Sunday, June 6, 2010

Widespread Severe Weather Reports Yesterday

You naturally always hear about the "major" severe weather outbreaks where "significant" tornadoes, large hail, etc. strike heavily populated areas.  I have to admit I wasn't watching TV or anything like that yesterday evening, but just scanning news headlines, etc. this morning there is relatively little being said about what a big severe weather day Saturday actually was.

Reports of severe weather were received from 24 states yesterday:

There were really 3 specific areas of activity.  1st being the Northern Plains into the Midwest and Ohio Valley:

2nd (and rather unusual) being in New England:

And a 3rd area, mainly consisting of wind damage reports, in the Southeast:

The area of most "intense" activity seemed to be across the Midwest (although the New England reports sure were interesting because of the relative lack of severe weather in that part of the country most of the time).  I'm going to try to find some video of one particular storm and post it later today.

Back to the Midwest, there were several tornadoes reported late yesterday evening from a couple of supercells that moved across northern Illinois, later crossing the Indiana border:

In a post yesterday evening, I loaded this impressive image of the Storm Relative Velocity (wind motion) display from the Chicago area (KLOT) doppler radar.  The rotation was occurring in a storm near Aroma Park, IL shortly after 10pm central time.  Your eyes will immediately be drawn to the center of the image, where a strong "couplet" of wind moving both toward (indicated by the blues and greens) and away (indicated by the reds and oranges) from the radar  was taking place.
The radar estimated winds moving both toward and away from the radar at about 135 mph at the center of the couplet (where the brightest yellow and blue colors touch in that very small geographic location).  The radar is located just off the upper-center of the image, and at that distance the 135 mph winds were being measured at about 2500 feet above ground level.  A ground report of a tornado "1 mile wide" was received from this area shortly after the image was taken.

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