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 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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For StAug

http://youtu.be/6e0Gsn4khss
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26674
Quoting beell:


Peanut Butter Sharks. Big problem this time of year.


They weren't so bad the past coupla years, tho...wonder if they coincide with hurricanes? (StAug thinks you're joking)
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26674
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2009


2010


2011



The GOM is very hot....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting beell:


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


Nope, that was the TSA officers box of donuts. By watching them run I bet they wished they laid off the Krispy Kreme donuts during break.
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957
LOL...ya'll so Krazy.... :)
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208. beell
Quoting emcf30:


I was wondering why the heck I could not open it once I posted it. Thanks


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


Peanut Butter Sharks. Big problem this time of year.


lol
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Quoting beell:
that was pretty scary, emcf30.

Ya got an extra http in your link.


I was wondering why the heck I could not open it once I posted it. Thanks
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205. beell
that was pretty scary, emcf30.

Ya got an extra http in your link.
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.
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Quoting StAugustineFL:
This may be a bit off topic but has anyone in Florida noticed an increased number of dead jellyfish washed ashore? It's not uncommon to see a few here and there but I've literally seen them in the dozens the past few weeks. Curious what may be causing this.
has there been fireworks set off in your area i know that can cause mass died offs from shock from the bright flashing and loud booms

move along it was only fireworks nothing too see here :)
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201. beell
Quoting StAugustineFL:
This may be a bit off topic but has anyone in Florida noticed an increased number of dead jellyfish washed ashore? It's not uncommon to see a few here and there but I've literally seen them in the dozens the past few weeks. Curious what may be causing this.


Peanut Butter Sharks. Big problem this time of year.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 145 Comments: 16923
Cool security cam video of inside Lambert Field as the tornado hit the terminal.

Link
Fixed it
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957
This may be a bit off topic but has anyone in Florida noticed an increased number of dead jellyfish washed ashore? It's not uncommon to see a few here and there but I've literally seen them in the dozens the past few weeks. Curious what may be causing this.
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When it comes to wild weather 2011 sure fits the criteria.Hope hurricane season doesn't doesn't follow suite.
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W. Virginia

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192. beell
@190. That would be the Red River cell.

NE @ 15MPH. Great one to chase!
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56140
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
551 PM CDT SAT APR 23 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN FORT WORTH HAS ISSUED A

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

* UNTIL 645 PM CDT

* AT 551 PM CDT...STORM SPOTTERS AND DOPPLER RADAR OBSERVED A
DEVELOPING TORNADO 5 MILES SOUTHWEST OF LINDSAY...MOVING NORTHEAST
AT 15 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
LINDSAY AROUND 610 PM CDT...
GAINESVILLE AROUND 625 PM CDT...
CALLISBURG AROUND 645 PM CDT...

THIS WILL IMPACT I-35 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 488 AND 503.
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Quoting Levi32:


Except that they are not tropical waves, just regular blobs of convection.
yep that and ITCZ activity another couple of weeks before AEW starts up
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Quoting aquak9:
hi gamma- if it's hail, it's gotta melt, right?

Baja- way back, your post 79? about the flooding coming from snowpack? I agreed. Was waiting to see you to tell you. Next five days of QPF is ridiculous along the miss. Ain't gonna be all snowpack- but it's gonna be a mess for sure.
Yeah, u r right about the mess. It's starting to look like all points south of St. Louis will be in the mix. Hopefully it won't get to record-breaking proportions...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22734
186. beell
Quoting seflagamma:
Is Texas getting any relief from this rain that is producing all these storms???

I sure hope so!


Not a whole lot, gamma. None here in Houston. Some very noisy rain over some of the areas still fighting wildfires-better than nothing. Not sure if it is a good trade-off between the small amounts of rain and the wind and fire-sparking lightning.
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Quoting hydrus:
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.


Except that they are not tropical waves, just regular blobs of convection.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
hi gamma- if it's hail, it's gotta melt, right?

Baja- way back, your post 79? about the flooding coming from snowpack? I agreed. Was waiting to see you to tell you. Next five days of QPF is ridiculous along the miss. Ain't gonna be all snowpack- but it's gonna be a mess for sure.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26674
Several STW's and 1 Tornado Warning on this line

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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Gosh this radar is super ! Storms popping up now....
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could dallas be next major hit hmmmmm
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but is there some good rainfall in those clouds???
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Is Texas getting any relief from this rain that is producing all these storms???

I sure hope so!
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176. beell
Sure e'nuff, emcf 30. The Abilene cell wins the warning race! Maybe later, farther to the NE

171. emcf30 10:18 PM GMT on April 23, 2011
Beell, This answers your question

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
EAST CENTRAL JONES COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL TEXAS...



click for discussion

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Quoting aquak9:


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.
I saw that before I went off, but just thought it was some quirky mid-western fashion statement...
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Beell, This answers your question

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
EAST CENTRAL JONES COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL TEXAS...
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56140
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN ANGELO TX
512 PM CDT SAT APR 23 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN ANGELO HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
EAST CENTRAL JONES COUNTY IN WEST CENTRAL TEXAS...

* UNTIL 600 PM CDT

* AT 507 PM CDT...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO WAS 9 MILES WEST OF NUGENT...OR 8 MILES SOUTHEAST OF
ANSON...MOVING EAST AT 20 MPH.

IN ADDITION TO DANGEROUS TORNADIC WINDS...OTHER HAZARDS INCLUDE...
BASEBALL SIZE HAIL
DAMAGING STRAIGHT LINE WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH.
POTENTIALLY DEADLY LIGHTNING.

* THE TORNADO IS EXPECTED TO BE NEAR...
NUGENT BY 530 PM CDT...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT. GET UNDER A
WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF STURDY FURNITURE. IF NO BASEMENT IS
AVAILABLE...SEEK SHELTER ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE BUILDING IN AN
INTERIOR HALLWAY OR ROOM SUCH AS A CLOSET. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO
COVER YOUR BODY AND ALWAYS STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS.

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1000 PM CDT
SATURDAY EVENING FOR WEST CENTRAL TEXAS.
Member Since: August 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1957
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Quoting emcf30:
Starting to fire up, there is a potential of BIG supercells in this area

Plenty of energy too.......NRN TX...
19Z SURFACE ANALYSIS SHOWED AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED OVER WRN
N TX...APPROXIMATELY 45 NW MWL...AND A FRONT EXTENDING ENEWD THROUGH
FAR SOUTH CENTRAL OK TO WEST CENTRAL-NERN AR. VERY STRONG
INSTABILITY HAS DEVELOPED WITHIN THE WARM SECTOR NWD INTO NRN TX
WITH MLCAPE 2000-3000 J/KG. GIVEN THIS INSTABILITY...STEEP LAPSE
RATES AND EFFECTIVE BULK SHEAR IN EXCESS OF 45 KT INVOF THE SURFACE
LOW AND BOUNDARY SUPPORTS A WWD EXPANSION OF THE 5% TORNADO AND 15%
DAMAGING WIND LINES...AND A NWD EXPANSION OF THE 10% SIGNIFICANT
HAIL THREAT.
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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: 22683

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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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