What a night for storm chasers to our south west. The first big tornado outbreak of the year. Take a look at the preliminary reports in to the Storm Prediction Center. Of course this is all early and many reports will turn out to be duplicates of the same tornado.
But right now, the SPC is filtering through 31 tornado reports from today. So far the good news is damage from these twisters appears to be isolated.
Basically you couldn’t ask for a better place to have a tornado outbreak like this. A lot of tornadoes in an area where few people live.
At this time it appears the highest concentration of tornadoes occurred in eastern Colorado, where up to a half dozen tornadoes might have touched down. But the best one could have been in western Kansas. There are reports a large, mile wide, wedge tornado touched down near the town of Lakin, KS. The good news is the damage reports coming in are minimal and there are nor reports of injuries.
Take a look at the NEXRAD image to the right. This was taken shortly after 5pm Thursday Afternoon. You can see a very pronounced hook on the supercell as the large tornado was on the ground. So far there are few reports coming in from storm chasers but I expect that to change tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll be able to provide you with some pictures and video links to the great work our fellow chasers did tonight.
As for our risk tomorrow? Chase teams are focusing on the western part of Iowa and eastern Nebraska. We won’t make it out there but will keep in touch with other chase teams and pass along their info to you.