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 aislinnpaps:
Good Monday Morning, everyone. It's been booming thunder nonstop for about two and a half hours here in my part of Louisiana. We're already under a flood statement, that's fast. Hope all have a great Monday!

Three different storms during the night (Lake Jackson, TX). One of my Poms always barks at the first thunder, and she did it three times last night. 3 3/4" total precip. Radar shows another storm headed up from Victoria.

Who was it who asked for rain in the Houston area???
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Morning, all. Still cool and windy here, though not so windy for now. Currently 75 and cloudy.

Have a great Monday, everybody.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
Good Monday Morning, everyone. It's been booming thunder nonstop for about two and a half hours here in my part of Louisiana. We're already under a flood statement, that's fast. Hope all have a great Monday!
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Quoting trunkmonkey:




and again, the government handed breaks to Solyndra Inc., an upstart California solar panel firm backed by a major supporter of the president.

~snip~
Hey, Trunkmonkey.

1) You should always provide attribution when pasting such a large chunk of text. FWIW, the article you copied in its entirety is a seven-month-old piece from iWatchNews.

2) The article you pasted was published before separate independent investigations of the Solyndra loan guarantees failed to show any evidence whatsoever that politics influenced any decision making about those loan guarantees.

3) Even if the Solyndra deal had turned out to be the largest scandal to ever strike the United States--which it wasn't--that wouldn't change one iota what aspectre said: that PV prices are dropping as technology improves, making solar an increasingly more attractive source of alternative energy.
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Quoting aspectre:
629 Skyepony: Flood fatigue in SE TX.

The Sabine River is bordering Louisiana. Why do they keep calling the Houston metroplex and northward SouthEast Texas, when the area is clearly located in easternTexas.


Because East texas is up in the Piney Woods. Southeast Texas is really more of a Gulf Coast thing. It's the Arm of Texas, and we're in the Armpit.
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629 Skyepony[quoting kiitv.com]: Flood fatigue in SE TX.

EastTexas: the Sabine River is bordering Louisiana. Why do they keep calling the Houston metroplex and northward SouthEast Texas, when the area is clearly located in easternTexas
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Quoting wxmod:
Custom Designer Weather. This is better than the old fashioned stuff! MODIS



so what makes people like you really think we control the weather? other than climate change and cloud seeding, whats the technique?

other than looking and a satellite image and saying "yup thats modified weather alright..."
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One of the most amazing lightning videos I've ever seen, its amazing anyone survives lightning, thankfully its all about the physics, the extreme short duration of current flow leads to very little dissipation of energy into the body from the arc, which is also why you see no fire here. Thousands of amps charged at millions of volts just got relocated in a fraction of a second :)
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635. wxmod
Custom Designer Weather. This is better than the old fashioned stuff! MODIS

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Quoting Neapolitan:
In case this hasn't been posted yet (I've been away most of the day), here's a short but great video of a "drillbit" tornado from yesterday. Watch it in full-screen HD to get the full effect; the best part begins at about 0:58. Yowsa...



Also: I see that the deep warmth is expected to return to many of the same areas affected during the March heat wave during the 8-14 day period:

Hot



Incredible, this is a great example as to why a small tornado doesn't necessarily mean weak, although generally speaking a wedge tornado usually does mean a strong tornado in every case I know of.

Anyways, thank God nobody was being hit by that, those were some extremely intense winds.
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631. Skyepony (Mod)
Woodward city manager Alan Riffel told CNN that all the missing people had been accounted for but 89 homes and 13 businesses had been destroyed.

"It's remarkable we didn't have more loss of life," governor Mary Fallin said, adding that many Woodward residents had either gone to sleep or dropped their guard after an earlier series of storms swept through the area.

She spoke to several whose homes were struck, including a man who said he was asleep on his sofa with his dog when the tornado hit, depositing them unhurt in the backyard.

The storm damaged a hangar at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, and destroyed several homes around the area.

Storm chaser Brandon Redmond, a meteorologist with the Severe Weather Alert Team, said the twister passed over his vehicle and lifted it 60 centimetres off the ground in an industrial area south of Wichita..

"The tornado literally formed over our vehicle," he said.

"I've never been that scared in my life... we had power flashes all around us and debris circulating all around the vehicle, sheet metal, parts of a roof, plywood."

American Red Cross workers were operating shelters and providing meals, as well as relief and clean-up supplies such as comfort kits, tarps, coolers and rakes.
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Quoting altesticstorm2012:
Before y'all get your feathers too ruffled up...



;)

First TS will come in June this year.


Was the range of this map recently expanded to include months outside of the official hurricane season or was it always beyond just June 1 - November 30?
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629. Skyepony (Mod)
Flood fatigue in SE TX.
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OK, everyone have a good night and Stay Safe All.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I believe this was one of the best warned-upon outbreaks in USA history.

Neat graphic.

Fwiw, you and a lot of the bloggers here have been doing a great job covering the severe. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
:)
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625. Skyepony (Mod)
Models..especially ECMWF & CMC are wanting 91L & possibly a STS or something (the rest have a cold core low). Here's 12ZCMC phase analysis.


Looking at this it really just looks too cold to expect as much as some models are, without some baroclinic support. Though strange things can happen when a storm gets rapped up that way & then cut off.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Still not that common 2 have 2 invests b4 May...

but we shall see 2morrow...

geez, my hand is really hurting again, so I think I'll head to bed.

Not looking 4ward 2 work 2morrow with my hand like this.


You did too much typing or something? I'm in the same boat here...LOL

Well...I guess that means I'll head out too...good night all....
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Someone may have already posted this...

NWS Norman has given an EF3 preliminary rating to the Woodward, OK tornado that happened just after midnight April 15. "Damage survey ongoing."

And I'm rooting for Alberto. He'll make a good trivia question one day.
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Still not that common 2 have 2 invests b4 May...

but we shall see 2morrow...

geez, my hand is really hurting again, so I think I'll head to bed.

Not looking 4ward 2 work 2morrow with my hand like this.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
Quoting BahaHurican:
Geoff, I that it's going to get at least an invest.

Even if that's all it gets, it is amazing to think of 2 invests before May...


Are you kidding...we had five invests last year before the Atlantic season started. That's even more impressive LOL (We had 90L in March near the Azores...91L in April similar to today's system...92L thru 94L in May).

By the way...I don't know why this emerging subtropical disturbance is getting bashed so quickly. It was just born at 1200Z when the NHC added the surface low in the TAFB analyses...give it some time y'all before you hurt its feelings to much...sheesh LOL...

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Quoting BahaHurican:
Geoff, I that it's going to get at least an invest.

Even if that's all it gets, it is amazing to think of 2 invests before May...


Don't think so Baha...but I have been wrong twice.
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577 SubtropicalHi: Wasn't it supposed to be raining cats and dogs?
NWS stated: 70 POP. Austin at 100 POP. Nada Zip...

579 RitaEvac: Drought may be coming back
584 SubtropicalHi: LOL They just reinstated drought restrictions. Despite it being the 4th wettest Jan-Mar in history. Oh well....

Got a BIG Drought to make up for. Until the water tables are restored to normal and the upstream reservoirs are filled, even a short dry spell could put Texas back into extreme water shortages.
So ya gotta keep being thrifty with water use for a spell to allow recharging.eg Brownsville's been gettin' drenched,
but the RioGrande&Pecos river basin that supplies dry season water is still in drought.
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617. wxmod
Busy day making weather in Mid-Pacific today. MODIS satellite photos.



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Hey, I suggested that someone get with it and do something and I like the direction you took with that. Kind of mocking the request in a funny way. It does send a message.....
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Quoting PedleyCA:
NCH---2009 Nice Avatar. Saw that the other night but it was off topic so I didn't comment then. Was very busy and I was trying to keep up.

115- How are you tonight?


Hah...thanks....
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Geoff, I that it's going to get at least an invest.

Even if that's all it gets, it is amazing to think of 2 invests before May...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
NCH---2009 Nice Avatar. Saw that the other night but it was off topic so I didn't comment then. Was very busy and I was trying to keep up.

115- How are you tonight?
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Quoting BahaHurican:
OK.... something weird going on w/ my filter setting... keeps defaulting 2 average...


Just reset your settings.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


It will not even become 91L.

Im gonna save that comment for tomorrow.
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OK.... something weird going on w/ my filter setting... keeps defaulting 2 average...

5 min later....

Now it's working again.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
Did the Victoria or Goliad supercell ever get tornado warned? From the discussions here...sounds like it didn't...


It didn't.
http://kamala.cod.edu/svr/
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Quoting Bluestorm5:
as did I. Almost got hit by 2 EF3 that went through my area and tornado missed my grandparents in Sanford by a mile.
I remember u talking abt this....

Quoting washingtonian115:
Everybody decides to leave when I get on.
Night crew is having 'puter problems, it seems - or school 2morrow,... lol
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22322
605. Skyepony (Mod)
99P
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I've been busy all day and really haven't had a chance to catch up on what is going on.


Severe weather wise....
(Supercell #1) Weak tornado near Ericson in NE Nebraska. The tornado dissipated, and then the supercell re-produced another brief tornado near the NE Nebraska/SE South Dakota border. The cell continued NE and produced yet another brief tornado in SW Minnesota well to the south of Hutchinson before dissipating.

(Supercell #2) New tornado-producing supercell in SW Minnesota to the east of supercell #1. Signature was just north of Glencoe and not far west of Minneapolis/St. Paul

(Supercell #3) New tornado warning around 6:21 PM CDT on a disorganized supercell heading ENE in direction of Batesville, Arkansas. The cell quickly got disorganized and elongates north-south by 6:38 PM CDT at a location west of Batesville.

(Supercell #4) Supercell explosively develops just SW of Victoria, Texas tracking ENE by 6:35 PM CDT. Supercell is well-organized with hook echo but not yet tornado warned. At 6:36 PM CDT...it gets a severe thunderstorm warning. The cell continues east with its precip core passing over Victoria by 7:32 PM CDT. The south end of the precip core shows another tornadic-like hook just SE of Victoria at that time.

(Supercell #5) Just SW of Supercell #4...a new supercell erupts and also has a severe T-storm warning by 6:53 PM CDT. The cell is just south of Goliad, TX.

In the Atlantic...it appears the long-awaited subtropical cyclone is getting started. The low pressure center that is supposed to become "Alberto" began around 1200Z along the Atlantic Ocean cold front.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

Shallow warm-core is good enough for the NHC. They'll call it Sub-tropical so as long as it's a warm core they'll designate it, or recognize that it has potential. It'll be a close call, Around Tuesday is when it should be at it's best if it's not designated by Wednesday night, then it has no chance of becoming our Alberto.


It will not even become 91L.
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Global demand for solar panels grew by about 40 percent last year, but excess manufacturing capacity has created a glut of supplies that forced companies...to slash prices.

Average...prices for the photovoltaic modules...have dropped to 80 to 85 cents per watt, a decline of [10to16] percent from levels near 95 cents recorded at the end of 2011, a year that saw prices fall by about 50 percent. Those price drops have helped boost solar sales and made solar power less dependent on subsidies to compete against fossil fuels. ...subsidies have declined in Germany and Italy, the two biggest markets.

Analysts have forecast total market demand will be near steady with last year's levels around 27 GW.

[Some] panels had been offered at 75 cents or below, although that equipment was made by lower-quality "tier 3" companies in China, who are appear to be clearing out inventories to raise cash, even if they are selling products at a loss. "Those are essentially going-out-of-business sales."
"It's fully possible that at some point in the year we get to the 70-cent a watt range. The balance between supply and demand right now is very fragile. There's still a massive amount of capacity."
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Quoting DavidHOUTX:
Cap over SE Texas is eroding fast


Hah...and this from the guy who reported bitterly earlier that the cap was firmly in place...LOL. Hopefully you will get some needed in rain in Houston.

Did the Victoria or Goliad supercell ever get tornado warned? From the discussions here...sounds like it didn't...
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Quoting beell:

Shallow warm-core is good enough for the NHC. They'll call it Sub-tropical so as long as it's a warm core they'll designate it, or recognize that it has potential. It'll be a close call, Around Tuesday is when it should be at it's best if it's not designated by Wednesday night, then it has no chance of becoming our Alberto.
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well thats it for me guys..good night
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Here is the 00z Surface Analysis.



Frontal surface low at 1200Z TAFB was 1013 mb
Frontal surface low at 1800Z TAFB was 1012 mb
Frontal surface low at 0000Z TAFB was 1011 mb

Looks like our pre-subtropical cyclone is deepening by 1 mb every six hours so far. This deepening rate could accelerate as the cut-off upper trough continues to amplify, which in turn will increase the divergence over the surface low.
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FLASH FLOOD WARNING
TXC247-160500-
/O.NEW.KBRO.FF.W.0004.120416T0252Z-120416T0500Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000 Z.OO/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BROWNSVILLE TX
952 PM CDT SUN APR 15 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BROWNSVILLE HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL JIM HOGG COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS...

* UNTIL MIDNIGHT CDT

* AT 951 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS
INDICATED TORRENTIAL RAIN OF 3 INCHES PER HOUR FROM SLOW MOVING
THUNDERSTORMS WITH VERY HEAVY RAINFALL.

* RUNOFF FROM THIS EXCESSIVE RAINFALL WILL CAUSE FLASH FLOODING TO
OCCUR.

OTHER LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLOODING INCLUDE...RANDADO
AND RURAL AREAS ALONG FARM TO MARKET ROAD 1017.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE THE
DANGERS OF FLOODING. IF FLASH FLOODING IS OBSERVED ACT QUICKLY. MOVE
UP TO HIGHER GROUND TO ESCAPE FLOOD WATERS. DO NOT STAY IN AREAS
SUBJECT TO FLOODING WHEN WATER BEGINS TO RISE.

DON`T BECOME A STATISTIC. TURN AROUND...DON`T DROWN!

&&

LAT...LON 2727 9852 2726 9853 2723 9849 2715 9849
2714 9847 2708 9847 2688 9871 2704 9895
2729 9852

$$

64
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Here is the 00z Surface Analysis.


Apparantly THEY think it's gonna seperate from the frontal boundary, it just has to get them to BELIEVE that it's gonna become Alberto.
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Quoting RTSplayer:
VIL is still near 80 on these cells, even after 2 consecutive hours of 3 inches or more per hour rainfall accumulations.

N1 68 dBZ 45,000 ft. 76 kg/m² 90% chance 100% chance 2.50 in. 8 knots N (6)
1 A1 67 dBZ 50,000 ft. 80 kg/m² 90% chance 100% chance 2.25 in. 10 knots NW (315)
1 H1 64 dBZ 47,000 ft. 79 kg/m² 90% chance 100% chance 2.25 in. 6 knots NNW (343)

going to be some flooding there for sure
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39248
VIL is still near 80 on these cells, even after 2 consecutive hours of 3 inches or more per hour rainfall accumulations.

N1 68 dBZ 45,000 ft. 76 kg/m 90% chance 100% chance 2.50 in. 8 knots N (6)
1 A1 67 dBZ 50,000 ft. 80 kg/m 90% chance 100% chance 2.25 in. 10 knots NW (315)
1 H1 64 dBZ 47,000 ft. 79 kg/m 90% chance 100% chance 2.25 in. 6 knots NNW (343)

Edit:

At least they're moving 8kts now, instead of 2kts.
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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