Friday, April 13, 2012

Severe Weather Saturday 
has already begun

 Follow updates from our local forecast teams and affiliates 
posting on the event from the Midwest and Southern Plains: 
ConvectiveWeather | CirrusWeather | Kansas City Metro*
*Local forecast page in Facebook

 Moderate (red) to high (pink) risk of severe weather for Saturday
 afternoon and evening across a large portion of the Central Plains

8:30 PM EDT 4/13/12 (The Severe Weather Team) Tornado Watches and Warnings began lighting up portions of the Central and Southern Plains this afternoon. Several large tornadoes have impacted communities in the vicinity of Norman, Oklahoma. 

This is ironically the location of the NOAA Storm Prediction Center (SPC) which is responsible for the issuance of the Severe Weather risk statement in effect.   Moderate and high risk statements currently cover large areas from Texas and Oklahoma through Kansas and into Nebraska These especially strong statements from the Weather Service have many weather watchers, residents and meteorologists particularly on edge for one reason:
  • The last issuance of a strongly worded SPC outlook this far in advance was prior to the April 27, 2011 multi-state outbreak in the Southeast. Evidence in recent data on high impact severe weather following these outlooks was investigated by Patrick Marsh, an Oklahoma University graduate student in Meteorology. He researched publicly available data on severe outbreaks and found startling correlations. Please visit his blog for further details.
  • If the SPC outlook for Saturday becomes a reality, some tornadoes in the affected areas could become potentially long tracked systems producing strong winds and large damage paths over wide areas. 
Today's Regional Roundup 

Titanic Centenary If you or your class are following our special series commemorating the 100th anniversary of Titanic, you can track the latest stories on climate, weather, technology and history in these links:

East - The trough that has been over the region for a few days now is finally starting to depart. We will start to feel this in places as the northwest wind wanes on Friday and gradually begins to shift. However, the chill will definitely be felt in the numerous areas from Michigan to South Carolina was covered by Frost Advisories and Freeze Warnings which expired early Friday morning. 

Midwest - Most of action will be in the middle of the country on Saturday, as severe weather is widely expected. The area of highest concern is in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri, but neighboring states may get potentially strong storms as well. Our Severe Weather Team notes that areas impacted under the High Risk region in current outlooks may experience:
  • Storms capable of producing destructive winds over 70 mph
  • Large hail more than 2 inches in diameter
  • Numerous tornadoes, several which may be strong and long-tracked
Our featured zone in Facebook following these events will be our Kansas City Metro page, operated by Forecaster Kristen M., a senior in Meteorology at the University of Kansas.

West - The fire danger is again a concern with dry air, dry ground, and wind. People in New Mexico and parts of Arizona should be wary of the fire danger on Friday as Red Flag Warnings have been issued for portions of both states. A bit closer to the Pacific, a new storm will bring some much needed rain to California and even some snow to the higher elevations. This storm is a little further south than most in the last few weeks, so water-logged Washington State will bypass the worst of this one! 

Contributors: Forecasters Mike N., Jason M., Kelton H., Daniel R. and Mr. Foot

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