Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Analysis of Tornado Threat

There is already one tornado watch in effect (see posting below). Kansas City has 90 minute airline delays due to thunderstorms. Chicago O'Hare has three hour delays because of thunderstorms.

Here is the latest Storm Prediction Center tornado outlook:
Note the high probabilities and hatched areas (violent tornadoes) has been pulled closer to Kansas City since this morning's outlook. That is because the warm front has pulled north.

I continue to believe the greatest risk of a violent tornado is roughly from Oklahoma City west and south. The warm front (red lines) at noon was moving slowly north. Very, very unstable air is flowing north from Texas (bubbly-looking clouds). I still think the worst of the storms will be this evening or even overnight as opposed to early to mid-afternoon.

However, as the upper atmospheric low pressure system departs the Rockies thunderstorms should explode this evening. The newest computer models seem to support this reasoning. Not much in the way of major storms in Oklahoma or Kansas prior to 4pm. At 4pm, storms are starting to develop in the far east Texas Panhandle and southwest Oklahoma.
HRRR model 4pm forecast radar
4km nested-NAM model, 4pm forecast radar
From here, the computer models intensify the thunderstorms and continue to intensify them after dark over large parts of Oklahoma, southeast Kansas -- perhaps -- north Texas.

So, caution is the word. Keep an eye on the weather if you live in these areas.

And, for tomorrow, the SPC has upgraded the outlook for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi Valley. Tomorrow could very well be a bigger severe weather day than today.

1 comment:

  1. "Chicago O'Hare has three hour delays because of thunderstorms."

    ORD has 3 hour delays if one snowflake falls near the control tower, there's never a good time to fly in there, even on sunny days they have ground stops for odd reasons.

    PS ITA with your assessment of the TSA.


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