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UPDATE: Please see this entry for a summary of the Inaugural Tornado Outbreak's statistics:
After two days of deadly tornadoes, even worse is on tap for today, Sunday Jan. 22, 2017. I'd like to say today won't go down in history as a major tornado outbreak with a large number of fatalities, but methodologically speaking, it seems likely. The Storm Prediction Center issued a rare high risk for parts of the Southeast today, setting the following records:*
What concerns me about this is that the residents of today's High Risk area may have never seen tornadoes this big before. In fact, the SPC says the chance of major tornadoes (EF-3 to EF-5) is high. Southern Georgia and Florida have only seen 2 EF-4 tornadoes each since 1950; no EF-5s.
The low pressure system that's causing the severe thunderstorms is going to be very strong -- last night's run of the 4K-NAM model predicted a minimum central pressure of 977mb -- equivalent to the normal pressure of a Category 2 Hurricane -- which threatened all-time pressure records in the inland Southeast.
Fortunately, today's models have raised the pressure by a few millibars -- but records will still be close. The HRRR model this morning suggested the low pressure area might present with an eye-like feature invoking memories of the "inland hurricane" or "landcane" of 2010.
*Reliable records go back to 1980. While the 06Z March 1, 2007 risk map shown on WikiPedia did not include this area, the 13Z outlook did. Prior to that, 1989 may have been the last time the Panhandle and southwest Georgia saw a High Risk.
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