The 2011 Super Outbreak – 2

Before continuing a look at the events of 5 years ago I must mention the current outlooks.

Several models have been consistently depicting a serious severe weather setup for next Tuesday. SPC has been highlighting the area with a 30% risk area since yesterday. There will be several days with severe storms possible but the main focus at the moment is on Tuesday April 26… the 25th anniversary of the Andover, Kansas F5 tornado. At this moment Oklahoma City (and Moore and Norman), Tulsa and Wichita are in the area with the highest risk.

Five years ago — the wording in the D4-8 outlook wasn’t actually too alarming. While areas for April 25 and 26 were depicted and tornadoes were mentioned, no special attention was given to April 27. The expected events of the days before made the predictions too uncertain.

Also the current day required plenty of attention as April 22 would get an event of it’s own. SPC upgraded it’s risk from Slight to Moderate in the course of the day, mainly for very large hail but they also identified an area with a 10% tornado chance. In the evening a tornado formed near St. Louis and tracked directly over the international airport with many people trapped inside airplanes. Miraculously the tornado, that was rated EF4, caused no casualties. It did force the airport to close for 24 hours though.

The long term outlook of the next day was the first in which April 27 was specifically mentioned:

   AMPLY UNSTABLE AIRMASS COMBINED WITH THE 
   STRENGTH OF THE UPPER SYSTEM AND
   ASSOCIATED FLOW FIELD SUGGESTS WIDESPREAD 
   SEVERE WEATHER CAN BE EXPECTED...
   INCLUDING THE POTENTIAL FOR TORNADOES.