[8:25pm] Tornadoes and Damaging Winds Forecast for This Evening and Tonight

Tornado and Extreme Winds Forecast in the Midwest

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8:25pm - Northern Arkansas Tornado Watch 

7:17:pm -  Illinois Tornado Watch 

6:45pm - Wisconsin Tornado Watch 

6pm Update - New Tornado Watch 
There are tornado-bearing thunderstorms near the west side of this watch, so people need to be monitoring the weather the rest of the evening. 

I will be updating on Twitter @usweatherexpert. 

4:05pm Update
This tornado watch until midnight includes Madison, Janesville and Milwaukee. Please monitor the weather closely in these areas. I also update on Twitter @usweatherexpert. 

2:45pm Update
I am confident tornadoes will occur in this watch. In addition, softball-sized hail along with 75 mph winds are forecast to occur. Please start monitoring the weather as storms are already developing over Kansas. 

Update as of 1:20pm
This is a rare "particularly dangerous situation" tornado watch. In addition to "strong" tornadoes, 90 mph thunderstorm generated winds of 90 mph winds are likely and hail of softball size are forecast to occur. If you live in a mobile home, and especially the area outlined in purple below, it is now time to make sure you are moving to adequate shelter. Don't wait -- these storms are moving at 70 mph so there may be less warning time than usual. 

Update as of 1:10pm
I am especially concerned about the risk of tornadoes in the outlined area between 1:30 and 4:30pm. Please keep a special eye out in this area.

Note the forecast is for strong tornadoes. This is a dangerous situation!

Here are my suggestions for tornado sheltering and you don't have a professionally made safe room or shelter:
  • If you have a basement, go there and get under heavy furniture like a pool table or, if your basement is finished, get in a bathroom. 
  • No basement? Lowest flood (lowest is important) in a closet or bath in the middle of the house. Get in the bathtub, if possible (I saw many surviving bathtubs when I surveyed the '11 Joplin Tornado damage). The idea is to put as many walls as possible between you and the tornado.
  • Do not stay in a mobile home! Go to the community shelter. You will find a map and list here: https://findyourtornadoshelter.com
  • Don't try to drive when storms are approaching. 
  • Your shelter should include: 
    • A couple of bottles of water.
    • Diapers, if appropriate. 
    • Shoes, in case the tornado hits. Don't want to walk on cut glass and metal shards.
    • A communications device (Weather Radio, etc.) that will tell you when it is safe to come up.
    • Finally, keep your devices charged until you see the first lightning or hear the first thunder. Lightning can cause a power surge that will severely damage your laptop or smartphone. 

Tornado Risk Forecast
Here is the color code for this important forecast:
  • Red, hatched: there is a high risk of tornadoes, some of which will be strong
  • Yellow: hatched: there is an enhanced risk of strong tornadoes.
  • Yellow: enhanced risk of tornadoes
  • Brown: significant risk of tornadoes
The storms will be fast-moving which may mean less warning time than usual. It is important plans are made now by mobile home residents and those with infirmities. 

Important note for those living in the Ozarks: a significant risk of tornadoes is just that. I believe there will be at least a couple of tornadoes in that region and a strong one is not out of the question. Please monitor the weather in that region after 3pm.

Damaging Wind Forecast
This is a significantly changed forecast. The derecho threat -- with forecasts winds above 75 mph -- has been extended to Milwaukee and Chicago!

Color code:
  • Hatched purple = there is a high risk of wind gusts 75 mph or stronger.
  • Hatched red = there is an enhanced risk of 75 mph or stronger
  • Red = there is an enhanced risk of 60 mph or stronger 
  • Yellow = significant risk of wind gusts of 60 mph or stronger
There is also a risk of giant hail (2" or larger) throughout this area and in the yellow area southwest form Dallas to the Rio Grande.

There is a significant chance of a derecho today -- it is a long-lived, powerful windstorm.

There will be damage to buildings and to the electrical infrastructure, so be prepared for power outages. 


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