Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Storm Prediction Center goes into Backup

Last Tuesday (5/24/2011), the city of Norman, as well as the Storm Prediction Center, had a bit of tornado excitement, as not one but two violent tornadoes formed west of town. Though significant structural damage, and unfortunately loss of life occurred, those tornadoes thankfully dissipated before reaching Norman due to destructive storm interference from surrounding convection. However, it initially appeared that the National Weather Center would be impacted by the tornadoes, which prompted Rich Thompson, the lead forecaster on shift that evening, to initiate backup procedures and hand off operations to Scott AFB, which is located near East St. Louis. I was working the mesoscale assistant forecaster desk that day, and spent an hour waiting for the tornado emergency to play itself out. During that time, I managed to take a few pictures of the SPC operations floor during the height of the action, which are posted below.

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