Major Tornado Hits Central Arkansas, Extreme Damage Reported

Dennis Mersereau · 04/27/14 08:39PM

A large, devastating tornado northwest of Little Rock, AR lofted so much debris into the air that the tornado and its parent mesocyclone (broad column of rotation within the storm) were visible on 3-D radar imagery. The debris reached over 12,000 feet high as the up-to-a-mile-wide tornado tore a path through central Arkansas extending dozens of miles.

Three Years Ago Today: Super Outbreak of April 27, 2011

Dennis Mersereau · 04/27/14 05:00PM

At this moment three years ago today, a large EF-4 tornado was getting ready to tear through Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The storm stayed on the ground for over 80 miles, tearing through Tuscaloosa and the Birmingham suburbs, killing 64 people and injuring over 1,500 more. The outbreak was the most prolific in recorded history (producing 358 tornadoes in 4 days) and most violent ever recorded in the southern United States.

Dennis Mersereau · 04/27/14 03:05PM

While the focus is on Arkansas today, it's worth mentioning that areas from Louisiana to Tennessee are at risk for another tornado outbreak tomorrow. Dr. Greg Forbes' TOR:CON is at 7/10 for parts of Lousiana & Mississippi, 6/10 for northern Alabama, and 5/10 for central Tennessee.

Dangerous Tornadoes Expected Across Arkansas This Afternoon/Evening

Dennis Mersereau · 04/27/14 02:22PM

A dangerous tornado outbreak is expected across parts of the southern and central U.S. today, with intense, long-lived tornadoes possible across Arkansas through the afternoon and evening. All of the counties shaded in red on the map above were under a tornado watch as of 2:00PM CDT.

Here's a List of Stuff That Will Help You During and After a Tornado

Dennis Mersereau · 04/27/14 10:00AM

Whether your tornado safe spot is a basement, a bunker, or a bathroom, this is a list of stuff you absolutely must have in your shelter in case the unthinkable happens and a tornado hits. The list is by no means exhaustive, but it's a good starting point to help you prepare for the worst.

Watch High Winds Turn a Weather Balloon into a Speeding Projectile

Dennis Mersereau · 04/26/14 10:48PM

This impressive video shows a meteorologist in Albuquerque, New Mexico getting knocked around by 50-60 MPH wind gusts as he released a weather balloon on Saturday evening. Once he let go of the balloon, it rocketed away while narrowly missing an observation tower and the NWS office itself.

Dennis Mersereau · 04/26/14 08:42PM

A three-dimensional radar image of the impressive structure of a supercell thunderstorm east of Lubbock, Texas on Saturday evening. The storm produced golf ball size hail shortly before this image was captured.

Major Tornado Outbreak Looking More Likely for Arklatex on Sunday

Dennis Mersereau · 04/26/14 10:00AM

The atmosphere seems to be on track for a pretty volatile Sunday across parts of the south, with a moderate risk (4 on a scale from 1-5) for severe weather across the Arklatex region. This could be the first major outbreak of the year, with a few large, violent tornadoes possible.

Explainer: Atmospheric Instability Measured through CAPE and Caps

Dennis Mersereau · 04/25/14 10:30AM

There's a lot of talk about a potentially major tornado outbreak across parts of the Plains states this weekend, with tornadoes possible from Texas to Nebraska on both Saturday and Sunday. There's a good chance that the hype is just that — hype. But there is also a chance that the hype is warranted.

There's a Huge Difference Between a Tornado Watch and Tornado Warning

Dennis Mersereau · 04/24/14 02:00PM

Two of the most important terms that weathermen use are also the two terms that people mix up the most, and the confusion could prove lethal. When the atmosphere is ripe for tornadoes, meteorologists will bat around the terms "tornado watch" and "tornado warning" almost every other sentence, but people often get the two confused and don't always know what they mean.