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.

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I’ve got a number of friends in Lawrence, KS…I do hope they dodge this one.

Interstellar Bill

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.

Ged

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…

Fred Souder

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.

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 …
.

Robbie

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.

Ma3

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.

CSinKS

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”.

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.

David A. Evans

I have a friend on the edge of it in MO.
DaveE.

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?
.

Alfre E. Neuman in Oklahoma City

What, Me worry?

Dr. Dave

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.

Larry Hamlin

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.

bobmark

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.

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.

Oklahoma Sun

Hope there’s not much damage. A little bit of a line starting up now (maybe take a little energy out of the system):
http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?product=NCR&rid=TLX&loop=yes

It’s all ‘cos of CAGW and has never happened like ever until man started producing CO2 – run for the hills
/sarc
Seriously, hope all are ok

Pull My Finger

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.

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!

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.

Brian Adams

It’s already starting south of Okie City:
http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?product=NCR&rid=vnx&loop=yes
The red outlined areas are tornado warning zones.

Gary Pearse

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.

kim

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

Pamela Gray

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.

Cyber

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

Eric Webb

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.

Zac

Worse to come

Jan

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.

johanna

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.

David A. Evans

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.

jimboskype1939

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

Martin457

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. 🙂

alan

It’s worse than we thought! We’re all doomed!
Alan in Wichita

William McClenney
Clay Marley

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.

Tsk Tsk

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…

adolfogiurfa

@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!

alan

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.

polistra

The Daily Oklahoman has impressive video and reporting on damage in Norman.
http://newsok.com/update-tornado-hits-norman-damage-reported/article/3666125
Sounds like the twister got close to the Severe Storms Center itself, if I’m remembering Norman accurately….

Lance

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

Richard Patton

@
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.

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

Richard Patton

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)

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
Larry

Tim Clark

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.

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).
.

Interstellar Bill

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.

Tim Clark

“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?

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 …
.