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MAY 20, 2019 High Risk

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1 hour ago, CryHavoc said:

Well articulated.

What I'd like to know for future threads like this is the rationale people have on these threads of saying "bust" before 5pm on a high risk day.

What is to be gained?  Why is it necessary to immediately jump all over a "bust" call?  Most of us reading the threads are scientists or have at least an active interest in the science of weather.  We can openly acknowledge difficult/problematic forecasts when the event is over -- by coming to consensus based on the parameters merited.

This isn't a sporting event.  It's a scientific pursuit of knowledge.  Saying an event "busts" isn't even a scientific statement -- it contains absolutely no furthering of information or exchange of curiosity.  It's just a token word designed to... I don't know, make the person saying it feel cool because they're calling out the SPC as an authority?

Furthermore, bust calls tend to kill conservation about the actual events taking place.  At the very least it never promotes healthy discussion in these threads.  Rushing to bust calls, in my humble opinion, serves absolutely no one.

Additionally, I am extremely concerned about the pressure this kind of thing can put on forecasters to be less aggressive in these calls.  Protection of lives must remain a priority.

I've been following this specific sub-form for awhile, and one thing I noticed is that the majority of the posters mentioning "bust" before the event was over barley, if any ever post on this sub-form. (From what I could tell ) That alone told me it was more than likely a way to troll instead of actually adding anything meaningful to the discussion.

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I'm thinking in retrospect the one weakness of the setup that forced it down from high risk outcome to more like moderate risk, was that the cold front was never aligned at much of an angle to the flow, and also with the upper dynamics so far back to the west, that allowed secondary heat low features to form in eastern NM that probably took a lot of energy out of the dry line.

Even with those handicaps, the front managed to produce many severe cells and quite a few tornados. The warm front sector also underperformed by failing to push very far north of its morning position so that cells were having to deal with very cool temperatures almost immediately. In fact by about 23z there really wasn't any classic warm sector look to this at all, it was just one long wavy front from north of Tulsa to south of Midland TX. 

This is one endeavour where a bust is actually a good thing for 99.9% of the population. It's only us weather enthusiasts who might see it as a bad thing. 

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22 minutes ago, mikeosborne38 said:

I'll answer for myself. I have family in Midwest City and I only mentioned a bust because I was happy it was trending that way. I lived through 4/27 and don't wish that on anyone.  Like Dr Shepherd mentions in the article the current 24/7 news cycle along with social media and the search for likes and clicks contribute to some accusations of sensationalism.  Also, a good question posed in that article is are words like "dangerous"and "catastrophic"being over used?  In hindsight maybe mentioning 4/27 was a mistake as that day stands in a category by itself, even among high risk outbreak days.  People were expecting multiple violent tornadoes down at the same time like 4/27. Most lay person's don't read forecast discussions, etc to know possible limiting factors.

Thanks for the response.  It's important to note that an event "trending downward" doesn't necessarily precipitate a bust call, however.  Events like 4/27 are once in a decade or even once a generation, but a storm system does not need to spawn 100 tornadoes+ to resolve as a high risk, nor does an event that looks to be tapering mean it won't surge as the day wears on.

Regarding everyday citizens, it's unfortunate but often the only way to get people to take notice of high risk days is to use strongly worded language.  We have a double edged sword in that regard -- either use language that can be construed as hyping an event (perhaps unnecessarily), or being more conservative with watches and warnings and hope that people still take the situation seriously.

I think the very fact that people are not educated about storms in general means they need to be given an even greater berth of the situations unfolding.  I have a friend who lives in Texas and I told him not to be out yesterday, explained to him why, and his wife still got caught in 80mph winds in her car.  In my experience, people are just unable to be bothered from disrupting the convenience of their lives unless the most dire language is used.  That is why no matter how much lead time a tornado has, you see dozens of people caught in Home Depots, gas stations, and Walmarts when a tornado arrives.

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https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1130856609847005184

Some good reading if you're interested in some theory/explanation of the failure modes that led to a lack of a historic outbreak yesterday. Edwards is one of the forecasters that did the 13z outlook so definitely some valuable insight. 

Found this through a page on the Target Area of Storm Track if anyone is interested in exploring the topic further. Some very interesting points from Jeff Duda discussing the event, one thing that stuck out to me was his discussion of the very deep nearly saturated inflow layer and its impacts along with general severe weather enthusiasts (such as myself) over reliance on the HRRR and the importance of utilizing various tools and different CAM's. Defintiely a thread worth a read. 

https://stormtrack.org/community/threads/2019-05-20-event-tx-ok-ks.30833/page-2

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15 minutes ago, CryHavoc said:

Thanks for the response.  It's important to note that an event "trending downward" doesn't necessarily precipitate a bust call, however.  Events like 4/27 are once in a decade or even once a generation, but a storm system does not need to spawn 100 tornadoes+ to resolve as a high risk, nor does an event that looks to be tapering mean it won't surge as the day wears on.

Regarding everyday citizens, it's unfortunate but often the only way to get people to take notice of high risk days is to use strongly worded language.  We have a double edged sword in that regard -- either use language that can be construed as hyping an event (perhaps unnecessarily), or being more conservative with watches and warnings and hope that people still take the situation seriously.

I think the very fact that people are not educated about storms in general means they need to be given an even greater berth of the situations unfolding.  I have a friend who lives in Texas and I told him not to be out yesterday, explained to him why, and his wife still got caught in 80mph winds in her car.  In my experience, people are just unable to be bothered from disrupting the convenience of their lives unless the most dire language is used.  That is why no matter how much lead time a tornado has, you see dozens of people caught in Home Depots, gas stations, and Walmarts when a tornado arrives.

Good points. I will admit that as someone who lived through 4/27, I compare every higher risk event to that day, which I now realize is unrealistic. April 3, 1974, and April 27, 2011 belong in categories totally by themselves. It's easy to forget you can have bad days like Super Tuesday, etc. that don't rise to that level but are still pretty bad. Truth is, like you said those super outbreaks are once in a generation and there's a good chance I wont see a day like 4/27 in my lifetime. Unfortunately also I think some people just won't take responsibility for their own safety, regardless of the wording used sadly.

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11 minutes ago, vman722 said:

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1130856609847005184

Some good reading if you're interested in some theory/explanation of the failure modes that led to a lack of a historic outbreak yesterday. Edwards is one of the forecasters that did the 13z outlook so definitely some valuable insight. 

Found this through a page on the Target Area of Storm Track if anyone is interested in exploring the topic further. Some very interesting points from Jeff Duda discussing the event, one thing that stuck out to me was his discussion of the very deep nearly saturated inflow layer and its impacts along with general severe weather enthusiasts (such as myself) over reliance on the HRRR and the importance of utilizing various tools and diffrent CAM's. Defintiely a thread worth a read. 

https://stormtrack.org/community/threads/2019-05-20-event-tx-ok-ks.30833/page-2

Good read thanks for sharing. Just shows you can have all the parameters in place you want; but the mesoscale factors ultimately make or break tornado potential.

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5 minutes ago, mikeosborne38 said:

Good points. I will admit that as someone who lived through 4/27, I compare every higher risk event to that day, which I now realize is unrealistic. April 3, 1974, and April 27, 2011 belong in categories totally by themselves. It's easy to forget you can have bad days like Super Tuesday, etc. that don't rise to that level but are still pretty bad. Truth is, like you said those super outbreaks are once in a generation and there's a good chance I wont see a day like 4/27 in my lifetime. Unfortunately also I think some people just won't take responsibility for their own safety, regardless of the wording used sadly.

Indeed.

That said, there's no timescale on how often these happen.  Don't forget that we had an extremely active outbreak later that same year -- it just gets lost because of the Joplin tornado consumed so much attention, but that was part of a larger 5-6 day outbreak that also dropped over 230 tornadoes including the El Reno EF5.  We've also had multiple "only" MDT risk days that drop EF5 tornadoes, such as Joplin.
 

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I find this interesting. Long range HRRR, shows alot of instability and then a single storm firing on the last frame tomorrow. SPC isn't really acknowledging much of anything tomorrow. Interesting.

hrrr_cape_scus_34.png

hrrr_ref_frzn_scus_33.png

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26 minutes ago, StormChazer said:

Because that's not nothing.

 

   18z HRRR looks even better, and the instability/shear combination is impressive.     That said, the other CAMs are overall not nearly as enthused.

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2 hours ago, vman722 said:

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1130856609847005184

Some good reading if you're interested in some theory/explanation of the failure modes that led to a lack of a historic outbreak yesterday. Edwards is one of the forecasters that did the 13z outlook so definitely some valuable insight. 

Found this through a page on the Target Area of Storm Track if anyone is interested in exploring the topic further. Some very interesting points from Jeff Duda discussing the event, one thing that stuck out to me was his discussion of the very deep nearly saturated inflow layer and its impacts along with general severe weather enthusiasts (such as myself) over reliance on the HRRR and the importance of utilizing various tools and different CAM's. Defintiely a thread worth a read. 

https://stormtrack.org/community/threads/2019-05-20-event-tx-ok-ks.30833/page-2

Really valuable insight thanks for sharing that.

Also it currently looks like that cell by Mansfield, MO is producing right now according to the TOR warning.

 

Tornado Warning

Severe Weather Statement
National Weather Service Springfield MO
312 PM CDT Tue May 21 2019

MOC067-229-212030-
/O.COR.KSGF.TO.W.0062.000000T0000Z-190521T2030Z/
Douglas MO-Wright MO-
312 PM CDT Tue May 21 2019

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 330 PM CDT FOR
NORTHWESTERN DOUGLAS AND SOUTHERN WRIGHT COUNTIES...

At 311 PM CDT, a confirmed tornado was located near Ava, moving
northeast at 60 mph. At 307 PM CDT there was a public report 2
northwest of Ava.

HAZARD...Damaging tornado and golf ball size hail.

SOURCE...Public confirmed tornado.

IMPACT...Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without
         shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage
         to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur.  Tree damage is
         likely.

Locations impacted include...
Ava...                            Mansfield...
Norwood...                        Hartville...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

To repeat, a tornado is on the ground. TAKE COVER NOW! Move to a
basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy
building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in
a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect
yourself from flying debris.

&&

LAT...LON 3702 9278 3707 9273 3707 9268 3711 9268
      3729 9250 3710 9229 3695 9267
TIME...MOT...LOC 2010Z 227DEG 52KT 3705 9269

TORNADO...OBSERVED
HAIL...1.75IN

$$

Perez

 

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Ok since I’m one of the people that called “bust” yesterday at 5 pm, here’s why I said it and why I still stand by it. First off, obviously I would never EVER put that out there as a meteorologist on social media. That would be irresponsible and lead people to let their guard down early, in the same way that it is irresponsible when people go on social media and scream the sky is falling. But this isn’t social media and the people on this forum, at least in my opinion, should be able to handle scientific debate and know the difference. 

Second, when I said “bust” I didn’t just throw that out there with no reasoning. I was using scientific reasoning and solid meteorological analysis. The cap was clearly holding and it became evident that the storms many of the models were suggesting would fire in southern Oklahoma simply weren’t going to materialize. The reason the high risk was extended eastward into the OKC metro was exactly for that reason. When it became clear it wasn’t going to happen I don’t see what is wrong with calling it as it is unfolding. Again, when backed up by solid reasoning supported by the evidence I just don’t see what is wrong with what is essentially putting out a FORECAST on a forecasting forum. People can debate the semantics on if using the word “bust” is the right term or right way to say it, but I don’t see the big deal using it to describe when a forecast isn’t going as planned, which was all what I was trying to convey.

Third, I noticed a lot of confusion over what constitutes risk areas yesterday. SPC has very rigid and very clear definition of how they verify their risks on their website. Yesterday’s high risk was strictly driven by tornado probabilities, not some combination of hail, wind, and tornadoes. Their high risk was only going to verify with a large number of tornado reports. The strength of the tornadoes or how much damage is completely irrelevant (for better or worse) in how these things are scored. We needed a large number of supercells yesterday to get it done, and it became clear early on we weren’t gonna get that, at least across the eastern half of the risk area. 

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9 hours ago, weatherwiz said:

Yes and no...yes b/c we will always be learning but in terms of yesterday I don't think it could have (or should have been handled any differently). While this bares true for any type of weather event, IMO this is moreso for severe wx, but mesoscale features and short-term evolution are extremely critical for these types of events. There are plenty of meteorologists who have presented some ideas as to why we didn't see a much larger number of tornadoes (and strong tornadoes). Keep in mind none of these thoughts are mine...I am presenting what I have read, but temperatures around 10,000 to 20,000' ended up slightly warmer, an increase in H7 frotogenesis helped nudge a push of warmer air here into OK. Forcing may have slacked a bit more.

I know "busts" hurt the credibility of forecasts, but the main goal for forecasters is protecting life and property. In a case leading up to yesterday there is no other way to handle that. You want to give people as much information as possible to protect their life...people are too easy to cry and complain, but those who went through a terrifying situation are likely to be extremely thankful. 

What doesn't help the situation is the people who run around social media and cry bust after every weather event. Severe weather happened yesterday...and quite a bit...and in the highlighted area. People should be thankful we didn't see numerous strong-to-violent tornadoes and there aren't casualties (I have not heard of any...and hope there haven't been). 

I’m an operational meteorologist who has done a research stint w/SPC before. I should have clarified what I meant. I would’ve issued the same high risk forecast Edwards did. We lack the obs network to avoid busts like yesterday. That fascinates me. 

 

I am skeptical the capping alone did this event in. A comparison to BMX 18z sounding from 2011 shows an astonishingly similar profile. Same cap. It was probably a mix of multiple moving parts. It just didn’t come together. There were attempts at CI along multiple confluence axes that just didn’t pan out... this was for the better. 

 

Just to clarify. Yesterday 100% was a bust, and a massive overforecast. Will probably end up verifying no more than a 15% moderate risk. Criticism is fine - we all make mistakes. My forecast busted just the same. Should I get all butthurt about people calling it a bust on social media? Absolutely not. It is part of the business. We learn and we move on. 

 

So i repeat. We have much to learn! 

E7F57BB8-4E0E-4BC7-9985-891904436062.thumb.png.d422db6ec8d293bb7b1af087b35f99d1.png

 

299E22AF-A4B4-40C9-9CA7-69E2684819C8.thumb.png.55082a66548e1dd958c8364afa2d0605.png

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Also see way too much defensiveness from SPC/NSSL/NWS folks after a bust. Just admit it was a bust! Don’t try to tell people how 20+ QLCS tornadoes verify a forecast that called for discrete, long track violent tornadoes. Sure you may have quantitatively verified your forecast - but not qualitatively. Right for the wrong reasons if you will. 

 

And I’m not even talking about yesterday, either. I just wish people had more humility sometimes. Every time we have a giant overforecast like yesterday the masses/fanboys come rushing to the defense of them like they’re being attacked. Come on folks. I have had my share of bad forecasts and been criticized. And yet I was better for taking the criticism to heart and analyzing what went wrong. 

 

Not to say SPC guys should listen to criticism on Twitter. Whatever to that. But I do see a lot of this weird wagon circling every time there is a forecast bust.  It’s okay to bust. They happen. Just look at Roger Edwards’ tweets today as a great approach to it. 

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51 minutes ago, WhiteoutWX said:

Ok since I’m one of the people that called “bust” yesterday at 5 pm, here’s why I said it and why I still stand by it. First off, obviously I would never EVER put that out there as a meteorologist on social media. That would be irresponsible and lead people to let their guard down early, in the same way that it is irresponsible when people go on social media and scream the sky is falling. But this isn’t social media and the people on this forum, at least in my opinion, should be able to handle scientific debate and know the difference. 

Second, when I said “bust” I didn’t just throw that out there with no reasoning. I was using scientific reasoning and solid meteorological analysis. The cap was clearly holding and it became evident that the storms many of the models were suggesting would fire in southern Oklahoma simply weren’t going to materialize. The reason the high risk was extended eastward into the OKC metro was exactly for that reason. When it became clear it wasn’t going to happen I don’t see what is wrong with calling it as it is unfolding. Again, when backed up by solid reasoning supported by the evidence I just don’t see what is wrong with what is essentially putting out a FORECAST on a forecasting forum. People can debate the semantics on if using the word “bust” is the right term or right way to say it, but I don’t see the big deal using it to describe when a forecast isn’t going as planned, which was all what I was trying to convey.

Third, I noticed a lot of confusion over what constitutes risk areas yesterday. SPC has very rigid and very clear definition of how they verify their risks on their website. Yesterday’s high risk was strictly driven by tornado probabilities, not some combination of hail, wind, and tornadoes. Their high risk was only going to verify with a large number of tornado reports. The strength of the tornadoes or how much damage is completely irrelevant (for better or worse) in how these things are scored. We needed a large number of supercells yesterday to get it done, and it became clear early on we weren’t gonna get that, at least across the eastern half of the risk area. 

The critiques I and others lobbied towards people calling a “bust” yesterday weren’t directed at you. It was to those other individuals that said it without discussing WHY they thought that.

Like you said, we are here to discuss an event. Many of the others screaming it had no intention of contributing to that discussion. 

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29 minutes ago, bjc3395 said:

Also see way too much defensiveness from SPC/NSSL/NWS folks after a bust. Just admit it was a bust! Don’t try to tell people how 20+ QLCS tornadoes verify a forecast that called for discrete, long track violent tornadoes. Sure you may have quantitatively verified your forecast - but not qualitatively. Right for the wrong reasons if you will. 

 

And I’m not even talking about yesterday, either. I just wish people had more humility sometimes. Every time we have a giant overforecast like yesterday the masses/fanboys come rushing to the defense of them like they’re being attacked. Come on folks. I have had my share of bad forecasts and been criticized. And yet I was better for taking the criticism to heart and analyzing what went wrong. 

 

Not to say SPC guys should listen to criticism on Twitter. Whatever to that. But I do see a lot of this weird wagon circling every time there is a forecast bust.  It’s okay to bust. They happen. Just look at Roger Edwards’ tweets today as a great approach to it. 

 

The main problem with that perception is that it wasn't just the SPC/NWS guys that thought this was going to be a high-end event it was plenty of others across multiple platforms. 

Also, speaking on these types of issues, do you think it would be best for the SPC/NWS to go with a lower category when most everything is pointing to a higher-end event?  I've heard some people mention that it's actually best to stay at a lower (mod, enhanced category) until something major happens (guessing violent (major tornadoes)).

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A few things I noticed about yesterday that I haven’t seen discussed in much detail yet, but wanted to share to see if they were factors.

1) beyond the capping issues, another problem with the Oklahoma part of the high risk area was storm motions. The few early storms that were able to break the cap, like the one north of the OKC metro, raced north and crossed over the warm front before they ever had a chance to get going. Several cells that attempted do the same later in the evening suffered the same fate. Had storms moved in a more E or NE fashion, they would have had a lot more of the environment to work with before they were undercut by the cold air north of the front, and that which was generated by the outflow from the complex that was ongoing there. That leads me to the second observation. 

2) it appears as if the low level jet wasn’t as strong as anticipated. Because of this, the blob of storms along the front, along with other cells merging which formed off the W TX dry line, generated a massive cold pool that rapidly advanced southward in the 5-7 PM time frame. This cold air not only undercut the one lone discrete cell we had, it undercut several updrafts to the east that tried to get going as well. It wasn’t until the low level jet really kicked in around 8-9 PM that we saw storm organization improve, resulting in this brief, but intense tornado east of Tulsa. 

C163EA56-8C11-48C3-92C8-2B4F0149966B.jpeg

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3 minutes ago, weatherextreme said:

 

The main problem with that perception is that it wasn't just the SPC/NWS guys that thought this was going to be a high-end event it was plenty of others across multiple platforms. 

Also, speaking on these types of issues, do you think it would be best for the SPC/NWS to go with a lower category when most everything is pointing to a higher-end event?  I've heard some people mention that it's actually best to stay at a lower (mod, enhanced category) until something major happens (guessing violent (major tornadoes)).

This hits at a really difficult issue. Is the SPC better off potentially underplaying a threat that could, if it’s ceiling is realized, result in an outbreak with several long-track violent tornadoes? Or are they better off doing what they did yesterday, when 95% of the community agreed this looked like a major outbreak, but end up overestimating the event?

As much as the science has advanced, they still have a very difficult job. I think they’d have been criticized more harshly by everyone if they issued a moderate risk, and this turned out to be an event with a 100+ tornadoes and 5+ violent tornadoes, something yesterday could have done had a few minor things played out differently. 

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7 minutes ago, weatherextreme said:

 

The main problem with that perception is that it wasn't just the SPC/NWS guys that thought this was going to be a high-end event it was plenty of others across multiple platforms. 

Also, speaking on these types of issues, do you think it would be best for the SPC/NWS to go with a lower category when most everything is pointing to a higher-end event?  I've heard some people mention that it's actually best to stay at a lower (mod, enhanced category) until something major happens (guessing violent (major tornadoes)).

If it is to be called a bust then it was a bust for not only government mets but seasoned tornado alley TV mets, well experienced chasers and internet know nothings like myself. I would say (with hindsight being 20/20) that the best course of action would be to look back and see what was missed and if it was possible to predict it. For all of our advancements mother nature is still in charge and occasionally will make everyone look kind of dumb.

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23 minutes ago, DanLarsen34 said:

The critiques I and others lobbied towards people calling a “bust” yesterday weren’t directed at you. It was to those other individuals that said it without discussing WHY they thought that.

Like you said, we are here to discuss an event. Many of the others screaming it had no intention of contributing to that discussion. 

Exactly.  And as was mentioned earlier, often the people who call bust are barely around (if at all) to offer substantive contributions prior to the event.  It's like their main purpose is to waltz into the thread with the b word.

There is no problem discussing potential red flags as we see them in real time.  That is very beneficial.  The bust word has meaning and personally I'd rather not see it used while an event is still ongoing.

 

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22 minutes ago, Hoosier said:

Exactly.  And as was mentioned earlier, often the people who call bust are barely around (if at all) to offer substantive contributions prior to the event.  It's like their main purpose is to waltz into the thread with the b word.

There is no problem discussing potential red flags as we see them in real time.  That is very beneficial.  The bust word has meaning and personally I'd rather not see it used while an event is still ongoing.

 

When the open warm sector is storm free and the other areas are linear, there’s really no need to talk potential red flags. It’s obvious that it’s not going to happen. 

As far a pre event discussion goes, the SPC was open about the reasons it could bust. Not sure what value we are supposed to add above and beyond what the world leaders in meteorology are saying at the spc. 

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30 minutes ago, MUWX said:

When the open warm sector is storm free and the other areas are linear, there’s really no need to talk potential red flags. It’s obvious that it’s not going to happen. 

As far a pre event discussion goes, the SPC was open about the reasons it could bust. Not sure what value we are supposed to add above and beyond what the world leaders in meteorology are saying at the spc. 

I'm saying that the people calling bust often post nothing or barely anything -- positive or negative -- prior to the event.  

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2 hours ago, DanLarsen34 said:

A few things I noticed about yesterday that I haven’t seen discussed in much detail yet, but wanted to share to see if they were factors.

1) beyond the capping issues, another problem with the Oklahoma part of the high risk area was storm motions. The few early storms that were able to break the cap, like the one north of the OKC metro, raced north and crossed over the warm front before they ever had a chance to get going. Several cells that attempted do the same later in the evening suffered the same fate. Had storms moved in a more E or NE fashion, they would have had a lot more of the environment to work with before they were undercut by the cold air north of the front, and that which was generated by the outflow from the complex that was ongoing there. That leads me to the second observation. 

2) it appears as if the low level jet wasn’t as strong as anticipated. Because of this, the blob of storms along the front, along with other cells merging which formed off the W TX dry line, generated a massive cold pool that rapidly advanced southward in the 5-7 PM time frame. This cold air not only undercut the one lone discrete cell we had, it undercut several updrafts to the east that tried to get going as well. It wasn’t until the low level jet really kicked in around 8-9 PM that we saw storm organization improve, resulting in this brief, but intense tornado east of Tulsa. 

C163EA56-8C11-48C3-92C8-2B4F0149966B.jpeg

I agree with both those points. I remember thinking that the few storms that developed early in the warm sector were screaming north too quickly and weren’t going to have enough time to fully mature. So even if they had formed as advertised that may have caused problems.

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Patrick Marsh’s discussion on twitter about this set-up really puts in perspective just how close we were to something like a generational outbreak yesterday.

The sounding from OKC showed an environment on par with that sampled just in front of the Tuscaloosa Birmingham EF4, as well as several other major outbreaks. This will be THE case study that everyone will want to understand because it largely undermined everything we thought we knew about high-end outbreak days.

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Agreed. And anyone who says “it was X” is a fool. You can’t possibly know. The overlap between low level lapse rates for strong, tornadic, and non tornadic supercell cases is so big I’m not sure LL lapse rates are a good discriminator lol. 

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8 hours ago, DanLarsen34 said:

Patrick Marsh’s discussion on twitter about this set-up really puts in perspective just how close we were to something like a generational outbreak yesterday.

The sounding from OKC showed an environment on par with that sampled just in front of the Tuscaloosa Birmingham EF4, as well as several other major outbreaks. This will be THE case study that everyone will want to understand because it largely undermined everything we thought we knew about high-end outbreak days.

This could be said for just about any kind of storm potential the last few years, whether it be a severe potential or a possible winter storm, at least for my area. The models can't seem to handle anything but mundane weather, and the weather just doesn't do the same things it used to do when it comes to big storms. I know that's been the case for winter weather here in my area, and ever since the April 2011 tornado outbreak we end up getting more numerous and severe storms when we're not under a watch versus when we are. 

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One could argue Monday should have kept MDT but Wednesday should have gone HIGH. At any rate both are serious situations and verified for the public. For chasing, Monday was an obvious debacle by 5pm.

We got on 3-4 tornado warned cells, two of which produced. However we saw nothing in the haze, smoke, rain wrap, and chaser-con wrap. I'd rather live to see another tornado, than get caught in a traffic jam.

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On 5/21/2019 at 2:21 PM, CryHavoc said:

Indeed.

That said, there's no timescale on how often these happen.  Don't forget that we had an extremely active outbreak later that same year -- it just gets lost because of the Joplin tornado consumed so much attention, but that was part of a larger 5-6 day outbreak that also dropped over 230 tornadoes including the El Reno EF5.  We've also had multiple "only" MDT risk days that drop EF5 tornadoes, such as Joplin.
 

Was the Auburn, AL tornado a "Moderate Risk Day, or just an "Enhanced Risk Day"? 

 

On 5/21/2019 at 1:47 PM, Roger Smith said:

I'm thinking in retrospect the one weakness of the setup that forced it down from high risk outcome to more like moderate risk, was that the cold front was never aligned at much of an angle to the flow, and also with the upper dynamics so far back to the west, that allowed secondary heat low features to form in eastern NM that probably took a lot of energy out of the dry line.

Even with those handicaps, the front managed to produce many severe cells and quite a few tornados. The warm front sector also underperformed by failing to push very far north of its morning position so that cells were having to deal with very cool temperatures almost immediately. In fact by about 23z there really wasn't any classic warm sector look to this at all, it was just one long wavy front from north of Tulsa to south of Midland TX. 

This is one endeavour where a bust is actually a good thing for 99.9% of the population. It's only us weather enthusiasts who might see it as a bad thing. 

Yes. I'm not an "Expert," but I do remember how guilty and solemn bloggers felt after 27 April 2011 DID live up to all of the hype. 

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