Leap Day 2012: Tornado Trouble
(Left- Current Tornado Watches; Right - Outlook to 7 AM Thu 3/1)
2:10 PM EST 2/29/12 An extensive set of Tornado Watches have been migrating from the Mid-Mississippi River Valley earlier today to the Ohio Valley into tonight. As Forecaster Kelton noted yesterday, dewpoints were expected to reach the high 50s low 60s before the frontal boundary moves through, giving plenty of fuel for severe storms today.
- The primary hazards, including tornadoes, include hail to 1.5 inches in diameter, thunderstorm wind gusts up to 75 mph and dangerous cloud to ground lightning.
OVER A DOZEN Already, the NOAA Storm Prediction Center has received reports of over 12 tornadoes in the past 18 hours, as shown on the latest storm report graphic. Conditions for much of today will remain favorable for additional development, as evidenced on current NOAA water vapor imagery. Wind speeds at the surface will also be high, in the range of 20-25 knots with gusts higher. Strong winds aloft are mixing down to the surface, removing any capping layers as well as aiding in bringing moist air from the Gulf of Mexico.
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(Photo credit: Forecaster Nic Roberson of High Point, North Carolina, April 27, 2011)
(Forecaster Kelton & Advisor Mr. Foot)