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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Cant believe I'm going to say this but a discrete cell has formed near Atlanta and it has rotation.
Think it needs to be warned.
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Good night, or should i say morning.
Now we wait for the storm surveys,.,as,fa.sds damagak;feweiornfaasd(Georgia stormzs just fell asleep at his laptop) .sdfa.sads.sd :)
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1952. flsky
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


link to portlight blog

Link

Salvation Army
Member Since: October 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2047
1951. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting GaleWeathers:
I would like to make some donations to help with the tornado relief, but I'd like to feel that I'm giving to organizations that will put the money to the best use. Any suggestions? Is Portlight still around? Sorry, I haven't been on in quite some time.


link to portlight blog

Link
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
i cant beleive i am still up.



portions of the line are beginning to accelerate.
Wonder if this will lead to wind damage and maybe even a few brief spin-ups
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Quoting GaleWeathers:
I would like to make some donations to help with the tornado relief, but I'd like to feel that I'm giving to organizations that will put the money to the best use. Any suggestions? Is Portlight still around? Sorry, I haven't been on in quite some time.


yes, portlight was mentioned in dr masters' blog. look at the top and see. also someone mentioned they were going somewhere else, maybe in ky, but you could google it.
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Quoting GaleWeathers:
I would like to make some donations to help with the tornado relief, but I'd like to feel that I'm giving to organizations that will put the money to the best use. Any suggestions? Is Portlight still around? Sorry, I haven't been on in quite some time.


Portlight is still around.
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I would like to make some donations to help with the tornado relief, but I'd like to feel that I'm giving to organizations that will put the money to the best use. Any suggestions? Is Portlight still around? Sorry, I haven't been on in quite some time.
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1946. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


looks like its safe to call it a night

first light comes the horrors and tears

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
1945. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
guess doc will have an update in the morning
unless he is still here writing one up
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
1944. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
down to 1 weak torn and 1 sever thund.
Whew.... That was interesting.


Tomorrow has 10% tornado in florida panhandle, including Tallahassee.

But those storms will seem like showers compared to today.


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
down to 1 weak torn and 1 sever thund.
Whew.... That was interesting.


Tomorrow has 10% tornado in florida panhandle, including Tallahassee.

But those storms will seem like showers compared to today.
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1942. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting redux:
WEST LIBERTY — A powerful storm that hit about 6 p.m. Friday smashed the core of this Morgan County city into rubble.

There was no confirmation of deaths, but at least six people were injured, and emergency responders and citizens hastily banded together to form search parties.

Morgan County Deputy Sheriff Kenny Dulin said dozens of people were missing.

If any major building escaped damage downtown, it wasn't readily apparent in the darkness or the flashing lights of police cruisers, ambulances and fire trucks,

"It flattened everything," said Faye Isaac, 42. "The whole town is gone."

Isaac's right cheek was bandaged where she had been cut after part of the Dollar Store roof fell on top of her.

The roof was taken off Commercial Bank and off City Hall across Main Street. The steeple of a Methodist church sat pointy-side up on the ground in front of the church.

Heavy equipment moved splintered wood, bricks and other debris out of the streets,

Residents said they saw a large funnel cloud descend on the city, about 80 miles east of Lexington. Morgan County has a population of 13,923, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

Patsy and Zeke Hensley took shelter in the basement of their house when they saw the twister approaching.

"I said, 'That's not thunder. That's a tornado,'" Patsy Hensley said. "It was just a big brown column."

Lexington fire Battalion Chief Ed Davis said Morgan County officials requested assistance from the Bluegrass Emergency Response Team, which includes building collapse specialists and equipment. About a dozen firefighter-paramedics from Lexington, Madison County and Jessamine County also were on the way, Davis said.

Freelance photographer John Flavell talked with Stacy Lemaster and her husband David, who were eating at dinner at Giovanni's restaurant in West Liberty with their three small children when the storm struck. They took refuge under a table, he said.

"Stacy said she thought the table saved their lives because everything just broke loose," Flavell said.

Martha Jo Hall, 65, said she could hear the storm chewing her house apart as she took cover.

"The only thing I could think to pray was 'In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost,'" Hall said. "And He took care of us"

Despite the destruction and chaos around her, Hall expressed confidence that West Liberty will recover.

But for now, Cannel City resident Willie Nickell said he had only one word for what he saw of West Liberty: "Devastation."

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/03/02/2092783/storm-s mashes-west-liberty-into.html#storylink=cpy
no matter what it takes it can not take the spirit
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
I feel this is a good time to remind everyone not of the same mindset, that weather enthusiasts, meteorologists, whichever you choose to label yourself, are people too. We live for extreme weather, we yearn to experience it. It is an integral, insatiable part of who we are. It is a defining characteristic. But never in a million years would any of us wish to see the amount of death and destruction that occurred today across the lower 48.

Thoughts go out to those affected.
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1940. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
What a wild day. Looks like flooding will be a major concern as the night goes on
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Off to bed...central NC here. Have a weather radio. Stay safe peeeps.

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1937. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
1936. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
04z run ruc 10 am sat morning

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Interesting storm just south and east of McComb in Mississippi (northwest of Franklinton). Storm is beginning to show signs of rotation. Need to keep an eye on it...

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1934. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:


I'm exactly the same way. Would not stand outside in/near the path of a tornado, but would for most any straight-line wind event (with not much lightning), if not immediately downwind of structures that could render projectiles. We could certainly use some rain here in Central Florida.


Yeah, cloud-to-ground lightning frightens me if I'm outside.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1932. redux
WEST LIBERTY — A powerful storm that hit about 6 p.m. Friday smashed the core of this Morgan County city into rubble.

There was no confirmation of deaths, but at least six people were injured, and emergency responders and citizens hastily banded together to form search parties.

Morgan County Deputy Sheriff Kenny Dulin said dozens of people were missing.

If any major building escaped damage downtown, it wasn't readily apparent in the darkness or the flashing lights of police cruisers, ambulances and fire trucks,

"It flattened everything," said Faye Isaac, 42. "The whole town is gone."

Isaac's right cheek was bandaged where she had been cut after part of the Dollar Store roof fell on top of her.

The roof was taken off Commercial Bank and off City Hall across Main Street. The steeple of a Methodist church sat pointy-side up on the ground in front of the church.

Heavy equipment moved splintered wood, bricks and other debris out of the streets,

Residents said they saw a large funnel cloud descend on the city, about 80 miles east of Lexington. Morgan County has a population of 13,923, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

Patsy and Zeke Hensley took shelter in the basement of their house when they saw the twister approaching.

"I said, 'That's not thunder. That's a tornado,'" Patsy Hensley said. "It was just a big brown column."

Lexington fire Battalion Chief Ed Davis said Morgan County officials requested assistance from the Bluegrass Emergency Response Team, which includes building collapse specialists and equipment. About a dozen firefighter-paramedics from Lexington, Madison County and Jessamine County also were on the way, Davis said.

Freelance photographer John Flavell talked with Stacy Lemaster and her husband David, who were eating at dinner at Giovanni's restaurant in West Liberty with their three small children when the storm struck. They took refuge under a table, he said.

"Stacy said she thought the table saved their lives because everything just broke loose," Flavell said.

Martha Jo Hall, 65, said she could hear the storm chewing her house apart as she took cover.

"The only thing I could think to pray was 'In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost,'" Hall said. "And He took care of us"

Despite the destruction and chaos around her, Hall expressed confidence that West Liberty will recover.

But for now, Cannel City resident Willie Nickell said he had only one word for what he saw of West Liberty: "Devastation."

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/03/02/2092783/storm-s mashes-west-liberty-into.html#storylink=cpy
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1930. 7080734
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


nothing is sure 7 days out, for all we know there wont even be a system.
But the next chance of severe weather looks to be a week away.

Let's hope it doesn't become anything. I think we all need a break from this kind of weather.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Probably should have bought some batteries for my portable anemometer.

Not gonna stand outside during a tornado, but I would for anything else.

Fortunately, I doubt the southern portion of this line will be nearly as destructive as the other storms.


I'm exactly the same way. Would not stand outside in/near the path of a tornado, but would for most any straight-line wind event (with not much lightning), if not immediately downwind of structures that could render projectiles. We could certainly use some rain here in Central Florida.
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Quoting 7080734:

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/exper/day4-8/
Are you sure? The SPC says different.


nothing is sure 7 days out, for all we know there wont even be a system.
But the next chance of severe weather looks to be a week away.
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1927. 7080734
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
so we have 2 possibly long track tornadoes in SE, maybe and ef 3 or 4 in s alabama and an ef 1 or 2 in N gA.


Looks to be ready for another outbreak by next thursday....somewhere in the warm us.

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/exper/day4-8/
Are you sure? The SPC says different.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
so we have 2 possibly long track tornadoes in SE, maybe and ef 3 or 4 in s alabama and an ef 1 or 2 in N gA.


Looks to be ready for another outbreak by next thursday....somewhere in the warm us.
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327

WWUS54 KBMX 030503

SVSBMX



SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL

1103 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012



ALC123-030515-

/O.CON.KBMX.TO.W.0029.000000T0000Z-120303T0515Z/

TALLAPOOSA AL-

1103 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012



...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR EAST CENTRAL TALLAPOOSA

COUNTY UNTIL 1115 PM CST...



AT 1058 PM CST...EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT REPORTED A TORNADO. NWS RADAR

ALSO INDICATED THE POTENTIAL OF DEBRIS WITH THIS STORM. THIS

TORNADO WAS LOCATED 8 MILES NORTHWEST OF RIDGE GROVE...OR 9 MILES

NORTHEAST OF DADEVILLE...MOVING EAST AT 55 MPH.



LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...

MAINLY RURAL AREAS OF EXTREME EASTERN TALLAPOOSA COUNTY.



TO REPORT SEVERE WEATHER...CALL 1-800-856-0758.



LAT...LON 3290 8563 3289 8569 3297 8572 3305 8559

3290 8560

TIME...MOT...LOC 0502Z 255DEG 50KT 3295 8562



$$



17
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Alexander City is my home town. There are several built up areas between there and Jackson's Gap. Let's hope it hits one of the wooded areas.
Jesse
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Quoting violet312s:
Hopefully this outbreak will help people know how "show above" is a bad thing. I swear no one can see me.

Now to get through the night in NC but looks good.


I can.
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Doughnut hole... possible debris.

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Hopefully this outbreak will help people know how "show above" is a bad thing. I swear no one can see me.

Now to get through the night in NC but looks good.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
SALYERSVILLE KY (21 NE JKL) 2/1810

ADVANCED AUTO ROOF RIPPED OFF. RESCUE SQUAD JKL/LSR 3775 8306

FLIPPED WITH ACTIVE PO



only report from salyersville i could find
Was that it? I would think much more with the radar.
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1918. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
SALYERSVILLE KY (21 NE JKL) 2/1810

ADVANCED AUTO ROOF RIPPED OFF. RESCUE SQUAD JKL/LSR 3775 8306

FLIPPED WITH ACTIVE PO



only report from salyersville i could find
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54858
Looks like it will pass between Jacksons' Gap and Alexander city... though there could still be some structures between each town/city.

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Hey Flood long time no see.
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Baton Rouge has gone for 84 hours without temperature dropping below the average daytime high.

I wonder if they can make it to 96 hours?
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Quoting Floodman:
Kori, where are you?

Howdy, everyone, by the way


Prairieville, near Baton Rouge. Not concerned about tornado potential, but I will try and acquire footage if we get some gusty winds.
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Quoting WxTracker15:


Possible strong tornado headed for Alexander City with debris detected.


Good to see you covering things, Tyler.
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Kori, where are you?

Howdy, everyone, by the way
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Also, I'm gonna try donating to other hard hit areas. I sent some yesterday to Harrisburg.
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Possible strong tornado headed for Alexander City with debris detected.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
Storms are back-building into Central/Southern Mississippi and Southern Louisiana. These should strengthen and head east into Alabama through the early morning hours. Let's hope they just stay as rain producers.



Probably should have bought some batteries for my portable anemometer.

Not gonna stand outside during a tornado, but I would for anything else.

Fortunately, I doubt the southern portion of this line will be nearly as destructive as the other storms.
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Storms are back-building into Central/Southern Mississippi and Southern Louisiana. These should strengthen and head east into Alabama through the early morning hours. Let's hope they just stay as rain producers.

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The only tornado warning currently active is the tornado south-east of Rockford. There is probably a violent tornado still on the ground with this one.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5075
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
We have a large, damaging, rain-wrapped tornado on the ground in Coosa county, Alabama.

This actually may become the longest tracked tornado of the night if it keeps going. RADAR IMAGERY SHOWS AN INTENSE AND LIKELY TORNADIC SUPERCELL
EXHIBITING VELOCITIES SEEMINGLY CONDUCIVE FOR A STRONG TORNADO
--STRADDLING CHILTON AND AUTAUGA COUNTIES IN ALABAMA-- WITH THIS
STORM PROJECTED TO MOVE INTO E-CNTRL AL WITHIN A FAVORABLY
MOIST/UNSTABLE LOW LEVEL AIRMASS. KMXX VAD SHOWS 400-500 0-1 KM SRH
WHICH WILL SUPPORT NOT ONLY SUSTAINING LOW LEVEL MESOCYCLONES BUT
POSE THE RISK FOR MULTIPLE TORNADOES WITH ANY VIGOROUS SUPERCELL
MOVING FROM CNTRL AL EWD INTO WRN GA.
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9:30 PM Friday, 03/02/2012
After another day of severe weather, Harrisburg is not the only place in need. While we are concentrating efforts on Harrisburg, we are looking for volunteers to work clean up and relief in other areas hit by today's outbreak. Team Rubicon will be sending teams into the areas hardest hit today to do assessment and aid in the relief efforts and we intend to provide what volunteers we can to assist them in this effort. Henryville and Marysville Indiana will not be accessible to anyone but first responders for the next few days but when they open up to relief workers we want to be able to help out.

Again, anyone interested in volunteering should email us here or comment on our Wunderground.com blog. The need is immediate; teams will be working in all these areas for some time and you really can help. Stay tuned here and our blog for updates.

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New tornado watch will be issued basically over the same areas currently under a watch in MS/AL. Still a long night to go...

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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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