Tornado Watch #1 & Some Wonderings......

To be as cheesy as you can get - I thought it was nostalgically worth mentioning that Tornado Watch #1 of 2007 has been issued across the Louisiana coastline:

>>Image removed because of redundancy<<

Now - to be slightly less cheesy - I wanted to comment on something that I have been wondering about for a little while now. I know there is a discussion thread in the FCST section regarding today's event - and I looked briefly at some stuff myself - but seeing a T-box issued instead of a SVR-box is quite surprising.

I don't crunch numbers - in fact, I barely have time to crunch my cereal in the morning......but has anybody here taken a modern day (i.e. past 1-2 years) look at the ratio of T-boxes vs. SVR-boxes that are issued these days? If so - what are the findings compared to five or ten years ago - or longer?

To me from a mere bystander's viewpoint it looks and feels like there are far more Tornado Watches getting flung around these days than there are Severe Thunderstorm Watches.......and that surprises me. Especially with the radar signature moving into the watch box as is pictured above!

Just musing......

KL
 
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Yeah, I've wondered the same thing the last five or six years. I figured it was just me, that I only really paid attention to the watch boxes when they were Tornado Watches. It seems like every time I notice a Severe T-storm Watch box, it's up in the mountains or on the coastline. I'd love to see the numbers.

Perhaps with the increasing understanding of the processes and better instrumentation, as you noted, such factors as helicity and shear are more readily noted on a smaller and smaller scale. The definition of "favorable" may have become a little more ambiguous in recent years. Just a guess :confused:
 
3 Tornado reports and 1 wind report so far with watch #1 2007. Karen and paul, I agree with your observations. I to have noticed an increase in the number of tornado watches but I disagree with your comment that tornado warnings are being flung around. You know there has been an increase in overall activity over the united states for the last 24 months now. I think were starting to see change in our climate. I dont buy into the global warming theory simply because ultimately humans are the ones blamed for the problem. I do think that climate change does happen on this planet. Tornado watches are not being flung around like you think.
 
"Cold season" dynamic events usually warrant enough risk so that nearly every watch issued is a tornado watch. Later on, when dynamics decrease and instability increase, the ratio of tornado to severe tstorm watches becomes less and less, and by summer time most watches are severe tstorm.

Today's event was probably pretty dynamic, and enough to warrant a tornado watch despite meager reflectivity signatures. And in fact, one fatality has already been reported in southern Louisiana.
 
Tornado watches are not being flung around like you think.

Obviously, the watch in southern Louisiana is merited. I wasn't trying to imply that the watches posted over recent years were unwarranted. I simply think the NWS is looking at atmospheric conditions on a more detailed scale, which is a good thing. The blossoming of meso- and miso- scale meteorology has contributed to earlier and better detection of the elements necessary to produce tornados. I don't believe the NWS offices or SPC have a hair trigger. But I DO think that regardless of the cause, people become accustomed to watches and pay them less heed. It's human nature to filter out the background "noise". I hope the general public will choose to have a healthy respect for what nature can do.
 
Paul my statement was generally dericted at Karens statement on the subject,
To me from a mere bystander's viewpoint it looks and feels like there are far more Tornado Watches getting flung around these days than there are Severe Thunderstorm Watches.......and that surprises me. Especially with the radar signature moving into the watch box as is pictured above!

In fact I agree with the statement you have made paul,
Obviously, the watch in southern Louisiana is merited. I wasn't trying to imply that the watches posted over recent years were unwarranted. I simply think the NWS is looking at atmospheric conditions on a more detailed scale, which is a good thing. The blossoming of meso- and miso- scale meteorology has contributed to earlier and better detection of the elements necessary to produce tornados. I don't believe the NWS offices or SPC have a hair trigger. But I DO think that regardless of the cause, people become accustomed to watches and pay them less heed. It's human nature to filter out the background "noise". I hope the general public will choose to have a healthy respect for what nature can do.
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I think we've seen a recent pick up in activity as well these last couple of months. Also the dynamics needed for tornado development has increased with the last couple of systems and yes we have seen alot of tornado watches posted but evey single one of them were needed.
 
Here's an interesting little bit of research someone may want to do: when was the last time that the first tornado-related fatality occurred in the first tornado watch of the year?
 
when was the last time that the first tornado-related fatality occurred in the first tornado watch of the year?

Maybe not as far back as one would naturally think. If you think about it, the first tornado watch of each year would likely fall in January or February, when few would expect such weather. Of course, how often does the first watch actually produce a tornadic storm, in a populated area? It would be interesting.
 
Great thread and I'm glad it opened some discussion. Thanks to all who felt like replying. I'm not proud and I'll be the first to eat my own words. I'm doing so in this case.

As of right now per SPC Storm Reports, there seems to have been two confirmed fatalities and three individuals in critical condition as we speak in the affected Iberia County, LA. Sadly, it appears that - yet again - a mobile home community was hit by what would appear preliminarily to be a tornado.

I admit that accusing these poor T-boxes as "flinging" themselves around may have been a little harsh. I didn't have the time to look at much data this afternoon and merely felt like posting this thread because it has been a long time since I've started a weather-related thread, and I had what I believed a valid topic for discussion.

I must admit I like Jim Tang's dynamics/time of year related explanation to why I am seeing so many T-boxes as of late. It stands to reason that, as we progress into the more subtle time of year (April/May/June) - often the dynamics become more obscure w/r/t a "will it - won't it?" question being answered. There are far more questions, I guess, to be asked of setups in mid Spring than there are in January with rip-roaring bowling balls when deciding whether to go blue or red.

I think that this, too, is a big player in some of the reasons why we chase when we chase (apart from not wanting to get knocked on the head by a giant weed-wacker in Oktibbeha County Mississippi in early February). We chase when we can examine the fine skeins of atmospheric disturbances and pick them out a day or two in advance. We chase when we can identify parameters coming into alignment that will pose not just a severe thunderstorm possibility - but also a tornadic possibility.

I guess also - at the other end of the spectrum - I shouldn't forget that THIS happened to me back in 2002 in what was initially a severe box:

BrownCo.06.JPG



You live and learn, certainly.

Oh - by the way - if anybody has any radar/velocity grabs from the killer storm in southern LA this evening I would be interested in seeing it.

KL
 
Seems like Severe Thunderstorm watches shifted to tornado watches, and tornado watches shifted to PDS tornado watches which I guess could make sense. Severe Thunderstorms can and do produce tornadoes without warning.....just my observation although in the Rockies, Eastern seaboard and Great Lakes we still get our fair share of SVR THDR WX Boxes
 
Karen, your previous post with the photo reminded me of May 9th, 2006 when a high end F2 tornado did this in the town of Childress under a severe watch box.

dsc04885ww7.jpg
 
Currently, the southeastern Gulf Coast states continue to be covered by tornado watches as of this hour. I think there has been a tornado watch in effect constantly since Watch #1 was issued yesterday afternoon.

This discussion raises two questions, then:

1. What is the criteria for a tornado watch verifying? (Read: NOT the criteria for issuing one - but for the issued watch actually verifying). I am assuming it is merely one tornado report within the boxed area but I would like to know for sure.

2. What is the ratio of verified vs. non-verified tornado watches - especially in the past couple of years?

KL
 
To answere Tony's question

when was the last time that the first tornado-related fatality occurred in the first tornado watch of the year?
I think it will be safe to say yesterday was the last time a tornado-related fatality occured in the first tornado watch of the year.
 
To answere Tony's question


I think it will be safe to say yesterday was the last time a tornado-related fatality occured in the first tornado watch of the year.

I think the question that Tony was asking was "has there ever been an instance before YESTERDAY that a tornado-related fatality occurred in Tornado Watch #1?".

KL
 
It looks like there ended up being three fatalities from yesterday's New Iberia storm in LA. Unfortunately, this tornado/event hit a mobile home park.

Does anybody have any radar images from this area during the event? I would be interested to see them as I was not watching radar at the time. I don't know whether it was an isolated event or whether this was something that occurred in a bow/comma head/break-in-line situation.

KL
 
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