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TampaTwo

Should 4/12/20 have been a SPC High Risk day??

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It has been nearly three weeks now since the Easter tornado outbreak, and I cannot seem to shake the sense that 4/12/20 should have gotten a high risk designation from SPC.

Arguments AGAINST a high risk as it was unfolding: sloppy, wavy warm front with debatable warm sector and jet dynamics not exactly aligned.

Arguments FOR: you could tell that based on the meso discussions, there was a ton of potential for problems and forecasters were using some strong wording about the high potential, but SPC ultimately never pulled the trigger on declaring the high risk. (which should have at least been southern MS and far west AL)

My theory on the lack of trigger pull? Because 5/20/19 in the Midwest was overhyped and ultimately a high risk bust, and it was still fresh on their mind.

So...why does this all matter now? Part of it is forecasting consistency and sensibility (e.g. how do you justify no high risk, yet there were 40 deaths and over 100 tornadoes on 4/12??) and the other part is that we are now 9 years removed from 4/27, and complacency will set in with residentsif they think a tornado threat is just another day in the Southeast.

Love to hear your thoughts!

 

 

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I strongly agree with SPC's decision.  Hindsight is 20/20 - there were considerable question marks approaching this event (more than in the case of 5/20).  9/10 events with this many uncertainties approaching the event do not end up becoming major outbreaks.  So I think it was a good forecasting call.  A high risk would have been irresponsible, IMO.

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On the same token, I also believe that 5-20-19 should have been a high risk, despite having under-performed.  9 times out of teen, that type of setup will produce a widespread tornado outbreak.

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