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Rare 'High End, Life Threatening' Tornado Outbreak Likely Saturday

It's very strange, isn't it? There's this big ginormous gorilla called "global warming" sitting in the middle of the room, and yet very few prominent people acknowledge it as such. In the meantime, we're setting all kinds of records for

It's very strange, isn't it? There's this big ginormous gorilla called "global warming" sitting in the middle of the room, and yet very few prominent people acknowledge it as such. In the meantime, we're setting all kinds of records for temperature extremes, yet the only thing we hear out of the Republicans is to insist that the federal government shouldn't help clean up after weather disasters — the disasters they set up by blocking any kind of regulation that would have helped prevent them from happening.

It all makes my head hurt. Via Blue State Press:

A “high-end, life-threatening” tornado outbreak is likely on Saturday from Texas northeastward to Iowa, with Kansas and Oklahoma at the greatest risk for powerful tornadoes, and another area of heightened risk in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, according to theStorm Prediction Center (SPC).

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Severe thunderstorm outlook for Saturday, April 14, showing the area at "High Risk" for severe weather. Credit: NOAA/SPC.

Cities under the greatest tornado threat include Oklahoma City, Okla., Omaha, Neb., and Wichita, Kan. That National Weather Service forecast offices in those two cities have preparedmultimedia forecast briefings to discuss the tornado threats in greater detail.The SPC, which is part of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), issued a rare “high risk” outlook for severe weather more than a day in advance for a swath of Oklahoma and Kansas, with a "moderate risk" covering a broader area from Texas to Iowa.

This is only the second time that a "high risk" has been issued two days in advance, and the first time ever for the "initial day two" forecast, according to a post on SPC's Facebook page. The only other time a "high risk" outlook was issued for a two-day forecast was for anoutbreak on April 7, 2006, when more than 70 tornadoes touched down, killing 13 and causing more than $1 billion in damage.

According to SPC forecasters, on Saturday, a low pressure area in the upper levels of the atmosphere will be moving out of the Four Corners region, as a very powerful jet stream in the mid-levels moves into the central and southern plains. Warm, moist air is expected to surge northward into this area, providing the instability needed to set off severe thunderstorms. A large amount of wind shear, which gives thunderstorms the rotation needed to produce tornadoes, is also forecast to be present. In fact, a forecast discussion on Friday said conditions may be “ideal for strong tornadoes,” as well as for large hail and strong winds. National Weather Service forecast offices were warning residents that tornado risks would extend well after dark on Saturday. The NWS office in Wichita warned: "STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT TORNADOES AFTER DARK SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE POTENTIAL FOR LOSS OF LIFE."

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