Tornado kills four Boy Scouts in Iowa

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:10 PM GMT on June 12, 2008

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Tragedy struck a Boy Scout camp in western Iowa last night, when a tornado swept through, killing four Boy Scouts and injuring at least 48 people. A tornado warning was issued by the National Weather Service 12 minutes before the tornado hit the camp at 6:35 pm CDT, but it appears the campers never heard the sirens, either because the sirens were too far away from the remote camp, or because the storm caused a power outage in the nearest town of Blencoe, which silenced that town's tornado siren.

Tornadoes also hit southern Minnesota, eastern Kansas, and eastern Nebraska yesterday, and the Storm Prediction Center recorded 52 tornado reports. A tornado caused major damage in Manhattan and Kansas State University, tossing cars and destroying several businesses. A half-mile wide tornado hit the town of Chapman, destroying 60 homes and killing one person. Another person died in a mobile home in the Jackson County town of Soldier. Yesterday's deaths bring this season's tornado death toll up to 118--the most since 1998, when 130 people were killed.



Figure 1. Radar reflectivity (top) and Doppler velocity (bottom) for the June 1, 2008 tornado that hit the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in western Iowa. The tornado was embedded in a line of severe thunderstorms that swept through the state, and did not exhibit the classic hook-shaped echo one commonly sees in tornadoes. The most dangerous tornadoes commonly show a hook echo and tend to be spawned by "discrete supercells"--isolated thunderstorms that are not embedded in a solid line of thunderstorms.

Tornado activity forecast
The Storm Prediction Center is calling for a "Slight" risk of severe weather across the Midwest today, from Michigan to Oklahoma. We can expect a few more tornadoes today in the affected region, although probably not as many twisters as were reported in yesterday's outbreak. The "Slight" risk of severe weather continues Friday across the Midwest, then shifts to the East Coast by Saturday.

Tropics
An area of disturbed weather has developed in the southern Gulf of Mexico between the Florida Keys and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula this morning. The thunderstorm activity is under about 20 knots of wind shear, and is moving northward into the central Gulf of Mexico. I'm not expecting this to develop, but we should keep an eye on it. None of the computer models are forecasting development of a tropical depression in the Atlantic in the coming seven days.

Jeff Masters

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165. weatherfromFlorida
4:07 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
54. OUSHAWN 3:56 PM GMT on June 12, 2008 Hide this comment.
Hmmmmm, I may have to investigate our blob in the GOM a little further...lol. After looking at the last few satellite frames I have to admit there appears to be almost like a banding effect trying to form off our little system. Does anyone else see this or is it just me?


I am seeing it as well, but I don't think the Circulation is at the surface, any thing out there to show a surface circulation?
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164. Nolehead
4:08 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
the GOM is sure looking interesting...it's a hot bath out there...sure won't take much!!
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163. fire831rescue
4:07 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
The blob in the GOM looks to be dying down and it appears it's being torn apart. However, 91L looks like it's flaring up again.
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162. TheWeatherMan504
4:01 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
The outer bands are now showing up on radar. long range radar New orleans(LIX)

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161. kingy
4:01 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
I think we had better moderate our comments and stick to the weather. Things getting a little heated. Otherwise they will ban everyone, the trolls and the troll baiters
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160. TheWeatherMan504
3:58 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
156. sky1989 3:57 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
That wave that just emerged off the coast of Africa looks fairly healthy and is far enough north that the coriolis force might aid in developing it. However, persistence is the key. Anyway, it seems to be strong and further north than most waves are this time of the year.


I agree it has some decent convection with it.
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158. IKE
10:56 AM CDT on June 12, 2008
153. CaneAddict 10:56 AM CDT on June 12, 2008
I'd think that the area in the GOM would be tagged Invest 92L later today.


I agree...I still see a spin near 23N and 88-89W.
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157. extreme236
3:56 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
Be back in a bit..
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156. sky1989
3:52 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
That wave that just emerged off the coast of Africa looks fairly healthy and is far enough north that the coriolis force might aid in developing it. However, persistence is the key. Anyway, it seems to be strong and further north than most waves are this time of the year.
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154. OUSHAWN
3:53 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
Hmmmmm, I may have to investigate our blob in the GOM a little further...lol. After looking at the last few satellite frames I have to admit there appears to be almost like a banding effect trying to form off our little system. Does anyone else see this or is it just me?
Member Since: September 20, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 44
153. CaneAddict
3:51 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
I'd think that the area in the GOM would be tagged Invest 92L later today.
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152. NEwxguy
3:52 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
Picture perfect day here in New England,great day for watching the tropics


Fair

75°F
(24°C) Humidity: 40 %
Wind Speed: N 12 G 18 MPH
Barometer: 30.18" (1023.1 mb)
Dewpoint: 49°F (9°C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi
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151. obsessedwweather
3:51 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
Terrible what happened to those children and their families.

I guess today, there is going to be violent weather again......

Seems like a lot of that going on lately.
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150. extreme236
3:51 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
Looks a tad better than this morning since it has a bit more convection...still disorganized but interesting.

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149. stormdude77
11:47 AM AST on June 12, 2008
Hello again, everyone...in case you missed it earlier, I posted a tropical update on my blog...Link
148. obsessedwweather
3:48 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
Hey All-

Haven't been on in a while.....is there something brewing in the GOM? Looks like it to me!!!???
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147. 69Viking
10:34 AM CDT on June 12, 2008
92. sky1989

I hear you!
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145. TheWeatherMan504
3:38 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
If you want this thing to develop you will need lower sheer and Less dry air
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144. melwerle
3:36 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
Hey Jp - how's it going?

It's HOT and clouds are building a bit but zero rain where we are...it was to our south and a bit north but we got NOTHIN. Lawn is dying, flowers are dying (I can't really blame that on the weather though - I am lousy with plants). But hey, life is good - shipped my oldest daughter and my mother to San Diego for three weeks, son went back to college yesterday for summer classes...so just me and the youngest for a bit. It's quiet and you can't ask for much more than that! How's it up your way?

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143. OUSHAWN
3:36 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
I heard the ULL is suppose to basically move in tandom with the blob (tropical wave/inverted trough). If that happens than there is very little chance of any development.
Member Since: September 20, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 44
140. weatherfromFlorida
3:36 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
I think one of the reasons Dr.Masters told us to keep an eye on it because the GOM is a prime area of development in June, I wouldn't be surprised to see 92L out of this later today.
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139. Drakoen
3:34 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
129. extreme236 3:31 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
I remember with Erin I believe we had a surface trough or some precursor disturbance that interacted with a ULL. Then the ULL backed off into Mexico then the disturbance developed into Erin.


This upper level low is forecast to move Southwest into the BOC possibly into Mexico gradually diminishing.

GFS 300mb vorticity
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31589
138. IKE
10:34 AM CDT on June 12, 2008
128. CaneAddict 10:31 AM CDT on June 12, 2008
Good morning folks, I am in and out, I do want to mention that for Dr. Masters to mention a disturbance like he did, I'd watch that area more closely....He must think theres a chance for development there.


I remember what Dr. Masters has said before...if all models indicate development, keep an eye on it.

If no models indicate development, keep an eye on it as well.
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137. sky1989
3:33 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
I have to agree with everyone about the disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico. The upper-level low needs to move out of the picture before we see any serious development. However, one thing I've learned is that anything is possible especially as crazy as the tropics have been the past 4 years.
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134. melwerle
3:33 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
http://www.wunderground.com/blog/WunderBlogAdmin/comment.html?entrynum=1&tstamp=200709

The Administration on trolls...
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132. 69Viking
10:12 AM CDT on June 12, 2008
81. jphurricane2006

Of course only for weak systems JP!
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131. extreme236
3:32 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
Shear decreasing:

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130. OUSHAWN
3:29 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
I agree with the reference to Erin but you can't discard the fact there is an ULL sitting out there and it would be almost impossible for this thing to get going with that ULL being as close as it is. I would give it about a 5% chance at most.
Member Since: September 20, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 44
129. extreme236
3:30 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
I remember with Erin I believe we had a surface trough or some precursor disturbance that interacted with a ULL. Then the ULL backed off into Mexico then the disturbance developed into Erin.
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128. CaneAddict
3:29 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
Good morning folks, I am in and out, I do want to mention that for Dr. Masters to mention a disturbance like he did, I'd watch that area more closely....He must think theres a chance for development there.
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127. Drakoen
3:28 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
120. extreme236 3:26 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
115.

Yes very similar setup as we had with Erin.


Yea RAMSDIS has a floater on it so we will see.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31589
126. Nolehead
3:27 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
so any who back to the real blog at hand....i agree it sure does look like another type of Erin...
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125. IKE
10:27 AM CDT on June 12, 2008
Erin from 2007....

Link
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124. sky1989
3:25 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
I know nearly everyone is ignoring Invest 91L right now and are right in doing so as it is so disorganized and does not currently deserve to be called an invest. However, I do have to give it some credit because it seems to be trying to persist. So far, this year, all of the tropical waves that entered the eastern Carribean fizzled immediately.
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121. DDR
3:23 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
AUSSIESTORM
Link
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120. extreme236
3:25 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
115.

Yes very similar setup as we had with Erin.
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119. TheWeatherMan504
3:25 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
114. Nolehead 3:24 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
yep i agree, boot his a$$ mda..aka Mr.DUMB ASS


I hear ya brotha.
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118. myway
3:22 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
mda 109
YOU FAILED!
Anger is all you will get with heartless comments like yours.
Hopefully none of the childrens parents will ever hear something as stupid as what you said.
If they did, I would bet you would finally find out what personal tragedy is.
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116. MasterForecaster
3:20 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
If you see a comment that is obviously posted to hurt someones feelings or make people mad then count to ten and ignore it! It's hard to do I know...but as dedicated bloggers it's our duty to keep the blog running smoothly.

On a weather related note...91L RIP we may see you rise from the dead in a few days.
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115. Drakoen
3:24 PM GMT on June 12, 2008
That thing in the GOM looks so much like the invest Erin came from. While there are some high winds in the area the winds are mostly out of the east.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31589

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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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