Weather Blog

What to do when you see 'FC+'? Run for cover!

What to do when you see 'FC+'? Run for cover!
Photo of tornado near Monroe, Oklahoma on May 10, 2010.
Severe weather has been striking the Midwest Monday, with several tornado warnings already issued in Oklahoma and Kansas. And for those flying in or around Oklahoma City, it was quite visible.

This is the report from Oklahoma City's airport 4:57 p.m. Central Time:

KOKC 102157Z 16021G31KT 10SM +FC -TSRA FEW025CB BKN060 BKN150 OVC250 26/21 A2946 TORNADO B54 NW AO2 PK WND 16030/2155 PRESFR P0000

That +FC means there is a tornado reported on the ground. Sure enough, further to the right in the remarks column, it says a tornado began near the airport at 4:54 p.m.

It must not be *that* close to the observation because the peak wind gust was 30 knots -- 35 mph. But certainly not something I want to see on final approach.

Subsequent observations say the tornado lasted 10 minutes, and the station received lightning, hail, and 0.19" of rain in 25 minutes. No word if that particular tornado did any damage, but other tornadoes have been doing quite a bit of damage just south of Oklahoma City.

In addition, the hail with these storms has been incredible -- some stones the size of baseballs or larger!

Take a look at some of these hail photos:
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4
Photo 5
Photo Gallery from KOCO-TV

In a related story, Lubbock, Texas had quite the day with this storm system in the area. The early morning began at 66 degrees with a fog and dew point of 63 degrees (which is... yuck)

But the temperature quickly rocketed to 90 degrees with a 59 mph wind, blowing in dust from New Mexico. Wind remained gusty through the afternoon, with the dew point eventually dropping to 13 degrees -- a staggering 50 degree drop in just 11 hours.

Put another way, the relative humidity at 7 a.m. was 90%, and a skin-cracking 6% at 6 p.m.

(Thanks to Lynn McMurdie and Mark Albright in the UW Atmospheric Sciences Department for pointing out these great weather anomilies today.)