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Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 05:56 PM PDT

Sharknado 2 Movie Liveblog!

by weatherdude

Welcome to DailyKos' second annual liveblog of the television movie disaster/disaster movie Sharknado. This year's sequel is the cleverly-named Sharknado II: The Second One. The movie begins at 9PM Eastern on the Syfy Network. As we did last year, we're going to give the movie the MST3K treatment in the comments and through updates in the diary.

Now that Syfy is aware of how many people love how cheesy the movie is, expect it to be twelve times hokier than the first Sharknado movie.

Related reading:

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Are you prepared for a sharknado?

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Greetings! I come bearing gifts. And by gifts, I mean a tornado with sharks in it.

Last year's cultural phenomenon Sharknado! grew a cult following on the internet, and DailyKos was not immune from the sharktastrophe. Our liveblog/virtual viewing party right here on the Great Orange Satan was a smash hit compared to all zero previous movie liveblogs on DailyKos, and hopefully the ridiculous sequel will be just as much fun to watch and make fun of.

Even though I've since moved over to Gawker's The Vane to unleash my weather geekiness on the masses, I'm staying true to my word to have fun over here during tonight's Sharknado sequel -- Sharknado II: The Second One. The movie starts at 9PM Eastern on the Syfy Channel, so look for the liveblog around then and get ready to make fun of cheesy, x-list acting.

So remember, be there or die at the fins of an angry sharknado.

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They're so happy about the capture of the suspected ringleader of the Benghazi attacks, clearly the worst terrorist attack in the history of humankind, that they buried the headline six links down the left side of the page.

I guess they just have to ease conservatives into the news, is all.

But hey, didja hear about them chicken prices?

Discuss

Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 11:24 AM PDT

The CIA just joined Twitter and...

by weatherdude

...they hired a pretty damn good social media coordinator.

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A major severe weather outbreak is on tap for the central United States this afternoon, with a moderate risk for severe weather extending from Nebraska to Illinois. The threats today include the potential for strong tornadoes, extremely large hail, and damaging winds in excess of 75 MPH.

UPDATE: The SPC just issued a HIGH RISK for the imminent development of a derecho from Nebraska to Illinois. This is a life-threatening situation and everyone in and around the moderate and high risk zones needs to take immediate action now to prepare for severe weather over the next 6-12 hours.

The threat will come in the usual one-two punch that's typical of supercell events, with discrete supercells forming over eastern Nebraska this afternoon, merging into a squall line later this evening and racing eastward across the moderate risk area as a bow echo/squall line. The threat with the supercells will come in the form of very large hail and some potentially strong tornadoes, and the threat will slowly shift to a risk for damaging winds in excess of 70 MPH once the storms form into a line and start moving east.

Here's the tornado risk today. Remember that a 10% chance for tornadoes means that the odds of seeing a tornado within 25 miles of any point in the shaded area is 10 times higher than normal. The black hatching means that significant tornadoes (stronger than EF-2) are possible.

Here's the damaging wind threat today, which is enhanced from Nebraska to Illinois in anticipation of the development of a squall line. The black hatching means that winds in excess of 75 MPH are possible. The 60% zone means that the risk for damaging winds is 60 times higher than normal.

The hail threat will be elevated where supercells are present over Kansas and Nebraska. Large hail (golf ball size or larger) is possible in the black hatching.

At 12:40 PM CDT, there was a group of storms around a lone supercell in northern Nebraska that has a long history of producing copious amounts of golf ball size hail in its path. More storms are expected to form in the area over the coming hours as the supercell moves towards the southeast. The SPC says that it will issue a tornado watch by 2PM CDT.

Stay safe if you live in any of the areas at risk for severe weather today. Keep a close eye on the weather before you go to bed tonight, especially if you're downstream of the damaging wind risk. Straight-line winds are dangerous.


I also write for The Vane, which is Gawker's awesome weather blog. You can find me on Twitter @wxdam.

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A second tornado outbreak is unfolding across the Deep South this afternoon as tornadic supercells form in the area where the Storm Prediction Center issued a "Particularly Dangerous Situation" ("PDS") Tornado Watch. PDS Tornado Watches are very rare and the extreme language is reserved for the most dangerous tornado outbreaks. The tornadoes that will form today have the potential to be intense, long-lived, wedge tornadoes.

Updates appear at the bottom of this diary in chronological order --oldest first, newest at the bottom.

A line of supercells is moving across central Mississippi at 2:00PM CDT, and almost all of the storms have tornado warnings on them. The threat for weather right now lies along and on either side of I-55.

The storms are in almost a perfect environment to produce violent, long-track tornadoes. By 7:00PM CDT, the Significant Tornado Parameter (STP) values will be between 5 and 7 in the area where the storms are located. STP values greater than 2 are sufficient for significant tornadoes, and anything greater than 5 is extremely dangerous.

For what it's worth, Dr. Greg Forbes' TOR:CON is 8/10 over the outbreak areas.

I won't be able to keep a running liveblog of the storm like I usually do simply due to the intense nature of the outbreak. I'm graduating in less than two weeks and I'm swamped with term papers and final exams right now, so I don't have enough time to keep up with the intensive nature of continuously updating diaries using DK4's platform.

Please keep up-to-date on the storms by visiting the Storm Prediction Center's website, as well as checking your local NWS office for warnings. I will be able to upload quick radar images to my Twitter feed, so that's the best place to find me and my updates today.

Stay safe.



I write for The Vane, which is a new weather website I launched with Gawker. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
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A major tornado outbreak is on tap for parts of the southern and midwestern United States this afternoon, with a high likelihood for large, violent, long-track tornadoes extending from Louisiana north through Nebraska.

The above map is the tornado probability forecast from the Storm Prediction Center issued at 11:30 this morning. The percentages refer to the probability of seeing at least one tornado within 25 miles of any point within the shaded area. A 5% risk for tornadoes is concerning, so 10-15% are relatively high. The black hatching refers to the chance for large, violent, long-lived tornadoes.

This is the kind of tornado outbreak where we see classic supercells with the hook echo and debris balls, and the chance for wedge tornadoes that tear up miles upon miles of land. The majority of the thunderstorms might be a little more "subtle" on radar, producing large tornadoes but not giving the 'classic' appearance. This makes it more dangerous, especially since A) the tornadoes could be rain-wrapped, and B) people who don't know what they're doing might glance at the radar and think they're fine.

The SPC still mentions that they may have to raise the chance for severe weather -- including tornadoes -- to a "high risk" (5/5 on the severe weather scale) in subsequent outlooks.

Please go to the Storm Prediction Center's website for the latest forecasts, and spread the word that strong tornadoes are possible today.

As usual, I will publish and update severe weather liveblogs as conditions warrant this afternoon. Fair warning: those diaries are image-heavy, with lots of radar images, screenshots of live news feeds, and other pictures of tornadoes/damage as they happen.

Stay safe.



I write for The Vane, which is a new weather website I launched with Gawker. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
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The Storm Prediction Center is planning a major redesign of their severe weather outlooks, replacing the current system with a more detailed scale that's aimed at better relaying the threat for severe weather to the public. The agency released some examples of the redesign on their website, and they're asking for public comments through June 17.

As many of you know, the current scale the SPC uses for severe thunderstorm forecasts follows four general categories:

-General Thunderstorms (green shading)
-Slight Risk (yellow shading)
-Moderate Risk (red shading)
-High Risk (purple shading)

Common sense dictates that a high risk for severe weather has a much higher potential to be devastating than a slight risk for severe weather. The SPC is adding two more categories into the mix with "marginal risk" and "enhanced risk," which will respectively fall on either side of the "slight risk" zones. The scale now runs from 1 to 5, with a 5 denoting a high risk.

Here's the new scale:

0: General Thunderstorms (light green shading)
1: Marginal Risk (dark green shading)
2: Slight Risk (yellow shading)
3: Enhanced Risk (orange shading)
4: Moderate Risk (red shading)
5: High Risk (purple shading)

The update is meant to convey more information about the risk for severe weather on any given day, preventing people from being lulled into a false sense of security.

Here's an example from the infamous tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011. This is what the categorical severe weather outlook looked like that afternoon as the massive tornadoes were starting to tear through Mississippi and Alabama:

And here is what the same forecast would have looked like with the new scale:

You can see that Memphis is under an enhanced risk for severe weather, which is a 3 on a scale from 1 to 5. Birmingham has a high risk for severe weather, putting it at a 5 out of 5 on the severe weather scale.

Here's another example from a severe weather outbreak along the I-95 corridor on June 1, 2011. This is how the old outlook appeared:

And this is what the new scale would look like on the same map:

You can see that the new outlooks provide a much more detailed look at the threat for severe weather across the slight risk area, while also showing that there's a marginal risk for severe weather across much of the Midwest and Florida in areas that were previously labeled as "general, non-severe thunderstorms."

The new outlook has the potential to greatly impact how the public receives severe weather forecasts, but it could also confuse people: several people pointed out to me today that the terms "enhanced" and "moderate" are subjective, and that enhanced sounds worse than moderate. That might be an issue that the SPC needs to work out.

What do you think of the update?



I write regularly for The Vane, which is a new weather website I launched with Gawker. I'm also on Facebook and Twitter.
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What do you think of the new severe weather forecasts?

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I would add some commentary, but the tweet speaks for itself and nothing I could say would make this look any worse than it already does.

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There's a risk for a major severe weather outbreak tomorrow across parts of the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys as shown by the severe weather outlook above, especially in the areas shaded in red, which are under a "moderate risk" for severe weather.

I wrote about this over at The Vane this afternoon, but I'm keeping my promise to post here when major severe weather threatens.

The biggest risk is from tornadoes and very large hail (larger than golf balls) in the supercell thunderstorms that develop across the moderate risk area. The SPC notes that the tornado threat will really ramp up for a couple of hours tomorrow afternoon as low-level shear takes hold.

Later tomorrow afternoon (possibly towards the evening), the supercells will start to merge together and form a squall line that will transition the severe threat over to damaging winds rather than huge hail or tornadoes (though a spin-up tornado isn't out of the question).

If you live in any of these areas, keep an eye on the weather tomorrow. This is the time of the year where you want to keep the Storm Prediction Center open as a new tab permanently.

Due to my class schedule tomorrow, I won't be able to do a liveblog like I usually do in situations like this, but I will try to update my Facebook and Twitter pages as much as possible. Stay safe, everyone.

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Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 07:44 PM PDT

Breaking News from CNN!

by weatherdude

A Malaysia Airlines jet is missing.

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Whodunnit?

12%17 votes
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Since I started The Vane last week, I haven't participated in meta for the first time in forever.

So...hi. How's everyone doing?

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