Thursday, April 9, 2015

More Severe Weather In Midwest Today

A tornado near Deerhead, Kansas Wednesday evening
(Note the rainbow just to the right of the tornado)
Photo via Twitter, @Mark_Tarello.  
As expected, tornadoes, hail and severe thunderstorms slammed parts of the middle of the country yesterday, and more is coming today.

So far, there have been a total of 10 tornado reports from yesterday, all but one of them in open country in remote parts of Oklahoma and Kansas. (There was another tornado in Missouri)

The Oklahoma and Kansas tornadoes didn't cause much damage, and storm chasers got some decent images, so all is good.

So far.

That the tornadoes hit rural areas, and didn't last long, is of course great news. Let's hope that happens again today, but the rough weather is going to move into more populated areas.

The greatest chances of bad storms today are in the southern Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley, then down into the lower Mississippi Valley.
Beautiful mammatus clouds with a thunderstorm near
Slaton, Texas Wednesday. Photo via
Twitter by Mark Mahalik.  

In these areas tornadoes, large hail and severe winds are all possible. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center also said it can't rule out a large, strong tornado or two.

The area most under the gun includes Milwaukee, Chicago, Memphis, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Indianapolis, so as you can see there is a threat to populated areas.

Of course, I don't want to overhype this. As is almost always the case with severe weather outbreaks, most people will suffer no damage or injuries in this zone.

But a few unlucky people will. That's enough to heed warnings in those areas.  

If you get a tornado warning, definitely go hide in your basement under the warning expires. Don't go for a walk or a drive if they tell you a storm with large hail and damaging winds is approaching. Just hang out in a sturdy building away from windows until the storm passes.

A huge hailstone that landed
in Sullivan, Missouri Wednesday  
Watch out for flash floods, too. There was renewed flooding in Kentucky and surrounding areas yesterday as strong thunderstorms unleashed torrential rains on already oversaturated ground.

The same risk exists in the same part of the country today. If there's water on the road ahead of you, you can't be sure how deep it is. Just turn around if you encounter that.

The storms will move into the mid-Atlantic region tomorrow.

The storm system causing all this rough weather has a bit of a silver lining. It's going to push a warm front through New England early Friday, so that region of the country is in for a few days of mild spring weather.

There was two inches of new snow in most of Vermont last night, including outside my window in St. Albans, Vermont. So a warm spell would be welcome.

I don't know how long the warmth will last, but it will certainly go on for a few days before the chilly regime possibly returns later in the month.

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