Monday, May 23, 2011

Major Tornado Outbreak Likely Tuesday



Conditions appear favorable for a major outbreak of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms across Kansas and Oklahoma, as well as perhaps extreme northwest Texas, on Tuesday afternoon & evening.  The area at greatest risk is within the red shaded region on the map above.  This would include the cities of Great Bend, Salina, Wichita, Topeka, Kansas City, Chanute, Joplin, Fayetteville, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Wichita Falls.

Tornadoes (some of which are likely to be long track and/or very damaging), very large hail and damaging winds can be expected across this region.

The strongest activity would likely develop near the western edge of the red area on the image above by 2-3pm Tuesday afternoon, with activity moving and/or developing East or Northeastward with time throughout the remainder of the afternoon and into the evening hours.

This is a potentially very dangerous weather situation.  If you live in the central or southern Plains, particularly in or near the red outlined areas on the image above, please pay very close attention to the weather on Tuesday.

15 comments:

The Planet Pink said...

I've already made plans to spend the evening/night with a friend who has a shelter. I'm not messing around with this!

Rob In Texas said...

I think that's a wise move for tomorrow for sure. Is the shelter below ground? Doesn't have to be, but that's the best option obviously.

The Planet Pink said...

unfortunately no. It's an above ground safe room installed in the garage. But I figured that's better than my little closet! It's a cruel twist of irony that Oklahoma is nearly void of basements!

Rob In Texas said...

The safe room is fine. Remember that picture from Tuscaloosa (but hoping it's not repeated, of course).

In my 15 years and I don't know how many houses in Tulsa, I can't remember having a basement either... and to this day none of our family that still lives up there has one either...

Shamrock said...

Rob-how much danger are we in from tornadoes this afternoon and tonight? It's 4:17pm here-we're in the slight risk for severe storms this afternoon and tonight and 2% for a tornado. I see no storms anywhere near me on the radar. Is Johnson County gonna be ok?

Shamrock said...

Be safe, Planet Pink! You're being very wise by planning ahead! You're going to be ok! Please keep us posted!

Rob In Texas said...

Shamrock,

I think you're good (meaning no worries) for tonight. Thunderstorms way to your West now may make it over your way toward dawn, but heavy rain and gusty winds would be the main threat.

Greater risk of severe weather over your way tomorrow, most likely late afternoon & evening, and not with a big tornado risk the way it looks now.

Shamrock said...

Thanks, Rob! Is there any update on how large the tornado in Joplin was? I heard it was an EF3 or EF4 but it did so much damage because it basically sat on the ground without hopping and was slow moving.....So tragic. This weather is nuts.

Rob In Texas said...

Based on the ground level video and photos that I've seen so far, I believe there is EF4 damage. There is also arguably some EF5 damage (i.e., bark completely stripped off of trees, destruction of commercial buildings that appeared to be masonry construction with steel reinforced beams), etc. There is some areal footage coming out now that I intend to review, but this was indeed a very destructive tornado indeed.

Shamrock said...

Rob, I am confused as to why we are still under a slight risk on the SPC graph for Monday! Can you please explain!

Rob In Texas said...

Shamrock, its because of the line of storms to your West, although it has been weakening pretty steadily during the past hour. I wouldn't be too concerned about severe weather in your area tonight...

Shamrock said...

Thanks, Rob! Planet Pink-our thoughts and prayers are with you for tomorrow. Please let us know when the storms have gone over you!

The Planet Pink said...

@Shamrock, thank you! We have a plan, we'll be prepared. And we'll pray!

Anthill_Goddess said...

Rob, I've asked a few local people (from the TV stations) and have yet to get a response from them...now I'll ask you.
We have a modular home (stick-built off-site and set on a basement), wide-open basement. We have two choices for tornado shelter. One is below the stairway to the basement, but it's uncovered other than 2/4's. The other is in the corner...but our only protection is by way of a workbence (not too heavy) and a crib mattress that we can put in front of us to block.....
Which is a better idea here in south-central IA?

Rob In Texas said...

Anthill_Goddess,

Thank you for your question. First, let me be clear that you're at a big advantage by having a below ground shelter option. Please don't misread my further comments to the contrary...

We obviously hope and pray that you never have to use your basement as a tornado shelter, but if you do, there are 2 scenarios that could unfold. First, depending on the strength and movement of the tornado relative to your home, all of the debris that is being created above you could be lifted up and carried away, posing no additional danger to you.

The other scenario involves debris potentially falling down into and "filling up" the basement. Under that scenario, you want to be sure that you are covered/sheltered from the falling debris. Without a doubt, I'd opt for getting under the stairs. I am assuming they are firmly attached to the basement wall and floor. If not it should be pretty easy to reinforce them and make them more substantial.

If space permits, I would still put the mattress or some other sort of cushion over you even under the stairs for added protection/cushion from anything that could fall nearby.

Thanks again and stay safe!