Tag Archives: Severe Weather

Looking Back: February 10, 2009 Severe Weather Outbreak

Damage in Lone Grove Oklahoma | Photo taken by National Weather Service Norman, OK

Damage in Lone Grove Oklahoma | Photo taken by National Weather Service Norman, OK

Damage in Lone Grove Oklahoma | Photo taken by National Weather Service Norman, OK

Six years ago today at about this time I was heading north on Interstate 35 for what would become my first real significant storm chase. I had been chasing since the fall of 2008 on mediocre storms here and there but February 10, 2009 would be my first day dealing with the worst of what mother nature had to offer. It’s a day I remember well six years later and still look back on.

The February 10, 2009 severe weather outbreak was well forecasted by the Storm Prediction Center several days in advance. A negative tilt shortwave centered over New Mexico during the afternoon hours bringing strong lift and upper level dynamics to Central Oklahoma south into North Texas. Meanwhile a powerful low level jet with screaming southeast winds just above the surface helped pump in rich moisture straight from the Gulf of Mexico. Reminiscent of an April severe weather setup Mother Nature didn’t care that it was early February. Just after lunchtime the first tornadoes touched down in the northern Oklahoma City metro near Edmond where one strong tornado caused quite a mess but fortunately no fatalities.

okcareamap

By the late afternoon additional thunderstorms were developing in our target zone near Bowie, Texas. These storms were initially elevated in nature and struggling to strengthen with powerful upper level winds blowing the updrafts over. One discrete thunderstorm eventually developed a sustained updraft near Bellevue, Texas where a rotating wall cloud rapidly developed. This storm was quickly moving northeast and we struggled to keep up with it as it continued to intensify and come closer to producing a tornado. With evening twilight starting to wane the storm produced its first tornado just northeast of Ringgold, Texas near the Red River. We lost the storm as it crossed the river due to the lack of a suitable river crossing and the fast storm speed.

The bellevue storm continued to move northeast after the sun set. With a strengthening nocturnal low level jet a powerful, long-track tornado developed on the Red River and continued as the storm moved northeast into Love County, Oklahoma. At 7:30 PM on February 10, 2009 a large and violent tornado moved northeast into the city of Long Grove, Oklahoma. The sun had set over an hour before and the tornado was obscured by rain and darkness. It finally became visible as it moved into Lone Grove with power flashes backlighting the tornado. Eight individuals tragically were killed by the tornado with over 45 folks injured. The tornado ended up traveling 37 miles over the course of 57 minutes from the Red River northeast through Long Grove to just north of Ardmore where it crossed Interstate 35. The tornado was mostly wrapped in rain and invisible in the night sky but the damage it left was most certainly visible.

2015-02-10_2-24-37

This weather radar look at the storm was taken moments after the tornado had moved through Lone Grove. The radar, located in Oklahoma City, was nearly 90 miles away from the storm and looking around 6,000 feet above the ground. Even with that elevated height a strong rotational couplet and ‘donut hole’ known as a Bounded Weak Echo Region (BWER) was clearly visible. This tornado would be the one and only one to claim a life that night. Shortly after the tornado crossed Interstate 35 it dissipated and the storm was overtaken by a squall line. That would be the last tornado in Oklahoma for the event.

lonegrovemap

2015-02-10_2-32-01

While the show was starting to wind down in Oklahoma it was just ramping up in Texas. After storms struggled to develop most of the day the upper level forcing finally arrived and caused a squall line to rapidly fire about 50 miles west of Interstate 35. By 9:30 PM the squall line extended from southern Oklahoma south into North, Central, and South-Central Texas. Damaging straight-line winds and large hail were the widespread threats however several brief tornadoes did occur including one in the D/FW Metroplex. Several injuries were reported from flying debris caused by the strong winds.

090210_rpts

While today’s weather will be calm and sunny the severe weather outbreak on February 10, 2009 is a clear reminder to all those who inhabit Oklahoma and Texas that severe weather can and does occur outside the peak spring season. Now is the time to develop and practice a severe weather safety plan with your family. Taking the time while the weather is nice to practice your plan means you’ll be ready once severe weather returns to the state. Dealing with storms is just a part of living in Texas just like earthquakes are a part of life in California. You prepare, you practice, and you enact your plan if the time comes. The point is that you know your plan ahead of time instead of trying to come up with one ten minutes before a tornado hits your location.

Severe Weather Risk Upgraded This Evening

The Storm Prediction Center has upgraded portions of the Texas Panhandle to a SIGNIFICANT RISK of Severe Weather. An enhanced and standard risk surround the significant risk zone. It goes without saying severe weather is already underway this evening across the Panhandle. We expect the threat to continue this evening with storms over the next hour or two capable of producing large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes. Once storms congeal into a complex the potential for widespread destructive straight-line winds will increase substantially. Some wind gusts will exceed hurricane-force or 75 MPH as storms move east into Oklahoma later tonight.

2014-06-06_20-08-39

PUBLIC SEVERE WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0804 PM CDT FRI JUN 06 2014

…Severe thunderstorms expected over parts of the central and
southern Great Plains tonight…

* LOCATIONS…
Northwest Oklahoma
South-central Kansas
Eastern Texas Panhandle

* HAZARDS…
Widespread damaging winds, some hurricane force
A couple of tornadoes
Scattered large hail, some baseball size

* SUMMARY…
Scattered to widespread severe winds, large hail, and a few
tornadoes will be most likely across parts of the southern Great
Plains tonight. Additional severe storms mainly in the form of
damaging winds will persist over the central Great Plains and
Southeast states this evening.

Preparedness actions…

Review your severe weather safety procedures for the possibility
of dangerous weather today. Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio,
weather.gov, or other media for watches and warnings. A watch
means that conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms
over the next several hours. If a severe thunderstorm warning is
issued for your area, move to a place of safety, ideally in an
interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building.

HIGH RISK for Dangerous Tornadoes in Southwest Arkansas

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a HIGH RISK of Severe Weather including the potential for life-threatening, long-track tornadoes for much of Southwest and Central Arkansas this evening. This risk also includes about five square miles of Northeast Texas near Texarkana. This is the highest severe weather risk level issued and is reserved for the most severe events. In fact they only issue a High Risk one to two times a year on average. That should convey that the forecast confidence is very high in multiple strong, long-track tornadoes across Southwest/Central Arkansas this evening. An enhanced tornado risk does extend into Northeast Texas along and east of a Paris-Tyler-Carthage line where a Tornado Watch has already been issued. Thunderstorms are beginning to develop along the dryline very near I-35E and these storms will move east and intensify this afternoon and evening capable of producing tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds as they move into East Texas. Again, the highest risk for strong to violent long-track tornadoes will be in Southwest and Central Arkansas where residents need to be very weather aware tonight.

2014-04-27_15-11-21

DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0300 PM CDT SUN APR 27 2014

VALID 272000Z – 281200Z

…THERE IS A HIGH RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS MUCH OF CNTRL AR…

…THERE IS A MDT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS MUCH OF AR…NERN
TX…FAR ERN OK AND SRN MO…

…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS MUCH OF THE MID AND
LOWER MO VALLEY SWD INTO THE MIDDLE AND LOWER MS VALLEY AND
ARKLATEX…

…SUMMARY…
SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL AFFECT ARKANSAS AND ADJACENT AREAS OF
SOUTHERN MISSOURI…EASTERN OKLAHOMA…AND EXTREME NORTHEAST TEXAS
THIS AFTERNOON INTO TONIGHT. THE GREATEST TORNADO RISK WILL BE
CENTERED ON ARKANSAS…WHERE A FEW STRONG AND LONG-TRACK TORNADOES
WILL BE POSSIBLE THROUGH TONIGHT. OTHERWISE…A BAND OF SEVERE
THUNDERSTORMS WILL MOVE ACROSS MISSOURI AND IOWA THIS AFTERNOON WITH
DAMAGING WINDS…LARGE HAIL…AND A FEW TORNADOES. MORE ISOLATED
SEVERE STORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON ACROSS CENTRAL
NEBRASKA.

…ADDED HIGH RISK TO AR IN ANTICIPATION OF SUPERCELLS FORMING
UPSTREAM OVER NERN TX AND ERN OK…WHICH WILL MATURE AS THEY MOVE
INTO AR WHERE BETTER LOW LEVEL SHEAR EXISTS…

MUCH OF AR…FAR NERN TX AND SRN MO STILL APPEARS TO BE THE GREATEST
THREAT AREA FOR TORNADOES. INSTABILITY AND SHEAR PROFILES WILL
CONTINUE TO BECOME MORE FAVORABLE THROUGHOUT THE AFTERNOON. VISIBLE
SATELLITE SHOWS SIGNS OF CU BECOMING GRADUALLY DEEPER WITHIN THE
LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE AXIS ACROSS NERN TX…SWRN AR AND NRN LA.
SUPERCELLS WILL EVENTUALLY ERUPT ACROSS THESE AREAS…WITH STRONG
TORNADOES POSSIBLE AS WELL AS VERY LARGE HAIL.

Significant Severe Weather Outbreak Expected on Sunday

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a rare Day 3 Moderate Risk for Sunday across Northeast Texas. While this risk translates into a Significant Risk of Severe Weather on our graphic this is as high of a severe weather risk they can issue for a Day 3 severe weather outlook and have only done it a handful of times in the past. What this means is that the forecasters have enough confidence to say a major severe weather outbreak is expected on Sunday across parts of Southeast Oklahoma, northwest Texas, and West/Southwest Arkansas.

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A Significant Risk of Severe Weather is expected on Sunday across parts of Northeast Texas including Clarksville, Mount Pleasant, Pittsburg, Gilmer, Marshall, Atlanta, New Boston, and Texarkana. A significant risk of severe weather is very rare this far out from an event and marks a nearly one in two chance severe weather will occur within 25 miles of your location. This means there is the potential for a significant severe weather outbreak including the potential for very large hail, destructive winds, and the possibility of several tornadoes (some of which could be strong and long-lived).

An Enhanced Risk of Severe Weather is expected on Sunday across portions of East Texas including Paris, Greenville, Terrell, Corsicana, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Longview, Tyler, Athens, and Greenville. A enhanced risk of severe weather there is a nearly 1 in 3 chance of severe weather within 25 miles of your location. Thunderstorms in this area will be strengthening as they move northeast after developing further west along the dryline. These storms will likely become severe rapidly with a threat of very large hail, damaging winds, and the possibility of tornadoes. This area also has the potential to see a severe weather outbreak.

A standard “possible” area of severe weather is expected to develop across portions of North Texas, Central Texas, the Brazos Valley and Southeast Texas including locations along and east of I-35 from Gainesville-Fort Worth-Temple line and then east of I-35 east of Austin. This risk then runs along and north of Interstate 10 from Flatonia-Sealy-Houston-Beaumont line. Bryan/College Station, Brenham, Huntsville, and Woodville are a few towns also included in the risk area. This area has the potential to see a few severe thunderstorms with a nearly 1 in 5 chance of severe weather occuring within 25 miles of your location. Confidence in more widespread severe thunderstorms is lower in this zone but a few severe storms are expected. The strongest storms could produce hail up to the size of tennis-balls, 65 MPH wind gusts, and perhaps a tornado. Depending on trends parts of this area could be included in an enhanced risk in the next outlook issuance on Saturday.

As previously discussed the main focus on Sunday will be the dryline with locations east of the dryline under the gun with the severe weather threat. The further north you go along the dryline into North Texas/Northeast Texas the higher the severe weather probabilities and overall storm chances. The new severe weather outlook posted here has the dryline sitting on top or just east of I-35/I-35E across North Texas with thunderstorms developing just east of D/FW and becoming supercellular as they move northeast into Northeast Texas. Both instability and wind shear values are impressive and would support a significant severe weather and tornado threat with any sustained supercell.

We’re three days out from Sunday so there is little point in getting too detailed right now since some changes are expected. However unlike the Saturday event that has been going downhill in terms of the possible severe weather threat Sunday is a different story all together as ingredients could come together to support a major severe weather outbreak across Northeast Texas and adjoining areas of Oklahoma and Arkansas. This does include the threat of tornadoes so this is a threat to be taken seriously. There is no reason to be scared or to panic at this point. Simply consider this a heads up that bad weather is expected on Sunday. If you have not already done so form a severe weather safety plan with your family and practice it in your home while the weather is nice today and Saturday. Those planning on being at outdoor events on Sunday in the Significant/Enhanced risk zones should be ready to move to a place of shelter if a storm approaches. The severe weather risk is lower across Central Texas into Southeast Texas as fewer storms are expected on Sunday. However, they could still be quite intense with large hail and damaging winds.

Don’t be scared, be prepared! We’ll be posting many updates on this event as we get closer to Sunday with the latest information. I can already say our team will be chasing on Sunday in East/Northeast Texas but we’ll have also have staff staying back so we can post timely updates on our blog as well. Nevertheless you should NOT use us for real-time warning information once the severe weather is underway in your area. While we do post warnings and information, the best way to get real-time life saving information in a Tornado Warning is by watching your preferred local news station on the internet or on television plus having a smart phone app like WeatherRadio from iMap to let you know the SECOND you come under a weather warning. We’ll be posting safety information and tips on what you can do to be ready as we continue into the weekend.

For those weather-geeks among us here is the full discussion for Sunday from the Storm Prediction Center. I’ve highlighted the section that most non-weather nerds will be able to quickly read without having their brains hurt from weather jargon.

DAY 3 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0229 AM CDT FRI APR 25 2014

VALID 271200Z – 281200Z

…THERE IS A MDT RISK OF SVR TSTMS FOR THE ARKLATEX AREA…

…THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS FROM THE MO VALLEY TO THE WRN
GULF COAST…

…SUMMARY…
OUTBREAK OF SEVERE STORMS POSSIBLE ON SUNDAY ACROSS PARTS OF THE
CENTRAL STATES WITH LARGE HAIL…DAMAGING WINDS…AND TORNADOES.

…SYNOPSIS…
A VIGOROUS SHORTWAVE TROUGH EXPECTED TO BE CENTERED IN THE LEE OF
THE SRN ROCKIES AT 12Z/SUN WILL SUBSTANTIALLY SLOW AS IT PROGRESSES
TOWARDS NEB. AN ATTENDANT MID-LEVEL JET /AOA 50 KT AT 500 MB/ WILL
PERSIST FROM THE DESERT SW…CURLING NWD FROM THE RED RIVER TO THE
MO VALLEY. AT THE SURFACE…A CYCLONE SHOULD DRIFT EWD OVER THE
CNTRL PLAINS WITH A WARM FRONT ARCING EWD ACROSS THE CORN BELT TO
THE LOWER OH VALLEY. A DRYLINE/WEAKENING PACIFIC COLD FRONT SHOULD
REACH ERN KS/OK INTO DEEP S TX IN THE LATE AFTERNOON.

…MO VALLEY TO THE WRN GULF COAST…
THE WARM SECTOR WILL BECOME INCREASINGLY BROAD/MOIST BENEATH AN EML
WITH LOWER 60S SURFACE DEW POINTS BECOMING ESTABLISHED NEAR THE WARM
FRONT AND MIDDLE TO UPPER 60S INTO THE LOWER/MID-MS VALLEYS AND
ARKLATEX BY SUN AFTERNOON. INITIALLY STEEP MID-LEVEL LAPSE RATES
ALONG WITH MODERATE TO STRONG DEEP-LAYER SHEAR WILL SUPPORT AN
EXPANSIVE AREA OF ORGANIZED SEVERE POTENTIAL.

AREAS OF CONVECTION SHOULD BE ONGOING AT 12Z/SUN ACROSS PARTS OF THE
SRN PLAINS TO MID-MO VALLEY. SOME OF THIS ACTIVITY MAY ALREADY BE
SURFACE-BASED OR WILL TRANSITION TO BECOMING SO AS DIURNAL HEATING
ENSUES. CLUSTERS OF ISOLATED TO SCATTERED SEVERE STORMS WILL BE
POSSIBLE AS CONVECTION LIKELY DEVELOPS N/E.

THE MOST PROBABLE SEVERE RISK SHOULD DEVELOP ALONG AND AHEAD OF THE
DRYLINE TOWARDS PEAK HEATING…WITH CONFIDENCE GREATEST IN THIS
OCCURRING NEAR THE SRN PERIPHERY OF EARLY DAY STORMS /CENTERED OVER
THE ARKLATEX/. WITH ROBUST HEATING OCCURRING ACROSS TX…MLCAPE
SHOULD PUSH 2500 J/KG AHEAD OF THE DRYLINE. HODOGRAPHS APPEAR QUITE
CONDUCIVE TO SUPERCELLS…CAPABLE OF PRODUCING VERY LARGE HAIL AND
STRONG TORNADOES. WITH THE DRYLINE STALLING ACROSS NERN TX SUN
EVENING…TRAINING SUPERCELL CLUSTERS MAY CONTINUE INTO THE NIGHT.

ALONG THE DRYLINE FARTHER N INTO THE MO VALLEY…EARLY DAY
CONVECTION MAY TEND TO LIMIT A GREATER SEVERE RISK. BUT WITH STRONG
INSOLATION…MODERATE BUOYANCY MAY DEVELOP WITHIN A STEEP LAPSE RATE
ENVIRONMENT. ALTHOUGH DEEP-LAYER WIND PROFILES SHOULD BE LARGELY
MERIDIONAL…SUFFICIENT CURVATURE TO THE LOW-LEVEL HODOGRAPH WOULD
SUPPORT UPDRAFT ROTATION…WITH ALL SEVERE HAZARDS POSSIBLE.

Enhanced Risk of Severe Weather this Afternoon/Evening

The new severe weather outlook for today is out and as expected we still have an enhanced risk of severe weather across the Eastern Texas Panhandle and Northwest Texas. That is where confidence is highest in both of storm coverage and severity of the storms. Canadian, Shamrock, Childress, Paducah, and Vernon are a few towns in the enhanced risk zone. Surrounding the enhanced risk zone is our standard possible risk zone where only one or two storms are expected but they could be just as severe as those in the enhanced risk zone. Borger, Silverton, Post, Big Spring, Sweetwater, Abilene, Stamford, Seymour, Graham, and Wichita Falls are a few cities in the possible risk zone.

The strongest supercells will likely produce hail larger than the size of baseballs and winds above 60 MPH. Any dominant supercells could possibly produce one or two tornadoes at or after sunset as surface temperatures fall along with cloud bases (mainly in the enhanced risk zone). Large hail will be the most significant threat today by far.

2014-04-23_0-51-21

DAY 1 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1246 AM CDT WED APR 23 2014

VALID 231200Z – 241200Z

..THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS OVER THE CNTRL/SRN PLAINS

..SUMMARY

SCATTERED SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON INTO
TONIGHT ACROSS THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS. LARGE HAIL
WILL BE THE PRIMARY INITIAL HAZARD…WITH DAMAGING WINDS AND A FEW
TORNADOES POSSIBLE.

..SYNOPSIS

A SHORTWAVE TROUGH OVER THE GREAT BASIN/NRN INTERMOUNTAIN WEST WILL
EJECT NEWD TOWARDS THE SRN PRAIRIE PROVINCES AND NRN PLAINS. AN
UPSTREAM IMPULSE JUST OFF THE PACIFIC NW COAST WILL ROTATE THROUGH
THE BASE OF THE BROADER UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH …REACHING THE SRN
ROCKIES THIS EVENING. AT THE SURFACE…A COLD FRONT WILL PUSH ACROSS
THE CNTRL HIGH/NRN PLAINS WITH A DRYLINE MIXING INTO SW NEB TO W TX
THIS AFTERNOON. THIS FRONT WILL PROGRESSIVELY OVERTAKE THE DRYLINE
AND REACH THE LOWER MO VALLEY TO SRN PLAINS ON THU MORNING.

..CNTRL/SRN PLAINS

THE PLUME OF RICHEST LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE /CHARACTERIZED BY PW VALUES
OF 1.25-1.50 INCH PER 00Z RAOBS AND GPS DATA/ WILL LIKELY EMANATE
NWD FROM DEEP S TX WITHIN A N/S-ORIENTED CORRIDOR AHEAD OF THE
AFOREMENTIONED COLD FRONT/DRYLINE. ALTHOUGH THIS MOISTURE INFLUX
WILL BE RELATIVELY MODEST /ESPECIALLY WITH NRN EXTENT/…SURFACE DEW
POINTS SHOULD REACH INTO THE 50S N OF THE RED RIVER WITH LOWER 60S
ACROSS CNTRL TX.

LATEST EXPECTATIONS REMAIN SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS OUTLOOK WITH TWO
GENERAL REGIMES FOR SEVERE TSTM DEVELOPMENT AMIDST QUITE STEEP
TROPOSPHERIC LAPSE RATES THIS AFTERNOON. ACROSS CNTRL NEB INTO NRN
KS…STORMS WILL DEVELOP ALONG THE SEWD-ADVANCING COLD FRONT.
BENEATH MODERATE-STRONG 500-MB SWLYS OWING TO THE GLANCING INFLUENCE
OF THE NRN PLAINS SHORTWAVE TROUGH…A FEW SUPERCELLS SHOULD FORM
PRODUCING SEVERE HAIL. WITH LARGELY UNIDIRECTIONAL WIND PROFILES AND
UNDERCUTTING NATURE OF THE COLD FRONT…THIS CONVECTION SHOULD
QUICKLY ORGANIZE INTO CLUSTERS AND SHORT-LINE SEGMENTS. SEVERE
HAIL/WIND WILL BE POSSIBLE INTO THE EVENING…WITH INTENSITY WANING
OVERNIGHT TOWARDS THE MO VALLEY.

FARTHER S…SCATTERED DISCRETE TSTMS WILL FORM ALONG THE DRYLINE
LATE AFTERNOON TO EARLY EVENING. INITIAL ACTIVITY SHOULD CONSIST OF
HIGH-BASED SUPERCELLS WITH MLCAPE OF 1000-2000 J/KG AND EFFECTIVE
BULK SHEAR OF 30-35 KT. LARGE HAIL /A FEW SIGNIFICANT/ AND ISOLATED
SEVERE WIND GUSTS SHOULD BE THE PRIMARY HAZARDS. DURING THE
EVENING…LOW-LEVEL HODOGRAPHS WILL BECOME QUITE ENLARGED AS FLOW
STRENGTHENS. POTENTIAL FOR A FEW TORNADOES MAY BE REALIZED BETWEEN
00-03Z ON THE NRN PERIPHERY OF NEAR 60 DEG F SURFACE DEW POINTS
INVOF W OK/NW TX. STILL…QUALITY OF BOUNDARY-LAYER MOISTURE WILL BE
A LIMITING FACTOR TO A MORE ROBUST TORNADO RISK. WITH
TIME…COALESCING OF UPDRAFTS AND PERSISTENT LOW-LEVEL WAA MAY YIELD
A SMALL MCS MOVING EWD ACROSS PARTS OF OK AND N TX WITH SEVERE
HAIL/WIND RISKS SUBSIDING EARLY THU.

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