount of damage stretches for miles and miles in that section of the greater Oklahoma City metro area.
For the residents of Moore, OK, tornadoes are just a part of life. The town is located in the heart of Tornado Alley, and it’s been struck by deadly tornadoes at least five times since 1998. Until yesterday, the most destructive tornado to hit the city was an F5 tornado on May 3, 1999. That storm had the strongest tornado winds ever recorded and was responsible for the deaths of thirty-six people.
VIDEOS OF THE MAY 20, 2013 MOORE, OKLAHOMA TORNADO:
time-lapse video of the tornado recorded from a news helicopter
tornado footage recorded from outside of town
Earlier today on January 30, 2013, northern Georgia experienced an intense squall line associated with a strong cold front sweeping through the Great Plains, upper midwest and southern part of the country.
The region had been experiencing unseasonably warm weather for the past couple of days, and the Atlanta area flirted near 70 degrees Fahrenheit before today’s storms arrived. Considering that it’s the end of January, that kind of a high temperature is quite impressive. It also tells you that something big with the weather is about to occur. You don’t reach high temperatures like that in the winter without “paying” for it. As of right now the storms have passed and we’re dropped twenty degrees in temperature with our low tonight expected to be around freezing. In other words, we went from an early spring back to winter in the course of a few hours.
WSB-TV news footage of the Adairsville, Georgia, tornado
The deadliest part of today’s weather occurred when an estimated EF-2 or possibly EF-3 tornado ripped through the Adairsville, Georgia, area, destroying parts of the town and shutting down interstate 75 for a brief period of time. One person was killed and fourteen others were injured. About 100 cars have been reported to have been tossed around and flipped over by the tornado.
Just north of Adairsville, the outskirts of Calhoun, Georgia, was also hit by a tornado. Eight people were reported to have been injured and local damage includes homes and poultry farm buildings.
As an avid storm watcher, it’s interesting watching the formation and progress of these supercell thunderstorms and how many of the thunderstorm cells tend to hit the same areas of town. Keep in mind what I’m about to discuss is just a theory based on general observations made over the past few years. I don’t have solid facts in front of me right now. Read more…
On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy came ashore near Atlantic City, New Jersey as a Category 1 hurricane.
Although the hurricane wasn’t packing very strong winds (at least, compared to what hurricanes could really do), the primary destruction from the cyclone was from the incredible storm surge. Unfortunately for the coastal residents and businesses stretching from Delaware to Connecticut, Hurricane Sandy came ashore at night during high tide, adding that much more water flooding the region.
Hurricane Sandy approaching New Jersey.
Another factor with Hurricane Sandy and its total area of destruction was a result of the storm’s massive size. As the storm closed in on the northeast coast, Hurricane Sandy had a diameter of about a thousand nautical miles. It wasn’t just a small area that felt the effects of the storm — it was the entire region of the northeast.
Hurricane Sandy making landfall in New Jersey.
Fortunately, residents had plenty of warning about the approaching storm. The computer models were fairly accurate several days in advance of the storm making landfall in New Jersey, giving people plenty of time to leave the area. Many of those who left the area would be completely shocked at the amount of destruction when they return home. Read more…
Hurricane Isaac made landfall last night on southeastern Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane with winds gusting to 85 mph.
Ordinarily, a hurricane this weak wouldn’t draw the attention that this current storm is receiving. The problem with Hurricane Isaac is where it made landfall and where the brunt of the wind, rain and storm surge is going. And that direction is the Mississippi Gulf Coast along with New Orleans, Louisiana.
As we learned in school, hurricanes rotate counter-clockwise around the center of the storm, also known as its “eye.” When you factor in the cyclone’s forward motion, the most intense part of the storm is the upper-right quadrant. The winds are often slightly higher in this quadrant, and they increase in speed the closer you are to the eye of the storm. Read more…
It’s been almost 48 hours since our last update, and Tropical Storm Isaac has finally strengthened enough to reach hurricane status.
Hurricane Isaac’s projected path has finally narrowed and there’s little discrepancy amongst the computer models. Yes, folks, Hurricane Isaac is taking aim at New Orleans, Louisiana. The city is once again being targeted by a tropical cyclone. At least this time the damage should be significantly smaller than when Hurricane Katrina struck the city back in 2005.
The latest advisory by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, places Hurricane Isaac about 55 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and roughly 135 miles southeast of New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Isaac has winds measured at 75 mph, just strong enough to classify the tropical cyclone as a hurricane. Hurricane Isaac is currently tracking to the northwest at around 10 mph, though there was some reported wobble to the hurricane’s path. Read more…