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The predicted above-average severe weather this year seems to be panning out this week, with a second round of tornadoes set to occur this afternoon. 13 people were killed last night as numerous large tornadoes destroyed parts of towns from Kansas to Kentucky, and the storms will continue today.

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a moderate risk for severe weather across most of Tennessee, northern parts of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, the western tip of North Carolina, and parts of south central Kentucky.

The reason for the moderate risk is that there is an elevated risk for tornadoes and damaging winds mainly across northern AL, northern GA, and a good portion of eastern TN:

THE JUXTAPOSITION OF THE SOUTHERN FRINGE OF STRONGER MID-LEVEL FORCING AND BETTER MOISTURE/INSTABILITY DURING THE PEAK AFTERNOON HEATING STILL APPEARS LIKELY TO BE CENTERED ACROSS THE TENNESSEE VALLEY...JUST SOUTH OF A LINGERING ONGOING INITIAL BAND OF STORMS EXTENDING ACROSS WESTERN TENNESSEE INTO CENTRAL KENTUCKY.  THIS MAY PROVIDE THE FOCUS THE MOST CONCENTRATED SEVERE THREAT... INCLUDING THE RISK FOR SUPERCELLS...WITH LOW-LEVEL HODOGRAPHS LARGE ENOUGH TO SUPPORT POTENTIAL FOR STRONG TORNADOES...IN ADDITION TO THE RISK FOR LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WIND GUSTS.
The following images show the SPC's tornado and damaging wind gust risks. The percentage indicates the probability of a tornado or wind damage within 25 miles of a point. For instance...if you're in the 15% risk for a tornado, it means there's a 15% probability of a tornado touching down anywhere within 25 miles of you. 15% sounds low, but they get concerned when the risk is 5%, so it's relatively high. The same goes for damaging wind...the 45% bullseye is relatively high compared to "normal."
Tornado Threat

Green = 2%. Brown = 5%. Yellow = 10%. Red = 15%. The black hatched area means significant tornadoes (EF-2 or higher) are possible.

Damaging Wind Threat

Brown = 5%. Yellow = 15%. Red = 30%. Purple = 45%.

Any breaks in the clouds that allow the surface to heat will aid in developing stronger storms over the risk area today. This satellite image (from College of DuPage)was taken at 11:15AM Central Time, and shows some breaks in the clouds. If those breaks persist or grow any larger, it will allow the surface to heat up quickly and help the storms fire up.

As of the publishing of this diary (between 1130AM CT and 1145AM CT), these were the tornado watches in effect:

I have classes all day, so I won't be able to keep up a liveblog if and when the really nasty storms fire up. Keep track of the weather using the NWS, SPC, or your local TV stations.

National Weather Service:
National Weather Service -- Huntsville AL
National Weather Service -- Birmingham AL
National Weather Service -- Main Page
National Weather Service -- Nashville TN
National Weather Service -- Morristown TN
National Weather Service -- Memphis TN
National Weather Service -- Louisville KY
National Weather Service -- Jackson KY
National Weather Service -- Paducah KY
National Weather Servcie -- Wilmington OH
National Weather Service -- Greenville SC
National Weather Service -- Northern/Central Georgia

Storm Prediction Center:
Storm Prediction Center -- Severe Weather (Convective) Outlooks
Storm Prediction Center -- Severe T'storm/Tornado Watches
Storm Prediction Center -- Mesoscale Discussions
Storm Prediction Center -- Storm Reports
Storm Prediction Center -- Mesoscale Analysis

Weather Models:
GFS from NCEP
NAM from NCEP
RUC from NCEP
HRRR from NOAA
ECMWF from the EU
Earl Barker's Current Weather Page

Weather Radar:
NWS Radar Sites
Wunderground Weather Radar

10:08 AM PT: My apologies for all the strange grammatical errors in the diary. I'm running on 3 hours of sleep and I was distracted while writing this.


Originally posted to El Blogo de Weatherdudeo on Wed Feb 29, 2012 at 09:44 AM PST.

Also republished by Severe Weather Liveblog.

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