Sunday, May 28, 2017

It Was a Huge Severe Weather Day -- But, Not For Tornadoes

Yesterday, I warned of damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes with special emphasis on staying off lakes with thunderstorms anywhere in the region. The first two worked out fine. The tornado forecast did not. So far, there has only been one tornado report from yesterday (the red dot in Missouri). Here is the rest of the legend:
The giant hail forecast also worked out with 45 reports.

I do not have a good explanation as to why the tornado forecast was so off base. I do know there was a research program going on in Oklahoma yesterday. I'm hoping they will be able to figure it out.

Sunday Fun: You Don't Want to Argue With Science, Do You?!

Happy eating!!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

New Tornado Watch Until 2am

The threat for violent weather in the Ozarks, Plains and Midwest is not going to end soon, unfortunately.
Note: the potential for violent tornadoes is "moderate." Keep advised the weather overnight.

Oklahoma & Arkansas: Tornado Watch Until Midnight

I'm worried about this one.
The tornado parameters in the northern third of this watch are very impressive. I would not be surprised to see some large, violent tornadoes in the watch. In addition, 3"+ hail is possible, if thunderstorms get organized.

It is critical that people in this watch keep an eye on the weather!

80mph Thunderstorm Winds Forecast

Normally, I do not cover severe thunderstorm watches. However, winds here are forecast to gust to 80mph. This may cause wind-driven hail which can be very damaging. This watch includes St. Louis.

Tornado Watch: Missouri & Far Eastern Kansas

Please note:
  • There is a "moderate" risk of strong (EF-2+) tornadoes.
  • There is a high risk of winds of more than 60 mph and a moderate risk of winds above 75 mph.
  • High risk of hail larger than 2" in diameter.
  • So far, these storms are producing a lot of lightning.
So, please take these storms seriously and move to a place of shelter if a warning is issued. I recommend staying off the water if storms are anywhere close. 

Major Severe Thunderstorm and Tornado Period Ahead

Unfortunately, it looks like it is going to be a severe weather day as forecast. This forecast is valid from now until 7am Sunday. We'll break things down as follows.

Tornado Risk
On this forecast map, 5% (brown) is the significant threshold for tornadoes. The hatched area is where violent tornadoes are forecast to occur.

Damaging Thunderstorm Winds
Wow. In the hatched area, thunderstorm-generated wind gusts may exceed 75 mph. Needless to say, bring in anything that may be blown about (i.e., lawn furniture, etc.). The significant threshold on this map is 15% (yellow). In the non-hatched areas, wind gusts may exceed 60 mph.

Giant Hail
There is no much instability in the atmosphere that, in the hatched area, hail size might exceed 4 inches. The significant threshold on this map is 15% (yellow) which forecasts hailstones of 1" or more. Obviously, put your car in the garage.

I will not live-blog the storms but I will provide a couple of updates today. Please take these forecasts seriously and plan accordingly.

Friday, May 26, 2017


I provide additional information on Twitter:  @usweatherexpert .

I no longer "live blog" storms.

Tornado Watch: Illinois and Indiana

This watch is in effect until 8pm CDT/9pm EDT. 

Below is the radar from 2:51pm CDT.
There are already severe thunderstorm warnings out for 60 mph winds. There could be some very strong winds the rest of the afternoon and early evening along with wind-driven hail. Put the car in along with any other objects that might be blown about.

Major Severe Weather Day Tomorrow

Keep up on the weather tomorrow, especially if you are camping, boating or engaged in some other outdoor activity. 

Saturday is going to be a very busy day, unfortunately. Please figure this into your holiday plans!
In the purple area, there is a high risk of damaging thunderstorm winds that will be accompanied in some areas by large hail. Power failures and trees blocking roads are a real possibility. The highest winds will occur from the Ozarks into western Kentucky. High winds will continue farther east. Note: The storms will be very fast-moving. Do not assume you are safe because the storm is 50 miles away. 

In the western part of the area, from I-35/I-135 to the Ozarks is where tornadoes are also possible.

The significant threshold for severe weather on this map is 15% (yellow). The hatched area is where the most violent storms are expected.

Midwest Tornado Risk Today

Later today and this evening, there is a tornado risk in the Midwest.
Five percent (brown) is the significant threshold. If you live in that area, including Indianapolis, Dayton and Cincinnati, please keep up on the weather as the first sign of the approach of a thunderstorm.

Little Change

The Memorial Day Weekend forecast below still looks good. I will have a complete update early this afternoon.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

AccuWeather's Memorial Day Weekend Forecast: Caution is Advised

As you plan for the weekend, here is AccuWeather's forecast:

Where it says "strong storms," more detail is needed. For that we turn to the NWS SPC.
Above is an important map. It is the probability of severe thunderstorms (large hail and damaging thunderstorm winds) and tornadoes between 7am Saturday and 7am Sunday. The significant probability threshold is 15% on this chart. The hatching is where very large hail, extreme winds and violent tornadoes are possible. Therefore, I urge you to take along a portable NOAA weather radio plus the new AccuWeather app (and turn on the GPS function).

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

One Last Posting For the Day

With all of the tornado watches issued today, I didn't get a chance to post this until this evening. Here is a summary of the tornadoes near Dodge City one year ago today. It was my chase of a lifetime (along with at least 100 other chasers)!
And, if you are interested in the meteorology behind all of these storms, here is a great summary.

The best thing? Thirteen tornadoes and very little damage.

Act Now. Only 5 Left at Amazon.

"She got so excited, she started singing 'Ave Maria'."
That is the comment about Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather I received on my Facebook page yesterday. A young lady interested in weather received it as a gift and was ecstatic. However...

Warnings is officially out of print. The publisher is sold out.
Amazon is down to 5 copies. While it is possible there are a few more in wholesalers' warehouses, you should act quickly if you wish to get a copy for Father's Day or a graduate. 
While the ebook version (with eight additional photographs we were not able to get into the print version) will be available more or less forever, if you want a hardcover copy, please order right away.