Disruption in U.S. Weather Warning System During Severe Storms

Disruption in U.S. Weather Warning System During Severe Storms

“Some of our warning services were affected,” stated a spokesperson from the National Weather Service regarding a recent outage that occurred as severe weather swept through the central United States overnight into Tuesday. The outage, which impacted radar data sites, lasted approximately five hours, disrupting forecasters’ ability to issue timely warnings about hazardous weather conditions. Initially thought to endure for four hours, the outage was later confirmed to have lasted longer, prompting a revised statement from the Weather Service on Tuesday afternoon.

Reports from the Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center indicated that severe storms, including hail and high winds, had battered the central region of the country on Monday night into Tuesday, with tornadoes touching down in Oklahoma. The forecast warned of continued thunderstorms and the potential for tornadoes across much of the Ohio Valley in the Midwest and South later on Tuesday afternoon and evening. Despite the temporary setback caused by the outage, weather tracking systems were restored to functionality by early Tuesday morning.

In Pueblo, Colorado, the weather network experienced a disruption around 11:40 p.m. local time, as reported by Makoto Moore, a meteorologist stationed there. The National Weather Service office in Boulder, Colorado, assumed Pueblo’s responsibilities until the network was restored around 3 a.m., according to Mr. Moore, who noted that similar incidents were rare in his memory.

Fortunately, the outage occurred without any severe weather incidents in Pueblo. Meanwhile, in the St. Louis area, storms wreaked havoc, toppling trees and unleashing strong winds, hail, and rain overnight. Local National Weather Service meteorologists faced network issues but relied on backup procedures to manage disruptions.

Jared Maples, a meteorologist from the St. Louis Weather Service office, explained that the Kansas City office provided backup support during the outage. Despite the challenging weather conditions, contingency plans ensured operational continuity.

By 6:30 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, services returned to normalcy, according to Michael Musher, the Weather Service spokesperson. The Weather Service IT team rectified the issue by relocating network services from the data center in College Park, Maryland, to Boulder, Colorado.

Efforts are underway to determine the root cause of the outage in collaboration with the vendor. Mark Taylor, a weather technology consultant, emphasized the rarity of such outages and highlighted their potential risks during extreme weather events. He stressed the critical importance of swift alerts, particularly in situations involving tornadoes, where every second counts.

The National Weather Service Erie

Hazardous Weather Outlook for Erie Area

The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a hazardous weather outlook for the Erie area on Monday night, which remains in effect throughout Tuesday. The outlook warns of potential minor flooding, particularly on the most responsive creeks and rivers in the southern half of Erie County and surrounding areas.

Forecast for Tuesday Night

Showers and thunderstorms are expected to redevelop late Tuesday afternoon and evening, with the possibility of severe weather including damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes. This hazardous weather warning also applies to Erie, Crawford, and Ashtabula counties, as well as Mercer and Venango counties.

Weekly Forecast Overview

While no hazardous weather is predicted after Tuesday night, Erie can expect a week filled with rain and a mix of snow. Temperatures will range from the mid to upper 40s on Tuesday, with a high near 50 degrees. Tuesday night carries a 90% chance of showers and thunderstorms, with rainfall totaling between a quarter and a half of an inch.

Possible Thunderstorms on Wednesday

Wednesday will continue with showers and a possible thunderstorm, with temperatures dropping to a low of 43 degrees. Winds will range from 9 to 16 mph, with an 80% chance of precipitation totaling between a half and three quarters of an inch.

Wednesday Night Forecast

Wednesday night will see showers mainly after 3 a.m., with cloudy skies and a low temperature of 35 degrees. Winds will be light, ranging from three to five mph, with a 60% chance of rain totaling between a tenth and a quarter of an inch.

Rain and Snow Mix on Thursday

Thursday’s forecast includes more rain but with a mix of snow showers, transitioning to rain showers in the afternoon. The high temperature will be 42 degrees, with a 100% chance of precipitation and minimal snow accumulation expected.

Thursday Night Forecast

Thursday night will bring more rain and snow showers before 9 p.m., with a low temperature of 33 degrees. There’s a 100% chance of precipitation, with snow accumulation expected to be less than a half inch.

Snow and Rain Expected on Friday

Snow showers will continue into Friday, likely changing to rain after 3 p.m. The high temperature is forecasted to reach 42 degrees, with an 80% chance of precipitation. Showers are expected before 9 p.m., with a mostly cloudy night and a low temperature of 36 degrees. There’s a 60% chance of precipitation overnight.