Moderate Risk of tornadoes for Kansas; 1-year Super Outbreak anniversary

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:21 PM GMT on April 27, 2012

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A dangerous severe weather threat is developing for Kansas today, where a small but potent storm system in the western part of the state will intensify and move east. By late this afternoon, the storm will spawn supercell thunderstorms capable of bringing large hail and strong tornadoes to eastern Kansas and extreme western Missouri. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed this region in its "Moderate Risk" area for severe weather, the second highest level of alert. Cities in the Moderate Risk area include Topeka, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri.


Figure 1. Severe weather outlook for April 27, 2012, from our severe weather page.

One-year anniversary of the April 27, 2011 Super Tornado Outbreak
One year ago today, an astonishing outbreak of atmospheric violence unparalleled in world history hit the Southeast U.S. A total of 199 tornadoes touched down, including eleven violent EF-4s and four maximum-strength EF-5s. The 4-day period April 25 - 28 was the largest and most damaging severe weather outbreak in world history, with a total of 358 tornadoes, $10.4 billion in damage, and 321 deaths.


Video 1. Remarkable video of the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa, Alabama on April 27, 2011. Fast forward to 4:15 to see the worst of the storm.


Video 2. CBS42 meteorologist Mark Prater tracks the Tuscaloosa, Alabama tornado of April 27, 2011.


Video 3. Five-minute look at the Tuscaloosa tornado of April 27, 2011 and the damage it wrought.

Jeff Masters

As Is (teach50)
My husband and I were visiting my parents in Birmingham, Alabama. We decided to take a day trip to Tuscaloosa to see the damage from the April 27 tornado. It was a sight that I will never forget. Blocks and blocks of flattened houses and stores. This area has not been touched in 2 months. It was so moving that I started to cry thinking of all these poor people.
As Is

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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
I love the fact that you remember what you were eating.

Lol, it's because I nearly dropped it when I first saw the tornado.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31882
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
At this moment one year ago, I was eating a taco. I was also watching The Weather Channel coverage of the Tuscaloosa tornado, which would be in progress at this time.

Meanwhile, the warm front is not doing what it's supposed to. Could mean less of a tornado threat.
I love the fact that you remember what you were eating.
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These will be the tornado producers IMO.
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At this moment one year ago, I was eating a taco. I was also watching The Weather Channel coverage of the Tuscaloosa tornado, which would be in progress at this time.

Meanwhile, the warm front is not doing what it's supposed to. Could mean less of a tornado threat.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31882
Quoting ScottLincoln:

These storms are particularly finicky.  Decent rotation one scan just seems to vanish the next.
Probably because of interference from other storms.
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328. Tygor
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Sunday will be 40 days without a decent rain here, 10 day outlook looks dry and unusually warm. Not good since this time of the year is suppose to be very wet here.


Yep, south central Texas is starting to bake. That's fine, we didn't want vegetation this year again anyway :)
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Wow the storm heading towards Clay Center is really starting to tighten its rotation.
These storms are particularly finicky.  Decent rotation one scan just seems to vanish the next.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3190
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Igor at peak


It was very impressive looking at peak intensity
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Quoting kmanislander:


The upgrading of the November 1932 hurricane to CAT 5 will not come as a surprise to those living in the Cayman Islands. That same hurricane destroyed the island of Cayman Brac and killed a large number of its inhabitants. Tidal waves over 40 feet high swept ashore drowning many. My mother was a child then and recalls trekking through ocean water inland to get to high ground with her parents. Many bodies were found in tree tops. One family that owned a two storey home had tiger sharks swimming around the downstairs !.

We have always believed that hurricane was a CAT 5 so seeing it upgraded now confirms that. It was the worst recorded hurricane in the history of these islands.

What's up Kman...how have little Cayman and Cayman Brac recovered from Paloma in 2008?
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Wow the storm heading towards Clay Center is really starting to tighten its rotation.
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Storm between Longford and Clay Center has since strengthened quickly in regards to rotation, although it remains just above the lowest tilt.  Would not be surprised to see tornado warning shortly for Clay Center area.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3190
Closest I can get to Igor's official peak intensity.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31882
New developing supercell between Navarre and Hope, KS.  Appendage evident, appears to be a forming RFD but rotation is not yet strong/tight at the surface.  Storm may also not be quite surface-based with 40mph motion to the NNE.  Currently no inhibiting storms to the south.

Circulations near Industry appears to have dissipated; weak circulation near Longford is now north of town.  Reflectivity was wound up quite a bit for a few frames.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3190
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Quoting Ameister12:

That storm heading for Longford with the severe thunderstorm warning has a nice hook echo and developing rotation. It's going to need a tornado warning soon.
Already past Longford. Latest frame shows the strengthening trend is continuing.
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Quoting EugeneTillman:

He was a large storm, not compact, and convection lacked far less high, cold tops than mosts estimates were. This is despite dvorak intensities.

What in the world are you looking at? Igor was a normal sized hurricane at peak intensity and didn't grow to extreme sizes until it began its EWRC.

Convection was more than intense. -80C surrounded its eyewall for a brief period of time.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31882
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
What do you guys think?

I'm thinking we have a couple of powerful supercells out there
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7735
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
What do you guys think?

That storm heading for Longford with the severe thunderstorm warning has a nice hook echo and developing rotation. It's going to need a tornado warning soon.
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Sunday will be 40 days without a decent rain here, 10 day outlook looks dry and unusually warm. Not good since this time of the year is suppose to be very wet here.


We ARE wet here. Yet we had a fire that turned into six different forest fires yesterday. Just like last year. Pretty much shocked everyone. And rain chances are dwindling here again. And UGH! Reading about an eastern U.S. trough with this ridge behind it...sigh. Here's hoping this hasn't set in for the long haul again.

NO MAJOR MODIFICATIONS TO THE PREVIOUS FORECAST AS IN THE SHORT TERM
THE ECMWF AND GFS HAVE BEEN FAIRLY CONSISTENT WITH EXPECTED
CONDITIONS FOR THE AREA. EXPECT GULF MOISTURE TO PUSH INTO THE
AREA EARLY NEXT WEEK AND FORECASTED CAPE SHOULD BE DECENT IN THE
500-1000 J/KG BUT MODELS ARE STILL NOT SHOWING ANY SIGNIFICANT
SOURCE OF LIFT FOR THE REGION. LEFT POPS CARRYING 20 GIVEN THE
STILL SOMEWHAT LOW CONFIDENCE IN RAIN CHANCES ON BOTH MONDAY AND
WEDNESDAY. AGREE WITH PREV FORECAST THAT MODELS ARE STILL
CURRENRLT FORECASTING A DRY DAY IN BETWEEN.

AFTER WED THE MODELS DISSAGREE WITH TIMING OF THE NEXT SYSTEM. BOTH
PUSH A 500MB LOW ACROSS THE GULF AND INTO FLORIDA BUT TIMING AND
LOCATION DIFFER QUITE A BIT. THEN THE ECMWF BULIDS IN A WEAK RIDGE
OVER THE AREA BRINGING GULF MOISTURE OVER THE AREA WHEREAS THE GFS
GENERATES A HIGH OVER THE BAY OF CAMPECHE AND CARRIES FAIRLY ZONAL
MID LEVEL FLOW OVER THE LCH CWA. LET THE PREVIOUS FORECAST RIDE
UNTIL MODELS BECOME MORE CONSISTENT AND HAVE BETTER AGREEMENT
CONCERNING POPS AND QPF.



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Igor at peak

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7735
Quoting ncstorm:
12Z Euro-second time I have seen this feature on the Euro for SC/GA..



Looks like an "Evil Eye"....
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5767
Really liking the look on this storm. Would not be surprised if something is about to be on the ground.
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Quoting EugeneTillman:

Interesting to have this in April...no?


very interesting indeed but of course its a wait and see scenario to see what happens..homegrown mischief might just up the hurricane numbers..last year we had storms form where the models didnt even pick them up especially off the east coast
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What do you guys think?
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Other than the ongoing tornado warning for Aurora, KS, area, there also appears to be two small areas of rotation that have formed near Longford and Industry, KS.  Currently unwarned but rotation is indicated on 2139Z NROT product and Industry circulation has rather substantial spectrum width spike that might be indicitive of a tight circulation smaller than a few radar bins.  Beam is roughly 4kft in that area.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3190
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Hi my friend. Do you have the link to those updated revisions?


The upgrading of the November 1932 hurricane to CAT 5 will not come as a surprise to those living in the Cayman Islands. That same hurricane destroyed the island of Cayman Brac and killed a large number of its inhabitants. Tidal waves over 40 feet high swept ashore drowning many. My mother was a child then and recalls trekking through ocean water inland to get to high ground with her parents. Many bodies were found in tree tops. One family that owned a two storey home had tiger sharks swimming around the downstairs !.

We have always believed that hurricane was a CAT 5 so seeing it upgraded now confirms that. It was the worst recorded hurricane in the history of these islands.
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Quoting EugeneTillman:

If anything though, he'll be re-evaluated 5 mph less that what he was initially pegged for by the NHC.

On what basis?
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7735
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
And another has been upgraded...

* 1932 Cuba Hurricane (175 mph - strongest November hurricane on record)
* 1933 Hurricane Eleven (160 mph)
* 1933 Hurricane Fifteen (160 mph)
Good afternoon. The 1932 November hurricane hit the Cayman Islands. The most damage was in Cayman Brac where many lives were lost.
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Quoting EugeneTillman:

What is it? Some energy being pulled in? Some spin?


Just a strong area of Vorticity..not a low yet but this is how it starts for formation..
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Quoting EugeneTillman:

Igor will not make it. Never quite had the punch needed for category 5 intensity.

A strong little bugger. Just not cat 5 threshold. Sorry Igor.


That's not true, Igor was only 1 mph short of Category 5. So it defiantly had 'the punch'.

Just didn't wallop the crap out of someone at peak intensity, but got retired for what it did as it hit Newfoundland.
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Quoting Minnemike:
yeah, this area is definitely where to focus awareness for the time being.. Salina to Manhattan, and north.
Manchester storm is getting some strong inflow into it. Could be tornado warned any second.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Don't like the look of these 2 storms.
yeah, this area is definitely where to focus awareness for the time being.. Salina to Manhattan, and north.
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12Z Euro-second time I have seen this feature on the Euro for SC/GA..

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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Don't like the look of these 2 storms.

Especially that top one
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7735
Don't like the look of these 2 storms.
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some pretty heavy hype today with the severe storms.. night is young, but i have a hard time seeing the torcon 8 locations seeing anything.. at all..
**i'm no expert so no relaxing of caution be placed by my opinion... i just think the core of energy took an unexpected left turn is all
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TOPEKA KS
423 PM CDT FRI APR 27 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TOPEKA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
CLOUD COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL KANSAS...

* UNTIL 500 PM CDT

* AT 419 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR DELPHOS...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 35 MPH.

HAZARD...DEVELOPING TORNADO AND GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL.

SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED ROTATION.

IMPACT...SIGNIFICANT HOUSE AND BUILDING DAMAGE POSSIBLE. MOBILE
HOMES COMPLETELY DESTROYED IF HIT. SOME TREES UPROOTED OR
SNAPPED. VEHICLES WILL LIKELY BE THROWN BY TORNADIC WINDS
.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
AURORA AND CONCORDIA AIRPORT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS TORNADO WARNING REPLACES THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING THAT
WAS IN EFFECT FOR THE SAME AREA.

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR
OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT
YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

&&

LAT...LON 3958 9764 3951 9737 3930 9759 3931 9788
TIME...MOT...LOC 2123Z 220DEG 30KT 3935 9770

TORNADO...RADAR INDICATED
HAIL...1.75IN

$$

PHILLIPS


Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7735
Quoting EugeneTillman:



When's your tropical weather season over in Texas? I understand the official Atlantic Basin season runs through all of November. But isn't it August or September when storms are climatologically not as likely to impact the Texas Gulf Coast?

Sept 24 is effectively the end of our season. Storms can still impact us after that, but they aren't common. Usually storms are shunted off to our east by incoming troughs due to autumn rolling in after the 24th.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5880
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
On a tropical cyclone-related note, the National Hurricane Center is slowly going through all recorded hurricane seasons and making changes to storms' intensities. They have just finished 1931-1935 and the result is a brand new Category 5 hurricane...in November. It's previous intensity was thought to be 135 mph, but upon reanalysis, has been upgraded to 175 mph. This makes the 1932 Cuba hurricane the strongest in history.

Over 3100 fatalities in Cuba.


Very interesting! Personally, I'm looking forward to when they reach 1979; Hurricane Frederic was a low-end Cat 4 according to the National Geographic article published Sept. 1980, and having lived through the direct hit, I believe it. That storm should be revised up.

I do hope that Wunderground will update its storm database to reflect the NHC revisions!
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261 washingtonian115: I hope when they do 2010 Igor will a 5
263 jeffs713: I don't think they will upgrade Igor, since they already did a post-analysis of the storm after the 2010 season. The likely reason they are re-analyzing the storms from the past is to make it consistent, and do reanalysis of all storms. It doesn't make sense to reanalyze the info twice without any additional, new information showing up.

Without having read on the whys&wherefores of the report, I'd guess that many (if not all) of the upgrades were due to reevalutation (* and) of structural damages caused by the individual storms:
as in "Whoa, even a strong Cat.3 couldn't have knocked down any of those(particular)buildings."

Whereas Igor 2010 didn't knock down much of anything -- having weakened greatly before brushing by Bermuda -- and was already extratropical before finishing its passage across Newfoundland. Flooding there was the main cause of damage.
So there's really nothing left to reevaluate that hadn't already been taken into account during the post-storm and post-season analyses.

* by comparing winds and air-pressures on nearby ships against their individual distances from each other to better calculate probable TropicalCyclone center locations, probable minimum pressures, and probable maximum surface wind speeds.
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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.