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)
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HARISBURG IL.

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Looks like they are having really bad weather in New Zealand. Link below describes the effects as "a weather bomb.":-

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6516598/Weather-b omb-causes-havoc-in-North-Island

Excert:-
"Gale-force winds lashed the Taranaki region this morning with such force it ripped trees from the ground, tore roofs off houses, brought powerlines down and caused windows to smash into pieces."

Note:-
Taranaki is about 100 miles north of the capital Wellington, on the west coast, they also had 150KPH (90MPH) winds on the opposite east facing coast.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Several severe cells back-building in north Louisiana and central Mississippi.

Alabama and Tennessee may get another round of tornadoes and hail cores in a few more hours as these strengthen and develop.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
West Virginia is the next state in line for the storms... People there should be on alert
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8049
2 more tornadic cells near Tuscaloosa
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
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Quoting Ameister12:
Storm SE of Nashville has really picked up in intensity.

Next stop, Lebanon...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Link?

I'm watching it on TV and they aren't showing the damage anymore. I don't think they have a livestream.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5086
Madison, TN 4 inch hail 100% severe.
Davidson, TN 3.25 100%
Tuscaloosa. Al 3.5 100%
Power,KY 3.25 100%


This is ridiculous.

On Hail, this is about as bad as bad as the first day of last year's super outbreak as far as Texas and Oklahoma vs this year.


This will kill your livestock or pets or you if you are outside.

WHAS reporter just said reports of livestock being killed.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting Ameister12:
Storm SE of Nashville has really picked up in intensity.
Yah and the local news is saying its falling apart. Its just cycling I bet.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3853
Livestream WLKY showing damage in Henryville
Link
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 239
873 Ameister12 "There's another storm heading for Nashville. There is a bounded weak echo region."

I thought it was the second one we had been looking at as the possible tornado heading toward Nashville, not the one already encroaching.
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Storm SE of Nashville has really picked up in intensity.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5086
Tornado could be rain wrapped. Take Cover downtown Nashville!
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60 degree dew points up to southern Indiana.
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Quoting Ameister12:
I'm watching WLWT 5 news and they are showing live pictures in Louisville, Kentucky. Everything is literally destroyed. Damage looks like EF4 at least.

Link?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32870
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Storm has had strong rotation for a long time.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3853
I'm watching WLWT 5 news and they are showing live pictures in Louisville, Kentucky. Everything is literally destroyed. Damage looks like EF4 at least.
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Coming around to 86 degrees, a right mover ..

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These are loaded with extra heavy rain too..
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Thanks for the Real Time commentary, guys.
I'm far away but it hurts to see...
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Probably a wall cloud... The Nashville storm has much more broad rotation than the storms that destroyed Henryville and Marysville


Maybe, I trying to get an updated image but there is a tornado warning on this cell.
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TWC Breaking ‏ @TWCBreaking

#Tornado warned cell in nrn. Madison Co., AL may track toward the Chattanooga metro area. NWS puts time of arrival downtown at 630p
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 175
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
GR2A just gave a Purple TVS for Nashville this is one of the most intense TVS. Not good.

That's because the storm is close to the radar site, rendering the TVS icons useless. Use wunderground's when they get close to a radar site, that's a set back of GR2A.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32870
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129904
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

GR2Analyst gets it before other stuff

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NASHVILLE TN

403 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012



TNC021-022213-

/O.CAN.KOHX.TO.W.0025.000000T0000Z-120302T2215Z/

CHEATHAM TN-

403 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012



...THE TORNADO WARNING FOR SOUTHERN CHEATHAM COUNTY IS CANCELLED...



THE STORM WHICH PROMPTED THE WARNING HAS MOVED OUT OF THE WARNED

AREA.



LAT...LON 3629 8665 3625 8664 3624 8659 3617 8657

3609 8651 3607 8652 3608 8654 3601 8662

3591 8663 3605 8704 3609 8704 3613 8700

3625 8698 3631 8693 3635 8673

TIME...MOT...LOC 2203Z 264DEG 48KT 3609 8682



$$
Okay. But Nashville isn't in Cheatham County; it's in Davidson County.
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New one just issued though.


BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED

TORNADO WARNING

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NASHVILLE TN

410 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012



THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NASHVILLE HAS ISSUED A



* TORNADO WARNING FOR...

SOUTHERN DAVIDSON COUNTY IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE...

NORTHWESTERN RUTHERFORD COUNTY IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE...

NORTH CENTRAL WILLIAMSON COUNTY IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE...

WILSON COUNTY IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE...



* UNTIL 500 PM CST



* AT 406 PM CST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS

STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR OAK HILL...OR 6 MILES SOUTH OF NASHVILLE...

AND MOVING EAST AT 60 MPH.



IN ADDITION TO A TORNADO...LARGE HAIL TO GOLF BALL SIZE AND WINDS TO

70 MPH ARE POSSIBLE WITH THIS STORM.



* THIS DANGEROUS STORM WILL BE NEAR...

RURAL HILL...BELINDA CITY AND MOUNT JULIET AROUND 420 PM CST.

LEBANON AROUND 430 PM CST.

WATERTOWN AROUND 440 PM CST.



PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...



TO REPORT SEVERE WEATHER...CONTACT YOUR NEAREST LAW ENFORCEMENT

AGENCY. THEY WILL RELAY YOUR REPORT TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE

IN NASHVILLE.



&&



LAT...LON 3632 8619 3632 8617 3627 8612 3623 8612

3620 8609 3597 8602 3599 8691 3620 8692

3626 8664 3624 8659 3628 8656 3632 8637

3631 8630 3633 8630 3634 8627 3630 8626

3633 8625 3635 8621

TIME...MOT...LOC 2210Z 263DEG 54KT 3609 8669



$$



SHAMBURGER




Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32870
GR2A just gave a Purple TVS for Nashville this is one of the most intense TVS. Not good.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3853
There's another storm heading for Nashville. There is a bounded weak echo region.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5086
Quoting Neapolitan:
I don't think so...

GR2Analyst gets it before other stuff

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NASHVILLE TN

403 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012



TNC021-022213-

/O.CAN.KOHX.TO.W.0025.000000T0000Z-120302T2215Z/

CHEATHAM TN-

403 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012



...THE TORNADO WARNING FOR SOUTHERN CHEATHAM COUNTY IS CANCELLED...



THE STORM WHICH PROMPTED THE WARNING HAS MOVED OUT OF THE WARNED

AREA.



LAT...LON 3629 8665 3625 8664 3624 8659 3617 8657

3609 8651 3607 8652 3608 8654 3601 8662

3591 8663 3605 8704 3609 8704 3613 8700

3625 8698 3631 8693 3635 8673

TIME...MOT...LOC 2203Z 264DEG 48KT 3609 8682



$$
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32870
Quoting StormTracker2K:


It's on towercam. I just saw the damm thing and IT"S FREAKIN HUGE!

Probably a wall cloud... The Nashville storm has much more broad rotation than the storms that destroyed Henryville and Marysville
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8049
Quoting StormTracker2K:


It's on towercam. I just saw the damm thing and IT"S FREAKIN HUGE!






down town will likey see 70 too 75 mph winds and big hail but no nado
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


It's on towercam. I just saw the damm thing and IT"S FREAKIN HUGE!


You saw a dark rain shaft. There was no tornado on the tower cam.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Tornado Warning for Nashville, TN has been cancelled.
I don't think so...
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Radar showing the Nashville, TN cell directly over Nashville, south of downtown metro, hail size has now been reduced to 2.5 inches. Marysville, Indiana is "gone" after tornado.
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 8 Comments: 2836


This is gonna take All of America to recover from.

Do what you can for your fellow American.

Show the World what we truly are made of.

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<
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there is NO Wedge tornado comeing into Nashville!
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Rotation strengthening S of Downtown Nashville
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Possible Tornado over top of Hazel Green, AL. This storm could come very close to Chattanooga, TN.

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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
-_- DONT SAY STUFF LIKE THAT! We have no idea what type of tornado it is or if its even on the ground currently.


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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Tornado Warning for Nashville, TN has been cancelled. Keep your guard up though.

It lifted?
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UVV almost unbelievable..
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Quoting jamesrainier:
click for larger map http://synoptic.envsci.rutgers.edu/site/radimg/an im_nrc.gif



Really concerned for Eastern KY and Eastern TN heading into the next couple of hours, they have had max daytime heating with little cloud cover and the storm system is still intensifying over the Lakes.
Member Since: September 24, 2005 Posts: 33 Comments: 9265
Quoting StormTracker2K:
Wedge tornado about to come into Nashville!

-_- DONT SAY STUFF LIKE THAT! We have no idea what type of tornado it is or if its even on the ground currently.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3853
Tornado Warning for Nashville, TN has been cancelled. Keep your guard up though.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32870
High CAPE values very far north.....OH/LOWER MS/TN VALLEYS ACROSS PARTS OF THE SOUTHEAST...
MAJOR SEVERE WEATHER EVENT IS UNDERWAY...WITH SEVERE/SUPERCELL
STORMS INCREASING IN COVERAGE ACROSS THE RISK AREA. THE ONGOING
FORECAST REMAINS ON TRACK...WITH LARGE HAIL...DAMAGING WINDS...AND
SEVERAL TORNADOES LIKELY -- INCLUDING THE POTENTIAL FOR HIGHER-END
EVENTS CAPABLE OF SUBSTANTIAL DAMAGE.

MAIN CHANGES THIS FORECAST ARE CONFINED TO ADJUSTMENTS ON THE NWRN
PORTION OF THE OUTLOOK...WHERE EWD ADVANCE OF THE SURFACE COLD FRONT
HAS BROUGHT THE THREAT TO AN END ACROSS NEARLY ALL OF IL AND MO.
OTHERWISE...EXPECT THE SEVERE WEATHER OUTBREAK TO CONTINUE THROUGH
THIS AFTERNOON AND WELL INTO THE EVENING HOURS.
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Ameister12 "Near Crittenden, Kentucky. It looks like they got a direct hit."
799 TampaTom I'm terrified "If people didn't take cover, there could be a large number of casualties..."

Was watching CNN LIVE. Crittendon had maybe a 5minute warning that it was headed their way when WAVE (Louisville,Kentucky) called the TORNADO.
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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.

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