I've started this new liveblog because the other diary has well over 300 comments and is started to get bogged down.
A major tornado outbreak is underway across parts of the midwest right now, with the worst weather expected from Oklahoma City northward through central Nebraska. Numerous Particularly Dangerous Situation (PDS) tornado watches are in effect, for the threat of large, violent, long-lived tornadoes, in addition to hail up to the size of grapefruits and wind gusts in excess of 80 MPH.
Here is the current outlook for severe weather across the United States. The moderate (red shading) and high (purple shading) risk zones are where the strongest storms and strongest tornadoes are expected to occur.
Here are the current watches. Red boxes indicate a tornado watch (the ones over Kansas, Oklahoma, and southern Nebraska are Particularly Dangerous Situation watches) and the blue boxes indicate a severe thunderstorm watch.
Updated 1038PM CDT
I will likely not be able to keep up with everything as it happens, so please use the following links to keep track of the weather for yourself:
The area below the squiggle will be updated in the format of the traditional severe weather liveblogs I've done in the past. The latest update will come FIRST, and the oldest update will be last at the bottom of the diary. I will start a new diary once this one gets too cluttered.
1109PM CDT: Here's a radar overview of the central plains, showing the storms and developing squall line in western Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The squall line will grow in intensity throughout the night as it moves off to the east. The primary threat will be damaging winds, but a few tornadoes can't be ruled out.
1033PM CDT: Significant damage reported south of Wichita, along with a possible debris ball on radar. Tornado emergency for Wichita.
THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING SITUATION. YOU COULD BE KILLED IF NOT UNDERGROUND OR IN A TORNADO SHELTER. COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOODS IS LIKELY. MANY WELL BUILT HOMES AND BUSINESSES WILL BE COMPLETELY SWEPT FROM THEIR FOUNDATIONS. DEBRIS WILL BLOCK MOST ROADWAYS. MASS DEVASTATION IS HIGHLY LIKELY MAKING THE AREA UNRECOGNIZABLE TO SURVIVORS.1029PM CDT: By the grace of deity or luck, this large tornado will miss downtown Wichita. However, this storm will hit the eastern Wichita suburbs and approach Andover KS, which was infamously hit by an F5 in 1991. The tornado is just northeast of Oaklawn in this wind velocity image, moving northeast. The tornado is located in the couplet where the bright green and bright pink are next to each other. Still a very life threatening situation.
LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE... PARK CITY...NORTHEAST WICHITA...ANDOVER...BEL AIRE...KECHI...JABARA AIRPORT AND BENTON.
1021PM CDT: Large, wedge tornado moving into Wichita! This is a life threatening situation. The area around Wichita is relatively heavily populated. You need to be in an interior room or underground to survive if this hits.
1017PM CDT: NWS Topeka is issuing warnings for most of Kansas now. Confirmed tornado about to make its way into or very near downtown Wichita. Numerous power flashes have been reported, which are a tell-tale sign of a tornado (transformers being damaged by the tornado and arcing, causing a large blue flash).
957PM CDT: NWS Wichita is about to turn over duties to NWS Topeka and take shelter from this large, dangerous tornado. Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita is advising the building's 6000 inhabitants to stay in the arena for the tornado. What the actual fuck is wrong with them? Clearwater KS is about to take a direct hit from this tornado.
950PM CDT: Still a very strong tornado on the ground southwest of Wichita. Impressive hook echo and velocity couplet on the radar.
945PM CDT: Here's the enhanced wording for Conway Springs KS tornado emergency:
THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING SITUATION. YOU COULD BE KILLED IF NOT UNDERGROUND OR IN A TORNADO SHELTER. COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOODS IS LIKELY. MANY WELL BUILT HOMES AND BUSINESSES WILL BE COMPLETELY SWEPT FROM THEIR FOUNDATIONS. DEBRIS WILL BLOCK MOST ROADWAYS. MASS DEVASTATION IS HIGHLY LIKELY MAKING THE AREA UNRECOGNIZABLE TO SURVIVORS.941PM CDT: Large, 1/2 mile wide tornado moving into Conway Springs just southwest of Wichita. The storm spotter says that the tornado appears to be growing larger into a wedge. Very dangerous situation for Conway Springs KS as well as the Wichita suburbs and downtown Wichita itself. It should reach Wichita in about 20-30 minutes.
935PM CDT: PDS Tornado Warning for Sedgwick County KS, including downtown Wichita. Large, dangerous tornado confirmed on the ground with this storm.
917PM CDT: Another large, wedge tornado on the ground south of Wichita KS, near Freeport KS. According to KWCH, this has the best chance to reach Segwick County KS and pass unnervingly close to Wichita.
911PM CDT: Tornado EMERGENCY for Macksville KS. Large, wedge tornado moving just to the east of Macksville.
859PM CDT: Weather radar out of Dodge City KS still showing a very large debris ball on radar in Edwards County KS. The debris ball is over a mile wide. The first image is a cross-section of the supercell, showing the textbook supercell producing this large tornado. The area marked "TORNADO" is actually the column of debris being picked up in the tornado and thrown up into the storm.
For reference, this is northeast of Greensburg KS near south-central Kansas. It's east of Dodge City and west of Wichita.
Here's the precipitation in the storm. The tornado and associated debris ball are just north of Trousdale in this image:
Here's the wind velocity image from the storm:
850PM CDT: A large tornado has clipped the northwestern part of Greensburg KS, moving off towards the northeast. Large debris ball associated with this tornado, meaning that it is doing structural damage and sweeping that debris up into the air. It's spiking out the wind velocity returns on the radar. Dangerous situation for Stafford, Pratt, Pawnee, Kiowa, and Edwards Counties in Kansas. The debris ball is the near-perfect red circle to the southwest of Trousdale. In addition to this large, dangerous tornadoes, this supercell is capable of producing hail to the size of softballs.
830PM CDT: Here are the storm reports so far today. Red dots are tornado reports, blue dots are wind reports, green dots are hail reports. Most of the tornado reports are multiple reports from the same tornado. The tornadoes today have been long-track and long-lived.
759PM CDT: Here's a chaser cam shot (from KWCH-TV) of that large tornado on the ground in northwestern Oklahoma in Alfalfa County, OK near Cherokee.
754PM CDT: Very strong tornado west of Cherokee OK right now. Large debris ball showing up on radar. This tornado directly hit Dacoma OK a few minutes ago, which is the likely source of the debris.
739PM CDT: Dispatch from the Storm Prediction Center about the tornado threat over the next few hours:
731PM CDT: A rather large tornado was spotted with the southwestern most storm (with the hook) near Waynoka OK a little while ago. Tornado warning for Woods County OK for this storm with a history of producing tornadoes. It's moving northeast towards Cherokee OK.
703PM CDT: Large tornado with debris just northeast of Salina. Salina really dodged a bullet on this one. Ottawa, Saline, and Dickinson Counties in KS are under the gun for this one.
641PM CDT: A storm with a long history of producing tornadoes is also threatening Kearney, NE (Population ~30,000) and I-80. The storm can produce another tornado at any time. Folks in and around Kearney need to take shelter.
638PM CDT: NWS continuing the "PDS Tornado Warning" for Salina, KS. A PDS Tornado Warning is a step above a regular tornado warning in severity. This storm has a long history of producing, large, wedge tornadoes. The strongest part of the storm will come directly over/through the City of Salina.
626PM CDT: If there are any tornado injuries or deaths directly caused by schools not calling off tonight's stupid proms, those responsible for that call need to be criminally charged. [/rant]
* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SALINE COUNTY IN CENTRAL KANSAS...
* UNTIL 700 PM CDT
* AT 615 PM CDT...A CONFIRMED LARGE AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TORNADO WAS LOCATED 7 MILES SOUTH OF BROOKVILLE...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 35 MPH.
THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION.
SOURCE...LAW ENFORCEMENT CONFIRMED TORNADO.
IMPACT...MAJOR HOUSE AND BUILDING DAMAGE LIKELY AND COMPLETE DESTRUCTION POSSIBLE. NUMEROUS TREES SNAPPED. MAJOR POWER OUTAGES IN PATH OF TORNADO HIGHLY LIKELY. SOME ROADS POSSIBLY BLOCKED BY TORNADO DEBRIS. COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF VEHICLES LIKELY.
* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
SALINA...BROOKVILLE...SMOLAN...ASSARIA...GYPSUM...NEW CAMBRIA AND SALINA AIRPORT.
Initial Update 613PM CDT: This was a screenshot from KWCH's live internet stream, showing storm chasers chasing a large, wedge tornado in Rice County KS, southwest of Saline. This is the type of tornadoes we're expecting today.
Another tornado is moving towards Salina, KS right, moving into Saline county. Several other tornado warnings are in effect. Here's a radar overview of the central Midwest: