Friday, May 07, 2010


Friday, May 7th marks the first MODERATE RISK issued by the Storm Prediction Center for Northeastern Ohio.  Maybe once a year at best is Northern Ohio under a MODERATE RISK.  What usually follows is a TORNADO WATCH which also doesn't happen in the Cleveland/Akron metro area very often.  How infrequent does it happen?

I scanned the Storm Prediction Center archives for all of the Tornado Watches over the last several years to see if any were issued over the core of Northeastern Ohio.  Surprisingly, I had to go all of the way back to 2006 to find one.

There have been a few tornado watches affecting fringe counties but not many in the center of the area.

Here are the Tornado Watches in reverse order since the last CLEVELAND/AKRON METRO TORNADO WATCH back in 2006:  These maps are created by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.  Each map has the "WATCH BOX:, counties in watch box with radar.
2009 NO Tornado Watches for Northern Ohio

2008 Tornado Watches

2007 Tornado Watches

2006 Tornado Watches


Turmoil in Greece? Greek Satellite and Weather

Greece is in the midst of a government shutdown, abankrupt government and rioting in the streets. Will the weather affect the instability in Greece?

The forecast for Greece from the HELLENIC NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE is here

Remember that all temperatures and rainfall amounts are metric.  So temperatures are in Celsius and the rain amounts are in millimeters!

Click HERE for the most recent Greek satellite image and loop.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The New Tornado Alley and Ohio Tornado History

Michael Frates, grad-student at the University of Akron mapped out all F3, F4 and F5 tornadoes (the strongest tornadoes) from 1950 through 2006 which stayed on the ground for at least 20 miles. What he came up with is several regions or "alleys" where the strongest tornadoes occurred. First two images courtesy:  Michael Frates

The traditional "tornado alley" through Oklahoma and Kansas still remains and is very accurate.

However, two additional zones of higher frequency of F3-F5 tornadoes he found to exist in the south (Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama), and also in Indiana, central Kentucky and western Ohio.

This also corresponds to the average number of overall tornadoes here.

As we focus on each of the 88 counties in Ohio, the largest number of tornadoes since 1950 is Lorain and Richland counties.

The largest outbreak of tornadoes occurred in April of 1974.   Over a 24 hour period, 147 tornadoes were confirmed from southern Michigan to southern Alabama totalling 2600 miles of tornado path length.  Notice how the strongest tornadoes that day developed in the "new" tornado alley (Indiana and the south).

Back in 1985, eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania and New York was devestated by a series of incredible tornadoes.  Newton Falls and Niles, Ohio near Youngstown were hit by an F5 tornado.11 people were killed marking this tornado outbreak as the most deadly since the 1974 outbreak. 

In more recent times (since 1989), northeastern Ohio has had some strong tornadoes as well.  Each triangle denotes the location and the strength of each tornado on a scale of 0 to 5.  Notice the two F3 tornadoes; one in the Akron area and the other NW of Medina.

So far, this year has been quiet.  Let's hope it stays that way.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Makes Landfall. Where Next?

The University of Wisconsin has a great site that features sectorized MODIS (  ) imagery.  See that blob off of the coast of Louisiana?  That is the oil spill.  A closeup showing the massive area the oil spill is encompassing.

The forecast model from the Environmental Modeling Center at the National Weather Service show how the Loop Current will play a substantial role in the movement of the oil spill this week taking the oil spill into the Florida Keys.

Oil location map since April 25th

Dr. Jeff Master at wunderground has a great post on the spill, its impacts and the forecast for where the spill is heading.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Weekend Severe Weather - Tornado Stats

Another active weekend of severe weather in the south.  Not as bad as the weekend before but powerful nonetheless.

Tornado deaths are not as high as in years past yet heavily concentrated in the south.

Here is a snapshot of the accumulation of tornado watches per county.  The darker the red, the higher the concentration of tornado watches in that area.  Notice northern Ohio was spared of any tornado watches last season.

Now that El Nino is weakening and summer warmth and higher dewpoints become more widespread, expect severe/tornadic weather to be more common in the months ahead.