Here’s some pictures of tornado damage and hail from about 10 miles east of Peoria, Illinois. Click on the pictures to enlarge. Video of that tornado. Photos here. Walk thru the debris. The storms have caused at least five fatalities and over 70 injuries (some critical). Towns hardest hit were New Minden, east of St. Louis, where the NWS has confirmed an EF4 tornado with winds of 166-200 mph. There were two fatalities in New Minden. One of the victims was blown 100 yards out of his house…and Brookport along the Ohio River, where there are 3 fatalities. The tornado in Washington IL has not been rated, but could be as high as EF4. There was one fatality with that tornado. A tornado in Coal City was rated EF2. I-55 was “a mess” in Will County, covered with debris and downed wires. The city of Chicago responed to 170 calls of downed branches and wires in roads and 40 flooded viaducts. So far, there have been 81 reports of tornadoes and over 610 total reports of tornadoes, severe t-storm winds and large hail. Here’s the Consumers Energy Outage Map, so you can see who has power and who doesn’t. Here’s Storm Reports from SW Michigan, N. Michigan, E. Michigan, N. Indiana, Central Indiana, NE Illinois, Central Illinois and Southern Illinois. (pics. from WEEK-TV)
The first Tornado Watch has been issued, and the Storm Prediction Center is calling it a rare “PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS TORNADO WATCH”. The Watch includes Chicago, where the Chicago Bears play Baltimore at 1 PM. The Bears average 62,300 per game. The Storm Prediction Center says (highlighted in red) “THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION”. The Tornado Watch covers Southern Lake Michigan, all the way to the Michigan shore south of Whitehall. It’s a virtual certainty that much of Lower Michigan will come under a Tornado Watch, as early as late morning. There’s already Tornado Warnings NW of Chicago.
From SPC: “PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE… SEVERAL INTENSE TORNADOES LIKELY SEVERAL LARGE HAIL EVENTS LIKELY WITH A FEW VERY LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE SEVERAL DAMAGING WIND GUSTS WITH A FEW SIGNIFICANT GUSTS TO 80 MPH POSSIBLE. ONE OR MORE BROKEN BANDS OF SUPERCELLS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP THIS MORNING AND RAPIDLY SPREAD EAST/NORTHEAST ACROSS THE WATCH AREA TODAY. GIVEN THE COMBINATION OF MODERATE INSTABILITY AND VERY STRONG VERTICAL SHEAR…CONDITIONS WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR LONG TRACKED…SIGNIFICANT TORNADOES. LARGE HAIL AND CORRIDORS OF WIND DAMAGE WILL ALSO BE LIKELY.”
Now is the time to make a plan. Where will you be? If your home or wherever you are is not a safe location, you have time to get to a safe location. If you’re really scared or worried about this storm, spend the afternoon in the underground parking garage downtown. Remember, you’re safest in a tornado below ground level. ALso, stay away from windows, especially on the south and west side of the building. You are 10,000 times more likely to see wind damage from either a thunderstorm or from the general circulation around this strong low pressure center, than to have a significant tornado come down your street. Where will your vehicle be? Hopefully, not under a tree. Put cars in a garage is possible. Keep the garage door closed. Pick up anything that can blow around outside (garbage cans, toys, etc.). There will likely be power outages, so keep a flashlight handy. You can even “dress for a tornado”. People in Oklahoma put on bicycle helmets, where boots or strong shoes and sturdy jeans. These storms will be moving at 50-60 mph and they’ll come up on you quickly, moving from SW to NE.
The Storm Prediction Center has issued only two high risk areas during November in the last 15 years. One day had 49 tornadoes and the other had 64 tornadoes and three dozen fatalities. Find a safe place to be this afternoon and evening.
Many useful links in the threads below. Here’s a couple: Grand Rapids radar, Chicago radar, Severe Reports in SW Michigan, Severe Reports in NE Illinois. Here’s the latest Grand Rapids National Weather Service Discussion (“IT LOOKS LIKE WE/RE GOING TO SEE A SIGNIFICANT WIND EVENT. A HIGH WIND WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR ALL OF SOUTHWEST LOWER MICHIGAN FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH 4 AM MONDAY.” We could see general gusts of wind to 60 mph. Here’s the Consumers Energy Outage Map. They have crews ready, but may not send their workers out to repair power outages if weather conditions are not within safety guidelines.
A final note…TV is first, so I may not be on the blog as this event unfolds. Come to the blog for the links in this thread and below and watch us on WOOD-TV for continuous coverage of this dangerous weather event.
Keep checking back to this thread for these links: Grand Rapids radar, Northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar, Detroit radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the West Michigan Lightning Tracker, National Lightning Tracker, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, and a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. Check out Storm Total Rainfall (until they reset it). Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures (summer). Here’s storm reports from SW Michigan, Northern Michigan, NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and E. Michigan. Check out the wind and wave height at the South Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy, the North Mid-Lake Michigan Buoy, the buoy at Big Sable Point near Ludington, the weather station at Manistee Harbor and the weather station on the beach at St. Joseph. Here’s Michigan wind gusts from MesoWest, data from the MAWN agriculutural weather stations and Weather Underground (data at the bottom from private weather stations.
Check out Regional radar to see the rain across the Great Lakes. Here’s current watches and current mesodiscussions from the Storm Prediction Center Here’s National Storm Reports for today and yesterday. Here’s a live pic. of the beach at Grand Haven.
From the GRR NWS Sat. afternoon discussion: “ENHANCED WIND DAMAGE WILL BE POSSIBLE WITH THIS LINEAR ACTIVITY GIVEN THE WIND FIELDS IN PLACE. GUSTS OVER 70 MPH WILL CERTAINLY BE POSSIBLE. TORNADOES CANNOT BE RULED OUT GIVEN STRONG LOW LEVEL HELICITY VALUES. 0-1KM SRH EXCEEDS 300 M2/S2 OVER THE ENTIRE CWA SUNDAY AFTERNOON. TORNADO THREAT EXISTS REALLY WITH BOTH THE CELLULAR MORNING ACTIVITY AND EMBEDDED IN THE SQUALL LINE. A HEIGHTENED AWARENESS WILL BE NEEDED GIVEN THE PARAMETERS COMING TOGETHER ON SUNDAY.”
Click here to see the outlook map enlarged and read the complete discussion from the Storm Prediction Center. SPC has upgraded to a HIGH RISK, the highest level of warning for much of Indiana, eastern Illinois, and a small part of southern Lake Michigan and also the southern part of Berrien and Cass Counties in Michigan. This is only the 2nd high risk area issued by SPC in 2013. Much of Southern Lower Michigan, parts of Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky is in a MODERATE RISK (in red on the map – generally south of a line from Whitehall to Saginaw). The moderate risk area has been nudged farther north. The Slight Risk Area (in yellow on the map) has been expanded north past Traverse City and Alpena. SPC says: “SURFACE-BASED CELL INITIATION SHOULD OCCUR AHEAD OF THE FRONT BY MID MORNING ACROSS NRN AND CNTRL IL WITH STORM COVERAGE EXPANDING EWD INTO IND AND LOWER MICHIGAN BY EARLY AFTERNOON. SHEAR PROFILES JUSTIFIES THE ISSUANCE OF A HIGH RISK ACROSS ERN IL…IND AND SW LOWER MICHIGAN. AS DISCRETE CELLS INTENSIFY. 0-3 KM STORM RELATIVE HELICITIES OF 400 TO 450 M2/S2 WILL BE FAVORABLE FOR STRONG TORNADOES WITH SEVERAL LONG-TRACK DAMAGING TORNADOES EXPECTED TO OCCUR FROM ERN IL ENEWD ACROSS MUCH OF WRN AND CNTRL IND FROM LATE MORNING INTO EARLY AFTERNOON. AS CELL COVERAGE INCREASES AHEAD OF THE FAST MOVING FRONT…A SQUALL-LINE SHOULD ORGANIZE LATE THIS AFTERNOON. WIDESPREAD WIND DAMAGE WILL BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE LINE ALONG WITH TORNADOES.” THESE WILL HAVE A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY FROM MID-LATE AFTERNOON INTO THE EARLY EVENING TO PRODUCE SWATHS OF DAMAGING WIND GUSTS…SEVERE HAIL AND POSSIBLY SEVERAL TORNADOES /SOME STRONG “. The Grand Rapids NWS Saturday morning discussion says: “EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE EVERYTHING SEEMS TO LINE UP FOR A SIGNIFICANT WEATHER EVENT AND IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK LIKE SUNDAY IS THAT TIME.”
SINCE 1995, THERE HAVE BEEN TWO HIGH RISK AREAS ISSUED BY SPC IN NOVEMBER. ON NOV. 15, 2005 – 49 TORNADOES WERE CONFIRMED, INCLUDING AN EF4. ON NOV. 10, 2002 – THERE WERE 64 TORNADOES AND 34 FATALITIES.
The overnight runs are slow to come in this Sat. night…might be a server issue at NCEP.
The Probabilistic Map has a 45% chance of a severe report within 25 miles of a given spot in the Moderate Risk Area. There are two NFL games in the Moderate Risk Area (at Chicago and Cincinnati). While tornadoes are possible, there is a much greater threat of damaging wind from low-topped thunderstorms. This late in the seasons, you can get damaging winds out of a line of showers along a fast-moving cold front, so you may not get a lot of lightning, but if you do see lightning to your west or southwest Sunday PM – head for shelter and expect strong wind. To be severe a storm has winds of 58 mph or greater or hail 1″ in diameter or greater. CHECK THIS OUT – A SIMILAR WIND AND TORNADO EVENT on NOV. 10, 2002 – including an EF4 tornado in Van Wert, Ohio. Here’s more on that fateful November tornado outbreak.
Monday, November 11, 2013, 6:30PM: It has been a lovely run the past few weeks, and while I hoped we would see $2.999 in Grand Rapids this week, the latest numbers suggest otherwise. With jumps in wholesale prices the past few days, I’m calculating a cost to retailers of about $3.08 a gallon. The cheapest gas in the Grand Rapids area is even less, at $3.05 in Sparta, and that’s our trigger for a price hike. I’m expecting a jump tomorrow or Wednesday, back to the neighborhood of $3.45. –Ed Aboufadel
Today is the anniversary of the famous storm that resulted in the sinking of the ore-carrier, Edmund Fitzgerald. This is the 38th anniversary of the wreck just north of Whitefish Point in Lake Superior. Twenty-nine men were lost as the Fitzgerald sank in 530 feet of water. The ship was launched June 8, 1958, and was the largest ship on the Great Lakes until 1971. It was carrying a cargo of 26,116 tons of taconite pellets, which are used in the steelmaking industry. A popular song by Canadian folk-singer Gordon Lightfoot titled “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” reached #2 on the Billboard chart one year later (lyrics). You can hear the song here and see a list of Great Lakes shipwrecks. A service was held on Nov. 10 from 6-8 PM in River Rouge Michigan to pay honor to those lost on the Fitzgerald. A bell tolled 29-times for the 29 men (who ranged in age from 21 to 63) who were lost that night, plus one additional time for all those lost in the Gales of November on the Great Lakes. The service was free and was streamed on the web. Read more here and here. Here’s video of the Edmund Fitzgerald on the floor of Lake Superior. Here’s the Great Lakes Shipwreck File. And here’s audio from that fateful night. Here’s where there are ships on the Great Lakes right now. Approximately 240 ships have sunk in the Whitefish Point area since the first recorded sinking in 1816.
Here’s the story. Here’s reports of the meteor from the fireball log at the American Meteor Society. Yesterday a report was released saying the Earth is in greater danger from a meteor impact. (pic. from nbcbayarea.com)
Click the image to enlarge. Look at this satellite loop. The typhoon has weakened as it has moved through the Philippine Islands. Typhoon Haiyan reached Category 5 status with estimated winds of 150 knots (172 mph). Check out this cool picture of the typhoon and the entire Earth. While the storm has passed peak intensity, this will be a very strong storm as it moves through the central Philippines. The storm will likely have very destructive winds and extreme rainfall which will lead to mudslides and flooding. People near and north of where the eye hits should seriously consider evacuating north or south out of the path of strongest winds. A Storm Surge of 17 feet is forecast! A weakened storm will eventually move into Vietnam. This will not be a recurving storm. Here’s the typhoon discussion, warning text, wide satellite view, nice visible satellite image, satellite images of the storm, and Philippines radar.
Click on the images to enlarge. The first image on the left is the US Annual number of strong tornadoes (rated EF3 to EF5). The count is relatively low for 2013 and you can see that if anything, we are getting fewer strong tornadoes than back in the 50s and 60s. The second image is the tornado count for this year and going back to 2005. Adjusted for “inflation” (we’re counting tornadoes much better than we did back 50 years ago), the tornado count for this year is at a near record recent low. The third image deals with the lack of hurricanes in the Atlantic this year. The Insurance Institute said “The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season looks set to go down as a big washout, marking the first time in 45 years that the strongest storm to form was just a minor Category 1 hurricane.” At this point, the global ACE Index (Accumulated Tropical Cyclone Energy) is at a record low (since 1970) for 2013. 2013 has also seen the lowest number of wildfires since 1984 in the U.S. and the 2nd lowest number of acres burned in at least the last 10 years. Good weather has produced a bumper crop of apples in Michigan this year. It could be an all-time record yield. Same thing for the U.S. corn crop… and for peas. Canada has bumper crop. Record yields in India.
From Ed: “Monday, October 28, 2013, 7:00PM: Wholesale gas prices have jumped 17 cents since last Wednesday (thank you, refinery fire), and we are at the point where the retail price is pretty much the same as the price retailers are paying to fill their own tanks. So, we are getting the trick instead of the treat, on Tuesday or Wednesday. Estimated new price: $3.45 a gallon. –Ed Aboufadel So, fill up this Tues. AM if you can. (pic. from NBC5)