Tornado outbreak tracking

GOES Satellite image of storm front blowing off US's East Coast

This GOES-13 satellite image was captured on March 1, 2012 at 1301 UTC (8:01 a.m. EST). The clouds associated with the powerful weather front that generated severe storms on Feb. 29, were now located over the southeastern U.S. from eastern Texas, east to the Carolinas. Severe weather is possible again today from the Ohio Valley to the Tennessee Valley and east to the Atlantic Ocean. Credit:NASA/NOAA GOES Project - CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

By Rob Gutro NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

A satellite animation of NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite imagery showed the movement of the front that triggered severe storms and tornadoes in several states on February 29, 2012. Today, NASA released a GOES satellite animation of that weather system that triggered at least 20 tornadoes.

NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-13, captures visible and infrared images of weather over the eastern U.S. every 15 minutes. NOAA operates the GOES series of satellites, and NASA’s GOES Project, located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. compiles the images into animations. The GOES visible and infrared data is compiled and then overlayed on a true-color land surface map of the U.S. that was created using data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument that flies on NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites.

The 25 second movie of the February 29 severe weather was created using GOES-13 visible and infrared satellite imagery. The movie runs from Feb. 28 at 1245 UTC (7:45 a.m. EST) through March 1 at 1245 UTC (7:45 a.m. EST), and shows the progression of the cold front and associated low pressure area moving over the central U.S. That weather system triggered at least 20 tornadoes and severe weather on February 29, 2012.

Click image to go to web page with movie

By February 28 at 2301 UTC (6:01 p.m. EST), the circulation around the low pressure area in the central U.S. became more apparent in the animation, as the clouds associated with the trailing cold front swept through the south-central U.S. By 0545 UTC (1:45 a.m. EST) on February 29, a sharp line of clouds are seen in the movie, extending from the low in the central U.S. That line of clouds grew larger as the front moved east and generated the severe weather.

Tornadoes on February 29 raked through Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee. The severe storms killed at least 12 people. Tornadoes also touched down in the well-known tourist destination of Branson, Missouri, famous for country music theaters. USA Today reported that up to six of the city’s 40 theaters were damaged.

NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center reported that tornadoes killed 550 people in the U.S. in 2011.

The cold front associated with the storms that triggered tornadoes on February 29 is over the southeastern and Mid-Atlantic U.S. today, March 1. Another cold front is moving into the areas that experienced severe weather yesterday, and the National Weather Service noted that the south-central U.S. could experience more severe weather today. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center forecasts a moderate chance for severe weather in southwestern Ohio, southeastern Indiana, central Tennessee, and northern Mississippi and northern Alabama. A slight risk of severe weather is forecast in 15 states today, March 1. Thunderstorms are expected from southern New England, through the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, and as far west as eastern Texas and Missouri today.

As the front moves, the GOES-13 satellite will provide continuous coverage of its movements, providing valuable data to forecasters.

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This does not bode well – according to this NAM model from last night,  A tornado outbreak for Ohio Valley is possible late Friday 00Z Saturday

The Storm Prediction Center shows a moderate risk of severe convective development on Friday March 2nd:

For those interested in tracking storms yourself, you can download a free and functional trial copy of StormPredator personal weather radar software.

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29 Responses to Tornado outbreak tracking

  1. John Coleman says:

    Thanks for finding this Anthony. You be sure it will be on my weather telecasts today.

  2. Smokey says:

    “Tornado outbreak caused by climate change” in …3, …2, …1 …

  3. Bill Jamison says:

    I think there’s an interesting story here regarding the first real test of the new dual-polarization radar system that was just installed in Springfield MO:

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dualpol/index.php?wfo=sgf

    I read that the new technology provided an additional 30 minutes warning of the tornado that hit Branson MO this week.

  4. John Cooper says:

    All I know is their “Tornado Warning” for our county failed miserably last night. We had a nice, gentle rain with no winds at all last night. Rainfall total was less than 1″.

  5. deoppressed says:

    I live in SE Missouri, Poplar Bluff for all you fans out there. Had to get up at 4:30 AM and head to the basement. One of those tornadoes was spotted about 5 miles SE of here. Of course they are pretty hard to see two hours before sunrise. The GOES video makes it look like it all happened in daylight. Fortunately for us there was no serious damage locally. I’d hate to be around if a Joplin or Tuscaloosa 2011 twister hit at such a sleepy hour. I suppose I’d hate to be around one of those at anytime, come to think of it.

  6. pat says:

    today’s big MSM scare:

    2 March: Bloomberg: Alex Morales: Oceans Acidifying Fastest in 300 Million Years Due to Emissions
    The scientists found surging levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere forced down the pH of the ocean by 0.1 unit in the last century, 10 times faster than the closest historical comparison from 56 million years ago, New York’s Columbia University, which led the research, said today in a statement…
    Past instances of ocean acidification have been linked with mass extinctions of marine creatures so the current one could also threaten important species, according to Baerbel Hoenisch, the paleoceanographer at Columbia who was lead author of the paper that appeared today in the journal Science…
    The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said ocean pH may fall another 0.3 units this century, according to Columbia…
    Researchers based in the U.S., U.K., Netherlands, Germany and Spain contributed to the study, which was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-01/oceans-acidifying-fastest-in-300-million-years-due-to-emissions.html

  7. GeoLurking says:

    Speaking of Storm Predator, I purchased it way back before Window 7. Is there a way that I can retrieve my activation key with out re-buying the program? I still have my original E-mail addresses.

  8. Once again the Lunar declinational tidal effect is responsible but goes unmentioned, The moon was maximum North declination on the 1st of March, the solar declination seasonal tide is incoming from the South adding to the effect and making the resultant tropical air mass surge two days sooner than the usual, peak production on the day of Maximum North lunar declination and three days after.

    I have had daily forecast maps for this expected precipitation posted for 51 months now;
    http://www.aerology.com/national.aspx

    Details on how it works are posted on the site, in the blog/research section.

    You can watch the incoming lunar tidal bulge sweep in from the Southwest in their short movie, and the back side more polar air mass brings in the negative static/ionic charges that gave added power to the temperature front to drive the condensation high enough to generate the tornadoes.

    Over the next three days as the fetch of moisture slides East across Texas into the Gulf states, and the moon starts to head South again, Just as we are having a heliocentric conjunction with Mars on the 3rd, this is very likely to bring on another round of tornadoes.(they got that part right anyway) see my maps for these days as well.

    Last year the big outbreak was enhanced by the heliocentric conjunction with Saturn, on the 3rd of April, which will be occurring on the 15th of April this year, so you can expect more outbreaks to occur from the 4-10-2012 Maximum South lunar declination and four day after window, another much larger 2 or 3 day burst as the moon crosses the equator on 4-17-2012. Then the heavy action through the end of the month of April, ending in last hurrah of big snows into the first week of May. Appalachian Ice storm seems to be on the 3rd through 5th of May, buy your replacement power poles early.

  9. John F. Hultquist says:

    Tornadoes: day by month are shown at the link below. The text is a “must read” – otherwise it is difficult to know what you are looking at.

    http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/monthlytorcharts/

  10. _Jim says:

    Richard Holle says on March 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm:

    Once again the Lunar declinational tidal effect is responsible but goes unmentioned …

    Richard, how much weight do you give to each of these factors re: this severe outbreak:

    1. Jet Stream position/upper level low
    2. Cold Front location
    3. The warm, moist air influx that provides the ‘fuel’?

    And what amount of ‘boost’ would you attribute to ” Lunar declinational tidal effect” in this event?

    .

  11. _Jim says:

    Bill Jamison says on March 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm:

    I think there’s an interesting story here regarding the first real test of the new dual-polarization radar system that was just installed in Springfield MO:

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dualpol/index.php?wfo=sgf

    Bill,

    Did you have another link in mind? That link led to a ‘Polarization Upgrade (and temporary outage) Notice’ (for the NWS Springfield WSR-88D Polarization Upgrade) rather than the first real test of the new polarization function.)

    .

  12. u.k.(us) says:

    _Jim says:
    March 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm
    =================
    We’re heading into the “mean” season.

    Posts by: _Jim, need to be taken seriously.

  13. Bill Jamison says:

    _Jim, that link talks about the new technology and the advantages. I’ve seen video showing the the dual-pol radar images from the night of the Branson tornado and it shows the debris field around the tornado alerting forecasters to the fact that it was indeed a tornado on the ground.

    Here’s a link with the story and video from CBS:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57388291/early-twister-detection-tech-gets-an-upgrade/

  14. _Jim says:
    March 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Richard Holle says on March 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm:

    Once again the Lunar declinational tidal effect is responsible but goes unmentioned …

    “”Richard, how much weight do you give to each of these factors re: this severe outbreak:

    “”1. Jet Stream position/upper level low

    Reply; the reoccur-ant position of the jet stream and the upper level low is the result of the Lunar declinational bulge being almost the same as it was the past three cycles when the lunar declination was the same, they are the product of the cyclic timing of the tidal bulge production.
    the only thing different from the past three cycles is the addition of the heliocentric conjunction of Mars on the 3rd of March this year, increasing the volume of the tidal pulse a little more than the past cycles.

    “”2. Cold Front location

    Reply; The cold front is a combination of the pulse of cold air coming out of Canada earlier and the negative ion/static charge it carried on the leading edge, you can see the ions pushing ahead of the cold air in the water vapor satellite series. The cold alone will not generate tornadoes it requires the ion gradient as well to trigger the intense vortex action.

    “”3. The warm, moist air influx that provides the ‘fuel’?

    Reply; The in-surge of the tropical fetch of moisture from the previous three days gave the positive ion charge on the moisture needed to cause the warm air mass next to the ground to contain positive ions that can only move with the air mass. (free electrons from – negative ionization can move ahead of the frontal boundary, commonly seen as high cirrus clouds)
    Because of the positive ion charge the lower air swirls up into the negative charge area just ahead of the cold front that helps push it up, results in the generation of the vorticity.

    “”And what amount of ‘boost’ would you attribute to ” Lunar declinational tidal effect” in this event?

    Reply; The timing of the concurrence of all of these forces is the result of the ionic and tidal effects of the Moon being maximum North at the same time the polarity of the solar wind shifts from its peak charging cycle. Tornadoes form from the cresting of the tidal and ionic strengths, just as the magneto on your lawn mower sets up the charge for the discharge through the spark plug just past top dead center of the piston travel.

    http://research.aerology.com/aerology-analog-weather-forecasting-method/

    http://research.aerology.com/lunar-declinational-affects-on-tornado-production/

    http://research.aerology.com/natural-processes/solar-system-dynamics/

    I would be glad to answer any further questions you have, much of what I would tell you can be found at the above links.

  15. _Jim says:

    _Jim says on March 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    ”Richard, how much weight do you give to each of these factors re: this severe outbreak:

    1. Jet Stream position/upper level low”

    Richard Holle says on March 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm:

    Reply; the reoccur-ant position of the jet stream and the upper level low is the

    Richard,

    How do those theories fit in with the more generally-accepted concepts of of high pressure ridges and low pressure troughs, and Rosby Waves in general?

    .

  16. _Jim says:

    Bill Jamison says on March 1, 2012 at 8:57 pm:

    _Jim, that link talks about the new technology and the advantages. I’ve seen video showing the the dual-pol radar images from the night of the Branson tornado and it shows the debris field around the tornado alerting forecasters to the fact that it was indeed a tornado on the ground.

    Here’s a link with the story and video from CBS:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57388291/early-twister-detection-tech-gets-an-upgrade/

    Thanks Bill; not much ‘new’, but the NWS guy alludes to being able to see ‘debris’ with this option (we saw a good bit of debris from our KFWS WSR-88D last couple of years on several tornadoes, and I don’t think KFWS has been upgraded to dual-pol capability yet) … and I had not seen that ‘capability’ or feature in past white papers (on the subject) as the reason for the upgrade to dual-polarization, rather, the identification of various hydrometeors (hail vs heavy rain) which assist in the warnings for (obviously) hail rather than wait for ground reports by spotters as well as allowing the forecasters and meteorologists to gauge storm ‘health’ (or storm ‘life cycle’ as it relates to cyclogenesis) and strength and the way that tornadic formation storm can be seen to ‘skip’ ahead of an older cell which had already spawned a funnel (a dangling vortex) or tornado.

    BTW, significant upgrades have been occurring throughout the life of the WSR-88D; most of the digital and signal processing hardware (H/W) has been upgrade to COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) hardware vs the specially-designed H/W that was part of the original WSR-88D equipment ‘fielding’ a couple decades ago now.

    .

  17. _Jim says:


    _Jim Q: ”And what amount of ‘boost’ would you attribute to ” Lunar declinational tidal effect” in this event?”

    Richard Holle says March 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm:

    Reply; The timing of the concurrence of all of these forces is the result of the ionic and tidal effects of the Moon being maximum North at the same time the polarity of the solar wind shifts from its peak charging cycle. Tornadoes form from the cresting of the tidal and ionic strengths, just as the magneto on your lawn mower sets up the charge for the discharge through the spark plug just past top dead center of the piston travel.

    Do the NWS SPC (Storm Prediction Center) folks use this kind of information (‘the phase’ of the moon and planets) in creating their “Convective Outlooks” (ranging from today to as far ahead as 8 days), and if not why not?

    Example, SPC’s “Convective Outlook” webpage: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/outlook/

    Can you cite any cases or storms on record where the posited theory regarding “Lunar declinational tidal effect” contra-indicated that severe weather outbreak? Would like to know of any ‘false positives’ indicated by the theory as well.

    PS Sorry for the typo on the misspelling of ‘Rossby’ in a previous post.
    .

  18. _Jim says:
    March 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    _Jim says on March 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    ”Richard, how much weight do you give to each of these factors re: this severe outbreak:

    1. Jet Stream position/upper level low”

    Richard Holle says on March 1, 2012 at 9:03 pm:

    Reply; the reoccur-ant position of the jet stream and the upper level low is the

    Richard,

    How do those theories fit in with the more generally-accepted concepts of of high pressure ridges and low pressure troughs, and Rosby Waves in general?

    Reply; The global circulation is driven by the Lunar declinational tides just as the ocean tides are driven. There are known periods and wave styles to the jet streams and the Rossby wave patterns, it is just nobody looked at the synchronization of them to the lunar declinational tides.

    I have spent almost 30 years just looking at the connections between the solar/lunar periods and global circulation patterns.
    http://research.aerology.com/supporting-research/four-fold-pattern-rossby-wave-generation/

    http://research.aerology.com/supporting-research/leroux-marcel-lunar-declinational-tides/

    http://ddata.over-blog.com/xxxyyy/2/32/25/79/Leroux-Global-and-Planetary-Change-1993.pdf

    “Please take however much time is necessary to understand. The discussion cannot advance until people make the effort to understand the basics.

    My reply; If you read the paper by Leroux he has found and well defined the actions of the air masses, that make up a typical lunar declinational tidal bulge. The Mobile Polar Highs are the polar component of the resultant tidal bulges and the equatorial air masses he thought were pushed by the polar highs are actually pulled off of the meteorological equator or “ITCZ”. The slow and fast phases he eludes to are the result of the 18.6 year variation of the declinational angle at culmination with reference to the equator.”

  19. _Jim says:

    Bill, the document below might be of interest regarding the Dual-Polarization equipped/retrofitted WSR-88D NWS RADARs and the extended capability it offers the operational and warning meteorologists.

    Title: WSR-88D Dual-Polarization Radar Decision Aid

    http://www.wdtb.noaa.gov/courses/dualpol/Outreach/DualPol-Flipchart.pdf

    First paragraph/intro:
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Background Information on Using this Document

    The following pages contain information on various hydrometeors that can be identified using WSR-88D dual-polarization radar data.

    For each hydrometeor, likely values for Reflectivity and three key dual-polarization radar products are provided: Correlation Coefficient (CC), Differential Reflectivity (ZDR), and Specific Differential Phase (KDP).

    Descriptions for the three dual-polarization radar products are provided below to help you remember their significance in discriminating between various hydrometeors.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

  20. _Jim says:
    March 1, 2012 at 9:50 pm
    [clipped some text]
    “”Do the NWS SPC (Storm Prediction Center) folks use this kind of information (‘the phase’ of the moon and planets) in creating their “Convective Outlooks” (ranging from today to as far ahead as 8 days), and if not why not?””

    Reply; The forecast process I use, has not much to do with the “phases of the moon”, it is all about the solar/lunar connections with a focus on the solar wind and the magnetic rotation of the sun being in sync with the declinational movement of the moon because of the inductive forces of the changing polarity of the solar wind as the sun rotates, driving the declinational component of the moons orbital dynamics. then showing the resultant repeating patterns due to the Saros cycle of the inner planet returns.
    Piers Corbyn uses these same effects in his forecasting method ablate a little differently.

    As to why the NWS does not use this method, I gave up on trying to reach them 12 years ago, and started up this Aerology.com web site presence to reach the general public.

    As far as false positives or failures in this method of forecasting, to my knowledge there needs to be all of the ingredients present to get any kind of large outbreak, single to small numbers of tornadoes per day happen most any day of the summer, but the big 20+ outbreaks are always on time as scheduled by the lunar declination, 3 days either side of Maximum North from Maximum South declination to 4 to 5 days after, or some times in early spring as the moon crosses the equator headed North for about a 36 hour window, as happened last week;
    http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/120224_rpts.html

  21. _Jim says:

    Thanks Richard, I don’t know how much ‘water’ these alternative theories hold, but I may take a look at cited references given time …

  22. _Jim says:

    Bill, here’s the ‘presentation’ on the RADAR screen that operational meteorologists sitting at what used to be called the WSR-88D’s ‘PUP’ (Principle User Position and now called the ‘OPUP’ for Open Systems Principal User Processor) or RADAR display console back in the forecasting office will see when the dual-polarization RADAR data is processed into something usable by humans:

    http://dupagesevereweather.com/Downloads2010/dualpol030610_v2.pdf

    .

  23. Bill Jamison says:

    _Jim, I found this regarding the ability of the new dual-pol radar:

    Tornado debris detection Dual-polarization radar technology can also easily detect the presence of random shaped and sized targets like leaves, insulation or other debris, giving the forecaster a high degree of confidence that a damaging tornado is on the ground. This is especially helpful at nighttime when tornadoes are difficult to see with the human eye.

    http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/news/backgrounders/Dual-pol-NSSL-2010F.pdf

    That sounds like exactly what was shown on that CBS News video.

  24. Jerky says:

    >As to why the NWS does not use this method, I gave up on trying to reach them 12 years ago, and started up this Aerology.com web site presence to reach the general public.

    If your theory has any water publish it….or do a simple scale analysis, which will easily show that the magnitudes of the effects you claim are minimal to the point of being negligible.

    But the reason no one is listening to you is because the dynamics of severe local storms have been pretty well understood for a while now, and tornadoes can be simulated within a cloud-scale model that neglects all of things you claim are important. I gather you actually know virtually *NOTHING* about the dynamics of severe local storms given statements like ” negative static/ionic charges that gave added power to the temperature front to drive the condensation high enough to generate the tornadoes.” Ummm, NO!

  25. From the Special relativity thread;

    Deadman says:
    March 1, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Fred H. Haynie asks, “how do you tell [virtual] reality from the real thing?”
    Simple, virtual = not. For example:
    “virtual reality” — not reality;
    if your teen-aged son says his homework is “virtually finished” — it’s not finished;
    “virtually no calories” — it does have calories;
    “virtually identical” — not identical;
    “virtually free” — not free;
    “Some aspects of climate science are known with virtual certainty” — some aspects of climate science are not known with certainty; and so on.

  26. With the standard method of forecasting with numerical models they hit the wall of accuracy at about 7 to 10 days out. Using my method I can forecast up to 18 years out with an average accuracy about equal to their 5 to 7 day forecast. In 1990 the comparison was about as good as the NWS 3 to 5 day forecast, in the past 22 years they have stretched their window of visibility out two to three more days. By adding what I and Piers Corbyn know and use, they could see the whole 18 year window as well.

    My track record for last year;
    http://research.aerology.com/severe-weather/tornadoes/tornado-forecast-verification/

  27. _Jim says:

    Bill Jamison says on March 1, 2012 at 11:04 pm:

    _Jim, I found this regarding the ability of the new dual-pol radar:

    Tornado debris detection Dual-polarization radar technology can also easily detect the presence of random shaped and sized targets like leaves, insulation or other debris, giving the forecaster a high degree of confidence that a damaging tornado is on the ground. This is especially helpful at nighttime when tornadoes are difficult to see with the human eye.

    http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/news/backgrounders/Dual-pol-NSSL-2010F.pdf

    That sounds like exactly what was shown on that CBS News video.

    Bill, not a white paper (i.e. that is not a white paper on the subject); rather, it is much closer to ‘advertising lit'(erature) than anything else. I would also assert that the orientation of such RADAR reflective debris would be randomly positioned (remember is the longer dimension which provides the greater return (RCS or RADAR Cross Section) or reflection back to the RADAR site) or isa ble to be seen as a different Azimuth velocity as opposed to various shaped hydrometeors (e.g. raindrops which might be oblately shaped as in the case of large raindrops or more spherically shaped hail stones or small raindrops). Remember, simple horizontally polarized WSR-8D NEXRADs pick up debris ‘clouds’ as well.

    Let me be specific on this now: the implementation of Dual-Polarity as an add-on to the WSR-88Ds was not done for the purpose of debris-cloud detection; there are a number of sound meteorological reasons which the dual-polarity modes and equipment are being added, and a number of those modes optimize the WSR-88D for the purposes of detecting non-severe storm precipitation and also determining the type, although there appears to be a dedicated ‘spin’ afoot in the press (includes primarily TV it would seem) since “glitz and pizazz gets press”.

    Is it ‘budget time’ or something in NOAA/NWS land?.

    I would make reference to this document again which points out the added differentiation capability on hydrometeors (e.g. more specific precip types) that Dual-Polarity Doppler WSR-88Ds provides:

    http://www.wdtb.noaa.gov/courses/dualpol/Outreach/DualPol-Flipchart.pdf

    .

  28. Ed, "Mr." Jones says:

    Richard Holle,

    Seems there is a discussion of these concepts over at http://joannenova.com.au/

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