A major “second season” tornado outbreak struck parts of the Midwest, Tennessee and Ohio valleys on Sunday. The outbreak will likely go down as the largest of 2013.
The event contained at least two confirmed violent tornadoes that passed through New Minden and Washington, IL. These are the first violent tornadoes in November since 2011 in Oklahoma. They’re also the only violent tornadoes on record in Illinois during the month.
New Minden IL (prelim EF4) is the first violent tornado in Illinois in Nov during modern record. Prior ones: pic.twitter.com/FWSniysVXg
— U.S. Tornadoes (@USTornadoes) November 17, 2013
Here are some of the most intense tornado videos from the event…
Near or in Washington, Illinois
A strong disturbance will work into the Midwest today into tomorrow, with the threat of a tornado outbreak looming on Sunday. As is typical with these cold season threats, this system has a high shear/low CAPE environment with conditional risks to both sides. Regardless of the risks, tomorrow’s setup looks prime for widespread severe winds and some tornadoes.
Central Mississippi Valley — POTENTIAL: Low — CONFIDENCE: Normal
Pros: Strong shear (both directional and speed), left-exit region of an upper-level jet.
Cons: Very little instability, weak lapse rates.
Midwest, Tennessee Valley — POTENTIAL: High — CONFIDENCE: Normal
Pros: Very strong speed shear, good directional shear, very strong forcing, improving mid-level lapse rates, surface dewpoints in the 60s, pre-frontal supercells possible.
Cons: Instability could be limited by widespread cloud cover and rain in the warm sector. Storms could turn linear faster, which would limit the supercell potential.
I’m back with a forecast finally! It has been awhile since we have seen a storm with good enough potential for an update.
Eastern Nebraska, Iowa — POTENTIAL: Low — CONFIDENCE: Normal
Pros: Good directional shear, moderate instability, left-exit region of approaching jet streak.
Cons: Storm initiation/coverage is questionable with somewhat-capped atmosphere, no notable vort. max to help forcing.
Central Plains, western Midwest — POTENTIAL: High — CONFIDENCE: Normal
Pros: Strong shear, moderate to high instability, strong vort. max and good surface convergence along two frontal boundaries.
Cons: Uncertainty with storm coverage in the area of greatest potential, which is basically Iowa. Storms may line out early and would shorten the window for supercells. High LCLs could limit initial potential, especially in the southern areas.
The United States experiences approximately 75 percent of the world’s known tornadoes and thus is notorious for its tornado climatology in terms of frequency, intensity, and destructive outbreak events. While it is appropriate to focus on tornadoes across the United States, it is important to recognize that tornadoes also happen in other countries of the world.
This article investigates where many of the other 25 percent of the world’s tornadoes occur, with a specific emphasis on our North American neighbors of Canada and Mexico. How do other countries match up against the United States when it comes to tornado climatology? You’re about to find out. (Hint: The U.S. is the uncontested heavy weight champion of the world.)
The pattern looks pretty quiet for the next week, so I’m going to go back to what we did last year and just do special updates when the more notable disturbances show up. As you can see on this inflation-adjusted graph, the tornado count has really flat-lined recently in this already quiet season:
Needless to say, I am very fortunate to have picked a two-week period months in advance that would end up being the only active period in the Plains! I hope all the chasers were able to get what they could out of this paltry tornado season.
If you’re into finding a holiday tornado, July 4 is likely one of your best bets given its residence in the center of the warm season. Since 2000, only 2005, 2007, and 2008 have seen no tornado touchdowns on the Fourth. In the most recent 20 years, 85 percent of Independence Days saw at least one.
222 tornadoes have been documented on the day since 1950. As we might expect given July’s tornado climatology, parts of the northern and central Plains, as well as the Great Lakes region, appear “favored” to see a July 4 tornado.
The “I’m sick and spent most of yesterday sleeping” edition.
Ohio Valley — POTENTIAL: Very Low — CONFIDENCE: Normal
Pros: Decent/good directional shear, upper-level forcing, good low-level lapse rates
Cons: Low instability, weak low-level speed shear, weak mid-level lapse rates
Mid-Atlantic, eastern Carolinas — POTENTIAL: Low — CONFIDENCE: Normal
Pros: Moderate instability, strong low-level jet
Cons: Weak/decent directional shear, weak mid-level lapse rates
Southeast — POTENTIAL: Low — CONFIDENCE: Normal Continue reading »
Pros: Good directional shear, right-entrance region of an upper-level jet
Cons: Weak/decent speed shear, training could keep instability low
Continue reading »
My posting on the site has been disjointed of late thanks to a near complete lack of time. It all began with a storm chasing trip… where we ran into the most active pattern of the season (finally!). Among the things that stretch taught me is that folks who chase AND post all the time must be very tired!
Well, I missed a lot by not doing Tornado Weekly (and slacking on the Perfect Year series–which I will return to–as well as current event items). Partly since it was fairly active in that stretch, during what has still been a sea of quiet times since last year, I was curious to go back and create the maps for the period.
While I was at it, I figured I might as well finish each week through June since we’d been running them through the first half of the peak season, and I’d personally like that record for my own remembrance.
Below is a look at the maps, plus a bit of a sprinkling about the bigger events.
We’re all familiar with the idea of Tornado Alley and the tornadoes that occur across the continental United States. Regions from the Great Plains all the way east across the Appalachians and beyond experience tornadoes annually; even areas along the West Coast including California and even Oregon and Washington regularly experience tornadoes. What about areas of the United States outside of the lower-48? Such as Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico?
Using a combination of the Storm Prediction Center tornado database and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) storm events page it was possible to investigate the number of tornado events that have occurred in these areas from 1950-2012.
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