4:45pm Update: The NWS La Crosse has conducted a survey of yesterday’s tornado damage in Howard County, IA and Fillmore County, MN.
Location was from 1.5 miles north of Riceville, IA to about 3 miles northeast of Harmony, MN.
Total track length: 28 miles
Estimated time on ground: 2:33pm to 3:29pm
Strongest EF Damage: Higher-end EF2, winds of 130-135mph
Maximum Width: 250 Yards
10:15am Update: We have crews in Harmony and in the Lime Springs/Riceville, IA area and will have more information from there both here on the blog and on the NewsCenter at Noon, 5, 6, and 10pm.
The current number of tornado reports from Sunday, May 22nd now sits at 48. Today, there is a continued threat for severe, tornadic thunderstorms across much of Oklahoma into far southwest Missouri — an area that is storm weary, to say the very least.
Locally, a tornado (by all appearances, but not confirmed by NWS survey as of this posting) ripped through rural areas of northern Howard County in northeast Iowa and then through southern Fillmore County, lifting just shy of Harmony — at least by all reports so far. There will be a lot more known on specific locations of tornado damage once the National Weather Service has surveyed Howard, Fillmore, Houston, and La Crosse counties.
Here are some of the pictures we’ve received from near Chester, Iowa and near Harmony, MN. Click on each to see a larger version. In addition to the photos posted here, there are many pictures posted to our facebook page.
photo taken by Brandon Lange of his brother Derek's farm in Harmony
The following pictures were taken near Chester, Iowa. They were taken by our KTTC Content Manager, Axel Gumbel.
The following image was put together by the National Weather Service in La Crosse and is a graphical summary of the warnings issued by their office from 1pm – 7pm on Sunday, May 22nd, 2011.
Locally, we were fortunate. The tornado that struck Minneapolis killed one person and left others injured. The worst tornado from Sunday’s outbreak struck Joplin, Missouri. The death toll there is nearing 100 people — last I’d heard from local media in Missouri was 89 killed.
The following is areal video of the tornado that struck Minneapolis.
Well it has been almost 2 weeks since one of the biggest tornadoes outbreaks in United States history. I wanted to share this article I came across written by one of my idols, the weather channels Dr. Greg Forbes. I consider him to be one of the smartest minds in the world of weather. He studied under Dr. Ted Fujita in his gradate school years and taught at Penn State for a little while (so I may be a tad biased!) Check this article out…it really is interesting.
The NWS office in Jackson, MS has been very busy, along with many other NWS offices and agencies in the southeast, surveying storm damage from last week’s outbreak. It’s survey of the ‘Neshoba/Kemper/Winston/Noxubee Counties Tornado’ reveals what an EF-5 tornado is capable of. Here’s a snippet:
“…The three fatalities occurred in northwest Kemper County when a strapped down doublewide mobile home was thrown a distance of approximately 300 yards into a treeline, and then obliterated with the debris and framing scattered many hundreds of yards down the path. There was no indication of ground impacts between the original site of the mobile home and where it ended up to indicate that the mobile home bounced extensively as it travelled…”
The tornado’s strength varied from EF-3 to EF-5, had a path that was 1/2 mile wide and 29 miles long.
NOAA’s estimate of total tornadoes in the 3-day outbreak is 305.
The death toll is estimated at 318 with 309 in the 24-hour period of 8am on the 27th to 8am the 28th.
The Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado during the April 2011 event caused at least 65 fatalities. This tornado had a maximum width of 1.5 miles and a track 80 miles long.
These are the most fatalities from a single tornado in the United States since May 25, 1955, when 80 people were killed in a tornado in southern Kansas with 75 of those deaths in Udall, Kansas.
The deadliest single tornado on record in the United States was the Tri-State tornado (Mo., Ill., Ind.) on March 18, 1925, when 695 died.
The page linked to at the top of this post will continue to be updated in the coming days and weeks. Teams of meteorologists are still on the ground surveying the situation and areas that were struck are still picking up the pieces — and will be for quite some time.
Even though it’s bright and sunny today and certainly not a severe weather environment, the National Weather Service in Des Moines is still talking about tornadoes because a recent survey of the damage in Pocahontas County from the April 9th outbreak shows EF4 tornado intensity. It’s estimated that the winds in this particular tornado reached an astonishing 170 miles per hour! There were 12 tornadoes in western Iowa on that day and 6 of them were rated EF2 (111mph+ winds) or stronger. On a side note, the Precision Forecast team has some safety tips for you on how to survive a tornado on the NewsCenter at 10pm on Wednesday, May 4th!
Here’s the rest of the story regarding those Iowa tornadoes along with some impressive aerial photos and damage summaries compliments of the Des Moines NWS office:
Tornado Damage Survey April 9, 2011 — Pocahontas Tornado Upgraded to EF4
Below is information on the storm damage surveys conducted by the National Weather Service in Des Moines, Iowa.
The tornado that touched down west of Pocahontas and moved east southeast was given an EF4 rating. This is the strongest tornado to hit Iowa since the EF4 tornado that touched down near Sibley Iowa in June 2010. Fortunately people were able to take cover in their basements and there were no injuries with this violent tornado.
Event location: Western Pocahontas county about 10 miles west of Pocahontas
Peak wind: Around 170 mph
Peak path width: 587 yards
Path length: 3.2 miles
Additional notes: This tornado produced low end EF4 damage as determined by the NWS Des Moines office, and in collaboration with multiple wind damage experts. The map shows the track the tornado took on the evening of April 9, 2011.
Pictures 1 – 3 show a combine that was rolled across the road. The yellow circle in the aerial photo (Picture #4) shows the cobine’s location, and the yellow arrow shows where the combine was originally parked. The main track of the tornado is northeast of the farmstead, and is evident by the swirls in the ground. A special thanks to the Iowa Civil Air Patrol for assisting with this survey.
Here are some of the more ugly statistics from the April 26-28, 2011 outbreak.
NOAA’s preliminary estimate is that there were 312 tornadoes during the entire outbreak from 8:00 a.m. EDT April 26 to 8:00 a.m. April 28, 2011.
During the 24-hour period from 8:00 a.m. EDT April 27 to 8:00 a.m. EDT April 28, The National Weather Service (NWS) estimates there were a total of 226 tornadoes.
The largest previous number of tornadoes on record in one event occurred from April 3-4, 1974, with 148 tornadoes.
Expert analysis by NOAA Research and the National Weather Service of the fatality information indicates that at least 344 people were killed during the entire outbreak from 8:00 a.m. EDT April 26 to 8:00 a.m. April 28. There were 334 fatalities during the 24-hour-period from 8:00 a.m. April 27 to 8:00 a.m. April 28.
This is the most people killed by tornadoes in a two-day period since April 5-6, 1936, when 454 people were killed, mostly in Tupelo, Mississippi, and Gainesville, Georgia.
This is thedeadliest single day for tornadoes since the March 18, 1925, tornado outbreak that had 747 fatalities across 7 states (including the Tri-State Tornado).
Here are a couple bullet points from the entire month of April 2011.
NWS’s preliminary estimate is that there have been more than 600 tornadoes thus far during the month of April 2011.
The previous record number of tornadoes during the month of April was 267 tornadoes set in April 1974.
The previous record number of tornadoes during any month was 542 tornadoes set in May 2003.
There has been much comparison from Wednesday’s deadly outbreak to the Super Outbreak of 1974. There have, however, been even worse events on record in the United States and you might be surprised how they rank.
I received this helpful bit of information from our friends at the NWS La Crosse office…
FYI – Ranked by death toll, here are the tornado outbreaks/events with the most deaths in the United States, using Tom Grazulis’ landmark reference book, Significant Tornadoes (1993):
Deadliest U.S. Tornado outbreaks/events (total deaths)
747 dead 18 Mar 1925 MO/IL/IN/KY/TN/AL (Tri-State tornado; 695 dead)
454 dead 5-6 Apr 1936 AR/TN/MS/AL/GA/SC
330 dead 21-22 Mar 1932 IL/IN/KY/TN/MS/AL/GA/SC
324 dead 23-24 Apr 1908 TX/AR/LA/TN/MS/AL/GA
317 dead 6 May 1840 Nachez MS (no records on other tors that day)
307 dead 3-4 Apr 1974 MI/IL/IN/OH/KY/TN/WV/VA/MS/AL/GA/NC
305 dead 27 May 1896 MO/IL (St. Louis tor 255 dead) 300+ dead? 27 April 2011 MS/AL/GA/SC/AR/TN/NC/VA (number still uncertain)
256 dead 11-12 Apr 1965 IA/WI/IL/IN/MI/OH
217 dead 8-9 May 1927 NE/IA/MO/IL/IN/MI/TX/AR/LA/KY
A lot of real estate is being covered by this late April storm system around the entire country. Let’s start right here at home. We had some light start late last night that eventually turned in to some heavier rain overnight. By the time the rain was all said and done, over an inch had fallen in most places.
On the the southern side of this storm, we had yet another severe weather outbreak. In a recent post, we talked about how April already broke a record for the most amount of Tornadoes ever recorded . Today parts of the south were outlooked by the storm prediction center to be in a “HIGH” risk for severe weather. To put that into perspective, the day Tornadoes hit Iowa and Wisconsin, we were outlooked in a “MODERATE” risk. I have only seen a “HIGH” risk issued a couple of times in my life. Tomorrow the southeast and Tennessee River Valley are under the gun for very strong storms that could also contain violent long tracked tornadoes. A longed tracked tornado is a tornado that stays on the ground for a very long time and causes immense amounts of damage. They are usually EF 2′s or higher. Today, 2 PDS Tornado watches were issued for portions of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee. These watches are also extremely rare. We were in one on April 10th.
Tornadoes were not the only threat from this major low pressure system. Massive flash flooding occurred last night in multiple states and devastated areas. Some rivers in Arkansas and Tennessee. Below is a map of the current warnings. The bright red are tornado warnings and the rustish color are the flash flood warnings. The amount of flooding that is going on in the Tennessee River Valley is just incredible.