Big Storms Possible Monday

The Storm Prediction Center has put much of the Southern Plains and Midwest in a Slight Risk of severe weather for Monday. A frontal boundary will set up along the I-35 corridor from Oklahoma City to Kansas City by midday. Storms are expected to develop ahead of this front and push northeast through the afternon. Large hail and tornadoes will be possible along the cold front during the day. As an upper-level disturbance rotates in from the west, Northern Illinois will be in an “Entrance Region.” This is where the upper-level winds are accelerating (much like an entrance ramp on an expressway). When this air is allowed to speed up, it aids in the development of thunderstorms. So, while we won’t be siting in the juiciest of air, if we’re under an entrance region we may see an added threat of hail, high winds, and even a few brief tornadoes. However, our chance of storms here all depends on where the warm front sets up. Should the warm front remain to our south, we will be in a much more stable environment keeping the main threat downstate. -ERIC

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This post was written by qni_it on March 29, 2008

12 Comments so far

  1. Anthony March 29, 2008 4:33 PM

    WHY IS IT THAT, EVERY TIME THERE IS A TORNADO NEAR DEKALB, IT HITS IN THE COUNTRY SIDE? I HAVE ALWAYS WONDR THAT? ERIC CAN U TELL ME THAT?

  2. WI Weather Buff March 29, 2008 8:55 PM

    Well, I’m not Eric but I can take a stab at answering anthony’s question (Eric or somebody else can correct me if I’m wrong).

    There are 2 main answers to your question:

    1) There is more farm land than city land. So just because there is more farmland than city, any event that is relatively small and local is more likely to hit farmland … just because there is more of it.

    2) Actually, a tornado is not any more likely to avoid a city than it is to avoid a similarly sized piece of farmland. You feel like tornados never hit your “neck of the woods” (as it were) and you just happen to live in the city. So it seems to you like tornados never hit the city. But if you lived on a farm in the countryside, you’d feel the same way. Your question might be, “How come every time there’s a tornado near my farm, it always hits somewhere else, not here?”

    The chances that any particular piece of real estate will get hit by a tornado within a single individual’s lifetime are very low, even though the chances that someplace somewhere within – let’s say – the Ch 13 broadcast area will get hit by a tornado in any given year are fairly good. Perhaps it is fortunate that most of those will hit unpopulated or very sparsely populated areas!

    A third answer (sort of) is that while a tornado in the country can cause a good deal of crop damage, the impact on (most) humans (other than that particular farmer) is usually negligible. (And the farmer probably has crop insurance, so a tornado wiping out this year’s corn crop wouldn’t usually even have that permanent an impact on the unlucky farmer.)

    So — news outlets are a lot less likely to report extensively on tornados that don’t hit populated areas. Of course a tornado hitting a populated area would be a big news story and would get a lot of air play. But that doesn’t happen as often as a tornado hitting a cornfield, which would probably get only a brief passing mention on Eric’s evening weather segment. So it contributes to the perception that tornados always hit “somewhere else” rather than in the warned area.

  3. Renee March 29, 2008 9:32 PM

    Here is a link to a Scientific American article that agrees with wi weather buff’s answer:

    article link

  4. Eric Sorensen March 29, 2008 10:20 PM

    you guys did a great job explaining that and are right on.

    as cities become larger, the chance of an urban area being struck increases.

    another thing to consider is the fact that since there are very few people in rural areas a lot of tornadoes probably touch down briefly and are never seen or reported!

    let’s hope that we all stay safe (but better yet, prepared) during severe weather season!

  5. WI Weather Buff March 29, 2008 10:53 PM

    Speaking of tornado preparedness, let me put in a plug for my favorite topic: Please include the family pets in the family preparedness plan!

    Some species (dogs, horses) are better at being trained than others (chickens, cats).

    But particularly if you have a species of pet that takes well to training (dog owners, I mean you!) make sure you not only include the family dog in your family’s tornado plan, but also practice it with (i.e., train) your dog(s) so that they will know what to do if you need to activate that emergency plan in a hurry some day.

    And don’t count on your pet to behave the same way that he usually does if a tornado is bearing down on your home. Even if you can call your dog and he comes 99.9% of the time when you call him, plan on an emergency event being the 0.1% of the time when he doesn’t.

    Here’s my emergency plan, which I do practice regularly with my 3 dogs (feel free to copy and or modify if it fits your situation).

    I keep a permanent sturdy shelter in a safe spot in my basement, which is the dogs’ tornado shelter. It is anchored and covered with protective covering.

    When severe weather is threatening, I put fabric collars and 6′ fabric leashes on each dog and let them walk around inside the house trailing their leashes.

    Why? Because I have more dogs than hands, and I don’t want to count on my (well-trained) dogs not to be scared or hiding or trying to run away or unable to see or hear me or otherwise behaving uncharacteristically if I’m trying to find them or call them to the basement when we all should already be taking shelter.

    If it is necessary to take shelter hastily, I can grab each of the three leashes (already on the dogs) and lead (or drag, if necessary) them all down to the basement and quickly stash the dogs in their “safety zone” shelter.

    Remember Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz? She got conked on the head because she was looking for Toto when she (and Toto) should already have been in the storm shelter. Don’t let this happen to you and your pets! PRACTICE your emergency plan regularly with your pets, so they will already know what to expect if you have to actually activate that plan in the midst of scary, dark, noisy weather!

  6. Candice H March 30, 2008 2:34 PM

    Everyday that I check the 7 day forecast, the 60 degree is always pushed back a day 🙁

    Just thought it was kind of funny.

  7. Anthony March 30, 2008 6:05 PM

    IM GETTING DIFFRENT INFORAMTION ON MONDAYS STORMS. ACCORDIGN TO THE WEATHER CHANNEL, THEY ARE PREDICITNG A TORNADO OUTBREAK FROM NORTHERN ARKANSAS ALL THE WAY UP TO NORTHERN ILLINOIS, HOW ACCURUATE IS THIS INFORMATION?

  8. Steve J. Garrod March 30, 2008 6:20 PM

    Eric,

    Congratulations on your success and all that you have going for you! I’m not sure if you remember me but I met you in the Fall of ’96 at NIU. I recall your passion for weather and am thrilled to see that you have pursued it and are as successful as you are.

    Again, congratulations, and feel free to drop me a line! : info@shipcafe.net

    Take Care,

    Steve J. Garrod

  9. tony March 30, 2008 7:17 PM

    Honestly I would not trust the weather channel for anything. I will only trust 13 news. The weather channel will say one thing one minute then totally change it the next.

  10. WI Weather Buff March 30, 2008 7:38 PM

    anthony, I would have a little bit different response from tony’s.

    I would say, “Welcome to the real world,” where often real life decisions must be made with incomplete and/or conflicting info.

    🙂

  11. Justin March 30, 2008 8:19 PM

    The only thing I trust the weather channel for is the current conditions. And probably the radar. But thats all I’ll ever count on them for.

  12. Justin Gehrts March 30, 2008 8:38 PM

    There’s the potential for severe weather across a good chunk of the central third of the US… as far as a tornado threat here, it doesn’t appear to me right now that our storms will be able to be rooted close enough to the ground for that to be a big threat. Hail and wind look to be the primary threats in storms that do develop.

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