Severe Weather Outbreak Sunday for up to 120 Million Americans - KMSP-TV

Severe Weather Outbreak Sunday for up to 120 Million Americans

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In just the third time since 1995, the Storm PredictionCenter has issued a high risk for severe weather during the month of November.  The last two occasions brought dozens oftornadoes to parts of the U.S. and the same thing could happen Sunday andSunday night.  The reason?? Plenty ofmoisture and lots of shear.  We all knowwhat moisture is, we show it often as dewpoint. The higher the dewpoint, the more moisture.  But shear can be a little tougher to understand. 

First off, there are two types of shear; speed shear anddirectional shear.  Simply put, speedshear is the difference in wind speed with height.  Directional sheer is the difference in winddirection with height.  So, they can betough concepts because they involve 3 dimensions.  But this will make it easier.  Typically the more wind you have with a stormsystem, the stronger it is, and the greater potential you have for severeweather.  So now look at the wind speedsacross the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley for Sunday.  The first images shows the forecast windspeed for the surface, AKA where we all live. The second images shows wind speeds at about 5000 feet above the ground.


First, notice how both of them are really strong withsurface winds sustained at 15 to 25+ mph and sustained winds at 5000 feet closeto 70 mph.  That’s impressive!! Soremember that speed sheer I was talking about?? You can see it for yourself… 25mph winds at the surface and 70 mph just above that…. That is what we callspeed shear!

Now the moisture… here is what dewpoints are expected tolook like by midafternoon.


Well, we got that! So this is why a moderate and high riskfor severe weather was issued today as you can see above.  To go above and beyond that… the StormPrediction Center breaks down each severe threat so you can see where thegreatest threat lies and with what type of severe weather; damaging winds,large hail, and tornadoes.  Here is thetornado risk…

This is a very large risk with some areas up to a 30% chanceof getting a tornado within 25 miles of their location.  Also notice the hash marks.  That indicates that violent tornadoes arealso a possibility.  A violent tornado isconsidered to be an EF2 or larger.  Nowwhat about damaging straight line winds…

Well, that risk area is even larger with a 60% chance ofgetting a wind damage report within 25 miles of their location.  The harsh marks indicating significant windsare possible which is 75 mph or higher. And finally hail…

Clearly not the biggest threat today… but still a concernwith some of the stronger storms.  Sojust remember that you may not appreciate the weather around here today, but itcould always be worse.


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