Saturday, November 10, 2012

Today's Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Threat

Virga (rain falling but evaporating before reaching ground) over Wichita at 7:17am.
South winds are howling through the central and southern Plains which are bringing Gulf moisture north. When a cold front and a low pressure system in the upper atmosphere late this afternoon and tonight act on that moisture thunderstorms will develop. Some may be severe.

Tornado Threat

When it comes to tornadoes, 5% is considered the significant threshold. So, from Omaha and Lincoln south to Wichita and Hutchinson and into Alva, OK special attention should be paid to the weather later today. 

Large Hail and Damaging Wind Threat
Forecasts by NWS Storm Prediction Center
There is a threat of large hail (1" in diameter or larger) and/or thunderstorm winds of 58 mph (50 kt.) or greater from the Twin Cities to Oklahoma City and Wichita Falls (15% is the significant threshold for severe thunderstorms). Of course, all thunderstorms can produce cloud-to-ground lightning. 

There will be number of college football games played in this region during the period when thunderstorms approach. Please be "weather aware" if you are attending a game. Your car is reasonable protection from lightning and hail (as opposed to being in the stands) but is not adequate protection from a tornado. 

University administrators: Do you have a plan for your football fans in case tornadoes threaten? This includes getting word in time to get people to much more substantial shelter than the stadium?

2 comments:

  1. As a University student living in University housing I have not found any information, signs, or action plans for what to do should there be imminent sever weather approaching the dorm. I'm shocked, especially considering we are in the Great Plains. I'm going to bring it too attention if I don't see anything soon.

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  2. Michael, this is the rule rather than the exception. For some reason, marked fire escapes are mandated by law but tornado shelters are not. One of these days there is going to be a major tragedy.

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