Daily Archives: 19 May, 2013

AccuWeather official: Wichita “avoided catastrophe”

AccuWeather Vice President Mike Smith went storm chasing with two partners today and tracked the storm that developed a tornado south of town. In his blog post about the event, he says Wichita narrowly avoided catastrophe. It’s worth a read.

‘Increased tornado probabilities’ Sunday for Wichita, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa

The Storm Prediction Center has posted a moderate risk for severe weather in portions of Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri later today.

Among the cities included in the moderate risk are Kansas City, Wichita, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

“The overall environment appears quite favorable for tornadoes,” the SPC outlook states.

However, small-scale details could impact when and where storms develop. Among those is the strength of the “cap” in the atmosphere, which inhibits thunderstorm development. “Caps” are typically a layer of warmer air aloft which serves to deflect lower-level air rising into the cooler air of the atmosphere. That “lift” helps give thunderstorms their power.

Large hail and strong tornadoes are the primary threats from this set-up. The moderate area covers more than 62,000 square miles and involves more than 6 million people. Monitor conditions and alerts closely and be prepared to seek shelter.

Video of Pawnee County tornado

Here’s video shot by Tony Laubach northeast of Rozel in Pawnee County on Saturday night. It was the third of a possible four tornadoes produced by a supercell thunderstorm. One house was destroyed west of Rozel, but no injuries were reported.