CENTRAL STATES EXPECT SNOW, RAIN AND SEVERE WEATHER AS FLOOD CONCERNS GROW
March 30, 2007 — As a slow-moving low pressure system and associated cold front continue to move across the Central Plains, NOAA weather forecasters expect rains to continue and flooding to worsen from the Canadian border on the Red River of the North to the Rio Grande River in southern Texas. The low pressure was centered in northern Nebraska early Friday morning and is expected to strengthen Friday night before moving slowly eastward over the weekend. (Click NOAA image for larger view of weather watches and warnings issued by the NOAA Storm Prediction Center as of 2:09 p.m. EDT on March 30, 2007. Click here for latest watches and warnings. Please credit “NOAA.”)
Impacting the weather to some extent in 17 central states, the storm has left more than four feet of snow in areas of Wyoming, with isolated areas of heavy snow possible Friday. The chance of tornadoes is greatly reduced Friday after the system produced up to 65 tornadoes Wednesday and four on Thursday, according to local and national forecasts. Saturated soils and the high likelihood of more rain have prompted concerns for flooding and flash flooding in 13 states from North Dakota to Texas.
“We are far from being out of the woods with this storm system, although the possibility of severe storms and tornadoes looks to be limited more to Oklahoma and Texas,” said NOAA National Weather Service Central Region Director Lynn Maximuk, “We again encourage people to pay attention to the weather and to be especially cautious of flooding and flash flooding as rain continues over a large area through the weekend.”
Quick Reaction Teams from local NOAA National Weather Service forecast offices Thursday provided preliminary intensity ratings for tornadoes in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska.
A tornado that caused a fatality and several injuries in Holly, Colo., was rated as a high EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita intensity scale with winds of 130-135 mph. The twister was rated as possibly greater than EF3 about 15 miles north of the community. Tornadoes that hit Bird City, Kan., and Benkelman, Neb., were rated high EF2 or low EF3. The Grant, Neb., tornado was rated EF2, and the tornado that hit Ogallala, Neb., was rated EF1. Tornadoes that hit rural areas of west-central Kansas were rated EF1-EF2. The tornado that tore through Hodgeman and Ness counties in Kansas was rated EF3.
survey team from NOAA’s Pueblo forecast office will return to
Holly, Friday, for additional damage assessment and meetings with emergency
management officials and residents.
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