SEVERECAST DAY 32 – MIDNIGHT, THURSDAY, APRIL 1

…SEVERE THREAT RETURNS TO THE STATE TO OPEN THE MONTH OF APRIL…

LATEST NAM SUGGESTS THAT A VERY STRONG UPPER STORM WILL BE MOVING THROUGH SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA THURSDAY MORNING.  THIS MODEL DATA ALSO SUPPORTS THE IDEA OF A PIECE OF THIS SYSTEM MOVING RAPIDLY NORTH NORTHEASTWARD TOWARD THE NORTHERN PLAINS – WHILE A STRONGER PORTION OF THE STORM CONTINUES TO DIG TOWARD THE TEXAS BIG BEND BY FRIDAY MORNING.

EVENING SOUNDINGS SHOW THAT ANY MOISTURE RETURN HAS BEEN SLOW TO OCCUR THUS FAR.  THE ONLY NOTICEABLE DEPTH IS NOTED ALONG THE TEXAS COAST.

AS THE LONG WAVE TROUGH APPROACHES THE PLAINS… AN ALREADY STRONG LOW LEVEL JET WILL STRENGTHEN AND A RAPID RETURN OF MODEST MOISTURE WILL OCCUR BY EVENING.  RETURN SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT TO ALLOW THE ATMOSPHERE TO BECOME MODERATELY UNSTABLE BY AFTERNOON ALONG AND EAST OF A DRY LINE WHICH WILL EXTEND FROM CENTRAL NEBRASKA SOUTHWARD TO NEAR THE OKLAHOMA/TEXAS PANHANDLE BORDER.

FORECAST SOUNDINGS SHOW THAT THE ATMOSPHERE WILL REMAIN CAPPED DURING THE DAYLIGHT HOURS.  HOWEVER… INCREASING LIFTING ASSOCIATED WITH THE APPROACH OF THE UPPER LEVEL TROUGH AND INCREASING LOW LEVEL JET SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT FOR THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT BETWEEN SUNSET AND MIDNIGHT OVER PORTIONS OF WESTERN OKLAHOMA.  THESE STORMS – WHILE MOSTLY ELEVATED – WILL HAVE ENOUGH MOISTURE/INSTABILITY AND SHEAR AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT VIGOROUS – SOMETIMES ROTATING UPDRAFTS.  THIS WILL HELP LEAD TO LARGE HAIL PRODUCTION AND DAMAGING WINDS WITH THE STRONGER STORMS.  THE SOMEWHAT LIMITED MOISTURE AND ELEVATED NATURE OF THE STORMS SHOULD LIMIT TORNADO POTENTIAL.

ON THIS DATE IN 2006… SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCED LARGE HAIL AND WIND DAMAGE ACROSS A LARGE PORTION OF OKLAHOMA.  THE ONLY TORNADO REPORTED FORMED NEAR THE TULSA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WHICH CAUSED EXTENSIVE DAMAGE AT A HOTEL… INJURING SEVEN PEOPLE.  75 CARS WERE ALSO DAMAGED.

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March Severe Weather Summary

Severe weather in March in Oklahoma was limited.  If it were not for a high profile tornado event on the 8th… most people wouldn’t even know that there was severe weather in the state.

A cluster of severe storms formed in western Oklahoma on the afternoon of the 8th.  One of the storms organized into a long-lived supercell which produced a tornado that lasted for 40 minutes.  The tornado moved into the southeast side of Hammon and produced EF2 damage.  Most of the life of this tornado was caught by local media which carried the event live.  About 15 minutes after the tornado dissipated… another brief tornado occurred with the storm about 7 miles north of Butler.  (Information is based from data compiled by Doug Speheger – National Weather Service Norman, OK)  Again… had it not been for this single – highly visible and long-lived tornado – this severe weather day would not be considered significant.

The second day of severe reports brought marginally severe hail to the Ponca City area on the 10th.

The third and final day with severe weather produced an isolated occurrence of wind damage just southeast of Pocola in Le Flore County.

Overall… the start of the severe weather season in Oklahoma was a quiet one (except for the folks in Hammon).  Three days with severe weather and one day with tornadoes for the month of March.  I am going to stick to my forecast of this being a season with above normal tornado days and above normal tornadoes… despite the slow start.

SEVERECAST DAY 31 – MIDNIGHT, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31

…NO THUNDERSTORMS EXPECTED WEDNESDAY…

A VERY STRONG SEGMENT OF THE MID/UPPER LEVEL JET WILL DIVE SOUTHEASTWARD ALONG THE WEST COAST ON WEDNESDAY… HELPING TO CARVE OUT A DEEP LONG WAVE TROUGH THROUGH THE WESTERN U.S.  THE SOUTHERN PLAINS WILL BENEFIT WITH LOWERING SURFACE PRESSURES AND STRONG SOUTH WINDS WHICH WILL HELP PUSH AFTERNOON HIGHS ABOVE SEASONAL NORMAL’S. MOISTURE WILL STILL BE LIMITED THIS PERIOD AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE NOT EXPECTED.

ON THIS DATE IN 1914… A MID-AFTERNOON TORNADO FORMED IN SOUTHEAST ENID AND MOVED TO JUST SOUTH OF BRECKENRIDGE.  FOUR HOMES WERE DESTROYED AND 20 WERE DAMAGED.

SEVERECAST DAY 30 – MIDNIGHT, TUESDAY, MARCH 30

…NO THUNDERSTORMS EXPECTED TUESDAY…

NORTHEAST TO SOUTHWEST RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL SHIFT EAST TODAY AS LARGE TROUGH BEGINS TO BECOME ESTABLISHED OVER THE WESTERN U.S.  INCREASING SOUTHWEST FLOW ALOFT WILL SPREAD OVER THE STATE BY DAYBREAK WEDNESDAY.

IN RESPONSE… SURFACE PRESSURES WILL BEGIN FALLING AND STRONG SOUTH WINDS WILL BE FELT ACROSS ALL OF THE STATE TODAY.  HOWEVER, MOISTURE WILL BE SLOW TO RETURN AND INCREASED STORM CHANCES STILL LOOK TO BE SEVERAL DAYS AWAY.

INDICATIONS ARE THAT A SEVERE THREAT MAY FORM IN OKLAHOMA ON FRIDAY.

ON THIS DATE IN 1949… THREE WERE KILLED, 23 INJURED AND $500,000 WORTH OF PROPERTY WAS DAMAGED OR DESTROYED AS A COUPLE OF TORNADOES TRACKED ACROSS NORTHWEST OKLAHOMA JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT.  THE WORST DAMAGE WAS NEAR HOMESTEAD AND ISABELLA, NORTHEAST OF CANTON.

SEVERECAST DAY 29 – MIDNIGHT, MONDAY, MARCH 29

..NO THUNDERSTORMS EXPECTED TODAY…

NORTHEAST TO SOUTHWEST ORIENTED UPPER RIDGE OVER THE PLAINS WILL BEGIN TO FLATTEN SOME DURING THE PERIOD AS POWERFUL JET STREAM WINDS BEGIN TO SPREAD INTO THE WESTERN U.S.  WHILE SURFACE WINDS WILL RETURN TO THE SOUTH TODAY… THE ATMOSPHERE WILL REMAIN DRY.

ON THIS DATE IN 1945… IT’S HARD TO FIND INFORMATION ON SEVERE WEATHER DURING WORLD WAR II.  TUCKED BETWEEN HEADLINES SUCH AS “1ST GAINS 55 MILES IN ONE-DAY SWEEP AROUND NAZI FORCE” AND “SOVIET FORCES REACH AUSTRIA” – THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN REPORTED THAT THE TOWNS OF POLLARD, REDLAND AND SHULTS IN EXTREME SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA WERE HEAVILY DAMAGED BY A TORNADO.

SEVERECAST DAY 28 – MIDNIGHT, SUNDAY, MARCH 28

…NO THUNDERSTORMS EXPECTED SUNDAY IN OKLAHOMA…

UPPER TROUGH THAT EXTENDS FROM THE OHIO VALLEY INTO TEXAS WILL SWING SOUTHEASTWARD THROUGH THE DAY… WHILE A LARGE UPPER RIDGE BEGINS TO BUILD FROM THE SOUTHWEST U.S. INTO THE NORTHERN PLAINS.

THIS WILL BE THE FIRST DAY OF AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF WARMER AND DRIER WEATHER WITH THE NEXT SIGNIFICANT CHANCE OF STORMS NOT LIKELY UNTIL AFTER THE 1ST OF APRIL.

ON THIS DATE IN 1924… NUMEROUS SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS INFLICTED DAMAGE ACROSS THE SOUTHERN AND EASTERN PORTIONS OF OKLAHOMA.  SHAWNEE WAS HIT BY A TORNADO THAT WAS REPORTED TO BE TWO BLOCKS WIDE.  200 HOMES WERE DESTROYED AND AT LEAST EIGHT PEOPLE WERE KILLED.

SEVERECAST DAY 27 – MIDNIGHT, SATURDAY, MARCH 27

…ISOLATED SEVERE EVENT POSSIBLE IN EXTREME NORTHEAST OKLAHOMA THIS AFTERNOON…

WATER VAPOR LOOPS SHOW A VERY STRONG UPPER SYSTEM IS TRACKING EASTWARD NEAR THE NORTHWEST OKLAHOMA/KANSAS BORDER.  THIS FEATURE APPEARS TO BE INITIALIZED TOO FAR SOUTH BY THE 00Z NAM AND THE GFS SEEMS TO HAVE A BETTER HANDLE WITH ITS LOCATION.  THE SYSTEM WILL MOVE QUICKLY EASTWARD TODAY REACHING THE CONFLUENCE OF THE OHIO/MISSISIPPI RIVERS BY DAYBREAK SUNDAY.

THE SURFACE CYCLONE IS EASILY IDENTIFIABLE ON THE WEATHER MAP IN NORTHWEST OKLAHOMA.  THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT THAT THIS STORM IS STRONG ENOUGH THAT IT WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR A SIGNIFICANT SEVERE WEATHER OUTBREAK – IF IT HAD MOISTURE TO WORK WITH.  THE WARM SECTOR ATMOSPHERE IS QUITE DRY AND SHOULD REMAIN THAT WAY TODAY IN OKLAHOMA.

IT IS NOT COMPLETELY OUT OF THE QUESTION – GIVEN THE STRONG FORCING AND COLD AIR ALOFT – THAT STORMS FORMING NORTH AND EAST OF THE SURFACE LOW THIS AFTERNOON COULD PRODUCE A COUPLE OF SEVERE REPORTS BEFORE THE ACTIVITY QUICKLY MOVES INTO ARKANSAS/MISSOURI.  A WEAK… SHORT-LIVED TORNADO MAY ALSO OCCUR.  THE MOST LIKELY AREA FOR THESE SEVERE EVENTS WOULD BE IN THE EXTREME NORTHEAST CORNER OF THE STATE.  AT THIS TIME… THE DEGREE OF THE SEVERE THREAT DOES NOT APPEAR HIGH ENOUGH TO WARRANT AN OUTLOOKED AREA.

ON THIS DATE IN 1975… A 3:30 A.M. TORNADO HIT NEAR ELK CITY.  THE MOST SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE WAS CONFINED TO A MOBILE HOME.  “A COUPLE WAS IN BED WHEN THE WHIRLWIND STRUCK WITHOUT WARNING, LIFTING THE HOME FROM ITS FOUNDATION AND TOSSING THE COUPLE INTO THE MUD OUTSIDE.”

SEVERECAST DAY 26 – MIDNIGHT, FRIDAY, MARCH 26

…WARM, WINDY BUT GENERALLY DRY ACROSS THE STATE TODAY…

IT SEEMS LIKE THE TERM “STRONG UPPER STORM SYSTEM” HAS BEEN USED A LOT THIS YEAR…BUT – ONCE AGAIN… A STRONG UPPER STORM SYSTEM IS MOVING THROUGH SOUTHERN NEVADA.  THIS STORM WILL BE APPROACHING THE PANHANDLE BY LATE AFTERNOON AND BE LOCATED OVER NORTHWEST OKLAHOMA AT DAYBREAK SATURDAY.

A DEEP SURFACE CYCLONE WILL FORM IN RESPONSE TO THE APPROACHING STORM WITH STRONG SOUTH WINDS INCREASING FIRST IN THE PANHANDLE THIS MORNING AND THEN SPREADING ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF THE STATE THIS PERIOD.

WHILE MOISTURE WILL BE LIMITED… WARM AIR ADVECTION WILL LIKELY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR AN AREA OF LATE NIGHT THUNDERSTORMS FORMING IN THE PANHANDLE AND THEN LIFTING NORTHEASTWARD INTO KANSAS.  LACK OF MOISTURE SHOULD KEEP THESE STORMS BELOW SEVERE LEVELS.

ON THIS DATE IN 1949… A TORNADO STRUCK CROWDER (ABOUT 15 MILES NORTHEAST OF MCALESTER) JUST BEFORE 4 A.M.   ABOUT 75 PERCENT OF THE TOWN WAS DESTROYED AND TWO PEOPLE WERE KILLED.

SEVERECAST DAY 25 – MIDNIGHT, THURSDAY, MARCH 25

…NO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS FORECAST IN OKLAHOMA ON THURSDAY…

A STRONG UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEM CENTERED OVER OKLAHOMA THIS MORNING WILL MOVE QUICKLY EASTWARD REACHING THE MID ATLANTIC REGION BY DAYBREAK ON FRIDAY.  SHORT WAVE RIDGE WILL BUILD INTO THE STATE WHILE ANOTHER STRONG STORM MOVES ONSHORE WEST COAST.

COLD FRONT IS PUSHING OUT OF THE EASTERN PART OF THE STATE AND A COOLER MORE STABLE ATMOSPHERE WILL PREVAIL TODAY.

ON THIS DATE IN 1948… WHILE THE MAIN STORY WAS A TORNADO HITTING TINKER FIELD FOR THE SECOND TIME IN LESS THAN A WEEK… THERE WERE SEVERAL OTHER TORNADOES THAT PRODUCED A VARIETY OF DAMAGE AND FATALITIES.  NEAR WETUMKA… A TORNADO BLEW A BARN INTO A HOUSE WHERE A FAMILY OF FIVE WAS TAKING SHELTER.  A STOVE WAS OVERTURNED AND THE HOUSE CAUGHT FIRE.  TRAPPED FROM THE DAMAGE OF THE TORNADO… ALL FIVE PERISHED.