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Good morning bloggers,
It is the day after one of the worst tornadoes in the world’s history. And, it is the day before a major severe weather outbreak set-up. Let’s begin with Joplin, MO. We were on the air with tornado warnings Sunday afternoon and we saw that massive supercell forming near Parson’s Kansas and it was taking direct aim on Joplin. What happened next is just horrible as the cell went right through the heart of Joplin and produced a nearly mile wide EF-5 (analysis will be done to determine the strength) tornado killing at least 89 people and leaving 400 with serious injuries. The tornado that struck Joplin arrived around 5:40 PM Sunday. The official tornado warning was issued at 5:17. Another tornado warning was issued for a different cell at 5:09 PM, so there was around a 31 minute lead time on warning the Joplin area. For this massive tornadic storm, The NWS in Springfield named Joplin in a warning issued at 5:17 PM and emphasized it in an instant message to its media and EM partners a few minutes earlier. The approximate 23 minutes of lead time at Joplin is right on the current average for lead time for tornado warnings. But, it didn’t help much as thi swas likely a strong EF-5 tornado going through a major population center. I believe that this is the deadliest tornado in Missouri history. Just a horrible day!
This was just posted by one of the bloggers: Astounding video/audio from the Joplin tornado Please be aware, this is raw video from a group of around 20 people huddled together in the back of a convenience store.
One of our NBC Action News reporters, Larry Seward, is down in Joplin. Here is a picture he took this morning:
Our next storm system approaching the plains has the potential to produce a major severe weather outbreak with strong to violent tornadoes across parts of Kansas and Oklahoma Tuesday afternoon and evening. The risk appears that it will initially be west of Kansas City, but it would arrive sometime Tuesday night. Here is one surface forecast from the GFS model valid at 1 AM Tuesday night/Wednesday morning:
This shows the thunderstorms arriving in our area by around 10 or 11 PM tomorrow night. The energy in the atmosphere appears that it will be ideal for strong supercell thunderstorm formation closer to the dry line and triple point Tuesday. These features will likely be well west of our area and this may protect us from the worst this storm has to offer. But, we have to pay very close attention to how this sets up tomorrow. The Storm Prediction Center has place a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms over parts of Kansas and Oklahoma into southwest Missouri for tomorrow. I am confident that this will be upgraded to a high risk sometime Tuesday. The strongest risk may stay just south of Kansas City, depending on how much warm air can return this far north. This storm is very strong and placed in the peak of tornado season, during a season that has already produced horrific results around the nation.
When you look at the surface map, above, you can see the light brown line which is the dry line. The red line is a warm front and this is located right near Kansas City. The blue line is a cold front, and the blue dashed line is a trough extending northwest into the colder air. The L is the center of the low pressure area that is what we call the triple point where the other features wind together. This is a rather impressive surface set-up for late Tuesday and Tuesday night, and then also on Wednesday as it passes by with a second severe weather outbreak possible.
Our weather team will be analyzing the data and going over all of the details in our in-depth weathercasts today and tonight on NBC Action News. Thanks for spending a few minutes reading the Action Weather blog today. Let us know if you have any questions. Have a great start to your week.