Sunday, September 14, 2008

Abnormal September Tornado Threat

I can't say I saw this one coming, but I get up this morning and almost everything I look at points to today being a rough day across parts of Central New York. Last year in meteorology class, we went over tornado forecasting in quite some detail. A lot of the things we were told to look for have started to line up. The one thing that will probably prevent this from being an outbreak is the fact that the air aloft isn't all that cold. That warm air aloft should help keep the instability less than it would be on other days that are this humid. Regardless to say, the Storm Prediction Center has us in their '5%' chance of tornadoes.

There are meteorologists, however, who do not like the SPC's % system. One of them is Accuweather Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity, who I have mentioned many times. Over the summer, he developed a scale to better address the threats of severe thunderstorms. His scale goes from 1-4 and outlines specific threats for each category. You will likely have to click the image to read it, but here is a look at his system:

Henry has placed us in his T3 Category today mainly for the tornado threat. It will be interesting to see how this one unfolds. Stay tuned!