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Friday, April 13, 2012

Weather: Violent tornado outbreak likely this weekend

Posted: April 13, 2012 - 3:43am
Updated: April 13, 2012 - 4:18am

This is not something that I normally report on but, I believe this is going to be significant enough that an early heads up will be useful.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma has issued a "High Risk" of severe weather for their Day 2 (Saturday) forecast period. This is an extremely rare occurrence for the SPC to issue a "High Risk" in a Day 2 forecast.

SPC forecast for Severe Weather potential Saturday, April 14, 2012
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SPC forecast probability outlook for Saturday, April 14, 2012
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Anyone living within the black hatched areas, of the second map, should expect severe weather Saturday evening into early Sunday morning.

The SPC warns of the potential for; very large hail of 2 inches in diameter or greater, strong wind gusts in excess of 70 miles per hour, and potentially long track tornadoes. This includes areas of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. The highest risk areas are expected to be along Interstate 35 from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma extending north to near Salina, Kansas. Wichita, Kansas is also within the highest risk area. Areas of Kansas between Salina and Kansas City should be prepared for the approaching storms. This includes Lawrence, Emporia, Ottawa, and the Kansas City area.

Storms are expected to begin in the area by late afternoon Saturday and last through the evening and overnight hours as they move East/Northeast. The storms are expected to maintain their severe potential after dark, making this storm especially dangerous.

Anyone living within this region should insure that they have a way to receive severe weather warnings late Saturday afternoon and into the overnight hours, including while they are asleep. Please do not rely solely on outdoor warning sirens. 

Those located within the predicted areas are encouraged to stay tuned to local media and have a safety plan in place as this is a potentially deadly situation.

Outdoor warning sirens are intended to provide tornado warnings only for those who are outdoors. Outdoor sirens may not wake you in the night and alert you of approaching severe weather. A NOAA Weather Radio can alert you to severe storms. NOAA Weather Radios are received from the National Weather Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee (MEMC) partnered with Midland Radio and Price Chopper, launched Project Community Alert (PCA) in 2002, to offer NOAA All-Hazard Weather Radio Receivers to the public at-cost. More information on NOAA Weather Radios and Project Community Alert.

NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio Stations throughout Kansas
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Outdoor Warning Siren locations and coverage areas in Johnson County
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All information provided by the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, the National Weather Service office in Pleasant Hill, Missouri and the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.

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