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Multi-day severe weather outbreak on the horizon PDF Print E-mail
News - Tornadoes
Written by Heidi Farrar   
Thursday, 12 April 2012 10:48
nam_221_2012041212_f60_wspd_500_mbResidents across the entire southern and central Plains region are urged to take time now to prepare and be mindful of severe weather this weekend. The threat begins this afternoon, when tornadoes, destructive hail and damaging thunderstorm winds are possible; the threat will continue through at least Sunday, as a very potent storm system makes its way across the Great Plains. Today's focus will be on the Texas and Oklahoma panhandle region, north into western Kansas. If storms are able to fire, strong directional shear and moderate instability will provide an environment conducive for strong tornadoes this afternoon into the late evening. As the storm system progresses gradually eastward Friday, much of Oklahoma and Kansas will be under the threat of severe weather, along with northwest Missouri into southeast Nebraska and southern Iowa; all modes of severe weather will be possible. The "main event" at this point appears to be Saturday, with the threat shifting very little as compared to the previous day. Forecast models have continued to show the wind fields and instability associated with this storm system coming together to support a widespread tornado outbreak scenario, with supercell thunderstorms a possibility along a warm front that is likely to be oriented across central Iowa and southeast NE, and extending south along a dryline that will stretch from around Grand Island, NE into northern and central Texas. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted this area as a rare "Day 3 Moderate Risk"; the last issuance of such an outlook was in association with the devastating April 27 outbreak in the southeast United States last year. As always, we encourage everyone to monitor local media for updates, have a NOAA weather radio with fresh batteries, and a plan to find an adequate underground shelter or safe room (highway overpasses DO NOT qualify! Of note, check out this article about shelters along the Kansas turnpike). Reed will be providing updates from the field via Facebook and Twitter, and the live streaming page will of course be very active as well.