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Category: National and World

Dangerous Storm East of Kansas City

| 7:40 pm May 10, 2014

A tornadic supercell with a history of producing a tornado is moving across Central Missouri this evening. The storm is well east of Kansas City ans well west of St. Louis. It is just to the north of Interstate 70 and is moving east-southeast at 30 mph. The storm has terrific structure to it and an impressive couplet.

The storm is near Saline, MO and on it current track could affect the the city of Columbia, Missouri later this evening.

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* TORNADO WARNING FOR…
EXTREME SOUTH CENTRAL CHARITON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL MISSOURI…
WEST CENTRAL HOWARD COUNTY IN CENTRAL MISSOURI…
CENTRAL SALINE COUNTY IN CENTRAL MISSOURI…

* UNTIL 800 PM CDT

* AT 725 PM CDT…A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR MARSHALL…AND MOVING EAST AT 30 MPH.

HAZARD…TORNADO AND PING PONG BALL SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED ROTATION.

IMPACT…FLYING DEBRIS WILL BE DANGEROUS TO THOSE CAUGHT WITHOUT
SHELTER. MOBILE HOMES WILL BE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. DAMAGE
TO ROOFS…WINDOWS AND VEHICLES WILL OCCUR. TREE DAMAGE IS
LIKELY.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE…
SLATER…GLASGOW AND GILLIAM.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME…A VEHICLE OR
OUTDOORS…MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

Your Weekly U.S. Drought Monitor Update

| 10:03 am May 8, 2014

Areas to west continue to suffer from the drought as the very dry weather persist. Exceptional drought conditions continue across the Southern Plains and areas along the West Coast.  There is some good news for locations in the southern Plains, specifically along the Red River Valley. There have been several rounds of convection to affect this region. Even this morning, a line storms with heavy rain was pushing across the area, which can only be helping the drought situation there.

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For Alabama, there remains a few abnormally dry areas in the northern part of the state. These conditions continue to affect portions of Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin, Limestone, Lawrence, Morgan, Madison, Jackson, and DeKalb Counties. No rain over the last seven days across the state has allowed these conditions to expand from 2.89% of the state last week, to 5.32% this week. That is an increase of 2.43% in the coverage area. Currently, no parts of Alabama are experiencing drought conditions.

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Earliest 100F Ever in Wichita KS

| 3:28 pm May 4, 2014
Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

The mercury hit 100F just before 3 p.m. in Wichita this afternoon. When it did, it marked the earliest that the Kansas city had hit the century mark.

The earliest 100F before yesterday was on May 9, 2011.

The precious record high for May 4th was 94F.

The 102F so far breaks the all time record high for May for them.

Remembering the Greensburg EF5 (2007)

| 9:36 am May 4, 2014

On the morning of May 4, 2007, it was evident that an outbreak of severe weather was imminent across the Plains states of the U.S.

The Storm Prediction Center realized the threat and posted a Moderate Risk outlook for the region from the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma into Kansas and Nebraska. A powerful upper level trough was over the West with strong low pressure over Colorado with very moist Gulf of Mexico air being drawn northward. Instability values were sky high, with CAPE values running as high as 5,500 j/kg! An approaching dry line triggered supercell thunderstorms during the evening from north Texas to southwestern Kansas. With plenty of wind shear, the storms quickly became severe.

I was manning the blog on the evening of May 4, 2007 as events unfolded in Kansas. Here is a post as the tornado approached Greensburg.

I was manning the blog on the evening of May 4, 2007 as events unfolded in Kansas. Here is a post as the tornado approached Greensburg.

One tremendous supercell storm formed about 5 p.m. in the Texas Panhandle and moved northeast. CAPE values were around 5,200 j/kg over Southwest Kanasas, and the 0-2 km helicity was 240 m2s2. This made the EHI 7.8! Readings over 2 are nearly always associated with big tornadoes. The storm that this environment produced would bear twenty tornadoes during its long life, including four massive tornadoes that were on the ground continuously for three hours.

The largest tornado in the family touched down in Comanche County, Kansas at 9:03 p.m. and crossed into Kiowa County a short time later. The first tornado warning for Comanche County was issued at 8:13 p.m. The first tornado warning for Kiowa County was issued at 8:55 p.m. Another warning was issued at 9:19 p.m. that specifically mentioned Greensburg and stated that it was a confirmed tornado. A call was placed to Kiowa County. Sirens started sounding.

The massive tornado entered the south side of the town of Greensburg at 9:45 p.m. It would plow directly through the heart of the town and it’s tree lined streets. It took several minutes for the giant lawnmower of a storm to roar through Greensburg, destroying ninety five percent of the town. When it was all over, virtually nothing was left standing in the 1.7 mile wide path.

The Greensburg tornado was the first to be rated as an EF5 on the new enhanced Fujita scale was implemented and the first tornado rated at the top of the scale since the Oklahoma City tornado in May 1999. Winds were estimated at 205 mph.

The warnings from the NWS, dissemination from the media and coordination with emergency management were superb and sirens sounded twenty minutes before the twister struck. Countless lives were spared by the advance warnings, but still eleven people died in the horrific destruction, some in basements. The disaster presented town officials and residents with a unique opportunity to rebuild, and leaders are choosing to do it in a green manner using environmentally friendly practices.

Your Weekly U.S. Drought Monitor Update

| 11:09 am May 2, 2014

Areas to west continue to suffer from the drought as the very dry weather persist. There have been some areas that have seen conditions improve especially areas of the Central and Northern Rockies. However, we have seen exceptional drought conditions continue to expand across the Southern Plains and Texas. These conditions have expanded to include much of the Texas Panhandle, and down towards the Big Bend of Texas as well. Elsewhere, exceptional drought conditions persist in portions of California, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, and Oklahoma.

5-2-2014 7-20-22 AM

For Alabama, April did in fact bring a lot of showers. Most areas saw an abundance of rain over the last month, and it has all but alleviated any drought conditions for the state. There remain a few abnormally dry areas in the northern part of the state. These conditions continue to affect portions of Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin, Limestone, Lawrence, Jackson, and DeKalb Counties.

The forecast for the next 6-8 days, shows almost no chance of rain. That will give many areas a chance to dry out, but could also begin to allow the abnormally dry conditions to expand, and perhaps allow some drought conditions to return.

5-2-2014 7-20-56 AM

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Tornadic Storm Moving Toward Starkville

| 3:22 pm April 28, 2014

A very dangerous storm is about 45 minutes from Starkville, ETA 4 p.m. or a little sooner.

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Our friends in and around Starkville including Mississippi State University should be close to their safe places.

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11 Fatalities Now in Arkansas

| 12:24 am April 28, 2014

According to Governor Mike Beebe’s Twitter Feed:

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There is reportedly one fatality in Oklahoma as well.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the people in the hard hit areas of Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Big Tornadoes to Our Northwest Tonight. Our Turn Tomorrow?

| 10:20 pm April 27, 2014

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It has been a frightening afternoon and night in areas to the northwest of Alabama.

Arkansas is the hardest hit state. A long track tornado affected areas northwest to north to northeast of Little Rock starting just after 7 p.m.

A tornado was reported on the ground near Roland at 7:25. Three fatalities are being reported in Pulaski County, where the tornado apparently first touched down.

The tornado crossed I-40 with devastating effect a short time later. Portions of I-40 are still shut down.

Major damage was reported near Mayflower a few minutes later.

Around 7:39, homes were damaged in Saltillo.

There is a disaster tonight in Vilonia, AR where the tornado next struck at 7:39 p.m. A fast food restaurant was damaged as well as numerous homes. Local officials reported “mass casualties,” which doesn’t necessarily mean lots of fatalities, but certainly many injuries.

Around 8:01, the tornado passed one mile north of El Paso AR.

At 8:21, it was 6 miles west of Searcy AR, narrowly missing the larger town to the northwest.

At 8:50, the tornado was reported near Denmark, or southeast of Pleasant Plains.

At 9:05 p.m., a tornado was reported at Macks in Jackson County and five minutes later a few miles northeast of there at Jacksonport and a short time later west of Campbell Station.

Here are these reports plotted on a map:

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IN KANSAS
Also, a little earlier, a tornado was reported in downtown Baxter Springs KS around 5:39. 60-80 homes are reported destroyed. Another 20-25 businesses have been damaged. But fortunately, the casualty count there appears to be low.

FOR US IN ALABAMA
This is still a developing situation. The activity that caused the tornadoes in Arkansas will not affect our state tonight. It will push through northeastern Arkansas, southeastern Missouri and into Northwest Tennessee and western Kentucky overnight.

It looks like activity that forms later tonight in eastern Texas and Arkansas will move quickly across Mississippi overnight, but will weaken as it moves into Alabama.

Additional thunderstorms will form by lunchtime over eastern Mississippi. These storms could become severe as they push into West Alabama during the early afternoon. Here is the 4km NAM simulated radar for 1 p.m.

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They will slowly spread eastward across the state through the afternoon and evening. Here is the same product around 6 p.m.

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They should be southeast of I-5 by 9-10 p.m., but will continue to affect areas southeast of Birmingham during the late night hours.

LIKE APRIL 15, 2011?
Kevin Laws from the NWS just penned an excellent mesoscale discussion that echoed something I had just said to Ryan Stinnett. It looks similar to past outbreaks like the April 15, 2011 outbreak. That is a forgotten outbreak, because it came two weeks before April 27th. But it produced 29 tornadoes in the NWS Birmingham county warning area and killed four people.

TUESDAY
And as Kevin says in his discussion, Tuesday is still up in the air. Let’s get into the action tomorrow before we start worrying about it.