Violent EF-4 tornado causes severe damage at St. Louis' airport

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:25 PM GMT on April 23, 2011

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A violent EF-4 tornado ripped through St. Louis near 8pm local time Friday night, severely damaging Lambert International Airport. The airport, the world's 30th busiest, may be closed for several days. The tornado ripped off the roof from Concourse C, blew out more than half of the windows in the main terminal, and moved an aircraft that was parked at a gate twenty feet. So far, only minor injuries due to flying glass have been reported from the tornado. The tornado also passed over nearby residential areas, causing severe damage. The National Weather Service office in St. Louis has rated the damage from the St. Louis tornado EF-4, making the twister the first violent EF-4 tornado of the year. Softball-sized hail also pelted three towns in Missouri--Hermann, Big Spring, and Warrenton--during Friday night's severe weather outbreak. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logged 24 tornado reports Friday in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky. The cold front responsible for triggering last night's severe weather will remain draped over the nation's mid-section for the next three days, and a slight risk of severe weather is predicted along a swath from Texas to Ohio both Saturday and Sunday. A more substantial risk of severe weather is likely on Tuesday through Wednesday, as a new, more powerful spring storm system gathers strength over the Midwest.


Figure 1. Radar reflectivity image of the EF-4 St. Louis tornado taken near 8pm local time on Friday, April 22, 2010. This image is from the high-resolution Terminal Doppler Radar (TDR) at the St. Louis Airport, and shows very fine details of the tornado, which displays a classic hook echo here.


Figure 2. Radar Doppler velocity image of the St. Louis tornado taken near 8pm local time on Friday, April 22, 2010. This image is from the high-resolution Terminal Doppler Radar (TDR) at the St. Louis Airport, located at the "+" sign on the image. Green colors denote areas where precipitation is moving towards the radar, and red and yellow colors show where precipitation is moving away from the radar. Pink colors are bad data regions. The small couplet of greens right next to reds is where the tornado was, since the tight vortex had winds moving towards the radar and away from the radar. The area marked "RFD" shows where a Rear-Flank Downdraft (RFD) was occurring behind the tornado. The downdraft hit the ground to the west of the radar site and spread out in all directions, creating a diverging area of winds moving both towards and away from the radar. An area of air flowing into the tornado on the SE side is marked "Inflow." Thanks go to Dr. Rob Carver, wunderground's tornado expert, for annotating this image.


Figure 3.
Remarkable video from a security camera at the St. Louis airport showing the roof being torn off Concourse C.


Figure 4. Severe damage characteristic of at least a strong EF-2 tornado is apparent from this helicopter view of residential St. Louis neighborhoods taken by KMOV.

Jeff Masters

Lambert St. Louis Tornado Damage (WindyCityBob)
Taken after the good friday tornado at Lambert Field St.Louis, MO
Lambert St. Louis Tornado Damage

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615. aquak9
12:23 PM GMT on April 25, 2011
sorry about the DUH'rama
heh heh heh
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
614. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
12:22 PM GMT on April 25, 2011
Quoting AussieStorm:

Is that ex-91L?
renments of it some convection forming this am looks like some rains for the bahamas maybe s fla. as well
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
613. GeoffreyWPB
12:22 PM GMT on April 25, 2011
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10979
612. AussieStorm
12:20 PM GMT on April 25, 2011
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
XX/AOI/XX
MARK
activate




Is that ex-91L?
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
611. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
12:18 PM GMT on April 25, 2011
XX/AOI/XX
MARK
activate



Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
610. emcf30
12:01 PM GMT on April 25, 2011
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
609. emcf30
11:58 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
deleted
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
608. emcf30
11:53 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1933
607. sailingallover
11:40 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
91L getting convection going again over the Bahamas. With all that warm water in the GS and GOM and the sub tropical jet to the south it will have a chance for something in the GOM
Member Since: September 1, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1007
606. AussieStorm
11:37 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
How accurate are the storm totals on the NWS radars? From south of Tulsa to Fayetteville and north have had 10-12 inch's of rain so far, no wonder they have flash flood warnings up.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
605. CaicosRetiredSailor
11:36 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Happy Easter Monday
OK, no drama... perhaps just a little cognitive disinhibition...
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5997
604. AussieStorm
11:22 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Quoting IKE:
Drama on the blog....er....on an early Monday morning! WOOHOO!

5 day QPF....over an inch of rain here! Another WOOHOO!!!!!!!!





Don't need no drama,,,, no no no drama drama
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
603. IKE
11:18 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Drama on the blog....er....on an early Monday morning! WOOHOO!

5 day QPF....over an inch of rain here! Another WOOHOO!!!!!!!!




Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
602. cellman007
11:04 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Quoting aquak9:
no, I imagine not. I'd figure probably Putnam or Clay, maybe St Johns even.

Statements like that are only to incite. One should use better judgement.


And so should you with a statement like this, just as embarassing IMO.
Member Since: September 1, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 22
600. aquak9
10:46 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
no, I imagine not. I'd figure probably Putnam or Clay, maybe St Johns even.

Statements like that are only to incite. One should use better judgement.

If your county needs shelters this year? I'll be there setting them up for the Red Cross. Then see how much you wanna see a hurricane.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
599. MahFL
10:43 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Quoting aquak9:


Mah- as a Duval County native, you embarrass me.


I ain't a Duval native.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3298
598. aquak9
10:38 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Quoting MahFL:


Thats not exactly true, we all like to see Hurricanes.


Mah- as a Duval County native, you embarrass me.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
597. aquak9
10:36 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
grabbed snippets from the SPC:

...ARKLATEX REGION ENEWD INTO THE LOWER/MID MS VALLEY...
COMPLEX -- BUT POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT/DANGEROUS -- SEVERE WEATHER EVENT IS UNFOLDING FOR THIS AREA FOR DAY 2 /TUE. AND EARLY WED./. STORMS WILL LIKELY BE ONGOING AT THE START OF THE PERIOD...SHIFTING EWD/ENEWD INTO THE OH/TN VALLEYS ALONG WITH ONGOING SEVERE POTENTIAL.

GREATER SEVERE THREAT FOR THIS REGION HOWEVER WILL EVOLVE LATER IN THE DAY...AS AN INITIAL SHORT-WAVE TROUGH DEPARTING NEWD IS FOLLOWED BY A SECOND/DIGGING FEATURE SHIFTING QUICKLY SEWD OUT OF THE ROCKIES AND INTO THE SRN PLAINS.

AS THIS OCCURS...BACKING/INTENSIFYING LOW-LEVEL FLOW FIELD IS FORECAST...WITH A 70-PLUS KT LOW-LEVEL JET TO SHIFT EWD FROM NE TX ACROSS AR/LA DURING THE EVENING...BENEATH MID-LEVEL WLYS INCREASING TO 70 TO 80 KT. STORMS SHOULD INITIATE DURING THE AFTERNOON ACROSS NE TX AND QUICKLY BECOME SUPERCELLULAR...WITH LARGE HAIL...DAMAGING WINDS...AND TORNADOES EXPECTED.

Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
596. PlazaRed
10:25 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
We had a lot of rain last week,5 inches at least in Toledo, near Madrid yesterday quite a bit of flooding.

The processions in Seville had to be cancelled due to heavy rains for the first time in 80 years on Good Friday.

I think we are going to get a strange summer this year here as well and you are going to suffer all sorts of nasty storms according to predictions.
Hope you only see them and don't have too much trouble with them.

I think you could get hurricanes in May this year but thats only me thinking.
Member Since: January 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2066
595. MahFL
10:16 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Quoting KoritheMan:
Funny how things work out. Ordinarily the people here are rooting for tropical disturbances and cyclones to dissipate, yet now they're rooting for the survival of one.

Don't mind me. I'm just being facetious. Happy Easter everyone!


Thats not exactly true, we all like to see Hurricanes.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3298
594. aquak9
10:15 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
hi plaza

has today been a good day so far?- our sun is only hinting at the horizon here in the US

could be an ugly week in store, I hope I am being overdramatic (as I have often been accused of) but sorry, yes a bad week ahead.

hope your sun is smiling over there.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
593. PlazaRed
10:09 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Quoting aquak9:
g'morning dayshift.

Is there gonna be enough coffee to get us thru this week?


Morning:-

Not a soul on here for nearly 4 hours.

Lets see if we can finish the week a bit calmer than we are stating it.

A few nasty looking storms about?
Member Since: January 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2066
592. aquak9
10:05 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
g'morning dayshift.

Is there gonna be enough coffee to get us thru this week?
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25732
591. TampaSpin
6:34 AM GMT on April 25, 2011



Tune for the NIGHT CREW
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20439
590. Jedkins01
5:33 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
The good news is rainfall isn't quite as heavy in Northwest Arkansas as the radar is telling us. The radar says Ft. Smith has about 10 to 12 of rain fallen so far but They have had more around 4 to 5 inches. Still very heavy, but at least the radar is overdoing it compared to actual rain totals. Probably a lot of bright banding from hail cores.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7285
589. trHUrrIXC5MMX
5:31 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Warning up northeast...sooooo long winter!

New York City and New Haven, CT to be in the
77-80F range today Monday but with some thunderstorms too.
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14871
588. Orcasystems
5:20 AM GMT on April 25, 2011

Complete Update






Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
587. sunlinepr
4:54 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
St. Louis Again....
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9695
586. lickitysplit
4:35 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Ft Worth is in trouble.
Member Since: May 17, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 631
585. 1900hurricane
4:33 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Hook is much less prominent now. It looks like the storm is just having a hard time sustaining a good solid updraft needed for a tornado with the loss of surface heating. It did look really good not too long ago though.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
584. CyclonicVoyage
4:27 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Looks to be heading right for Ft. Worth
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
583. 1900hurricane
4:23 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
This is the current warning out for that cell:

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
1105 PM CDT SUN APR 24 2011

TXC367-250430-
/O.CON.KFWD.SV.W.0139.000000T0000Z-110425T0430Z/
PARKER TX-
1105 PM CDT SUN APR 24 2011

...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1130 PM CDT
FOR PARKER COUNTY...

AT 1105 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING BASEBALL SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED 8 MILES
SOUTHWEST OF WEATHERFORD...MOVING EAST NORTHEAST AT 30 MPH.

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WILL BE NEAR...
WEATHERFORD AROUND 1120 PM CDT...
HUDSON OAKS AROUND 1125 PM CDT...
WILLOW PARK...ANNETTA NORTH...ANNETTA AND ALEDO AROUND 1130 PM
CDT...

THIS WILL IMPACT THE FOLLOWING INTERSTATES...
I-20 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 395 AND 422...
I-30 NEAR MILE MARKER 1.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A TORNADO WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CDT MONDAY MORNING
FOR NORTHEASTERN TEXAS.

&&

LAT...LON 3272 9800 3283 9795 3293 9783 3295 9756
3255 9756 3261 9794 3263 9801
TIME...MOT...LOC 0405Z 249DEG 26KT 3271 9788

$$
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
582. CyclonicVoyage
4:23 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
post 578, TVS just went up.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
581. CyclonicVoyage
4:21 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Yeah there is a tornado there, for sure.

Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
580. 1900hurricane
4:21 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
That's a classic looking supercell. I'm surprised there isn't a tornado warning on it with that hook.
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
579. 1900hurricane
4:18 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Definitely trouble!

Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 46 Comments: 11666
578. CyclonicVoyage
4:17 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
576. sunlinepr
4:07 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Test

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9695
575. JRRP
3:53 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Quoting plywoodstatenative:
nice to see you make yourself at home again JRRP, so whats going on lately.

jejejejej good good
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5354
574. sunlinepr
3:47 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9695
573. HurricaneDean07
3:28 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Still 10 States Under Extreme Drought...
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
572. HurricaneDean07
3:26 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Quoting DARPAsockpuppet:
Next weeks drought monitor map well show improvement at least in parts of north and central Texas
*Sarcasm Flag On* Thanks A Lot Front, So you give North Texas all the rain, and we don't get a drop... Seriously! we need it so much more, Come on Jet Stream, Dip enough to at least let one Trough get to us...*Sarcasm Flag Off*
But Seriously, This is getting rediculous, Hate this drought...
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
571. flsky
3:23 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


What if 91L tries to re-develop

Don't worry, just be very aware. Oh, and prepare.
Member Since: October 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1915
569. flsky
3:03 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
Quoting Chicklit:
Evening, managed to give away all of my chocolate Easter stuff today. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Here we go again: Round Three.


Finished my public budgeting final exam tonight
(for better or for worse!) Whoo hoo.

Those who need the rain the most still aren't getting it.

Congrats w/your exam. These poor people in TX, MO, etc., are just not getting a break. This is incredible! Keep your heads up everyone, and be safe!
Member Since: October 24, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1915
567. beell
2:07 AM GMT on April 25, 2011
ABI - Abilene
BWD - Brownwood
SJT - San Angelo




MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0560
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0848 PM CDT SUN APR 24 2011

AREAS AFFECTED...PORTIONS W-CENTRAL THROUGH N-CENTRAL/NE TX.

CONCERNING...TORNADO WATCH 196...

VALID 250148Z - 250345Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR TORNADO WATCH 196 CONTINUES.

CONTINUE WW ALONG/E OF BKN BAND OF SVR TSTM CLUSTERS FROM PRX AREA
ACROSS SWRN PORTIONS DFW METROPLEX TO COLEMAN COUNTY...AND ISOLATED
CONVECTION SW SJT.

EXCEPT FOR SWRN SUPERCELL...LOCATED OVER COLEMAN COUNTY AS OF
0130Z...OTHER TSTMS IN BAND EXTENDING NEWD TO N-CENTRAL TX HAVE
BECOME OUTFLOW-DOMINANT
. 45 KT GUST WAS MEASURED AT DTO...WITH
ESTIMATED 52 KT GUSTS REPORTED NEARBY IN DENTON/GRAYSON COUNTIES
WITH TSTM CLUSTER NOW OVER FANNIN COUNTY. ADDITIONAL TSTM
CLUSTER...MOVING EWD BETWEEN FTW-SEP TOWARD SRN PORTIONS DFW
METROPLEX..ALSO MAY PRODUCE SVR GUSTS. TORNADO THREAT MAY PERSIST
WITH ANCHOR STORM BETWEEN ABI-BWD FOR ANOTHER HOUR OR TWO GIVEN ITS
RELATIVELY UNIMPEDED INFLOW
...AND FAVORABLE PERIOD OF TIME WHEN
ENOUGH DIABATIC COOLING OCCURS TO LOWER LCL...BUT NOT TOO MUCH TO
RENDER INFLOW PARCELS ELEVATED. LONGEVITY OF THIS ACTIVITY IS
UNCERTAIN GIVEN EFFECTS NOT MEASURABLE AT AVAILABLE SCALES...I.E.
STORM-SCALE BALANCE BETWEEN INCREASING ENVIRONMENTAL MLCINH AND
INTERNAL DYNAMICS OF MESOCYCLONE. STRENGTHENING LLJ AND RELATED
MOISTURE TRANSPORT MAY HELP THIS ACTIVITY TO PERSIST FOR ANOTHER 2-3
HOURS AT LEAST AND/OR ENCOURAGE DEVELOPMENT NEAR SJT...IN WHICH CASE
A FEW COUNTIES MAY NEED TO BE ADDED TO WW TO ITS ESE.

OVERALL SVR THREAT SHOULD DIMINISH OVER REMAINDER WW AREA AFTER
ABOUT 04Z...AS MLCINH CONTINUES TO INCREASE WITH TIME AND WITH SEWD
EXTENT. HOWEVER...ELEVATED TSTMS MAY FORM OVER PORTIONS
N-CENTRAL/NW TX...N OF COLLECTIVE OUTFLOW BOUNDARY FROM CURRENT
CONVECTION...WITH POTENTIAL FOR HAIL.

..EDWARDS.. 04/25/2011
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 141 Comments: 16217

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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