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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That's either a tornado or one hell of a hail storm ESE of Abilene again, and it is not labeled. Max reflectivity again.
Member Since: April 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
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Very bad cell headed directly for Fort Worth, can't miss.

65 reflectivity and 3 inch per hour rainfall rates, probably hail or nearly tornadic. It was tornadic about an hour ago anyway.
Member Since: April 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
take care water pup
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JUST GOT LABELED Y8

Should have a vortex signature coming very quickly
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I'm out, ya'll. D'fly, really good to see ya.

ya'll behave.

Go in peace, carry on.
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NO DOUBTER NOT EVEN LABELED YET
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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.
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998 surface low in New Mexico
Member Since: April 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1951
Quoting aquak9:


I'm getting a vision of cans of Hormel Chili falling from the sky...


Chili caster! lol
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Warning has been out for awile but there is a confirmed tornado on ground 5 miles N of Waldron

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK AR
736 PM CDT SUN APR 24 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LITTLE ROCK HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHWESTERN LOGAN COUNTY IN WESTERN ARKANSAS...
NORTHERN SCOTT COUNTY IN WESTERN ARKANSAS...

* UNTIL 815 PM CDT

* AT 734 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS SEVERE
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR OLIVER...OR 9 MILES WEST OF WALDRON. DOPPLER
RADAR SHOWED THIS SEVERE STORM MOVING EAST AT 35 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IN THE PATH OF THIS DANGEROUS STORM INCLUDE...
WALDRON... OLIVER... CARDIFF...
WINFIELD... OLIO... HON...
GRAYSON... ELM PARK... WHITE OAK MTN...
WALDRON MUNI ARPT... WALDRON LAKE... TATE...
PLEASANT HILL... PILOT KNOB... MONTGOMERY MTN...
LONE ELM... KNOPPERS FORD REC AREA...
JACK CREEK REC AREA..
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1951
Quoting aquak9:


oh hell no!!! who's the first poster I see there? It's HIM!!! and looks like he's got another breeder right next to him!

Lord help us...


Aqua ima private message you... one minute..
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Quoting aquak9:
oh yeah D'fly, like I was sayin' to StAug, we're liable to get our rains with a name this year. But ya'll down in Orlando, ya'll done had a coupla good bouts of rough storms already this year, darn near back-to-back.

Spring season's been a heckuva lot worse than I had imagined. And we still gotta get thru next week....sigh....


Next week could have easily had a name.. And you know the vacuum theory I have... Where one goes... They all go.. Mostly due to the big weather seems to set up like the BH
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
91L's Ghost

Facebook Fan Page:

Link


oh hell no!!! who's the first poster I see there? It's HIM!!! and looks like he's got another breeder right next to him!

Lord help us...
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oh yeah D'fly, like I was sayin' to StAug, we're liable to get our rains with a name this year. But ya'll down in Orlando, ya'll done had a coupla good bouts of rough storms already this year, darn near back-to-back.

Spring season's been a heckuva lot worse than I had imagined. And we still gotta get thru next week....sigh....
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91L's Ghost

Facebook Fan Page:

Link
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Quoting aquak9:


DUDE!!! long time no see! Wow, good to have ya back in the Wu-World.

Man oh man, we heading to neutral? with THAT list of names again? So I suppose you'll be around for Season™ this year, eh?


Oh yeah I will be around for the drama... And we are bone dry here in Orlando.. Looks like the set up could be in place for mother nature
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Quoting aquak9:


I'm getting a vision of cans of Hormel Chili falling from the sky...


Cloudy with a chance of Chilli
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Quoting earthlydragonfly:


Hey wet pup... How are ya???


DUDE!!! long time no see! Wow, good to have ya back in the Wu-World.

Man oh man, we heading to neutral? with THAT list of names again? So I suppose you'll be around for Season™ this year, eh?
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Quoting aquak9:


hey man, how you doin'? everytime I try to watch the chasers, it breaks up, video stops, sound breaks in and out. Real frustrating.

Looks like a long ugly week ahead. Flooding, severe...oh give me Season%u2122 any day of the week. At least then we're not getting EF2's and 3's on a nearly daily basis.


Hey wet pup... How are ya???
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Quoting RandomText:
Think about it, I got that weight based on the density of water-ice.

Now 1.6 pounds is roughly 25 ounces.

A can of chili is 16 ounces.

So it's like 1 and 1/4 of 20oz bottles of water per stone to make 4.5 inches hail.


I'm getting a vision of cans of Hormel Chili falling from the sky...
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91L died like two days ago say goodbye to it!!
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Think about it, I got that weight based on the density of water-ice.

Now 1.6 pounds is roughly 25 ounces.

A can of chili is 16 ounces.

So it's like 1 and 1/4 of 20oz bottles of water per stone to make 4.5 inches hail.
Member Since: April 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
with a VIL of 75, heck yeah that's gonna be some massive hail.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
Quoting RandomText:
TWC just said there was 3 to 4 inch hail in Abilene airport today, and 4.5 inch hail south of there.


4.5 inch hail.

My goodness.

That's about 1.6 lbs each hail stones.

Could easily kill you if it hit you in the head.

After going back and looking at the radar, it looks like it was caused by the exact same storm that we're watching right now.
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Tornado Watch #196 just got expanded to include the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

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TWC just said there was 3 to 4 inch hail in Abilene airport today, and 4.5 inch hail south of there.


4.5 inch hail.

My goodness.

That's about 1.6 lbs each hail stones.

Could easily kill you if it hit you in the head.
Member Since: April 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
ok,thanks aquak9 :)
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Quoting FirstCoastMan:
Does a bad tornado season,relate to a bad hurricane season?


NO.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

Yep, same one, I just posted a bit slow trying to get the right radar image. Looks like it could be getting rain-wrapped too. Could be a very dangerous situation if there is a tornado there, especially with nightfall coming soon.


Cell V2 is totally rain-wrapped right now. Lowest MRV not showing the circulation anymore, but on up from there, it's still quite evident. Obviously bopping up and down, let's hope for more of the UP and not DOWN.
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Does a bad tornado season,relate to a bad hurricane season?
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Quoting aquak9:


hey man, how you doin'? everytime I try to watch the chasers, it breaks up, video stops, sound breaks in and out. Real frustrating.

Looks like a long ugly week ahead. Flooding, severe...oh give me Season™ any day of the week. At least then we're not getting EF2's and #'s on a nearly daily basis.


Doing well. Happy belated Easter! Some of the feeds cut in/out on me as well. I usually target the ones with the most viewers.

I lived many a year in the midwest and have family/friends in MO, IA, and OK. Always staying abreast of the conditions in those areas during severe weather outbreaks. My sisters house was struck by an EF2 on the 4th of July several years back and a good friend of mine had a near miss on the recent EF4 in STL.

I'll take rain from a named storm so long as it has TS before it.
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Quoting aquak9:
524- your V2 is the same cell as my O7, I just posted about. Could head a tad north, clip the northern suburbs of FtWorth.

About dang time they put a TVS sig on it.

StAug- afraid at this point, our rains will come with a name.

Yep, same one, I just posted a bit slow trying to get the right radar image. Looks like it could be getting rain-wrapped too. Could be a very dangerous situation if there is a tornado there, especially with nightfall coming soon.
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Quoting StAugustineFL:


Might be the cell the Tornado Titans are chasing on TVN.


hey man, how you doin'? everytime I try to watch the chasers, it breaks up, video stops, sound breaks in and out. Real frustrating.

Looks like a long ugly week ahead. Flooding, severe...oh give me Season%u2122 any day of the week. At least then we're not getting EF2's and 3's on a nearly daily basis.
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524- your V2 is the same cell as my O7, I just posted about. Could head a tad north, clip the northern suburbs of FtWorth.

About dang time they put a TVS sig on it.

StAug- afraid at this point, our rains will come with a name.
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Very bad hail storm in Oklahoma headed into Arkansas. Top of the scale reflectivity.
Member Since: April 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
Quoting aquak9:
I don't care what the little yellow icon says. O7 is tornadic, possibly on the ground (0.5 MRV here) and about 38 miles due west of Fort Worth.



Might be the cell the Tornado Titans are chasing on TVN.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
.
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I wonder if this TVS could hold together and eventually end up affecting the Fort Worth area...





Close up.
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Quoting Jedkins01:
I just picked up 2.03 inches of rain from a solid sea breeze thunderstorm here by Tampa Bay. This is some of the earliest I can remember for sea breeze thunderstorms like this. All the local MET's were just saying "brief spotty showers" but we have had torrential rain, strong winds and tons of lighting. A long line of storms fired up across all of Tampa Bay but we got the some of the heaviest here.


The models indicated this because we have lots of unstable air with cold air aloft and a strong lift index. I have seen a lot heavier rain than this before, but still impressive rain at 2 to 3 inches per hour at one point considering the PWAT isn't nearly as high is it gets when the rain season really gets cranking, but amazing for late April.


On the east coast, West Palm Beach looks to be reaping the benefits of a nice little band coming in off the Atlantic. Dry as a bone up here though. Hoping the 40% chance on Tuesday and again on Thursday gives me something.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 175 Comments: 54847
I don't care what the little yellow icon says. O7 is tornadic, possibly on the ground (0.5 MRV here) and about 38 miles due west of Fort Worth.

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I just picked up 2.03 inches of rain from a solid sea breeze thunderstorm here by Tampa Bay. This is some of the earliest I can remember for sea breeze thunderstorms like this. All the local MET's were just saying "brief spotty showers" but we have had torrential rain, strong winds and tons of lighting. A long line of storms fired up across all of Tampa Bay but we got the some of the heaviest here.


The models indicated this because we have lots of unstable air with cold air aloft and a strong lift index. I have seen a lot heavier rain than this before, but still impressive rain at 2 to 3 inches per hour at one point considering the PWAT isn't nearly as high is it gets when the rain season really gets cranking, but amazing for late April.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7833
Wow, very mean looking supercells over Texas...a couple are tornado-warned right now

http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/southplains.php
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
91L has not given us any rain in South Florida yet. It's been Partly Cloudy all day. Which direction is 91L naked swirl headed? NW?


I have the center near 23N 74W, and estimate it's moving 15kts to 20kts.

The thing a few degrees back is just a naked feeder band.

The blob back a dozen degrees or so east is a different feature all together.

91L's LLC should pass 80W in 21 to 27 hours.
Member Since: April 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 214
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!
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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.