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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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
you can see anim image i post right
When it is not hidden. yep
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22728
165. beell
Quoting aquak9:
Kirk: "I'll be in my quarters,de-briefing the Airport Director Lady"...

I doubt they're briefs...

good one, Pat...that's a keeper for sure.


Mos' definitely.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16926
thanx waterdoggie,,once in a while they fall in my lap seems.

The Humor dat iz..

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Kirk: "I'll be in my quarters,de-briefing the Airport Director Lady"...

I doubt they're briefs...

good one, Pat...that's a keeper for sure.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26686
..mo Romulan Ale for the Blogger's please!
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Starting to look nasty. 2.75" hail

Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957
Quoting hydrus:
..every time i try to access that site it reads forbidden...^&^^*&^*#
you can see anim image i post right
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
158. beell
Quoting Patrap:
Kirk: "I'll be in my quarters,de-briefing the Airport Lady"...


Spock: Aye,Captain


"She's not dead, Jim"
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16926
Kirk: "I'll be in my quarters,de-briefing the Airport Director Lady"...


Spock: Aye,Captain
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156. beell
Quoting emcf30:
Starting to fire up, there is a potential of BIG supercells in this area



A toss up as to which one will rotate first. The one by the Red River has better low level convergence and shear.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16926
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
..every time i try to access that site it reads forbidden...^&^^*&^*#
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22728
Quoting beell:


couple of guesses i had not considered, aqua!


hey- at least she did not show up dressed up in- well- nevermind.

I saw that too and thought- oh my, did she tear her clothing? did she get hurt? Poor lady! but I like the hot date idea better.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26686
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting PolishHurrMaster:

When the first wave will enter the Atlantic?
This is what has been happening for a while now. Large and intense areas of convection moving off Africa into the Gulf of Guinea....Actually, this one is north of the Gulf of Guinea..sry.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22728
Starting to fire up, there is a potential of BIG supercells in this area

Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957




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147. beell
Quoting aquak9:


Maybe she was on a hot date when this happened, and had to come quick. At least we know she wasn't at a Grateful Dead concert.


couple of guesses i had not considered, aqua!
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16926





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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
2 Tornado Warnings on this line



Listen Live NWS weather spotters following storm

Link
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957

It's a lesson to me, the ablers and the beggars and the theives
The abc's we all think of, try to win a little love.

I know the rent is in arrears, the dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears, but it's alright
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Quoting FirstCoastMan:
Is any of the computer models predicting a tropical storm to form during the latter part of may?


And it's "Are" not "Is" - models is the subject and it is PLURAL!!!

Double BLEAAAHH!!!!
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26686
Quoting FirstCoastMan:
Is any of the computer models predicting a tropical storm to form during the latter part of may?


dude. Dude. DUDE!!! That was like the third time you've asked that today!!! you're giving us first-coasters a real bad name here!!

Don't EVEN go out more than five days. EVER. It's all smoke and mirrors beyond that point. We don't even know how long a roll of toilet paper's gonna last- you think a MODEL- esp CMC (which I must say has shown some improvement over the past coupla years) - is gonna give us ANY real direction???

BLEAAHHH!!!!
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26686
Tornado warned

Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957
Quoting emcf30:
The line is starting to form in TX. One of the target area is between Gainesville Tx and Durant.

Yep, here's an updated image, stuff is starting to pop up

Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
Quoting beell:
@ Patrap-Post 106.

Pat, wth kinda shirt is the Lady Airport Director wearing? Is it a star-trek thing? Is it storm damage? Maybe those with more fashion sense (or even regular sense) could offer some enlightenment. Nicely turned shoulder, anyway...

Near the 20 sec mark.


Maybe she was on a hot date when this happened, and had to come quick. At least we know she wasn't at a Grateful Dead concert.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26686
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The line is starting to form in TX. One of the target area is between Gainesville Tx and Durant.

Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957
St Louis Damage



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Dunno,,..looks like 80's retro Friday at the office day,

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Starting to get active today:
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Quoting PolishHurrMaster:

When the first wave will enter the Atlantic?
Keep says 12 -14 days..The African Easterly Jet plays a important part in the formation of T-Waves..Check out the WIKI page on it. It is a good read..Link
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22728
127. beell
@ Patrap-Post 106.

Pat, wth kinda shirt is the Lady Airport Director wearing? Is it a star-trek thing? Is it storm damage? Maybe those with more fashion sense (or even regular sense) could offer some enlightenment. Nicely turned shoulder, anyway...

Near the 20 sec mark.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16926


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Is any of the computer models predicting a tropical storm to form during the latter part of may?
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Anyway, I'm off for a while... will check in later. Ya'll be good now...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22736
St. Louis tornado has been rated EF4.

(Already has been posted. Read post 120.)
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Last week of rainfall

April 16-April 22


Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4358
I thought some of the damage was bordering EF4 last night
From NWS
...INITIAL DAMAGE SURVEY INDICATES EF4 DAMAGE IN NORTH ST LOUIS COUNTY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY TEAM IN NORTH ST LOUIS COUNTY HAS FOUND EF4 DAMAGE IN THE BRIDGETON AREA...NEAR OLD ST CHARLES ROCK ROAD AND HARMON ESTATES.

EF4 DAMAGE INDICATES WINDS OF 166 TO 200 MPH.

SURVEY TEAMS HAVE NOT YET REACHED LAMBERT FIELD...SO NO DAMAGE RATING IS AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME (305 PM 2/23/11)

...INITIAL DAMAGE SURVEY INDICATES EF2 TORNADO DAMAGE NEAR PONTOON BEACH ILLINOIS...

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY TEAM HAS DETERMINED THAT THE DAMAGE IN THE PONTOON BEACH AREA WAS PRODUCED BY A TORNADO...WITH A DAMAGE RATING OF EF2. THE DAMAGE TEAM FOUND AN APPROXIMATELY 100 YARD WIDE DAMAGE TRACK FROM THE LEVEE RD ABOUT 2 MILES SOUTH OF I-270 TO THE INTERSECTION OF ALTON ST. AND PONTOON ROAD NEAR THE RAIL ROAD TRACKS. THE MAXIMUM DAMAGE FOUND WAS IN A NEIGHBORHOOD BETWEEN HWY 203 AND MARYVILLE ROAD. THE DAMAGE WAS RATED EF2 IN THAT LOCATION. THE DAMAGE SURVEY TEAM IS CONTINUING TO BACKTRACK THE TORNADO TO THE WEST. ADDITIONAL TREE DAMAGE OF EF1 INTENSITY WAS NOTED ON THE MISSOURI SIDE OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF RIVERVIEW DR AND CHAMBERS RD.

EF1 DAMAGE INDICATES WINDS OF 86 TO 110 MPH.

EF2 DAMAGE INDICATES WINDS OF 111 TO 135 MPH

...INITIAL DAMAGE SURVEY INDICATES EF1 TORNADO DAMAGE NEAR NEW MELLE...

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DAMAGE SURVEY TEAM HAS DETERMINED THAT THE DAMAGE IN THE NEW MELLE AREA WAS PRODUCED BY A TORNADO...WITH A DAMAGE RATING OF EF1. THE TORNADO TRACKED JUST NORTHWEST AND NORTH OF THE TOWN OF NEW MELLE. THE INITIAL TOUCHDOWN OCCURRED JUST SOUTH OF FORISTELL ROAD...AND THE TORNADO LIFTED JUST EAST OF HIGHWAY Z. THE TRACK LENGTH WAS APPROXIMATELY 4 MILES...WITH A DAMAGE WIDTH OF AT LEAST 150 YARDS.

EF1 DAMAGE INDICATES WINDS OF 86 TO 110 MPH.

Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957


Our low is still out there, still drifting SW... it may yet last long enough to bring us some showers by Monday, between it and that "cold" front, anyway.

Easter is the season of hope, after all....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22736
Quoting hydrus:
A very long way out..:)...I was just thinking it might be a tropical wave or a sign that moisture plumes may start trucking across the Atlantic..We have already seen large areas of moist air make it across..No waves yet...

When the first wave will enter the Atlantic?
Member Since: May 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 358
Quoting hydrus:
A very long way out..:)...I was just thinking it might be a tropical wave or a sign that moisture plumes may start trucking across the Atlantic..We have already seen large areas of moist air make it across..No waves yet...
waves come soon another 12 to 14 days away
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting Patrap:
As a regional guy,Im giving the BOC a 75 % chance of TS or Better development come May 18,,and the Western Caribbean and Yucatan a 80%chance to push one out as early as May 24th.
Pat, I don't know whether anything will develop in the Western Caribbean by that time but I can honestly say it has not been this hot this early in the year for several years. The heat and humidity is terrible and that usually means bad news for this area during hurricane season.
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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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