Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tornado Outbreak

A few days ago, there was big news and hype about the several-day severe weather event. News outlets were hyping it up, big time. And all because a large trough was entering the western US. And now as it turns out, very few tornadoes (a few minor tornadoes were reported yesterday.) And not very many severe reports. A strong cold front is plowing south through the southern plains and undercutting storms, not allowing any surface-based updrafts. Snow is plentiful and near record cold is overspreading the plains.

This all goes to show that a synoptic scale pattern change can be easily over-hyped because tornadoes are mesoscale events that require very specific conditions to form. And we do not do a very good job and knowing those details a few days out. Although I might add that it seemed to me that the main winds were going to be misplaced into the cold air. A large trough is not the only needed ingredient for a tornado outbreak.

I just hate, that despite a better ability to forecast, we allow the meteorology field to be "presented" by an overzealous media wanting to hype rather than report. It does no service to us when hype takes the place of an accurate understanding of the weather.

Of course, the plethora of chasers who talk up EVERYTHING is probably worse.

Sigh...I am just glad I heard thunder and will probably hear more again soon.