Severe thunderstorms are rapidly firing up across the Upper Midwest this afternoon, with tornado watches in effect from central Missouri through the western shores of Lake Michigan. The largest cities under the risk for tornadoes this afternoon are Chicago and Milwaukee. Some of the tornadoes could be strong in the most well-organized supercells.
Things are going to get interesting in a hurry across the central part of the country this evening as severe thunderstorms rapidly develop in the moist, unstable air pumping in from the tropics. These dangerous thunderstorms even have the potential to produce a few tornadoes, some of which could be strong and stay on the ground for a while.
Today is the final day of a week-long severe weather outbreak that's produced hundreds of reports of large hail, damaging winds, and a couple of tornadoes across the central United States. The threat for severe thunderstorms is shifting east into more heavily populated areas. A few tornadoes are possible today from western Tennessee through the Washington D.C./Baltimore metro areas.
It looks like nature is finally catching up with the calendar, as the southern and central portions of the United States are facing a risk for severe thunderstorms every day through Friday. Unfortunately for residents and vehicles alike, April promises to be more active than this underwhelming March.
The National Weather Service failed to issue a tornado warning in Moore, Oklahoma, when a preliminary EF-1 tornado made a mess of the town for the sixth time in as many years on Wednesday. AccuWeather wasted no time blasting the agency for its failure while trumpeting their own success in warning clients twelve minutes before the storm struck. There's only one problem—their brand new television network didn't cover the storm, either.
We've been lucky enough to see a lull in severe thunderstorms over the past couple of months, sparing countless towns from damage or destruction. Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end. Here's a primer on how to use severe weather forecasts to keep you and your loved ones safe this spring.
Even though Friday was the official start to spring, severe weather season across the U.S. typically ramps up much earlier. This year, however, has been quiet. Extremely quiet. In fact, we're on track to see the quietest start to the year we've ever recorded. That's probably going to change pretty soon.
The droning wail of a tornado siren is ubiquitous in the southern and central parts of the United States. These loud sirens are meant to warn people who are outdoors that a tornado is on its way. Now that we're indoors or in a car for most of our lives, tornado sirens are all but useless, yet we keep wasting money on them.
A line of strong storms swept through southern California on Friday morning, producing flash flooding and even spawning a weak tornado in southern Los Angeles. While not as common as we see out east, California has seen hundreds of tornadoes over the past six decades. Here's a deeper look at the state's tornado climatology.