As we continue to watch a strong storm system that has evolved as it moves across the United States, it has become very evident that this is a high risk day for strong and violent tornadoes and destructive winds. Environmental conditions are more than favorable to support the rapid development of supercells capable of producing strong tornadoes, some of which could be long-track.
With the current and anticipated environmental conditions, thunderstorm development is going to be quick, and with the high amount of shear that is in place, storms will quickly begin to rotate. Let me be clear that this is an extremely dangerous situation, and this event will be taking place across a highly populated area.
The Storm Prediction Center has issued a high risk for tornadoes and damaging winds for parts of Illinois, Indiana, western Ohio, and southern Michigan. Surrounding the high risk is a moderate risk, which includes eastern Missouri, a large portion of Kentucky extending into the lower Great Lakes region. All of the areas mentioned need to monitor this situation extremely closely.
Several large tornadoes have already been reported in Illinois, and tornado emergencies have been issued for several of these tornadic storms. We will continue to keep you updated on this life-threatening situation, and please follow us on Facebook for updates throughout the day!
Matthew Holliday is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he completed a B.S. in Meteorology and a B.S. in Geographic Information Science. He is currently pursing his master's degree in meteorology and climatology at Mississippi State University. Matthew founded Firsthand Weather in 2010 as a senior in high school and maintained the site through his undergraduate career. Research that was conducted by Matthew while at OU involved determining the synoptic environment in which various types of wave clouds (including vertically propagating waves and trapped waves) develop in Boulder, Colorado and Norman, OK. Matthew also did research on spatial changes in tornado activity across the United States . The goal of this study was to determine if spatial changes in tornado activity had occurred and if those changes could be linked to changes in average surface dew point temperature. Matthew has completed coursework in dynamics, thermodynamics, cloud physics, calculus and differential equations, statistics, remote sensing, GIS, synoptic meteorology, and mesoscale meteorology. His goal is to provide his audience with a deeper understanding of what drives our weather and climate, while making it easy and enjoyable to learn.