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 SPLbeater:
Oh dear my relatives in Harts, WV are under Tornado warning with a supercell coming due east at them...NOOOOOOOO


Need to get a hold of them and tell them to take cover. Not trying to scare you but this is a cyclic supercell producing large tornadoes.
Member Since: September 8, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 8
TWC Breaking ‏ @TWCBreaking

#Tornado reported near Putnam/Overton Co. line in Tenn. TAKE COVER in Livingston, TN.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 159
1152. Patrap
Quoting opsman27N82W:
1124 - Pat I knew you could pull it off. I'm listening to Greenup area on emergency radio right now tornado was on the ground there a few moments ago.


working dem hosses today fer sure

Pass on any words on West Liberty, m having Zero Luck..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
Wow.

Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Quoting opsman27N82W:
1124 - Pat I knew you could pull it off. I'm listening to Greenup area on emergency radio right now tornado was on the ground there a few moments ago.


Link?
Member Since: June 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 886
1149. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54368
Oh dear my relatives in Harts, WV are under Tornado warning with a supercell coming due east at them...NOOOOOOOO
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Quoting Speeky:
Any reports of EF-4 tornadoes yet?

We've probably had several, and a possible EF5.

Although, it is hard to judge a tornado's intensity by radar.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32275
So sad.

2301 WEST LIBERTY MORGAN KY 3791 8327 THERE HAVE BEEN REPORTS OF MULTIPLE INJURIES AND DEATHS. (JKL)
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
1124 - Pat I knew you could pull it off. I'm listening to Greenup area on emergency radio right now tornado was on the ground there a few moments ago.
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Animated radar of the West Liberty tornado.

Larger Image
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1142. Speeky
Any reports of EF-4 tornadoes yet?
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Hit dead center Chattanooga with at least 65 to 70 DBz.

south part of Alabama still active, but at least it's more spotting than what was happening in Kentucky.

Still a lot of storms training through N. Louisiana and Mississippi.

I don't know if they'll make tornadoes, but I agree with Tas, not a good idea to let the guard down in Tennessee or Kentucky.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
1140. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54368
Quoting ScottLincoln:


In most situations, it usually does, but not always. Sometimes the environmental conditions can be so favorable that even with the loss of daytime heating and a subsequent drop in instability, there is still enough instability to support supercells. I think the 1974 super outbreak went well into the overnight hours.

I see. Thanks for answering my question. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in these affected areas.
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Quoting DizzyDave45:
This may be the peak? Currently at 27 tornado warnings.
Not sure the GA area has a bunch of untapped energy.
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1136. ncstorm
Tornado in Henryville, ID..youtube
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Small yet intense hook north of Middlesborough.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5026
This may be the peak? Currently at 27 tornado warnings.
Member Since: September 8, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 8
if you live in KY and TN dont goo too bed
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115239
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
This was taken today but I don't know where... That is quite a tornado.

Looks like the Indiana tornado.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5026
Quoting Himawari:
I'm just a layperson, forgive me for asking an obvious question: With the heat of the day starting to go away, wouldn't the storms start to weaken? I'd like to know. D:


In most situations, it usually does, but not always. Sometimes the environmental conditions can be so favorable that even with the loss of daytime heating and a subsequent drop in instability, there is still enough instability to support supercells. I think the 1974 super outbreak went well into the overnight hours.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3203
Quoting dogsgomoo:


No worries! It's a crazy hectic night!!
Yah I read it as, so is your solution to do nothing and stand outside?
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Chattanooga Live Feed - You can barely hear them over the hail.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
OMG. I'm so sry I miss read that.


No worries! It's a crazy hectic night!!
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TWC Breaking ‏ @TWCBreaking

Still STRONG indications of #tornado south of Louisa, KY about to cross into Wayne Co., WV.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 159
1124. Patrap
Strongest AM radio stations in West Liberty:
WLKS (1450 AM; 1 kW; WEST LIBERTY, KY; Owner: MORGAN COUNTY INDUSTRIES, INC.)
WMTC (730 AM; 5 kW; VANCLEVE, KY; Owner: THE KENTUCKY MOUNTAIN HOLINESS ASSN.)
WKYH (600 AM; 5 kW; PAINTSVILLE, KY; Owner: HIGHLANDS BROADCASTING CORPORATION)
WEKG (810 AM; daytime; 5 kW; JACKSON, KY; Owner: INTERMOUNTAIN B/CING CO., INC.)
WTVN (610 AM; 50 kW; COLUMBUS, OH; Owner: CITICASTERS LICENSES, L.P.)
WPRT (960 AM; 5 kW; PRESTONSBURG, KY; Owner: EAST KENTUCKY RADIO NETWORK, INC.)
WLW (700 AM; 50 kW; CINCINNATI, OH; Owner: JACOR BROADCASTING CORPORATION)
WDOC (1310 AM; 5 kW; PRESTONSBURG, KY)
WHAS (840 AM; 50 kW; LOUISVILLE, KY; Owner: CLEAR CHANNEL BROADCASTING LICENSES, INC.)
WRLV (1140 AM; daytime; 1 kW; SALYERSVILLE, KY; Owner: WALLINGFORD BROADCASTING COMPANY, INC)
WGOH (1370 AM; 5 kW; GRAYSON, KY; Owner: CARTER COUNTY BROADCASTING CO., INC.)
WKVL (850 AM; daytime; 50 kW; KNOXVILLE, TN; Owner: HORNE RADIO, LLC)
WSAI (1530 AM; 50 kW; CINCINNATI, OH; Owner: JACOR BROADCASTING CORPORATION)
Strongest FM radio stations in West Liberty:
WMKY (90.3 FM; MOREHEAD, KY; Owner: MOREHEAD STATE UNIVERSITY)
WLKS-FM (102.9 FM; WEST LIBERTY, KY; Owner: MORGAN COUNTY INDUSTRIES, INC.)
WJSN-FM (106.5 FM; JACKSON, KY; Owner: INTERMOUNTAIN BROADCASTING CO.)
WQHY (95.5 FM; PRESTONSBURG, KY; Owner: WDOC, INC.)
WBMK (88.5 FM; MOREHEAD, KY; Owner: AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION)
WKLW-FM (94.7 FM; PAINTSVILLE, KY; Owner: B & G BROADCASTING, INC.)
WRLV-FM (106.5 FM; SALYERSVILLE, KY; Owner: WALLINGFORD BROADCASTING COMPANY, INC.)
WSGS (101.1 FM; HAZARD, KY; Owner: MOUNTAIN BROADCASTING SERVICE, INC.)
WSIP-FM (98.9 FM; PAINTSVILLE, KY; Owner: SIP BROADCASTING, INC.)
WZQQ (97.9 FM; HYDEN, KY; Owner: LESLIE COUNTY BROADCASTING, INC.)
WCBJ (103.7 FM; CAMPTON, KY; Owner: MORGAN COUNTY INDUSTRIES INC)
WJMD (104.7 FM; HAZARD, KY; Owner: HAZARD BROADCASTING SERVICES)
WLJC (102.1 FM; BEATTYVILLE, KY; Owner: HOUR OF HARVEST, INCORPORATED)
WSKV-FM (104.9 FM; STANTON, KY; Owner: PARKS BROADCASTING, INC.)
WQXX (106.1 FM; MOREHEAD, KY; Owner: MORGAN COUNTY INDUSTRIES, INC.)
WIVY (96.3 FM; MOREHEAD, KY; Owner: GATEWAY RADIO WORKS, INC.)
WMTC-FM (99.9 FM; VANCLEVE, KY; Owner: KENTUCKY MOUNTAIN HOLINESS ASSOC.)
TV broadcast stations around West Liberty:
WUPX-TV (Channel 67; MOREHEAD, KY; Owner: PAXSON LEXINGTON LICENSE, INC.)
W26BK (Channel 26; TALBERT, KY; Owner: MS COMMUNICATIONS, LLC)
W16BI (Channel 16; TALBERT, KY; Owner: MS COMMUNICATIONS, LLC)
WKMR (Channel 38; MOREHEAD, KY; Owner: KENTUCKY AUTHORITY FOR EDUCATIONAL TV)
WLJC-TV (Channel 65; BEATTYVILLE, KY; Owner: HOUR OF HARVEST, INC.)
W64CM (Channel 64; TALBERT, KY; Owner: MS COMMUNICATIONS, LLC)
W66DA (Channel 66; TALBERT, KY; Owner: MS COMMUNICATIONS, LLC)


Read more: http://www.city-data.com/city/West-Liberty-Kentuck y.html#ixzz1o0QRKAzM
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OMG its back.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
1122. LargoFl
Tornado Warning
TORNADO WARNING
TNC011-065-030015-
/O.NEW.KMRX.TO.W.0034.120302T2328Z-120303T0015Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MORRISTOWN TN
628 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MORRISTOWN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
BRADLEY COUNTY IN EAST TENNESSEE...
HAMILTON COUNTY IN EAST TENNESSEE...

* UNTIL 715 PM EST

* AT 627 PM EST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR LOOKOUT
MOUNTAIN...OR NEAR CHATTANOOGA. DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED THIS TORNADO
MOVING EAST AT 50 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...
CHATTANOOGA...EAST BRAINERD...OOLTEWAH...COLLEGEDALE...MCDONALD...
FLINT SPRINGS...WATERVILLE AND GAP SPRINGS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS TORNADO WARNING REPLACES THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING THAT
WAS IN EFFECT FOR THE SAME AREA.

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT. GET UNDER A
WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF STURDY FURNITURE. IF NO BASEMENT IS
AVAILABLE...SEEK SHELTER ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE BUILDING IN AN
INTERIOR HALLWAY OR ROOM SUCH AS A CLOSET. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO
COVER YOUR BODY AND ALWAYS STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1100 PM EST FRIDAY EVENING
FOR SOUTHWEST NORTH CAROLINA AND EAST TENNESSEE AND SOUTHWEST
VIRGINIA.

&&

LAT...LON 3504 8540 3506 8537 3510 8537 3510 8539
3512 8540 3514 8473 3511 8473 3510 8474
3508 8474 3498 8478 3498 8540
TIME...MOT...LOC 2329Z 270DEG 41KT 3503 8528

$$

DGS
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tornado imminent chatanooga.

Lawrence, Ky 100% severe hail 4 in max

Wolfe, KY 100% severe hail 4 in max
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
I'm just a layperson, forgive me for asking an obvious question: With the heat of the day starting to go away, wouldn't the storms start to weaken? I'd like to know. D:
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Quoting dogsgomoo:


Wow. Calm down. You do not need to call me names. It was a joke. I'm sorry.

I agree with you that technology is only part of the solution...

No if you have not seen I'v been all over the place trying to apologies I mis-read your comment.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
From a friend in south central KY

We've been watching a tornado just north east of our property, coming across northern Russell County.... It's headed for Somerset now. We've been hovering near the basement stairs....

It is vicious, folks. Absolutely vicious. Black funnel cloud with clearish skies behind it. I've never seen anything like it.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 159
1117. ncstorm
Henryville looks like a bomb went off!
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West Liberty tornado is restrengthening.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5026
1115. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Himawari:
I'm really concerned, considering this isn't the peak of storm season yet. Maybe this will be the main weather event and the regular storm season will be quiet this year...I sure hope so.
no there will be a stronger event to come late next week but lets stay focus on the event at hand first then look at the future
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Anyone have a radio feed from West Liberty?
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1113. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128654
This was taken today but I don't know where... That is quite a tornado.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Maybe this is our equivalent of the 10/31 snow and the rest of severe season will be quieter.


Ninja'd. I hate you.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Your a jerk, You only quoted part of my comment. I was explaining how even though technology is great people will still die from tornadoes. It does help save lives.


Wow. Calm down. You do not need to call me names. It was a joke. I'm sorry.

I agree with you that technology is only part of the solution...

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Quoting Himawari:
I'm really concerned, considering this isn't the peak of storm season yet. Maybe this will be the main weather event and the regular storm season will be quiet this year...I sure hope so.


Hey, maybe it'll be like this winter. Started with a bang with Jaffrey, NH recording 31 inches of snowfall in "Snowtober", and then we all know what happened the rest of winter.
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2253 OPP COVINGTON AL 3128 8626 TWO TORNADOES REPORTED IN THE TOWN OF OPP ABOUT A MILE APART. (MOB)
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1106. Patrap
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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.