A vigorous area of low pressure moved into the Plains yesterday helping to spawn a tornado outbreak which caused numerous injures and more deaths in an already record-breaking year. The reports continue to climb with winds over 100 m.p.h. and hailstones to the size of softballs. The big events were the tornadoes though. Doug, Bob and I were monitoring this one throughout our 5pm and 6pm shows, and it was on the ground the entire time in Oklahoma just northwest of Oklahoma City.
Here's an incredible look at the Longdale and Canton Lake, OK tornado. Way too close for comfort.
Here is a link to the meteogram from El Reno, OK where a tornado or outskirts of a tornado brushed the sensor. Pressure down to 940mb and winds gusting to 155 m.p.h. That's like a Category 4 hurricane! Thanks to Brad Panovich for tweeting this out last night or I would have never seen it.
So what about today? Well the severe threat will now move eastward. The focal point appears like it will be the Mississippi Valley covering everywhere from southern Ohio to Mississippi and Arkansas. Check out the strong upper-level jet stream helping create the shear needed for supercells, and here are a few soundings from the morning in areas that may be affected through the afternoon. A lot of shear and potential energy waiting to be tapped.
Tornado season isn't finished just yet so be prepared for changing weather conditions in the spring months. An update for the Joplin tornado made it an EF-5 with winds at 200 m.p.h. or greater. This was the 8th deadliest tornado ever recorded, and the deadliest since 1950 when modern tornado records began being recorded. Here's a link to the terrible tornado statistics and records that have been set this year.
The D.C. area shouldn't have too much to worry about, as storms appear to be the least likely tomorrow, with the best chance west of D.C. in the mountains. We will continue to keep you updated throughout the day tomorrow.