Archive for Friday, April 13, 2012

Forecasters say Saturday storm system could be ‘life threatening;’ severe weather expected for Lawrence area

April 13, 2012, 11:02 a.m. Updated April 13, 2012, 4:30 p.m.

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This graphic provided Friday, April 13, 2012, by NOAA's Storm Prediction Center shows a high risk of severe weather in portions of Kansas and Oklahoma on Saturday, April 14. According to forecasters, there is a 60 percent chance of tornadoes, high wind and hail within 25 miles of a point in an area from Salina, Kan., to Oklahoma City. Also, in the area marked with dashed lines, there is a 10 percent or greater chance that storms within 25 miles of a point could be significant. That region stretches from near Omaha, Neb., to west of Dallas.

This graphic provided Friday, April 13, 2012, by NOAA's Storm Prediction Center shows a high risk of severe weather in portions of Kansas and Oklahoma on Saturday, April 14. According to forecasters, there is a 60 percent chance of tornadoes, high wind and hail within 25 miles of a point in an area from Salina, Kan., to Oklahoma City. Also, in the area marked with dashed lines, there is a 10 percent or greater chance that storms within 25 miles of a point could be significant. That region stretches from near Omaha, Neb., to west of Dallas.

— An outbreak of fierce storms, some of which could spawn large and violent tornadoes, are expected to develop across the nation’s midsection on Saturday in a band running from Texas north to Minnesota.

Lawrence could be in the storms’ path.

The worst weather is expected to develop in the late afternoon between Oklahoma City and Salina, Kan., but other areas also could see severe storms with baseball-sized hail and winds of up to 70 mph, forecasters at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said Friday.

The outbreak could be a “high-end, life threatening event,” according to a report from the center, which is part of the National Weather Service.

It is only the second time in U.S. history that the center has issued a high-risk warning more than 24 hours in advance, said Russ Schneider, director of the center, which is part of the National Weather Service. The first such warning was issued in April 2006 before nearly 100 tornadoes tore across a large swathe of the southeastern United States.

In the Lawrence area, there is a chance of severe thunderstorms Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

“Right now we’re looking at (possibly) a tornadic outbreak, and large hail. As time goes on it will morph into a line of thunderstorms. There will be heavy rain and wind,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Shawn Byrne.

In the event of a tornado, residents should seek shelter in areas that have plenty of walls, and few windows, said Teri Smith, director of Douglas County Emergency Management. There are no FEMA-approved tornado shelters in the city.

“You need to go to the lowest level (and) have the most walls as you can between you and the outside, with no windows,” she said. “People need to make sure to know where to take shelter, no matter where they’re at. It’s important that people have a plan, have a kit and stay informed.”

The latest warning was issued as a strong storm system moves in from the western United States with cold air combining with low-level moisture coming up from the Gulf region. The difference in wind direction and speed created by the storm system creates instability in the atmosphere that helps create rotation that can spawn tornadoes, said Scott Curl, a meteorologist at the NWS.

“It’s amazing how many things you have to get to get a tornado to develop, and many of those ingredients will be in place,” Curl said.

While the most severe storms are expected to hit in Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, there could be severe weather in Iowa, Missouri, Texas and portions of Illinois. On Sunday, the storm system is expected to move east Sunday, centering over Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.

“This is a very powerful weather situation,” Schneider said. “The environment is extremely favorable for violent, long-track tornadoes.

“The only question is when and where these storms will initially develop.”

Comments

riverdrifter 3 years, 2 months ago

High risk from Olahoma City to Salina: that would pretty much be the heart of tornado alley. This evening's forecast doesn't look all that rosey for us, either.

mom_of_three 3 years, 2 months ago

The wichita eagle has a model of the risk areas, and we are under moderate risk. I agree, I don't like the sound of it either.

Ken Lassman 3 years, 2 months ago

This is apparently only the second time in the Storm Prediction Center's history that they've issued a high risk status 2 days out. The last time was in 2006 in Tennessee and the result was 73 tornadoes, 13 killed and 1.5 billion dollars of damage. The forecast also says that there's good chance for strong nighttime tornadoes after dark on Saturday night, so this one is one to really pay close attention to, even tho the highest risk is a little to our west. After all, a long track big tornado comes from the west....

Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

Bicycle helmets, people. I'm not kidding.

Liberty275 3 years, 2 months ago

If rather have my skull crushed in. But thanks for your concern, and hopefully others will take your advice if necessary and perhaps mitigate any injuries.

Actually, If the deal goes down during the day and I'm off early enough, we'll be out chasing and thanks to your idea I'll bring my Snell 2005 helmet for my wife. I do promise to duck if the jeep gets pushed off the road. :-)

somedude20 3 years, 2 months ago

Does this report come with a free diaper cause they sure is scaring the poo poo out of me? Zoinks! Eat your final meals tonight and make coitus while you can cause a high-life is threatening to end up in your belly! Oh lordy lordy we surely is dead as a catfish on a hot tin roof........lord baby jesus, please touch me with you small baby manhand and save me

kufan1146 3 years, 2 months ago

Lol. Best comment I've ever read on this site.

Richard Payton 3 years, 2 months ago

I didn't realize the mole now worked for the storm prediction center.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

If you aren't already in your basement, it's too late!

Steve Bunch 3 years, 2 months ago

There was a news item recently that said that the tornado warnings were going to be amped up this year. Things like "if you don't take cover this storm will kill you and spread your dismembered carcase over a 100-mile radius. And your children too." I think they decided that the boy wasn't crying wolf loudly enough.

Steve Jacob 3 years, 2 months ago

160 people did die in Joplin less then a year ago you know.

Steve Bunch 3 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, I heard something about that. I'm just saying that weather people seem to enjoy pegging the hysteria meter.

Cai 3 years, 2 months ago

yea, but that didn't happen because of lack of warning or lack of heeding warnings. It happened because of a combination of severity of storm and lack of proper shelter - which these increased warnings don't help.

My heart did, does, and will continue to go out to Joplin, Greensburg, and many other cities that have been hit by tornadoes so catastrophically. But the problem still hasn't been addressed in many places. Take any of the trailer parks here or in Eudora - how, exactly, does increased warning help them when there's no shelter even available for them to go to?

Jake Esau 3 years, 2 months ago

Might want to update or time stamp the graphic attached to the article, it's been updated on SPC's website (as of 12pm CST).

JackMcKee 3 years, 2 months ago

One thing I know will survive any impending weather disaster...is the rock at 9th and Hillcrest.

Lawrencites you are in my thoughts and prayers while I soak in the rays next to the glorious Gulf of Mexico,

James Minor 3 years, 2 months ago

I am going out right now and buy a Mega Milliions ticket then I will be financially set when the house is blown away. This is the End my only friend the End.

Kookamooka 3 years, 2 months ago

I think we're just going to sleep in the basement tonight. Then we won't have to get up when it hits.

Christine Anderson 3 years, 2 months ago

Right now I really would rather be in Wi - as far into the northern resort areas as possible.

rtwngr 3 years, 2 months ago

In the words of Al Sleet, the hippy, dippy, weatherman; "Tonight's forecast, dark. Continued dark through the night, with scattered light in the morning. We will have a Canadian low moving in, which is not to be confused with a Mexican high."

50YearResident 3 years, 2 months ago

I think this gloom, doomsday forcast will be revised and the severe risk changer to a thunderstorm watch. Wait and see.

LadyJ 3 years, 2 months ago

Just don't go anywhere along or past 31st street or the Southwest corner of Lawrence (along Clinton Parkway) and you will probably be ok. Historically, that is where the tornadoes have struck.

riverdrifter 3 years, 2 months ago

Looks like the entire central great plains is now under a tornado watch.

xclusive85 3 years, 2 months ago

So, i just saw on weather.com that there have already been 103 confirmed tornados today. Also, for anybody interested, Wichita and the surrounding area is/was getting hit by several tornados. Even the airport sustained damage.

verity 3 years, 2 months ago

For all you snarks, so far there are no reports of death or even injuries, even though there have been some serious tornadoes. For those of us in the line of these storms, we are very thankful for the warnings.

And for the idiots who are out sight-seeing---get thee home and stay there. You're getting in the way of the emergency vehicles. Have you no sense at all?

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