Hurricane Jova gathers strength as it moves toward western Mexico

Hurricane Jova was about 260 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, early Monday, moving at about 8 mph an hour.

Hurricane Jova was about 260 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, early
Monday, moving at about 8 mph an hour.

Hurricane Jova gathered strength early Monday as it churned
toward western Mexico, sending emergency officials scrambling to open shelter
and coordinate with local governments.

The storm grew to a Category 2 late Sunday, carrying maximum sustained winds
of 100 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It was about
260 miles southwest of the tourist haven on Manzanillo, moving at about 8 mph an
hour, the center said.

Forecasters warned the hurricane would continue to gain strength over the
next two days, making an anticipated landfall by Tuesday evening.

A hurricane watch is in effect from Punta San Telmo north to Cabo Corrientes,
Mexico.

“Our main concern is the welfare of the population,” Trinidad Lopez, civil
protection director in the state of Jalisco, said. “We’re doing everything in
our power to protect people.”

At least 100 shelters were open Sunday for people who could be affected by
the storm, Lopez said. Food, cots and blankets have been distributed, he
said.

Heavy machinery has also been pre-positioned in strategic locations
throughout the state, Lopez said.

Mexico is providing federal assistance, as well. More than 300 soldiers have
been deployed and the Marines in Puerto Vallarta are on alert, Lopez said.

A tropical storm watch also is in effect in an area near Punta San Elmo,
stretching south toward Lazaro Carenas.

Mexico’s National Meteorological Service warned boaters off the country’s
Pacific coast to prepare for increasing rains, waves and winds.

High surf warnings are also in effect, with forecasters warning swells will
strike Mexico’s southwest coast later in the day Monday.

“These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current
conditions,” the hurricane center said.

The states of Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit will likely see
significant rainfall, the meteorological service said.

From Rafael Romo, Senior Latin American
Affairs Editor
October 10, 2011 — Updated 0625 GMT (1425 HKT)
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The Science Behind This Terrible Tornado Season

So far, 2011 has proved a year destined for the tornado record books.

Nearly 1,200 tornadoes have swarmed the United States this year, according to preliminary numbers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Four of these storms have been rated at the highest tornado strength, an EF-5. The death toll from these tornadoes has likely topped 500, a number not seen since 1953.

But why has this year seen so many and such devastating twisters? Scientists point to several large-scale climate factors, some of which have been at work behind the scenes since winter. And at least some of the mind-boggling tornado numbers, believe it or not, can be chalked up to humans — there are more of us around to see them.

La Niña’s exit

Some of the blame for the wild tornado streak lies with La Niña, a cyclical system of trade winds that cools the waters of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. (El Niño is La Niña’s warm-water counterpart.)

Although we were in the grip of one of the most powerful La Niñas on record this last year, La Niña made a sudden exit about three months ago, said Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

“La Niña would have been beneficial for all these people that have been so clobbered,” Patzert said. “If La Niña had maintained its strength, perhaps we wouldn’t have seen so many tornadoes.”

How do trade winds in the Pacific relate to deadly storms in the southern and central United States? It has to do with the jet stream, a high-speed air current that is essentially an atmospheric fence where cool, dry air meets up with warm, moist air — two of the main ingredients for severe storms.

La Niña has a stabilizing effect on the jet stream, and pushes it to higher latitudes.

Without La Niña around, the jet stream has gone rogue, Patzert told OurAmazingPlanet. “This time of the year it should be farther north,” he said.

Instead, the jet stream has spent April and May draped across the middle of the country, where it has the chance to violently mix cool, dry northern air with warm, moist southern air.

And in 2011, those two air masses have been on the extreme ends of the temperature scale.

Read More: http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/tornadoes-tornado-record-most-season-1562/

Storms move east as grisly recovery continues in Missouri, Oklahoma

(CNN) — As severe weather moved eastward, the devastation mounted Thursday in parts of the Midwest where hundreds mourned the deaths of loved ones and clung to hopes they’d be found alive following a wave of powerful tornadoes.

Severe thunderstorm warnings and watches extended from South Carolina north along the Appalachian mountains to West Virginia on Thursday evening. Tornado watches that had been issued the same night for parts of Pennysylvania, New York and Vermont, meanwhile came and went without any signs of significant damage.

Two people died Thursday evening in Atlanta, at the southern edge of the storm system, after trees fell on two vehicles, said city police spokeswoman Kim Jones. There were also numerous reports of wires and trees down throughout the city, though no indication of any tornado like those that ripped through the central United States earlier this week.

The worst-hit community is Joplin, Missouri. The twister that hit that city Sunday night was the single deadliest in the United States since modern record-keeping began 61 years ago.

Newton County Coroner Mark Bridges told CNN on Thursday night that the death toll from the EF5 twister — which had winds topping 200 mph — had risen to 126 people. Those bodies were being stored in temporary refrigeration units, while they are identified and eventually released to their relatives.

Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/05/26/severe.weather/index.html?hpt=T2

‘Chedeng’ (Songda) veers, spares Phillipines

MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon “Chedeng” (international name Songda) intensified yesterday but changed direction, hugging the eastern seaboard as it moved away from the country, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

PAGASA supervising undersecretary Graciano Yumul said Chedeng would still bring heavy rains and gusty winds over the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Benguet,

Ifugao, Kalinga, Apayao, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Cagayan Valley, Quirino and Aurora until the weekend.

“It has a big radius, so it can affect many areas even if it does not make landfall,” said forecaster Mario Palafox.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, storm warning signal number 1 was still hoisted over Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay, Quirino, Aurora, Quezon province, including Polillo Islands, Isabela and Cagayan.

As of 4 p.m., the eye of Chedeng was spotted 260 kilometers north northeast of Virac, Catanduanes, or 300 kms southeast of Casiguran, Aurora packing winds of 175 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph.

Chedeng was forecast to move northwest at 19 kph.

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=690165&publicationSubCategoryId=63

Typhoon Update:Thousands evacuate as typhoon skirts Philippines

MANILA (Philippines) – THOUSANDS of people along the eastern Philippine coastline were moving to temporary shelters on Thursday as a powerful typhoon packing strong winds and plenty of rain roared toward the country’s north-east.

Typhoon Songda was not expected to make landfall but will skirt along shores with winds of up to 150kmph and rainfall of 30mm, the government weather bureau said. ‘It has a big radius, so it can affect many areas even if it does not make landfall,’ said forecaster Mario Palafox.

About 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, killing hundreds of people and destroying crops despite government efforts to minimize casualties and damage by ordering early evacuations.

In central Albay province, Governor Joey Salceda sent military trucks to begin moving 250,000 residents from coastal and landslide-prone villages and areas in the path of debris from the Mayon volcano. He also offered five kg of rice as an incentive for each family that evacuates.

Government offices in the region were closed and flights cancelled. More than 7,000 people were stranded in ports after the coast guard barred sea travel in areas with typhoon warnings. In other provinces leading up to the north-west, officials have collected rubber boats and food supplies and put rescuers on standby.

‘Local government officials have enough time to prepare, so we hope we have no casualties,’ presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said. President Benigno Aquino III left on a visit to Thailand on Thursday but instructed officials to send him regular updates. — AP

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STIStory_672835.html

Typhoon ‘Chedeng’ (Songda) will gain more strength, U.S. scientists warn

MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Chedeng (international name: Songda) will become stronger as it nears the Philippines, U.S. military weather forecasters warned on Wednesday.

The typhoon is already packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph, according to weather bureau PAGASA, in its 11 p.m. tropical cyclone update.

Chedeng has intensified over the past 12 hours in the highly favorable environment of the Philippine Sea, according to the Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). The center is a joint U.S. Navy-Air Force task force that is responsible for issuing tropical cyclone warnings for all branches of the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies.

“Favorable oceanographic conditions will allow for continued intensification,” the JTWCsaid in a report.

It added that the typhoon will only weaken after skirting the country’s eastern section and upon reaching the waters north of Okinawa, Japan.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/05/25/11/typhoon-chedeng-will-gain-more-strength-us-scientists-warn

Another tornado rips through Missouri as death toll rises

UPDATE 8.30am: A TORNADO causing heavy damage has touched down in Missouri after severe storms ripping through the US midwest killed at least 15 overnight.

The twister hit the southern part of Sedalia – a city of over 20,000 –  after 12.20pm local time, damaging homes and businesses, according to  the Kansas City Star.

Resident Clayton Wright told the  newspaper that he emerged from his basement after the storm and saw “a  lot of damage” in his neighbourhood.

“Tree limbs are down. Tops of houses are gone. There is even one house that is missing,” he said.

Aerial  television footage showed several homes destroyed among twisted rubble  and splintered, uprooted trees. A mobile home park appeared to have  suffered major damage.

About 15 people were treated for minor  injuries at Bothwell Regional Health Center, but were not admitted,  spokeswoman Lisa Church told NewsCore.

Sedalia is about 240km  northeast of Joplin, Missouri, where the single deadliest tornado  recorded by the National Weather Service killed over 120 people on  Sunday.

Read More: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/killer-tornado-destroys-buildings-and-causes-fires-at-hospita/story-e6frf7lf-1226063068710

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS INCLUDING TORNADIC SUPERCELLS

Major Tornado Outbreak Forecast — High Risk Area Expanded...
A major tornado outbreak is forecast later this afternoon into 
tonight over portions of the mid-Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys.
 SPC has expanded the High Risk area for severe thunderstorms to 
include parts of northeastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, 
southeastern Missouri,southern Illinois, western and central 
Kentucky and southern Indiana.
 Surrounding the High Risk, a Moderate Risk area extends from 
southern Arkansas and Mississippi to central Indiana and western Ohio. 
Conditions are favorable for long-track, violent tornadoes in 
both the Moderate Risk and High Risk areas.
 The storms will also be capable of producing very large hail, 
damaging straight-line winds, frequent cloud-to-ground 
lightning and torrential rainfall. 
Severe thunderstorms and large, damaging tornadoes this afternoon
 and evening could affect significant population centers including 
St. Louis, Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, Louisville, 
Cincinnati, and Indianapolis.
URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
   TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 376
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   835 PM CDT WED MAY 25 2011

   THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
   TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF 

          PARTS OF NORTHWEST ALABAMA
          PARTS OF SOUTHERN INDIANA
          LARGE PART OF CENTRAL KENTUCKY
          MUCH OF NORTHERN MISSISSIPPI
          PARTS OF WESTERN OHIO
          MUCH OF MIDDLE AND PARTS OF WESTERN TENNESSEE

   EFFECTIVE THIS WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY MORNING FROM 835 PM
   UNTIL 400 AM CDT.

   TORNADOES...HAIL TO 3 INCHES IN DIAMETER...THUNDERSTORM WIND
   GUSTS TO 90 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE
   AREAS.

   THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 70 STATUTE
   MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 15 MILES SOUTHWEST OF TUPELO
   MISSISSIPPI TO 25 MILES NORTHEAST OF DAYTON OHIO.  FOR A COMPLETE
   DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE
   (WOUS64 KWNS WOU6).

   REMEMBER...A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR
   TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
   AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
   THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
   AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

   DISCUSSION...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS INCLUDING TORNADIC SUPERCELLS
   CONTINUE TO DEVELOP AND MOVE EWD ACROSS OH AND TN VALLEYS.  VERY
   STRONG DAMAGING WINDS HAVE DEVELOPED ACROSS LOWER OHIO VALLEY AND
   MOVE EWD ACROSS THE WATCH.  STILL POTENTIAL FOR VERY STRONG
   TORNADOES BOTH WITH THE QLCS LINE AND MORE DISCRETE STORMS IN
   ADVANCE.

   AVIATION...TORNADOES AND A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL
   SURFACE AND ALOFT TO 3 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE
   WIND GUSTS TO 80 KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO
   550. MEAN STORM MOTION VECTOR 24040.

http://www.weather.gov/

2011 tornado information

Preliminary tornado statistics including records set in 2011

 More deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas claimed 13 additional lives on May 24, 2011.

  • During the severe weather outbreak, two separate tornadic supercells approached Norman, Oklahoma and the National Weather Center building where NOAA National Weather Service facilities are located.
  • The Weather Forecast Office, which is responsible for critical minute by minute warnings, continued critical life-saving operations throughout the tornado outbreak. Back-up plans could have been implemented had the staff felt an imminent threat.
  • On Sunday, May 22, 2011, a devastating tornado hit the city of Joplin, Mo., leaving an estimated 123 people dead and 750 others injured, about 1,500 people remain unaccounted for in Joplin.
      • The Joplin tornado is the deadliest since modern recordkeeping began in 1950 and is ranked 8th among the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history.
        • NOAA satellite shows storm system moments before spawning tornado in Joplin, Mo.

          NOAA satellite shows storm system moments before spawning tornado in Joplin, Mo.

          (Credit: NOAA)

          The deadliest tornado on record in the U.S. was on March 18, 1925.  The “Tri-State Tornado” (MO, IL, IN) had a 291-mile path, was rated F5 based on a historical assessment, and caused 695 fatalities.

      • Final EF rating determined:  The NWS has increased the EF rating for the May 22, 2011, Joplin, Missouri tornado from EF-4 to EF-5.  The Storm Survey team in Joplin continued their assessment today and identified damage consistent with what would be expected from an EF-5 tornado, with winds in excess of 200 mph.  The tornado was ¾ of a mile wide.
      • NWS responded to the increased need for staffing by sending additional forecasters to the Springfield, Missouri Weather Forecast Office.  The larger team is now able to support the ongoing severe weather operations as well as the first responder response and recovery efforts in Joplin.  An Incident Meteorologist has been deployed to the Incident Command Post.
      • The Marion County long-track EF5 of 27 April 2011 claimed 78 lives.

        • NWS’s preliminary estimate is more than 100 tornadoes have occurred during the month of May 2011.
          • The record number of tornadoes during the month of May was 542 tornadoes set in May 2003.
          • The average number of tornadoes for the month of May during the past decade is 298.
          • May is historically the most active month for tornadoes.

        2011 Year-to-Date (and record annual) Statistics

        • NWS’s preliminary estimate is that there have been approximately 1,000 tornadoes so far this year.
          • The previous yearly record number of tornadoes was set in 2004 with 1,817.
          • The overall yearly average number of tornadoes for the past decade is 1,274.
        • The preliminary estimated number of tornado fatalities so far this year is 501.  NWS records indicate that there were 365 tornado fatalities before the Joplin tornado.  Media reports currently indicate 123 fatalities in the Joplin event.  An additional 13 fatalities were reported in KS, OK, and AR from a tornado outbreak on May 24, 2011.
          • The US tornado death toll is the highest ever through the month of May in the NOAA-NWS official record (1950-present).
          • The highest recorded annual death toll from tornadoes in the NOAA-NWS official record (1950-present) was set in 1953 with 519 fatalities.

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/2011_tornado_information.html