On Tuesday, April 3rd, things came together perfectly, in the morning/early afternoon, for supercells capable of producing strong tornadoes across the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. The picture, left, is courtesy of Aaron Tuttle and depicts all of the ingredients that came together for this event. The night prior, TVN determined that the wind shear was weaker than the prior day's "bust" and made the mistake of not analyzing things early in the AM! What you can never predict, are mesoscale features, such as outflow boundaries, 18-24 hours out.
From the prior night's convection, an outflow boundary was situated along I-20 including the DFW area, with an unstable environment along and south of the area, with high CAPE values. A gravity wave (induced from the prior night's convection) help bring cooler air aloft which helped erode the cap, by 12 p.m. A line of storms from the west of DFW, along a pacific front, were present, but two supercells emerged ahead of this line and rooted along this outflow boundary. An outflow boundary, if supercells can latch on to them and do not contain a lot of cool air, can enhance wind shear along them, making conditions ripe for tornadoes--and that's what happened.
The two radar images show both supercells, one south of Fort Worth near Kennedale and the other south of Dallas, near Lancaster. These were headed in a north/northeasterly direction straight for the DFW metroplex and the NWS had issued several tornado warnings early on to alert residents within the path. They did an outstanding job as well as local TV stations showing helicopter footage as well as trained weather spotters and storm chasers reporting the tornados with exact locations and it resulted in NO loss of life--which was truly a miracle. The most damaging tornado of the day was near Forney and Royse City, TX where a large cone tornado destroyed several buildings/houses and was rated an EF-3. Again, no loss of life happened! The Arlington, TX tornado was rated an EF-2 on the enhanced Fujita as well.
Check out this AMAZING video of the Kennedale, TX tornado shot by David Horner as it crossed US 287! Watch some of the cars as they are oblivious to the tornado and nearly drive into it!
The chances of severe weather are very small through the middle of next week for much of the country, but it looks like another powerful trough will make its way to the plains by late next week, so stay tuned!!!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE CHANCES OF WINNING. OPEN TO ANYONE 18 OR OVER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
1. CONTEST SPONSOR. The contest is sponsored by Extreme Tornado Tours, LLC ("the SPONSOR").
2. HOW TO ENTER. Signup with your email address on TVNWeather.com. Winners will be chosen at random from emails received. You will be granted an additional entry for each person you refer who signs up using the referral or "Share Link" you are provided after signup. They must signup using this link in order for you to receive your additional entry. This link is also included in your confirmation email, if you have lost this link you can access it again by entering your email address again at TVNWeather.com, this action will not count as another entry. Information is gathered and tracked to prevent multiple signups, signing up using a different email address will disqualify you from the contest. Entries can be received until April 30th 2012 at 11:59PM Central Standard Time. Entrants may also mail entries to Extreme Tornado Tours, LLC; attn: TVN Weather Signup Contest at P.O. Box 722048; Norman, OK 73070 . Mailed entries must include the contest name, subject line, a valid email and postal address, and any other specific entry information requested in the contest announcement and are subject to the same entry period and rules as emailed entries.
3. ELIGIBILITY. The Contest is open only to individuals who are age 18 and over. Any individuals who have, within six (6) months prior to the start date of the Contest or thereafter, been employed by or performed services (including but not limited to as employees, consultants, independent contractors or interns) for Extreme Tornado Tours or any of its subsidiary, affiliated or successor companies, and immediate family and household members of such individuals, are not eligible to enter or win. Extreme Tornado Tours reserves the right to verify and confirm entrants' ages and compliance with other eligibility requirements. Entrants may be required to submit further information to assist in the judges' verification of eligibility.
4. WINNER SELECTION. The winner will be chosen by random via a software script executed by Extreme Tornado Tours on May 1, 2012. The winner will be contacted via email and will have 15 days to respond. Failure to respond shall mean that the winner forfeits the prize. Extreme Tornado Tours is not required to award elsewhere any prizes forfeited by the chosen winner.
5. PRIZE. Prize includes the cost of a 10-day storm chasing tour with Extreme Tornado Tours, LLC as defined on ExtremeTornadoTours.com. ETT prize includes the $3500 standard tour fee and lodging. As stated on ExtremeTornadoTours.com, guests are responsible for their own meal costs and travel to the origin city of the tour (Oklahoma city or Denver as on tour schedule of ExtremeTornadoTours.com). Winner must sign liability waiver to participate in the tour, just like regular ETT guests. Tour director Chad Cowan will email the winner with all relevant tour information, as well as the available tour dates that currently have seats available. If the winner has schedule conflicts with these available dates they will receive a voucher good for the following year.
6. WINNER'S NAME. For the name of the contest winner, available after May 1, 2012 please send a separate self-addressed, stamped envelope to Extreme Tornado Tours, LLC; attn: TVN Weather Signup Contest; P.O. Box 722048, Norman, OK 73070. Responses will be provided to all requests made prior to August 1, 2012.
On Wednesday, TVN headed out to chase with an initial target of Salina, KS and watched a dual warm front, separated by about 50 miles in northern Kansas, lift northward where towering cumulus was present. As the northern warm front washed out, a weak disturbance, helped form a surface trough from Wichita to Salina and helped add an area of moisture convergence and kicked off supercells from Topeka to south of Emporia. TVN blasted east and then south to Council Grove, KS where we experienced a storm producing quarter size hail.
After watching a left-split race north of Emporia (and had an amazing anti-cyclonic wall cloud), it was evident that the southern storm would be the most isolated of the three and right along a boundary. As we approached the town of Madison, KS, we were getting golfball size hail and the sirens were sounding (even though there was not a tornado warning, spotters reported a funnel cloud west of town, which was verified through their photos). We drove east of town a couple of miles, then south and witnessed a striated supercell with amazing structure and a rapidly rotating wall cloud directly overhead. Inside the hook, we were also watching baseball size hail periodically falling and Reed took a hit from a golfball to his arm, where it left a welt! For the next two hours, we watched several occlusions develop with wall clouds and funnels (possibly a brief touchdown) as this nearly stationary supercell spun almost in place! We maybe moved 5 miles within 2 hours, giving us a beautiful viewing until about 10:30 p.m. as the supercell gradually weakened. Check out the video below!
Models continue to look worse and worse for a possible chase on Monday, with nearly straight line hodographs and keeping the best shear west of the instability in the W OK and NW TX region. Regardless, TVN plans to chase this setup and will be shooting our new webisodes! If you haven't already, sign up and spread the word about TVNWeather.com! Exciting new things are in the works of being launched!