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News Article | November 22, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies at the University of Oklahoma collaborate with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on weather and climate under the terms of a five-year, $95.3 million agreement with NOAA. CIMMS, the largest and second oldest research center at OU, supports NOAA with two of its next generation, long-term planning initiatives: Weather Ready Nation and Climate Adaptation and Mitigation. "The university is very excited by this new five-year agreement totaling over $95 million to support important weather and climate research on our campus in cooperation with the federal government," said OU President David L. Boren. "It underlines the importance of what is happening at our university. We are proud to be national leaders in this effort." CIMMS contributes to NOAA's enterprise-wide capabilities in science and technology, engagement and organization and administration in the following research areas: weather radar research and development; stormscale and mesoscale modeling research and development; forecast and warning improvements research and development; impacts of climate change related to extreme weather events; and societal and socioeconomic impacts of high impact weather systems. "CIMMS research improves our understanding of stormscale meteorological phenomena, weather radar and regional climate variations," said Interim Director Randy Peppler. "Our ultimate goal is to help NOAA produce better forecasts and warnings that save lives and protect property." CIMMS research affiliates or associates include: Oceanic and Atmospheric Research National Severe Storm Laboratory; Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Air Resources Laboratory; National Weather Service Radar Operations Center for the WSR-88D (NEXRAD) Program; National Weather Service/National Center for Environmental Protection Storm Prediction Center; National Weather Service Warning Decision Training Division; National Weather Service Norman Weather Forecast Office; and National Weather Service Training Center in Kansas City. CIMMS was established in 1978 through a memorandum of agreement between OU and NOAA. As a NOAA cooperative research institute, CIMMS supports scientists, engineers and students who conduct research, training and outreach in mesoscale weather, weather radar and regional-scale climate processes. For more information, contact cimms@nwc.ou.edu or visit http://cimms. .


News Article | March 31, 2016
Site: www.reuters.com

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch stretching from Arkansas to Georgia, and put parts of southern Alabama and western Florida under a tornado watch. The severe weather is being caused by a moist and unstable air mass ahead of a cold front that has been moving through Arkansas and Louisiana, said Greg Garrett, a forecaster with the NWS in Jackson, Mississippi. He said sunny skies in parts of the region in the morning could cause the air mass to destabilize even more in the afternoon. "When we start to have thunderstorms developing this afternoon, there is a good chance they could be widespread and severe again, similar to last night," he said. On Wednesday night, emergency crews near Little Rock, Arkansas, performed a high-water rescue for a woman whose car was caught in floods. At least four tornadoes were reported in Tulsa and Rogers counties in Oklahoma, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Another was reported in southern Kansas. On Thursday, four schools were closed in Tulsa because of storm damage and a loss of power, local officials said. In southern Mississippi, Alabama and western Florida, the NWS said there was a significant threat of tornadoes, damaging wind gusts and large hail on Thursday from the storm system. The weather service said large parts of region could get about 3 inches of rain on Thursday, bringing significant risks of flooding in low-lying areas.


News Article | March 31, 2016
Site: www.reuters.com

A storm system packing thunderstorms, hail, and possible twisters was moving across the Central and Southern Plains overnight, the National Weather Service (NWS) said. At least four tornadoes were reported in Tulsa County and Rogers County, according to the Storm Prediction Center. Another twister was reported in southern Kansas. "Radar imagery showed lofted debris associated with the tornado near Tulsa," said Quincy Vagell, a meteorologist with Weather.com. Seven people in the city of Tulsa were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment of storm-related injuries, and one was in critical condition, said Oklahoma's largest ambulance service provider, the Emergency Medical Services Authority. Damage to buildings and other structures was reported in many places, as well as downed power lines in north Tulsa that left several thousand people without power, city officials and utility provider, the Public Service Company of Oklahoma, said. Tornadoes may strike at any time of year but a majority of twisters in the United States occur between April and June.


Hundreds of storm chasers and weather geeks mourned the death of U.S. actor Bill Paxton this weekend. Paxton, who was 61, starred alongside Helen Hunt in Twister, the 1996 film that helped inspire a new generation of storm chasers — those thrill-seekers who track down dangerous weather events for the sake of scientific data, a rush of adrenaline, or both. SEE ALSO: Bill Paxton, star of '80s and '90s genre films and TV, dead at 61 In the movie, Paxton and Hunt play a struggling couple that teams up to create an advance weather alert system, putting them square in the path of violent tornadoes. Paxton was so beloved in the weather community that his unexpected death on Saturday sparked a rare tribute tweet from the National Weather Service's official Twitter account. The actor also inspired nearly 200 storm chasers to spell out the initials "BP" using GPS coordinates on a map showing the heart of Tornado Alley, the Associated Press counted. "There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of meteorologists today — myself included — who were impacted by the movie Twister and the role Bill played in that," John Wetter, president of the nonprofit that tracks the positions of tornado chasers, told the AP. "Twister was kind of the first time in a mass media place the meteorologist became cool, if only for a little while," he said. Weather experts still cling to Twister memorabilia. Dorothy, the tornado-chasing contraption from the film, now sits in the lobby of the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma, a major center of atmospheric research into tornadoes and the home of the Storm Prediction Center. Even before Twister, Paxton said he was fascinated by tornadoes, which strike fairly often in his home state of Texas. Shortly after the film's debut, he reached out to the National Weather Service office in Paducah, Kentucky, to ask about a twister in the region. Paxton remained in touch with the weather community throughout his career. In 2011, he followed up on Twister by narrating an IMAX documentary Tornado Alley, also about storm chasers. Along with GPS maps, meteorologists also shared more personal messages reflecting on the actor's impact on their own lives. Some people revived the nickname for Paxton's character in Twister: "The Extreme." Paxton died unexpectedly on Saturday following complications from heart surgery. Besides Twister, he also starred in many Hollywood blockbusters throughout the 1980s and '90s, including Titanic, The Terminator, Apollo 13, Aliens, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and most recently the TV adaptation of Training Day.


Edwards R.,Storm Prediction Center | La Due J.G.,NWS Warning Decision Training Branch | Ferree J.T.,NWS Office of Climate | Scharfenberg K.,NWS Office of Climate | And 2 more authors.
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society | Year: 2013

An enhanced Fujita (EF) scale stakeholder's meeting (EFSSM) was convened in March 2010 to evaluate the EF scale, to understand new techniques in estimating damaging wind strength, and to map out a plan for future improvements. Discussion topics included variations in construction practices and structural integrity within any given DI, changes in vulnerability of single damage indicator (DIs) based on directional wind angle and vertical velocity, full-scale testing facilities for wind effects on structures, inconsistencies in building codes and enforcement thereof, the effects of flying debris and surrounding surface roughness, and the weakest points of structural failure. The international colleagues expressed concern that the diversity of construction habits among the DIs would force modifications to the EF scale prior to adoption. Given this diversity, one proposal was forwarded to consider all countries to adopt a more universal, physically derived wind speed scale, which could serve as a focus to bind all other wind speed and damage scales.


Edwards R.,Storm Prediction Center | Dean A.R.,Storm Prediction Center | Thompson R.L.,Storm Prediction Center | Smith B.T.,Storm Prediction Center
Weather and Forecasting | Year: 2012

Agridded, hourly, three-dimensional environmental mesoanalysis database at the Storm Prediction Center (SPC), based on objectively analyzed surface observations blended with the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) model-analysis fields and described in Parts I and II of this series, is applied to a 2003-11 subset of the SPC tropical cyclone (TC) tornado records. Distributions of environmental convective parameters, derived from SPC hourly mesoanalysis fields that have been related to supercells and tornadoes in the midlatitudes, are evaluated for their pertinence to TC tornado occurrence. The main factor differentiating TC from non-TC tornado environments is much greater deep-tropospheric moisture, associated with reduced lapse rates, lower CAPE, and smaller and more compressed distributions of parameters derived from CAPE and vertical shear. For weak and strong TC tornado categories (EF0-EF1 and EF2-EF3 on the enhanced Fujita scale, respectively), little distinction is evident across most parameters. Radar reflectivity and velocity data also are examined for the same subset of TC tornadoes, in order to determine parent convective modes (e.g., discrete, linear, clustered, supercellular vs nonsupercellular), and the association of those modes with several mesoanalysis parameters. Supercellular TC tornadoes are accompanied by somewhat greater vertical shear than those occurring from other modes. Tornadoes accompanying nonsupercellular radar echoes tend to occur closer to the TC center, where CAPE and shear tend to weaken relative to the outer TC envelope, though there is considerable overlap of their respective radial distributions and environmental parameter spaces. © 2012 American Meteorological Society.


News Article | December 24, 2015
Site: www.reuters.com

Photographed through raindrops on a window, a worker makes his way toward a plane parked at Reagan National Airport in Washington December 23, 2015. The bad weather threatened to scramble plans for many holiday travelers, even as dreams of a white Christmas melted in northeastern parts of the country, which were experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures. An 18-year-old Arkansas woman died and a toddler was injured when a tree crashed into her house after being uprooted by powerful winds during a storm, according to emergency officials. A tornado sighting was reported in Clarksdale, Mississippi, near the Arkansas border, the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center website said. Possible tornado damage was also reported near Indianapolis, Indiana. Meanwhile, the agency said it received reports of hail as large as golf balls falling in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma. "If there’s one location under the gun at the moment, it’s Memphis and points north,” said Greg Carbin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Carbin said travelers in Tennessee and Ohio were likely to experience some weather-related delays on Wednesday evening. Travelers in Atlanta and New York City could also be frustrated by rain that could extend into Thursday, Carbin said. Storms and rain could continue through Christmas Day, he said, but it will not be as intense as Wednesday.


News Article | December 26, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

CHICAGO (AP) — The fury of the winter storm that swept into the northern Great Plains on Christmas Day was weakening Monday evening, but blowing and drifting snow continued to hamper travel in many areas. The combination of freezing rain, snow and high winds that forced vast stretches of highways in the Dakotas to be shut down Sunday continued into Monday, and authorities issued no-travel warnings for much of North Dakota. Meanwhile, in parts of the South, unseasonably warm temperatures were raising the risk of tornadoes and damaging thunderstorms. About 3 million people in parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee could see damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes Monday, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, said, but no major outbreak was expected. The National Weather Service's blizzard warning for western and central North Dakota expired Monday afternoon, but the agency warned snow drifts still blocked some roads. Severe whiteout conditions led to the closure of Minot International Airport, and the facility wasn't expected to reopen until 3 a.m. Tuesday. The airports serving Fargo and Bismarck also listed flight cancellations on their websites. Interstate 94 remained closed west of Jamestown, North Dakota. Interstate 90, which had been closed for 260 miles between the Wyoming border and Chamberlain, South Dakota, was reopened to traffic Monday. Winds gusting 40 mph to 50 mph also led to delays and cancellations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The storm also has caused power outages in the Dakotas and Nebraska. The South Dakota Rural Electric Association said roughly 16,400 of its customers were without power Monday evening. In Nebraska, winds gusting up to 70 mph were cited for hundreds of power outages in central and eastern portions of the state Sunday, although by Monday morning, utilities reported that power had been restored to most customers. High winds knocked out power to thousands of customers in Michigan on Monday. Consumers Energy spokesman Brian Wheeler told WOOD-TV that more than 20,000 customers in the state were without power Monday evening. Most of the outages occurred between 7 and 8 p.m., he said. The Traverse City Record Eagle reported that customers of several utilities were without power late Monday afternoon in northern Michigan.


News Article | November 30, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite gathered rainfall data on the severe storms that impacted the southeastern U.S. over two days. From Tuesday evening, Nov. 29 through Wednesday morning, Nov. 30, 2016 tornadoes formed along a squall line in advance of a cold front that moved through the Southeast. Over three dozen tornadoes were reported with sightings occurring in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama. Tornadoes caused the deaths of at least five people in northern Alabama. Storms also took the lives of two people in Tennessee. This rainfall may provide some relief to drought ridden eastern Tennessee where destructive wildfires have been occurring. Some storms were accompanied with hail, strong winds and intense showers. Golf ball sized hail was reported in a storm that passed through Louisiana Tuesday evening. The GPM core observatory satellite viewed a western portion of a line of violent weather when it flew over on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 11:16 p.m. EST (November 30, 2016 0416 UTC). GPM found that rain was falling at a rate of over 5.7 inches (144.8 mm) per hour in a heavy downpours over southwestern Louisiana. At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, GPM's Dual-Frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR) data was used to produce a 3-D view of the precipitation within storms that were moving over Louisiana. Storm tops were measured by GPM's radar (Ka and Ku band) reaching heights above 8 miles (13 km). On Nov. 30, NOAA's National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC) noted "Storms will be capable of producing damaging winds, hail, heavy downpours, and a few tornadoes. Heavy rainfall could lead to localized flooding of low lying and poor drainage areas. Additional heavy rainfall will also be possible from the Appalachians to the Middle Atlantic Region." For updated information from the SPC, visit: http://www. .


News Article | April 26, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

Large swaths of central United States will be hit by violent tornadoes and hail bigger than baseballs beginning Tuesday, weather forecasters in Oklahoma warned. The severe weather outbreak will target areas spanning from southern Nebraska, central Kansas to central Oklahoma and northern Texas. This has prompted the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center (SPC) to mark these places as "moderate risk" zones -- the second highest of the five categories for potentially strong storm systems. More specifically, cities in the forecast area include the following: Bill Bunting, the agency's Chief of Operations, said the severe storm system will produce strong thunderstorms and ferocious straight-line winds of up to 70 miles per hour. Expect the tornado threat to start Tuesday afternoon and peak in the evening, Bunting said. Severe weather will last into the night. Some of the tornadoes have the potential to be intense and strong. "An EF-2 or greater, which is winds over 110 mph, [is] strong enough to cause structural damage to well-built homes," he said. Andrew Gagnon of AccuWeather said Tuesday's storm outbreaks can potentially produce numerous tornadoes, including strong wedge tornadoes that could remain on the ground for an extended period of time. Wedge tornadoes are at least as wide as they are tall, and can damage a lot of territory, according to AccuWeather. Allison Chinchar, CNN Meteorologist, said the storm outbreak is not just a tornado or two. She said multiple tornadoes can hit multiple states. "Several have the possibility to be long-lived or long-tracked, meaning they're on the ground for long periods of time," said Chinchar. Most tornadoes stay on the ground for 10 to 15 minutes on average, but the ones predicted this Tuesday could last on the ground for half an hour or longer, she added. 1. Bunting advises residents in storm-threatened areas to prepare. He said it is important for families to have a severe weather plan and practice it. 2. It is also vital to have several ways of receiving weather alerts and information about the storm, including weather apps on smartphones or weather radio. 3. Knowing where to find shelter in your building or home is important. AccuWeather recommends finding shelter locations: underground safe room, basement, small interior room. 4. Have a secure way to communicate with friends and family, or set a specific meeting point, to let them know your state after the storm. 5. Prepare a survival kit containing non-perishable food, potable water, flashlights, extra batteries, extra medications, and an extra pair of shoes. 7. During the storm: do not seek shelter in a car, mobile home, bridge, or overpass. Stay as safe as possible. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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