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OKStorm

MAY 20, 2019 High Risk

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Just now, Brick Tamland said:

I think we have too many risk categories anyway. No need for five. Slight and marginal, and enhanced and moderate are too similar in definition.  Just have slight, moderate,  and high.

I agree. I was puzzled when they changed it. Enhanced never felt to be much different than moderate to me 

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3 minutes ago, wendy said:

On kfor.com right now, large barrel-shaped tornado heading right toward Mangum.

Are you sure this wasn’t like an hour ago?

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8 minutes ago, Wmsptwx said:

Is OKC metro in clear now?

no

 

in fact is always dangerous when you have a boundary around because it really can increase shear ,,,,but of course you need storms to ride along that boundary

that sagging boundary is almost on the NW side the City now 

 

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Just now, cheese007 said:

When was the last verified high risk? Don't recall if any of the 2017 ones verified

Probably like 4/28/14. Seems like that was the last real high risk day

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This event may end up with more flash flooding damage than tornado damage.  Seriously heavy precip amounts in populated areas while the tornado damage is "mostly" in rural areas as of now.

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8 minutes ago, MattPetrulli said:

To be honest, I don’t get blaming SPC when about 90% of the wx community and most reliable models were behind a major tornado outbreak today 

Yeah, the forecast is only going to be as good as the data behind it. I think the parameters that used to give us certain weather when it comes to big storms, either severe or winter storms, just are not the same anymore, and the computer models are just going to be wrong more often than not when it comes to anything other than mundane weather.

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This would barely rank in the top 10 bust days. 5/7/88, 4/11/91, 5/17/95, 6/5/99, 4/11/05, 4/13/07 were all bigger busts off the top of my head. That's not counting 7/31/02 High Risk that only made it in one disco. What makes this one seem worse is when TV really overhypes things. Headline for CNN "Catastrophic Tornadoes possibly effect millions in TX/OK" does more damage than good.

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Just now, Brick Tamland said:

Yeah, the forecast is only going to be as good as the data behind it. I think the parameters that used to give us certain weather when it comes to big storms, either severe or winter storms, just are not the same anymore, and the computer models are just going to be wrong more often than not when it comes to anything other than mundane weather.

Certainly worth asking if climate change is causing these sorts of forecasting failures

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Just now, cheese007 said:

Certainly worth asking if climate change is causing these sorts of forecasting failures

There is a separate forum for that. Ask that there.

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Just now, cheese007 said:

Certainly worth asking if climate change is causing these sorts of forecasting failures

Climate change woulda been called if those failures did or didn’t occur. 

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One, singular tornado warning in the large high risk area at 2337z... Brutal. SPC did not make the wrong call, with any given forecast there are usually multiple possible failure modes. It appears that one or more of those possible failure modes occurred. Massive pool of cold air, ill/late timed wave, etc... Storm mode seemed fine for the most part, as long as storms were in the warm sector, storms just didn't do it.

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anyone look at the 21Z sounding from OUN (18Z and 21Z sounding pages linked below)? If you did, maybe you could see what's actually the problem in the OKC metro and SE OK attm. it actually looks like the moisture may have been way too deep to really get anything explosive going. very moist sounding from the surface to 650hPa. A lot of CAPE there, but the lower 1/3 of the troposphere almost looks purely tropical, IMHO. And tropical air masses aren't as tornado-prone as more traditional storm soundings. Not saying we won't get massive downpours with that, because we most certainly are, and will see that. And not saying that you can't get anything rotating with it, because we are seeing it in spots. But normal tornadic air masses with the normal V at the bottom this is not.

https://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/soundings/19052021_OBS/

https://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/soundings/19052018_OBS/

something closer to traditional would be the sounding at KAMA at 19Z, if you mix out the surface. 

https://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/soundings/19052019_OBS/

thoughts on this observation?

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2 minutes ago, TellicoWx said:

Headline for CNN "Catastrophic Tornadoes possibly effect millions in TX/OK" does more damage than good.

This.  Not to mention that they often report that towns hit by tornadoes had no warning when in reality they had plenty of warning.  Me thinks they do it just for ratings.

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Just now, TellicoWx said:

This would barely rank in the top 10 bust days. 5/7/88, 4/11/91, 5/17/95, 6/5/99, 4/11/05, 4/13/07 were all bigger busts off the top of my head. That's not counting 7/31/02 High Risk that only made it in one disco. What makes this one seem worse is when TV really overhypes things. Headline for CNN "Catastrophic Tornadoes possibly effect millions in TX/OK" does more damage than good.

And now the convo is just one short leap away from saying that its a bust because people didnt die and things werent destroyed.  Meaning CNNs headlines werent lived up to....."catastrophic".  If we had a day full of EF5 tornadoes and the only thing that was torn up was hayfields, nobody would care except for those here that understand the magnitude of the event.  We are a headline driven society that thrives on negative news.  Not a good combo for an aggressive storm forecast.

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Maybe we're relying a bit too much on exit polling here. ;)

I would say up to this point in time this has been a moderate risk type outcome, but it's only going to require one of these cells to beef up and hit a populated area to change perceptions, whether that is totally related to verification or not. How do we know for example that some of those shots near Mangum OK weren't showing an F4 over a farmland area where it could proceed for several minutes without hitting anything substantial, yet on another day, the same funnel cloud hits a subdivision or a town and leaves a much different memory. 

Also there's still 2-3 hours of time before this is even likely to start decreasing in intensity. The dry line has just been hanging out west of Plainview and Lubbock all afternoon, when it turns a bit and starts pushing, then the dynamics for this may improve for a short time before the MCS or squall line outcome takes over and that in itself may be a fairly severe event for OKC. 

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2 minutes ago, Jim Marusak said:

anyone look at the 21Z sounding from OUN (18Z and 21Z sounding pages linked below)? If you did, maybe you could see what's actually the problem in the OKC metro and SE OK attm. it actually looks like the moisture may have been way too deep to really get anything explosive going. very moist sounding from the surface to 650hPa. A lot of CAPE there, but the lower 1/3 of the troposphere almost looks purely tropical, IMHO. And tropical air masses aren't as tornado-prone as more traditional storm soundings. Not saying we won't get massive downpours with that, because we most certainly are, and will see that. And not saying that you can't get anything rotating with it, because we are seeing it in spots. But normal tornadic air masses with the normal V at the bottom this is not.

https://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/soundings/19052021_OBS/

https://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/soundings/19052018_OBS/

something closer to traditional would be the sounding at KAMA at 19Z, if you mix out the surface. 

https://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/soundings/19052019_OBS/

thoughts on this observation?

I absolutely think the poor low level lapse rates and deep saturation had a lot to do with it. None of the updrafts were as explosive as expected, evidenced by the weak cores on even the established convection.

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3 minutes ago, jojo762 said:

One, singular tornado warning in the large high risk area at 2337z... Brutal. SPC did not make the wrong call, with any given forecast there are usually multiple possible failure modes. It appears that one or more of those possible failure modes occurred. Massive pool of cold air, ill/late timed wave, etc... Storm mode seemed fine for the most part, as long as storms were in the warm sector, storms just didn't do it.

I mean the SPC certainly made the wrong call. They might have read the info they had correctly, but it was still the wrong call. 

I would guess that the next time there is a high risk, schools will think long and hard before canceling. 

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Would've like to have seen a mean storm vector more around 250 instead of 230-240.  There were a lot of strong velocities above the boundary layer but weak boundary layer sheer ie. 25KT's or so and a more parallel storm vector to the low level fairly weak backing winds played a big role I think in getting anything going and sustaining at the surface.

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4 minutes ago, MUWX said:

I mean the SPC certainly made the wrong call. They might have read the info they had correctly, but it was still the wrong call. 

I would guess that the next time there is a high risk, schools will think long and hard before canceling. 

Based on soundings and models however, it's easy to see why they went high risk.  It's always easy to play Monday morning QB though.  SPC made the right call based on the data they saw, that screamed high risk potential.  Mother Nature just didn't feel the same way, so what can you do?

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2 minutes ago, iowahawkeyedave said:

Based on soundings and models however, it's easy to see why they went high risk.  It's always easy to play Monday morning QB though.  SPC made the right call based on the data they saw, that screamed high risk potential.  Mother Nature just didn't feel the same way, so what can you do?

You basically just repeated what I said I more words lol 

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6 minutes ago, kvegas-wx said:

And now the convo is just one short leap away from saying that its a bust because people didnt die and things werent destroyed.  Meaning CNNs headlines werent lived up to....."catastrophic".  If we had a day full of EF5 tornadoes and the only thing that was torn up was hayfields, nobody would care except for those here that understand the magnitude of the event.  We are a headline driven society that thrives on negative news.  Not a good combo for an aggressive storm forecast.

Really? All we had today was a few tornadoes that were on the ground for like a minute at a time. 

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