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.