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May 30 2004 Watch Graphic

If anyone has the watch graphic from May 30, 2004, when some ridiculous number of PDS watches were in effect at one time, please contact me. I need it for a presentation. Thanks!
 
I wonder if we will see that many PDS watches simultaneously in effect ever again... That's an insane amount for a relatively rare type of watch...
 
The next Super Outbreak, perhaps? I thought May 30th, '04 was gonna be Super Outbreak II what with that many PDS watches, a massive area encompassed by 35% hatched tornado probability, and discussions containing wording such as "environmental conditions are becoming extremely favorable for damaging tornadoes" etc. However it didn't turn out on that magnitude. More of a big derecho with only a few strong tornadoes.
 
The next Super Outbreak, perhaps? I thought May 30th, '04 was gonna be Super Outbreak II what with that many PDS watches, a massive area encompassed by 35% hatched tornado probability, and discussions containing wording such as "environmental conditions are becoming extremely favorable for damaging tornadoes" etc. However it didn't turn out on that magnitude. More of a big derecho with only a few strong tornadoes.

In terms of sheer number of tornadoes, I believe a 24-hour period from 5/29-5/30 rivaled or even slightly exceeded the super outbreak, the big difference being the drastically lower number of strong and violent tornadoes. I'm not aware of any tornadoes rated higher than F3 from that event (Peru, IN and Marengo, IN). I have a feeling that the two month difference has a role in that, given that it would make sense to have better setups earlier in the season. However, given shear that was just nuts, and instability that was more than adequate, it was somewhat surprising that there weren't more damaging tornadoes than there were.
 
In terms of sheer number of tornadoes, I believe a 24-hour period from 5/29-5/30 rivaled or even slightly exceeded the super outbreak, the big difference being the drastically lower number of strong and violent tornadoes. I'm not aware of any tornadoes rated higher than F3 from that event (Peru, IN and Marengo, IN). I have a feeling that the two month difference has a role in that, given that it would make sense to have better setups earlier in the season. However, given shear that was just nuts, and instability that was more than adequate, it was somewhat surprising that there weren't more damaging tornadoes than there were.

Joe,
I agree... I looked at everything that morning and was expecting it to exceed the Super Outbreak. For what it's worth, the May 29-30th time frame did exceed the Super Outbreak in terms of the number of tornadoes, but the intensity of the tornadoes was quite a bit less. By the time noontime rolled around, there were numerous supercells from IL to TX, a massive area of very favorable low-level shear, and an expansive region of moderate-strong instability... I was very much surprised to see that, despite the numerous supercells across the central part of the country, a relative few were tornadic. Given the parameters in place, I was also incredibly surprised to see very (very) few strong-violent tornadoes.
 
Given the parameters in place, I was also incredibly surprised to see very (very) few strong-violent tornadoes.

Absolutely. Although the supercell that moved through Indianapolis (and passed just south of our office...nothing like watching power flashes for a few seconds out the front door of the building in between pumping out warnings and statements) produced several tornadoes, I was on the survey team for those tornadoes and only one had a small area of F2 damage, that being the one that moved through the south side of Indianapolis. This was around 00z, and the 0-1km shear at the time was 25-30 knots...1km background SRH of 300-350 m2/s2...deep layer shear of 55 knots...in other words, just completely insane.
 
Given the parameters in place, I was also incredibly surprised to see very (very) few strong-violent tornadoes.

Absolutely. Although the supercell that moved through Indianapolis (and passed just south of our office...nothing like watching power flashes for a few seconds out the front door of the building in between pumping out warnings and statements) produced several tornadoes, I was on the survey team for those tornadoes and only one had a small area of F2 damage, that being the one that moved through the south side of Indianapolis. This was around 00z, and the 0-1km shear at the time was 25-30 knots...1km background SRH of 300-350 m2/s2...deep layer shear of 55 knots...in other words, just completely insane.

While I don't really remember the setup on that date (don't remember how strong/deep instability/shear was)... Is it possible that shear may have been too strong for the instability, and perhaps the best instability was a bit higher up than the 0-3km layer (in terms of CAPE)? Those are just some guesses I'm throwing out, but I am sure you guy's have looked at that (I can't seem to find ANY case studies on the event)...

EDIT: Okay, I found this: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ilx/events/may302004/may30.php

One of the graphics on there shows CAPE in excess of 5000J/KG :shock:... Stretching that out over the column would yield some pretty extensive instability in the 0-3KM layer...
 
I've been looking at archived mesoanalysis graphics and RUC soundings for a case study, and the low level cape was quite impressive near IND at around the time of the F2. Not the best I've ever seen, but nothing to shake a stick at, that's for sure.
 
I doubt there will ever be another super outbreak. The "odds" of that many violent tornadoes hitting cities again? Near 0
 
The only reason I remember this day was it was the day before my ex girlfriend's birthday. We had "big" plans that night so I was stuck with that. As it turned out nothing all that exciting really happened around here anyway...
 
I doubt there will ever be another super outbreak. The "odds" of that many violent tornadoes hitting cities again? Near 0

Given enough time, I think it will happen again. We still don't yet know how often outbreaks of that magnitude occur. For instance, is it once in 100 hundred years? Is it 500 years? Maybe 1000 years? Unfortunately, proper documentation of tornadoes is a fairly recent thing. So much of the first half of the 1900's likely saw more tornadoes than what is officially documented and on record. It's possible similar size outbreaks have occurred within the past 100 years but due to the lack of data, we simply don't know.

But given it happened once, chances are good that it will happen again. It might be this Spring. It might be in 5 years. Or it may be 100 years or longer in coming. But sooner or later, it will eventually happen again. And chances are probably pretty good that when it does, it will happen over the same general area.

-George
 
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