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severe weather

Starting this week – The weekly severe weather review

Not sure what day I’ll put it up on… perhaps Friday. The idea is to look back at the previous week’s severe weather and highlight the most interesting stuff. I’ll start it this week.

The Week Ahead forecast for the Mid-Atlantic will be coming later today! Some interesting stuff planned, including a broader look into temps for the rest of January.

Tornado videos from today’s storms

Videos are emerging of today’s tornadoes.

Rolla, MO: **WARNING: NSFW LANGUAGE**

 
Fort Leonard Wood, MO:

 
With 8 tornado reports and 41 total storm reports, this is already the biggest severe weather outbreak/event to occur in recorded history on New Years’ Eve. Let’s also not forget about the snow! Some areas in the Northern Plains are forecast to get over a foot of snow from this system.

Early morning tornadoes strike the mid-country, cause fatalities

There are now three people confirmed dead in Cincinnati, Arkansas (near the Oklahoma border) as tornadic storms move through the mid-country and race off to the north and east.

There is an article on NWAOnline with more information.

This and other storms are hitting on New Years’ Eve morning when everybody is sleeping in and has the day off. I doubt many people got the warnings in time when the storms first started in western Oklahoma and eastern Arkansas/Missouri.

Here is a SRM of the storms from earlier this morning, the more northern and stronger couplet is the one with the reported fatalities:

 
I would not be surprised to see an upgrade in the severe weather outlook from the SPC in their 1630z update today. This system is definitely more potent than what was originally anticipated. There is currently a tornado watch in effect for most of AR and MO, which extends into far western IL. Severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings are ongoing in AR and MO.

Baltimore damage confirmed as macroburst and tornado

The NWS survey team has concluded that the extreme damage in the Baltimore area on Tuesday night was the result of a macroburst and an EF-1 tornado.

NWS Survey

From the NWS survey:

THE PATH OF WIND DAMAGE FROM THE THUNDERSTORMS THAT ALSO
PRODUCED THE BRIEF TORNADO STARTED ON THE WESTERN EDGE OF
MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY IN NORTHEAST BALTIMORE CITY AND THEN
CONTINUED FOR APPROXIMATELY 5 MILES TO THE NORTHEAST TO
GUNPOWDER STATE PARK IN BALTIMORE COUNTY. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT
THE VAST MAJORITY OF WIND DAMAGE ALONG THE 5 MILE LONG PATH WAS DUE
TO STRAIGHT LINE WINDS FROM THE DESCENDING REAR-INFLOW JET AS IT HIT
THE GROUND…REFERRED TO AS A MACROBURST. EMBEDDED WITHIN THE DAMAGE
PATH OF THIS MACROBURST WERE TWO AREAS OF DAMAGE THAT ARE ASSOCIATED
WITH THE EF-1 TORNADO.

Basically, the damage was an isolated event wherein a localized strong burst of wind descended from the storm and slammed into the ground. This burst of wind also increased rotation in the atmosphere, which led to the formation of a brief EF-1 tornado.

Here are the Base velocity (left) and SRM velocity (right) scans of the line of storms as the tornado was reported to be on the ground. The image is courtesy of KMUWx91 from the American Weather Forums. On the right image, red pixels indicate wind going away from the radar, and green pixels are winds going towards the radar. This image indicates that there is some weak cyclonic rotation with the storm, which is a sign that there could be a tornado.