Tornadoes kill 21 in Missouri and Oklahoma

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:44 PM GMT on May 11, 2008

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Killer tornadoes swept through Oklahoma and Missouri, yesterday, killing at least 21 people. Hardest hit were the towns of Picher, OK, where seven died, and Seneca, MO, where ten died. Damage photos I saw from these towns showed buildings swept clean from their foundations, indicative of at least EF-4 damage, and possibly EF-5. Yesterday's deaths brings the 2008 U.S. tornado death toll up to 96--the most tornado fatalities since 1998, when 130 people died. With at least another month left in peak tornado season, 2008 already ranks as the 12th deadliest year in the 59-year record.


Figure 1. Storm damage reports from the Saturday, May 10 tornado outbreak. Image credit: NOAA Storm Prediction Center.

Today's severe weather forecast
Severe weather is not done with the region yet--the Storm Prediction Center has placed much of the Southeast under their "Slight Risk" category for severe weather today. Two tornadoes have already been reported today, one in Georgia, and one in Kentucky. The Weather Underground Severe Weather page and Tornado page are good places to go to follow today's severe weather. A more significant chance of tornadoes and severe weather is expected Wednesday and Thursday over the deep south, from eastern Texas to Alabama.

Storm chasing with Mike Theiss
No word yet from Wunderblogger Mike Theiss on which storms he intercepted during yesterday's mayhem. Mike is in Tornado Alley this week, performing his annual chase efforts. Be sure to catch his spectacular photos and chase accounts.

Jeff Masters

Tornado over McAlester, OK (obso)
Another view of tornado from downtown McAlester.
Tornado over McAlester, OK
Rainbow Left, Funnel Right, House Middle (Californiaboy)
The back edge of a tornadic storm as it left the town of Tom Bean, TX. This storm produced several weak funnels, none of which I ever saw touch down. Still a breathtaking site.
Rainbow Left, Funnel Right, House Middle
Wallcloud near Lacrosse, Kansas (MikeTheiss)
Photo of a wallcloud crossing road near lacrosse, Kansas on May 25, 2008. Photo copyight Mike Theiss
Wallcloud near Lacrosse, Kansas

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255. IKE
1:54 PM GMT on May 12, 2008
New blog....
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
254. cbflx08
1:48 PM GMT on May 12, 2008
"We felt continuous shaking for about two or three minutes. All the people in our office are rushing downstairs. We're still feeling slight tremblings," said an office worker in Chengdu.

Tremors were felt in Beijing, about 930 miles away, and the Thai capital of Bangkok, 2,050 miles away, where buildings swayed for several minutes, although there were no immediate reports of injuries. Buildings in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, shook for several seconds.
In Beijing's financial district, many workers left their buildings but there were no visible signs of damage.

"People were shouting '出去!性交外面 神圣见鬼的粪' , so we all ran out of our dorm," said a student at a university in nearby Chongqing.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was centred 18 miles below the Earth's surface.
253. cbflx08
1:40 PM GMT on May 12, 2008
China Is Hit by 7.8-Magnitude Earthquake Near Chengdu

Nearly 900 students were today buried in Sichuan province after a powerful earthquake hit China's central mountainous region, raising fears of a soaring death toll.

At least 107 have been confirmed dead in the 7.5-magnitude quake that struck 57 miles (92km) north-west of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

It said around 900 students had been buried in a high school in Juyuan township, Dujiangyan city.

A Dujiangyan resident searches the debris of a collapsed house. Photograph: Chen Xie/Xinhau news agency/Reuters Tremors from the quake, which struck at 2.28pm (7.28am BST), were felt as far away as Thailand and Vietnam.

Rescue teams were trying make contact with areas cut off since the tremor hit.

The disaster struck China at a time when the government had been sending relief supplies to cyclone-hit Burma.

"We felt continuous shaking for about two or three minutes. All the people in our office are rushing downstairs. We're still feeling slight tremblings," said an office worker in Chengdu.

Tremors were felt in Beijing, about 930 miles away, and the Thai capital of Bangkok, 2,050 miles away, where buildings swayed for several minutes, although there were no immediate reports of injuries. Buildings in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, shook for several seconds.

In Beijing's financial district, many workers left their buildings but there were no visible signs of damage.

"People were shouting 'get out, get out', so we all ran out of our dorm," said a student at a university in nearby Chongqing.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was centred 18 miles below the Earth's surface.

A spokesman for the China Earthquake Administration said it was still checking the epicentre and scale of the quake.

An official with the Sichuan provincial seismic bureau said the epicentre of the quake was in Wenchuan county, in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture. The mountainous region is largely populated by Han Chinese but has sizeable Qiang and Tibetan populations.

Chinese state television said the government was preparing to send rescue teams to the region.



252. ycd0108
1:36 PM GMT on May 12, 2008
Here's the link to USGS earthquake map showing the 7.8 and aftershocks:
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Maps/10/105_30.php
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 187 Comments: 4735
251. KRL
1:26 PM GMT on May 12, 2008
I was in the 6.7 Northridge Quake in '94 and that was the scariest event of my entire life. I can't even imagine what a 7.8 would be like since that would be about 10x more powerful and equal to about 500 Million tons of TNT going off which is 1 Trillion pounds of explosives.

Deaths will probably go into 50,000 to 100,000 plus on this one, if the Chinese government doesn't cover up the stats, like they've done in the past.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 231
250. presslord
1:17 PM GMT on May 12, 2008
stormjunkie's picture is right over my house...it was a hairy couple of hours....the major damage was on Wadmalaw Island...very rural and poor...we have a staff meeting @ 10A eastern...I'm gonna give the day off to anybody who wants to go out there and help those folks...it was kinda weird...I ran into stormjunkie yesterday after the storm...we couldn't find the damage, yet were just down the road from it...on a lighter note: today is beautiful...
Member Since: August 13, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10492
249. HIEXPRESS
1:17 PM GMT on May 12, 2008
245. HouseofGryffindor 8:23 AM
With all these disasters lately, I am beginning to think Mother Nature is trying to tell us something.

Yes. Pony up.
American Red Cross Fund
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
246. pearlandaggie
12:52 PM GMT on May 12, 2008


Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Reaches “Unprecedented” Levels
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
242. salter
11:35 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
yes they did my brother still lives there so im sure i,ll here about it later today ok gonna go this time talk later have a great day
241. all4hurricanes
11:25 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
I bet PA got lots of rain this is the heaviest rainfall I have ever seen
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2377
240. salter
11:21 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
yes i know they area i lived in southcentral pa for many years if you find a way just send the rain lol ok gots to go boss looking at me stupid so till later see ya
239. all4hurricanes
11:19 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
stay safe
salter it not really dangerous outside unless you get hit by a branch or stay out long enough to get hypothermia ( I think I stood out long enough to start getting it ). Its just kind of fun to pretend like really dangerous weather happens here
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2377
238. all4hurricanes
11:16 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
I am up north I'm in the "D.C area" and I wish I could send some water down to you but the rain isn't listening lol
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2377
237. salter
11:13 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
ok i thought you were up north there if you would like to send some of that water to z-hills in florida i'm 40 miles northeast of tampa no rain here since april 6
(stay safe)
236. all4hurricanes
11:07 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
Fairfax VA were under flood warning I live on the top of a hill so its hard for the water to do anything more than make large puddles
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2377
235. salter
11:05 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
all4 where do you live
234. all4hurricanes
10:50 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
Mudslides have continued through the dry pond
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2377
233. all4hurricanes
10:27 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
8 inches of rain and strong winds this morning there is still rain falling and it will probably keep raining until afternoon. several large branches have fallen
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2377
232. aspectre
9:35 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
Frankly, I think all of the hurricane-season predictors are gonna be blowin' through their hats this year. How are atmospheric models based on an ice-covered Arctic s'poseta work when ya got open ocean there?
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
231. aspectre
9:25 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
Arctic Sea Ice News from the National Snow and Ice Data Center:
"Although there is more ice than this time last year, the average decline rate through the month of April was 6,000 square kilometers per day (2,300 thousand square miles per day) faster than last April."
However "the ice cover this spring shows an unusually large proportion of young, thin first-year ice; about 30% of first-year ice typically survives the summer melt season, while 75% of the older ice survives."

"If we apply the survival rates averaged over all years to current conditions, the end-of-summer extent would be 3.59million square kilometers (1.39million square miles)."
"With survival rates similar to those in 2007, the minimum for...2008...would be only 2.22million square kilometers (0.86million square miles)."
"...the record low extent, set last September, was 4.28million square kilometers (1.65million square miles)."
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
230. aspectre
7:48 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
A Richter 7.5 earthquake epicentered ~90kilometres/~55miles from Chengdu shook buildings as far away as Bangkok, Hanoi, and Beijing.
Chengdu has a population of 11milion. Depending on the directionality of the shockwave*, the casualty toll could meet or exceed that produced by Nargis in Burma.

* Shockwaves can be guided and amplified-thru-compression by old fault lines. eg Tanshan was flattened by an earthquake epicentered ~48kilometres/~30miles away from the city center.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Editing in: "A major earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale jolted...Sichuan Province" according to their StateSeismologicalBureau.
So far so good. Reports of only relatively minor damage.
Though if I were in Chengdu, I'd still go camping in the open countryside for a few days.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
229. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
7:04 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
That is bad news for Myanmar. They don't need a developing low.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 46909
228. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
7:00 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
RSMC: India Meteorological Department (New Delphi, India)

Tropical Cyclone Outlook (0600z 12May)
---------------------------------------
Scattered to broken low/medium clouds with embedded moderate to intense convection over Bay Islands, Andaman Sea, Tenasserim coast, South Arakan coast, and bay between 10N to 16N east of 90.0E in association with low level circulation over the area.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 46909
227. H20poloweatheraddict
4:40 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
HIEXPRESS the 1900 acre fire is that the one that was near the 520/I-95 interchange? And if it was which way is it going?
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 10
226. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
4:18 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
+ Tropical Cyclone Watch:

The new Tropical Disturbance 95W (LPA/1007 MB) forming over the central part of the South China Sea has remained quasi-stationary...located about 595 km. WSW of Manila (14.0N 115.5E). This disturbance has been forecast on almost all of the Numerical Global Models to become a Tropical Cyclone within the next 2 to 4 days. Long-range forecast shows it strengthening into a Tropical Storm in the next 5 days and may affect Western & NW Luzon this weekend of May 16-19. Stay tuned for more info on this new potential threat.


---
next name if this system develops into a tropical depression within the philippine area of responsibility is Cosme.

next name if this system is classified as a "tropical storm" Typhoon Category 1 by the Japan Meteorological Agency is Matmo.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 46909
225. JUSTCOASTING
3:36 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
Hello again everyone. Just checking in to see what everyone is forcasting for the hurrricane season .Any thoughts as of yet .It is nice to chat with you all again this season.
Member Since: August 15, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 666
224. Tazmanian
3:35 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
The damage in Picher was rated at EF4


why EF4
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
223. StormJunkie
3:19 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
Night camsmom, hope you had a wunderful Mother's Day!
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
222. ajcamsmom2
3:18 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
Night StormJunkie, Night all.
Member Since: March 15, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 2492
221. StormJunkie
3:09 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
Thanks camsmom, and I did get to view your pictures. Sorry for your loses!

I always try to stay safe, but as with many of us, what we love to do is somewhat inherently dangerous.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
220. HIEXPRESS
3:08 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
115. HIEXPRESS 7:32 PM EDT on May 11, 2008
Several new Brush fires along the east coast of Florida, not the least of which is the 600 Acre fire in Brevard that has I-95 shut down - maybe until tomorrow.

This fire is now at 1900 acres (~ 3 sq. mi.)
Member Since: October 13, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 2156
219. ajcamsmom2
3:07 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
Hi StormJunkie...glad you are alright...nice pic
Member Since: March 15, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 2492
218. StormJunkie
3:03 AM GMT on May 12, 2008


Evening all

This wall cloud caused damage on John's and Wadamalaw Islands.

Apparently I just missed getting further in to the damaged area.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
217. ajcamsmom2
2:59 AM GMT on May 12, 2008

199. Michael 8:57 PM CDT on May 11, 2008
lol Pottery, dont want to be, but I've taken my gut check, and doesn't feel too good for someone


My gut check is always bad since Katrina/Rita...my gut says everything is going to turn into a Major Player and head right for me...So, what I am saying is I am learning to do more observing and less feeling to get what I think will happen with any given storm or storm season...I also tend to ask a lot of questions
Member Since: March 15, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 2492
216. Patrap
2:53 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
GOES-12 Channel 3 (WV) Atlantic Basin Latest ImageLink

GOES-12 Channel 4 (IR) Atlantic Basin Latest ImageLink


Nitey GatorWX
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
215. GatorWX
2:51 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
PS, nice to see all the regulars again, welcome back! Well night all.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3798
214. GatorWX
2:49 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
Lots of activity between Africa and S. America! ITCZ creeping north, <5* N. Looks to be quite a bit less shear over most of the s. n. atl. too e. of the Antilles. I'm beginning to wonder about the theories of a late start, ie '04, but things change fast so... we'll see. OK, well y'all have a good evening, if there's anyone even here.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3798
213. Patrap
2:27 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
Source: American Red Cross

Date: 11 May 2008
ReliefWEB
Mounting a global response to a massive disaster Link


Christy Feig, Director of International Communication


Sunday, May 11, 2008 — Slightly more than a week after cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar, relief supplies—such as tarps, water containers, water purification tablets, mosquito nets and hygiene kits—are arriving and being distributed. Earlier today, an airplane carrying American Red Cross supplies, including 8,000 mosquito nets, arrived in Myanmar. According to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 220,000 people have received some form of aid, which includes 80,000 people who were assisted by the Red Cross.

Many more still need assistance. While reports vary, according to the United Nations estimates, at least 1.5 million people have been severely affected by this disaster.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
212. Patrap
2:25 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
ReliefWEBLink

Staffers, supplies on standby to avert potential public health crisis in MyanmarLink

GDAC NARGIS Stats and Time Line Link
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129833
211. stormdude77
2:22 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
Anyway, Good night all
209. stormdude77
2:14 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
Good night Pottery
208. pottery
2:10 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
And now, me and my calabash tree are going to sleep.
Busy one tomorow. Keep safe everyone......
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24879
207. Tazmanian
2:08 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
add this site to your links if you love severe weather this is the site for you this is a site where you can SevereStudios Live ChaseCam Network with out paying $1,000 to go Chase and its free i was tracking matt and brett last night this site is a most have and they have a chat room there has well

Link
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
206. pottery
2:08 AM GMT on May 12, 2008
DDR, my calabash tree still has leaves. In 20 yrs of checking that calabash tree, the rains have NEVER come before it loses ALL its leaves, and puts out small new ones.

So I figure we may get a shower or 2, but the rainy season is a good 3 or 4 weeks away...........

So says my calabash tree.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24879

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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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