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On the Radar


Jonathan is an emergency management coordinator with a passion for all things weather. He currently lives in south-central Pennsylvania with his wife and son.

Tornadoes, Blizzard Likely Today

Feb 29, 2012

Leap Day is proving to be a historic and deadly day in terms of weather.

Since Tuesday night, at least 15 tornadoes touched down in the US, leaving a path of destruction stretching from Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma east to Kentucky and Indiana as of this post (Wednesday 10:00 AM EST).
Today's tornado threat includes a significant risk of large tonadoes across portions of the Tennessee Valley (highlighted in red).  Image credit: NOAA
Early news reports indicate the twisters killed at least three people in Harrisburg, IL and 1 person in Buffalo, MO. Many more were reported injured in the twisters; however exact figures of the injured and dead are expected to climb as destroyed homes are searched.
Eyewitness reports from Harrisburg, IL report severe damage as a result of the storm, which occurred just before 6 AM CST.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, OK issued a moderate severe weather risk for today with the highest risk for severe weather and tornadoes in Tennessee, Kentucky, and northern Alabama.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK issued this severe weather outlook showing severe storms possible in any of the yellow or red shaded areas.  The highest risk area is shaded in red.  Image credit: NOAA
Severe weather is expected is weaken briefly after sunrise today; but gain strength in the afternoon and early evening hours again as a cold front plows east. In addition to the risk of tornadoes, severe storms could produce large hail, damaging winds, dangerous lightning, and heavy downpours.
The severe threat is expected to shift east of the Appalachian Mountains tonight impacting Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. Severe weather will not be as widespread tonight, however isolated damaging storms cannot be ruled out.
Persons living in any of the areas where severe weather is possible today should monitor local media outlets or NOAA weather radio for watches and warnings. If a watch or warning is issued for your area, be sure to take immediate action.
This weather system is the same system responsible for blizzard conditions over the Northern Plains yesterday and today.
Winter Storm Warnings and Advisroies were posted across portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan this morning.  No Blizzard Warnings yet, but Blizzard conditions are possible.  Image credit:  National Weather Service - Green Bay.
Today, blizzard conditions are expected across the Upper Midwest today including parts of North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. So far, the storm has dumped more than a foot of snow over portions of Minnesota and Wisconsin and heavy winds behind the storm have caused drifting that can be measured in feet. Heavy snow is expected to shift east tomorrow impacting parts of New York state and New England.
Mother Nature has no plans of taking time off until at least the weekend, with another significant area of severe weather possible over the Ozarks and Tennessee Valley on Friday.
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