Sunday, April 10, 2011

Update on Potential Tornado Outbreak Later Today...

The above image shows the latest severe weather outlook for this afternoon, evening and tonight from the SPC.  Severe thunderstorms are possible anywhere within the green outlined area.  An enhanced risk of severe storms is forecast within the area outlined in red.

The above image specifically addresses tornado potential from severe storms later today.  Areas within the yellow and orange outlines have the highest chance of experiencing a tornado.  The potential exists for long track, strong and/or violent tornadoes within these same areas.  This includes much of the state of Wisconsin and adjacent portions of southeast Minnesota, east-central and northeast Iowa and portions of northern and western Illinois.

Thunderstorms are expected to develop by mid to late afternoon across southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa, along and ahead of a strong cold front and area of low pressure at the surface.  These storms are forecast to rapidly become severe, with very large hail and damaging winds possible.  Once formed, storms will move and develop rapidly toward the East and Northeast, overspreading adjacent portions of Wisconsin and northern Illinois by late afternoon and into the evening hours.

As these severe storms mature, they are likely to produce tornadoes, some of which could be long tracked and very damaging (potentially deadly).  Please do not take this situation lightly, especially if you live in an area that goes under a tornado warning later today.

Residents of the above areas should review severe weather safety precautions now, and listen for later statements, watches and warnings.  Be prepared to seek shelter immediately if severe weather approaches.  Due to the strong winds in the middle and upper atmosphere today, most storms in this area will move at 55-65 mph, which will potentially cut down on reaction time once severe weather develops.

Further South along the front, additional thunderstorms will develop by late afternoon or early evening across portions of eastern Missouri, central and southern Illinois and into northern Arkansas (within the darker orange outlined area on the image below).  Damaging winds and large hail will be the greatest threats in these areas, however isolated tornadoes are also possible.

Further Southwest along the front, basically southwest of Little Rock, and into southeast Oklahoma and northeast Texas (brighter orange outlined area on the image below), thunderstorm development will initially be limited by a strong capping inversion in place across the region.  It will likely be later this evening or early tonight before thunderstorms are able for form in this region.  Any isolated storm that is able to form before that time, however, would rapidly become severe.  Damaging winds and large hail would be the greatest threats, however an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out in this region either.

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