This past weekend saw a large, destructive outbreak of tornadoes in 15 states. A total of 45 people died in 6 states. The most recent being a 6 month old in North Carolina that was hospitalized after 25 tornadoes tore through the state Saturday. Of the 25 tornadoes in North Carolina, 5 of them were rated EF3 (136 - 165 mph winds). The 25 tornadoes are also the largest outbreak in the state since 1984 when 25 tornadoes broke out on March 28th killing 42 people.
The National Weather Service is investigating 267 reports of tornadoes from this past weekend. Many of those will be duplicate reports of the same tornado but it underlines the immensity of the outbreak. The outbreak was the deadliest in the U.S. since 2008. The hardest hit states were Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina.
Now, a new outbreak is set to hit the midwest today. The Storm Prediction Center has placed parts of 8 states under a moderate risk of severe weather for today. The increased risk is along a frontal boundary moving across the nation's mid-section.
The threat exists for damaging winds, hail and tornadoes.
Outlook for Tornadoes
Outlook for Hail
It is imperative that spotters and emergency management personnel, as well as the general public, closely monitor this developing situation. Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes can develop rapidly and with very little warning. Ensure that you have multiple sources of information (e.g. internet, weather radio, TV, Weather Defender) to help provide you with the most up-to-date information to help you remain safe.
What a difference a mere couple weeks can make. While many areas are just now enjoying snow free yards a large portion of the Midwest and Southeast are preparing for severe weather today. The Storm Prediction Center shows many states with up to a 15% of tornadoes today (see map above).
It's days like today that Weather Defender can really pay for itself. In addition to being able to watch the radar for approaching storms, there's a long list of other layers that can be added that help prepare you for what could be coming. Some of these are:
- Storm reports (review reports from spotters as the storm approaches)
- Storm tracks (see where a certain cell is going and how fast it's getting there)
- Lightning Strikes - Premium addition (allows you to see how much lightning is involved with a storm)
- MESO (shows where possible mesocyclones, storms with rotation as indicated by radar, are)
- Storm Attributes (helps pinpoint where hail could occur and how large it could be)
- Watches/warnings (see up-to-date watches and warnings posted on your map as they are issued)
As always, make sure you have multiple sources of information for severe weather including Weather Defender, other internet sources, weather radio and television.
A powerful weather system is moving through the Central and Southern Plains this week spawning severe weather throughout the Midwest and Southern states:
Wednesday, Apr 22
Thursday, Apr 23
A Slight Risk means the threat exists for scattered severe weather, including:
- Isolated Tornadoes
- Large Hail (up to 3/4-inch)
- Damaging Winds (58mph or greater)
A Moderate Risk means that widespread severe weather is expected, including:
- Numerous Tornadoes
- Very Large Hail (greater than 3/4-inch)
- Severe Wind Damage
If you reside in the areas affected by these outlooks, be on the lookout for threatening weather conditions and listen for later statements and possible warnings.