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Category: National and World

Confirmed Tornado Heading Toward Lincoln NE

| 5:25 pm May 11, 2014

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A supercell thunderstorm along the warm front in Nebraska is producing a confirmed tornado about 30 miles west southwest of Lincoln NE late this afternoon.

It is very near Beaver Crossing right now.

It is moving ENE at 25-30 mph and could affect parts of Lincoln within the hour.

ALABAMA UPDATE
Showers continue in the Birmingham area at this hour, generally along and west of I-65 from Bessemer to Fultondale to a large cell near Warrior /Smoke Rise. Others are north of Tuscaloosa right now.

Heavy showers over West Alabama are over Sumter, Greene and Hale Counties. Here is a current radar:

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It’s All About the Moisture!

| 1:17 pm May 11, 2014

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!

It’s been a nice Mother’s Day so far across Central Alabama with warm and muggy, but dry conditions across the area.

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Temperatures were held back a bit during the morning by heavier clouds, but those clouds have eroded, allowing a nice field of puffy cumulus clouds to develop in the low level moisture. You can see that in the top left panel of the graphic above. Readings will top out in the middle 80s generally across the I-20 corridor, with some upper 80s to the south.

Regional radar mosaics are starting to show a rash developing from the Florida Panhandle through southwestern Alabama and across much of the state of Mississippi. The convective showers are in the deeper moisture axis that extends across this area. You can see that clearly in the larger panel of the graphic if you click and enlarge it.

It means that these showers and the storms that some of them will grow to become will be mainly over western Alabama this afternoon. Can’t rule out a stray one over the rest of the area, but when it comes to more numerous storms, it’s all about the moisture.

TONIGHT: You can expect partly cloudy skies as the heating of the day disappears allowing the showers to dissipate. Lows will be in the middle 70s.

MONDAY: Tomorrow will feature increasing high pressure, but warm and humid conditions will prevail. A few isolated storms will develop, but the chance you will find you is only around 1 in 5. Highs tomorrow will be a couple of degrees warmer that those of today.

SEVERE WEATHER TODAY: Severe weather is expected across a wide area today from Madison WI and Chicago to Kansas City and Abilene, with an enhanced area across southwestern Iowa, southeastern Nebraska and Central Kansas. A powerful upper trough is approaching the region from the west today with a surface low near Des Moines. Thunderstorms are active along the warm front over eastern Iowa with severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings having already been posted and tornado watches are in effect. The best chance for tornadoes today will extend from Omaha to Des Moines.

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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Click image to enlarge.

* 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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Click image to enlarge.

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

Click image to enlarge.

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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