Severe Weather In Tornado Alley And Eastward (May 2nd Update)
Severe spring thunderstorms frequently spawned tornadoes from the Gulf Coast north and eastward during the past seven days. From April 25 to May 2, 2016 there were over 67 tornadoes in the United States reported to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Many of these tornadoes were located in an area that includes the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. This area of the Great Plains has been labeled Tornado Alley due to the many tornadoes that occur there this time of year. Gulf moisture clashing with frontal systems moving over the United States provided much of the fuel for intense showers and severe thunderstorms. Flash flooding was often the result of the sudden onset of extremely heavy rainfall. Six fatalities were blamed on flooding that hit Palestine, Texas over the weekend.
NASA's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) data were used to estimate the amount of rain that fell from April 25 to May 2, 2016. The locations of some of the tornadoes that hit this area over the past seven days are shown overlaid in white on this IMERG rainfall analysis. Rainfall totals greater than 305 mm (12 inches) were analyzed in several areas over the United States from Kansas to the East Coast. Over 305 mm (12 inches) of rain was reported in southern Mississippi in only a few hours on the morning of April 28, 2016. Very high rainfall totals were found by this analysis in the states of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi. Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and North Carolina were also the recipients of heavy rainfall.