Parkersburg tornado an EF-5; major flooding in Central America likely from 90E

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 28. toukokuuta 2008 klo 15:46 (GMT)

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The tornado that devastated Parkersburg, Iowa on Sunday has now been rated an EF-5 by the National Weather Service. An EF-5 is the strongest possible classification a tornado can receive, and is only given to those tornadoes with estimated winds over 200 mph. The winds in the Parkersburg tornado were estimated at 205 mph. At those wind speeds, total destruction of homes occurs. Even those sheltering in basements are not safe--several of the six deaths from the Parkersburg tornado were from people sheltering in basements.

The Parkersburg tornado cut a path 43 miles long and between 3/4 miles and 1.2 miles wide across Iowa, killing six people, completely destroying 350 buildings in Parkersburg, and injuring 70 people. It was only the second EF-5 tornado this decade in the U.S. The other EF-5 occurred in May 2007, when much of Greensburg, Kansas got leveled. The Parkersburg tornado was the first F5 or EF5 tornado in Iowa since the Jordan, Iowa tornado of June 13, 1976, and was the second deadliest in Iowa since official record-keeping began in 1950. Iowa's deadliest tornado hit Charles City on May 15, 1968, killing 13 while producing F5 damage.


Figure 1. EF-5 damage from the May 25, 2008 Parkersburg tornado. At EF-5 winds speeds (over 200mph), homes are completely destroyed or removed from their foundations. Image credit: Iowa Helicopter. The NWS Des Moines office has posted ground damage photos from their damage survey.

Major flooding likely in Central America from 90E
An area of low pressure (90E) in the Eastern Pacific off the coast of Costa Rica, near 10N 88W, is steadily organizing and appears likely to develop into a tropical depression later today or tomorrow. The National Hurricane Center is currently assigning a "High" probability (>50% chance) that this will be a tropical depression, in its new experimental Tropical Weather Outlook. Satellite loops show that the low has developed a very large and expanding circulation. This circulation is likely to expand across Central America into the Western Caribbean, allowing the storm to tap moisture from the Atlantic and Pacific. Storms that are able to tap the moisture sources of both oceans can be extremely dangerous rainmakers, even if they are weak tropical depressions. Already, 90E is generating very heavy rains in excess of six inches per day near its center. The storm is expected to move northeastward over Costa Rica or Nicaragua by Thursday or Friday, and should being dangerous flooding rains of 5-10 inches to those nations and Panama. Most of the computer model guidance suggests that the storm will then track to the north, spreading very heavy rains across Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Belize, and southern Mexico by Saturday. These heavy rains will cause life-threatening flash flooding, particularly in mountainous regions.

Since 90E is beginning to dominate the circulation pattern of the region, it appears unlikely that a tropical depression will form in the Western Caribbean in the coming week, as some computer models have been predicting. It is possible that 90E could cross Central America and pop out in the Western Caribbean near the Yucatan Peninsula, or in the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche. However, the crossing of Central America will severely disrupt the storm, and the odds of 90E becoming a depression in the Atlantic basin are low.


Figure 2. Observed precipitation for the 24 hours ending at 12Z (8am EDT) Wednesday May 28, 2008. Rainfall amounts in excess of 2000mm (eight inches, yellow colors) occurred near the center of disturbance 90E off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Image credit: U.S. Navy Monterey.

I'll have an update Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters

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1139. Cavin Rawlins
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 13:41 (GMT)
This is the wave I'm watching, clearly assoicated mid-level cyclonic turning along the axis near 6W.

Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1138. weathermanwannabe
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 13:26 (GMT)
1129. jphurricane2006 9:07 AM EDT on May 29, 2008

Good Morning Folks.....Still here and "kicking"....Will be heading to the Destin beaches for the weekend tommorow and may do a "live" report from the Gulf on June 1st (competing with Cantore on South Beach)...But, all in all, looks like we will have a pretty active season and I hope that calmness and courtesy preveils on the Blog (certainly from the regulars) so we don't set a bad emample for the newer participants and lurkers...I'm here to learn and I suspect that we will learn a lot this particularl season....Good Day
Member Since: 8.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8262
1137. 69Viking
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 13:18 (GMT)
They said they would be back...promises, promises.........

Ok, that link brought back some memories!
Member Since: 25.08.2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2996
1136. IKE
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 13:15 (GMT)
Managua, NK........

"Managua, NK (Airport)
Updated: 14 min 24 sec ago
Heavy Rain
73 °F
Heavy Rain
Humidity: 94%
Dew Point: 72 °F
Wind: 12 mph from the East
Pressure: 29.74 in (Steady)
Visibility: 0.6 miles
UV: 1 out of 16
Clouds:
Scattered Clouds 1600 ft
Mostly Cloudy 7000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 164 ft"
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1135. homegirl
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 13:14 (GMT)
new blog
Member Since: 1.08.2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 7425
1133. IKE
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 13:12 (GMT)
They said they would be back...promises, promises.........

Link
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1131. 69Viking
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 13:10 (GMT)
1129. jphurricane2006 8:07 AM CDT on May 29, 2008

Too funny! They'll be back!
Member Since: 25.08.2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2996
1128. marknmelb
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 13:07 (GMT)
Hopefully this thing will hold together and we can get some MUCH needed rain here in Florida early next week. Just not this weekend...

I know. Beggers can't be choosers.
Member Since: 17.07.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 406
1126. NEwxguy
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 13:05 (GMT)
1124. 69Viking 12:58 PM GMT on May 29, 2008
GM all,TD1E looks impressive,but doesn't look like it has much time left.Cold up here in northeast this morning,Florida send some of your heat up here.

Ok, we'll try! How's that global warming feel in the NE!?

Guess we aren't part of the globe,no warming up here 36 deg this morning
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15056
1125. 69Viking
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 13:05 (GMT)
Test
Member Since: 25.08.2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2996
1124. 69Viking
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:58 (GMT)
GM all,TD1E looks impressive,but doesn't look like it has much time left.Cold up here in northeast this morning,Florida send some of your heat up here.

Ok, we'll try! How's that global warming feel in the NE!?
Member Since: 25.08.2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2996
1121. seflagamma
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:57 (GMT)
good morning everyone,
thanks for all the updates. Looks like we have Alma???

busy at work but will check in as I can throughout the day. Thanks for keeping the info flowing!

Gams
Member Since: 29.08.2005 Posts: 294 Comments: 40839
1120. kmanislander
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:56 (GMT)
BBL
Member Since: 19.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
1119. kmanislander
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:56 (GMT)
The weather is getting pretty nasty here now in the Caymans from the moisture coming up from the South. That's one good thing as the drought has been severe this year
Member Since: 19.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
1118. 69Viking
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:54 (GMT)
Good morning everyone! Nice map Storm.
Member Since: 25.08.2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2996
1117. nash28
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:52 (GMT)
06z GFS still brings a good soaking to FL.
Member Since: 11.07.2005 Posts: 190 Comments: 16972
1116. kmanislander
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:51 (GMT)
Doc

The Navy site has TD1E as Alma which means it will be officially upgraded to a TS shortly
Member Since: 19.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
1115. Patrap
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:51 (GMT)
NRL Alma Link



Member Since: 3.07.2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125460
1114. DocBen
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:50 (GMT)
Interesting evening - looks like 1E is gunning to get a name; Nakri is now a Cat 4; and the Carib seems to have an independent center to the east - 90L on the way?
Member Since: 16.05.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 98
1113. NEwxguy
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:48 (GMT)
GM all,TD1E looks impressive,but doesn't look like it has much time left.Cold up here in northeast this morning,Florida send some of your heat up here.
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 862 Comments: 15056
1112. kmanislander
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:48 (GMT)
Hi Storm

The High that was over Costa Rica has now moved back overhead of Alma thus providing the environment for the strengthening we have been seeing. The high stretches over the Caribbean South of about 14N and shear there has fallen to 10 knots.

Although shear is till high in the NW Caribbean that may well slacken over time. We are also seeing a seperation of vorticity between Alma and the Southern and Central Caribbean which means the two ares of weather are finally going their own way. If the Caribbean area of disturbed weather hangs around long enough we may see some type of development over the next 48 hrs or so as Alma moves away

Here is the 850mb map
Link
Member Since: 19.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
1111. Patrap
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:48 (GMT)
Wow..a whole page without imagery?

Were gonna fix dat right now.

GOES-12 (3 Channel) Gulf and Tropics (Updated every ~1/2 hour) Link
Member Since: 3.07.2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125460
1110. TheCaneWhisperer
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:48 (GMT)
Morning All.

CPC/TAFB 72hrs. I see the GFS is back to sniffing today. Glue maybe?

I can't stop the rains, I can't fly down to help after the rains. All I CAN do is send my prayers, keep them in my thoughts and move on. Big tragedy taking shape down there and it is sad to see yet another this year.
1109. Cavin Rawlins
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:48 (GMT)
1099. jphurricane2006 8:35 AM AST on May 29, 2008


I know of a wave that emerged around 48 hrs ago if that is what u mean.
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1108. cchsweatherman
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:47 (GMT)

Figure 1 - First Visible Shot of ALMA (Source: NASA Satellites at weather.msfc.nasa.gov)

Very impressive structure indeed with intense and well-organized CDO over the system with obvious banding to the south. Based upon satellite imagery, I would guess this has reached moderate tropical storm strength (between 50 and 60 mph winds).
Member Since: 14.04.2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5030
1107. upinsmoke
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:47 (GMT)
Here we go again 2008
1106. RJinBoyntonBeachFL
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:46 (GMT)
I think we're in for a bad year, much like 2004; at least here in S FL.
Member Since: 3.10.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 128
1105. MasterForecaster
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:43 (GMT)
Morning Storm,

Wondering if you can tell me what you think will happen over the course of today with our TD...
1103. MasterForecaster
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:41 (GMT)
Wow it sure is quiet around here.
1101. kmanislander
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:39 (GMT)
Navy now has Alma for TD1E

good morning all
Member Since: 19.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
1098. floridastorm
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:35 (GMT)
the tropical wave off africa is something
to watch, but it is too far away from the u.s.
Member Since: 20.05.2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 147
1097. Cavin Rawlins
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:34 (GMT)
.
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1095. Cavin Rawlins
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:30 (GMT)
I will update my blog later this morning but just want to mention that the wave emerging off the coast of africa is associated with a broad area of low pressure roughly along the axis near 8-10N. CMC, GFS and EWMWF is developing this feature.

TD 01E is nearing TS status..Excellent organizationm seen on this morning's infrared imagery. Heavy rains expected to continue over Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras. Satellite estimates indicated Costa Rica picked up the bulk of the rain over the past 12 hrs, around 100mm.
Member Since: 24.07.2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1094. cchsweatherman
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:28 (GMT)
Just by looking at satellite imagery for Tropical Depression 1-E, it has become quite evident that the circulation has tightened considerably overnight and strengthening is occuring, although you can see land interaction is having some impact on the system. I have deep concern for the people in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize that there may be significant flooding that will likely result in mud/landslides like we have seen in the past. Some computer models want to dump nearly 20 inches on them.

Now, the tropical wave exiting Africa is very impressive for this time of the year. Thus far, no wave has been able to maintain convection over water like this one has and the structure is very well-defined with possible low-level cyclonic turning taking shape. There is something that I have noticed with this wave: it seems that there is outflow occuring over the wave, more indicative of tropical development and strengthening. We may indeed see some tropical development off Africa if this holds.
Member Since: 14.04.2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5030
1093. Ivansrvivr
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:19 (GMT)
JP, I may be reaching and you may be right. At least you see what I was talking about though. Tropics is a guessing game most of the time anyways.

The CV season looks like it will be tough one. the question is for who. If those waves stay on the southern end of their usual track it looks bad for caribbean and Eastern Gulf Coast/FL. If they shift a little more to the north than usual, they will be bad for Carolinas/Eastern Seaboard or fish.
1091. sporteguy03
29. toukokuuta 2008 klo 12:09 (GMT)
JP & Ike,
That wave off Africa is incredibly strong for late May, isn't it? I mean the colors are almost off the chart?
Member Since: 7.07.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 5120

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

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