Showing posts from March, 2023

Severe Weather Summary

As of 8:45pm, the red dots indicate tornadoes. However, there are many more that will be added over the next three days. Power outages (these are homes and businesses, multiply by 2.5 to get people): This represents more than 500,000 people. Flight delays at O'Hare are four hours due to weather. At DFW International, there are 15 minute delays but the time interval is rising. 

Tornado Threat for the Rest of the Night

Color code: Extreme risk of strong tornadoes in purple. High risk of strong tornadoes in red. Enhanced risk of strong tornadoes in yellow. Significant risk of tornadoes in brown. Please monitor the weather the rest of the night in these areas!

I Seem to Be Okay on Twitter Again

 I'm back to providing storm coverage. 

PDS Tornado Watch: Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama

This "particularly dangerous situation" tornado watch is in effect until 1am and includes Nashville, Muscle Shoals and Tupelo. A supercell that has caused strong tornadoes is now northeast of Memphis and is moving toward Middle Tennessee. Here is the radar at 6:21pm.

Path of Little Rock Tornado

The Little Rock Tornado's path was between the blue lines.  Below is a more detailed map of the beginning of the tornado's path. It seems hard to believe but apparently reliable sources are saying there are hundreds of injuries. 

My Twitter Coverage is Interrupted

Oh, Geez. Twitter has stopped my tornado coverage ( @usweatherexpert ) because I have sent too many tweets (tornado warnings) today.  I didn't know there was a daily limit on Tweets. There didn't used to be. I will send a note to Elon Musk tomorrow but I may not be able to tweet more tonight.   To give you an idea how huge this tornado outbreak is, take a look at the map below. Yellow = tornado watches. Reds = tornado warnings. A bad tornado has struck Little Rock -- with 600 injuries --  and other areas in Arkansas as well as areas of Iowa. As I write this, St. Louis needs to keep a close eye on the weather as well as people just north of Memphis. 


4:30pm: In addition to the two tornado watches below, there are tornado watchers for northern Illinois (including Chicago) and southern Wisconsin (including Milwaukee).  Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) tornado watches are rare. There are entire years without one. To get two simultaneously further signals just how dangerous situation situation is. Right now, former President Trump is the lead story on the national news. I believe that it will be tornado damage tomorrow morning. Now, we need to keep the death toll as close to zero as possible.   In addition, wind gusts of 70 mph and hail the size of apples are forecast to occur. At least scattered power outages are likely. This may be the worst day of tornadoes since 2011. If you live in a mobile home and you are west of the Mississippi River, now is the time to seek other shelter (unless your mobile home park has one you can access quickly). 

Updated Tornado and Damaging Wind Forecast

This is a Dangerous Weather Day. All data indicates that this will be a day that will result in major, damaging tornadoes as well as thunderstorm-generated winds that will cause widespread power outages. National Weather Service is describing the weather in this region regarding tornadoes as a "Particularly Dangerous Situation" and they are going to issue that type of very rare tornado watch for this afternoon and this evening. It includes St. Louis, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, the Lake of the Ozarks, and Columbia.  National Weather Service is already describing the threat in the area below as a "particularly dangerous situation." If you live in a mobile home, please exit by 1pm for other shelter!  This includes most of Arkansas, northeast Texas (including Texarkana) and the Memphis metro area. Tornado Risk, Now Till 7am Saturday Color code: Extreme risk of strong tornadoes in purple. High risk of strong tornadoes in red. Enhanced risk of strong tornadoes in yellow. S

Tornado Watch to Be Issued

NWS SPC says they are going to issue a tornado watch for most of this area. 

Extreme Risk of Tornadoes and Damaging Winds Friday and Friday Night

8:40am: These forecasts still look good.  Tornado Risk from 11am until 4am Saturday The map above displays only  the highest risk areas -- where strong tornadoes are forecasted.   Damaging Wind Forecast From 10am Friday until 7am Saturday The hatched purple areas is where thunderstorm-generated straight-line winds of 75 mph or stronger are forecasted to occur. The red area is where there is an enhanced risk of wind gusts of 60 mph or stronger.  There will be widespread power outages in these areas!! If a tornado warning is issued, or if a warning for wind gusts of 70 mph winds or stronger is issued, take shelter in the basement, preferably under a pool table or heavy furniture or, if you have a finished basement, in a closet or bath. If you do not have a basement, a small closet or bath on the lowest floor is the place to go as in the photo below. Recommended safety suggestions:  Make sure you have at least three ways of receiving storm warnings from the list below: Weathe

Serious Tornado Risk Friday and Friday Night

[scroll up on the blog for more current forecasts] In addition to tornadoes, there is a serious risk of damaging winds and power outages.  Tornado Risk Using my 4-point scale, there is: A high  risk of strong tornadoes in the red, hatched areas.  An enhanced  risk of strong tornadoes in the yellow, hatched areas.  A significant  risk of tornadoes in the brown areas. Damaging Wind and Power Outage Risk An extreme  risk of damaging winds (≥ 75 mph) and power outages in the purple area. A  high  risk of damaging winds in the red, hatched areas.  An  enhanced  risk of wind gusts of 60 mph or stronger in the red area. A  significant  risk of gusts of 60 mph or stronger in the yellow area. If there are people in your family and social group that are not "weatherwise" and they live in these areas, please give them a call or text and suggest they follow the weather tomorrow.  I will update tomorrow morning. 

Make Your Tornado Safety Plans NOW

The morning models are almost finished coming in. I'll be looking them over along with NWS SPC's forecasts and will post an update to the tornado risk tomorrow by 1:15 or so. However,  there is enough data from last night and today to emphasize that we are in a very active wether pattern conductive to spring tornadoes. Now, is the time to make plans. Especially.... If you live in a mobile home, make arrangements to shelter with someone in a conventional home or a nearby public shelter.  Get a programmable weather radio. Turn on FCC's Wireless Emergency Alerts on your smartphone (bottom of "notifications" on an iPhone).  Subscribe to StormWarn . Sirens are great outdoors but you cannot count on hearing them indoors and you certainly cannot count on them awakening you.  One additional thought: If you want a portable generator, get one now. Make sure you read the instructions and follow them. There are far too many deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning after major to

Come See Me at WeatherCon in Dallas!

I will be speaking (along with some other great speakers) at 11am on Saturday, May 6, at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas at Love Field.  My topic will be how weather science, especially Dr. Ted Fujita, conquered the downburst and prevented thousands  of deaths and billions  of losses of aircraft.  Come and join us. Admission is free. 

Serious Tornado Risk Friday

Here is my first-estimate of the tornado risk for Friday and Friday night. Please factor this forecast into your preliminary plans.  I will have an update tomorrow afternoon. 

Thoughts After the Release of the UN's Latest Climate Report

With the recent release of the UN's IPCC's "Summary for Policymakers" (a political, not scientific,  document), the amount of garbage info about a warmer climate has mushroomed like toadstools.  WoodforTree's blend of the four most widely used earth temperature metrics. Their claim that world temperatures have never been higher in modern history is just wrong. The peak was in 2016. Temperatures have dropped since. That is almost certainly due to the La Nina (cold water in the Pacific). That drop is likely inconsequential as temperatures will probably begin rising again with the El Nino forming in the Pacific. But, the position we are at a record is simply bad science. The item below is just silly. This gradual temperature rise was one of the greatest things to ever happen to humanity! In 2018 (pre-COVID), a World Bank study showed, The rate of extreme poverty was the lowest in the history of the world. Plentiful food. Highest food production in wo

UPDATE: Snow Forecast Thursday Night to Saturday Morning

While there will be some adjustments, here is a first look at the late-season snow forecast for late in the week.  Above is new late this afternoon from the National Weather Service. 

March's Required Reading

The author is absolutely correct when he writes: It has been two months since the frigid temperatures that accompanied Winter Storm Elliot caused rolling blackouts in several Southern states. Luckily, the portions of southern states that rely on the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) narrowly avoided power outages, but Americans living in areas served by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) experienced losses of electricity as TVA was forced to cut power to residents for the first time in its 90-year history.  Now that the dust has settled on the storm, renewable energy advocacy groups are attempting to gaslight the public about the causes of the blackouts by misrepresenting the reliability of coal and natural gas power plants generators relative to wind and solar facilities. In doing so, they are encouraging Americans to learn all the wrong lessons from the cold snap that pushed our electric grid to the brink. Please read the entire piece . It is vital to America's fu

75 Years Ago Today...

Five days before, a highly damaging tornado struck Tinker. Seventy-five years ago today, an experimental and successful forecast of a tornado.  ...the first successful tornado forecast of the modern era* occurred at Tinker AFB outside of Oklahoma City.  I tell the emotional and humorous story of two Air Force meteorologists ordered to make an impossible forecast in  Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather .  My book tells the "human" side of the story (I was privileged to know then-Col. Bob Miller and we talked about the forecast on more than one occasion). There is a shorter summary of what occurred, here . With that forecast, Miller and (then) Lt. Ernie Fawbush made what would have been the first tornado "watch." The meteorological details are here .  As Wiki (orange link) describes it, the forecasts were kept secret for quite a while. When word got out, WKY-TV and their chief meteorologist Harry Volkman came up with a surreptitious way of getti

Another Pro-Global Warming Meteorologist Condemns Global Warming Hype

Dr. Cliff Mass, for whom I have a great deal of respect and whom no one could say doesn't believe the earth's climate is changing due to humanity's influence points out more global warming hype that simply isn't true .  This type of media behavior, and the scientists that encourage it, is a highly unfortunate aspect of climate 'science.'

Map of Category 5 Landfall Locations

With Saturday being the first day of the 2023 hurricane season, the above map reveals the location of landfalls of Atlantic Basin category 5 hurricanes.  Please make sure -- now -- your family has a plan should you be in the path of one of this season's hurricanes. 

We Should Appreciate TV Meteorologists

Brian Stelter îs the former media correspondent for CNN. For the first time to my knowledge, a professional media critic reviewed the television tornado warnings from a major tornado outbreak. In this case, it was the Jackson, MS stations. As you know, that tornado has received a preliminary EF-4 rating (top 1.5% in intensity) and killed 26. I believe that what he found surprised him as to the quality of the warnings and other weather coverage.  You can read his comments (a series of tweets) here . An example of one of them is below. I'd like to add a comment: Television meteorologists  (the ones with a BS in meteorology or higher) are -- generally -- quite under appreciated and, in the small to medium markets, usually vastly underpaid. In tornado alley, they work grueling hours in the spring.  A degree in meteorology, with all of the physics, chemistry and calculus that goes with it, is a really, really tough degree. Much more difficult than, say, business. In order to have their

UPDATE 11:49am: Today's Tornado Risk

In the South, there is another  high risk of tornadoes today. The color code: There is a high  risk of strong tornadoes in the red hatched area. There is an enhanced risk of strong tornadoes in the hatched area. There is a significant risk of tornadoes in the brown area.  I urge you to follow trusted local sources of weather information throughout the day. I will have an update this afternoon. In the meantime: Prepare to care for infirm friends and relatives now. Don't wait until the storms are approaching.  There is a significant risk of power failures. It won't hurt to get a few extra bucks at the ATM. Put your car in the garage along with any lawn furniture or other items that may be damaged. Fill your car with fuel. If you are running low on prescriptions, go ahead and get them refilled. If you have a portable generator, make sure you place it outdoors, well away from any air intakes. If you live in a mobile home: I recommend finding other shelter when there is a tornado wa

Sunday Fun: Mamma Mia, What a Great Grandson!!

After all of the terrible weather of the past week, I thought we'd all enjoy a smile.  My son sent me this photo of his son helping fix dinner.  At the age of two he is fixing meatballs! I don't know how spicy they might be (I prefer mildly spicy; the ones at Maggianos are perfect -- just like my Grandmother used to make) but I'm sure he'll learn.  Even though my last name is Smith, I am Italian and I love Italian food. My daughter studied in Italy and gave me the shirt I am wearing.  So, seeing my grandson getting an early jump on making Italian food made my day. Hope this "proud granddad" piece gives you a smile. 

Report on Last Night's Horrific Tornadoes

As of 8pm, 26 people have perished in last night's horrible tornadoes. The aim of this report is to put these storms in perspective.  Because I am sure that what seem to be random town names are making little sense, I believe a map is the place to begin when discussing last night's storms. This is derived from radar-measured rotation. The blue areas in Mississippi is where the big tornado or tornadoes were. The reason the tornado path west of I-55 looks like a row of chiclets is because of limited radar coverage combined with the storm's fast movement. It was a continuous path.  Update: Here is an updated map from Mississippi Emergency Management. It compares nicely to the radar track estimate (above). Both from radar and from photos of the damage, I'm certain this will be at least an EF-3 intensity tornado. It is possible it will be a 4 or 5. I base the latter on its appearance on radar and its resemblance to other violent tornadoes. The NWS will have the final word a