I was selected to be a member of the NOAA tornado assessment team for the Oklahoma City tornado in May 1999. Several meteorologists were immersed in the evaluation of the forecast, the warnings and the response. I use some of the lessons learned in my presentations. Chief among them: PAY ATTENTION when warnings are issued!
Two main teachable moments from Moore in 1999:
-Have a plan for the extraordinary event – timing is not always convenient.
-Share the word that severe weather is approaching.
NOAA Weather Radio has been around for 40 years,yet few take advantage of the 24 hour a day warning service. The latest trend is for a warning app on a cell phone. But many homes, businesses and schools should have a NOAA Weather Radio in place.
Information on NOAA weather radio can be found here.
With regard to yesterday’s devastating tornado in Moore: Weather officials estimated the strength of the storm to be an F4 or F5 on the Fujita Scale–the highest rating a tornado can achieve. The National Weather Service said it packed winds of up to 200 mph.
The NWS in Norman, Okla., said the tornado was on the ground for approximately 40 minutes, and a tornado warning was in effect for 16 minutes before the twister developed.
More rain for portions of Minnesota is on tap for the next 24 hours. Heavy rains have fallen, particularly in southeast Minnesota the past week.
A frontal boundary is likely to extend west to east through central Minnesota this afternoon. The contrast in air masses should be the focus for storm development today.
Forecast maximum temperatures today from the NWS.
The NAM predicts this band of showers through central Minnesota this afternoon.
NAM rainfall ending at 7 p.m. CDT today.
Source:NOAA/College of DuPage
Severe storms are not expected in our neck of the woods today, but the Storm Prediction Center is focused on large hail and destructive winds in east Texas and into Arkansas in the next 24 hours.
The weather pattern dries out in the upper Midwest for Thursday and Friday. We’ll take a look at the upcoming holiday weekend weather in the afternoon blog.