Saturday, December 11, 2021

Random Thoughts in the Aftermath of Last Night's Horrific Tornadoes

I am without words due to sadness and frustration this morning. The stories are simply horrifying, such as the young man killed during the night who was supposed to graduate today from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. The damage photos in the Midwest and Mid-South evoke images of the worst of World War II. 

Nighttime tornadoes are deadly. The combination of violent tornadoes with darkness is, tragically, the recipe for a mass casualty tornado outbreak. 

Below is a crude map of the paths of the tornadoes. These will be modified by field surveys by the National Weather Service. Please disregard the noise west of St. Louis.
click to enlarge
The path that originates in Arkansas and ends in eastern Kentucky is likely one of the longest tornado tracks in history if storm chaser reports that it was a continuous tornado are correct. There are other track maps if you wish to scroll down past this posting.

Here is a map of the tornado/rotation path you keep hearing about on the news. 

The NWS Storm Prediction Center did an outstanding job with the forecasts of this tornado outbreak. It was not a classic major tornado situation. Below is one of the many forecasts posted on this blog (scroll down for more). 
As to the warnings themselves, I haven't had time to do a detailed review. This tornado outbreak is a perfect example of why we need a National Disaster Review Board to understand warning quality and why so many perished. 

I provided tornado warnings on Twitter until after 4am, so I am still not entirely awake. I will have more to say after I have had a Diet Coke and something to eat. 

In the meantime, please offer prayers for the victims of these terrible storms and send some money to the Salvation Army or other disaster relief agencies of your choice. 

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