Looks like we could be in for some serious weather this weekend. Writing at Slate.com, meteorologist Eric Holthaus says the tornado season is about to really heat up.
“The National Weather Service is saying ‘strong tornadoes are possible’ during a ‘significant multi-day severe event’ set to begin this weekend from Texas to Tennessee.
“According to the Storm Prediction Center, the tornado forecasting branch of the National Weather Service, a lingering low-pressure center will emerge from the southern Rockies on Saturday and quickly grow in strength. By Saturday evening, the storm will tap into moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, kicking off a round of supercell thunderstorms with the potential to spawn a swath of tornadoes. The threat will move slightly east on Sunday, and then into the Deep South on Monday. The pattern is being held in place by an intense high-pressure block thousands of miles away in northeast Canada. In addition to possible tornadoes, large hail and heavy rains will be in the forecast for several days.”
Although severe weather can happen anytime, April really marks the start of the severe weather season. The cold temperatures East of the Rockies have contributed to the slowest start in 99 years, according to Tom Skilling. But, that may be about to change. The outbreak this weekend could occur late on Saturday night from Texas to Kansas, according to Accu-Weather.
Tornadoes can strike close to home, too. Ten years ago, on April 20, a tornado touched down in Utica, IL, near where I grew up. My brother was one of the first responders on the scene. Here is Julia Keller’s beautifully-written, Pulizer-Prize winning report from the Chicago Tribune. If you have time, please read it.
Most recently, we remember the late-season outbreak of tornadoes that struck downstate, particularly Washington, IL on November 17 last year. This was one of the main topics at the Severe Weather Seminar at Fermilab on April 5.
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