Tornado outbreak expected through tomorrow from Texas to Nebraska

I’ve been watching this with concern, and NOAA just had a press briefing on the issue today. It seems we are headed for the “perfect storm”. The convective outlook from SPC yesterday showed strong potential for Friday/Saturday. Today’s SPC forecast for Friday-Saturday (US Time) is even worse:

Mile Smith (Pres/CEO of Weatherdata) writes at his blog, Meteorological Musings:

Well, we’ve gone from bad to worse with the addition of maxed-out probabilities in eastern Nebraska and the extension of the hatching farther east.

Sixty percent is the highest the numbers can go. If you live in the hatched areas keep up on the weather tomorrow and tomorrow night! Hatched areas are where violent tornadoes may occur along with winds of 75 mph or higher and/or hail 2″ in diameter or larger.


Now, I want to show you an index that can help discern where the strongest tornadoes might be:

A value of “1” is generally considered sufficient for adequate for “significant” (defined by meteorologists as a tornado of F-2 intensity or greater) tornadoes. In this case, values max out at 5 just southwest of Wichita at 7pm Saturday. Do not consider these exact locations. I’m simply trying to establish that both the computer values and the human forecasters consider tomorrow to be a dangerous day.

My advice for tomorrow if you live in one of the moderate or high risk areas? Go about your routine checking the weather every hour or so unless thunderstorms start to approach. At that point, pay continuous attention. Use good sense and you’ll be fine.

Here are the most current tornado safety rules.

If you live in these areas and have hatches, batten them.

BTW Mike has a great book about severe weather:

I recommend his book Warnings: The true story of how science tamed the weather.

I’ve read it, and I’ve lived and experienced much of what he’s written about in the quest to make forecasting, especially severe weather forecasting, more accurate, timely, and specific. For those of us that prefer practical approaches over the rampant speculation on mere wisps of connections to climate, this book is for you.

He says he has another book coming on what went wrong with the Joplin tornado.

For those that want to track storms, may I also suggest this program: StormPredator, which uses the free NWS NEXRAD network to give you alerts and up to date imagery.

About these ads

73 thoughts on “Tornado outbreak expected through tomorrow from Texas to Nebraska

  1. If the US space program had continued with the Saturn V production line,
    by now we could have fielded a geosynch solar-powered weather-mod satellite,
    beaming gigaWatts of microwaves in the water band to heat strategic air masses.
    This concept has been specifically studied for tornado suppression
    by heating the comma cloud and dispersing it.

    But no, it their strategic wisdom our Welfare-State masters
    spent the money instead on subsidizing fatherless families and other social disasters, while frittering away pitifully small space funds on the klunky, white-elephant shuttle.

  2. Oh wow, this is the worst forecast I’ve personally seen for my area. Keep us updated if you’re willing and can, Anthony. WUWT is a seriously good aggregator, so I’m keeping my eye here. Time to batten down the hatches…

  3. Often what happens in these “Perfect Storm” scenarios is that the emerging system has so much energy that the storms rapidly form into solid lines which inhibits supercell development. Also, the “perfect” systems are sometimes so perfect that a large bank of clouds also forms in the advection areas before the triggering dryline approaches, which inhibits the energy available. Let us hope that this is one of those times and it is not as bad as predicted.

  4. Count on CIN (CInh) to put a ‘cap’ on this (we shall see).

    It has happened before, of course, like a couple weeks back when that ‘cap’ broke and all Hades become unleashed given the proper low-level ingredients being present along with a supporting ‘jet’ steak cruising above …

    .

  5. Well USA: Good luck tomorrow and let’s hope it won’t be that bad as predicted.
    I hate thunderstorms and especially those dangerous ones.

  6. Most of us old-timers in the mid-west (known as the central plains to the rest of the country – Ohio is in the mid-west, really?) have our own very unscientific methods of deciding when to high-tail it to the basement in times of dangerous weather.

    The two I use are keeping an eye on the color and smell of the air. Yes, we all know that air has no color, but that doesn’t change the fact that pre-tornado air almost always carries a yellowish, tannish, pea-soup greenish, unworldly tint. Since it’s impossible to see the change in air color at night, it’s very handy that tornadoes also produce an odd musty, moldy kind of smell. For me, the two together = RUN for the lowest spot handy.

  7. Seeing as how I live in the red spot in KS, it looks like I should plan on not doing a lot of running around tomorrow afternoon. Should be “fun”, for some definition of “fun”.

  8. Sigh, this is the bad part about living in God’s country. Fortunately, we’ve a lot of wide open spaces so even if this mess does spawn a few twisters, odds are still good for minimal damage.

  9. Interstellar Bill says:
    April 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    If the US space program had continued with the Saturn V production line,
    by now we could have fielded a geosynch solar-powered weather-mod satellite,
    beaming gigaWatts of microwaves in the water band to heat strategic air masses. …

    You made this same post (or one very, very similar) just a couple weeks back (after the Dallas twisters) … do you not realize how impractical what you propose is?

    I responded back then that you would be better off providing artificial Orographic lift via a ground-level forcing mechanism to induce down-stream storms (boosting low-level ‘air’ through the capping level) in order to start storms that would siphon off some of that rich, warm moist air thereby robbing the upstream storms of ‘energy’ … remember now?

    .

  10. I spent a good part of my life in tornado rich environments. I attended a university in Omaha and retreated to the basement of our rented duplex more than a few times. After college I worked in a suburb outside of Chicago and this wasn’t too bad. Then I moved to Springfield, Illinois. The middle of Illinois gets wild weather – crazy hot, humid summers, incredible thundstorms and tonadoes in the spring and wild, bitterly cold winters (and I grew up in Michigan). Then I moved to Amarillo and stayed there for a little over 10 years. Tornadoes every spring were just as common as snowstorms in Michigan were every winter. I’ve been through plenty of both but the baseball sized hail was the most impressive. I used to play “storm net” with a local ham club in Amarillo and gave this up after my truck got the crap beat out of it by hail. Then I moved up here in the mountains of NM. We don’t do tornadoes up here…we don’t even do mosquitoes up here. But we get pretty impresive forest fires every year.

    Tornadoes are pretty scary and I’ve never experienced a direct hit, but I did have to replace two cedar shake roofs in about a 4 year span. Although I was too poor to take advantage of the deals, I remember auto dealerships offering huge discounts on hail damaged cars when I was in college. I vividly remember a May day in 1994. I was working in my garden with my handheld radio clipped to my shorts. I heard the warnings come in from other hams north of me then I felt that icy blast of the gust front. I immediately retreated to the back of the house (which was essentially underground). I took the dogs with me and left the horse to fend for herself. The tornado hit just a little less than a mile away. The hail was horrific. In about 30 minutes the storm had passed. I couldn’t believe what I saw when I went outside. Windows were smashed in the garage, the mirrors were smashed on my truck (and it looked like it had cellulite), the roof was destroyed, my beautiful garden looked like it had been roto-tilled. The horse was in her stall sweating profusely. There were dead birds, snakes and lizards laying about. And this wasn’t even a direct hit. The best advice is to take cover when you’re advised to do so.

  11. Looks like we will get another round of climate alarmist conjecture on steroids from the news media saying as usual all this is due to man made global warming and its impact on “extreme weather”. The MSM is really out of control on trying to push natural weather variation as climate change. Its really quite disgusting.

  12. I’m almost dead center in the lower pink area in the first map. Feels like there’s a bullseye on the mobile home.Time to air out the cellar.

  13. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/01/tornado-outbreak-tracking/#comment-909920

    Seems to still be as valid now as then…
    Richard Holle says:
    March 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Once again the Lunar declinational tidal effect is responsible but goes unmentioned, The moon was maximum North declination on the 1st of March, the solar declination seasonal tide is incoming from the South adding to the effect and making the resultant tropical air mass surge two days sooner than the usual, peak production on the day of Maximum North lunar declination and three days after.

    I have had daily forecast maps for this expected precipitation posted for 51 months now;

    http://www.aerology.com/national.aspx

    Details on how it works are posted on the site, in the blog/research section.

    You can watch the incoming lunar tidal bulge sweep in from the Southwest in their short movie, and the back side more polar air mass brings in the negative static/ionic charges that gave added power to the temperature front to drive the condensation high enough to generate the tornadoes.

    Over the next three days as the fetch of moisture slides East across Texas into the Gulf states, and the moon starts to head South again, Just as we are having a heliocentric conjunction with Mars on the 3rd, this is very likely to bring on another round of tornadoes.(they got that part right anyway) see my maps for these days as well.

    Last year the big outbreak was enhanced by the heliocentric conjunction with Saturn, on the 3rd of April, which will be occurring on the 15th of April this year, so you can expect more outbreaks to occur from the 4-10-2012 Maximum South lunar declination and four day after window, another much larger 2 or 3 day burst as the moon crosses the equator on 4-17-2012. Then the heavy action through the end of the month of April, ending in last hurrah of big snows into the first week of May. Appalachian Ice storm seems to be on the 3rd through 5th of May, buy your replacement power poles early.

  14. Definately second the “greenish tint” of impedning doom. We get a surprising number of small tornados in PA, but they are hidden by mountains and trees until the get right up in your grill. Couple areas of flattened forest nearby where twisters came through. Pretty impressive even if they are all just F1s. (which is plenty)

    I can’t imagine seeing a twister like Tuscaloosa or Joplin coming at me.

  15. Lived in Omaha, when the “super cell” hit Grand Island. The next weekend, at MIDNIGHT on a Sunday, the sirens all began sounding continuously. THE POLICE RAN UP AND DOWN AND TURNED ON THEIR SIRENS IN THE SQUADS?

    Why, at that time NO internet. But the local stations (TV) did have the weather radars. Another damned SUPER CELL (T. Storm about 25 miles north to south, and 40 to 50 miles wide in the direction of travel had developed and was heading right for OMAHA.

    You can be your sweet tukus that 80 to 90% of the folks in the city were up from midnight until about 1:45 AM on the Monday morning, as we watched the “monster” drift slowly N-E and miss the city. The other odd thing, NO TORNADOS AT ALL WERE SPAWNED.

    When the cell was spotted, there were NO BETS that it would be “tornado free”. In a way, the reaction of the population was IMPRESSIVE. Having seen the devestation that 30 to 40 twisters did to G.I. (30% of the towns structures DESTROYED within 45 minutes!) we were not taking chances. I’m sure there would have been a couple dozen deaths, had we experience the “head on” of 30 twisters, but having had the danger “driven home”…the whole of an American city was like a troup of boy scouts, we were PREPARED!

  16. Sunday and Monday will much of the same potential be farther east? I just saw Bonnie View Road in Dallas and all the torn up stuff at Kenworth and Schneider. Joplin has rebuilt to the point that in some of the hardest hit areas, if you didn’t know what to look for you wouldn’t know how damaged it was.

  17. Remember my look-back-60 years for forecasts of extreme weather, well I believe we are coming into a period over the next several years of increased tornado intensity – not because of CO2 but because of the cooling period back in the 50s. We will have to put up with the hungry CO2 disaster crowd for this, though. My prayers for the high risk area residents.

  18. Mike Smith to the spotlight. Where’s my spotter. Stand by Omaha, Wichita, and Oklahoma City.
    ================

  19. Heaven help the folks there that spend all their money on power and fuel instead of paying for the media that gives them early warning and emergency preparedness.

  20. As a resident of Joplin Missouri, I just want to say that we really have had our quota of tornadoes for awhile…

  21. I was in the tornado that struck Raleigh,NC on April 16th last year, and our building barely averted disaster, because for some reason that I don’t understand, the tornado was generally headed in a NE direction, and was headed straight for our building, but for some reason it took a sudden jog to the right and barely missed us. Thank god it missed us, because our building had an extremely weak structure and no safe area inside, there were over 100 people inside who weren’t bunkering down, and most were watching the tornado unfold in front of them, it could have been much worse.

  22. Ma3,
    The two I use are keeping an eye on the color and smell of the air.
    Yes, these signs are unmistakable to anybody who spends time outdoors, working or farming, with an eye to the weather. To me a pea green sky spells ‘danger, danger, danger’. The smell for me is ozony.

  23. Re the weird light colour – I have read that when Katrina was coming in to New Orleans, people observed a similar effect – a sort of greenish tinge. Does anyone know what causes it?

    My best wishes to those of you in the danger zone in the US – keep safe.

  24. johanna says:
    April 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Re the weird light colour – I have read that when Katrina was coming in to New Orleans, people observed a similar effect – a sort of greenish tinge. Does anyone know what causes it?

    Don’t know but I would suspect a high water vapour content in the air.

    DaveE.

  25. Piers speaks of “tornadoe swarma” in the Texas and midwest area especially betweem April 22 -24th. That could be two very rough weekends !

  26. It does have an Ozone smell. The ghostly green sky raises the hair up on my arms. “Is everything tied down?” happens here in Ne. alot.

    I do appreciate the knowledge that things might happen like that ahead of time. I’ve got a whole day to prepare for this.

    Computer value 3 I believe? Going by the color changes. :)

  27. Yea, I have in-laws in Coffeyville KS, right on the edge of the bullseye. I’ve called them to be sure they are on top of this.

  28. Ma3 says:
    April 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Most of us old-timers in the mid-west (known as the central plains to the rest of the country – Ohio is in the mid-west, really?) have our own very unscientific methods of deciding when to high-tail it to the basement in times of dangerous weather.

    The two I use are keeping an eye on the color and smell of the air. Yes, we all know that air has no color, but that doesn’t change the fact that pre-tornado air almost always carries a yellowish, tannish, pea-soup greenish, unworldly tint.
    ——————————–
    Yes, green very, very bad. Just dark (and I mean night-at-noon dark) means a lot of rain and maybe a little hail. Bad, bad green…

  29. @Martin457 says:
    April 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm
    It does have an Ozone smell. The ghostly green sky raises the hair up on my arms.

    Electricity!

  30. I have lived in Wichita for over 40 years. When we moved out here from Cincinnati in 1970 my parents were worried about us moving into “tornado alley”. Of course I made sure that we got a house with a full basement! During all this time there have been no direct hits in Wichita, but there have been several tornadoes to hit Cincinnati. There is an old Native American saying out here to the effect that storms avoid the junction of two rivers (Wichita is said to be at the confluence of two rivers.) So far we have been lucky.

    In 1991 a strong tornado hit Andover KS about 10 miles to the east of us. I was teaching music composition at a local university and had a graduate student who was doing his thesis composition on computer. He did not have his own computer but kept his score filed on a computer at a church in Andover where he worked. He had logged about 6 months of creative work and many changes that we had made in his weekly lessons. Well, the Andover tornado struck the church and the computer was blown away. Without his thesis it looked as if he would not graduate. But two days after the storm the hard-drive (only!) was found in a tree about 100 yards from the church. My very resourceful student sent the hard drive to a firm in Wisconsin that specialized in data retrieval from aircraft black boxes. For $600 they retrieved his thesis. The composition was printed out and performed, and my student graduated on time. He suffered many jokes about his work being struck down by an “act of God”.

    Fortunately we have very good storm coverage and warning system here in Wichita. We all take these storms very seriously.

  31. Well, as a Canadian, who has never seen one, sorry about exporting the cold air to you guys that will help this mess…

  32. @
    Ma3: Yep, once you’ve seen Tornado Sky you never forget it. In 1973 I spent my first summer east of the Rockies in southern Georgia and had a tornado come within a mile. I didn’t see the tornado but the sky was as you describe it. One of the locals told me "son when you see a hole in the clouds like a cathedral there’s a tornado real close." and so there was. Later that summer in August when I returned home to PDX, a squall line came through with the same eerie looking sky and I remarked to a classmate, "If I were back east I would be looking for a tornado," and what do you know, a tornado touched down less than two miles from the NWS office!

    Ma3 says:
    April 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Most of us old-timers in the mid-west (known as the central plains to the rest of the country – Ohio is in the mid-west, really?) have our own very unscientific methods of deciding when to high-tail it to the basement in times of dangerous weather.

    The two I use are keeping an eye on the color and smell of the air. Yes, we all know that air has no color, but that doesn’t change the fact that pre-tornado air almost always carries a yellowish, tannish, pea-soup greenish, unworldly tint. Since it’s impossible to see the change in air color at night, it’s very handy that tornadoes also produce an odd musty, moldy kind of smell. For me, the two together = RUN for the lowest spot handy.

  33. johanna says:
    April 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Re the weird light colour – I have read that when Katrina was coming in to New Orleans, people observed a similar effect – a sort of greenish tinge. Does anyone know what causes it?

    My best wishes to those of you in the danger zone in the US – keep safe.

    When I was storm chasing, we used that green coloration as a strong hint that big hail was up there some where. The speculation was that the hail stones high in the storm column illuminated by the sun tended to reflect a greenish cast.

    Can’t say if that is fact but that is what I was told.

    Larry

  34. I just saw about an hour a Nova program about the tornados last year. The formation of the Joplin was caught on video. It went from no tornado to EF4 or 5 in less than ten seconds just outside of Joplin! Hopefully this time around there is more warning (actually more hopeing for a forecast bust-this is the type of forecast that a forecaster really hopes doesn’t pan out)

  35. Greetings from Wichita!

    Good God. Right in the middle of +2.

    Trained storm spotter. Been through two here. First one jumped my house but settled on Tyler
    Rd, but I lost my Greg Norman hat straight up. Worst part was listening to my wife yelling, “Get you dumb arse in here,” from the front door. That storm left the record Kansas hailstone of 7.85″ one half mile south of my house. Crushed my skylights, with +$9,000.00 in a new roof. Second one went through Andale but raised before Maize,Ks.

    Green is hail. Tornado is swirling clouds. Wall clouds, etc.

    Preparations????

    Went and prepared amy well stocked basement bar. Barbecue when the first sign of a front shows. Wind calms down just before. Timing is critical. Just before.

    But I guess I have a different view of things. I’ve been closer to death trying to get on Kellogg Av. Storms are somewhat predictable.

    Ignorant drivers aren’t.

    Will keep you posted, if the Wi-Fi works.

  36. Richard Holle says April 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Once again the Lunar declinational tidal effect is responsible but goes unmentioned …

    How does this play in again with forcing warm, humid air up from the Gulf again (an important constituent part of this scenario terminologically I might add)?

    I’m beginning to think this area of ‘meteorological phrenology’ is open to the wide interpretations of soothsayers and other ‘seers’ of intangibles …

    Generally, something with this much linkage between ’cause and effect’ would be written up in all the basic meteorological texts, and would be as notable as Rossby waves and such.

    With ALL the meteorological observation instruments, twice-daily rawindsonde soundings, WV imagery and other various wavelength satellite imagery (besides LWIR and visible) you mean to tell us there is ONE big facet to all this we are overlooking?

    May I remind you that “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”?

    Please, can you show us the/your homework, showing us the predictions worked-out a week, nay ten days to two weeks ago that prognosticate this upcoming event? This ‘event’ has been showing up and has appearing at about the 3-day outlook point for over a week now by the folks at NOAA’s SPC (having observed their “Convective Outlook” webpage for the past week; the inference here being they have ‘pushed’ it out from about Monday or Tuesday (prognostication on last Saturday) tomorrow (Saturday the 14th).

    Also note the ‘action’ taking place today in Oklahoma; I’m registering a lot of lightning ‘discharges’ on longwave (about 300 kHz) even now as I write this (most activity from about FDR to OKC).

    .

  37. usjim
    Thank you for your reply.
    When I repeat a point it is because I think it is worth re-emphasis.
    If the tornado-suppression method you want to use is so much better than a powersat, then why hasn’t it already been proven?
    What “ground-level forcing mechanism” do you have in mind anyway, a nuclear detonation?\
    The powersat idea, however expensive at first, is hardly impractical,
    since it could address much of the hemisphere with phased-arrayed promptness.
    Anyway, if we’d kept the Saturn V it would have been a hundred times cheaper than today’s costs.

    Every tornado victim is a victim of the Welfare State.
    And I won’t stop saying it, since death is permanent.

  38. “In this case, values max out at 5 just southwest of Wichita at 7pm Saturday.”

    Ummm.

    Three miles south, six miles west of downtown Wichita.
    Could you be more specific?

  39. Tsk Tsk says April 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    ..
    Most of us old-timers in the mid-west (known as the central plains to the rest of the country – Ohio is in the mid-west, really?) have our own very unscientific methods of deciding when to high-tail it to the basement in times of dangerous weather.

    The two I use are keeping an eye on the color and smell of the air. …

    My my … why are cities investing in outdoor sirens and other means of alerting the public (like reverse 911 systems and cell-phone warning systems) then?

    Could it be because these (pardon me) ‘old wives tales’ just haven’t panned out?

    I don’t recall too many accounts of storm chasers bearing witness to these indicators (), so, I would appreciate any written technical works, cites, literature or even videos please …

    Just last week, here in the Dallas area, we (I) was near the end of the RADAR track on one of those twisters too; no ‘odd’ colors and no odd odors either.

    Check out #3 here:

    http://www.accuweather.com/en/features/severe-weather/top-five-tornado-myths-debunke/61918

    “Myth: 3. A green sky is an indicator that a tornado is coming” .. Truth: NOT necessarily …

    .

  40. From Pull My Finger on April 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm:

    (…) We get a surprising number of small tornados in PA, but they are hidden by mountains and trees until the get right up in your grill. Couple areas of flattened forest nearby where twisters came through. Pretty impressive even if they are all just F1s. (which is plenty)

    Hey you, tell the truth!

    FIRST the meteorologists say the doppler radar shows tornadoes are likely coming.

    Then they land and tear everything up.

    The meteorologists note how they looked like tornadoes on the radar.

    THEN the National Weather Service shows up, investigates, and declares it all was really just straight line winds, there were no tornadoes.

    Come on, I’ve lived in central Pennsylvania all my life, I learned about the NWS dance routine years ago!

  41. http://research.aerology.com/lunar-declinational-affects-on-tornado-production/

    would be a good place to start reading, or maybe;

    http://research.aerology.com/aerology-analog-weather-forecasting-method/

    The Rossby waves and resultant jet streams are the result of the lunar declinational tides in the atmosphere, nobody looked for a connection to the lunar declinational tides because they were all focused on just the light phase relationship, which shifts in and out of phase with the declination.

    The rest of the story is no more funds were allocated to lunar studies past 1950, when peer review was started. The insinuation that it was “Astrology or numerology” has always been a strong deterrent to keep funding away from the “Cycle-manics”.

    http://research.aerology.com/natural-processes/lunar-tidal-movie-sample/

    gives a sample view of the synchronicity. Not enough credit is given to the ionic conduction of storms and the weather in general, it should be studied more if the funding could be found.

    Richard Holle

  42. Despite comments above, we also get the “green sky” every once in a while. Once, stange as it may seem, I saw a single lightning strike that cleared the color back to normal. Very weird, and I only remember seeing it once, I thought thet ionization may have had something to do with it. Best of luck, Middle America! We’re rooting for you!

  43. Larry Ledwick (hotrod ) says:
    April 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I did find this explaination that makes sense. Severe thunderstorms are always very tall clouds, this answer implies that the coloration is an artifact of the depth (height) of the storm cloud, and its illumination. Hence very tall powerful thunderstorms would be most likely to take on a green cast in the proper lighting.

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_is_the_sky_green_before_hail

    ————————————————————–
    Thanks, Larry, that explanation makes sense. A 12 mile high bank of storm clouds is a very scary concept! Although, the wiki explanation refers to light refraction around sunset, whereas I understand that Katrina hit Lousiana around 5am. I am not sure when people claimed to have seen the greenish light, whether it was late in the day before or early in the morning just before it hit.

    Anyway, the message is clear. As a PP said, green light very, very bad.

  44. Was taught by my elders how to skywatch when just a little shaver and green sky always meant hail. .. true then and true now.

  45. 2:25am and the tornado sirens are blaring… it’s calm outside- check on the weather radar and turn on the news channel- main body of storm has clearly moved to the north by some distance- tornado 15 miles north… the guy with his finger on the alarm trigger goes too far.

    Maybe the neighborhood can get back to sleep and maybe the alarm guy’s itchyfinger gets a clue.

  46. @Luther Wu says:
    April 14, 2012 at 12:45 am
    “2:25am and the tornado sirens are blaring… it’s calm outside- check on the weather radar and turn on the news channel- main body of storm has clearly moved to the north by some distance- tornado 15 miles north… the guy with his finger on the alarm trigger goes too far.

    Maybe the neighborhood can get back to sleep and maybe the alarm guy’s itchyfinger gets a clue.”

    You bring up an important point, Luther. Here in the Western East or Eastern-most Midwest (Ohio, for anyone griping that’s it’s in the Midwest) the tornado warnings are being overused, IMO. When following local radar when there is bad weather about, IMO the NWS and broadcast media are shouting WARNING to too wide of an area. Nothing happens in 7/8ths or 8/8ths of the WARNING area and I worry that crying wolf is desensitizing people to when conditions really warrant duck-and-cover actions.

    I always thought that tornado watches meant conditions were right for tornado formation, and that level of alert could cover a broad area. A tornado warning was only issued when funnel clouds had been spotted.Anyhow, I agree that it seems there is a tendency to hit the siren button more often than necessary.

    Aside; same holds true for “WHITE DEATH IS COMING” snowstorm warnings where we get only 4″-6″ of snow. My theory is that it’s a conspiiracy by Big Grocery to get rid of overstocks of bread and milk.

  47. “Myth: 3. A green sky is an indicator that a tornado is coming” .. Truth: NOT necessarily …

    I don’t think anyone is saying the green sky indicates 100% chance of a tornado hitting. What they’re saying is that the green sky indicates conditions are very favorable for the formation of tornadoes, because the taller a cumulonimbus cloud gets, the more powerful the updrafts in it must be.

    And when it comes to the smell, if you’ve lived in Tornado Alley for 50+ years like I have, you damned well know it. You step outside and it “smells like tornado”. Next thing you know, the NWS has issued at least a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for your area. After this happens a few dozen times, you learn to associate the smell with the danger.

  48. Richard Holle says April 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm


    I have had daily forecast maps for this expected precipitation posted for 51 months now;

    http://www.aerology.com/national.aspx

    Richard,

    Comparing prediction with actual for the date 4-13-2012 (just yesterday, Friday), there is a BIG discrepancy in the precipitation depiction.

    Basically, storms (with 65 dBZ and heavier indicated precip) ‘trained’ from the vicinity of FDR (Frederick Oklahoma in SW OK) to OKC (central OK) for a good part of the day and into the evening; this is not depicted in the aerology website precipitation depiction … is there something I’m overlooking in comparing ‘actual’ and ‘predicted’?

    These storms were not insignificant (simple squalls/squall lines, but rather tornadic supercells); several of them spawned tornadoes which were caught on video by storm chasers.

    .

  49. H.R. says:
    April 14, 2012 at 5:47 am

    You bring up an important point, Luther. Here in the Western East or Eastern-most Midwest (Ohio, for anyone griping that’s it’s in the Midwest) the tornado warnings are being overused, IMO. When following local radar when there is bad weather about, IMO the NWS and broadcast media are shouting WARNING to too wide of an area. Nothing happens in 7/8ths or 8/8ths of the WARNING area and I worry that crying wolf is desensitizing people to when conditions really warrant duck-and-cover actions.

    I always thought that tornado watches meant conditions were right for tornado formation, and that level of alert could cover a broad area. A tornado warning was only issued when funnel clouds had been spotted.Anyhow, I agree that it seems there is a tendency to hit the siren button more often than necessary.

    This is a no-win scenario for mets. Warnings are issued when a tornado has been sighted or otherwise confirmed in the target warning area. They should always be heeded, because, as great as technology is, the advance warning time of when a funnel may drop is still measured in seconds to a very, very few minutes. Predictability of exactly where out of a supercell a tornado will drop is still mostly a crap-shoot, hence the short warning time. Duck and cover may not be warranted, but certainly a frequent weather eye certainly is. At night, its made worse by both darkness, and the very real possibility (day or night, but most acute at night) that the tornado might be rain-wrapped, meaning it can’t be readily seen in the mass of falling rain around it. Not all stand out by themselves out on the hook.

    A watch means only that conditions are favourable for the formation. Upon confirmation of a real one, or conditions so imminent, then a warning will be issued.

    The problem for mets is the very short available warning time. There’s no “cry wolf” scenario – if the sirens go off, you can bet there’s a good reason to be concerned. Will it pass over your head? Probably not, but no met/alarm manager wants the failure of not issuing a warning that result is folk’s deaths on his conscience.

  50. dermonster says April 14, 2012 at 6:01 am


    And when it comes to the smell, if you’ve lived in Tornado Alley for 50+ years like I have, you damned well know it. …

    In a word: no. (I do recall, just this last week how clean and or sweet things smelled after all our storm activity was over with though but more on this below.)

    This ‘tornado’ smell are due to other factors ‘construed’ and or conflated to mean ‘tornado’ …. it would appear to be one of those “old wives’s tale” passed on down from generation to generation like the advice to ‘open the windows’ to equalize pressure when expecting a tornado.

    In the past, I’ve had wall clouds pass directly overhead: no green and no odor. (Wall Cloud is the precursor to funnel or tornado; it is the lowering from the base of a tornadic cell due to lowered pressure (density altitude) and the formation of visible ‘cloud’ material due to condensation.)

    Simple attribution as to the odor could be from dirt, soil, attic dust, blown-in insulation etc, roofing material and other matter kicked-up/sucked-up into the atmosphere by an ‘active’ tornado; have you thought of that as a possible reason for ‘odd’ smells after a confirmed tornadic event?

    Another reason, unexplored, would be due to the lightning experienced during a Thunderstorm, but take note, simple Thunderstorm does not equate to tornado.

    You are aware of NitrogenCycle.html#Atmospheric_Fixation”>atmospheric fixation of Nitrogen by lightning are you not?

    The enormous energy of lightning breaks nitrogen molecules and enables their atoms to combine with oxygen in the air forming nitrogen oxides. These dissolve in rain, forming nitrates, that are carried to the earth.

    Atmospheric nitrogen fixation probably contributes some 5– 8% of the total nitrogen fixed.

    .

  51. Paul Coppin says April 14, 2012 at 6:48 am

    The problem for mets is the very short available warning time. There’s no “cry wolf” scenario – if the sirens go off, you can bet there’s a good reason to be concerned. Will it pass over your head? Probably not, but no met/alarm manager wants the failure of not issuing a warning that result is folk’s deaths on his conscience.

    One should should also be aware that (at least here in Texas) the local municipal authorities are responsible for ‘pulling the switch’ to sound the sirens; last week the ‘switch’ was pulled in my city and the activity was well to the south in the county south of us … nothing but gray skies and wind for another half an hour before we saw rain even.

    We have had sirens ‘pulled’ on the word of untrained ‘spotters’ mistaking scud and other mis-identified cloud formations; the city has the ultimate responsibility for the sirens … they would rather ‘error on the side of caution’ than not.

    .

  52. Thanks Anthony, my sister moved to Kansas about 10 years ago.She doesn’t like the weather there – big hailstones, she’s had her windshield replaced three times. Once she got stuck on a bridge that had been undermined in a flash flood. She wants to move back to California. I told her things had gotten kind of expensive here:

  53. _Jim says:
    April 14, 2012 at 6:37 am
    “”Richard,

    Comparing prediction with actual for the date 4-13-2012 (just yesterday, Friday), there is a BIG discrepancy in the precipitation depiction.

    Basically, storms (with 65 dBZ and heavier indicated precip) ‘trained’ from the vicinity of FDR (Frederick Oklahoma in SW OK) to OKC (central OK) for a good part of the day and into the evening; this is not depicted in the aerology website precipitation depiction … is there something I’m overlooking in comparing ‘actual’ and ‘predicted’?

    These storms were not insignificant (simple squalls/squall lines, but rather tornadic supercells); several of them spawned tornadoes which were caught on video by storm chasers.””

    Reply——————————–
    These maps are composites of past precipitation from three previous cycles when the lunar declination and the inner planet positions were the same, the similarity between those three cycles and this one 6558 days later is off a little in the location of the paths of the precipitation [due to the turbulence normal to such a large system] but the type of weather is the same over much of the same areas. All I am trying to show is the composite of the past cycles is almost the same as this cycle on a day to day basis. This cycle there is a conjunction with Saturn coming up on the 15th that is increasing the intensity and spread of the cyclonic weather patterns above what the past patterns show. This is what you are noting, I am using these outer planet excursions of the repeating patterns to develop algorithms to correct for the outer planet interferences so I can improve the future forecasts. There is no modeling, just combined real raw data that shows what it shows. I am trying to learn from it as it progresses.

    In my upgraded site I will be showing the composite of the last FOUR cycles in higher resolution so that the type of precip in the past will be more visible by the higher resolution rather than the large smoothed blobs you see now.

  54. Paul Coppin says:
    April 14, 2012 at 6:48 am
    “…This is a no-win scenario for mets. Warnings are issued
    when a tornado has been sighted or otherwise confirmed in the target warning area…
    …The problem for mets is the very short available warning time.There’s no “cry wolf” scenario – if the sirens go off, you can bet there’s a good reason to be concerned. Will it pass over your head? Probably not, but no met/alarm manager wants the failure of not issuing a warning that result is folk’s deaths on his conscience.

    ________________________
    This area wasn’t even close to the target warning area- it was abundantly clear that there was no storm, here. This was a .cry wolf scenario and the metro officials in charge of warnings do it every storm- without fail. A storm not on a track through the city, but 25 miles away spawns a tornado- on go the sirens. This isn’t my first rodeo.
    Caution is required when lives of others are at stake, but what’s the limit? What’s the point of issuiong warnings for unaffected areas? How do you think a populace reacts after years of exposure to false alarms?

    One of the great rationalizations that the AGW propagandists have come to rely on, because their ‘scientific proof’ is demonstrably separate from reality, is that “it’s best to err on the side of caution”. Look at the price we are paying for that line of thinking.

    It’s possible that a meteorite might plunge through your roof at any second… are you going to live in a bunker underground, “just in case”?

  55. I forgot to add… the Oklahoma City metropolitan area is huge, at over 2300 square miles. It’s
    unnecessary to light the alarms in the whole metro area, just because there is a tornado spotted across town, especially when the alarms go off in an area completely out of the storm’s
    track and at 2:30 in the fargin’ a.m., because you’re gonna have to contend with a bunch of cranky old guys like me who need a nap.

  56. Regarding the “cry wolf” problem with tornado sirens: It seems to me that two levels of siren alerts would be helpful: A pulsating or intermittent alert and a steady alert, the latter being more urgent. I think this is what they used to do with air raid sirens, at least in some places.

  57. [My my … why are cities investing in outdoor sirens and other means of alerting the public (like reverse 911 systems and cell-phone warning systems) then?]

    I would guess because an overwhelming segment of the population have their ignorant heads buried in their cell phones or on their way to buy some piece of commercialism !!!!!

  58. OK – I get it. Everyone who is in an area where dangerous tornadoes are forecast should heed the warnings and seek shelter.

    However, I had to give pause when I saw this photo caption under the forecast map at weather.com:

    “As the sun sets on a Central Plains evening filled with tornado activity, an even more dangerous element is added to the severe weather: darkness”

    Darkness is dangerous?… even MORE DANGEROUS than the high speed winds and projectiles that result from a tornado strike?

    http://www.weather.com/ (as of 9PM EST)

  59. From experience I can validate the need to act quickly. I was in a Waffle House off I-75 just north of Cinncinati, when the radio annouced a tornado watch for the area. The restaurant manager made us all move to the back of the restaurant, which was windowsless. As we did, the sky went green and then dark, and all h3ll broke loose. Time was mayby 1 minute. When things settled down, we discovered the highway sign and peaked portion of the Waffle House roof was gone. An oak about 4 foot in diameter on the nearby VOA transmitting facility looked like a toothpick that had been broken by twisting. BTW, although I realize the plural of anecdote is not data, when there is enough anecdotal material, it bears serious investigating. It strikes me the green light effect qualifies.

    REPLY: I’ve been to that Waffle House, and I acted quickly and got the heck outta there! The VOA station is impressive.- Anthony

  60. @rogerkni says:
    April 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm
    “Regarding the “cry wolf” problem with tornado sirens: It seems to me that two levels of siren alerts would be helpful: A pulsating or intermittent alert and a steady alert, the latter being more urgent. I think this is what they used to do with air raid sirens, at least in some places.”

    Now that makes sense!

Comments are closed.