Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Severe Weather Ongoing In Eastern Half Of The Nation

Large tornado near Washburn, Illinois Tuesday
Just a quick update to sum up the ongoing outbreak of severe weather in the eastern third of the nation today.

A very, very strong squall line has been going through the Ohio and Tennessee valleys this morning, with numerous reports of very damaging winds. 

There are a number of reports of roofs blown off homes in Kentucky and Tennesee.

They'll have to investigate whether any of these are tornadoes, but most of damage reports look like they come from straight line winds from very intense thunderstorms.

Winds reportedly gusted to 79 mph in Carrollton, Kentucky and 76 mph in Paducah, Kentucky this morning.

Super strong thunderstorms can be as dangerous as tornadoes, so Kentucky and Tennesee this morning prove the point.

Today's bad storms come after an even worse day Tuesday.

Several tornadoes touched down, mostly in Illinois,  At least three people have died in Tuesday's tornadoes, the Weather Channel reported.  There were nearly two dozen reports of tornadoes Tuesday.

In what must have been a terrifying case, a very strong tornado crossed Interstate 55 near Perryville, Missouri after dark, hurling cars quite a distance and mangling them. Police there reported one dead and 10 injured.

Tornadoes, even big ones, are usually very hard to see at night. During the day, if you're traveling down a highway, you can often see a tornado getting ready to cross the road ahead of you.
Tornado damage inside an Illinois nursing
home on Tuesday

So you stop and let it by, or turn around and go the other way if necessary.

At night, motorists blindly drive right into the tornadoes. It had to be so terrifying to suddenly be in the midst of such a strong tornado.

To make matters worse, the tornado also blew tons of debris from a nearby salvage yard onto Interstate 55 as the trapped motorists got caught up in the twister, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Another large tornado in Ottawa, Illinois smacked into a nursing home. Some residents were injured, but none severely.

For the remainder of today, the threat of severe thunderstorms and possibly a few more tornadoes continues from northern Alabama to around the New York City area. The greatest threat for the most intense storms and tornadoes runs from the Gulf Coast states to southern Pennsylvania. 

Probably the greatest threat of tornadoes today will be over northern Alabama and Mississippi.

All the severe storms will have swept off the coast tonight, and forecasters don't anticipate more severe weather for the next few days after today.

The parent storm's strong cold front will cross the eastern seaboard tonight, ending another spate of record warmth.

In New England, it will actually turn briefly bitterly cold Friday and Saturday.

I'll have a review of Vermont and New England's extreme winter weather in a post later today.

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