Damaging Tornadoes Slam Plains

By: Shaun Tanner , 6:50 AM GMT on April 15, 2012

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A devastating string of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes tracked through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska on Saturday. This severe weather outbreak was remarkable in its duration as supercell thunderstorms began to pop up in western Kansas late Saturday morning, and the dry line that was supposed to represent the end of the severe weather threat was only halfway through Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas by 1:00 AM Central Time Sunday. The moisture difference on either side of this dry line was remarkable as well, with dew points in the upper 60's to the east, and a very dry 20's to the west.


SPC Storm Reports from Saturday

The SPC storm reports show the track of these storms, with Kansas being the hardest hit. Early in the afternoon, most of the supercell thunderstorms were consistently producing weak tornadoes that skipped across western and central Kansas. As the low-level jet stream kicked in late in the afternoon and into the evening, the thunderstorms strengthened considerably. Probably the most remarkable supercell thunderstorm began in western Oklahoma near Woodward as a stunning multi-vortex tornado. The tornado actually was several tornadoes that danced into southern Kansas and eventually threatened Wichita. The tornado passed just south and east of the city, producing an 84 mph wind gust at the Wichita Airport. It also did extensive damage at the airport. In addition, the Oaklawn area of Wichita was declared a disaster area very soon after the tornado passed. The Sedgwick County commissioner declared the county a disaster area. This wedge tornado eventually moved along the Kansas Turnpike northeast of Wichita before finally dissipating.


Figure 1. Double tornadoes in Oklahoma close to the Kansas border. Image credit: news9.com


Figure 2. This tornado sparked a fire in Oklahoma as it passed through the area northeast of Woodward. Image credit: news9.com

The deadliest tornado of the outbreak struck Woodward, OK early Sunday morning, as the main squall line moved through western Oklahoma. This tornado was very large and particularly dangerous since it occurred at night when most residents assumed the threat had ended. There were multiple reports of not hearing the city's siren, so it is entirely possible that the siren was either struck by lightning or hit by the tornado itself. At least five deaths have been confirmed in the Woodward area from this tornado. Probably the scariest video of a tornado I have ever seen was taken of this Woodward tornado as it moved into town. Note you can see the scale of the tornado as between power flashes.


Video 1. Storm chaser video of one of Saturday's impressive tornadoes near Salina, Kansas.


Figure 3. Radar reflectivity image of the tornado that hit the south side of Wichita, Kansas, causing damage at the Wichita airport.

Perhaps the most telling feature of this severe weather outbreak was its repetitive nature. Salina, KS was tornado warned three times by three separate severe thunderstorms. Similarly, areas from Medicine Lodge to Kingman, Kansas were warned for two separate thunderstorms, while Woodward itself was warned very early in the day before a different tornado moved through the city late in the night.

Last night's storms have weakened, but a new round of severe weather is expected Sunday afternoon over portions of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has put the region under their second highest level of alert, a "Moderate Risk."

Shaun Tanner

Thunderstorm Wind Damage (dhennem)
Straight line winds from a thunderstorm this evening blew several semi tractor/trailers over on Interstate 29 in Fremont county, Iowa.
Thunderstorm Wind Damage
Freak Hail Storm Texas Panhandle (Randy7628)
Freak Hail Storm Texas Panhandle
Night tornado (Andrewbre)
Night tornado in Manchester,OK
Night tornado
Clouds II (amo1379)
Clouds II

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Quoting 47n91w:


Lakes Superior/Michigan will protect me,


Oh my god, that is so prevalent up here on the north shore of Superior. More so since my parents are Barrie tornado survivors which died out when it went over Kempenfelt Bay. Because of this the dozens of times in 2006 that we were under a tornado warning I felt completely safe and my father who felt invincible for walking into a tornadic supercell when he was younger was catching footage of funnel clouds outside.
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Quoting RTSplayer:


The squal line took over mostly, but apparently not before spitting out one more 1/4 mile wide tornado that hit part of Woodward.

After all the close calls there from the 3 big super cells to the left and right of Woodward, they sort of got blind-sided by a pop-up tornado immediately after midnight.

All 5 of the known deaths occurred in Woodward so far, from what was probably not even in the days top 5 most powerful storms...

It's really sad.



any damg report? from the town??
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Quoting Tazmanian:
what a night


i went too bed a round 10:30pm last night



did we get any more strong nado reports after i went too bed or did that squll line take overe


The squal line took over mostly, but apparently not before spitting out one more 1/4 mile wide tornado that hit part of Woodward.

After all the close calls there from the 3 big super cells to the left and right of Woodward, they sort of got blind-sided by a pop-up tornado immediately after midnight.

All 5 of the known deaths occurred in Woodward so far, from what was probably not even in the days top 5 most powerful storms...

It's really sad.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520


Just realized thrse r on google also, so u can zoom 2 the location....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21484
BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
TORNADO WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE FOR WT 177
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1055 AM CDT SUN APR 15 2012

TORNADO WATCH 177 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 600 PM CDT FOR THE
FOLLOWING LOCATIONS

ARC005-009-015-029-033-047-049-051-065-071-083-087 -089-097-101-
105-113-115-127-129-131-137-141-149-152300-
/O.NEW.KWNS.TO.A.0177.120415T1555Z-120415T2300Z/

AR
. ARKANSAS COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE

BAXTER BOONE CARROLL
CONWAY CRAWFORD FRANKLIN
FULTON GARLAND IZARD
JOHNSON LOGAN MADISON
MARION MONTGOMERY NEWTON
PERRY POLK POPE
SCOTT SEARCY SEBASTIAN
STONE VAN BUREN YELL


MOC009-029-043-055-059-065-067-077-091-093-105-125 -131-149-153-
161-169-179-203-209-213-215-221-225-229-152300-
/O.NEW.KWNS.TO.A.0177.120415T1555Z-120415T2300Z/

MO
. MISSOURI COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE

BARRY CAMDEN CHRISTIAN
CRAWFORD DALLAS DENT
DOUGLAS GREENE HOWELL
IRON LACLEDE MARIES
MILLER OREGON OZARK
PHELPS PULASKI REYNOLDS
SHANNON STONE TANEY
TEXAS WASHINGTON WEBSTER
WRIGHT


OKC079-152300-
/O.NEW.KWNS.TO.A.0177.120415T1555Z-120415T2300Z/

OK
. OKLAHOMA COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE

LE FLORE


ATTN...WFO...LZK...TSA...SGF...LSX...
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting EugeneTillman:

Been to Chicago. That attitude and urban folklore of "it can never happen in a large city" and "Lake Michigan will protect us!" is all too alive. I just shut up, grin, and move on.

I tried many times, but nothing I can do or say will change their thinking. Hopefully they won't ever have to find out the hard way.


While there are some continuing misconceptions, (e.g. Lakes Superior/Michigan will protect me, tornadoes can't happen in river valleys, etc), the Siren, WI F3 tornado of 2001 got many people thinking in northern Wisconsin. Two people died, a score were injured, and the path was 34 miles long.

NWS write up on that storm (link).

The siren in the town (yes, some coincidence that there was no siren in Siren) was hit by lightning the week before and out of commission. Located between two TV markets and on the fringe of both meant that TV coverage was lacking. And, at that time, the NWS did not have a weather radio transmitter that could be received in that location.

The town's chief of police knew all this was coming together at once and was driving up and down the town's streets shouting of the impending emergency on his bullhorn, trying to warn people. Without this foresight, more could have perished.

In addition, this event provided the reason for money to be made available to fill a gap in the weather radio coverage at that time. Today a transmitter is located within that county, providing continuous broadcasts and warnings to the entire area.

The supercell that produced the tornado in Siren was no longer tornadic as it passed over my house a hour later. However, my neighbors (from a trailer house) and I were in my basement listening to the warnings from the NWS.

Park Falls, WI had an F3 in June 1985. I had the privilege of watching that funnel form across the fields from my living room window. That one killed two people, injured 42, and was on the ground for 68 miles.

Yeah, we hope they happen someplace else, but we haven't forgotten.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

A strong tornado moved through Woodward, Oklahoma shortly after midnight, killing 5 people.



ouch any damg reports from the town?
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Anybody else notice that reports from the rest of KS and NE are not out yet?

There were a LOT of small towns got hit in KS yesterday...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21484
Quoting Tazmanian:
what a night


i went too bed a round 10:30pm last night



did we get any more strong nado reports after i went too bed or did that squll line take overe

A strong tornado moved through Woodward, Oklahoma shortly after midnight, killing 5 people.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Found it.

Dr. Greg Forbes
SUNDAY APR 15
Severe thunderstorms and still a chance of some significant tornadoes in south and east-central MN, WI, upper MI, IA, north and central IL. Severe thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes in northeast, central, and south MO, southwest and northeast IL, western lower MI, northwest IN, central and west AR, southeast OK, extreme northwest LA, east TX as far south as San Antonio
and Corpus Christi. TORCON - 7 southeast MN, west-central and southwest WI, northeast IA; 4 - west IL, central and east MO, west and central AR; 3 - east TX. A line of becoming-isolated severe thunderstorms continues overnight in north and west LA, east AR, northwest MS, west TN, west KY, south IL, northwest IN, lower MI.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
what a night


i went too bed a round 10:30pm last night



did we get any more strong nado reports after i went too bed or did that squll line take overe
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Got another line rotating around the low.

Western Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas panhandle.

Probably no big deal compared to yesterday, but maybe it fires up this afternoon.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Dr. Forbes is upping his TOR:CON index to a 7/10. That means there is a 70% chance of a tornado occurring within 50% miles of a location (don't know yet, they haven't showed the updated map).
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting StephenDe:
That why I just ignored it lol. And just north is 150 miles away. 3 hrs. But yes I guess when you look at the size of the system that isn't too far. 

I also was looking at the size of the warning. With that in mind it seems pretty incredible that the Norman / OKC area was the only part that wasn't affected. That's a huge area.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21484
Torcon up to a 7!
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Quoting StephenDe:
That why I just ignored it lol. And just north is 150 miles away. 3 hrs. But yes I guess when you look at the size of the system that isn't too far. 



Oh hey! Welcome to the blog!
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SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TULSA OK
1025 AM CDT SUN APR 15 2012

ARC007-015-143-151615-
/O.CON.KTSA.SV.W.0051.000000T0000Z-120415T1615Z/
BENTON AR-CARROLL AR-WASHINGTON AR-
1025 AM CDT SUN APR 15 2012

...SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1115 AM CDT
FOR NORTHEASTERN WASHINGTON...NORTHWESTERN CARROLL AND EASTERN BENTON
COUNTIES...

AT 1023 AM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED NEAR WHEELER...
MOVING NORTHEAST AT 50 MPH.

STORM HAZARDS INCLUDE...
WIND GUSTS TO 60 MPH...

SOME LOCATIONS IN OR NEAR THE PATH OF THIS STORM INCLUDE...
TONTITOWN...JOHNSON...ELM SPRINGS...OAK GROVE...SHADY GROVE...CAVE
SPRINGS...SPRINGDALE...LOWELL...SONORA...ROGERS.. .MONTE NE...WAR
EAGLE...HOBBS STATE PARK...LOOKOUT...LARUE...BLAND...WALNUT HILL...
BEAVER LAKE...BUSCH...EUREKA SPRINGS...BEAVER...OAK HILL...GRANDVIEW
AND PLEASANT RIDGE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

PEOPLE OUTSIDE SHOULD MOVE TO A SAFE SHELTER...PREFERABLY INSIDE A
STRONG BUILDING. STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS UNTIL THE STORM HAS PASSED.

&&

LAT...LON 3643 9361 3631 9380 3631 9387 3622 9390
3601 9427 3615 9441 3651 9388 3650 9365
3644 9361
TIME...MOT...LOC 1525Z 232DEG 43KT 3613 9426

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36866
Quoting hydrus:
Could be. The line has not moved much and will grow throughout the day. Some one posted last night that a place called Hudson was wiped off the map. I have not seen any reports on this. Anyone else remember seeing that one?


I remember, it was prolly an exaggeration
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That why I just ignored it lol. And just north is 150 miles away. 3 hrs. But yes I guess when you look at the size of the system that isn't too far. 
Quoting BahaHurican:
Agreed. Still doesn't explain the science of why Norman didn't get hit.... :o)

Though to be fair, some of the largest and longest-lived storm cells started in OK, just NORTH of Norman...

EDIT: Looks like storm formation occurred mostly N of a line from Tulsa to Gage.

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Quoting StephenDe:
Oh no I was not expecting Norman to get hit again, I would have been surprised by that happening two days in a row. I also was not hoping for tornadoes in Oklahoma but it was forecasted. I was expecting a number of tornadoes with in the OKC area and there where none. Thank you for that explanation though, that and RTSplayer explanation are appreciated. 

just realized I didn't finish a sentence in there... lol

Yesterday was amazing to me. The storm action, despite individual cells, was so concentrated.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21484
This one has a descent meso. It also does not help that it has detached itself from the line.
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Interesting the line is starting to break up.
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Quoting ILwthrfan:
Another early start possible today as well???  



VALID 151425Z - 151600Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 176
CONTINUES.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 176 WILL LIKELY NEED TO BE REPLACED WITH A
TORNADO WATCH BEFORE 16Z. NEW WW WOULD INCLUDE A PORTION OF NERN
TX...EXTREME ERN OK...WRN AR INTO SRN MO.

SQUALL LINE FROM EXTREME SWRN MO SWWD THROUGH ERN OK AND NERN TX
WILL LIKELY CONTINUE ADVANCING EWD THROUGH NERN TX INTO THE
LOWER-MID MS VALLEY THIS MORNING INTO THE AFTERNOON. A 50 KT LLJ
DEVELOPING SLOWLY NEWD WILL ADVECT SLIGHTLY HIGHER DEWPOINTS NWD
WITH TIME. VISIBLE IMAGERY IS SHOWING SOME CLOUD BREAKS...AND AS THE
BOUNDARY LAYER WARMS AN AXIS OF 800-1200 J/KG MLCAPE MAY DEVELOP NWD
INTO MO. VERY LARGE HODOGRAPHS WILL PERSIST ALONG THE LLJ AXIS JUST
EAST OF THE LINE ALONG WITH STRONG EFFECTIVE SHEAR. DESPITE A
DOMINANT LINEAR MODE...POTENTIAL WILL REMAIN FOR SOME OF THE STORMS
IN THE LINE TO EVOLVE INTO SUPERCELLS. BOWING SEGMENTS ARE ALSO
LIKELY. GIVEN FAVORABLE HODOGRAPHS...THE THREAT FOR A FEW TORNADOES
IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE AS THE BOUNDARY LAYER DESTABILIZES.
Could be. The line has not moved much and will grow throughout the day. Some one posted last night that a place called Hudson was wiped off the map. I have not seen any reports on this. Anyone else remember seeing that one?
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Quoting EugeneTillman:

Appreciate that.

However, is that final tally found elsewhere than the SPC site? After my search, I just came up with the preliminary numbers for March 2nd, 2011.

Wikipedia is your friend for tornado confirmations after outbreaks.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Amazing video of the tornado southwest of Salina yesterday (the first one we all watched and freaked out over):

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Another early start possible today as well???  



VALID 151425Z - 151600Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 176
CONTINUES.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 176 WILL LIKELY NEED TO BE REPLACED WITH A
TORNADO WATCH BEFORE 16Z. NEW WW WOULD INCLUDE A PORTION OF NERN
TX...EXTREME ERN OK...WRN AR INTO SRN MO.

SQUALL LINE FROM EXTREME SWRN MO SWWD THROUGH ERN OK AND NERN TX
WILL LIKELY CONTINUE ADVANCING EWD THROUGH NERN TX INTO THE
LOWER-MID MS VALLEY THIS MORNING INTO THE AFTERNOON. A 50 KT LLJ
DEVELOPING SLOWLY NEWD WILL ADVECT SLIGHTLY HIGHER DEWPOINTS NWD
WITH TIME. VISIBLE IMAGERY IS SHOWING SOME CLOUD BREAKS...AND AS THE
BOUNDARY LAYER WARMS AN AXIS OF 800-1200 J/KG MLCAPE MAY DEVELOP NWD
INTO MO. VERY LARGE HODOGRAPHS WILL PERSIST ALONG THE LLJ AXIS JUST
EAST OF THE LINE ALONG WITH STRONG EFFECTIVE SHEAR. DESPITE A
DOMINANT LINEAR MODE...POTENTIAL WILL REMAIN FOR SOME OF THE STORMS
IN THE LINE TO EVOLVE INTO SUPERCELLS. BOWING SEGMENTS ARE ALSO
LIKELY. GIVEN FAVORABLE HODOGRAPHS...THE THREAT FOR A FEW TORNADOES
IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE AS THE BOUNDARY LAYER DESTABILIZES.
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Oh no I was not expecting Norman to get hit again, I would have been surprised by that happening two days in a row. I also was not hoping for tornadoes in Oklahoma but it was forecasted. I was expecting a number of tornadoes with in the OKC area and there where none. Thank you for that explanation though, that and RTSplayer explanation are appreciated. 
Quoting BahaHurican:
First, welfome to the blog.

In answer to ur question, I would first say that the Norman area dodged the bullet, and pple in the area should be grateful for the vagaries of fate that kept the storms forming to their north rather than their south. Second, The Norman area was at the southern edge of the threat area, meaning

The main thing is that the warm front set up north of the norman area and that is where most of the action occurred. Woodward got hit, but by a storm cell off the coldfront.

Hey, Dodge was in the centre of the action all afternoon but never got hit. there is an element of serendipity to this, imo.

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Quoting EugeneTillman:

Do you recall the final tally? Did the NWS ever finalize their research for that outbreak?

If I go back to 3/2 at the SPC for the reports, is that number adjusted to reflect the final tally after all the research was concluded? Or is that final number somewhere else?

There were 65 confirmed tornadoes on March 2 consisting of 11 violent tornadoes (9 EF3s and 2 EF4s).
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting LargoFl:
Mother Nature had fury unleashed yesterday didnt she...people in that area cannot complain too much about their weather guys and warnings because in my view, they did a fantastic job in getting the word out,telling people to Heed the warnings, be prepared in the EVENT a tornado or severe storm was a possibility in THEIR area..most of the night we watched and listened to them reporting and warning, my guess is, they saved many lives last night..cudo's to the NWS and all the weather folks who stayed up all night...warning people...no man alive..can with absolute certainty, tell exactly where..a tornado will go..mother nature in all her fury..loves to make fools of us huh..sorry for this rant, but all did a great job last night...and we should be thanking them for a job well done.
Agreed. Still doesn't explain the science of why Norman didn't get hit.... :o)

Though to be fair, some of the largest and longest-lived storm cells started in OK, just NORTH of Norman...

EDIT: Looks like storm formation occurred mostly N of a line from Tulsa to Gage.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21484
Quoting RTSplayer:



Uh Huh.

Here's the whole graph, instead of your deceitful, cherry-picked misrepresentation.



Stat of the Cryosphere


So over the past 60 years, it's dropped by 4 standard deviations with respect to the mean of the base period.


Here are the first sentences from Goddard's false reporting...

"NSIDC claims that 1979 was the beginning of the satellite era for measuring ice, but this simply isn’t true. The graph below is from the 1990 IPCC report, and shows why NSIDC likes to use 1979 as their start date."

The first Arctic observing satellite went into orbit in 1978. 1979 was the first full year of satellite records. That's why the NSIDC claims that 1979 was the beginning of the satellite era for measuring ice.

Ice history, pre 1979, is gleaned from ship and air observations and is not as complete as what can be measured from space.

Goddard almost certainly knows this, but chose to mis-represent facts. This is what he does.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Up to 122 tornado reports for yesterday's event. Just like March 2, reports will likely continue to come in for several days.

One of the few times tornado reports outnumber high wind reports.
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There we go! Thank you, thats what I was looking for.  Now I will have something to tell my fiends when they hate on the forecasters. 
Quoting RTSplayer:
100:

This year, for some reason, the Mexican low fizzled out and didn't do anything, even though it seemed to have just as favorable conditions. Even now it's only a 1002mb low.


Last year, the Mexican low was itself a 988mb low, and it eventually got picked up and moved north, which helped stir up a tremendous amount of low level energy, and was really what fed the Mississippi and Alabama tornadoes. This had also helped power a lot of the very large hail and tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma last year.


So things just didn't quite line up as well nor in the same ways as last year.

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Up to 122 tornado reports for yesterday's event. Just like March 2, reports will likely continue to come in for several days.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting StephenDe:
Greetings from Norman,OK. I have been a bystander since the 2006 Hurricane Season and I must say this is the most informational blog out there and the comments provide endless hilarity. I have a question I was hoping someone could answer. Yesterdays outbreak was awful. However  for the OKC area with the exception of Woodward and its surrounding areas (which I'm not even sure receive the OKC news broadcasts) there where no tornadoes, not even any reports of wind damage.  The whole are was suppose to receive the same sever weather as Kansas and now the local weather mets are probably feeling very embarrassed as we got a whole lot of nothing. Making things even worse Is that Norman was hit by a tornado the day prior and the warning was not issued until it had already touchdown and crossed I35. So can someone explain why the outbreak never materialized further south, a lot of people may have lost faith in the meteorologist here after that debacle and I want to be able to tell my friends why it happened like that.
First, welcome to the blog.

In answer to ur question, I would first say that the Norman area dodged the bullet, and pple in the area should be grateful for the vagaries of fate that kept the storms forming to their north rather than their south. Second, The Norman area was at the southern edge of the threat area, meaning storms that formed in the area - and they did - moved away towards the NE.

The main thing is that the warm front set up north of the norman area and that is where most of the action occurred. Woodward got hit, but by a storm cell off the coldfront.

Hey, Dodge was in the centre of the action all afternoon but never got hit. There is an element of serendipity to this, imo.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21484
105. Zappy
Quoting ScottLincoln:


Tornadoes do not need to hit a metro area's "downtown" to be deadly or very destructive. Many buildings in the dense commercial core would have more resistance to strong tornadoes. I'd suggest that the worse areas to have hit by the tornado are away from the downtown area, where most people live.


I agree. But I think it could have been worse. In metropolitan areas, a basement is not readily accessible. Besides many people work late. And in skyscrapers, the higher it is, the more powerful the winds that impact it. A building doesn't have to be destroyed to be costly. The flying glass can be dangerous. Not to mention disruption in business.
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100:

This year, for some reason, the Mexican low fizzled out and didn't do anything, even though it seemed to have just as favorable conditions. Even now it's only a 1002mb low.


Last year, the Mexican low was itself a 988mb low, and it eventually got picked up and moved north, which helped stir up a tremendous amount of low level energy, and was really what fed the Mississippi and Alabama tornadoes. This had also helped power a lot of the very large hail and tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma last year.


So things just didn't quite line up as well nor in the same ways as last year.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting RTSplayer:
To be honest, everyone in the affected areas is fortunate that the line has tightened up and has not allowed any isolated super cells throughout most of the morning.

The vorticity was actually stronger this morning than yesterday, it's just the other ingredients aren't there any more like yesterday, and these linear storms are harder to spin up strong tornadoes.

The ingredients are coming together farther north, where multiple tornadoes, some strong, will be likely this afternoon into the nighttime hours. My main concern is that today will be worse (deadly/more destructive) due to two facts. One, the area is much more populated than Kansas/Oklahoma. Two, I have friends up there that say the residents across Iowa and Wisconsin have the "it's not going to happen to me" attitude. That's a bad combination in its own right.


Figure 1. Storm Prediction Center Day 1 tornado outlook
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451


"The high-risk warning forecast, issued by the Storm Prediction Center, came after a recent announcement from the weather service that increasingly ominous terms, like “mass devastation” or “catastrophic,” would be tested in warnings issued across areas of Kansas and Missouri.

The goal, said Mike Hudson, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Kansas City, is to increase the likelihood that residents will heed the agency’s warnings during the most extreme weather events. “When we have a day like today, with a very significant risk for very significant weather, those are the days we want to be calling out the level of risk in our warnings,” he said. “This will be the first opportunity.”

Link

This tactic definitely wold have worked on me when they issued that advisory for the Wichita tornado. I just hope they don't use it enough for the public to downplay it.

The text the NWS used (it was also posted here last night):
"THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING SITUATION. YOU COULD BE KILLED IF
NOT UNDERGROUND OR IN A TORNADO SHELTER. COMPLETE
DESTRUCTION OF ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOODS IS LIKELY. MANY WELL
BUILT HOMES AND BUSINESSES WILL BE COMPLETELY SWEPT FROM
THEIR FOUNDATIONS. DEBRIS WILL BLOCK MOST ROADWAYS. MASS
DEVASTATION IS HIGHLY LIKELY MAKING THE AREA UNRECOGNIZABLE
TO SURVIVORS."
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I understand all that, I'm an aspiring broadcast met major, I know its all a game of numbers and odds but the local meteorologist where comparing this outbreak to the 99 and the May 24th outbreak of last year. It was not even close to that for the OKC area. I was wondering if there was an energy shift at the last minute that may have lead to the supercells never forming further to the south as anticipated. Objectively looking at this however you can not ignore the fact that things in central Oklahoma never materialized, only effected area was the NW corner of the state. Thank you for the response. 
Quoting hyperanthony:


It has to do with the way the risk assessments are defined and then plotted on the map. When you take this into consideration, the risk charts work out to be fairly successful.

Before I begin, here's the charts from yesterday: Link

In the second chart, the 45% and 30% polygons are "High Risk" areas -- in this zone, you have an X% chance of being within 25 miles of a tornado.

Now, here are the storm reports from yesterday: Link

At this scale an inch is approximately 500 miles -- 25 miles would be less than you could reliably measure on a ruler... so those little red dots are actually a good approximation of the 25-mile radius around the report.

For the 45% Zone: The SPC really did well here -- most of the long-track tornadoes appeared to track through this area and its pretty well covered in red dots.

For the 30% Zone: Things are quite a bit more sparse in this region with the exception of points east of the 45% zone in Kansas, however if you read the 45% as a subset of the 30% zone, things work out much better.


Nature isn't as cut and dry as we would like it to be sometimes, so you won't typically see a nice, even distribution of events even if there's a whole swath of the atmosphere that is just asking for tornadoes to drop down.

Hope that helps.

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To be honest, everyone in the affected areas is fortunate that the line has tightened up and has not allowed any isolated super cells throughout most of the morning.

The vorticity was actually stronger this morning than yesterday, it's just the other ingredients aren't there any more like yesterday, and these linear storms are harder to spin up strong tornadoes.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting Skeptic33:

Shame on you for scare mongering over this stuff.

Shame on you for posting Steven Goddard's anti-scientific nonsense on WU.
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Quoting StephenDe:
I mean we where under a high risk for all of central oklahoma and woodward wasn't even included in that so I don't think that they did a very good job. I'm not hating on them, I understand that the weather is very complex, I just wanted an answer as to why everything was north of us and nothing materialized down in the OKC viewing area. Whenever a forecast goes wrong it hurts the publics relation with the forecaster. People aren't going to think "oh they where just trying to keep us safe" there going to think "they freaked out over a weak line of storms that went though, hours after they said it would". I understand that these things are hard to forecast so don't get mad at me I'm just asking why it never happened here.



It has to do with the way the risk assessments are defined and then plotted on the map. When you take this into consideration, the risk charts work out to be fairly successful.

Before I begin, here's the charts from yesterday: Link

In the second chart, the 45% and 30% polygons are "High Risk" areas -- in this zone, you have an X% chance of being within 25 miles of a tornado.

Now, here are the storm reports from yesterday: Link

At this scale an inch is approximately 500 miles -- 25 miles would be less than you could reliably measure on a ruler... so those little red dots are actually a good approximation of the 25-mile radius around the report.

For the 45% Zone: The SPC really did well here -- most of the long-track tornadoes appeared to track through this area and its pretty well covered in red dots.

For the 30% Zone: Things are quite a bit more sparse in this region with the exception of points east of the 45% zone in Kansas, however if you read the 45% as a subset of the 30% zone, things work out much better.


Nature isn't as cut and dry as we would like it to be sometimes, so you won't typically see a nice, even distribution of events even if there's a whole swath of the atmosphere that is just asking for tornadoes to drop down.

Hope that helps.
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Morning guys, hoping today pales in comparison to yesterday.  It should hopefully.  Wisconsin will be under the gun today and points south to the Gulf.


Anyone know the details to the current squall line and when if it all its going to die out this morning?  Usually these things weaken from early morning to noon, before regeneration occurs.  The current squall if it were to stay together would out race my NWS current time line for storms.  


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Christie is right in the path of this likely tornado.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
And by the way.

On the graph above, you can actually see an upward rebound peak following Mt. St. Helens, then another BIG one following Pinatubo, and then again after 1995 from Montsurat.


If not for the volcanic rebounds it would probably be another 2 or 3 deviations lower by now.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520

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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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