24 February 2011

February 24th Severe Weather Outbreak

Catching up on the event midway through it...... So far a squall line is moving through Central Arkansas stretching southwestward into Northeast Texas. I had originally forecast a target of Pine Bluff, AR, with the possibility of supercells developing along an E-W line of Pine Bluff to Oxford. I am a little surprised that we don't have a few supercells in SE AR right now. Good instability with good shear. Now it appears the shear is moving farther to the north, but with instability continuing to mount and a 50kt+ LLJ kicking in later we should be in business with some semi-discrete supercells.

Strong thunderstorms in NC to W to SW AR. Rotation is starting to increase from time to time of the storms entering SW AR. LZK are watching them closely. As these storms move into a more favorable environment, I expect to see more strengthening and more warnings for damaging winds and perhaps tornadoes. EDIT: LZK is going to SVR warn the line in SW AR as of 3:25 P.M.

Tornado warned mini-sup on the warm front just SW of Jackson, TN.  A funnel cloud has been reported near Medon at 3:21. Very dangerous storm, seek shelter immediately! Storm moving NE at 45 mph.
Tornado warning issued on an embedded supercell near LZK. No reports of anything on the ground. Based on radar signature. Signature is intensifying. Storm in AR as stated above are moving into a more favorable environment. Another cell down by Hot Springs is starting to show a decent signature. Could go warned in the next 20 to 30 minutes

* The aforementioned storm has no tornado reports with it, but could have some very strong winds with it. 
**There are unconfirmed reports of a tornado in Western Pulaski counties (via spotters) but the NWS hasn't been able to confirm, I don't think I am buying it. 
4:20 P.M UPDATE:
Strong to severe thunderstorms continue to be in progress over Central Arkansas. A QLCS looks to be the preferred mode with embedded supercells capable of producing mainly destructive winds. So far the confidence in a tornado with any of these storms isn't very high. As said earlier, these storms continue to move into a favorable environment. Meanwhile the mini supercell in Tennessee has dissipated and no longer poses an immediate threat. In my target area (SE AR and NW MS) there continues to be a Cu field in the area, but blow off from the QLCS to the west may put a nail in that coffin. IF a storm can get going in that area, it will utilize the 1500+ CAPE and quickly become supercellular.  If supercells form in this area, SRH values in the 400 to 500 m2/s2 would certainly promote the risk for tornadoes (some strong.) Right now if I had actually chased I would probably still be sitting in my target area twiddling my thumbs. 22z has came and passed.

*A tornado warning is imminent for Little Rock and the southern end of town.  Radar indicated tornado 4 SW of LR moving NE at 55. No reports yet.
*Certainly not to be out done, a nice bowing line moving into Shreveport. NWS employees are surely enjoying a pretty sick shelf cloud at this point in time. More individual cells go up further east of the line in N. LA. Have to watch those very carefully as they move into a good environment.
*Storms are firing in E OK. This one in particular is getting a supercellular shape to it. These storms have to be directly on the cold front or very near it.

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