Friday, April 8, 2011

Update on Severe Weather Along Oklahoma / Kansas Border

The above image was taken from the radar site near Enid, OK a few moments ago.  The left half of the image shows the radar in reflectivity mode (i.e., rain, hail).  The right half of the image shows the Vertically Integrated Liquid (or VIL) display of the radar.  

In a nutshell, and without getting to complex (if you want that, go here), VIL is a measurement of the amount of liquid (i.e., precipitation) suspended in the air column at any given point of the radar sweep.  The higher the VIL, the higher the amount of liquid suspended in the air.  Accordingly, the chance of large hail increases as the VIL reading increases.

Indeed, the radar is estimating that hailstones of 1.5 to 3.5 inches in diameter are likely within the storms with the highest VIL readings (see table below):

The storm over Kay county (over Blackwell and Northwest of Ponca City) is also beginning to show signs of rotation.  A Tornado Watch is in effect for northcentral Oklahoma and southcentral Knasas until 1am CDT:

Below is an impressive visible satellite image of the thunderstorms over northcentral Oklahoma.  You can also see additional thunderstorms trying to form further to the Southwest:

Large hail is likely and damaging thunderstorm winds and isolated tornadoes are possible with any severe storms that form this evening...

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