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 nigel20:

That's good as you guys need a break cause more than likely you'll have atleast a few more large outbreaks between now and June. Whats up TAwx13?

Hey.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31539
did some one say Alberto ?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
ILC083-117-119-160145-
/O.NEW.KLSX.SV.W.0093.120416T0101Z-120416T0145Z/

BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ST LOUIS MO
801 PM CDT SUN APR 15 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ST LOUIS HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN JERSEY COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST ILLINOIS...
MACOUPIN COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST ILLINOIS...
NORTH CENTRAL MADISON COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST ILLINOIS...

* UNTIL 845 PM CDT

* AT 757 PM CDT...A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WAS LOCATED ALONG A
LINE EXTENDING FROM JERSEYVILLE TO WEST ALTON...AND MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 60 MPH.

HAZARD...60 MPH WIND GUSTS.

SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED.

IMPACT...MINOR TREE DAMAGE...WITH LIMBS UP TO ONE INCH IN DIAMETER
BROKEN.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
BETHALTO...STAUNTON...CARLINVILLE...GILLESPIE...BR IGHTON...
KEMPER...DORSEY...SHIPMAN...PRAIRIETOWN...WORDEN.. .BUNKER HILL...
LIVINGSTON...WILSONVILLE...BENLD...MOUNT OLIVE...GIRARD...
FIDELITY...PIASA...MILES STATION AND MEDORA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE WARNED AREA. TORNADOES CAN
DEVELOP QUICKLY FROM SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. ALTHOUGH ONE IS NOT
IMMEDIATELY LIKELY...IF A TORNADO IS SPOTTED...ACT QUICKLY AND MOVE
TO A PLACE OF SAFETY INSIDE A STURDY STRUCTURE...SUCH AS A BASEMENT
OR SMALL INTERIOR ROOM.

FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
BUILDING.

&&

LAT...LON 3895 8970 3889 9007 3913 9031 3951 8971
TIME...MOT...LOC 0100Z 230DEG 51KT 3914 9026 3892 9017

HAIL...<.75IN
WIND...60 MPH

$$

BRITT
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37044
Looks like a good T-storm building just north of El Campo in southern Wharton County (for non-Texans - about 70 miles SW of Houston)
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
can not be here long still computer problems should be back tomorrow or tuseday the latest
Hope you get it fixed keeper you'll be missed
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37044
I'm out for the night... Hopefully we'll be tracking an invest tomorrow :)
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7637
Quoting sunlinepr:


Agree.... For me Weather science should name everything that is related to climatology and then measure and acquire & store data, the same way the hurricane season is treated.



The Europeans actually name non-tropical North Atlantic lows.


I suppose the NWS catalogs all of this in computers for years and years and uses models to "post-dict" conditions to test them or something. At least I hope they do, because even if models can't use all the data now, perhaps in the future we'll have computers strong enough to crunch the entire history of weather data...


If you had enough data points and robust enough code, it might be possible to produce a self-learning weather prediction model. It is, after all, just pure mathematics.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Night all
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The GFS is showing no outbreaks anywhere in its model run. It looks like we are safe for a while with a minor cool blast entering the Eastern USA next week and high pressure building across the Central Plains.

That's good as you guys need a break cause more than likely you'll have atleast a few more large outbreaks between now and June. Whats up TAwx13?
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7877
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Moderate risk bust.








Yep... SPC struggled with today... You can't really blame them though because they had to focus most of their attention on yesterday
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7637
Nice weather for West Palm Beach...

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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Oh come on... Jose was a Cat 5. We all know it but no one will admit it... He gets no credit for his immense power.


No cat 7
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Moderate risk bust.







Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31539
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
I dont know what is the opinion by all of you,but I dont like the naming of Sub-Tropical systems.This is the reason it's hard to have fewer than 10 named storms since they began naming them. (Except 2009) Prior to the last decade, there would not even have been the consideration of naming such a system.


Agree.... For me Weather science should name everything that is related to climatology and then measure and acquire & store data, the same way the hurricane season is treated.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Be back tomorrow... Bye everyone
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Quoting Thrawst:
Anybody see on the models any possible outbreaks of severe weather in the long term (or short term) ? I'm mad that I missed the opportunity to watch probably one of Kansas's most prolific tornado outbreaks yesterday... I coulda informed some people.

The GFS is showing no outbreaks anywhere in its model run. It looks like we are safe for a while with a minor cool blast entering the Eastern USA next week and high pressure building across the Central Plains.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31539
And...here...we..GO!!.
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
We're here talking about the possibility of Alberto forming and the NHC might not even be watching it. They're strict on naming.


Its not like the guys at the NHC are less informed than we are...they see the say model runs we see and I'll bet they are watching it like we are....they just are very conservative in their products when it comes to discussing ANY out of season tropical event.
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Quoting weatherh98:


Not when it comes to



Like emilys tenth kid...

Yeah, that Emily was one heck of a birthmother.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

That's understandable, but im talking like Fiji storms and such, there seem to be MANY more storms in that region last year compared to this year.

Oh definitely... It was really quiet out there
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7637
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

That's true, but they are watching it... they tagged it as a "developing system" on the surface chart.

Well, we know that their watching at least...
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523. Zappy
Man those Victoria cells are trying hard to form a hook and rotate. I'll be back on later.

Argh EDIT: no signs of rotation in new velocity scan
Member Since: April 14, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 62
can not be here long still computer problems should be back tomorrow or tuseday the latest
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

Numerically it was minimal but it was actually very bad in terms of damage, espcially Funso and Giovanna

That's understandable, but im talking like Fiji storms and such, there seem to be MANY more storms in that region last year compared to this year.
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Quoting yqt1001:


I'm sure they have nothing better to do like us. :P


Most of the Hurricane Specialists will be at the AMS 30th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology this week.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10913
Quoting weatherh98:


Not when it comes to



Like emilys tenth kid...

Oh come on... Jose was a Cat 5. We all know it but no one will admit it... He gets no credit for his immense power.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7637
Anybody see on the models any possible outbreaks of severe weather in the long term (or short term) ? I'm mad that I missed the opportunity to watch probably one of Kansas's most prolific tornado outbreaks yesterday... I coulda informed some people.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
We're here talking about the possibility of Alberto forming and the NHC might not even be watching it. They're strict on naming.

That's true, but they are watching it... they tagged it as a "developing system" on the surface chart.
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Quoting MAweatherboy1:

How do you know what the NAM takes it too? I didn't think the NAM ranged into the central Atlantic


Go to the Tropical Weather page on Wunderground and scroll down till you see a link next to the models called "Cyclogenesis tracking page (NOAA/NCEP)".

Click on that.

Click on the most recent date/time on the top left.

Scroll down a full box and you will be on all the model's atlantic data.

If you like, you can look at the graphical displays, but most of them sort of suck.

Use the text display at the bottom of the chart instead.

You'll have to manually search for the latitude and longitude you are looking for and check all the data points manually, but it's a lot more precise than the stupid graphics which never seem to show all the important details.

This is what it should look like.


I got where I keep an extra copies of Wunderground open to the tropical weather page in both I.E. and Google Chrome, so I can access all the links to different tools. Different stuff runs better in different browsers.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
I posted a blog to cover every corner of what's going on in the Atlantic basin...in practice for the upcoming hurricane season. Let me know what y'all think if you haven't taken a gander. This is my 4th such post this week...& it covers the subtropical cyclone potential as well as a severe weather summary of yesterday. I plan to do these posts daily during the season...so if there's anything you can recommend to make them better...give a shout out...

I'm off to taco bell cause I am hungry...I'll be back in half an hour...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
personally it's been remarkably quiet through all of the tropics this winter/spring. The cyclone season was really minimal due to the demise of the La Nina.

Numerically it was minimal but it was actually very bad in terms of damage, espcially Funso and Giovanna
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7637
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

It'll be clearer tomorrow on what'll happen, the system is still trying to seperate from the frontal boundary that's leaving it behind moving off east. 91L tomorrow most likely
that part is about to commence as frontal boundary races away from the centre area
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
We're here talking about the possibility of Alberto forming and the NHC might not even be watching it. They're strict on naming.


Not when it comes to



Like emilys tenth kid...
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
We're here talking about the possibility of Alberto forming and the NHC might not even be watching it. They're strict on naming.


I'm sure they have nothing better to do like us. :P
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510. Zappy
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Nor-easters are non-tropical in nature, and sub-tropical systems are, thats all i got to say :)


IMO sub-tropical are not tropical, but it potentially could develop into a tropical system. That's why the NHC watches them and names them. "Potentially tropical"
Member Since: April 14, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 62
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

The beginnings of "Invest 91L"

yeah, looking better
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 7877
personally it's been remarkably quiet through all of the tropics this winter/spring. The cyclone season was really minimal due to the demise of the La Nina.
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We're here talking about the possibility of Alberto forming and the NHC might not even be watching it. They're strict on naming.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Nothing yet from atcf about invest tonight. Tommorow is when we may have 91L.

Link

It'll be clearer tomorrow on what'll happen, the system is still trying to seperate from the frontal boundary that's leaving it behind moving off east. 91L tomorrow most likely
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The prog charts stall the front out over txla, could
mean that areascould get 4+ inches!
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

I sort of agree with you... Why do sub-tropical storms get named when all the Nor'easters that roll up the east coast in the winter (except this past winter) and are just as bad as sub-tropical storms not get named?
Nor-easters are non-tropical in nature, and sub-tropical systems are, thats all i got to say :)
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XX/AOI/XXL
MARK
31.25N/51.23W
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Nothing yet from atcf about invest tonight. Tommorow is when we may have 91L.

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14066
Quoting RTSplayer:


Nature and models don't follow artificial man-made groupings or definitions on cyclone formation.


It could make a "warm seclusion" or just a "rotating thingamajig" for which we don't have a technical name.


GFS still takes it to 50kts surface winds.

NAM takes it to 46kts surface winds.

Euro still takes it to 33m/s @ 850mb layer which again translates to roughly 65mph surface winds.



So even if it doesn't meet the textbook definition of a TS, it's apparently going to be about the same strength anyway.

How do you know what the NAM takes it too? I didn't think the NAM ranged into the central Atlantic
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7637
I think it will deserve an invest tag but i dont know anything after that.
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


Amen...I nearly dodged a bullet with that Sanford-Raleigh tornado.
as did I. Almost got hit by 2 EF3 that went through my area and tornado missed my grandparents in Sanford by a mile.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
I dont know what is the opinion by all of you,but I dont like the naming of Sub-Tropical systems.This is the reason it's hard to have fewer than 10 named storms since they began naming them. (Except 2009) Prior to the last decade, there would not even have been the consideration of naming such a system.

I sort of agree with you... Why do sub-tropical storms get named when all the Nor'easters that roll up the east coast in the winter (except this past winter) and are just as bad as sub-tropical storms not get named?
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7637
Quoting RTSplayer:


Nature and models don't follow artificial man-made groupings or definitions on cyclone formation.


It could make a "warm seclusion" or just a "rotating thingamajig" for which we don't have a technical name.


GFS still takes it to 50kts surface winds.

NAM takes it to 46kts surface winds.

Euro still takes it to 33m/s @ 850mb layer which again translates to roughly 65mph surface winds.



So even if it doesn't meet the textbook definition of a TS, it's apparently going to be about the same strength anyway.


Yes but when the conditions are so "unfavorable" typically they would be somewhat scattered.
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6461
IMO I don't think conditions in the north Atlantic could sustain a sub-tropical system..... but an invest isn't out of the question.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I highly doubt it. For one, Sea Surface Temperatures are not sufficient at all for tropical, or even subtropical, development. Wind shear is also only above 30 knots. ;)

Sub-tropical formation SST threshold is around 22-24 C, the water in the area is about 23C so its fine and wind shear doesn't impact sub-tropical systems as much as tropical systems.

EDIT: and the Frontal system is the main reason for the shear coming from the south, the shear from the north is actually helping in strengthening any kind of weak circulation it has. When the frontal winds are from the south, and the Bermuda High's winds are from the north, with enough spacing, can create cyclonic turning and low pressure aloft.
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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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