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April 15, 2012

Bad Weather Today (Bumped and Updated)

Update: Five confirmed dead in Woodward, Oklahoma, where a large tornado passed through the western part of town. Two were children. 20 in the hospital, 10 critical. One missing. They're saying the sirens might not have sounded--possibly because the fast-moving tornado disabled them.

The sirens are critical at night when TV's and radios are off and people are asleep. They're loud enough to wake most people.

Right now, there is a 1200 mile lone line of thunderstorms crossing the middle of the country. It runs from the Big Bend area of Texas (next to Mexico) all the way to Minnesota. These straight-on thunderstorm lines typically have high winds and a lot of rain, but they usually don't spawn tornadoes. But when a storm cell breaks off from the main line, that's when tornadoes are highly likely (under the atmospheric conditions we have right now). That's what happened in Woodward, Oklahoma. A super-cell broke off from the main line and spun up what they're calling a large tornado, although we can't know how truly bad it was until daylight.

Channel 9 in Oklahoma City had an experienced storm chaser and ex-fireman, Marty Logan, "walking the storm through." He was tagging along behind, watching the storm move through town. His audio report was very well done, compelling, reminiscent of the Herbert Morrison's dramatic Hindenburg disaster reporting. It was thorough and descriptive, yes, but not emotional like Morrison's iconic report. Worth listening to if it's replayed somewhere.

He could see the tornado because of flashing light from arcing power lines.

_____________________

If you're keeping track at home, check out this map commenter "Wheatie" found. You can scroll around and go to other parts of the country. Zoom in and out. There are different display options. The coolest thing is the links to streaming storm chaser cams.

Here is the National Weather Service radar. You can click on it for a local map. There are regional maps down below. Up top, you can enter a specific location for conditions and a forecast.

Open thread.


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posted by rdbrewer at 04:37 AM

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