November 17th, 2013 Tornado Outbreak: Science into Service
Matthew T. Friedlein, Lead Forecaster, NOAA/NWS Chicago, IL
The nation’s largest tornado outbreak in 2013 occurred outside of the climatologically favored season, with over 70 tornadoes on November 17th devastating parts of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley regions. Prior to and during this anomalous event, it was essential for the science of severe weather to remain the foundation to NWS forecasts, warnings, and decision support. The indication of a widespread severe weather episode with a conditionally higher threat of significant tornadoes became increasingly evident days in advance. As the event unfolded, the synoptic to storm scale environments that favored long-lived supercells and tornadogenesis were continuously analyzed and integrated into decisions made. This high impact and dynamic event serves as a paramount example of how science must continue to be integrated into the NWS efforts to protect life and property.