WeatherNation Blog

Another severe weather outbreak?

severewx_20080318.jpgThe Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is forecasting a moderate risk for severe weather today and into tonight for portions of the Southern Plains and Southeast. Another tornado outbreak is possible along with large hail and damaging winds. The following is the public discussion released by the SPC this morning at 11:50 CDT:

TORNADOES LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS OVER PARTS OF EASTERN
TEXAS NORTHERN AND WESTERN LOUISIANA AS WELL AS SOUTHERN AND EASTERN
ARKANSAS THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT...

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER IN NORMAN OK IS FORECASTING THE
DEVELOPMENT OF TORNADOES...LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS OVER PARTS
OF EASTERN TEXAS...NORTHERN AND WESTERN LOUISIANA AS WELL AS
SOUTHERN AND EASTERN ARKANSAS THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT.

THE AREAS MOST LIKELY TO EXPERIENCE THIS ACTIVITY INCLUDE

- EASTERN AND SOUTHERN ARKANSAS
- NORTHERN AND WESTERN LOUISIANA
- EASTERN TEXAS

ALSO...A THREAT FOR OTHER SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED FROM
CENTRAL TEXAS EASTWARD ACROSS THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY AND
NORTHWARD INTO THE WESTERN PORTIONS OF TENNESSEE AND KENTUCKY.

A POTENT UPPER LOW AND STRONG JET MAX WILL MOVE EAST ACROSS
TEXAS/LOUISIANA AND ARKANSAS LATER TODAY AND TONIGHT...WITH A
SURFACE LOW AND COLD FRONT SHIFTING FROM EASTERN TEXAS ACROSS THE
LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY TONIGHT. AHEAD OF THIS FRONT...THE
COMBINATION OF A MOIST AIR MASS...DAYTIME HEATING AND COOLING ALOFT
WILL RESULT IN AN UNSTABLE ENVIRONMENT FAVORABLE FOR WIDESPREAD
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS...ESPECIALLY FROM MID AFTERNOON THROUGH
MIDNIGHT. THE WIND SHEAR WILL BE QUITE STRONG...AND FAVOR
TORNADOES...SOME STRONG...ESPECIALLY ACROSS NORTHEAST TEXAS...
NORTHERN LOUISIANA AND ACROSS PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN AND EASTERN
ARKANSAS. ALTHOUGH TORNADOES ARE ALSO POSSIBLE ACROSS SOUTHEASTERN
TEXAS AND LOUISIANA...A SQUALL LINE IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP AND MOVE
ACROSS THIS REGION LATE THIS AFTERNOON/EVENING...WITH DAMAGING
STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS MORE LIKELY.

STORMS WILL CONTINUE EASTWARD INTO MISSISSIPPI...WESTERN TENNESSEE
AND WESTERN KENTUCKY OVERNIGHT WITH A THREAT OF DAMAGING WINDS AND
ISOLATED TORNADOES.

THOSE IN THE THREATENED AREA ARE URGED TO REVIEW SEVERE WEATHER
SAFETY RULES AND TO LISTEN TO RADIO...TELEVISION...AND NOAA WEATHER
RADIO FOR POSSIBLE WATCHES...WARNINGS...AND STATEMENTS LATER TODAY.

Tornadoes near HW offices

A severe weather outbreak occurred across the Tennessee Valley, southern Appalachians and into central Georgia/South Carolina, starting Friday, March 14th and continuing into today. One supercell thunderstorm developed west of Atlanta, quickly intensified and drug a tornado directly across downtown Atlanta causing extensive damage to many structures (including high-rises). The following HAMrad II animation shows the storm as it moved through downtown Atlanta and finally weakening after passing to the east of the city. The National Weather Service reported that based on the damage investigation, this tornado was an EF-2 with winds up to 130 mph and a path of about 6 miles.

atl_tornadoes_20080314.gif

The following is the official NWS report regarding their damage investigation on the Atlanta tornado:

0938 PM     TORNADO          1 NW ATLANTA            33.77N 84.43W
03/14/2008  F2               FULTON             GA   EMERGENCY MNGR

            NWS DAMAGE SURVEY CONCLUDED AN EF2 TORNADO 6 MILES LONG
            AND 200 YARDS WIDE TUCHED DOWN AT SIMPSON AND BURBANK
            ROAD AT 938 PM. IT MOVED ACROSS DOWNTOWN ATLANTA AND CAME
            UP AT THE CORNER OF BRAEBURN AND JOSEPHINE ROAD IN
            WESTERN DEKALB COUNTY.

Earlier today additional supercell thunderstorms developed across the northern suburbs of Atlanta bringing additional storm damage in the form of very strong winds, large hail and even several tornadoes. Several moved close to the HW offices in Kennesaw, including the storm depicted in the following image which brought up to 3″ diameter hail and a possible tornado near Canton just to the north of our offices.

atl_tornadoes_20080315.gif

The following map shows the official NWS storm reports across Georgia since yesterday, the second of which only showing the tornadoes and/or funnel clouds that were reported (click for full-size image).

stormreports_2day_ga_20080315.png stormreports_2day_tornado_ga_20080315.png

HAMrad II in Beta Testing

Expanding on the great success of our HAMrad I service, we have been busily working to create our upcoming HAMrad II service which is now in live beta testing.

http://mapcenter.hamweather.net/radar/ptype/latest/us.html

Some of the great new features of HAMrad II include:

  • Greatly improved precipitation type maps.
  • Higher resolutions providing for improved quality and details. The following sample image shows how closely related the topographical base map is with the actual precipitation type (rain in the lowlands versus snow in the higher elevations).
    HAMradii HiRes Example
  • Now more than 170 views with the addition of over 120 local views. Click through directly to many of the local views by hovering over the Continental US map and selecting the highlighted areas.
  • Optional topographical or flat base maps.
  • New capability for overlays which can be applied directly to the image or displayed via Javascript, including: warnings, counties, interstates, rivers, radar summaries and more.
  • New radar imagery, including composite reflectivity, 1-hour precipitation totals, storm precipitation totals, vertically integrated liquid and echo tops.
  • Animation options of 2, 6, 12 and 24 hours.
  • Standard sizes now include 800×600.

As always, and especially during our beta period, we welcome comments and suggestions. No official go-live date has been set but will be determined by the beta testing period.

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