Saturday, June 17, 2023

Quick Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Update, 2:45pm

Thunderstorms (yellow and orange enhanced clouds, + sign is lightning) are developing along the Front Range of Colorado. They are moving east and are forecast to be severe as they get into the southeast part of the state. Assuming they hook up with the line of thicker clouds (arrow), the risk of tornadoes will increase to a mild level. This should also be the corridor of the highest thunderstorm winds (75mph or stronger). Both of these risks are denoted by the brown line. 

A reliable model says the peak gusts with the derecho that will form near U.S. 83 will produce peak gusts of 90+ mph. Power failures are very likely should this occur. 

Update 2:45pm. The above represents my interpretation and forecast. As soon as I posted this, the NWS SPC posted an update for the portion of Texas outlined in red (below). 
Thunderstorms are forecasted to develop rapidly after 4pm. These could produce giant hail, wind gusts of 75+ mph, and a couple of tornadoes.

Now is the time to prepare. Safety recommendations are below:
  • Call friends and relatives to make sure they are aware of the threat, especially if they live in a mobile home. 
  • Make sure you have at least three ways of receiving storm warnings. 
  • If you live in a mobile home, you may wish to move spend time with a friend or relative when a tornado or severe thunderstorm watch is issued. 
  • Ask yourself what you would need if you were without electricity for five days. In some areas it will be longer, but five days is a good planning target.
  • If you have a chain saw, fill it with fuel.
  • Check your tornado shelter. Make sure it has a couple of bottles of water and, if appropriate, diapers.
  • Any essential foods or medicines should be taken care of immediately, well before the storms arrive. 
  • Have all of your devices charged but disconnect when you see the first lightning or hear the first thunder.
  • Keep the kids in close communication. 
  • Bring in lawn furniture, trampolines or anything else that can blow away. 
  • Put the car in the garage. 
I'll update in the mid- to late afternoon. 

Additional suggestions from Liz Leitman at SPC:
  • Pick any ripe tomatoes. 
  • Do laundry in case of extended power failures (quite likely in a derecho)
  • Battery-operated fans for the same reason (it will be quite hot the next few days)
You can also follow more for more on Twitter @usweatherexpert.

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