HEADLINE: A cell at the southern edge of a large rain shield in rural south Mississippi has apparently produced a tornado.
Our producer John Sibley is on scene and will provide footage and updates from the event site.
What we know now:
An unwarned cell was progressing ENE along the gulf coast when it began rotating near the towns of Escatawpa and Gautier.
The cell rapidly spun up on both base velocity radar products and storm relative velocity products. (SRV and reflectivity below)
I contacted the National Weather Service in Slidell (LIX) and a summary of our conversation is paraphrased below. I will not include the name of the correspondent as it is not our intent to flame or otherwise degrade the decisions made tonight. And should this not be a conversation normally granted, I assuredly will not be the one to cause trouble for the individual who was most helpful:
Logan: Hello, My name is Logan Poole, I am a consulting meteorologist with LSM and we hear you guys had some sort of event tonight?
NWS: Oh you are talking about Gautier? The Gautier damage?
Logan: Yes sir. We are a media group and we just wanted to get your take on the event? What can you tell us about it?
NWS: Well, first off it should be noted that this was NOT a trailer park. It was an RV park and according to our contacts in the EMA, the units were not strapped down or otherwise attached to the ground.
Logan: So you are saying then that they simply tipped over?
NWS: Pretty much, to our knowledge. We haven’t heard reports of mangled metal or any evidence of a tornado. For now, we tend to think this was a straight line (wind) event.
Logan: Okay. Well, I am in charge of writing the blog for the group and informing our media contacts of the “science side” of the event. We see that despite an apparent “couplet” on storm relative velocity display, a warning was not issued?
NWS: Correct. We saw evidence of broad rotation and we did issue a Special Weather Statement discussing the event when we saw evidence of wind gusts to 50 miles per hour potentially occurring. We did not immediately see evidence of winds to severe criteria so we refrained from issuing the Severe Thunderstorm Warning.
Logan: Okay, thanks for your time. We hope the rest of the night goes more smoothly in your county warning area and we look forward to seeing what you guys have to say about the event moving forward.
NWS: Thank you, and you are welcome.
Here’s some of John Sibley’s video of the damage. For licensing information, please contact email@example.com !
Hello from Sherman Texas (FIG1)!
The stage appears set for a significant severe weather event on 4/13/14 for the southern central plains region. With deep moisture and warm air advection continuing through the overnight on 4/12 through the day on 4/13, until an unseasonably cold front crashes from the north through the region. While the vertical wind shear profile is forecast to feature a less than ideal setup for tornadoes(FIG2), the idea that isolated supercells with very large hail and high wind will begin to affect the area as early as the morning appears to be legitimate. In the afternoon, if clearing can occur as forecast ahead of an eastward moving dryline, convection should fire along the boundary, progressing east and northeast into moderately unstable air (FIG3) where the storm may tap surface based parcels and become rooted in the boundary layer. For these storms, the risk of tornadoes will be higher. In addition, were the surface winds to back prior to convective initiation, the threat for rotating supercells will become higher. Though winds are expected to become South-southwesterly ahead of the dry line, should they instead be Southerly or even attain and easterly component the threat for tornadic cells becomes increased further.
A note from the Storm Prediction Center:
“FARTHER S FROM CNTRL OK TO N-CNTRL TX…INITIATION ALONG THE DRYLINE SHOULD HOLD OFF UNTIL MID TO LATE AFTERNOON AS SURFACE TEMPERATURES APPROACH 90 DEG F ACROSS SW OK/NW TX. MLCAPE NEAR 2500 J/KG…STEEP MID-LEVEL LAPSE RATES AND 30-40 KT EFFECTIVE SHEAR WILL SUPPORT THE POSSIBILITY OF INITIAL SUPERCELLS CAPABLE OF VERY LARGE HAIL AND A FEW TORNADOES. THIS ACTIVITY SHOULD GROW UPSCALE SUN EVENING AND POSSIBLY MERGE WITH THE NRN MCS EVOLVING ACROSS THE OZARK PLATEAU…WITH ATTENDANT SEVERE RISK SHIFTING E/SEWD OVER THE MID-SOUTH SUN NIGHT.”
A note from the National Weather Service in Dallas/Fort Worth:
“AS THE LEAD SHORTWAVE THAT IS CURRENTLY OVER NORTHERN MEXICO WEST OF THE BIG BEND APPROACHES…ELEVATED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP TOWARD DAYBREAK……SOME LARGE HAIL MAY ACCOMPANY THESE STORMS.”
“SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ALONG THE DRY LINE AND MOVEEASTWARD DURING THE AFTERNOON. SOME SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING WITH LARGE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS LIKELY. A TORNADO OR TWO CANNOT BE RULED OUT ESPECIALLY ACROSS AREAS TO THE NORTH AND NORTHEAST OF THE DFW METROPLEX NORTH INTO OKLAHOMA.”
Feel free to follow us in the field tomorrow @ livestormsnow.com/gary-schmitt
Meteorologist Logan Poole with Mr. Gary Schmitt