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Showing posts from May, 2024

It Looks Like Another Active Week for Tornadoes

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So, here is a reminder about sheltering. 

Enhanced Severe Thunderstorm Risk in the Central Great Plains Sunday

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Here is the tornado forecast from Sunday mid-afternoon to midnight.  The brown area has a significant risk of tornadoes.  Hail Forecast for Sunday Afternoon and Evening. The yellow area has a significant risk of hail larger than 1" in diameter. The hatched area is where there is a risk of hailstones larger than 2 inches in diameter.  Damaging Wind Forecast for Sunday Late Afternoon and Night The yellow area has a significant risk of wind gusts of 60 mph or stronger. The red area has an enhanced  risk. The hatched area is where wind gusts of 75 mph or stronger -- accompanied by power outages -- are forecast to occur.  Of course, I will update all of this Sunday morning. In the meantime, you will want to prepare accordingly. 

Why Flooding Affects More Homes, Business, Et Cetera, These Days

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As urban areas spread, it is more likely they are affected by tornadoes and, especially, floods increase the amount of damage they do. The illustration below is from Dr. Walker Ashley in 2014.  The effect of more stuff and more valuable stuff in harm's way is sometimes mistaken for increasing losses due to global warming.  The same in true of tornadoes. A 1973 tornado just northwest of Wichita did virtually no damage. Today, the area in the path of that tornado is  densely populated.   If exactly the same tornado were to occur today, damage would be into the tens of millions. 

Guest Storm Chasing Experience

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The great Jaime Green, photographer extraordinaire for the Wichita Eagle,  posted a video celebrating her 25 years with the paper. It is really fun and you can view it here .  There is a segment from 2013 when I took her storm chasing. She was a survivor of the 2011 Joplin Tornado and, just before the tornado hit, she uttered the words, "kinda scared." We saw a tornado during our chase and the audio is me reporting the storm to the NWS in Dodge City.  Congratulations, Jaime!!

Derecho Causes Severe Damage in Texas and Louisiana -- More Storms on the Way

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It will be more than a week before power is completely restored to these areas.  The map immediately below shows wind reports and one tornado. There will almost certainly be additional tornadoes added once the NWS's field surveys are completed. There were two possible tornado paths in Houston . The storms in the Houston area caused four deaths.  The maps below indicate the ongoing power outages from last night's storms. The maps show "customers" which represent one home or one business. Most utilities consider a customer to equal approximately 2.5 people. This means that ~2 million people are without electricity. Given the forecast heat and humidity, this will cause a great deal of suffering.  Unfortunately, the tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are not over in the region.  The brown area is where there is a significant risk of tornadoes today. The yellow area has a significant risk of wind gusts of 60 mph or stronger today. 

Added More Photos to My Adobe Collection

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We've added more photos this week to my collection at Adobe Stock Photography . Take a look-- I think you'll enjoy viewing them. And, a reminder, I never use filters with my weather and nature photography. 

4 Killed in Violent Windstorm With Tornado in Houston Metro

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This storm will cause tremendous human suffering as some areas will be without power for at least a week as extreme thunderstorm-generated winds and 1 or 2 tornadoes moved through the Houston Metro. Heat indices will be in the 90's  Saturday and Sunday with no air conditioning in many areas. Some stores will not be able to open.  Violent windstorm has moved through the Houston Metro and southeast Texas. As of 7:55pm CDT, there are 2.5 million people without power in southeast Texas, including Harris County (Houston).  FYI: the map shows "customers." There were likely gusts (as estimated by radar) of 100+ mph to the south of the likely tornado's path.  Windows blown out in downtown Houston.  The above used to be the Enron Building. It had extensive window damage in 1983's Hurricane Alicia which produced similar winds in Houston.  Via KPRC-TV, this apparent tornado was photographed in the Cypress area. A photo of the damage pattern, plus the rotation path on radar,

Tornado Watch Louisiana, Updated 9:55pm

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The line of thunderstorms is knocking out power in Louisiana. "Customer" = 1 home or business. About 160,000 people  affected.  7:15pm Update As forecast, a tornado and major windstorm has struck Houston.  Please click here for additional information.  - -- Updated Posting as of 8:10pm Tornado Watch, Louisiana, till 3am The tornado watch has been cleared in Texas except for the Beaumont-Port Arthur area as of 9:45am. As of 5pm, the probabilities of both tornadoes and damaging winds are increasing.  The area of storms is generally moving southeast.  Here is the area of storms as of 7:17pm.

What is a "Train Echo"? and Latest Flood Forecast

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Here is the 4pm Thursday flood forecast update for the next three days: In the dark blue area of Texas and Louisiana, "considerable" flooding is forecast. Elsewhere, limited flooding is forecast.  Train Echoes Given the current flooding in Texas, some meteorologists are calling the situation a "train echo." I thought you would like to know what that means, especially as we are getting into flood season.  In the photo just below, you see individual cars as part of a train. Each will move over the star. Now, assume the star is a river basin and go to the next photo. Below are thunderstorms lined up in a "train" pattern. Each of the thunderstorms will pass over a given river basin and dump its rain. Train echoes are well-known producers of flash flooding.  So, that's what we mean by a train echo. Keep an eye out for them. 

Flash Flood, Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Forecast

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There is a rare high  risk of flash flooding in the pink area. This forecast is valid until 7am. While only 4% of the forecasts, high risks account for 41% of flood fatalities. The red area has a moderate risk.  Above is the mainstream river flood outlook.  There is also a significant risk of tornadoes in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana.  The brown area has the significant risk. There is a severe thunderstorm watch with tornadoes forecast for central Texas. It is in effect until 5pm.

Developments in Tornado Research

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While the meteorological road from research to forecasting and warnings is often a bumpy one, we continue to make progress. Here is an example which -- may -- lead to better tornado warnings. Below is a screen capture from a Twitter/X post and video: There was fascinating data from a mobile radar (below). Dr.'s Josh Wurman* and Karen Kosiba intercepted this tornado and were able to set up the radar in time.  The maximum measured winds just above the ground were 224 mph! EF-5 intensity is 200 mph. However,  the official rating may not be that high for the reasons below. While original (superior, in my opinion) Fujita Tornado Intensity scale allowed for measurements of tornadoes, its successor, the 'Enhanced' Fujita Scale (EF), ranks tornadoes solely  by damage.  Example: If, for example, an EF-4 (second highest) tornado's only damage was to a rural barn that would fall apart in 100 mph winds, that tornado will be rated EF-2 rather than its actual intensity which was EF-4

[Updated 8:30pm] Tornadoes and Severe Thunderstorms Forecast for Parts of Kansas and Oklahoma

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As of 8:30pm, the severe thunderstorm in Osage Co. in Oklahoma is moving ESE toward the Bartlesville - Tulsa area.  The cluster of thunderstorms with heavy rain in northwest Oklahoma are moving toward south central Kansas and it looks like it will sustain itself for at least another two hours. The isolated hailstorm near Eureka, Kansas, will probably weaken within the hour.  --- original post --- In addition to a "couple of tornadoes," tennis ball-sized hail and wind gusts to 80 mph  are forecast to occur. Power outages possible.  I recommend putting your car in the garage and bringing in objects (lawn furniture) that can be blown about. 

Updated Damaging Wind Forecast

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The NWS's SPC has taken the tornado risks in Florida, Oklahoma and Kansas to below  significant levels. That's good news.  Central and Southern High Plains High Wind Risk The NWS continues its significant risk of wind gusts above 75 mph. The yellow area has a significant risk of thunderstorm-generated winds of 60 mph or stronger. The red area has an enhanced  risk. Where you see hatching is where wind gusts of 75 mph or stronger are possible. 

Great Books for Dad and Graduate..At a Terrific Price!

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My book has rave review after rave review and it is a great gift for anyone with any interest in weather or storms. Best of all, it is on sale  for $16.21 -- the second lowest price I've seen.  For those interested in tornadoes and/or emergency management, there is When the Sirens Were Silent   which is the story of the Joplin Tornado and how it was miswarned. The poor quality warning lead to the deaths of 161 people. It is only available on Kindle because the paper books sold out almost immediately. But, those without a Kindle can view it -- free -- with the Amazon online reader. At just $3, it is tremendous bargain.  Please check these out. They make great gifts.

More on the May 6 Busted Tornado Forecast for Kansas

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You will recall that I wrote an essay about my awful tornado forecast for south central Kansas. You can read it here .  The Wichita Eagle  published a story about that same forecast bust and it is located here .  And, The Oklahoman  had a similar story about the Oklahoma side of the forecast (mine was pretty good in Oklahoma) and it is here .  Thought you might enjoy reading about how your neighbors felt about that forecast. 

Flood Forecast - Updated 1:30pm

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Below is the updated five-day rainfall amount forecast. It does not materially change the flood forecast displayed below.  --- original forecast --- The legend is at right. The hatched has a risk of limited flooding while the dark blue area in east Texas has a risk of "considerable" flooding. The risk of flooding will continue for the next seven days. 

Are We Going to Allow Our Government to Take Internal Combustion Vehicles Away From Us?

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It is already happening in other nations.  The article goes on..... We know that China paid the Biden family $4.2 million for ?? services (this reported by the hardly conservative Washington Post ), so I fully expect this to be attempted if President Biden gets a second term.  Global warming: Where the cures are worse than the disease.  Hat tip:  https://joannenova.com.au/