Major tornado outbreak expected today

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:26 PM GMT on April 06, 2006

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Another major severe weather outbreak is predicted for today across the central U.S. The Storm Prediction Center has just increased the risk of severe weather to the highest category across eastern Kansas and neighboring regions of Missouri and Nebraska. An extrememly potent mix of warm, moist Gulf of Mexico air, a very strong jet stream, and an intrusion of dry air at mid levels of the atmosphere is expected to trigger another major tornado outbreak over the next two days that may rival the two previous outbreaks this year for number of tornadoes. More strong F3 tornadoes are expected today, along with baseball-sized hail and damaging thunderstorm winds. Tomorrow, the action moves into Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, as the storm system responsible tracks slowly eastward.


Figure 1.Severe weather outlook for today.

The April 2-3 tornado outbreak
According to NOAA, the 68 tornado reports and 26 tornado deaths Sunday in eight states brought the totals for the year to 355 tornadoes and 38 deaths. Sunday's storms also caused two wind-related deaths and approximately 196 injuries. This is the highest total number of reports for the first three months of the year since 1999 and is a sharp contrast to last year when only 96 tornado reports and five deaths occurred by April 3. The number of deaths to date is the highest since 1998. So far, NWS damage surveys have confirmed five F3 tornadoes from the April 2-3 outbreak.

I'll be back tomorrow with a discussion of why this year's severe weather season has been so bad.

Jeff Masters

AFTER THE STORM (TAUSCH57)
AFTER THE STORM
Killer Supercell (Zormsk)
Many of you no doubt saw on the news the devastation wreaked by a supercell thunderstorm that spawned in Arkansas and then moved into Tennessee near Memphis unleashing tornados, levelng towns and killing several people. This storm formed to the east of us here in Russellville and by that time, we had entered the dry clear air behind the front. I was out and about and saw above Crow Mountain, the top of the supercell. Then, it was about halfway between Little Rock and Memphis TN, so I was viewing it from nearly 150 miles away. The supercell blew up high enough that its anvil top was clearly illuminated by the setting sun as it flattened out on reaching the lower stratosphere. This was an awesome storm that lit up our eastern horizon with lightning (but no thunder) well into the night, as it went about the tragic business of killing Tennesseeans.
Killer Supercell

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76. ForecasterColby
11:19 AM GMT on April 07, 2006
That's really odd, I've never known a system on this scale to just sit there.
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74. CrazyC83
5:05 AM GMT on April 07, 2006
That is correct. All it takes is one tornado in a populated area for devastation.
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 142
73. ForecasterColby
4:50 AM GMT on April 07, 2006
Also remember the last outbreak hit much more populated areas.
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72. CrazyC83
3:38 AM GMT on April 07, 2006
We still have to get through tomorrow though...and more severe weather is expected...
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 142
70. louastu
11:28 PM EDT on April 06, 2006
Also, I really thought that there should have been a high risk during the last outbreak of severe weather. I checked the SPC website several times expecting them to upgrade the moderate risk to a high risk, and they never did.
69. louastu
11:19 PM EDT on April 06, 2006
I don't think today was overhyped, based on the information they had. It did look like there would be a signifigant severe weather outbreak today.

This time it did not turn out to be that bad, and we were very fortunate. It is days like this that make obvious, the need for more research into how our weather works.
67. louastu
9:32 PM EDT on April 06, 2006
Posted By: sayhuh at 12:32 AM GMT on April 07, 2006.

KC is spared again. I feel for those impacted, and urge them to move to KC..it seems to have a weather barrier surrounding it.

Despite your luck so far, I can assure you that there is no "weather barrier" surrounding Kansas City, or any other city for that matter.
66. weatherguy03
1:24 AM GMT on April 07, 2006
What is causing this strange thin line of clouds from just North of Ft Lauderdale to the South East towards the Bahamas?? WEIRD LOOKING!! They are moveing to the N.W..


Very common here in Florida as Skye mentioned. Just to add. Most likely do to a convergence zone that setup, which happens alot with strong E or SE flow like we had today. E winds meeting SE or S winds right along the coast, this will create an area of convergence and produce clouds and showers. But as you can see, not much today, as it has been a fairly dry air mass over us for the last few days.
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65. DAVIDKRZW
6:16 PM PDT on April 06, 2006
is there a round 3 of sever weather comeing
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64. sayhuh
12:32 AM GMT on April 07, 2006
KC is spared again. I am glad, but puzzled how this happened. Everything was set up, or so it seemed...guess this is why this isn't an exact science. In the high risk, and will escape without not one rain drop. I feel for those impacted, and urge them to move to KC..it seems to have a weather barrier surrounding it.
62. louastu
7:43 PM EDT on April 06, 2006
I don't think there is a great chance of severe weather in Ohio. However, I certainly would not rule out the possibility.
61. Striker
11:40 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
Anybody think Western, specifically NW Ohio will get any severe stuff tonite/tomorrow?
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59. Skyepony (Mod)
10:58 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
buster~ that'd most likely due to the gulf stream. It's not uncommon for it to produce clouds & showers in odd lines like that. We got a stong wind form the SE today, you can see it being pulled toward FL. Notice the similiar lines along the gulf steam loops of Jax, SC & the GOM. There were showers out there day before yesterday from it, when the winds, temps & dewpoints are right, they form showers out there in the middle of the night & give East central Fl 5-6am showers.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 165 Comments: 37871
58. louastu
6:39 PM EDT on April 06, 2006
If anyone questions the power of 80 mph winds check this out.
56. lightning10
10:08 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
That is a great picture of after the storm. I took a long look at it. I hope there are no fatalities.
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51. louastu
8:52 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
Osage County in Oklahoma is now under a tornado warning.
49. RL3AO
8:38 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
Mesoscale Discussion involving WW 153 in Arkansas

MD 143
48. Levi32
8:36 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
Here is a visible image showing the first storms blowing up across Kansas and Oklahoma.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
47. RL3AO
8:33 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
new Mesoscale Outlook involving NE Nebraska and West-Central Iowa

MS 442
46. louastu
8:24 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
The SPC has extended the High Risk area into parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas.
45. turtlehurricane
8:23 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
i have updated my blog
Member Since: July 22, 2005 Posts: 227 Comments: 469
44. CrazyC83
8:22 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
I think it might be Kay-shuh.
Member Since: September 19, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 142
43. HurricaneMyles
8:18 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
Not sure 100%, but thats how I said it, RL3AO.
Member Since: January 12, 2006 Posts: 5 Comments: 827
42. RL3AO
8:08 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
how do you pronounce Katia? Cat-e-ah?
41. tamiw64
8:07 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
I have been reading all your comments... Realizing just how stupid I am when it comes to the WEATHER!! Everything you all have to say is very interesting to me. I am in central IL, and we are currently getting thunder, lightenting & rain.
40. louastu
7:53 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
Vince was actually the first time the V name was used (they didn't name storms in 1933).
39. Geoman
7:45 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
Also, consider how often Vince could be used as a name; statistically, the chances are against another megaseason in 2011. (I sure hope I'm right!) It has been a long time since we used a V name in the north atlantic. Vince will probably live on in the records unchallenged for a long time.
Member Since: November 8, 2001 Posts: 65 Comments: 8
38. louastu
7:32 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
I know that. I am not, in any way suggesting that I think they should have retired Vince.

I am simply saying that if historical signifigance is a factor, then Vince should be retired, do to the fact that it is the first tropical cyclone known to make landfall in Spain.

Obviously, if you retire storms based strictly on damage, and/or deaths, the name Vince should not be retired.
37. Skyepony (Mod)
7:23 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
It's a combination of all the factors & seems ultimately up the the countrys affected to request the retirement.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 165 Comments: 37871
35. louastu
7:18 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
Juan was one of the most, if not the most destructive hurricane in Canadian history.

If historical signifigance has anything to do with retiring names then Vince should be retired as well.
34. Skyepony (Mod)
7:14 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
From Wikipedia~
Storm names are retired following a request made at the March or April WMO meeting by one or more of the countries affected by a hurricane. While no request for retirement has ever been turned down, some storms such as Hurricane Gordon caused a great deal of death and destruction but nonetheless were not retired as the main country affected did not request retirement.

Perhaps there were no requests? Also with $550 million damage & 6 direct deaths it's borderline for making the list. There has been the exceptions through the years like Juan~ cat2, $210 million & 2 fatalities but from the historical signifigance factor it hit Nova Scotia as a Cat 2, Prince Edward Island as a cat 1 & Quebec as a TS.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 165 Comments: 37871
33. louastu
6:54 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
Emily has become one of the rarest types of cat-5 hurricanes, becoming 1 of only 3 or 4 storms to achieve cat-5 intensity, and not have it's name retired.
32. Skyepony (Mod)
6:47 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
I wondered why Stan wasn't on NOAA's sweet graphic heading the story

Just cause it didn't hit US?
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 165 Comments: 37871
31. Skyepony (Mod)
6:42 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
There's another record for 2005~ most retired hurricane names in a season.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 165 Comments: 37871
30. louastu
6:27 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
Why isn't Emily on that list?
29. DaAntiCyclone
6:19 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
DENNIS, KATRINA, RITA, STAN AND WILMA "RETIRED" FROM LIST OF STORM NAMES
International Committee Selects Replacement Names for 2011 List
28. louastu
5:24 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
High risk for tomorrow also.
26. sayhuh
5:09 PM GMT on April 06, 2006
that didnt turn out right..but you get point..sorry

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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.