Severe weather is expected again today in storm-torn Joplin, Missouri, as rescuers sift through the rubble of their town that was devastated by the deadliest U.S. About the same time as Joplin, MO was getting hit, we had this one come right over the Grand Lake RV park and put down some EF-3 damage on the other side of the hay field you see. LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST SIGNIFICANT FEATURE… Trough over the central Caribbean, including Jamaica. A violent high-end EF-4 tornado with winds of 190 – 198 mph carved a 7-mile long, ? to one mile-wide path of near-total destruction through Joplin beginning at 5:41pm CDT Sunday evening. In nine terrifying minutes, the tornado killed at least 116 people, injured 500 more, and obliterated huge sections of the town. Damage from the tornado is so severe that pavement was ripped from the ground, and the level of damage is so extreme that this is likely to surpass last month's Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado as the costliest tornado of all-time. Radar reflectivity image of the supercell thunderstorm that spawned the Joplin, Missouri tornado, one minute before the tornado touched down at 5:41pm CDT. Burt in his post, The World's Deadliest Tornadoes, the death toll of 116 from the Joplin tornado ranks as the deadliest U.S.
However, it is now thought that the Woodward tornado was actually one of a series of tornadoes, and the tornado that hit Woodward killed 107 people.
This year's tornado death toll now stands at 482, making it the deadliest year for tornadoes in the U.S.
Waco, Texas (114 killed), Flint, Michigan (115 killed), and Worcester, Massachusetts (89 – 94 killed) all were hit by violent F-4 or F-5 tornadoes. A similar bad tornado year occurred in 1936, when violent tornadoes hit Tupelo Mississippi (216 killed), and Gainesville, Georgia (203 killed.)Video 1. The last year with more tornado deaths than 2011 was 1953, when three great tornadoes killed more than 90 people each.
This old newsreel video shows destruction from the first of these deadly 1953 tornadoes, the May 11, 1953 F-5 tornado that hit downtown Waco Texas, killing 114 people.


On April 14 - 16, we had the largest tornado outbreak in world history, with 162 tornadoes hitting the Southeast U.S. The legendary April 3 – 4 1974 Super Outbreak has now fallen to third place, with 148 tornadoes. Damage from the April 25 – 28, 2011 outbreak was estimated to be as high as $5 billion, making it the most expensive tornado outbreak in history; the Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado of April 27 may end up being the most expensive tornado of all-time—until the damage from Sunday's Joplin tornado is tabulated.
The previous April tornado record was 267, set in 1974, and April has averaged just 161 tornadoes over the past decade.
Violent EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes usually miss heavily populated areas, and we've had the misfortune of having two such tornadoes track over cities with more than 50,000 people (the Joplin tornado, and the Tuscaloosa-Birmingham EF-4 tornado in Alabama, which killed 61 people on April 27.) This sort of bad luck occurred in both 1953, when F-5 tornadoes hit Flint, Worcester, and Waco, and in 1936, when F-5s hit Tupelo and Gainesville. However, this year's death toll is more remarkable than the 1953 or 1936 death tolls, since in 2011 we have Doppler radar and a modern tornado warning system that is very good at providing an average of twelve minutes of warning time. The first tornado warning wasn't issued until 1948, and virtually all tornadoes from the 1950s and earlier hit with no warning. On average, tornado deaths in the United States decreased from 8 per 1 million people in 1925 to 0.12 per 1 million people in 2000.
Had this year's tornadoes occurred 50 years ago, I expect the death toll would have exceeded three thousand.Figure 3. April 2011 sea surface temperature in the Gulf of Mexico were at their third highest levels of the past 100 years, so there was plenty of warm, moist air available to create high instability, whenever approaching storm systems pulled the Gulf air northwards into Tornado Alley, and brought cold, dry air south from Canada. This sort of shearing force (wind shear) was ideal for putting a twist on thunderstorm updrafts, allowing more numerous and more intense tornadoes than usual to occur. Furthermore, there have been no upward trend in the number of violent EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes over the past 60 years, or in the number of EF-3 and stronger tornadoes (Figure 3.) However, this year's remarkable violent tornado activity—17 such tornadoes, with tornado season a little more than half over—brings our two-year total for the decade of 2010 – 2019 to 30. At this rate, we'll have more than 150 violent tornadoes by decade's end, beating the record of 108 set in the 1950s.
It is either a fluke, the start of a new trend, or an early warning symptom that the climate is growing unstable and is transitioning to a new, higher energy state with the potential to create unprecedented weather and climate events.


NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) recorded 11 preliminary reports of tornadoes yesterday, along with 315 reports of damaging winds and 182 reports of hail up to 3.5” in diameter. The severe weather threat is much higher today, and SPC has placed a large section of eastern Kansas and eastern Oklahoma in their "High Risk" region for severe weather potential, and warn of the potential for long-lived strong tornadoes. This is their third "High Risk" forecast for the year, and the first since the terrible April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak. That day was the busiest tornado day in world history, with 198 tornadoes occurring in a 24-hour period. The severe weather threat will continue into Wednesday, when additional tornadoes are likely along a swath from Arkansas to Indiana. LinksThe most remarkable audio I've ever heard of people surviving a direct hit by a violent tornado was posted to Youtube by someone who took shelter in the walk-in storage refrigerator at a gas station during the Joplin tornado. Video of the Joplin, Missouri tornado of May 22, 2011, entering the southwest side of town.
THE TORNADO FURTHER INTENSIFIED AS IT DESTROYED NUMEROUS HOMES AND BUSINESSES TO THE EAST AND NORTH OF THE HOSPITAL. WINDS IN THAT AREA WERE ESTIMATED AT 160 TO 180 MPH.THE TORNADO CONTINUED TO DESTROY OVER 100 HOMES BETWEEN 32ND AND 20TH STREETS. SPORTS ACADEMY AND THE WALMART ALSO SUFFERED SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE.THE TORNADO CONTINUED TO MOVE EASTWARD ALONG AND SOUTH OF 20TH STREET DESTROYING NUMEROUS WAREHOUSE STYLE FACILITIES AND RESIDENCES THROUGH DUQUESNE ROAD.



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