An early and vicious tornado season

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:22 PM GMT on March 05, 2007

Share this Blog
2
+

It's been a vicious and early tornado season in the U.S. this year. Already, two major tornado outbreaks have killed 20 people each--the Central Florida tornado event of February 2, and last week's swarm of at least 35 tornadoes in the Southeast. In addition, an outbreak of 10 tornadoes hit the deep south February 12, killing one person in New Orleans. Only one year in recorded history has had more tornado deaths so early in the year--1949, when a tornado in Warren, Arkansas killed 55 people on January 3. The 45 fatalities in 2007 is close to the 3-year average of 46 fatalities observed for the entire year, and the 151 tornadoes observed so far in 2007 is about double what is usually observed.

Damage surveys are still being done of the devastation from last week's tornado outbreak, but it appears that five strong EF-3 tornadoes with winds of 136-165 mph touched down. Three of these twisters were killers, including the tornado that hit Enterprise, Alabama, killing eight students at the high school. The two EF-3 tornadoes observed during the Central Florida tornado event bring this year's total of EF-3 twisters to seven, a very high number of these strong tornadoes for so early in the year. What's causing such an early and severe tornado season? Well, the Central Florida outbreak can be blamed on El Niņo. The other two outbreaks occurred when El Niņo was suffering a rapid demise, so we'll have to blame them on unusually early spring-like weather in the U.S. With the peak months of tornado season still to come, let's hope for an unusally early end to tornado season as well!

Jeff Masters

lady lake 9 (cabdad1)
lady lake 9
Westwego Tornado Damage (GetReal)
Westwego Tornado Damage
()

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

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

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

Viewing: 180 - 130

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4Blog Index

180. franck
3:46 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Redevelopment projects like what is needed in New Orleans can't take place unless developer loans can be insured. One reads about this or that developer taking the reigns in New Orleans. None of these developers have that kind of capital. They work with giant loans, which must be underwritten, and the risk of New Orleans going under again is too great for insurers.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
179. ricderr
3:13 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
oh great....whiskey...and after two shots...i'm a gonner...so i won't remember a thing....how about we do whiskey and coke....i'll whiff the whiskey and drink the coke...and...grab some vegetarian crawfish
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 668 Comments: 20163
178. lightning10
3:01 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
... It is now the driest rain season to date in downtown Los
Angeles...

This rain season... or water year... is currently the driest to date
in downtown Los Angeles since records began in 1877. Since the
beginning of the water year... which began July 1 2006... downtown Los
Angeles has received just 2.42 inches of rain. That is a whopping
9.13 inches below the normal precipitation to date... which is 11.55
inches. To date... downtown Los Angeles has received only 21 percent
of normal rainfall. If downtown Los Angeles receives less than 2.00
inches of rain from now through June 30th... this will be the driest
rain season ever.


March... with an average rainfall of 3.14 inches... can be a very
wet month in Los Angeles... as in 1884 when 12.36 inches of rain
fell. However... there do not appear to be any major storms in
sight for Southern California. After March... average rainfall
drops off sharply in April to 0.83 inches... then to 0.31 inches
in may... and just 0.06 inches in June. Normal seasonal rainfall at
downtown Los Angeles is 15.14 inches.

Seasons with the least rainfall from July 1st through March 6th
are listed below.

Rank water precip % of normal final seasonal
season 7/1-3/6 thru 3/6 rainfall
(7/1-6/30)

1... ... ... (2006-07)... ... 2.42"... ... ..21%... ... ... ... ..????"
2... ... ... (1898-99)... ... 2.98"... ... ..26%... ... ... ... ..5.59"
3... ... ... (1923-24)... ... 3.06"... ... ..26%... ... ... ... ..6.67"
4... ... ... (1947-48)... ... 3.21"... ... ..28%... ... ... ... ..7.22"
5... ... ... (1903-04)... ... 3.25"... ... ..28%... ... ... ... ..8.72"
6... ... ... (1962-63)... ... 3.52"... ... ..30%... ... ... ... ..8.38"
7... ... ... (1960-61)... ... 3.99"... ... ..35%... ... ... ... ..4.85"
8... ... ... (2001-02)... ... 4.02"... ... ..35%... ... ... ... ..4.42" *
9... ... ... (1924-25)... ... 4.05"... ... ..35%... ... ... ... ..7.94"
10... ... ..(1998-99)... ... 4.28"... ... ..37%... ... ... ... ..9.08"


* driest season ever in Los Angeles

During the driest season ever... the 2001-2002 season...
precipitation from July 1st 2001 to March 6th 2002 was 4.02
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 41 Comments: 630
177. Patrap
2:50 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Im off to find a seafood burner and some Propane.Going to Boil some crawfish come Sat.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
176. Patrap
2:48 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
One day..we will meet and Ill tell ya a few Post storm stories before I got out Sept 16th..LOL.Bring wiskey and eats.Itll be a while.LOL!
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
175. ricderr
2:47 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
but in an evil twisted way......it had to be fun to watch
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 668 Comments: 20163
174. Patrap
2:46 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Personally.. I hear They have their Lumps in their throats with the Newest Forecast out for the season.I hope they kick it up a notch.St Bernard and areas in the east are still only sparsely back..maybe 20percent.Another blow..well.Lets not consider that today.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
173. Patrap
2:44 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Thats a first in U. S. History.All the suit forms had to be in by 4pm last Weds.You should have seen the cars lined up.They had 40 people out there collecting them..SOme people even taping the forms being sent in as they were collected.Its a freak show,US citizens get to SUe the Federal Levee Builders..LOL.Only here Dude.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
172. Patrap
2:41 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
They weird folks the Corps.Really are.SOme 50% of their workforce..educated people they say..lost their Homes here.And they still stiff the Media, refuse calls..and overall are a pain in the But t.But 86,000 lawsuits Filed against them .last week have them very Jumpy.Fed judge open the door to suits and Class-actions for those afffected from their poor designs and contracted work.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
171. ricderr
2:40 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
pat....there's also a correlation between military spending and public works
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 668 Comments: 20163
170. Patrap
2:36 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Faded in the 60s ric.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
169. ricderr
2:36 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
They not in the Land Levee Buissness.


and thus the reason nothing gets done..you aint got some influence to peddle..the project just isn't as important
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 668 Comments: 20163
168. Patrap
2:36 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
This story is where all the FAcets of the Diamond come together ric.GW..SSts..Cat3-5 threat...er what else..west-casting...ERCs..all the juciy parts of the Puzzle..here..and Galveston.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
167. ricderr
2:35 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
do you remember back in the history books....our country was floundering money wise..some great depression or other...and a president said....i'm gonna put people to work...and dams were built..and roads were built...what ever happeded to that kind of goverment spirit?
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 668 Comments: 20163
166. Patrap
2:34 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Although HAlliburton has a Big Dirt/mudlogger interest.But that all offshore.They not in the Land Levee Buissness.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
165. Patrap
2:33 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
That dont happen in Reality.The GAO sees to that.Too much cnn in yer head still. LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
164. ricderr
2:30 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
ok...dirt cheap....is that a bit of double entendre?...LOL....strange.....think about it.....they've got the approval....they've got the funds....and they've got the mandate..you'ld think with that...someone in management..would have a brother with a backhoe that they could give the job to and be able to skim some profit
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 668 Comments: 20163
163. Patrap
2:29 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Money was appropriated a Year ago..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
162. ricderr
2:28 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
ok...no dollr numbers...i was just trying to see....how big a bet we're talking about..
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 668 Comments: 20163
161. Patrap
2:26 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Dirts cheap ric..its the Corps..not doing what the Local Engineers and Local navigational experts tell them to.They Most High and Mighty in their own lil minds.Plus,..after the work they did for Decades Failed miserably...theyve come around to more local influences of the Engineering.But the Buracrecy with them is Immemse and decades old.Nothing moves fast..cept now.In critical areas.They will build the levee up there.They just need to be one-upped and the pressures on already.They not the brightest PR guys the Corps...LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
160. Patrap
2:22 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
The Corps Of Engineers TAsk Force Guardian Website. Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
159. Patrap
2:20 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Task Force Guardian from Earliest Conception assessments.Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
158. ricderr
2:18 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
what's the cost of rasing the levees pat..any idea?
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 668 Comments: 20163
157. Patrap
2:16 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
In that area..the GAtes proposed wont be Completed till 2010. They want the Corps to Raise the levees their to 18ft as was done downriver...But they now arent to do it.That keeps St. Bernard and Lower 9th in Jeopordy still.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
156. Patrap
2:14 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
The water as it arrived in ST Bernard from Katrina by Security Cam at FOX transmitter..retrieved weeks after the storm..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
155. ricderr
2:13 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Pat......once the gats are built..will that really protect it..and is the gates project on schedule?
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 668 Comments: 20163
154. hurricane23
2:10 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Indeed there will be alot of talk in the next couple of months as SST'S are running somewhat above average In parts of the caribbean to the african coast.

Here is another look at current SST'S in the atlantic basin.

(Sea Surface Temps Gulf/Caribbean)



(Sea Surface Temps Atlantic Basin)

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13597
153. Patrap
2:09 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
The area the below article refrences is here..the lower left side of Lake Borgne where the Funnel comes into the 9th Ward and ST.Bernard ..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
152. Patrap
2:05 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
The Worst News for Lower 9th ward and ST. Bernard Parish in Se Louisiana.//////\\\\\\Wednesday, March 07, 2007
By Karen Turni Bazile,Times Picayune

The Army Corps of Engineers has no plans to elevate the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet levee on the Orleans Parish side of the Bayou Bienvenue locks, and St. Bernard officials say that's bad news for parish residents and those in the Lower 9th Ward.

St. Bernard officials have generally praised the corps' quick-footed effort to rebuild the devastated levees along the Gulf Outlet to a height of 20 feet in St. Bernard after Hurricane Katrina. But several said they were caught off guard and disappointed by news they learned at Tuesday's Parish Council meeting that there are no plans to elevate the levee between the bayou and the concrete wall on the Industrial Canal, leaving a height gap of as much as 9 feet.

That stretch of earthen levee in Orleans Parish was authorized to stand at 14 feet but has subsided to a height of 11 and 12 feet in many places, said Chris Gilmore, the corps' senior project manager for levees and floodwalls in St. Bernard Parish. The levee on the St. Bernard side was authorized for a height of 17.5 feet and was overbuilt to 20 feet to allow for subsidence.

Gilmore, who regularly updates the council on corps projects, said the corps doesn't want to spend money raising that stretch of the levee because it won't be needed once floodgates authorized by Congress are built in the next few years. The levees will lie inside the gates.

After the flood-control system failed catastrophically during Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration gave the corps a twofold mandate for restoring protection to the metro area: rebuild by June 1, 2006, the destroyed or damaged sections of the system to the heights authorized by Congress when it passed the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection Plan in 1965; and have the rest of the system up to its authorized height by Sept. 1, 2007.

However, the situation with this section of levee is unique, Gilmore said, because the plan doesn't call for it to be elevated to its authorized height of 14 feet because of the proposed gates.

The gates' locations are still being determined, but Gilmore said leaving the levees at a lower height on the Orleans side of Bayou Bienvenue increases the vulnerability to flooding for St. Bernard and the Lower 9th Ward until the gates are built. He said the issue is being studied, and some elevation work could be authorized on an interim basis since the gates won't be completed until 2010.

St. Bernard Parish Council Chairman Joey DiFatta said he and other parish officials plan to voice their concerns at a special meeting today of the East Louisiana Flood Protection Authority Levee Board, the newly consolidated east bank levee board, in the St. Bernard Parish Council chambers. "What burns me up is that they rebuilt our levees (in St. Bernard) in six or seven months, but they have no construction plans for that (Orleans) portion of the levee in the works. I will be here screaming and hollering" at the meeting, DiFatta said.

. . . . . . .

Karen Turni Bazile can be reached at kturni@timespicayune.com or (504) 826-3321
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
151. hurricane23
2:01 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Morning everyone...
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13597
149. Patrap
1:42 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Navigate menu and use as a Model..click start.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
148. Patrap
1:42 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
LSU page..Earthscan Labs..60 hr GOM SSTs forecast ..PLUS!..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
147. Patrap
1:40 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
This guy wont be going back to Boca Raton..period..Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 415 Comments: 125628
146. Olokun
12:58 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Atlantic SST anomaly

This is the link I use -

If anyone knows a better one, please let me know.

Is there an animation of the SST graphics shown on this site?

(First ever post in first ever blog, so go easy on me)
145. ricderr
12:57 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Darn shame that get real took his global warming blog down...since today yahoo news is running a story about scienctists heading towards the canary islands to study a section of sea floor devoid of the earths crust..instead..the mantle is showing through....now in the past decade...scientists have become aware that the mantle contains a high concentration of CO2, but with it being inaccessible truly understanding it has been difficult....I ask...are we ready to sell our soul to the MMGW theory when we have so many unanswered important questions? Mantle
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 668 Comments: 20163
144. philliesrock
12:37 PM GMT on March 07, 2007
Wow, the Euro was right forecasting TS Jacob 5 days ago.
Member Since: June 29, 2006 Posts: 65 Comments: 3197
143. KoritheMan
9:36 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
Also, the Sahara dust ( and the huge pool of super-dry air associated with it ) is becoming more prevalent and stronger each year, as Africa blows away. Here in Trinidad the dust is affecting the weather locally, and is spreading further West each year. Humidity is 38 % today, here.
The dry air is certainly restricting storm development in the Tropical Atlantic, and in a few years will conceivably affect storm development in the Caribbean, and then in the Gulf too.


Are you saying that pretty soon, we won't have tropical storm formation at all? I find that hard to believe...
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19128
142. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
7:54 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
Tropical Cyclone Jacob [Cat 2]
10 min sustained winds of 50 knots with gusts up to 70 knots.

Tropical Cyclone Warning now in effect for Christmas Island.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43689
141. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
7:47 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
Tropical Cyclone Advice #28
==========================

Severe Tropical Cyclone George [CAT 3]
15.3šS 118.6šE - 65 knots 958 hPa

wind gusts up to 90 knots

Severe Tropical Cyclone George [Category 3] was located 560 km north of Port Hedland and 630 km north-northeast of Karratha and moving west-southwest at 6 knots.

Severe Tropical Cyclone George [Category 3] is now moving parallel to the Pilbara coast, and is continuing to intensify.

Gales are not expected in coastal communities in the next 24 hours. However, gales may develop in offshore coastal waters during Thursday night as Tropical Cyclone George expands in size, and takes a more southwesterly track


On Friday, gales with gusts to 65 knots are possible in coastal communities between Roebourne and Coral Bay as the cyclone moves closer to the coast.

Tropical Cyclone Watches and Warnings
========================================
A CYCLONE WATCH has been declared for coastal areas from Coral Bay to Roebourne.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43689
140. Inyo
7:19 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
holy wow lightning, it was in the 90s there? Only mid 70s here but I'm right by the beach. Isn't it a bit early for the marine layer though? I think it usually kicks in with a vengeance some time in May... if it even happens. I'm sure you remember that last summer the winds came from the east most of the time and blew it away.

I hope that doesnt' happen again this year! We need that marine layer to help offset the drought! Did you know that in oak woodlands and redwood forests, fog condensing and dripping off of plants and lichen can contribute several inches of water a year to the plant community? If the fog fails, so does the so called 'fog drip'.

I'm watching this tropical-type moisture too.. but it's really summer-type stuff... all virga. If its gonna be hot maybe at least we will get a good monsoon in the mountains this year.
Member Since: September 3, 2002 Posts: 42 Comments: 867
139. Skyepony (Mod)
6:20 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
Anyone else getting "Forbiddin" when they go to the FSU model page???
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36107
138. Skyepony (Mod)
5:55 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
There is so much weather news going on the last few days, things just got active. I put some of it up in my blog. Including a bit about your drought Lightning.. Had to share this though. After the landslide a few days ago that killed 40 in Indonesia, now they just lost atleast 70 to an earthquake. Here's a list of the recent natural disasters over there.

-- March 6: An earthquake strikes Sumatra Island, killing at least 70 people and damaging hundreds of buildings.

-- March 3: Landslides triggered by days of heavy rain kill at least 40 people in eastern Indonesia.

-- Feb. 1: Rivers in the capital, Jakarta, burst their banks, submerging parts of the city in water up to 12 feet deep, killing 57 and displacing 450,000.

-- Dec. 29, 2006: A ferry sinks in a storm, killing more than 400 people in the Java Sea.

-- Dec. 23, 2006: Heavy rain touches off floods that kill more than 100 people and displace over 400,000 on Sumatra.

-- July 17, 2006: An earthquake triggers a tsunami off Java island's southern coast, killing at least 600 people.

-- June 19, 2006: Floods and mud flows kill up to 300 people in southern Sulawesi province.

-- May 27, 2006: An earthquake in central Java kills at least 5,800 people and injures more than 36,000.

-- May 2006: A series of explosions spew hot ash down the slopes of Mount Merapi, forcing 15,000 villagers to flee.

-- May 2006: A mud eruption at a drilling shaft on Java displaces more than 11,000 people and inundates villages and factories, spewing a million oil drums of muck a day.

-- Jan. 4, 2006: Some 200 people are killed in a landslide on Java.

-- March 28, 2005: More than 900 people are killed and tens of thousands are left homeless when an earthquake hits Nias, Banyak and Simeulue islands off the coast of Sumatra.

-- Dec. 26, 2004: An earthquake sets off a tsunami that kills more than 160,000 people in Indonesia, mostly in Aceh province on Sumatra.

source
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36107
137. lightning10
5:40 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
I would love some mid 80's. It was 94 today with high and mid level clouds. Humidity was up a good bit today. Tonight should be more of the same. Infact some very light rain trying to make it to the ground. This is not the Marine layer you would expect to see this time a year it is infact High and Mid Level clouds from the tripical E Pac.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 41 Comments: 630
136. Tazmanian
5:05 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN FRANCISCO CA
850 PM PST TUE MAR 6 2007


TEMPS WILL WARM INTO THE 70S AND LOWER 80S INLAND
BY SUNDAY (MAYBE EVEN SOME MID AND UPPER 80S OVER INTERIOR MONTEREY
COUNTY).


i think where going right in to summer time her
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114066
135. Skyepony (Mod)
4:59 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
ajcamsmom~ I remember. You got every right to be nervous. It's impossible to predict the season this far out with anything better than a 50/50, notice TSR forecast that came out yesterday had odds of getting it right around 25% for this time of year forecast. Try to enjoy the rest of the off season & remember the gloom & doom that hung in the air this time last year. I guess I did get hit squarely in '06 by a Tropical Depression..lol.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36107
134. Tazmanian
4:56 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
last week i was talking about snow and this week 70s i got my wish lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114066
133. lightning10
4:55 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
I think nature forgot about Spring. 94 here today. While just a few weeks ago we where talking about near record cold with a weak storm.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 41 Comments: 630
132. ajcamsmom
4:45 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
Thank you Skyepony, I think I get this one. So, I saved it for future reference. Lost both my home and my new home in Katrina and even though nothing happened in 06...well, I am very nervous with all this El Nino/LA Nina talk...just trying to keep a handle on everything and be prepared...I check this site all day long to see what others have to say...so, again, thank you and Michael.
131. Skyepony (Mod)
4:36 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
ajcamsmom~ That link should be that easy, except the months are numbered. Feb=2
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36107
130. Skyepony (Mod)
4:34 AM GMT on March 07, 2007
Here is the offical SST average by month for the NAtl, SAtl & Tropical atlantic & their respective anomilies. The anomilies tell you how much above or below "normal" things are. All in all, comparing Feb '07 to Feb '06 & '05, it's warmer than '06, overall no where as near as '05 except in the tropics where it is .02 shy of 2005.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36107

Viewing: 180 - 130

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4Blog Index

Top of Page

About JeffMasters

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