Monday, April 16, 2012: Weekend's Severe Weather-Producer Arrives Much Weaker In Kentucky
Good Monday morning, everybody! I hope your weekend was a great one, and that your taxes are nearly done, if not complete already.
If you've been in touch with the web, social media or ABC 36, you've seen some of the amazing videos of tornadoes from the past weekend's storms in Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and beyond. This was a major outbreak of severe weather, and there were many tornadoes.
How many were there? Well, we don't know yet. Many members of the national media have been saying that there were more than 100 tornadoes. We really don't know that yet, and most likely, there were fewer than 100. There were well over 100 REPORTS of tornadoes, but in many cases, one tornado is reported multiple times.
If you see a tornado and call it in to the NWS… and I see the same tornado and call it in to the NWS… and a firefighter 15 miles down the road sees the same tornado and calls their emergency manager via fire radio, and that report gets relayed to the NWS, we have generated 3 tornado reports from the same tornado. (This gets tabulated as three red dots on the Storm Prediction Center's "Storm Reports" map.) Frequently, national news reporters and producers will incorporate this information into their scripts as "three tornadoes" instead of "three tornado reports."
This was a major severe weather outbreak, but there were not 135 tornadoes. In some cases, a few of the long-track tornadoes were likely reported 25 or 30 times... 25 does not equal 1!
Weather Service officials will continue to survey the damage and the statistics will become clear in the days ahead.
Locally, that storm system has been significantly weakening. There may be some strong to severe thunderstorms later today in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. A few additional thunderstorms will develop in eastern Kentucky this afternoon, as the cold front encounters the midday heating, and some small hail as well as lightning will be possible.
You'll notice that the overall amount of rainfall with this system will be on the slim side. Here is this morning's WRF forecast for total precipitation for the day.
Aside from the rain, the greatest impact from today's system will be the gusty breezes, occasionally gusting up to 35 mph or higher.
Have a great start to your week!