We're under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch this afternoon as yet another blob of thunderstorms moves in our direction. Well, maybe "blob" isn't the right word. The technical term is MCS, or Mesoscale Convective System.
Currently, the worst of the MCS is aiming to our north toward St. Louis, but the whole blob could strengthen this afternoon as it moves across the area. Wind gusts and large hail are the biggest threats. The risk of tornadoes is low, but greater than zero.
More rounds of storms are expected through Thursday. The threat of severe thunderstorms is bad enough, but could see more heavy rain. The 5-day rainfall projections puts us in the purplish color for 2-3 inches.
I can't believe it happened again
I was shocked a few weeks ago when I first heard the news of the death toll from the tornadoes in Alabama.
I was shocked again today when I first heard the news of the death toll from the tornado in Joplin.
These are both historic tornado events. I'm reminded of the old saying, "One-in-a-million events happen 9 times out of 10."
Tornadoes, of course, are a frequent occurence during the spring, but they tend to be small twisters that hit rural areas. In 2011, the tornadoes have been unusually fierce -- and aimed right in the middle of cities (Tuscaloosa and Birmingham in Alabama, and now Joplin in Missouri). That's why these storms have been so deadly.
It appears that the Joplin tornado will be the single deadliest tornado strike since the 1950s. Jeff Masters over at Wunderground.com suggests it could be the costliest single tornado in history. (The outbreak that struck the South last month was deadlier, but involved more than one tornado.)