High risk of a major tornado outbreak today; 13 dead from Leap Day outbreak

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:14 PM GMT on March 02, 2012

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A powerful spring storm system is gathering strength over Missouri this morning, and will track northeastward into Southern Michigan tonight. The atmosphere in the storm's warm sector, south of the the warm front and east of the cold front, is very unstable, thanks to a flow of warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico at the surface, and very cold, dry air aloft. A powerful jet stream with winds winds aloft blowing at 150 mph will interact with this unstable air, and the strong change of wind speed and direction with height (wind shear) associated with this jet will impart a strong twisting motion to updrafts that from in this afternoon's thunderstorms along the cold front. These are ideal conditions for tornado formation, and a large tornado outbreak with damaging long-track tornadoes is likely late this afternoon in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed Central Kentucky, Northern Tennessee, and a small portion of Southern Indiana in their "High Risk" area for severe weather Friday afternoon and evening, and is warning of the possibility of long-track significant tornadoes. While the conditions are not as dangerous as those we saw in 2011 during the May 21 - 25 Joplin, Missouri and late April Southeast U.S. tornado outbreaks, the potential exists for a punishing tornado assault with many more strong and violent tornadoes than occurred during the Leap Day outbreak. A number of severe thunderstorms with damaging winds have already formed this morning along the storm's warm front, in Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois. Consult our Severe Weather Page and Interactive Tornado Page to follow the storms.


Figure 1. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed Central Kentucky, Northern Tennessee, and a small portion of Southern Indiana in their "High Risk" area for severe weather Friday afternoon. This is highest level of alert.


Figure 2. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center is calling for a 30% chance of tornadoes today within 25 miles of each point in the pink shaded area. Within the hatched area, there is a 10% or greater probability of strong EF-2 and EF-3 tornadoes, or violent EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes within 25 miles of a point.

Leap Day tornado outbreak death toll hits 13
The cleanup continues today from the round of deadly tornadoes that pounded the Midwest on Leap Day, killing thirteen people. The outbreak began on February 28, when nine confirmed tornadoes touched down. A pair of EF-2 tornadoes hit Buffalo, Missouri and Harveyville, Kansas, with each twister causing one death. Also on that day, a weak EF-0 tornado moved over open fields near Gandy, Nebraska--the first February tornado in Nebraska since record keeping began in 1950. The outbreak continued on Leap Day, February 29, with 27 more confirmed tornadoes. Hardest hit was Harrisburg, Illinois, where a violent EF-4 tornado with 180 mph killed six, injured approximately 100, and damaged 200 homes and 25 businesses. The tornado cut a path 26.5 miles long and 275 yards wide across the town, according to the NWS damage survey. The only EF-3 tornado of the outbreak hit Asherville, Missouri that day, killing one person. The other deadly tornadoes of the outbreak included an EF-2 tornado that killed one person in Cassville, MO; an EF-2 that killed two in Monterey, Tennessee, and an EF-1 that killed one person in Smithville, Tennessee. An EF-2 tornado also plowed through downtown Branson, Missouri on Leap Day, injuring 33 people. An NWS storm survey found the tornado was 400 yards wide and carved a path 22 miles long. Overall, damage from the two-day tornado outbreak will run in the hundreds of millions, and could add up to the first billion-dollar weather disaster of 2012 in the U.S. The 36 confirmed tornadoes from the outbreak make it the second largest February tornado outbreak since record keeping began in 1950. The biggest February tornado outbreak occurred on February 5 - 6, 2008, when 92 tornadoes touched down.


Figure 3. Damage at the Branson, Missouri Hilton after the Leap Day tornado. The tornado blew out or cracked windows in 219 of the hotel rooms in the 12-story/295 room Hilton Branson Convention Center, and extensively damaged three of Branson’s 50 plus theatres--Americana Theater, Branson Variety Theater and Dick Clarks’ American Bandstand Theater. Image credit: BransonRecovery Facebook page.

Portlight disaster relief charity responds to the Harrisburg, Illinois tornado
Portlight has a seasoned veteran from last year's tornado recovery efforts in Harrisburg, IL, and is looking for more people to volunteer their time. They are teaming with another disaster recovery charity, Team Rubicon, in the effort. As usual, they will be focusing efforts on the unserved, under served and forgotten. Please visit the Portlight Disaster Relief blog to learn more. Donations are always welcome!


Figure 4. Team Rubicon at work during last year's tornado recovery efforts.

Jeff Masters

HARRISBURG IL (catfish10)
HARRISBURG IL
HARISBURG IL. (catfish10)
Golden circle building
HARISBURG IL.

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Quoting ScottLincoln:


GR2Analyst is a great tool. I use it frequently. But as with any tool, if not configured properly, it will tell you false information. Similar situation happened to a trained met I know.
Had a very different picture with Normalized Rotation and the TVS symbols. Found out later that he had forgotten to reset his MDA settings after a day of low-topped convection.


For some of the youngins on here using GR2, also gotta make sure that you continuously update the Storm Motion Vector for a particular warned cell. Its always located at the end of the actual warning.

LAT...LON 3428 8417 3403 8392 3391 8454 3408 8460
TIME...MOT...LOC 0209Z 253DEG 40KT 3400 8452
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Link
Member Since: January 30, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 224
Quoting Bluestorm5:
No wonders why there isn't a word from West Liberty...

Kentucky Emergency Management confirms to CNN they have lost contact with the town of West Liberty, KY after being hit with tornado

I wonder why...

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Tornado headed in the general direction of Gainesville, GA, but it might not live that long.

Lots of new STS warnings in Mississippi and Alabama, but at least it's not like earlier.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Severe Thunderstorms, primarily in the form of a line of Damaging Winds, will be possible across all of North Carolina tonight into tomorrow afternoon.
so I don't have to worry much about tornadoes?
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Quoting IFuSAYso:

what does the purple triangle represent? ( C5 )

A tornado vortex signature (TVS). It indicates that strong rotation is being shown on radar.
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SVR T-STORM WARNING MEMPHIS TN - KMEG 826 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING PEACHTREE CITY GA - KFFC 926 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG SC - KGSP 924 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING HUNTSVILLE AL - KHUN 823 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING JACKSON MS - KJAN 819 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING BIRMINGHAM AL - KBMX 817 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 159
No wonders why there isn't a word from West Liberty...

Kentucky Emergency Management confirms to CNN they have lost contact with the town of West Liberty, KY after being hit with tornado
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What would really scare me is a smart fog advisory.
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Quoting IFuSAYso:

what does the purple triangle represent? ( C5 )


tornado signature
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I believe that is why much of NC is under a Dense Fog Advisory :)


i did notice that earlier. goes well with the fog dont ya think? xD
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting Ameister12:
Possible tornado moving through the northern part of Atlanta!
Member Since: January 30, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 224
Quoting RTSplayer:
If this is going to be our new climate for the next several decades, what the heck are we supposed to do?

Is everyone from Texas and Oklahoma all the way to Indiana and Georgia supposed to become a Hobbit and live underground in a cave house or something?

Even after you get past the loss of life and injuries, the financial damage every year is getting to be unbearable to our nation.

FEMA is bankrupt from the past several years.

Looks that way.
We have been thinking about this here with my family and looking into different options.
Homes made in ways such as Earthships are very useful. They make their own electricity and water. You can dig them as deep as you wish. You can put hurricane resistant glass in the front, grow food in them if you want, etc, etc....
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:



Are you kidding me?
I could get that in a summer pulse storm...
hoping for something else in a few hours.


your crazier then me LOL
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Severe Thunderstorms, primarily in the form of a line of Damaging Winds, will be possible across all of North Carolina tonight into tomorrow afternoon.


GOOD!!! I AM GLAD I BROUGHT MY ANEMOMETER WIT ME!
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Live TV feed, Channel 2 in atlantaLink
Member Since: January 30, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 224
It has been pulsing weaker and stronger:
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Quoting jamesrainier:

what does the purple triangle represent? ( C5 )
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
I afraid I don't understand what these numbers are... is it going to be bad tonight in Raleigh?

Severe Thunderstorms, primarily in the form of a line of Damaging Winds, will be possible across all of North Carolina tonight into tomorrow afternoon.
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Possible tornado moving through the northern part of Atlanta!
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Quoting SPLbeater:
GEEZ this fog s THICK!!

I believe that is why much of NC is under a Dense Fog Advisory :)
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7614
17 dead from storms so far, and nothing had been reported from West Liberty... so expect death toll to rise even more.
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Quoting SPLbeater:


happy?



Are you kidding me?
I could get that in a summer pulse storm...
hoping for something else in a few hours.
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1631. redux
any damage reports from the marietta storm?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

There is little to no CAPE across the central and eastern portion of North Carolina because there is a CAP.



i meant MUCAPE, sorry :D

and it has decreased, SPC updated while i was typing:/
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
1629. FLtoUT
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
This storm has a history of producing damage near Dallas, and appears to be restrengthening at the current time.



That is exactly where my sister is...
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You're lying if you're not impressed. What an outbreak, and it's not even over:
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7614
GEEZ this fog s THICK!!
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

My GR2Analyst never reached red TVS...you may want to go to Algorithms, then MDA settings, and hit Default.


GR2Analyst is a great tool. I use it frequently. But as with any tool, if not configured properly, it will tell you false information. Similar situation happened today to a trained met I know who also uses it frequently.
Had a very different picture with Normalized Rotation and the TVS symbols. Found out later that he had forgotten to reset his MDA settings after a day of low-topped convection.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SPLbeater:


CAPE in western and central NC is over 500 J/KG, with a small area of 1000 j/kg over me(figures lol)

Mid-level lapse rates are over 6.5
Low-level lapse rates below 5

And, bulk shear values of 45-60kts.
I afraid I don't understand what these numbers are... is it going to be bad tonight in Raleigh?
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Quoting SPLbeater:


CAPE in western and central NC is over 500 J/KG, with a small area of 1000 j/kg over me(figures lol)

Mid-level lapse rates are over 6.5
Low-level lapse rates below 5

And, bulk shear values of 45-60kts.

There is little to no CAPE across North Carolina, especially across the central and eastern portion of the state because there is a CAP higher up in the atmosphere.

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Skies clearing, i can see the whole storm structure, looks awesome, blue gray with lots of continuous lightning.. My sirens went off quietly for 30 seconds or so, blaring now to the east of me. Look out hurricane hunter 27
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north of Atlanta

TWC Breaking ‏ @TWCBreaking

New #tornado warning for N. Fulton, Gwinnett, east Cobb Counties. TAKE COVER Roswell, Alpharetta, Cumming
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 159
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Actually the storms entering NC in the very southwestern corner is pretty strong. Look like these systems missed the tall mountains and is still going strong as it heads for Charlotte metro area. Raleigh area about 3-5 hours from now.


CAPE in western and central NC is over 500 J/KG, with a small area of 1000 j/kg over me(figures lol)

Mid-level lapse rates are over 6.5
Low-level lapse rates below 5

And, bulk shear values of 45-60kts.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting Bluestorm5:
Got flashing lights connected to my radio.

Meanwhile, Damage in Henryville is unreal. It's at least EF4, as the high school is flatten. I mean it's gone.


Even destruction of load-bearing walls for structures like 1-story school buildings can be in the EF3 range.
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TORNADO WARNING
GAC057-067-089-117-121-135-139-030300-
/O.NEW.KFFC.TO.W.0020.120303T0211Z-120303T0300Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
911 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PEACHTREE CITY HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHEASTERN CHEROKEE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
NORTHEASTERN COBB COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
EXTREME NORTHWESTERN DEKALB COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
SOUTHWESTERN FORSYTH COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
NORTHEASTERN FULTON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
NORTHERN GWINNETT COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
EXTREME SOUTHWESTERN HALL COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA

* UNTIL 1000 PM EST

* AT 905 PM EST...A DEBRIS SIGNATURE INDICATED BY DOPPLER RADAR
CONFIRMED A TORNADO NEAR MARIETTA...MOVING EAST AT 45 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
WOODSTOCK...MOUNTAIN PARK...ROSWELL...ALPHARETTA...MILTON...
BERKELEY LAKE...JOHNS CREEK...DULUTH...CUMMING...SUWANEE AND SUGAR
HILL.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND LIFE THREATENING SITUATION. THIS
STORM IS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING STRONG TORNADOES. IF YOU ARE IN THE
PATH OF THIS TORNADO...TAKE COVER IMMEDIATELY!

IF YOU SEE WIND DAMAGE...HAIL OR FLOODING...WAIT UNTIL THE STORM HAS
PASSED...AND THEN CALL THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TOLL FREE AT 1 8
6 6 7 6 3 4 4 6 6. YOU CAN ALSO TWEET YOUR REPORT USING HASHTAG GAWX.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1100 PM EST FRIDAY EVENING
FOR NORTHERN GEORGIA. A TORNADO WATCH ALSO REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL
100 AM EST SATURDAY MORNING FOR NORTHWESTERN GEORGIA.

&&

LAT...LON 3428 8417 3403 8392 3391 8454 3408 8460
TIME...MOT...LOC 0209Z 253DEG 40KT 3400 8452

$$
Member Since: January 30, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 224
1618. JNCali
power back on finally... town next door had building damages but no injuries.. our neighbor had his truck spun sideways trying to get home, hail was only an inch and the 80mph only lasted about 3o seconds, though it felt like 5 minutes.. Feel real bad for the people that got nailed today..
Member Since: September 9, 2010 Posts: 5 Comments: 1034
This storm has a history of producing damage near Dallas, and appears to be restrengthening at the current time.

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They (NWS) are saying this has a debris ball.

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1614. pottery
Quoting Patrap:
Many more storms are expected along this frontal Boundary.

Take care and thanks to everyone for doing a great job rolling info today.

Gnight.

Thanks for your Input today.
Have a Good Evening.
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1613. wxmod
I put on a satellite image yesterday that showed ships doing weather modification in mid Pacific. Today those chemicals are coming ashore. They will blow all the way across the country, just like the chemicals before them did. They may even enhance tornadoes. Those folks who almost lost their houses today better think about this. For those who did loose their houses, I am very sad.
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TORNADO WARNING TALLAHASSEE FL - KTAE 915 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING MORRISTOWN TN - KMRX 914 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING BIRMINGHAM AL - KBMX 813 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING CHARLESTON WV - KRLX 911 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING PEACHTREE CITY GA - KFFC 911 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 159
Quoting Patrap:
Many more storms are expected along this frontal Boundary.

Take care and thanks to everyone for doing a great job rolling info today.

Gnight.


Thank you sir for all your posts.
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A good storm here in Louisiana, my house is shaking with the thunder.
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Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 159
1608. j0nd03
Quoting ncstorm:
I am waiting on the weather channel to upload that west liberty video to their site..I still cant get over that face in the clouds


To me, it looked like the face of a dragon circling in the rotation! Very freaky...
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
dime to nickel+ hail and 50+ mph winds at my house, siginificant structure damage S of me. Tornado to the south.


happy?
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Wow the lightning is crazy. Also that little appendage actually has a debris ball with it. That is what the NWS is saying.
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Confirmed tornado near Marietta according to a local news agency here (Channel 2)
Member Since: January 30, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 224
Quoting Chapelhill:
Never a bad idea, but it appears we are really stable at the surface, so severe weather well be luckly hard to confirm in NC tonight.
Actually the storms entering NC in the very southwestern corner is pretty strong. Look like these systems missed the tall mountains and is still going strong as it heads for Charlotte metro area. Raleigh area about 3-5 hours from now.
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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.