Severe Weather Returns to Austin
Last week the NHC, as well as other models, anticipated a weather disturbance to sweep through the Great Plains on Thursday. Just yesterday the Storm Prediction Center posted a slight risk for an area extending from Austin, Texas to Jackson, MS. On the morning of March 8, 2012, the skies above Austin remained overcast. As the day progressed thunderclouds moved in and after a few breaks in the clouds, by the evening hours the sky is gray and overcast once again.
Currently, lead weak-showers have moved in to the Austin area. In addition, a few occasional 10 mph gusts have begun. In most areas of Austin, there is still only a trace of rain in the past hour. However, a few standalone showers have caused up to .25" in rain in just the past hour. Additional shower, and probably severe thunderstorm activity is expected as we roll into tonight.
6:40 PM (CDT):
The lead gust front that previously rolled through Austin is now southeast of the city, extending from San Antonio and then north-eastwards, through Bryan, and beyond. At this moment, much of Austin is currently at a break from shower activity. The skies remain overcast. Rapid temperature drops are going on right now as temperatures will cool from the 70s to the 40s in a matter of less than 2 hours.
8:06 PM (CDT):
It appears as the severe weather event in Austin will not be severe at all. It may surprise you that the entire NWS Austin/San Antonio (EWX) area is under no watch, warning, or advisory, with the exception of a Short Term Forecast. The Storm Prediction Center has just pulled its slight risk zone about 200+ miles to the east from Austin, Texas, so that it only includes an area from Lafayette to Birmingham. The forecast for tonight seems to be only scattered showers with a breezy north wind. As such, Austin will not be seeing the severe weather event that was predicted.
Updated: 2:12 AM GMT on March 09, 2012
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Four of a Kind - 4 Major Spring Tornado Outbreaks of the American Southeast
I was looking up tornado outbreaks recently and found that the mass media frequently associated the March 2, 2012 Tornado Outbreak with the 2011 Super Outbreak. I went on back in time to see if there were other very similar recent spring tornado outbreaks, associated with a powerful low pressure system moving across the American Midwest and a powerful low-latitude jet stream. I figured that the April 2010 Tornado Outbreak, the one infamous for the Yazoo City tornado (extensively publicity on the mass media outlets, especially the Weather Channel), also had nearly the same setup. In addition the April 2009 tornado outbreak also configured this same setup. I took the time to use Google Docs just to visualize the similarities between all of them.
Updated: 6:10 PM GMT on March 04, 2012
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Reviewing the Damage from the Early-March Tornado Outbreak
On March 2, a devastating tornado outbreak took place in the interior United States, stretching from Ohio down into Louisiana. The media reflected it as a smaller repeat of the grandiose 2011 Super Outbreak. Surveys are still on-going, but there are already 9 EF2+ tornadoes reported. As the preliminaries roll in I give my guesstimates to the damage of these tornadic systems.
Figure One: The remains of Henryville High School's gym. This appears to be of a high-end EF2 or moderate EF3.
Figure Two: Destruction in Maryville, Indiana, from above. This appears to be a strong EF4.
Figure Three: A church demolished by the West Liberty tornado. Probably a strong EF4.