The Severe Storm Risk today has been bumped up to ‘moderate’ by NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center. That means a large area around the Mississippi River Valley will see 15% of storms potentially produce a tornado, with 30% of storms reaching damaging wind limits over 58 mph. The enhanced and slight risk areas expand farther, and does not rule out the most extreme weather. As far as the east coast is concerned, only pockets of thunderstorms possibly through Maryland. A better chance of storms southward into North and south Carolina.
This is thew same storm system responsible for pumping in the fog this morning and record heat to follow for our region as noted in my earlier post/forecast.
The new information shown by NOAA such as the population may have you alarmed, especially hearing that over 63 million people have a chance to see violent weather. But we are actually in a 4 year lull in severe weather, and Christmas week produces more destructive storms and the threat for a tornado than you might think.
Population Impacted: Per NOAA
Total Population in Slight Risk or higher threat for severe storms or a tornado = 63,000,000+
If you include the ‘Marginal Risk’ then it jumps to over 100,000,000+. But that is playing too much on numbers for a stretch of a headline. Then again, I am sure someone is using it somewhere for their Christmas travel story.
History of Christmas Week Severe Storms:
You are probably more familiar with snow potential maps on Christmas, but here is a look at Christmas week, with 3 days on either side of the holiday producing a tornado watch. Notice that the lower Mississippi River Valley has severe storm potential over 30% of the time.
Weather Getting Worse? Not Really!
This year is part of a 4 year lull in violent weather across the USA. Most of the tornado occurrences on the planet are in our country. So this a good gauge, and it has been well below average since 2012. That does not mean we are in the clear, but violent destructive severe storms stand out more when they happen, because they are happening much less often these days.
Faith In The Flakes: It Will Snow… Eventually
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