Outlining what my app can do that others can’t unfortunately indicates something bad has happened. In this case, the town of Pilger, NE was just hit moments ago by a large, destructive tornado.

One of the best features of my weather app, ATsWeatherToGo, is the SAF-T-Net alerts that give you advanced warning of dangerous storms. There are many settings to turn on and off. One of them is twisting storm (shear) alerts that will notify you of an approaching/developing tornado. I set my app’s workplace to be Pilger, NE. Unfortunately my weather app’s warnings came true. I only post this to show you that you need as many weather sources to give you as much advance notice as you can, and my free weather app just happens to be one of them.

In the app itself, I set the location (which you can enable 4) to be Pilger, NE.

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Then the alerts started coming in. One after another. First it was “storms in the area”, then “dangerous storm approaching”, followed by “shear storm approaching”, finally an official “tornado warning”. You will notice the BTI rating change from a 7 to a 9. A 7 is already a very strong indicator of a tornado. A 9 or 10 rating will always be a tornado. You can see a more detailed breakdown of the BTI scale on my website here: https://aarontuttleweather.com/ATsWeatherToGo.html

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You can see how the people in the town of Pilger received 25 minutes of advanced warning of what was coming. The tornado actually hit at approximately 5:18pm according to Doppler radar. This gave those people additional time to react and get their family safe as best as they can, preparing for the worst and praying for the best.

NEXRAD 4 panel-image of radar reflectivity (TL), velocity (TR), ZDR (BL) and CC (BR). The bottom two dual-polarization products in each 4-panel image are used as pseudo ground truth that damage is occurring by detecting non-weather targets in the mesocyclone part of the storm, also known as debris (shown very well in dark blue area in CC). This is never good news and indicates a strong enough tornado that is doing significant damage. The radar also shows 2 tornadoes occurring at the same time when it was moving through Pilger, which is a rare phenomenon. First image shows the original tornado passing W of Stranton. The second two images highlight the two tornadoes, one moving into the town of Pilger and the other just east near Wisner. There are actually two “debris balls” or high reflectivity contours where the center of the tornadoes are in the last image (top left panel).

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First tornado passes to the W/NW of Stranton. A new tornado would form after this one that would later hit Pilger while as another would form at the same time and hit the town just east of there.

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NEXRAD Dual-Polarization radar 4panel highlighting two tornadoes. One about to move into Pilger, the other just to the SE. Large area of low CC values bottom right indicate debris already being lofted into the storm.

PilgerRadarHit

NEXRAD Dual-Polarization radar 4panel highlighting two tornadoes. One on top of the town of Pilger, the other just to the SE. Two debris ball signatures (high reflectivity contours indicating strong power returns from non-weather targets, aka debris). Low CC values and near zero ZDR at bottom two panels confirm. In addition due to high chaotic spectral width, storm relative velocity was slightly garbled during this time. (Data time stamp is 4:18pm CST)

 

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Twin tornadoes captured. One hitting Pilger at this time.

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So far damage photos are just now trickling in from the area and it’s not good. Please pray for the town of Pilger, NE and other towns nearby that were also hit this afternoon and evening and help out in any way if you can.  Folks in Oklahoma know all to well what they will be going through.

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Always make sure you have a working NOAA Weather Radio and you can can download my free weather app directly from the links below:

ATsWeatherToGo
Apple: http://bit.ly/1kNsQdJ
Android: http://bit.ly/ScsTJh

 

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