High risk of a major tornado outbreak today; 13 dead from Leap Day outbreak

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 03:14 PM GMT del 02 Marzo 2012

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A powerful spring storm system is gathering strength over Missouri this morning, and will track northeastward into Southern Michigan tonight. The atmosphere in the storm's warm sector, south of the the warm front and east of the cold front, is very unstable, thanks to a flow of warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico at the surface, and very cold, dry air aloft. A powerful jet stream with winds winds aloft blowing at 150 mph will interact with this unstable air, and the strong change of wind speed and direction with height (wind shear) associated with this jet will impart a strong twisting motion to updrafts that from in this afternoon's thunderstorms along the cold front. These are ideal conditions for tornado formation, and a large tornado outbreak with damaging long-track tornadoes is likely late this afternoon in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed Central Kentucky, Northern Tennessee, and a small portion of Southern Indiana in their "High Risk" area for severe weather Friday afternoon and evening, and is warning of the possibility of long-track significant tornadoes. While the conditions are not as dangerous as those we saw in 2011 during the May 21 - 25 Joplin, Missouri and late April Southeast U.S. tornado outbreaks, the potential exists for a punishing tornado assault with many more strong and violent tornadoes than occurred during the Leap Day outbreak. A number of severe thunderstorms with damaging winds have already formed this morning along the storm's warm front, in Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois. Consult our Severe Weather Page and Interactive Tornado Page to follow the storms.


Figure 1. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed Central Kentucky, Northern Tennessee, and a small portion of Southern Indiana in their "High Risk" area for severe weather Friday afternoon. This is highest level of alert.


Figure 2. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center is calling for a 30% chance of tornadoes today within 25 miles of each point in the pink shaded area. Within the hatched area, there is a 10% or greater probability of strong EF-2 and EF-3 tornadoes, or violent EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes within 25 miles of a point.

Leap Day tornado outbreak death toll hits 13
The cleanup continues today from the round of deadly tornadoes that pounded the Midwest on Leap Day, killing thirteen people. The outbreak began on February 28, when nine confirmed tornadoes touched down. A pair of EF-2 tornadoes hit Buffalo, Missouri and Harveyville, Kansas, with each twister causing one death. Also on that day, a weak EF-0 tornado moved over open fields near Gandy, Nebraska--the first February tornado in Nebraska since record keeping began in 1950. The outbreak continued on Leap Day, February 29, with 27 more confirmed tornadoes. Hardest hit was Harrisburg, Illinois, where a violent EF-4 tornado with 180 mph killed six, injured approximately 100, and damaged 200 homes and 25 businesses. The tornado cut a path 26.5 miles long and 275 yards wide across the town, according to the NWS damage survey. The only EF-3 tornado of the outbreak hit Asherville, Missouri that day, killing one person. The other deadly tornadoes of the outbreak included an EF-2 tornado that killed one person in Cassville, MO; an EF-2 that killed two in Monterey, Tennessee, and an EF-1 that killed one person in Smithville, Tennessee. An EF-2 tornado also plowed through downtown Branson, Missouri on Leap Day, injuring 33 people. An NWS storm survey found the tornado was 400 yards wide and carved a path 22 miles long. Overall, damage from the two-day tornado outbreak will run in the hundreds of millions, and could add up to the first billion-dollar weather disaster of 2012 in the U.S. The 36 confirmed tornadoes from the outbreak make it the second largest February tornado outbreak since record keeping began in 1950. The biggest February tornado outbreak occurred on February 5 - 6, 2008, when 92 tornadoes touched down.


Figure 3. Damage at the Branson, Missouri Hilton after the Leap Day tornado. The tornado blew out or cracked windows in 219 of the hotel rooms in the 12-story/295 room Hilton Branson Convention Center, and extensively damaged three of Branson’s 50 plus theatres--Americana Theater, Branson Variety Theater and Dick Clarks’ American Bandstand Theater. Image credit: BransonRecovery Facebook page.

Portlight disaster relief charity responds to the Harrisburg, Illinois tornado
Portlight has a seasoned veteran from last year's tornado recovery efforts in Harrisburg, IL, and is looking for more people to volunteer their time. They are teaming with another disaster recovery charity, Team Rubicon, in the effort. As usual, they will be focusing efforts on the unserved, under served and forgotten. Please visit the Portlight Disaster Relief blog to learn more. Donations are always welcome!


Figure 4. Team Rubicon at work during last year's tornado recovery efforts.

Jeff Masters

HARRISBURG IL (catfish10)
HARRISBURG IL
HARISBURG IL. (catfish10)
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West Liberty take cover now as that Spinner iz Vectoring your way.

Member Since: Luglio 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Likely one of the most intense tornadoes today.

Member Since: Luglio 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
Close up:


Area:
Member Since: Luglio 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3852
TWC Breaking ‏ @TWCBreaking

Map: wxch.nl/yEH4xg MT @thestormreport: Milton, KY in Trimble Co, fire station leveled from #tornado per NWS report.
Member Since: Giugno 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 175
Tornado Emergency for that storm west of West Liberty.
Member Since: Settembre 8, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 8
LargoFl "a friend just called me and said, look at the weather, now think about what the Mayans said about dec 21 this year, is This..the beginning?"

Nope. According to the Mayans, 21Dec begins after 20Dec and is followed by 22Dec .
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TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL
447 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TALLAHASSEE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
WEST CENTRAL COFFEE COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST ALABAMA...

* UNTIL 515 PM CST

* AT 447 PM CST...A DEVELOPING TORNADO HAS BEEN DETECTED BY THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE 7 MILES WEST OF RHOADES...OR NEAR OPP...
MOVING NORTHEAST AT 30 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO PERRY
STORE...BROOKLYN...ALBERTON...BASIN...INO...NEW HAVEN...GOODMAN AND
DAMASCUS
Member Since: Giugno 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 175
TORNADO WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE FOR WT 63
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
435 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012

TORNADO WATCH 63 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1200 AM CST FOR THE
FOLLOWING LOCATIONS

GAC045-063-067-077-089-097-113-121-135-143-145-14 9-199-215-223-
233-285-030600-
/O.NEW.KWNS.TO.A.0063.120302T2235Z-120303T0600Z/

GA
. GEORGIA COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE

CARROLL CLAYTON COBB
COWETA DEKALB DOUGLAS
FAYETTE FULTON GWINNETT
HARALSON HARRIS HEARD
MERIWETHER MUSCOGEE PAULDING
POLK TROUP
$$





I'm surprised it's only til 11pm EST, according to our WFO we're supposed to have storms reaching most of the Georgia counties in this watch starting at 8-9 pm.I guess a new watch that will be have verybdifferent risks will be needed then.
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TORNADO WARNING TALLAHASSEE FL - KTAE 447 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING JACKSON KY - KJKL 546 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING BIRMINGHAM AL - KBMX 446 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING JACKSON KY - KJKL 545 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING WILMINGTON OH - KILN 545 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING LOUISVILLE KY - KLMK 445 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING MEMPHIS TN - KMEG 445 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING LOUISVILLE KY - KLMK 545 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING TALLAHASSEE FL - KTAE 443 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING MOBILE AL - KMOB 443 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING NASHVILLE TN - KOHX 443 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING SHREVEPORT LA - KSHV 443 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING NASHVILLE TN - KOHX 443 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING WILMINGTON OH - KILN 541 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING JACKSON MS - KJAN 441 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING LOUISVILLE KY - KLMK 440 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING NASHVILLE TN - KOHX 440 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING WILMINGTON OH - KILN 540 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING MEMPHIS TN - KMEG 440 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING BIRMINGHAM AL - KBMX 439 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING MORRISTOWN TN - KMRX 538 PM EST FRI MAR 2 2012
TORNADO WARNING LOUISVILLE KY - KLMK 437 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
SVR T-STORM WARNING LOUISVILLE KY - KLMK 436 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012
Member Since: Giugno 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 175
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Where is this at?
West of West Liberty KY. Still has Debris ball. Strongest rotation all day.
Member Since: Luglio 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3852
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
OMG.




where is that????
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
OMG.


Where is this at?
Member Since: Luglio 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
just got trial gr level 2. What is a polling site and which one should i use
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from above


"Portlight disaster relief charity responds to the Harrisburg, Illinois tornado
Portlight has a seasoned veteran from last year's tornado recovery efforts in Harrisburg, IL, and is looking for more people to volunteer their time. They are teaming with another disaster recovery charity, Team Rubicon, in the effort. As usual, they will be focusing efforts on the unserved, under served and forgotten. Please visit the Portlight Disaster Relief blog to learn more. "


Member Since: Luglio 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
OMG.

Member Since: Luglio 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3852
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
This cell seems to be getting very strong.

Link

Please tell me if images are not showing up.
They are showing and that looks bad.
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Member Since: Luglio 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
Member Since: Luglio 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
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Current SPC Convective Watches
Updated: Fri Mar 2 22:42:13 UTC 2012
Member Since: Luglio 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129841
This cell seems to be getting very strong.

Link

Please tell me if images are not showing up.
Member Since: Luglio 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3852
34 Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and 22 Tornado Warnings.

Member Since: Luglio 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
Looks like a tornado may be headed to Sandy Hook, KY
Link
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
SPC is cancelling the watches as the storms clear.


Yes, because this is the line
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URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 63
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
435 PM CST FRI MAR 2 2012

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN ALABAMA
WESTERN FLORIDA PANHANDLE
WEST CENTRAL GEORGIA
SOUTHEAST MISSISSIPPI
COASTAL WATERS

EFFECTIVE THIS FRIDAY AFTERNOON FROM 435 PM UNTIL MIDNIGHT CST.

TORNADOES...HAIL TO 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER...THUNDERSTORM WIND
GUSTS TO 70 MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE
AREAS.

THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 90 STATUTE
MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 15 MILES NORTH NORTHEAST OF
ROME GEORGIA TO 35 MILES SOUTHEAST OF MOBILE ALABAMA. FOR A
COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE
UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU3).

REMEMBER...A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR
TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...CONTINUE...WW 58...WW 59...WW 60...WW
61...WW 62...

DISCUSSION...SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS ARE INTENSIFYING ACROSS
SOUTHERN AL IN A MOIST AND STRONGLY SHEARED AIR MASS. LOW LEVEL
VERTICAL SHEAR WILL STRENGTHEN EVEN FURTHER TONIGHT AS THE LOW LEVEL
JET INTENSIFIES...WITH A RISK OF SUPERCELLS AND BOW ECHOES.
DAMAGING WINDS AND TORNADOES APPEAR TO BE THE MAIN THREAT.

AVIATION...TORNADOES AND A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL
SURFACE AND ALOFT TO 2 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE
WIND GUSTS TO 60 KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO
500. MEAN STORM MOTION VECTOR 25040.


...HART
Member Since: Febbraio 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8035
Tornado warning on relatively weak cell in N alabama, also the supercell NE of huntsville moving into TN has rotation strenghtening.
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Quoting LargoFl:
a friend just called me and said, look at the weather, now think about what the Mayans said about dec 21 this year, is This..the beginning?


No, this is Y2K.

The aftershock....
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A lot of action in the yellow shaded areas.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

What values should I set them on?


Click the default button. Count should start and "5" and go down, threshold should start at "25" and go down.
If those were your settings, then it was likely a brief, spurious detection caused by range folding and dealiasing failures at multiple radar tilts.
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Take a look at Harveyville/Maryville from CNN LIVE affiliate WAVE (Louisville,Kentucky)
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The tornado that hit Henryville.
Member Since: Agosto 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5082
They just got nailed.
Member Since: Luglio 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3852
Quoting Ameister12:

There was a very evident hook echo moving toward Nashville the time I posted the comment.


A hook echo is not necessarily an indicator of a tornado. It is more an indicator of a mesocyclone or a supercell thunderstorm. Remember that we discovered from Vortex1 in the 1990s that the majority of supercells do not produce tornadoes.

Have to look at velocity & spectrum width in conjunction with reflectivity at multiple tilts.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:




that's not an issue with with GR2Analyst, that is an issue with virtually all radar rotation algorithms.

I also went back through the data as the storm was moving through Nasvhille; there were a few weak TVS signatures that were likely caused by dealias failures and issues with range folding. Sometimes spurious signatures show up very briefly due to those issues, but won't show up when looking at archived data. No purple TVS that I could find. Might want to check your MDA settings.

What values should I set them on?
Member Since: Luglio 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
Member Since: Agosto 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5082
SPC is cancelling the watches as the storms clear.
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These pictures of towns destroyed are amazing... It reminds me a lot of what Joplin looked like after the tornado there.
Member Since: Febbraio 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8035
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
GR2A just gave a Purple TVS for Nashville this is one of the most intense TVS. Not good.
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

That's because the storm is close to the radar site, rendering the TVS icons useless. Use wunderground's when they get close to a radar site, that's a set back of GR2A.


that's not an issue with with GR2Analyst, that is an issue with virtually all radar rotation algorithms.

I also went back through the data as the storm was moving through Nasvhille; there were a few weak TVS signatures that were likely caused by dealias failures and issues with range folding. Sometimes spurious signatures show up very briefly due to those issues, but won't show up when looking at archived data. No purple TVS that I could find. Might want to check your MDA settings.
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Quoting ScottLincoln:




No. This was actually one of the weaker tornadic signatures of the day. There never was a particularly strong radar presentation as it was moving through Nashville.

There was a very evident hook echo moving toward Nashville the time I posted the comment.
Member Since: Agosto 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5082
Wow the damage in Henryville is unreal.
Member Since: Giugno 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 888
Quoting Ameister12:
So when should the 3rd round of storms start to form?

It already is...All these little rain showers moving north out of Alabama and surrounding states are moving north and intensifying into tornadic supercells.

After this, it's over. But unfortunately, there is still several more hours left.
Member Since: Luglio 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
Quoting pottery:

Next stop, Lebanon...


Lebanon airport is going to receive major damage shortly
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Biggest tornado outbreak since the May 22-26 Tornado Sequence I believe.

Absolutely! And there is still more to come.
Member Since: Agosto 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5082
Quoting StormTracker2K:
Wedge tornado about to come into Nashville!



Quoting Ameister12:
Likely a significant tornado on the ground heading for Nashville.


No. This was actually one of the weaker tornadic signatures of the day. There never was a particularly strong radar presentation as it was moving through Nashville.
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So when should the 3rd round of storms start to form?
Member Since: Agosto 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5082
Quoting Ameister12:

Biggest tornado outbreak since the May 22-26 Tornado Sequence I believe.
Member Since: Luglio 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32822
Member Since: Agosto 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5082
Looks like they are having really bad weather in New Zealand. Link below describes the effects as "a weather bomb.":-

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6516598/Weather-b omb-causes-havoc-in-North-Island

Excert:-
"Gale-force winds lashed the Taranaki region this morning with such force it ripped trees from the ground, tore roofs off houses, brought powerlines down and caused windows to smash into pieces."

Note:-
Taranaki is about 100 miles north of the capital Wellington, on the west coast, they also had 150KPH (90MPH) winds on the opposite east facing coast.

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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