6/12 Violent Weather

It was a wild weather night over much of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday, as tornadoes and an organized complex of severe thunderstorms known as a bow echo brought damaging winds to a large swath of the country. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) logged twelve preliminary reports of tornadoes in Iowa, Illinois, and Ohio, but no injuries or major damage were reported with the twisters. A large area of severe thunderstorms organized into a curved band known as a “bow echo” over Indiana during the evening. The bow echo raced east-southeastwards at 50 mph overnight, spawning severe thunderstorm warnings along its entire track, and arrived in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland near 9 am EDT Thursday morning. SPC logged 159 reports of high thunderstorm wind gusts of 58 mph or greater in the 26 hours ending at 10 am EDT Thursday morning, and three of these gusts were 74 mph or greater. SPC did not classify this event as a “derecho”, since the winds were not strong enough to qualify. Last year’s June 29, 2012 derecho had 675 reports of wind gusts of 58 mph or greater, with 35 of these gusts 74 mph or greater. Thirteen people died in the winds, mostly from falling trees; 34 more people died from heat-related causes in the areas where 4 million people lost power in the wake of the great storm.

Another round of severe weather is expected over the Mid-Atlantic states Thursday afternoon and evening, and SPC has placed portions of this region in their “Moderate Risk” area for severe weather.

Figure 1. Lightning strikes the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in downtown on June 12, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Figure 2. An organized line of severe thunderstorms took the shape of a “bow echo” over Indiana last night, triggering severe thunderstorm warnings along the entire front of the bow.

Figure 3. Severe weather reports for the 24 hours ending at 8 am EDT June 13, 2013, from SPC.

Big wind in the Windy City
I watched with some trepidation Wednesday evening as a large tornado vortex signature on radar developed west of Chicago, heading right for one of the most densely populated areas in the country. Fortunately, the storm pulled its punch, and Chicago was spared a direct hit by a violent tornado. But what would happen if a violent, long-track EF4 or EF5 tornado ripped through a densely populated urban area like Chicago? That was the question posed by tornado researcher Josh Wurman of the Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder and three co-authors in a paper published in the January 2007 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Their astonishing answer: damage of $40 billion and 13,000-45,000 people killed–the deadliest natural disaster in American history, eclipsing the Galveston Hurricane (8,000 fatalities.)

Figure 4. Tornadoes to affect the Chicago area, 1950-2005. Background image credit: Google Earth. Tornado paths: Dr. Perry Samson.

Huge tornado death tolls are very rare
A tornado death toll in the ten of thousands seems outlandish when one considers past history. After all, the deadliest tornado in U.S. history–the great Tri-state Tornado of March 18, 1925–killed 695 people in its deadly rampage across rural Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. That was before the advent of Doppler radar and the National Weather Service’s excellent tornado warning system. In fact, there has only been one tornado death toll over 100 (the 158 killed in the Joplin, Missouri tornado in 2011) since 1953, the year the NWS began issuing tornado warnings. Chicago has been hit by one violent tornado. On April 21, 1967 a 200-yard wide F4 tornado formed in Palos Hills in Cook County, and tore a 16-miles long trail of destruction through Oak Lawn and the south side of Chicago. Thirty-three people died, 500 more were injured, and damage was estimated at $50 million.

Figure 5. Wind speed swaths for the 1999 F5 Mulhall, Oklahoma tornado if it were to traverse a densely populated area of Chicago. Units are in meters/sec (120 m/s = 269 mph, 102 m/s = 228 mph, and 76 m/s = 170 mph). Winds above 170 mph usually completely destroy an average house, with a crudely estimated fatality rate of 10%, according to Wurman et al.. Insets x, y, and z refer to satellite photo insets in Figure 2. Image credit: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Figure 6. Aerial photographs from Google Earth of densely populated area of Chicago (insets x, y, and z from Figure 5) These areas contain mainly single-family homes, with housing units densely packed on small lots. A mixture of three-story apartments and single-family homes is typical across the Chicago metropolitan area and many older cities such as New York City and Detroit. At lower right is a photo of Moore, OK, showing lower density housing like the 1999 Bridgecreek-Moore tornado passed through.

The paper by Wurman et al., “Low-level winds in tornadoes and the potential catastrophic tornado impacts in urban areas” opens with an analysis of the wind structure of two F5 tornadoes captured on mobile “Doppler on Wheels” radar systems–the May 3, 1999 Bridgecreek-Moore tornado, which hit the southern suburbs of Oklahoma City, and the Mulhall, Oklahoma tornado of the same day, which moved over sparsely populated rural regions. The Bridgecreek-Moore tornado had the highest winds ever measured in a tornado, 302 mph. Winds of EF4 to EF5 strength (greater than 170 mph) are capable of completely destroying a typical home, and occurred over a 350 meter (1150 foot) wide swath along this tornado’s path. The Mulhall tornado had weaker winds topping out at 245-255 mph, but had EF4 to EF5 winds over a much wider swath–1600 meters (one mile).

The F4 to F5 winds of the Bridgecreek-Moore tornado killed 36 people. Given the population of the area hit, between 1% and 3% of the people exposed to these winds died. The authors thought that this number was unusually low, given the excellent warnings and high degree of tornado awareness in Oklahoma’s population. They cited the death rate in the 1998 Spencer, South Dakota F4 tornado that destroyed 30 structures and caused six deaths, resulting in a death rate of 6% (assuming 3.3 people lived in each structure). There are no studies that relate the probability of death to the amount of damage a structure receives, and the authors estimated crudely that the death rate per totally destroyed structure is 10%. This number will go down sharply if there is a long warning time, as there was in the Oklahoma tornadoes. If one takes the Mulhall tornado’s track and superimposes it on a densely populated region of Chicago (Figure 5), one sees that a much higher number of buildings are impacted due to the density of houses. Many of these are high-rise apartment buildings that would not be totally destroyed, and the authors assume a 1% death rate in these structures. Assuming a 1% death rate in the partially destroyed high-rise apartment buildings and a 10% death rate in the homes totally destroyed along the simulated tornado’s path, one arrives at a figure of 13,000-45,000 killed in Chicago by a violent, long-track tornado. The math can applied to other cities, as well, resulting in deaths tolls as high as 14,000 in St. Louis, 22,000 in Dallas, 17,000 in Houston, 15,000 in Atlanta, and 8,000 in Oklahoma City. Indeed, the May 31, 2013 EF5 tornado that swept through El Reno, Oklahoma, killing four storm chasers, could have easily killed 1,000 people had it held together and plowed into Oklahoma City, hitting freeways jammed with people who unwisely decided to flee the storm in their cars. The authors emphasize that even if their death rate estimates are off by a factor ten, a violent tornado in Chicago could still kill 1,300-4,500 people. The authors don’t give an expected frequency for such an event, but I speculate that a violent tornado capable of killing thousands will probably occur in a major U.S. city once every few hundred years.

from:    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/show.html

Tritum Particles Released near Chicago

1/30/2012 — Nuclear plant vents RADIOACTIVE steam onto DOWNTOWN CHICAGO

Posted on January 31, 2012

Watch the video update here:



If you were outside today in Downtown Chicago — Any time after about 1030am CST — 1/30/2012 — chances are , you may have been exposed to NUCLEAR RADIOACTIVE FALLOUT from the steam that was vented by the  Byron Illinois / Exelon Nuclear power plant.

More specifically, aerosolized particulates of Tritium were in the clouds of steam released—- those clouds then blew down into Chicago area proper.  As to whether people inhaled these particles — only time will tell now.

(links below):

Here is the full story:


Here is a screenshot of the current prevailing winds:


Overlay the two maps above and you’ll see that ANYTHING vented from that Nuclear plant DID INDEED blow into Chicago proper.


More about Tritium here:


Tritium (play/ˈtrɪtiəm/ or /ˈtrɪʃiəm/; symbol T or 3
, also known as hydrogen-3) is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. Thenucleus of tritium (sometimes called a triton) contains one proton and twoneutrons, whereas the nucleus of protium (by far the most abundant hydrogen isotope) contains one proton and no neutrons. Naturally occurring tritium is extremely rare on Earth, where trace amounts are formed by the interaction of the atmosphere with cosmic rays. The name of this isotope is formed from the Greek word “tritos” meaning “third.”

Health risks

Tritium is an isotope of hydrogen, which allows it to readily bind tohydroxyl radicals, forming tritiated water (HTO), and to carbon atoms. Since tritium is a low energy beta emitter, it is not dangerous externally (its beta particles are unable to penetrate the skin), but it is a radiation hazard when inhaled, ingested via food or water, or absorbed through the skin.[14][15][16][17] HTO has a short biological half-life in the human body of 7 to 14 days, which both reduces the total effects of single-incident ingestion and precludes long-term bioaccumulation of HTO from the environment[16].

Tritium has leaked from 48 of 65 nuclear sites in the United States, detected in groundwater at levels exceeding the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water standards by up to 375 times.      


for more, go to:    http://sincedutch.wordpress.com/


Winter Storm Heads Towards MidWest

7-9 Inches Mon-Wed From Texas to Michigan; Chicago and Other Locations On The Verge of A Major Winter Storm

December 3, 2011  |   Filed under: Climate,Climate Information,Winter Weather,Winter Weather Information  |   Posted by: 

16+ States Are Likely to be affected by this winter storm! Are you prepared? 

Winter has officially set in as Meteorological Winter Started last Thursday December 2but it sure hasn’t looked like winter or even fall prior to the start of December. Almost all of the Center and Eastern portions of the United States ended up above normal in temperatures. But as quick as warm weather was sent in it will leave in a nippy fashion as we roll towards the weekend. Currently, Storm Central’s Jonny J has been tracking and forecasting the low pressure development of Storm #1 as a swath of snow from Nebraska (northeast) to Michigan. That storm is forecast to drop around a half of foot of snow. On a more nationwide basis, a huge drop in the Jet stream is bringing cold air from Canada all the way south to Texas just in time for yet another Snow Storm.

Storm Central’s Gino Recchia noted this storm system Thursday night as shown by the DJEX model. Since then, this storm has taken over the larger topic in the weather center as this storm has the potential to drop snowfall for at least 16 states come Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday. 

The current low pressure expected to move north east and be in Canada by Sunday is set to send a trailing cold front in it’s wake. That is not only going to set the stage for cold weather but is also forecast to spin up a low pressure between Northeast Texas and Southwest Arkansas. Models have had this storm complex way east and heading up the east coast on Thursday but totally flipped Friday morning. Alike the past storms, this storm has shifted westward a good 200 miles so that puts places areas that weren’t in the forecast for snow on Thursday model runs, on the model runs come Saturday. The low pressure is expected to strengthen over portions of Indiana then continue its north east to north north east pattern up towards Buffalo, New York. The major thing about this storm is going to be its snow side. This storm is going to be a slow developer at first then race north eastward over time. But Oklahoma and Texas will likely see an significant accumulation of snow due to cold air in place and plenty of Gulf Moisture to tap.Reading a few posts, It seems as forecasters are worried about the low pressure sitting their for time after time and picking up plenty of gulf moisture. In fact, their so worried that they are throwing out over 18 Inches of snow in all the wrong areas. Trust us folks… no 18+ Inches in any locations (aside from Mountains).

With every storm complex they always have their share of wild cards and this one has plenty!

  • How far south is this storm going to develop? How long will it sit and inhibit moisture into the system and therefore cause much higher rain and snow totals?
  • The exact track of the system is still undefined but we do know the general area (within 300miles) of track forecast.
  • How far south is the storm system going to track south? Lake effect?

Plenty more wild cards but those are the three major ones. Currently, model runs have noted back east with each run but what I am concerned about is the past 5 storms have all transitioned back westward. For example: Last Monday (Nov 21) Models noted a Chicago 6+ snowfall. Well, look where we are at 10 days later with this storm track 500miles west of Chicago. That very well could occur again and that is what I am concerned about.

Keeping all that in mind, Storm Central has placed a Winter Weather Key with our new and updated graphics. As you can see, from New Mexico to Michigan, you are under “watch for impact”. Please note the picture below to see what key you are currently under. These keys will change over the next day so this key is only valid for Saturday’s Forecast ONLY.

So how much snow are we talking is what everyone wants to know correct? Their is going to be a very narrow band of heavy snow like the previous storm. Some locations are going to see a mix of snow and rain and others are likely to see heavy rain from this which could tally up to over 3 inches.

*Please Note: Instead of releasing an early forecast, Storm Central would like to continue our accurate and precise forecasts by waiting till 3 days out on a tricky forecast like this. So, even though this forecast is out, remember the wild cards and how they can change virtually everything*

Here is what to expect:

-Oklahoma City, Oklahoma- Heavy snow likely to begin Monday Morning and quickly spread into Northeast Oklahoma by Monday Afternoon. Snow will be heavy at times with snow falling at over 1 inch per hour. Winds will not be horrible but an accumulation of at least 6 inches cannot be ruled out. (Just to the east will receive slightly higher amounts of snow) Snow is likely to last well into Tuesday Morning.

-Joplin, Missouri- So Far, Joplin looks to be in a bulls eye if current forecast come through. Heavy snow will spread in Monday night and accumulations between 7-9 inches are a potential with some locations seeing 10 inches of snow nearby. Wind will likely not be a major threat either as sustained winds between 20-30mph. Snow will likely end Tuesday evening.

-Springfield, Illinois- Springfield is also looking to get a decent accumulation with at least 6 inches of snow. Higher accumulations are a potential.

-Fort Wayne/Bluffton, Indiana Locations- Either way you move it, you are in for a solid snow event. A potential 6+ is in the forecast with most locations ending up with a 7-9 inch effect. Heavy snow at times will fall with winds between 20-30 sustained. Snow should begin Tuesday morning and last into Wednesday morning.

-Chicago, Illinois- Chicago is right on the verge of snow in this forecast. Due to model runs trending east again, we may come out with nothing. But, like other storms, this one should make a bit of a left turn and place some snow in the City and south. North suburbs could luck out. The track of this storm varies as the lake machine could turn on and add to some extra accumulations on Wednesday morning.

-Grand Rapids, Michigan- Another tricky forecast due to the track of the system but Grand Rapids should receive at least a half of foot of snow, if not more, out of this storm complex.

for more, go to:    http://stormcentral1st.com/?p=3670