Friday, March 2, 2012

Midday Update on Severe Weather & Tornado Outbreak...

As we feared, the situation is beginning to ramp-up severe weather wise across the Ohio and Tennessee Valley region, into the Deep South.  People taking meteorology classes from accredited online colleges will want to keep track of this system as well...

The image below is the latest regional radar, with an overlay of a severe weather forecasting tool/index known as the "Significant Tornado Parameter" (which is abbreviated STP).  

As you can see, there are two primary bands of strong to severe storms at present.  One stretching from Indiana and Illinois into extreme northeast Arkansas/southeast Missouri.  The other is exiting the extreme northeast corner of Alabama, stretching up into middle Tennessee.

The large fields of solid red lines between these two lines of storms is the problem.  An STP value of 2 or more is considered very favorable for strong or violent tornado development.  We are currently seeing values of 5 or even 6 across a large area from southern Illinois into Mississippi.  As severe storms move and/or develop into these areas during the next few hours, widespread severe weather, including numerous tornadoes, can be expected.

Tornado Watches continue across this region:

...and additional watches will likely be issued in between the above very soon. Check the SPC Watch page here for specific details as to the watch status.

There continues to be a high likelihood of widespread severe weather, including the possibility of long track, strong and/or violent tornadoes, across a significant area this afternoon and evening.  The areas at highest risk are within the lavender, red and black hatched areas on the following image:

If you live in or near these areas, remain on a high state of alertness this afternoon.  Review severe weather safety tips now, have a specific sheltering plan in place, and listen for later statements and warnings for your area via local media or another trusted source.  

Keep in mind that storms will be moving at 55-65 mph or faster today, which will allow very little room for reaction time in some cases.  If a warning is issued for your area, seek shelter immediately!

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Anthill_Goddess said...

Isn't Shamrock in this area?

Praying for everyone in the outlook area today/tonight!

Rob White said...

She's in northeast Tennessee. Her area just went under a Tornado Watch until 3pm CST/4pm EST.

Shamrock - The threat for your area will extend beyond 4pm - this is just an areal extension of the watch that was issued earlier.

First threat of severe headed your way early to mid-afternoon, then another threat late afternoon into evening. Keep an eye to the West!