Last week, a number of meteorologists were warning of an epic severe weather event, one that would--perhaps--rival the tornado "Super Outbreak" of 1974. And to use a bad pun, a lot of folks (including this blog) got sucked up in the hype.
Yes, there was a significant outbreak of severe weather across the South and Midwest last week. But it failed to equal the events of 34 years ago (Thank God), not to mention more recent outbreaks of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms
How did the forecasters get it wrong? Accu-Weather meteorologist Jesse Farrell offers a few thoughts:
My personal opinion in regards to the over-hyping of this outbreak (which I participated in) is that the meteorologists (everywhere) were paying too much attention to matching the overall weather pattern to 1974, and not spending enough time looking at the many wonderful Severe Weather Indices from the Forecast Models. As I noted in my blog on Tuesday and Thursday, these never looked very impressive, or when they did, they were in different geographical locations. Why didn't I promote that fact more? Honestly, since I'm so out-of-the-loop these days in regards to what our forecasters are thinking, I assumed there was something obvious I was missing, and I didn't want to be the guy who said "this outbreak is going to be lame" and we get hundreds of tornado reports.
For the record, the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) reported a total of 57 tornadoes over a four-day period last week (9-12 April). By comparison, there were 149 tornadoes during the Super Outbreak of 1974, which occurred over a 24-hour period.