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 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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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.
SST'S AND TCHP will be capable by then if not already
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54846
Re: 112. LOL

I try to be good as gold... that writing on the hand is not my scene...

BTW, I think I'm going to set up my blog as a local info. type blog again this summer, so I've made a couple tweaks over there... mainly just changing the year LOL. If I can work up the energy next week I'll try maybe even getting a little interview type thingy with someone at our local met department with their take on the Bahamas / TCI vulnerability for this season....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22563
Quoting RandomText:


TD in eastern Caribbean?

Sort of a long way out though...
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...
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Fish is fish, Pat. U should be ok....

Now me... I ate chicken... I might be in problems...



Im sure a couple o Hail Mary's, a good walk and One Our Father will suffice..and maybe no puter for 6 hours as penance,but Presslord much closer to the Faith than I.

I go to confession weekly with a printed sheet, with stuff noted on the hand sometimes as well.

Specially during peak season here.

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Quoting hydrus:
The GFS looks interesting too...Look at the bottom right hand corner at the end of the run....Link


TD in eastern Caribbean?

Sort of a long way out though...
Member Since: April 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
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.
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Quoting Patrap:
Is it a sin to burl crawfish on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and how does that affect my Earth Day score on FB ?

Thanx
Fish is fish, Pat. U should be ok....

Now me... I ate chicken... I might be in problems...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22563
LMAO
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Spring is roaring but summa is coming fast
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99:

Mexico low seems a bit stalled, and the atlantic AOI remnants will make the Florida straits if thats the case.

Maybe they get some good rain after all.
Member Since: April 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
Im resting up for Jazz Fest next friday Gro,..

Easter Mass in da Morning in Jackson Square looks good for pics and all here too.

Mind the tourists dear.
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Quoting kmanhurricaneman:
yeah, sorry i realised i gave it to you guys backwards getting a little ahesd of myself, mmmmm stil trying nothing working so far.


Well I glad to see your not backwards
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1951
yeah, sorry i realised i gave it to you guys backwards getting a little ahesd of myself, mmmmm stil trying nothing working so far.
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Quoting Patrap:
Is it a sin to burl crawfish on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and how does that affect my Earth Day score on FB ?

Thanx


YO! Just east your Creole Grillades or Lamb. You will be fine. How you doing Pat?
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What is it the Airports being hit in the last 24 hr. Latest in IL

1915 KLONDIKE ALEXANDER IL 3706 8923 EXTENSIVE DAMAGE AT THE AIRPORT. HANGER DAMAGED.

0005 HIGHFILL BENTON AR 3626 9436 BRIEF TORNADO TOUCHDOWN NEAR THE NORTHWEST ARKANSAS REGIONAL AIRPORT. (TSA

0114 BRIDGETON ST. LOUIS MO 3877 9043 OBSERVER AT STL REPORTS TORNADO AT LAMBERT FIELD MOVING EAST (LSX)

0143 BRIDGETON ST. LOUIS MO 3877 9043 AIR NATIONAL GUARD BUILDING DAMAGED ... AND STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO BUILDINGS AT THE AIRPORT ... AND CARS FLIPPED

0153 BRIDGETON ST. LOUIS MO 3877 9043 MAIN TERMINAL WINDOWS BLOWN OUT AT LAMBERT AIRPORT ... .ROOF OFF OF CONCOURSE C ... AND POWER OUTAGES (LSX
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1951


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93:

There's also a surface low over Mexico.

I'm trying to figure out which direction it's going to move over the next few days, because that may be enhancing the moisture further if it gets over the gulf.

Unfortunately it's in an area that doesn't show up well on any of the satellite graphics.
Member Since: April 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
Is it a sin to burl crawfish on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and how does that affect my Earth Day score on FB ?

Thanx
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Looks real bad for your area???
Does not look good.
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Quoting Grothar:


And they talk about me!


The nerve of some people
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1951
Sounds like MALWARE in yer cache,memory..

Id restart,run yer best anti and see what happens
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storm init commences soon

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54846
Quoting emcf30:
Link
You got it backwards


And they talk about me!
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Quoting kmanhurricaneman:
i type in www.noaa.nhc.gov and i just cant log on my page goes to a search engine page


Try this:


Link
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hi, BahaHurican thanks for info but this is wierd i think i have to check my settings be right back
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Link
You got it backwards
Quoting kmanhurricaneman:
i type in www.noaa.nhc.gov and i just cant log on my page goes to a search engine page
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1951
NOAA SPC Page
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All NOAA Tropical Floaters
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i type in www.noaa.nhc.gov and i just cant log on my page goes to a search engine page
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Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1951
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54846
nope not even firefox can log on are thier servers down??
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Hey, kmanhurricaneman.

Welcome back. NOAA was up and running the last time I checked...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22563
i wonder if its explorer acting up!!!!
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hello guys been away a while , is there a reason why i cant log onto NOAA web site?
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Re. 77:

I know someone mentioned the likelihood of bad flooding in the Mississippi basin this spring, but I was expecting more from snowpack runoff than from this kind of "training" of frontal storms over the area. I hope we don't see the kind of flooding this year that we've seen in the last 5 springs.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22563


3 tornado warnings on this line
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1951
If the cmc holds, the Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee basins are about to get dumped on very hard for 3 or 4 days in a row.

Central Missouri on the 25th is in a ridiculous 75m to 100mm 12 hour rainfall total forecast, not even counting the other time partitions before and after.

If that happens it will be easily one of the worst extreme rainfall events in the history of the region.
Member Since: April 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
Quoting hydrus:
Did you see the CMC Jed...It looks real bad...Link


Looks real bad for your area???
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7833
Hmmm.

Re. 91L.... could the "twin circulations" be more of a single, severely-contorted-and-not-vertically-stacked-due- to-shear surface and midlevel circulation?

That would explain to me why we still see such a strong signature even without notable precipitation.

BTW, which hurricane does this remind you of???

LOL
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22563
Quoting TomTaylor:
Well I know that. My main point is that we've seen a few storms get names that were in no better shape, if not worse shape than this storm, and as far as I can tell it also met the written standards...maybe not exactly, but like I said, other storms in worse shape have been given names.

Clearly NHC also takes the public's potential reaction as well as the storm's threat value into account when naming storms.

But anyway, nice discussion
Maybe a few, but I'll wager that it was very few. I'll go one step further and say that if they did, then I'm quite sure that those had greater potential impact ramifications than this. Which leads me to agree strongly on the point of the NHC taking non-definition factors into account when handling its public information vectors. But not only the public's reaction to this information, but also the potential impacts to the real world and the economic activities that occur within it.

Good discussion indeed.

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I wonder which layer of the high has it?

1022? 1020? or 1018?

Will it curve through the bahamas and S. Florida as I thought yesterday?

Or will it hook up the coast and merge with the front that's currently over the center part of the country?
Member Since: April 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
64:

Ah crap.

I accidentally flagged you when I meant to hit "Hide".

Sorry man.
Member Since: April 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
Quoting lordhuracan01:
3 hour rain last night here in Azua, Dominican Republic... good for this drought....
Ah... this sounds like good news...

Quoting hydrus:
I must say, I do like your attitude toward your studies. I know what you mean about the simple mistakes. For reasons I dont really know, I would get the harder problems correct and the easier ones wrong..This was a long time ago however, and I probably attacked some of the tests improperly.
I've seen this a lot over the years. Avoid years of being blown up on the battlefield; jump out of hundreds of planes with a few scratches at most; then get knocked down while crossing the road.... happens to a lot of pple... lol

Quoting alfabob:


Just cause NHC didn't classify it doesn't mean it wasn't a storm.
True. Just was a non-classifiable storm.

@ alfabob, I wonder if u realize that it's only been a few years since STS's got any name at all? IIRC, they didn't start naming these hybrids until, oh, late 80s, early 90s? IMO I don't see the rush of naming them in the first place, unless it's just to pad numbers. Unless one has clearly transitioned out of the baroclinic situation and started to develop the shallow warm-core, I don't see the big deal. STS's are borderline, iffy storms to begin with; I don't see the value in naming a borderline, ifffy version of a borderline, iffy storm.

YMMV.

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22563
Quoting Jedkins01:



haha I guess its just easy for me to feel that I'm alone on that issue, when there are probably lots of people that have same problem! It sounds like you encountered the same issue. It may also be the fact that my brain likes to over-complicate things, so when math is hard I tackle it the right way, but sometimes I overlook easy problems.


At any rate, at least I know the stuff well, which will help me a lot more in meteorology!
The GFS looks interesting too...Look at the bottom right hand corner at the end of the run....Link
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Quoting SeALWx:
I understand, man. I'm just saying that this thing never really lined up across all the needed data points to support STS naming out in the middle of the Atl with little prospect of land interaction and imminent death knocking on its door.

People need to understand that the NHC's job is a little more complicated than, "F*** it, let's give it a name."
Well I know that. My main point is that we've seen a few storms get names that were in no better shape, if not worse shape than this storm, and as far as I can tell it also met the written standards...maybe not exactly, but like I said, other storms in worse shape have been given names.

Clearly NHC also takes the public's potential reaction as well as the storm's threat value into account when naming storms.

But anyway, nice discussion
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Quoting TomTaylor:

Yep true about the Westerlies. One thing to keep in mind is this pass probably wasn't at peak intensity since it was from Thursday. The only reason I used this pass is because it was the most recent clean pass I could find
I understand, man. I'm just saying that this thing never really lined up across all the needed data points to support STS naming out in the middle of the Atl with little prospect of land interaction and imminent death knocking on its door.

People need to understand that the NHC's job is a little more complicated than, " F it, let's give it a name."
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Quoting hydrus:
I must say, I do like your attitude toward your studies. I know what you mean about the simple mistakes. For reasons I dont really know, I would get the harder problems correct and the easier ones wrong..This was a long time ago however, and I probably attacked some of the tests improperly.



haha I guess its just easy for me to feel that I'm alone on that issue, when there are probably lots of people that have same problem! It sounds like you encountered the same issue. It may also be the fact that my brain likes to over-complicate things, so when math is hard I tackle it the right way, but sometimes I overlook easy problems.


At any rate, at least I know the stuff well, which will help me a lot more in meteorology!
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7833
Quoting SeALWx:
TomT-Good post, man.


I think the max winds area might be a little subjective though. They certainly appear to me to be more concentrated near the surface low than 'at a distance'.

edit-Not showing many westerlies here for a 'proof' pic for classification.
I said it before and I guess I'll say it again, "You can't just pick the pieces you want from the definition."

Yep true about the Westerlies. One thing to keep in mind is this pass probably wasn't at peak intensity since it was from Thursday. The only reason I used this pass is because it was the most recent clean pass I could find
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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.