Monday, 28 April 2014

Major tornado outbreak in southern US

A photo posted on Twitter by The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore of the 1/2 mile wide Vilonia, Arkansas tornado on the ground after dark last night, a very dangerous situation.
What had been a very slow start to the 2014 tornado season changed rapidly this past weekend. A series of long lasting and wide tornadoes swept across several communities from the southern Plains into the southeast US over the weekend. Until Friday night, the US had yet to report an EF3 tornado or stronger on the Enhanced Fujita scale (0-5), the latest of any reporting year since 1952. Late Friday strong thunderstorms produced an EF3 tornado in Washington County, North Carolina, killing an 11 month old boy, the first fatality of 2014. It was just the beginning of a long, violent weather weekend that will continue into today. Last evening a half mile wide tornado flattened the Little Rock northern suburb of Vilonia, Arkansas. The community of just over 3000 was nearly wiped off the map. The storms last night have killed at least 18 people with the death toll likely to climb as first responders sift through destroyed homes and businesses at first light this morning.

Another Twitter photo taken by a drone flying over Interstate 40 and showing tremendous damage to cars and trailers just outside Mayflower, Arkansas.
Greg Johnson of, a well respected storm chaser from Saskatchewan, has been on the ground all night in Vilonia helping to rescue survivors and administer first aid. He reports it is a difficult situation with many killed and injured and incredible, potentially EF5 damage. The storms continue this morning and will become intense later in the day across many of the same regions and expanding east. Tornadoes were also reported in Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.

Montreal Weather
The same slow moving low pressure area that is helping to fuel those storms in the southern US will affect the weather in southern Quebec this week. It will be sunny in Montreal today, but with that same northeast wind and chill in the air. Look for highs near 12C (54F), still below normal. This will be the best day of the week. Low pressure over the western Great Lakes this morning will move eastward and stall over the eastern lakes by Wednesday. It will send clouds on Tuesday followed by rain for the balance of the week. Temperatures under clouds and persistent precipitation will remain chilly, 11 to 14C for highs and 5 to 7C for lows. A few isolated non-severe thunderstorms may make it into southern Ontario, but any severe weather will remain well to our south this week.

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