The two day severe weather outbreak on Sunday and Monday was almost a direct repeat of the severe weather event that happened last Thursday, but this time it produced more damage over a larger area and period of time.
The action started around 11AM Sunday, and didn't stop until 9PM Monday night. That's a pretty long time, when you think about it.
Jump the Soros Squiggle to recap the events and damages...
The Storm Prediction Center put parts of the mid-south under a moderate and slight risk of severe weather during the day on Sunday, and the action didn't take long to start firing up.
The severe weather started around 200PM CST in Kansas, with the formation of a few thunderstorms capable of producing hail and damaging wind gusts. These storms continued to strengthen, with the first storm of the night dropping ping pong ball sized hail1 on Richmond, KS (animated image to the right).
As the night continued, more storms began popping up across a larger area, and some of them began to rotate. One of these storms was what I dubbed The Storm That Won't Die. It formed in Oklahoma and began to rotate on the Kansas/Oklahoma border (image on left). There was one report of a tornado touchdown right along the border, but the twister was brief.
The freak of nature continued to the northeast, crossing yet another border from KS to MO (animated image below), and caused reports of wind and hail damage all along its path. The cell trucked on for 500 miles and lasted over 6 hours, with a tornado warning issued on it the entire time.
Around 1100PM CST, The Storm That Won't Die finally died. Well, not really. It actually got absorbed by other thunderstorms in the area, and turned into a nasty bow echo. The complex formed right as it was about to enter the St. Louis metro area, which would prove to wreak havoc on the city. The local Fox station did an excellent job at covering the situation as the storms moved through, and a tornado (or downburst, they weren't sure) passed within a mile of the station. Using the advanced technology of roof cameras, they were able to zoom in on power line and tree damage caused by the strong winds that night.
After the storm went through St. Louis, I went to bed for the night, but the storms certainly didn't stop. A line of storms raced through Arkansas and Illinois, causing a plethora of damage -- everything from tornadoes to flash floods.
By Monday morning and afternoon, the thunderstorms had turned into a solid line from Ohio to Alabama. This helped cause more wind damage and more tornado damage throughout the day. The situation got even more dangerous when the worst storms moved into metro areas in the southeast, prompting tornado warnings for the suburbs of Birmingham AL, Atlanta GA, Greenville SC (tornadic cell seen at left), Charlotte NC, Greensboro NC, Columbia SC, and Montgomery AL.
By the time these storms moved out of the cities, the line quickly weakened below severe limits, and turned into a rainy nuisance for coastal areas. With that, the severe weather ended, and the cleanup began.
There were 400 reports of severe weather over the two day outbreak -- 20 tornado reports, 293 wind damage reports (3 major), and 87 reports of hail (1 major).
There were 20 tornado reports, some of which were duplicates. The three letter code at the beginning is the National Weather Service office responsible for the survey (click the link to read the report), the EF- is the tornado's strength on the Enhanced Fujita scale, then the city/area in which the tornado occurred, then injuries, then deaths.
The NWS is still conducting surveys on much of the damage (especially across the southeast), but here's what we've got so far:
BMX -- EF0 -- CHAMBERS CO, AL -- 0 -- 0
BMX -- EF0 -- ALPINE, AL -- 0 -- 0
LSX -- EF1 -- GRANITE CITY, IL -- 0 -- 0
IND -- EF1 -- INGALLS, IN -- 0 -- 0
LMK -- EF2 -- JASPER, KY -- 1 -- 0
LMK -- EF3 -- EMINENCE, KY -- 3 -- 0
LMK -- EF1 -- IN/KY BORDER -- 0 -- 0
LMK -- EF1 -- LINCOLN CO, KY -- 0 -- 0
ICT -- TORNADO IN KAY CO, OK...NO RATING
The Kay County tornado is the one from The Storm That Won't Die. NWS Wichita has a pretty interesting site up about that supercell storm, click the "ICT" above to go look at it.
Image at left: Bow echo approaching St. Louis.
There were 293 reports of wind damage, with 3 reports of winds greater than 75 MPH (hurricane force). Most of these wind reports were from the lines of thunderstorms that set up overnight Sunday/Monday, and during the day on Monday. The strongest winds (and most damage) were in the areas of the line segments that bowed (see bow echo link a few paragraphs up).
Here are a few of the more interesting things reported to the SPC...
Sunday the 27th:
Shelbina, MO -- Barn blown down.
Hannibal, MO -- 87 MPH wind recorded.
Beverly, IL -- Equipment sucked out an open garage door.
Maryland Heights, MO -- 70 MPH winds recorded.
Kokomo, IN -- 50 foot tall evergreens knocked down.
Monday the 28th:
Radcliffe, OH -- Small barn destroyed.
Stacy Fork, KY -- Spotter reports his lawn furniture blown off property.
Lee Co., KY -- Schools superintendent reports all schools without power.
Benton, TN -- 75 year old man killed when limb falls on mobile home.
Leesburg, AL -- Barn collapse with possible injuries.
Centre, AL -- Metal flag pole snapped in half.
The rest of the reports were about general tree/power line damage, and there were quite a few reports of damage to sheds and roofs.
Image at right: Storm that caused the hail in Roswell, GA
There were 87 reports of hail at least quarter size or larger, with 1 report of "major hail." Here are some of the larger reports of hail...
Sunday the 27th
2.75" -- Buffalo, KS
1.75" -- Raymore, MO
1.75" -- Hillsdale, OK
1.75" -- Ray, IL
1.75" -- Pittsburg, KS
1.75" -- Lake Springs, MO
Monday the 28th
1.75" -- Birmingham, AL
1.75" -- Chelsea, AL
1.25" -- Roswell, GA
1.25" -- Canton, GA
1.00" -- Smyrna, GA
As you can see, quite a few reports of golfball sized hail, even with one report of baseball sized hail (2.75") in Buffalo, KS. Add these hailstones to the wind, and you could need new windows and sidings for your house, and a ton of work done on your car.
All in all, this was a pretty decent severe weather outbreak. It had tornadoes (even an EF3, which is a pretty destructive tornado), very strong winds, and pretty big hail. Remember, folks...it's still early in the year. Make sure you're prepared for the next time this happens.
1 Here's a hail size chart, for reference. Information gathered from this site.
0.25" -- Pea
0.50" -- M&M
0.75" -- Penny
0.88" -- Nickel
1.00" -- Quarter (Severe Criteria)
1.25" -- Half Dollar
1.50" -- Ping Pong Ball
1.75" -- Golfball
2.00" -- Lime
2.50" -- Tennis Ball
2.75" -- Baseball
3.00" -- Large Apple/Teacup
4.00" -- Grapefruit
4.50" -- Softball
4.75" -- Computer CD
5.00" -- DVD
Liveblogs from this weekend's event:
(2-27-2011) Information on impending severe weather/tornado outbreak
(2-27-2011) Liveblog 3 -- Severe weather outbreak in mid-west & mid-south
(2-27-2011) Liveblog 4 -- Severe weather outbreak in mid-west & mid-south
(2-27-2011) Liveblog 5 -- Severe weather outbreak in mid-west & mid-south
(2-27-2011) Liveblog 6 -- Severe weather outbreak in mid-west & mid-south
(2-28-2011) Liveblog 7 -- Severe weather outbreak continues in southeast
(2-28-2011) Liveblog 8 -- Severe weather enters major SE cities
(2-28-2011) Liveblog 9 -- Severe storms advance deeper into SE