Severe Weather Discussion – 2008-13-4

Severe Weather Discussion for June 5, 2008.
Valid: 06/05/2008.

***Significant and Widespread Severe Weather Episode Today***
***This is a Life Threatening Situation***

Highlights:

– A significant and potentially life threatening severe weather
episode is likely late this afternoon into the evening hours across
parts of Oklahoma (especially Kansas to Iowa). The general risk in
Oklahoma, is west of a line from Stillwell (Adair Co) to Ardmore. The
enhanced risk area, where the most significant threat should be, is
located west of line from Vinita to Shawnee and north of a line from
Shawnee to Clinton. This does include the OKC and Tulsa Metros.

– Primary threats for the general risk area are hail to tennis ball
size, isolated tornadoes, and destructive winds. In the enhanced
area, widespread destructive winds, isolated strong tornadoes, and
destructive hail are all possible.

– People are urged to be weather aware today. Storms are expected to
rapidly develop later this afternoon and will move east and northeast
at 40-50mph. The quick movement of the storms will greatly reduce
warning lead time and subsequent response time for people to shelter.

– Storms are expected to develop between 3-5pm along a line from
Woodward to Hollis.

Discussion:

Very dynamic environment will be in-place this afternoon as an early
April storm system combines with early June heat/moisture to produce a
widespread and significant severe weather event across the central
U.S. While the greatest aerial threat is from Kansas to Iowa,
Oklahoma remains in the threat area with coverage expected to be
slightly less than areas to the north. This does not detract from the
potential of this event and as I have noted in prior discussions, the
widespread destructive wind threat is the most likely issue we face.

What is tough to know right now is how storms will evolve later today.
The 00z 4KM NAM-WRF NSSL model develops a squall line in northern
Oklahoma by 7pm with seemingly discrete supercells in southwest
Oklahoma. So, there may be a multi-mode event across Oklahoma as
storms initiate this afternoon. As noted above we may not know until
it happens.

These events are notorious for their complexity and in rare situations
for the threat to diminish. This leaves forecasters in a "chicken
little" position today. As always, I forecast the potential, which is
all I can do. If it is realized or not, no one will know until later
today. However, this event is of such potential significance that
enhanced wording and notification is reasonable, and prudent.

It is emphasized that this is a Particularly Dangerous Situation, all
persons are urged to review safety rules and be prepared for quick
action should a watch or warning be issued.

Probabilities:

None

Chase Status:

Level 4 – Going to Weatherford at 14:00 CDT.

Today's chase is likely to be one of the most difficult we've ever
done. Storm motion and evolution will be critical today. I'm picking
I-40 as a balance between what may be a squall line in northern
Oklahoma and supercells farther south. It is a tough call since the
winds are quite favorable for supercells across much of the state. I
anticipate shifting the chase area around some. But for now, we're
sitting well east of the dryline on purpose.

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About Putnam Reiter

Putnam has been storm chasing since 1990 and is a co-founder of Hook-Echo.com. For his day job, Putnam works in emergency management for information technology.
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