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 Grothar:


Food was great, just got tired of standing at attention the whole meal. LOL


LOL Didn't take me long to figure out why the seats by the door were the last to fill. Who knew you became the unofficial greeter! :)
And it was different in Hessen and Bavaria.
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Quoting Grothar:


Food was great, just got tired of standing at attention the whole meal. LOL


What did you eat, Grothar? -- Greetings from the Easter Night in real Germany - We had boiled eags already ...
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Quoting Grothar:


Got hit on the head with a mango once, sitting under my tree. Can't imagine thousands of those things hitting at once.


Well, ya just set yourself up there, Grothar.....
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Quoting emcf30:
OUCH



Got hit on the head with a mango once, sitting under my tree. Can't imagine thousands of those things hitting at once.
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Quoting PcolaDan:


Grüss Gott


Food was great, just got tired of standing at attention the whole meal. LOL
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


NOW !!! That's the ticket....:)
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Quoting Grothar:


Evening EYES. Just got back from a nice German restaurant.


Grüss Gott
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OUCH

Quoting Grothar:


Here, fathom this:
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Quoting Grothar:


Evening EYES. Just got back from a nice German restaurant.


Gee thanks, sure makes this peanut butter sandwitch taste supreme....lol....tomorrow I'll eat GOOD :)
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Quoting hydrus:
Grapefruit size hail..lol ..... I just cant fathom it...:)


Here, fathom this:

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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56140
Quoting EYEStoSEA:
Thanks Grothar....my PC acting weird....


Evening EYES. Just got back from a nice German restaurant.
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Thanks Grothar....my PC acting weird....
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NW Arkansas

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Quoting RandomText:


It's happened before a few times.

I've seen it on the weather channel when two storm chaser's almost got killed in it. He caught it on video.

They had to abandon their car and run inside a house, and had to cover their heads with their gear.

It smashed right through the roof of the car and totalled the car. And I mean it looked like a gang of thugs took sledge hammers to it.

I'm pretty sure it was undrivable after the storm passed.
Through the roof....That is nothing short of insane...Those storm chasers need some type of armored vehicle when chasing..Save them from serious headaches and want not..:)
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


...The worst thing about them is that you stick to the roof of their mouth!
Just as long as I am not sticking to the roof of the sharks mouth, its all good...:) Wuzup Sailordude...
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And speaking of next weeks potential outbreak Hopefully it doesn't rival the outbreak from this week and last.But it could get ugly as my tempetures will be in the 80's and usually when we warm up here to above average levels a bad storm situation is occuring some where else.And then it comes to my area....
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Quoting RandomText:


One blob was nested pink inside the white, so it may have even been off the scale.

What does that mean? Grapefruit size hail? Tornado?
Grapefruit size hail..lol ..... I just cant fathom it...:)
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
That's not a surprise.But that's bad news.Becuase if a storm uses that to it's advantage then that area could be in trouble.They have poor warning systems over there.Hopefully they have learned from Negris.And in the future have better warning systems.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
That is a monster super-cell. With occasional white showing..
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Quoting lordhuracan01:
2009


2010


2011



The GOM is very hot....
Of course...It has its own heating element....
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56140
237. beell


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0541
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0704 PM CDT SAT APR 23 2011

AREAS AFFECTED...NRN TX/SRN OK

CONCERNING...SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 187...

VALID 240004Z - 240130Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 187
CONTINUES.

NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS...SOME SUPERCELLS...REMAIN OVER NRN TX. RADAR
TRENDS SHOW THAT OVERALL...ROTATION HAS NOT BEEN VERY STRONG OR
PERSISTENT.
..PROBABLY OWING TO HODOGRAPH DEFICIENCIES INCLUDING SOME
WEAKNESS NOTED IN THE 2-3 KM LAYER
. THIS IS QUITE APPARENT FROM THE
00Z FWD SOUNDING...AND ALSO NOTED IN RUC GUIDANCE.

IN ADDITION...STORMS HAVE BEGUN TO INTERFERE WITH EACH OTHER WITH A
FEW LEFT SPLITS AFFECTING THE RIGHT MOVERS. AS SUCH...THE TORNADO
THREAT SHOULD REMAIN RELATIVELY ISOLATED AND BRIEF IN NATURE...BUT
NONZERO.
LARGE HAIL WILL CONTINUE TO BE THE PRIMARY SEVERE THREAT.
THE FWD SOUNDING SHOWED A 700-500 MB LAPSE RATE OF 8.8 C/KM WITH A
MEAN BOUNDARY LAYER MIXING RATIO AROUND 12 G/KG.

..JEWELL.. 04/24/2011

Maybe 40 knots would have got it done?
25-30 knots in the upper part of the low levels on this RUC sounding.

Photobucket
Link
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16923
Quoting RandomText:
Look at the north indian ocean.

OMG. The water temperatures are incredible already.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56140
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56140
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232. beell
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


...The worst thing about them is that you stick to the roof of their mouth!


ouch!
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16923
Quoting RandomText:
211:

I knew the gulf and florida straights were warming a lot already this year, but that's a much bigger region than I realized which is already above 2009 and 2010 levels.

At least the E. Pac and the central atlantic are slightly cooler over all.

The Gulf Stream is really kicking it right now with a blob of 26c near North carolina. It'll be 26c all the way up the east coast in just a few days at this rate.
As long as the heat keeps pumping then the waters will continue to warm.Even though the TCHP may not be there yet it will eventually fill in.besides even if we had a storm in the Gulf in June it wouldn't need much TCHP.That is for hurricanes.
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Quoting beell:


Peanut Butter Sharks. Big problem this time of year.


...The worst thing about them is that you stick to the roof of their mouth!
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56140
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
and its to get a whole lot hotter
Yeah we still have May,and depending on if the Gulf is untouched in June it will continue to warm.Probally to record levels.But seeing how this year is going I wouldn't be all to surprised to see a storm in June in the Gulf.Especially if shear values are low and the jet stream retreats up north early.
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Reed Timmer: Meteorologist and Extreme Storm Chaser
Amazing wal cloud on the TexasChasers stream right now! It may happen!
http://www.tornadovideos.net/full-screen-chaser-v ideo.php
www.tornadovideos.net
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
641 PM CDT SAT APR 23 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN FORT WORTH HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
EAST CENTRAL COOKE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS...
NORTHERN GRAYSON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS...

* UNTIL 730 PM CDT

* AT 641 PM CDT...STORM SPOTTERS AND DOPPLER RADAR OBSERVED A
DEVELOPING TORNADO NEAR CALLISBURG...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 30 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
WHITESBORO AROUND 650 PM CDT...
SADLER AROUND 700 PM CDT...
SOUTHMAYD AROUND 710 PM CDT...
SHERMAN AROUND 720 PM CDT...
POTTSBORO AND KNOLLWOOD AROUND 725 PM CDT...
EISENHOWER STATE PARK AND DENISON AROUND 730 PM CDT...

THIS WILL IMPACT I-35 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 490 AND 500.

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
640 PM CDT SAT APR 23 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN FORT WORTH HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
WISE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL TEXAS...

* UNTIL 730 PM CDT

* AT 639 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A
DEVELOPING TORNADO 3 MILES EAST OF BRIDGEPORT...MOVING NORTHEAST AT
15 MPH. VERY LARGE HAIL IS LIKELY WITH THIS THUNDERSTORM AS WELL.

* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
DECATUR AROUND 655 PM CDT...
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Quoting lordhuracan01:
2009


2010


2011



The GOM is very hot....
and its to get a whole lot hotter
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56140
Quoting beell:


np. I think that was a guitar case doing about 40mph down the hallway!


Just watched the video again. Your right that looked like a guitar case trucking right along.
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Quoting lordhuracan01:
2009


2010


2011



The GOM is very hot....
So is that gulf stream (*.*).Very ominous for any storm that travels up the east coast.
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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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