24 May 2011
A rare HIGH RISK outlook was issued today by the Storm Prediction Center (NOAA) in Norman, OK. The last high risk was on 27 April when the tornado swarm hit Alabama and Mississippi. Without doubt, this will be the deadliest tornado season in at least 60 years and it is frankly amazing in the modern warning era.
The death toll in April was over 350 and this week in Joplin another 116 fatalities were reported with the EF 4 tornado that struck on Sunday night. This brings the 2011 tornado fatalities up to 481 which the 9th highest year on record. The last year in which there were more fatalities was well before the modern warning era in 1953.
SPC is estimating a 45% chance of a tornado with 25 miles of a single point in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma.
As I type this a PDS Tornado watch has also been issued. If you are in Oklahoma or Kansas today- be very weather aware and have a safe place to go to nearby at all times.
URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 356 NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK 1250 PM CDT TUE MAY 24 2011 THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF WESTERN AND CENTRAL OKLAHOMA NORTHWEST AND NORTH-CENTRAL TEXAS EFFECTIVE THIS TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 1250 PM UNTIL 1000 PM CDT. ...THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION...
Update: Several violent tornadoes caused massive damage and injury in Oklahoma. Several fatalities reported and from some of the video it appears that the tornadoes were long track Ef 4 and EF 5. Oklahoma remains the text book example of how on air meteorologists can work with the NWS and very well trained spotters to reduce the loss of life in these events.