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 TropicalAnalystwx13:
Alabama tornado caused damage.

AT 954 PM CST...EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT REPORTED A POSSIBLE TORNADO

WITH SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE.
But what do they mean by that? Could be just a ton of downed trees.
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Death Toll at 28 today.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Alabama tornado caused damage.

AT 954 PM CST...EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT REPORTED A POSSIBLE TORNADO

WITH SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE.
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Incase anyone needs it, here is the link for James Spann live:

Link
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Quoting TuMama:
It is so sad to think of all the trees being blown down and damage by these storms and tornado. So much devistation.
Had to admit this made me chuckle.
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Bellingsley may have taken a direct hit by a major tornado. There are no reports of damage in Bellingsley, significant damage has been reported from this tornado.
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1846. Patrap


Fire crews make their way up Short Tail Springs Road after a tornado struck the area Friday, March 2, 2012 in Harrison, Tenn. Powerful storms stretching from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes flattened buildings in several states, wrecked two Indiana towns and bred anxiety across a wide swath of the country in the second powerful tornado outbreak this week. (AP Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press, Ashlee Culverhouse)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
1 person reported dead in Moscow, Ohio.
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TORNADO WARNING
GAC085-117-139-187-311-030430-
/O.NEW.KFFC.TO.W.0023.120303T0353Z-120303T0430Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PEACHTREE CITY GA
1053 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN PEACHTREE CITY HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
DAWSON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
EXTREME NORTHWESTERN FORSYTH COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
NORTHWESTERN HALL COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
LUMPKIN COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
WHITE COUNTY IN NORTHEAST GEORGIA

* UNTIL 1130 PM EST

* AT 1047 PM EST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO 8 MILES WEST
OF DAWSONVILLE...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 40 MPH. GOLF BALL SIZED HAIL
IS ALSO LIKELY WITH THIS STORM.


* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO
DAHLONEGA AND CLEVELAND.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

WHEN A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BASED ON DOPPLER RADAR...IT MEANS
THAT STRONG ROTATION HAS BEEN DETECTED IN THE STORM. A TORNADO MAY
ALREADY BE ON THE GROUND...OR IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP SHORTLY. IF YOU
ARE IN THE PATH OF THIS DANGEROUS STORM...MOVE INDOORS AND TO A
BASEMENT OR INTERIOR ROOM ON THE GROUND FLOOR. STAY AWAY FROM
WINDOWS. IF DRIVING...DO NOT SEEK SHELTER UNDER A HIGHWAY OVERPASS.

TAKE COVER NOW! TORNADOES AT NIGHT ARE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT
WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE OR HEAR IT COMING...IT MAY BE TOO LATE.

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.

&&

LAT...LON 3454 8365 3432 8424 3443 8424 3445 8426
3447 8426 3447 8429 3449 8432 3466 8407
3464 8404 3468 8399 3471 8399 3474 8394
3473 8384 3475 8382
TIME...MOT...LOC 0352Z 243DEG 42KT 3444 8420

$$








Tornado Watch
TORNADO WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE FOR WT 65
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1055 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012

TORNADO WATCH 65 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 500 AM EST FOR THE
FOLLOWING LOCATIONS

GAC011-013-015-035-045-047-055-057-059-063-067-07 7-083-085-089-
097-105-111-113-115-117-119-121-123-129-133-135-1 37-139-143-145-
147-149-151-157-159-171-187-195-199-207-211-213-2 15-217-219-221-
223-227-231-233-237-241-247-255-257-263-265-281-2 85-291-293-295-
297-311-313-317-031000-
/O.NEW.KWNS.TO.A.0065.120303T0355Z-120303T1000Z/

GA
. GEORGIA COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE

BANKS BARROW BARTOW
BUTTS CARROLL CATOOSA
CHATTOOGA CHEROKEE CLARKE
CLAYTON COBB COWETA
DADE DAWSON DEKALB
DOUGLAS ELBERT FANNIN
FAYETTE FLOYD FORSYTH
FRANKLIN FULTON GILMER
GORDON GREENE GWINNETT
HABERSHAM HALL HARALSON
HARRIS HART HEARD
HENRY JACKSON JASPER
LAMAR LUMPKIN MADISON
MERIWETHER MONROE MORGAN
MURRAY MUSCOGEE NEWTON
OCONEE OGLETHORPE PAULDING
PICKENS PIKE POLK
PUTNAM RABUN ROCKDALE
SPALDING STEPHENS TALBOT
TALIAFERRO TOWNS TROUP
UNION UPSON WALKER
WALTON WHITE WHITFIELD
WILKES
$$
Member Since: January 30, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 224
Unofficial report in Alabama that Grist State Park got hit with significant damage and people trapped.
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Well, this is cool. the blog has slowed down enough to were i can keep up wit it :D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4487
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
TORNADO WARNING FOR...
DAWSON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
EXTREME NORTHWESTERN FORSYTH COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
NORTHWESTERN HALL COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
LUMPKIN COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL GEORGIA
WHITE COUNTY IN NORTHEAST GEORGIA
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Mike Bettes may be heading for West Liberty.
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Quoting SPLbeater:
0.25 visibility here...stupid fog. need to set up a jet engine and blow it away xD
You need to move up a couple thousand feet. ahh, nice visibility and 64 degrees! aka: reason for da fog!
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


Well, it looks pretty likely it hit something. That's quite the reflectivity maxima on the hook. I'd be surprised if it was only the auto parts store.


can you specify something for me?

is CIN basically a cap?
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4487
Quoting Patrap:


Greg Cook hands his dog Coco to Donnie Watts inside the destroyed home in Limestone County, Ala. on Friday, March 2, 2012. A reported tornado destroyed several houses in northern Alabama as storms threatened more twisters across the region Friday (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.)


The dog looks so scared, :(
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I'm looking for a MODERATE RISK from Tallahassee to Jacksonville tomorrow. The models are showing strong convection a second disturbance digs south enough for a decent severe weather outbreak in the deep south from GA down to potentially as far south as Central Florida tomorrow night.
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1833. Patrap


Greg Cook hands his dog Coco to Donnie Watts inside the destroyed home in Limestone County, Ala. on Friday, March 2, 2012. A reported tornado destroyed several houses in northern Alabama as storms threatened more twisters across the region Friday (AP Photo/The Decatur Daily, Gary Cosby Jr.)
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128875
This is the disturbance that will jump start tomorrow night's severe wx event.

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Quoting ScottLincoln:


Well, it looks pretty likely it hit something. That's quite the reflectivity maxima on the hook. I'd be surprised if it was only the auto parts store.
Yah it went right over it.
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wondering if the storms in w cental al will survive to GA.
Also the 2 lines could merge and form 1 mean mcs
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Thats something out of a horror story if its the later.


its spelled l-a-t-t-e-r if you mean the last one(sorry had to say it lol)
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4487
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
I want to know what happened to Salyersville. Ill post the storm again.



Well, it looks pretty likely it hit something. That's quite the reflectivity maxima on the hook. I'd be surprised if it was only the auto parts store.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3216
Moderate risk maybe added tomorrow for N FL & S GA.


Latest NAM model
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Not much on Twitter about Sayersville, sorry :\ I'm trying my best to find out what happened in Sayersville.
It just scares me cause I cant find anything either.
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Hey, folks we're putting together some teams of relief and clean up workers for Harrisburg IL and we're looking to do the same for Indiana and all the other areas hit by today's outbreak. Go to our blog for more information. We really need your help to make a difference for these people that truly need it.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


I'm not sure whether or not to be happy that Salyersville may have avoided a direct hit, or concerned that maybe it did and we don't know a thing about it.
Thats something out of a horror story if its the latter.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
I want to know what happened to Salyersville. Ill post the storm again.

Not much on Twitter about Sayersville, sorry :\ I'm trying my best to find out what happened in Sayersville.
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Only report of damage from the Saylersville tornado:

'An Advance Auto Parts store lost its roof and power lines were snapped.'
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1821. redux
you got jims bbq here LOL
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
no tweets came up when I searched Salyersville, unlike West Liberty which had hundreds of tweets.


I'm not sure whether or not to be happy that Salyersville may have avoided a direct hit, or concerned that maybe it did and we don't know a thing about it.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3216
1819. redux
his source for a confirmation of a tornado on a ground was a web-chat members friend. LOL!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Tomorrow.


next system
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This guys blog is updating with info of West Liberty, including new photos and some video that I haven't seen posted here yet.

Link
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
Starting to feel like Vilonia situation again... everybody was fearing Vilonia was an EF5 at first, but the rating came in as EF2. It's starting to feel the same for West Liberty, BUT I haven't seen enough to judge how hard that town got hit. Radar was too impressive to not be a strong tornado.
I want to know what happened to Salyersville. Ill post the storm again.

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1815. redux
this guy is rocking the suspenders and apple products on air.

feel bad for him.
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Quoting TheOnlyBravesFan:


Everyone in the south is nice, it's called Southern Hospitality. We need to keep all of these people in our prayers, southerners are all really nice,caring folk.


i am proud of my southern accent and southern personailty!!!

u know in fifth grade there was this katrina evacuee girl, and she was from New orleans. but everytime i said something to the teacher, or to somebody ese or her, she would tease me about how iw said my words lol. she has moved back to NOLA...which is kinda sad...*cough* cuz i kinda liked her lol...
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4487
James Spann is saying there may be a debris ball with the Alabama tornado warning. He thinks there is probably a significant tornado with that one.
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Starting to feel like Vilonia situation again... everybody was fearing Vilonia was an EF5 at first, but the rating came in as EF2. It's starting to feel the same for West Liberty, BUT I haven't seen enough to judge how hard that town got hit. Radar was too impressive to not be a strong tornado.
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Lol I love the local met for Bama. He is so good.
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If the AGW/Climate change discussion were based 100% in science, then NOW would be the perfect time to discuss as the event was happening and the data was flowing in.

However, for unfortunate reasons some can't have an AGW/Climate change discussion without bringing in politics, or even religion.

Bottom line, the GOM is warmer than normal, the winter has been warmer than normal, thus the potential for an early, severe tornado outbreak. Warmer global temps are giving rise to early, and possibly more severe spring weather outbreaks. This could also mean that the tornado seasons may peak and end earlier in future years. That remains to be seen.

What it most certainly means is that the climate is changing.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
what is our next chance of severe weather???

Tomorrow.
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1808. ncstorm
.
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what is our next chance of severe weather???
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Quoting emguy:


Heck...I does not matter what EF it was...The point is people are hurt and people have passed away. GOSH! What more do you want? That is Aweful news in itself, being an EF5 doesn't legitimize it!!!

I can tell you I have actually been to West Liberty last year to help out with some flood matters that happenned in the Spring. I have seen that church and can tell you if the tornado on Wednesday that took down that other church was an EF4, than this was likely an EF4 too. That was a large church in West Liberty.

Side note, some of the nicest people I have ever met were in the State of Kentucky...Statewide comment. So when I say the nicest people I ever met in Kentucky were in West Liberty...I'm really sayin' somethin'. My thoughts have been with them all evening.


Everyone in the south is nice, it's called Southern Hospitality. We need to keep all of these people in our prayers, southerners are all really nice,caring folk.
Member Since: January 30, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 224
0.25 visibility here...stupid fog. need to set up a jet engine and blow it away xD
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4487

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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.