Tornado Outbreak Friday PM – HIGH RISK AREA!

March 1st, 2012 at 2:15 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

    39 confirmed dead in TN, IN, KY, AL and OH – Who is the baby girl found injured in a field 10 miles from where she lived?!  I have a hard time believing she flew that far…debris fell across the runways at the Cincinnati Airport (CVG).  The National Guard has been called out to help in Indiana and Kentucky. The NWS had issued 297 tornado warnings. Only 189 warnings were issued in all of February for the entire country.   Many reports of small hail with the t-showers that came through our area Friday aftn. and evening.    It was probably an EF4 in Henryville IN.  Looks like a +22-mile path of damage.  Here’s storm reports from Louisville KY NWS, and from E. Tennessee (one EF3 and several EF2′s).  There was a rare HIGH RISK AREA and a very large moderate risk area from Indiana and Ohio south into NE Mississippi and N. Alabama.   Here’s current watches (tornado watches from IN/OH to MS/AL), meso-discussions, and storm reports (81 tornadoes reported on Friday, baseball-sized hail and wind damage).  Here’s national lighting data and local lightning data.  People were trapped in rubble (N. Alabama).   Only twice has a high risk area been issued this early in the year.  A high risk day indicates a considerable likelihood of a major tornado outbreak or (much less often) an extreme derecho event. On these days, the potential exists for extremely severe and life-threatening weather, including widespread strong or violent tornadoes and/or very destructive straight-line winds (Hail cannot verify or produce a high risk on its own, although such a day usually involves a threat for widespread very large hail as well). Many of the most prolific severe weather days were high risk days. Such days are quite rare; a high risk is typically issued only a few times each year (see List of SPC High Risk days).   Keep coming back to the blog and watch us on TV for the latest.   I’ve said before that this is going to be another bad year for tornadoes and severe storms.  La Nina years have more tornadoes, more strong tornadoes and more long-track tornadoes and a higher risk of a tornado “event” with 40 or more tornadoes in a single 24-hour period.  They tend to be centered farther to the east from “Tornado Alley” in the Plains.  States like Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio tend to get more tornadoes in years like this (and sometimes southeast Michigan).  Today’s storm featured an intensifying low pressure center that came right up into southern Michigan.  Significant snow fell across N. Lower Michigan, 5-10″.  This may be the last really good weekend for winter sports with cool temperatures and fresh snow to the north of Kent Co.  Also, March is going to be a warm month…trees/blossoms and flowers will be early this year and I (as always with this pattern) am concerned about a spring frost causing some damage in April (not a sure thing – we’ve had early blossoming before without a hard frost), but like I said it’s a concern this year.  Here’s the HPC 8″ snow probability forecast and the 4″ snow probability forecast.   ALSO:  Here’s the latest on the asteroid that’s going to come close to Earth in the year 2040.  Picture is hail from the storm that produced the strong tornado in S. Indiana and West Liberty Tornado. (click to enlarge)


446 Responses to “Tornado Outbreak Friday PM – HIGH RISK AREA!”

  1. Jim S. (Saugatuck Twp) says:

    Tom Skilling on WGN showed a model that gives GR 2″ of snow….19″ of snow for Traverse City. Likely overdone. Also, 0.9″ of snow for South Haven.

    1. Stephen says:

      GFS shows basically what the NAM is. I could see Muskegon in a WSW by morning.

  2. bnoppe(Albion) says:

    YAWN Big Storms to are South and Big Snows too the North


    1. Jim S. (Saugatuck Twp) says:

      Yeah, bummer. Was hoping we would either get in the warm sector..or cold.

      1. Bnoppe says:

        Well be rewarded(that’s in oxymoron) sometime this spring

  3. INDY says:

    Like I said Bills next post would be about snow!!! From aways right on the westside of Bill’s blogg ..INDYY!!

    1. Skot says:

      I watched Twister yesterday, does this count?

      1. INDY says:

        Great movie Skot kind of fake !!!! INDYY

    2. kalamazooguy says:

      Yes, everyone knew it was going to be about snow Indy….only because it will be tracking north of here. You also claim we’re going to “get pounded”…I don’t think you’ll be right there.

  4. Mike Geukes says:

    Closer look at the Slight Risk in West Michigan
    This map is only valid for the 6z Outlook

    1. Mike Geukes says:

      This map will be removed the next day

  5. WMUPilot90 says:

    Haha, the only tornado that will be seen in Michigan is if TNT is replaying “Twister” on TV…

  6. INDY says:


  7. INDY says:


  8. Jerrod (Hartford) says:

    Latest SPC outlook pulled most, but extreme SE Michigan out of slight risk. Also added HIGH RISK for central Kentucky and Tennessee, including Louisville and Nashville.

    1. Stephen says:

      SE michigan will NOT see any severe weather like i said before. I hope the people in the High Risk have a plan today. I hope that there is not ONE single fatality.

  9. Jeff says:

    Headed to Sr.Louis Missouri tonight, Staying in Champaign Ill. Over night then going to finish the drive there and back to michigan tomorrow. How is the weather looking in these areas? Thanks

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      You’re timing is good. Very strong wind gusts tonight is your biggest concern. Don’t speed and keep both hands on the wheel if you can. You’ll miss the severe weather by tonight and the weather should be OK there tomorrow.

  10. Daniel (Denver, CO) says:

    Bring on the warmth…especially along the Front Range. We’ve had quite a cold Febraury and are ready for a change.

  11. Bnoppe says:

    I’m curious if GRR will issue a high wind Warning during the afternoon update

    1. fixxxer says:

      hope not as i don’t want to loose power again. i lost it 5x last year and it blew out my pc’s motherboard.

      1. bruiseviolet (Rockford) says:

        Well them issuing a High Wind Warning is not going to cause your power to go out =P You have your coputers/modems/routers etc plugged into surge protectors don’t you?

  12. Zachary Lassiter says:

    The latest video from the tornado outbreak today can be seen at

    1. bruiseviolet (Rockford) says:

      Yeah thanks but no thanks. Their xvideo plugin installs a bunch of toolbars and crap.

  13. eeeeeee(NE-GR) says:


  14. Randy (SW Walker) says:

    Well, made it back. we were in Dayton when the storm was bearing down and got out about 30 minutes ahead of it. It was wild to say the least. I feel really bad for those people. We had stopped at Subway to grab a quick sandwich and people starting freaking out. we left in a huge hurry. Cars doing at least 90 heading North on I75……

    What a day.

    I must say though- the drive from saginaw back to GR was worse weather-wise…..drove through at least 3 large storms with hail. When I was south of St. Johns on 27, The hail was hitting so hard I thought it was going to break my windshield!!

    I need a beer or three then sleepy time.

  15. Randy (SW Walker) says:

    ERR….SW OH. Sorry- long day (left at 4:30 AM)

    1. Vincent(N.E.Kent CO) says:

      Glad ya made it back ok. Been a long day here too. Crazy weather. Nasty weather!

  16. Vincent(N.E.Kent CO) says:

    So,since there was so many twisters in so many places/states at the same time,would that be considered what they call a swarm? They said on TV so far up to 18 dead. I am sure that will go up to around 50. Such a bad day. At least the NWS let people know it was coming. I just don’t know how to put it all into words.

  17. Patrick says:

    So, will there be tornadoes in Michigan? I live in Ionia County.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      No…too cool here for one…the bad storms stayed down in Indiana and Ohio.

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