Significant Tornado Threat This Weekend


NOAA's National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a high-risk forecast of severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornados tomorrow, April 14, over portions of eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, and south central Kansas into west central Oklahoma. A moderate risk for severe thunderstorms exists over western Oklahoma into Nebraska and Iowa. This is a particularly dangerous situation since the SPC issues few high-risk forecasts per year.

NOAA's 2 Day Predicted Outlook - April 13, 2012

NOAA's 2 Day Predicted Outlook - 2 pm CDT, April 13, 2012
Source: NOAA

A low-pressure system will deepen throughout the day in eastern Colorado as a mid-level jet stream moves into the Texas/Oklahoma panhandle by mid-afternoon. This will create favorable wind shear over a large part of the southern plains. South of the warm front, which will be located in the upper Midwest, southerly low-level flow will pump warm, moist air from the western Gulf of Mexico. Along with cool air aloft, this will provide ample instability over much of the middle third of the United States.

Conditions exist for very large hail, strong tornadoes, as well as straight-line winds. Cities that exist in the high-risk category include:

  • Omaha, Nebraska (population: 408,958)
  • Lincoln, Nebraska (population: 258,379)
  • Wichita, Kansas (population: 382,368)
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (population: 579,999)

Although the severe convective storm season has quieted down over the last two weeks, activity still remains above normal. There are 421 tornadoes preliminarily confirmed in the US through April 12th, 77 more than the seven-year trailing average.

US Tornado Daily Count Graph - April 13, 2012

US Tornado Daily Count - 2pm CDT, April 13, 2012
Source: NOAA

EQECAT will monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.

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