Tornadoes, severe thunderstorms kill nine in OK, AR; more severe weather today

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:07 PM GMT on April 15, 2011

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Tornadoes and deadly severe thunderstorms tore through Oklahoma and Arkansas last night, killing at least nine people. The action began Thursday afternoon, when a powerful spring low pressure system intensified over western Kansas. The intensifying storm pulled in frigid Canadian air behind it and warm, moist Gulf of Mexico air in front of it, and where two air masses collided over eastern Oklahoma, a powerful cold front spawned a dangerous squall line of severe thunderstorms late Thursday afternoon. Doppler radar indicated the spinning signatures of mesocyclones inside numerous thunderstorms, and the National Weather Service began issuing multiple tornado warnings. At 6:22pm CDT, storm spotters reported a wide "stovepipe" shaped tornado had touched down in south-central Oklahoma four miles south of Milburn in Johnson County. Huge hailstones up to 4 1/2 inches in diameter--the size of softballs--began pelting the ground. The tornado roared to the northeast, ripping through the small town of Tushka, population 350, at 7:23pm. The powerful twister ripped off the roof of the local high school and destroyed dozens of buildings in Tushka, killing two people and injuring 25. The tornado moved over farmland and dissipated a short time later, but the squall line that spawned the tornado moved into Arkansas overnight, spawning severe thunderstorm winds that killed seven more people. The nine deaths made yesterday the deadliest severe weather outbreak of 2011.


Figure 1. Radar reflectivity image of the Tushka, Oklahoma tornado at 7:16pm CDT in Atoka County, seven minutes before the twister hit the town. Note the classic hook-shaped echo of the parent mesocyclone in the rotating severe thunderstorms that spawned the tornado.


Figure 2. Doppler radar velocity image of the Tushka, Oklahoma tornado at 7:16pm CDT in Atoka County, seven minutes before the twister hit the town.

The Tushka tornado brings this year's tornado death tally to five people, which is low for mid-April. In total, yesterday's severe weather outbreak had 10 tornado reports, 122 instances of large hail greater than 2" in diameter, and 91 reports of damaging winds. The action shifts eastwards to Mississippi and Alabama today, which NOAA's Storm Prediction Center have placed under its "moderate risk" region for severe weather. This is the same risk Oklahoma had during yesterday's tornado outbreak. You can follow today's outbreak using our severe weather page and interactive tornado map. This map now shows links to Youtube storm chaser videos of tornadoes, plus any wunderphotos taken of the storm. Tornado warnings have already been posted in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi today. A report visible on our tornado page indicates that a tornado touched down just west of Jackson, Mississippi near noon EDT today, crossing Interstate 20 and ripping the roof off of a bank in Clinton, MS.


Figure 3. Satellite image from 23:03 UTC (5:03pm CDT) April 14, 2011, showing the strong low pressure system over the Plains that brought yesterday's severe weather outbreak. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.


Figure 4. Storm chaser video of the Tushka tornado.

Jeff Masters

Rope Tornado 1 (rrose1)
Rope Tornado 1
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Midland Weather radio went off a few minutes ago, Tornado Watch for the Macon area until 0600 in the morning. System hasn't moved far enough east yet to bring any rain to the area. I am watching the radar screens carefully now. :)
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Quoting aquak9:
StAug- they say when a cat lays down, or sleeps with it's paws tucked underneath, that it's gonna rain. My cats've been right a coupla times, since I started watching.

(cat-caster)

Aqua - I suspect your cat(s) is/are doing everything other than tucking his/her paws. It's not Texas dry but with no rain in the forecast I wouldn't be surprised to see us back in the extreme drought category in the near future.
Action: Quote | Ignore User
Member Since: March 8, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 60


i just went and checked my cat and ya know what its paws are tucked under front of him hmmmmm

and i know its going to rain but i didn't tell the cat

lol
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massive

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Quoting aquak9:
StAug- they say when a cat lays down, or sleeps with it's paws tucked underneath, that it's gonna rain. My cats've been right a coupla times, since I started watching.

(cat-caster)


Aqua - I suspect your cat(s) is/are doing everything other than tucking his/her paws. It's not Texas dry but with no rain in the forecast I wouldn't be surprised to see us back in the extreme drought category in the near future.
Member Since: March 8, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 802
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People must be hating on my Glorious weather that I had today.And it was a Friday!!!!.Ohhhh just on time!!.Don't worry I'll get my fair share of crappy weather come tomorrow.
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appears to go zonal as always we await the next run
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Quoting emcf30:


This is just the North lot at the track. This is on track property and free to camp there. Talk about party central. Looks like the main cell went to the South of the track


That's good news. It did look like that bad cell was headed south of Talladega, so if the track and campers are on the north side then they dodged a bullet.
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:
My goodness, thats unreal how large those fires are..Is there ANY rain in sight for them ?
looks dry in the near term as we go with a zonal flow for a while

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Quoting pottery:

Hmmm!
I guess it's a good thing that the pressure is being released there, slowly.
Would be worse if the movement were in one big jolt, surely.
Disconcerting, anyway.


Been noticing those in NV...been wondering if there is gas drilling and injection wells in that area.
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StAug- they say when a cat lays down, or sleeps with it's paws tucked underneath, that it's gonna rain. My cats've been right a coupla times, since I started watching.

(cat-caster)
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Nice lil donut.
Link
Member Since: March 8, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 802
Quoting presslord:
oh boyLink

Hmmm!
I guess it's a good thing that the pressure is being released there, slowly.
Would be worse if the movement were in one big jolt, surely.
Disconcerting, anyway.
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Today for us was near perfect weather with highs in the lower 70's.But it got really windy this afternoon ahead of the storm.Not going to get a break from the wind tomorrow either.Going to be both windy,and rainy.Sorry to hear about the outbreak today.Been so damn bissy as of late all today.Couldn't even get to the nearest T.V.
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My goodness, thats unreal how large those fires are..Is there ANY rain in sight for them ?
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Quoting zoomiami:
2011 Open House
On Saturday, April 16th, WFO Miami is proud to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Weather Service in Miami by hosting an Open House from 10 AM to 2 PM. The Open House will feature tours of the WFO and National Hurricane Center as well as static displays from our sister NOAA agencies, FIU and local Emergency Management agencies.

NOTE: no bags or purses will be allowed inside the NWS building.

Though this might be of interest to anyone in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale.


I live in Boca and I think I may wanna check it out.
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Quoting Patrap:
Watch the reflectivity of the smoke streams go down as the Sun Sets in Texas..

last few frames high resolution visible image animation of texas smoke from fires



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oh boyLink
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Quoting help4u:
Hey Randomtex try laying off the pills!
replaced with empty space no help4him
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Watch the reflectivity of the smoke streams go down as the Sun Sets in Texas..

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128344
Appreciate that zoo and aqua :)
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hi zoo! ♥ oh you know I'm always kinda lurking when I can...
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eyes- that's good news on the family. Whew. can't imagine not knowing the whereabouts of loved ones.

I missed the missing post- wow, Admin was quick on the draw.

StAug- yeah, WHAT rainy season??
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Eyes: so sorry to hear about your family -- glad everyone is ok.

Hi Aqua! Long time no see
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2011 Open House
On Saturday, April 16th, WFO Miami is proud to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Weather Service in Miami by hosting an Open House from 10 AM to 2 PM. The Open House will feature tours of the WFO and National Hurricane Center as well as static displays from our sister NOAA agencies, FIU and local Emergency Management agencies.

NOTE: no bags or purses will be allowed inside the NWS building.

Though this might be of interest to anyone in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale.
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Hello guys, It's been a looooog day today in central Ms. I'm sure in a few days they will have some stats on the tornado damage, so I wont speculate, but feel it will be extensive. My sister-in-law was on of many who lost their homes in Clinton/North Jackson tornado .....the one Reed Timmer was chasing. Thankfully she was at work.
Took me a while to hear that my children and grandchildren were all ok, as they were spread out in the tri-county area, either working or in schools. Here at my home...we were lucky, just rain and wind.

I know there were some injuries, but, do not know of any fatalities, at this time .....and that was just a pure miracle !!
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and a for any and all politics in the weather blog, no matter which flavor blinders are being displayed.

Every day, all the time, regardless of weather's entertainment value that particular day or moment.

and
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Hey Randomtex try laying off the pills!
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please fix our radar in central nc before tomorrows storms. its been down since the last line of trash moving storms came through here last saturday
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Quoting aquak9:
weakening is always good.

Hey are ya'll breezy down there? We've been breezy, kinda gusty up here. Then tomorrow we're windy, and we're both gonna be back under fire weather watch. Gonna be a while a'fore we see any good rain.


Same here. High 80's w/30+ mph winds tomorrow. I'm having a hard time buying into the early rainy season some are predicting. Looks to be dry as a bone through the end of the month.
Member Since: March 8, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 802
I got the loop, no problem, atmo.

So sad- in another day, that visible smoke will reach the gulf. Amazing. Looks like Texas is just bleeding out dust and ash into the sky. Really puts those fires into perspective.
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weakening is always good.

Hey are ya'll breezy down there? We've been breezy, kinda gusty up here. Then tomorrow we're windy, and we're both gonna be back under fire weather watch. Gonna be a while a'fore we see any good rain.
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The TX fires seem to have gotten much worse over the day today. (Dry north wind)

See this all-day visible sat animation. NOT for slower connections, 14 MB. Link
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting aquak9:
and here's the J9 cell I was fussin' about earlier. gonna pass to the NNW of Montgomery. Whole lotta not much of nothin' out that way. Looks...like an EF0, max, lower level rotation kinda jumping around.

Same cell you talking about, StAug?



Was looking at O6 and/or Z9 but they seem to have weakened a tad the past few minutes.
Member Since: March 8, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 802
Quoting StAugustineFL:
Hook on the storm southwest of Montgomery.


just cause there's a hook shape or pull-around on composite, does not mean there's a tornado. Ya gotta look at wind direction in the different layers for that.

Your cell has some diffuse unstacked converging winds scattered around it, StAug. Nothing that's really come together, thankfully.
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Quoting aquak9:
and here's the J9 cell I was fussin' about earlier. gonna pass to the NNW of Montgomery. Whole lotta not much of nothin' out that way. Looks...like an EF0, max, lower level rotation kinda jumping around.

Same cell you talking about, StAug?



Not sure. I'm doing 5 things at once and can't seem to get anything right at the moment......lol I zoomed on the local Nexrad and radar seemed to show a tight couplet southwest of town. Looked impressive to me but that's JMO
Member Since: March 8, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 802
well I take that back, sure seems to be a lotta cemetaries in that area. And there's Clanton, GA, little town in the path. Probably be just a strong meso by then, I hope.
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and here's the J9 cell I was fussin' about earlier. gonna pass to the NNW of Montgomery. Whole lotta not much of nothin' out that way. Looks...like an EF0, max, lower level rotation kinda jumping around.

Same cell you talking about, StAug?

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Quoting StAugustineFL:
Hook on the storm southwest of Montgomery.


http://www.wunderground.com/radar/radblast.asp?zo ommode=zoom&num=1&delay=15&scale=0.125&noclutter=0 &ID=MXX&type=N0R&lat=0&lon=0&label=you&showstorms= 0&map.x=357&map.y=294¢erx=855¢ery=35&lightning=S how&smooth0&showlabels=1&rainsnow=Show
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.
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Hook on the storm southwest of Montgomery.
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here's that cell again, gonna go in between Macon and Atlanta. Now I know it looks like TV on composite, but VIL isn't even in the 50's and I can't find any rotation on MRV.

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Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1935
Clinton, Miss Coverage
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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