Our hearts go out to residents of Moore, Oklahoma, recovering from the 3rd violent tornado in 14 years. Talk about bad luck.
Minnesota has experienced 2 EF5 tornadoes since 1950. No, we don't live in traditional Tornado Alley but we do live in Tornado Cul de sac. EF4 tornadoes ravaged parts of the metro in 1965. Since then the MSP metro has expanded. Urban sprawl is relentless. Future tornadoes that would have hit farmland 20 years ago may plow into neighborhoods, undeterred by buildings, asphalt and concrete.
What keeps me up at night? The specter of another EF4 dropping in the close-in suburbs. Doppler radar helps with detection, but technology isn't foolproof; there's still no way to predict, in advance, how severe a tornado will become.
Practice a tornado drill with your family; invest in a NOAA Weather Radio and smartphone apps. Have a plan, just in case.
Spring stages a minor comeback today with badly-needed sunshine. Showers return Friday night, a few T-showers Sunday as warmer air pushes north. Memorial Day looks like the best day: 70s with some sun. 80s return next week; a shot at 90F by Thursday. Next week may be ripe for a few severe thunderstorms.
Yes, we're due.
Photo credit above: "An aerial view of the extensive damage caused by Monday's tornado, near Oklahoma City and Moore, Okla., May 21, 2013. Oklahoma officials said they hoped to finish their search for survivors of a massive tornado by nightfall, a little more than 24 hours after the Oklahoma City area was slammed by a storm that killed dozens of people." (Matthew Staver/The New York Times).
Photo credit above: "Robert Hanna, civil engineer, and Jeff Ice, quality assurance inspector, both from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, check out a tornado shelter." Photo courtesy of US Army Corps of Engineers
Graphic credit above: "NOAA rending of a GOES satellite." Credit: NOAA.
Graphic credit above: "Probability of severe thunderstorms within 25 miles of a location as averaged from 1982-2011. This shows the highest odds of severe weather on Monday were in Oklahoma." Credit: Storm Prediction Center.
Photo credit above: "Billy McElrath, left, sits on a 1968 convertible Corvette buried under rubble in what was the garage of his home in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, May 21, 2012. The residents of Moore, Okla., affected by a deadly tornado, are coming back to find their belongings scattered and their homes left in pieces." (AP Photo/Sean Murphy)