Tornadoes rip Midwest, killing 9; heavy snow hits Upper Midwest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:05 PM GMT on February 29, 2012

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Strong tornadoes plowed through the Midwest U.S. last night and this morning, killing at least nine people. Six people died in Harrisburg, Illinois when a tornado hit near 5:37 am CST this morning, damaging or destroying 200 buildings. Another person was killed in southwest Missouri near Buffalo when a possible tornado ripped through a mobile home park. Thirteen others were injured in the mobile home park. Two others died in the Cassville and Puxico areas. A tornado also moved through downtown Branson, Missouri early this morning, causing heavy damage to the city's famous theaters, and injuring at least twelve people. A tornado plowed through the small town of Harveyville, Kansas (population 275), twenty miles southwest of Topeka, at 9:03 pm last night. The tornado destroyed 40 - 60% of the structures and injured ten, one critically. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logged fifteen preliminary tornado reports yesterday and today.

The same storm system also brought the heaviest snows of the winter to portions of the Upper Midwest, which has received scant snowfall this winter. Blizzard warnings are posted in South Dakota this morning, where snowfall amounts of 6 - 10 inches are common. According to NOAA's latest storm summary, five states have experienced snowfall amounts of ten inches or more--Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, and Nebraska. The highest snow amount as of 8 am CST was recorded at Tripoli, Wisconsin, where fourteen inches had fallen.


Figure 1. Radar image of the squall line that passed through Harrisburg, Illinois this morning, spawning a tornado that killed three people. The position of Harisburg is marked by a circle with a "+" symbol.


Figure 2. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logged thirteen preliminary tornado reports yesterday.

More tornadoes likely today
The powerful late-winter storm system that spawned the deadly tornadoes will move eastwards, bringing snows of 5 - 10 inches to northern Wisconsin, northern Minnesota, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and northern New England. The storm's cold front is triggering severe thunderstorms over much of Kentucky this morning, and these thunderstorms are expected to grow in severity and spawn more tornadoes this afternoon, once the heat of the day destabilizes the atmosphere. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has posted tornado watches for portions of Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio this morning, and has placed much of Tennessee and portions of surrounding states in their "Moderate Risk" area for severe weather today. Consult our Severe Weather Page and Interactive Tornado Page to follow today's severe weather.


Figure 3. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Tennessee and portions of surrounding states in their "Moderate Risk" area for severe weather, one level below the highest level of alert, "High Risk."

Jeff Masters

Big Flakes (papajuan)
Winter in Northern Minnesota
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109. Skyepony (Mod)
Plazared~ Aqua & such sat pics don't usually have boundaries on them. It would be sweet to link them back to the sat page though.

Here is one all done up that helps those having a hard time picking out haze caused by pollution from clouds & such.
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Lunch is over so I have to go

Stay safe everybody and never stop chasing!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31554
1213 PM EST Wed Feb 29 2012

...A Tornado Warning remains in effect until 1230 PM EST for
northwestern Garrard...eastern Mercer and western Jessamine
counties...

At 1211 PM EST...Weather Service Doppler radar continued to indicate
a severe thunderstorm with strong rotation. This dangerous storm was
located near Burgin...moving east at 55 mph.

* This dangerous storm will also impact...
Hall and Toddville...
pink and Little Hickman...
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Quoting SPLbeater:
i have learned what lapse rates are.

thats another wrinkle on my brain, right? lol

A steep lapse rate indicates rapid decrease in temperature(instability) and a steepening lapse rate indicates that destabilization is occuring.

It is also useful forecasting hail and damaging winds.

Mid-level lapse rates are used for hail, low level for winds
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31554
105. Skyepony (Mod)
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From TWC Breaking:

Confirmed 6 fatalities (possibly over 10) in Harrisburg, IL by Saline County, IL sheriff. 200-300 homes damaged/destroyed. 30 businesses destroyed.

It's very obvious that a very strong and devastating tornado hit Harrisburg during the night.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 4905
i have learned what lapse rates are.

thats another wrinkle on my brain, right? lol

A steep lapse rate indicates rapid decrease in temperature(instability) and a steepening lapse rate indicates that destabilization is occuring.
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOUISVILLE KY
1201 PM EST WED FEB 29 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LOUISVILLE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN BOYLE COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
NORTHWESTERN GARRARD COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
WESTERN JESSAMINE COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
SOUTHERN MERCER COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL KENTUCKY...

* UNTIL 1230 PM EST...

* AT 1157 AM EST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR STEWART...MOVING EAST AT 50 MPH.

* THIS TORNADIC STORM WILL ALSO IMPACT...
HARRODSBURG...
RIVERVIEW ESTATES...
STRINGTOWN AND BURGIN...
HIGH BRIDGE AND SHAKERTOWN...
BUENA VISTA AND WILMORE...
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Becoming a developing and breaking news event
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Quoting wxmod:
South Asia smog today. You do business with China, this is what you get, global weather modification, depleted oxygen, poisonous gasses that circle the Earth.

Thanks for the images.
Just an observation but is there a way you can put national boundaries and cities on these satellite photos you keep posting.
I know I will speak for many when I say thanks for posting the shots but it is difficult or impossible to tell more or less, let alone exactly where the location of these shots are due to there often being too much cloud, or in fact pollution which is why you are posting them in the first place.
Member Since: January 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2066
Quoting AussieStorm:
I'm off to bed. Stay safe ya'll


Hooroo
Member Since: February 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 749
I'm off to bed. Stay safe ya'll

The Hodgenville and Springfield storms are getting the hooks ready again.

Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
South Asia smog today. You do business with China, this is what you get, global weather modification, depleted oxygen, poisonous gasses that circle the Earth.
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just went right through springfield
Member Since: February 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 749
Hogdenville might get hit again?


NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOUISVILLE KY
1151 AM EST WED FEB 29 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LOUISVILLE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
EASTERN HARDIN COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
NORTHERN LARUE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
SOUTHERN NELSON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
NORTHWESTERN MARION COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...

* UNTIL 1215 PM EST...

* AT 1147 AM EST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR TONIEVILLE...MOVING EAST AT 50 MPH.

* THIS TORNADIC STORM WILL ALSO IMPACT...
HODGENVILLE...
ROANOKE...
NEW HAVEN AND ATHERTONVILLE...
BLUE GAP AND GETHSEMANE...
HOLY CROSS AND GREENBRIER...
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TOR:CON Value Descriptions

8:High probability of a tornado
6:Moderate possibility of a tornado
4:Low chance of a tornado nearby, but hail and/or strong wind gusts possible
2:Very low chance of a tornado, but hail and/or strong wind gusts possible
0:Near-zero chance of a tornado or a severe thunderstorm

Wednesday February 29

AL north - 4
AR northeast - 3
GA north - 3
KY east - 6
LA north - 2
MS north - 4
NC southwest - 3
NC night - 2 to 3
OH - 3
PA west - 3
SC northwest - 3
SC north, night - 2 to 3
TN - 6
VA southwest - 3
VA night - 2 to 3
WV west, central - 3
WV east, night - 2 to 3
Other areas - less than 2


Friday March 2

AL north - 4
IN southeast - 6
KY - 6
MS north - 4
OH south - 6
TN - 4
Other areas - less than 2
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOUISVILLE KY
1144 AM EST WED FEB 29 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LOUISVILLE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN BOYLE COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
SOUTHWESTERN MERCER COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
SOUTHERN WASHINGTON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
NORTHEASTERN MARION COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...

* UNTIL NOON EST...

* AT 1138 AM EST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS STORM HAS
A HISTORY OF PRODUCING A TORNADO NEAR HODGENVILLE. THIS
DANGEROUS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR BURKES SPRING...MOVING EAST AT 60
MPH.


* THIS TORNADIC STORM WILL ALSO IMPACT...
SPRINGFIELD...
TEXAS AND POTTSVILLE...
STEWART AND PERRYVILLE...
NEVADA AND DIXVILLE...
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springfield....get into shelter
Member Since: February 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 749
1618 UNK 1 E HODGENVILLE LARUE KY 3757 8572 HOUSE DESTROYED ON STILES FORD ROAD AND KY 210
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Looky here eastern folk, GFS 7Pm Saturday

Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Bejing, China today 250 meter satellite MODIS captures huge black smoke.

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Thats gotta be a debris ball... God I wish I was at my home desk right now
Member Since: February 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 749
Quoting Neapolitan:
From Twitter:

uh-oh


Oh my!
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting jamesrainier:
You're welcome, StormTracker2K. I was a little afraid I was overposting.


overposting is never ever ever a problem unless your spamming, which your NOT:D

Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
Quoting jamesrainier:
You're welcome, StormTracker2K. I was a little afraid I was overposting.


No, keep it up as I'm sure people in these affected areas are seeing your post and taking cover. You'd be surprised on how many people view this site but don't post (millions).
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting KeyWestSun:

You got it, partner. I'm right there with you!


lets weigh the odds(stars are negative):

BORING RAIN
Slow soaking rain for trees, grass
Nothing severe to threaten lives, property
COuld cause slow flooding*


THUNDERSTORMS
Entertaining lighting/thunder shows
Possibility of severe qualities*
Could cause flash flooding*
Could destroy property damage*

--------------------
go boring rain lol
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
From Twitter:

uh-oh
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13470
Quoting AussieStorm:





your composite reflect there shows a classic hook, and just per speculation to the wsw of the hook it looks like aaaaa... Debris Ball?
Member Since: February 3, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 749

Big hook
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting AussieStorm:

Your helping with my posts.


And I've been appreciating yours.
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Quoting jamesrainier:
You're welcome, StormTracker2K. I was a little afraid I was overposting.

Your helping with my posts.


Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
well low and behold i might hit 80 degrees tomorrow!

Forecast high 79, but that 1 Dgree..
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
You're welcome, StormTracker2K. I was a little afraid I was overposting.
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Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651


Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Statement as of 11:26 AM EST on February 29, 2012

... A Tornado Warning remains in effect until 1145 am EST for
Washington... southern Nelson... northern Marion and northeastern LaRue
counties...

At 1119 am EST... trained spotters reported a tornado near Leafdale.
Structural damage was reported at an apartment complex near
Hodgenville.
This dangerous storm was located near
Howardstown... moving east at 55 mph.

* This dangerous storm will also impact...
Springfield...
Saint Francis and Loretto...
Burkes Spring and Nerinx...
Cisselville and Saint Catharine...
Jimtown and Rineltown...
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Quoting jamesrainier:
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOUISVILLE KY
1122 AM EST WED FEB 29 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LOUISVILLE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHERN LARUE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
SOUTHERN NELSON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
WASHINGTON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
NORTHERN MARION COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...

* UNTIL 1145 AM EST...

* AT 1119 AM EST...TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A TORNADO NEAR
LARUE COUNTY FAIR GROUNDS AND HIGH SCHOOL...MOVING EAST AT 55 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL ALSO IMPACT...
SPRINGFIELD...
LORETTO AND SAINT FRANCIS...
BURKES SPRING AND NERINX...
JIMTOWN AND BRIARTOWN...
RINELTOWN AND TEXAS...


Great job on the warnings James!
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOUISVILLE KY
1122 AM EST WED FEB 29 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LOUISVILLE HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHERN LARUE COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
SOUTHERN NELSON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
WASHINGTON COUNTY IN NORTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...
NORTHERN MARION COUNTY IN SOUTH CENTRAL KENTUCKY...

* UNTIL 1145 AM EST...

* AT 1119 AM EST...TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A TORNADO NEAR
LARUE COUNTY FAIR GROUNDS AND HIGH SCHOOL...MOVING EAST AT 55 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL ALSO IMPACT...
SPRINGFIELD...
LORETTO AND SAINT FRANCIS...
BURKES SPRING AND NERINX...
JIMTOWN AND BRIARTOWN...
RINELTOWN AND TEXAS...
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Hey Tampa, Is this TVS on the ground. It's going to hit Hodgenville dead on.

Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Got to go to classes :( btw, that tornado in central Kentucky look like it's getting stronger every time there's new radar image on NWS. Hope everybody is safe!
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Lexington (officially Lexington-Fayette Urban County) is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US.
In the 2010 Census the city's population was 295,803, anchoring a metropolitan area of 472,099 people and a Combined Statistical Area of 687,173 people.
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looked at damage pictures again, I'll say this is EF4. BUT don't assume anything until NWS is finished with their reports.
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Hodgenville is a city in and the county seat of LaRue County, Kentucky, United States.[1]
The population was 2,874 at the 2000 census. It is included in the Elizabethtown, Kentucky Metropolitan Statistical Area.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



that looks like EF5 damg there
The damage look similar to Sanford, NC tornado... I'll say either EF3 or low EF4.
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Quoting Ameister12:
Flatten buildings in Harrisburg, IL.


I'd say EF-3 or EF-4 damage there.
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Going towards Hogdenville


Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932

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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.