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Spring Fever Spreading

Will Spring be on time for your region? Join the Conversation >> Long Range Spring Outlook

ClicheVortex2014

March 14, 2019 | Pi Day Severe Outbreak

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41 minutes ago, Mulaman984 said:

Not sure what happened. They were on for about 5 min then stopped. Looked like NWS issued a tornado warning, then canceled it within 5 min. 

Nonetheless, glad you’re safe over your way

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11 minutes ago, CincySnow said:

Nonetheless, glad you’re safe over your way

Same to you!

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Rain has settled to a sprinkle.   But I'm still getting a good lightning show (a flash every 3-5 seconds).   Bonus for March.  

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A really spectacular day Meteorologically speaking. That was the most supercells I ever remember seeing in one day, going back to late 2013. Nonetheless most of it happened in the OV! It looks like some significant tornado damage was done in western KY, southern IN, Michigan, and Alabama, but today could've been much worse if instability was greater. I can imagine this event was sorta like the 1974 Super Outbreak with the semi-discrete supercells and multiple seemingly unconnected bands of severe weather... except, you know, we had like one-sixth of the instability as April 3.

Also, this was our first enhanced risk since November 2017. This was our greatest tornado threat since July 2018.

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Hello all, I'm a long to lurker from Accuweather and now this site. Thanks for all you do on these forums; a lot about what I have learned about weather has come from reading your posts! I've been meaning to get more involved on here for a while, I figure now is a good as time as ever.

I like to analyze events like these in order to learn for future events. What was the limiting factor in the tornado potential in E. IN and W. OH/KY this afternoon? There was decent CAPE for such a high shear event (over 500 in the ILN sounding). Was it mostly attributed to low dew points at the surface (mid 50s on the ILN sounding)? I saw some mets tweeting that the cloud bases were too high. Is it correct to assume that this is caused by a lack of surface moisture?

I'm glad nothing materialized more than it did. There were still some great storm structures to look at around here!

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47 minutes ago, ClicheVortex2014 said:

A really spectacular day Meteorologically speaking. That was the most supercells I ever remember seeing in one day, going back to late 2013. Nonetheless most of it happened in the OV! It looks like some significant tornado damage was done in western KY, southern IN, Michigan, and Alabama, but today could've been much worse if instability was greater. I can imagine this event was sorta like the 1974 Super Outbreak with the semi-discrete supercells and multiple seemingly unconnected bands of severe weather... except, you know, we had like one-sixth of the instability as April 3.

Also, this was our first enhanced risk since November 2017. This was our greatest tornado threat since July 2018.

New Mexico is the secret, I swear. Anything that can conquer the semi-permanent dryness and subtropical high of the deserts is big trouble for the rest of you. I'm happy you have been enjoying yourself too, I didn't want to get your hopes up too much in January, but March looked like an incredible pattern to me when I did my analog analysis.

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1 hour ago, ClicheVortex2014 said:

A really spectacular day Meteorologically speaking. That was the most supercells I ever remember seeing in one day, going back to late 2013. Nonetheless most of it happened in the OV! It looks like some significant tornado damage was done in western KY, southern IN, Michigan, and Alabama, but today could've been much worse if instability was greater. I can imagine this event was sorta like the 1974 Super Outbreak with the semi-discrete supercells and multiple seemingly unconnected bands of severe weather... except, you know, we had like one-sixth of the instability as April 3.

Also, this was our first enhanced risk since November 2017. This was our greatest tornado threat since July 2018.

Thanks for all the tidbits on dates and stuff because I’m terrible with dates 😂😂 but I knew it had seemed like forever since we’ve had this kind of potential around. Great day of tracking even though I had to work I kept up. Glad everyone stayed safe as some big time storms were close to quite a few of us today. Good day all around here for me with the 2 hail producing storms.

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1 hour ago, raindancewx said:

New Mexico is the secret, I swear. Anything that can conquer the semi-permanent dryness and subtropical high of the deserts is big trouble for the rest of you. I'm happy you have been enjoying yourself too, I didn't want to get your hopes up too much in January, but March looked like an incredible pattern to me when I did my analog analysis.

Well done. It's gonna be weird to not have anything to track for a bit. At least it'll be nice and sunny weather.

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End of the day severe weather reports. 11 wind damage reports are tagged with "possible tornado", all of them in Alabama.

Be1MbjP.png

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9 hours ago, ClicheVortex2014 said:

End of the day severe weather reports. 11 wind damage reports are tagged with "possible tornado", all of them in Alabama.

Be1MbjP.png

The SPC reports don't show it because it's a lot of text, but there was another possible tornado in Lowell, IN (about 10 minutes from my house):

Quote

0151 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 SSE LOWELL            41.27N 87.41W
03/14/2019                   LAKE               IN   AMATEUR RADIO

            UPDATE: LAKE COUNTY EMA SENT PHOTOS OF
            SEVERAL TREES DOWN AND POWER LINES DAMAGED
            OR BLOWN DOWN ON CALHOUN STREET JUST NORTH
            OF BELSHAW ROAD. ONE TREE FELL ONTO THE ROOF
            OF A HOUSE AND CAUSED DAMAGE. PREVIOUS
            REPORT: FUNNEL CLOUD WAS REPORTED. SEVEN
            POWER LINES DOWN, AS WELL AS SEVERAL PINE
            TREES WHICH ARE 30-40 FEET TALL AND 1-2 FT
            IN DIAMETER. LIGHT ROOF DAMAGE TO A BARN AND
            FARMHOUSE. DAMAGE PATH APPEARS TO BE AROUND
            250 YARDS. POSSIBLE TORNADO DAMAGE.

It did a fair amount of light damage, roof from a church ripped off, garage door blown in, windows busted out, awning of a gas station torn off, and of course lots of trees and tree branches down.

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21 hours ago, ClicheVortex2014 said:

SPC's MCD for down south shows they think there's a dryline that has made it to our longitude. Indeed, there appears to be a pre-frontal boundary that's mostly a dew point gradient ahead of the cold front. Very rare, I think only happens a few times every decade.

q6hto1j.gif

UcYESu2.jpg

Going through weather observations from CVG, DAY, Memphis, Columbus (MS), Birmingham, and Huntsville... the strongest dryline-like signature I could find was in Cincinnati and Dayton. We saw the dew point drop by 12 degrees with only a 3 degree drop in temperature. All the other stations saw either a much more subtle drop in dew point or just normal cold front behavior. 

vQtc3gl.png

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I really thought sw Ohio really was gonna get his hit bad with tornadic storms that were going through Indiana definitely got some strong ones close to cincy! I know we had most ingredients in our favor any thoughts on what exactly may have caused that? 

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The only possible thing it could've been is moisture. ILN warned of this possibility in their Wednesday AFD. I think there was too much sunshine for the magnitude of moisture advection. Sunshine induces convective motions... air heated near the surface by the sun naturally rises... cool, dry air from aloft sinks to the surface. Without enough moisture advection, the low-levels can warm and dry as a result. The very dry low-levels was seen in the 19z ILN sounding. Also, mixing allows winds from aloft to transition to the surface... and more sunshine than was expected would explain why we were upgraded from wind advisory to high wind warning on the day of the event. Also, we had all those supercells and damaging winds was the main result from them... clearly. Damaging winds is usually the main threat when you have dry low-levels. It's very rare to have an event that favors supercells on such a huge scale (from Michigan to Alabama), even more rare to have the supercells become semi-discrete and that long-lived. This could've been a big tornado event if there was more moisture.

Quote

There are several items in tomorrow/s weather scenario/setup
that deserve a more in-depth discussion. Firstly, an sharpening
surface pressure gradient will yield a steady increase in the
sustained winds past the mid-morning hours into the afternoon.
The degree to which gusts are able to be realized will be
largely dependent on just how deep we are able to mix in an
environment where cloud cover could be fairly widespread across
the immediate ILN FA. This could somewhat limit near-surface
heating and corresponding steepening of low-level lapse rates
which would tend to limit the overall gust potential. Even with
this in mind, it will not take much to mix down some higher wind
gusts, especially when considering the strength of the wind
field we will be contending with. Even conservative momentum
transfer techniques suggest gusts could near 40 to 45 MPH in
parts of the area during the middle to late afternoon. On the
other side of the coin, if some partial clearing develops during
the afternoon (which would be favored both in the far east and
far west parts of the area), deeper mixing could very well yield
gusts in excess of 50 MPH across a large portion of the forecast
area. With the inherent uncertainty in how much clearing will
occur, confidence is not overly high in advisory criteria being
met, but there is a chance that with adequate mixing, higher-end
advisory criteria may end up being realized. As such, have gone
with a wind advisory for Thursday late morning through the early
evening hours for the western three quarters of the local area.
Gusts in these areas will be between 45-50MPH at times, with
higher gusts not completely out of the realm of possibilities in
parts of west-central Ohio and east-central IN.

The other item of discussion for Thursday aside from the
synoptic-based wind threat will be the potential for strong to
severe storms. There has been an increasing signal in model
soundings over the past several days showing more low level
surface-based instby. Which, considering the strongly-sheared
environment, certainly brings a level of concern to the table.
Despite the fact that the overall surface low translating across
the midwest will be filling-in/weakening, the overall strength
of the system and the corresponding wind fields will still be
very potent during the time frame of interest.

Higher-resolution data suites are in relatively good-agreement
showing redevelopment of convection initially west of the ILN FA
by early afternoon (across south-central IN) in an environment
with increasing low level instby. This corridor of instby will
be coincident with cooler air aloft settling in allowing for a
steepening of lapse rates through the column. And with
sufficient near-surface heating, the instby will quickly become
surface- based, especially closer to the front itself. This
will occur in an environment with 3-4kft winds of 60-70kts,
which when in tandem with the steepening low level lapse rates,
could easily be transferred down to the ground within healthy
thunderstorm cores. Additionally, the speed and directional
shear may lead to a tornado threat as well with elongated
hodographs being forecast by some of the models. One of the
potential flies in the ointment in the severe threat would be if
the low-level BL moisture is reduced in some capacity due to
robust mixing. This would/could greatly reduce the instby
which could limit storm development potential. However, should
this mechanism develop, it would be working against the
advection of moisture into the area, so certainly there is some
uncertainty into exactly how the low level moisture profiles
evolve during peak heating hours. Nevertheless, the combination
of 500-700k/kg CAPE (which could/should be surface- based) with
a potent and deeply- sheared environment, suggests that the
SLGHT risk from SPC is well- warranted. Would not be surprised
to see an upgrade in some capacity in the new DY1 outlook across
parts of the OH Vly if current hi-res data trends continue.

The best timing for severe storms would initially be about 2 PM
in the extreme far western part of the ILN FA, which would then
translate eastward through the middle/late afternoon. There
should be a slight downward tick in instby and perhaps a more
substantial loss of SB instby by 00z, suggesting that the severe
threat should wane somewhat as it approaches central/south-
central OH into northeastern KY. Would not anticipate much of a
change /if any/ on the eastern flank of the current SPC
outlooks.

last.gif

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8 hours ago, ClicheVortex2014 said:

The only possible thing it could've been is moisture. ILN warned of this possibility in their Wednesday AFD. I think there was too much sunshine for the magnitude of moisture advection. Sunshine induces convective motions... air heated near the surface by the sun naturally rises... cool, dry air from aloft sinks to the surface. Without enough moisture advection, the low-levels can warm and dry as a result. The very dry low-levels was seen in the 19z ILN sounding. Also, mixing allows winds from aloft to transition to the surface... and more sunshine than was expected would explain why we were upgraded from wind advisory to high wind warning on the day of the event. Also, we had all those supercells and damaging winds was the main result from them... clearly. Damaging winds is usually the main threat when you have dry low-levels. It's very rare to have an event that favors supercells on such a huge scale (from Michigan to Alabama), even more rare to have the supercells become semi-discrete and that long-lived. This could've been a big tornado event if there was more moisture.

last.gif

More moisture probably could’ve made this event a definite contender for single day outbreaks

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Final tally for the event... 39 tornado reports yet still could've been much worse

190314_rpts.gif

 

And with this, we're above the average for tornadoes for this time of the year

sDntxz6.png

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I can only imagine the staff played rock paper scissors to decide who gets to go outside and who stays in 

 

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