May 27th Deadly Severe Weather

May 27, 2017 Missouri Deadly Severe WeatherThe National Weather Service in Springfield, Missouri confirms that five tornadoes touched down within our County Warning Area during the afternoon hours of Saturday, May 27, 2017 disrupting Skywarn coverage in the process. All five tornadoes were rated at EF-1 and had estimated winds of 90 miles per hour. They occurred within a one-hour span starting at 2:38 p.m. Central Time near Lake of the Ozarks with the final confirmed tornado hitting at 3:25 p.m. near Fort Leonard Wood. No injuries were reported with these tornadoes. Of direct interest to Skywarn: the tornadoes near Lake of the Ozarks knocked out power to our affiliate repeater in Laurie, Missouri on 146.955 MHz. This outage lasted for around 2 days and also disrupted service to three major cellular telephone companies as well as broadcast radio station KRMS AM & FM.

As the final tornado in this timeline was touching down at Fort Leonard Wood, things became interesting when the situation seemed to transition into a significant straight-line wind damage event that was around 50 miles long! Storm survey crews say this destructive swath of wind started in far southeastern Laclede County. It then continued across northern Texas County, southern Pulaski County, southern Phelps County, western Dent County, and ended in central Dent County. Reports say areas of large trees were uprooted or snapped off. Utility lines and poles were blown down or hit by falling trees aloMay 27, 2017 Missouri Straight Line Windsng most of this event’s path. The hardest hit areas with more concentrated damage, including structural damage, were the communities of Edger Springs, Salem, and along portions of Highway 17. Both communities experienced minor to major damage to homes, businesses, and outbuildings. In one instance, the metal roof and main structure of a church gym in Salem was crushed downward which indicated a downburst wind up to nearly 100 m.p.h. Reports of vehicle, roof, and window damage were numerous across these communities. Some rural communities such as north of Evening Shade, Palace, Big Piney, and along Highway H sustained some structural damage with numerous trees falling on vehicles and roofs. Several outbuildings were severely damaged or destroyed. Some additional highways like Highway 63, Highway C, Highway DD, Highway 72, Highway 68, Highway 19, and Highway 32 were impacted by these intense straight line winds. Servey crews say that based on the damage from this event, wind speeds of 80 to 95 miles per hour were common along with several areas of downburst winds that possibly reached up to 100 m.p.h.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Springfield say this severe weather outbreak was the result of extreme amounts of instability in the atmosphere combined with strong wind shear which created a volatile atmosphere. The results were the multiple thunderstorm line segments which produced the spin-up tornadoes and the destructive straight-line winds. Additionally, supercell thunderstorms also developed and were responsible for the very large hail. There were numerous reports of hail between 1 and 2 inches in diameter throughout our County Warning Area with one report of injuries near Carthage, Missouri due to the hail shattering a vehicle’s windshield. Meanwhile, just north of our C.W.A. in Adrian, Missouri, there were reports of grapefruit-sized hail which caused significant damage!

May 27, 2017 Missouri Deadly Torrential RainAs the storms congealed into a west-to-east oriented line, torrential rainfall resulted in deadly flash flooding. Forecasters say the heaviest rainfall occurred in the Branson, Missouri area where 3 to 6 inches of rain fell in about a three hour stretch. This resulted in significant flash flooding of local creeks including Fall Creek, Cooper Creek, and Roark Creek. Multiple businesses and the Branson Campground were flooded as these creeks rose out of their banks. Several water rescues were conducted near these creeks as water rose quickly. Fall Creek reportedly rose as much as 14 feet in just 15 minutes! Sadly three people in Branson, Missouri died after their vehicle was swept away at a low water crossing along Fall Creek Road.

For details about this deadly severe weather outbreak including tornado track maps, please click here.


16 Tornadoes, 27 Hours, & A Little Irony

May19 &20, 2017 Missouri TornadoesIf you have ever lived in a part of the world where the weather is mundane day in and day out, it might be hard to imagine how quickly things can change here in Southwest Missouri. Take Southern California for example where the television weather folks are often out-of-work comedians and actors desperate for a gig. They can seemingly record a TV weather segment and replay it over and over for weeks at a time with total accuracy.

Not here. The year isn’t even half over, and there’s probably a lot of new ink in the record books for 2017. It’s not known at this time where the May 19th through May 20th severe weather event will rank compared to past happenings. However, it will certainly be one to remember – at least for a while – with a total of 16 tornadoes confirmed throughout the Springfield, Missouri County Warning Area in only 27 hours along with a bit of irony.

Fortunately the tornadoes which impacted the area were the spin-up type. As compared to the devastating twisters which drop down from supercell thunderstorms, these types of tornadoes are much weaker, smaller, and short-lived. According to the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Springfield, Missouri, this latest batch of tornadoes were the result of several waves pivoting around an upper level storm system as it moved eastward across the central Rocky Mountains. It was those waves, in conjunction with a stationary surface front extending from central Illinois across central Missouri and into south-central Kansas along with a very warm, moist, and unstable air mass that fired off the thunderstorms and the tornadoes.

The average estimated speed of these tornadoes was 87 miles per hour. Interestingly, the strongest and the weakest of these tornadoes happened within a few miles and a few minutes of each other near the Branson area in Taney County, Missouri. The strongest tornado, an EF-1 with estimated winds of 100 miles per hour, hit the Rockaway Beach area along Lake Taneycomo at about 1:30 a.m. on Friday, May 19th. It traveled nearly 9 miles toppling trees and knocking out power all the way to Taneyville. Meanwhile, the weakest tornado of the bunch hit just two minutes earlier in the heart of the Branson Strip. This tornado, a weak EF-0 with estimated winds of around 75 miles per hour, hit the Tanger Outlet Mall and a nearby hotel. Ironically, it was this tornado, the weakest of the cluster, which caused the only report of injuries of this entire event.

We thank Jim, N0UAM, along with all of our spotters for their help during this marathon severe weather event. For a complete list of the confirmed tornadoes from the May 19th through May 20th event along with track maps, please click here.

EF-0 Tornado Confirmed in Newton County

Newton Coounty Missouri Tornado May 11, 2017The National Weather Service in Springfield, Missouri is confirming that an EF-0 tornado touched down nothwest of Neosho in Newton County during the early morning severe weather event of Thursday, May 11, 2017. The 100-yard-wide tornado touched down near the intersection of Gateway Drive and Jute Road uprooting several trees and causing minor damage to several roofs and damaging or destroying several outbuildings. Surveyors say the tornado hit at 12:34 a.m. Central Time and only stayed on the ground for one mile. Peak winds are estimated at 85 miles per hour. No injuries or fatalities were reported.

Forecasters say this first wave of severe weather on May 11th was caused when a surface front, initially across northern Missouri, moved slowly southward as an upper level low over the southern Rockies made its way eastward into the Central Plains.  This surface front then stalled as it approached the Missouri-Arkansas border.  A very moist and unstable air mass south of the front set off several rounds of severe weather.  It was this first round early in the morning of May 11th which spawned the tornado.

Later rounds of severe weather during the mid morning and afternoon hours garnered several reports of strong winds and hail up to the size of golf balls throughout our County Warning Area southward into northern Arkansas.

So far there are no confirmed reports of a tornado resulting from a tornado-warned storm which set off warnings in Lawrence, Christian, and Greene Counties late Thursday afternoon. You can find more information on the May 11, 2017 severe weather event from the National Weather Service in Springfield, Missouri by clicking here.


April 2017 Warm, Record Rainfall

The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Springfield, Missouri says April 2017 was a month with above normal temperatures across the area and near record to record breaking rainfall throughout Southwest Missouri and extreme Southeast Kansas.

Here are some links to significant weather events through the month:

April 4th, Severe Storms and Tornadoes

April 26th Tornado

April 28th – 30th – Historic Flooding Event

Click the graphic below for more details…

April 2017 Missouri Ozarks Climate Summary

EF-1 Tornado in Barry & Stone Counties

April 26, 2017 Tornado Barry & Stone Counties MissouriStorm survey crews from both the National Weather Service in Little Rock, Arkansas and the National Weather Service in Springfield, Missouri are confirming an EF-1 tornado which they say formed last week in Northwest Arkansas and skinned Barry and Stone Counties before dissipating. The tornado formed when a line of strong to severe thunderstorms moved from eastern Oklahoma into northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri during the late night hours of Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

Shortly after 1 a.m. on Wednesday, April 26th, the line of storms developed a bowing segment as it was approaching the Arkansas/Missouri state line. An embedded circulation produced an EF-1 tornado that touched down in Carroll County, AR at 1:22 a.m. The tornado spent most of its time on the ground in Carroll County, AR before barely clipping the far southeastern corner of Barry County, MO at approximately 1:34 a.m where it was estimated to be about 1,000 yards wide. One minute later the tornado exited Barry County after leaving a path less than a mile long. It entered Stone County, MO where it maintained its estimated width of 1,000 yards while traveling for about 2 miles before dissipating at 1:38 a.m.

The total path length for the tornado in both Arkansas and Missouri was 16 miles. The majority of the EF-1 damage occurred in Arkansas where the tornado reached a maximum width of 1,500 yards.

The tornado produced a lot of tree damage, but no damage to structures, homes or other properties is being reported. There were no injuries or fatalities.

2017 Historic Flooding Event

April 28-20, 2017 Storm TotalsHistoric flooding continues following a powerful storm system which brought torrential rainfall to the Missouri Ozarks and southeastern Kansas from Friday night, April 28 through Sunday, April 30. Widespread damage, fatalities, and historic flooding have resulted. According to reports from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Springfield, Missouri, storm total rainfall amounts generally ranged from 4 to 8 inches with some areas of far southern and south central Missouri receiving from 10 to around 12 inches. Numerous roads, bridges and buildings were destroyed. Many roads were flooded through the event including state highways and Interstate 44. Several rivers continue reaching major and historic levels.

Here’s a play-by-play of how the event unfolded as told by the folks at the NWS Springfield: On Friday afternoon, April 28th, a stationary front that extended from southeast Missouri across west central Arkansas into south central Oklahoma began moving northward as a warm front. As an upper level system moved out of the southern Rockies, moisture from the Gulf of Mexico began to get pulled northward up and over the stationary front. By Saturday afternoon, the warm front had moved as far north as Interstate 44. As a series of surface lows moved northeastward along the front, it brought with it waves of showers and thunderstorms that brought continuous heavy rainfall across the same area during the day on Saturday. As the warm front continued to move northward on Sunday, the cold front swept in behind it from the west bringing an end to the rainfall.

This event is far from over. Water levels continue to rise from continuous runoff from this past storm. Additionally, another storm is looming and is expected to bring anywhere from 2 to 3 1/2 inches of rain throughout our County Warning Area starting tonight and lasting into early Thursday.

Flash Flood Watches are already in effect. If you live in a flood-prone area, do not wait for a warning to be issued if you observe water rising. Remain weather aware, and be proactive.