Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Anniversary of Another Tornado Outbreak

On May 3, 1999, there was a huge tornado outbreak in Kansas and Oklahoma. As if any more evidence was needed, it completely validated the National Weather Service's modernization efforts that began in the early and mid-1990s. The warnings would not have been anywhere near as good without the improved technology and training.

One of the most important pieces of data to come from that outbreak was the measurement of a 301 mph wind from mobile Doppler radar near Bridge Creek, Oklahoma.

For more on the Oklahoma storms, click here.

The Wichita NWS is "replaying" the Andover tornado today (scroll down), so they published this map of the three tornado tracks rather than a formal web page.
Then-WeatherData, Inc.'s (now AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions) Jeff House intercepted the tornado in Sumner County (south of Wichita) and his reports were helpful in getting the warnings out. This was especially true since the NWS Wichita radar failed during the storm. Because of the modernization, the radar from Vance, AFB, Oklahoma, still covered the southern Kansas region with high-quality data. One of the goals of the modernization was overlapping coverage for many areas.

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