By Paul Yeager, author of Weather Whys: Facts, Myth, and Oddities
On the heels of deadly tornadoes on Sunday evening (including the devastating Joplin, Missouri, tornado) and on Tuesday and Tuesday night, another round of dangerous tornadoes is likely through tonight. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a high risk for tornadoes in heavily populated parts of the Midwest, Tennessee Valley, and Missouri Valley through tonight.
The high risk area, the most dangerous categories, includes (or is very near) the cities of Indianapolis (Ind.), Louisville (Ky.), Evansville (Ind.), St. Louis (Mo.), Nashville (Tenn.), Memphis (Tenn.), and Little Rock (Ark.). The danger includes the potential for long-tracking, large tornadoes, as well as straight-line (non-tornado) wind damage, and large hail.
The risk for tornadoes extends well beyond the high risk area, with a slight risk extending from roughly Buffalo (NY) to San Antonio (Texas)–about 1,500 miles.
This is part of the same storm system that resulted in deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma last night. It’s a very dangerous situation, especially considering that the danger area is a much more populated region and that the storms will persist after dark.
Tornadoes at night, of course, are much more dangerous since they’re much less likely to be seen before arriving and because some residents will be asleep.
For a little more information on why there have been so many deadly tornadoes this year, please see Joplin, Missouri, Tornado Adds to Deadly Season–Why So Active?