Joplin, Missouri and Wisconsin Tornadoes

Another horrible scene of devastation from Joplin, Missouri. It is hard to see another city destroyed by a tornado. It has been a unprecendented spring for tornadoes, but also for strong tornadoes and killer tornadoes. Take a look at storm chaser video from Jeff Piotrowski of the Joplin tornado.

to an EF-5. I was comparing the damage I  saw in Tuscaloosa versus the damage from Joplin. I actually think the damage in Joplin is a little worse. The difference is the cars. The cars in Joplin were completely tossed and smashed. I did not see too much of that in Tuscaloosa. Here is the latest survey from the Joplin tornado.

Joplin Tornado Survey

NWS Storm Survey ongoing – More details will be provided as they become available.

       
EF-Scale   4    
Estimated Maximum Wind 190-198    
       
Path Width      
       
       
       
       

 

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SPRINGFIELD MO
352 PM CDT MON MAY 23 2011

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

0541 PM TORNADO JOPLIN 37.08N 94.51W
05/22/2011                   JASPER             MO   NWS STORM SURVEY

  *** 116 FATAL, 400 INJ *** A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
            STORM SURVEY REVEALED THAT AN EF-4 TORNADO IMPACTED A
  LARGE PORTION OF THE CITY OF JOPLIN. WIND SPEEDS WERE
            ESTIMATED AT 190 - 198 MPH. THE PATH WIDTH WAS ESTIMATED
            AT THREE QUARTERS OF A MILE WIDE.

 

As for Wisconsin, we had a fair number of tornadoes as well. Take a look at the map of the possible tornadoes.

There were as many 10 possible tornadoes. All the storm surveys have not been completed. The closest to our area were two small tornadoes in Green Lake county.

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MILWAUKEE/SULLIVAN WI
341 PM CDT MON MAY 23 2011

..TIME…          …EVENT…      …CITY LOCATION…                …LAT.LON…
..DATE…         ….MAG….      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST..     …SOURCE….
          

0745 PM     TORNADO          2 SSW KINGSTON          43.67N 89.14W
05/22/2011                              GREEN LAKE          WI   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            EF0 TORNADO SPUN UP AT AN ESTIMATED TIME OF 745 PM AND
            LASTED LESS THAN 1 MINUTE. ESTIMATED WINDS OF 70 MPH.
            THERE WAS DAMAGE TO LARGE TREE BRANCHES…A SHED DOOR AT
            A FARM WAS PUSHED IN AND A PLASTIC GREENHOUSE WAS LIGHTLY
            DAMAGED. PATH WIDTH OF 30 YARDS…PATH LENGTH 0.1 MILE.
            INFORMATION FROM COUNTY SHERIFF AND NWS STORM SURVEY.

0750 PM     TORNADO          NW MARKESAN             43.71N 88.99W
05/22/2011                              GREEN LAKE         WI   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            EFO TORNADO STARTED 0.3 MILES NW OF MARKESAN AND ENDED
            4.5 MILES NNE OF MARKESAN. PATH WIDTH 50 YDS…PATH
            LENGTH 4.7 MILES. TORNADO BEGAN AT 750 PM AND ENDED AT
            757 PM. LARGE TREE BRANCHES DOWN. 2 SMALL TREES UPROOTED.
            INFORMATION FROM COUNTY SHERIFF AND NWS SURVEY. 

The most amazing part of all of the tornadoes this spring has been the number of tornadoes hitting cities or highly populated areas. So far this spring, Raleigh, Birmingham Tuscaloosa, Minneapolis, La Crosse, St. Louis, and Joplin have all been hit by tornadoes. We have been very fortunate here in southeast Wisconsin. I hope that continues the rest of spring and summer.

Our weather around here is about to change dramatically. The dreaded northeast wind returns tomorrow. Our high temperature will fall from 78 degrees today to 54 on Tuesday. It will be warmer inland. Have a great day.

Mark

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14 Responses

  1. Are we looking at a big warm up this coming weekend?

    • Robert,

      Saturday still looks like an east or northeast wind. Sunday will begin the warm-up as we get back to 70s. Memorial Day looks very warm with a high at least in the 80s.
      Mark

  2. Hi Mark,

    Interesting comment you made about the ‘cars’. Earlier today I was looking through some photos from Joplin and while looking at one showing ‘cars’ from what I guess was the hospital parking lot, the thought crossed my mind that OMG, this looks even worse than the recent Alabama one. I’m not real comfortable speculating about such tragic and destructive events, but if the two tornado’s were about the same size and strength, would a difference in their ground speeds along their paths possibly be a partial explanation? Just wondering.

    Cordially,
    Tony (Pl. Prairie)

    • Tony,

      Good observation. The forward speed of the tornado definitely makes a difference in the damage. Like a hurricane, the NE quadrant of the storm is the strongest if the storm is moving NE. That of course is only true if the tornado is counter-clockwise. The Alabama tornado was actually moving faster than the Missouri tornado.

      Mark

      • I think some of the consideration may have to be in the multi-vortex type that hit Joplin. I think they are more destructive, but perhaps less intense in a singular instance. I think there is much more to come out of this one. It looks like high end EF-4, but I would guess there are spots of EF-5…but ultimately, we all know that EF-5 is sacred ground in weather lore.

      • Scott,
        I was surprised by the early designation. They took much longer to rate the Alabama tornadoes, but I guess they had a lot more to survey. EF-5 is sacred, but I still think that this will qualify.

        Mark

  3. Just an observation about this spring’s weather, not sure if it’s accurate or not. In a normal spring we can usually count on a run of four or five days of beautiful weather…70’s, sunshine, low humidity, no severe weather. This year, the few times we’ve had a warm-up, it has been accompanied by an outbreak of severe weather. Then it’s back to cold weather until the next day or two of warmer weather. Is this a pattern that we will see all summer? It seems that we just can’t string together a run of nice days without some type of severe weather. Just an observation.

    • Chris,
      You are spot on about any time we have had warmer weather it has been accompanied by severe storms. This has been frustrating for all of us. Once we get into summer, we will have nicer stretches without the severe weather, but still overall looks like a cooler and wetter than average summer.
      Mark

      • Thanks, mark, for confirming my observations. However, I am happy to say that I will not have to deal with the cool, wet summer since I just got a job in Fountain Hills, AZ (suburb of Phoenix). It’s already in the 90’s and hot. I can’t wait. I’ve lived in AZ before and love the hot, dry climate. After the miserable winter we had and this cold spring, I’m glad to be moving.

  4. Good Morning WW 12 Team!

    We’re having another outdoor brat/burger fry fundraiser this Thursday in Beaver Dam. Mark, you said Monday night at 10 p.m. show that best chance of rain is Wed. night into Thurs. morning. We start “frying” at 8:30/9:oo and serving from 10 til 2. Any chance we’ll get rained on during those hours?

    Thanks for your help!

    Don {Reeseville}

    • Hi, Don,

      Showers may hang around early on Thursday, but I think you should be ok in Reeseville.

      Mark

  5. I live in the Tuscaloosa area. The tornado that hit here was 1 and 1/2 miles wide and at winds about 190 mph or greater. It was a multi vortex tornado, as well. The cars were thrown everywhere as well. See video: http://efg-bnusfoodreserves.blogspot.com/2011/04/tuscaloosa-weathercom-assesses-wind.html. The mayor questioned the logistics of removing the cars alone. I still feel the Joplin tornado seems worse by the pictures. I, too, feel that the Joplin tornado lasted longer in the area. The tornadoes here were said to be over by the residents in less than one minute of passing through. I noticed the residents of Joplin said it lasted at a minute. That is one long minute when you are experiencing a ravaging tornado.

    • Very tragic for both Tuscaloosa & Joplin. My deepest sympathy for all.

      Cordially,
      Tony (Pl. Prairie)

  6. I’ve often noticed (anecdotally) that a seasonally cool stretch of weather on the west side of the continent generally occurs simultaneously with the center of the continent receiving warm weather (and vise versa).

    However, by reading the comments here, it seems we have all been experiencing cool weather this Spring. A string of warm and sunny days has been non-existent out West thus far.

    I know two people who have been recording the date when the ice leaves their respective local lakes over the past 35 -ish years (located at approx. 52 degrees N; 124 W, elev. 3100ft.), and this year was the latest (by far) that the ice has stayed on the lakes -two weeks longer than the previous record for one the them.

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