Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:44 PM GMT on May 11, 2008
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.
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