NWS upgrades storm risk

Cheryl Sanders
April 16, 2018

A watch means the conditions are right for a tornado to potentially form, but one has not been spotted yet.

A firefighter reported 3 inches of rain had fallen in the Palm Lake neighborhood in Slidell as of 12:56 p.m.

Past year the state had 41 twisters, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Storm Prediction Center.

NWS meteorologist Nathan Owen said late Friday afternoon that the line of storms could be severe at times, especially in West Central Alabama and west of U.S. Interstate 65. Almost three-quarters of all tornadoes in Minnesota have occurred during the three months of May (15 percent), June (37 percent), and July (25 percent).

The weather service also issued a rip current statement, which states there will be a high risk of rip currents at area beaches through Tuesday afternoon.

Besides the obvious refresher, another reason for the tests is because it allows the public to test their weather radios, which can only be activated using a real tornado warning code.

The National Weather Service issued winter storm watches and warnings for a good share of the state except for Madison, Milwaukee and counties toward IL, with up to 15 inches of snow in northern and central Wisconsin and up to four-tenths of an inch of ice in counties just north of Madison expected.

"The outdoor warning system in Dane County is fully automated", explained Dave Janda, the assistant director of Dane County Emergency Management Services.

The area will experience showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2 p.m.

The immediate forecast does not include the spring and summertime hazard, but rather a significant winter storm expected to arrive Friday afternoon.

A National Weather Service forecaster said it's likely that officials won't be able to conduct a survey to determine if the damage actually resulted from a tornado touchdown until Sunday.

He said it is worrisome to hear rainfall totals could reach 4 inches.

At 8 p.m., the heaviest storms extended in a roughly north-to-south line from Staunton to Farmville to Raleigh, N.C., and continued moving on an east-to-northeast path across the Piedmont.

"For your area, the timing is a little uncertain overall", he said.

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