September 1, 2014

Storms leave wind damage, 75,000 without power

A line of damaging storms hundreds of miles long continues to sweep south through Missouri. The storms have downed trees and power lines, caused some flooding and left tens of thousands of Missourians without power.

Storms continue to sweep south through the state and are still prompting the issuance of severe thunderstorm warnings.  (image courtesy; WeatherTap Zoom)

Storms continue to sweep south through the state and are still prompting the issuance of severe thunderstorm warnings. (image courtesy; WeatherTap Zoom)

Winds along the front of the storm were consistently between 50 and 75 miles per hour through Monday night and early Tuesday morning. Wind damage has been reported throughout the state. Some of the most significant reports came out of Hannibal, where law enforcement reported store front windows were broken out of three stores and several cars were moved, and in Sedalia, where two power poles caught fire as high winds whipped their lines.

At 2:30 a.m., Kansas City Power and Light reported more than 38,000 customers in Missouri without power, Ameren Missouri reported more than 22,000 customers without power in the St. Louis area and in central and north-central Missouri, and more than 15,000 customers of Columbia Water and Light were without power. The storms were only beginning to reach the Springfield area at that time.

For National Weather Service information for your area including watches and warnings, visit these NWS pages.

In northwest and western Missouri:  Kansas City (Pleasant Hill)

In northeast and eastern Missouri:  St. Louis

In southwest Missouri:  Springfield

In southeast Missouri:  Paducah, KY

Scotland and Clark counties:  Davenport, IA

Severe storms continue, bring damage to Missouri

Storms are continuing to sweep south and east through Missouri and bring with them prolonged, potentially damaging winds. Winds of 50 to 70 miles an hour have been reported as the storms have advanced from northern Missouri.

Radar images from the Springfield (left) and St. Louis NWS radar, courtesy of Weathertap zoom.

Radar images from the Springfield (left) and St. Louis NWS radar, courtesy of Weathertap zoom.

Power has been reported out at times in several communities including Weston, Marshall, Sedalia and Columbia. The Pettis County Sheriff’s Department reported two power poles on fire since 11 p.m.

Reports of wind damage have included trees, limbs and power lines down and shingles off of roofs.

Some flooding has also been reported, particularly in areas where storm drains were overwhelmed by high rainfall totals in brief periods. An emergency manager in Kansas City says crews have been sent to a reported water rescue situation at the corner of 9th and Winner Road.

The Weather Service is warning of continuing flood possibilities and some warnings have been issued. Officials urge motorists not to drive into flooded roadways.

For National Weather Service information for your area including watches and warnings, visit these NWS pages.

In northwest and western Missouri:  Kansas City (Pleasant Hill)

In northeast and eastern Missouri:  St. Louis

In southwest Missouri:  Springfield

In southeast Missouri:  Paducah, KY

Scotland and Clark counties:  Davenport, IA

Severe weather likely tonight, could become a derecho

Severe weather is expected in Missouri tonight, and now the National Weather Service is concerned storms could come together to form a derecho.

This graphic from the National Weather Service shows the potential threats from severe weather tonight.

This graphic from the National Weather Service shows the potential threats from severe weather tonight.

A derecho is a long-lived, widespread, straight line wind storm. Such events have drawn national media attention including last week, when a derecho that swept across several midwestern states caused multiple tornadoes, heavy rain and widespread damage and has been blamed for five deaths and numerous injuries.

Meteorologist Mike July stresses that the formation of such a storm is possible and not definite.  Whether a derecho forms or not, severe weather is likely, and he wants Missourians to be prepared.

“Continue to monitor your local media because storms haven’t formed yet, and once they begin to form we’ll kind of see how they evolve,” says July. “If they begin to show signs that we look for, then we’ll have to maybe ramp things up a little bit.”

If the system evolves as some computer models say it will, it could produce winds of 70 miles per hour or more.

“Right now we’re kind of thinking in excess of 75 miles an hour winds are certainly possible, and it’s highlighted from an area southeast of Nebraska all the way over to St. Louis, so it’s a fairly wide corridor,” says July.

The public can often be dismissive of straight-line winds as a threat, but a prolonged straight-line wind even can be as damaging or more so than a tornado.

“In a tornado, if you kind of think of it in real estate coverage, it’s a small area that it covers,” says July. “If you’re talking about a true derecho, it could very well be, from the north end to the south end, it could be 100 to 200 miles long, and along that entire length you’re getting damaging winds.”

There is also a threat of flash flooding.

“We’re talking about one to three inches of rain possibly, and even from a localized area, four inches of rain,” says July. “We have multiple hazards to be concerned about this evening.

For National Weather Service information for your area, visit these NWS pages.

In northwest and western Missouri:  Kansas City (Pleasant Hill)

In northeast and eastern Missouri:  St. Louis

In southwest Missouri:  Springfield

In southeast Missouri:  Paducah, KY

Scotland and Clark counties:  Davenport, IA 

Slight risk for severe weather Thursday and Friday in Missouri

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center is warning of a slight risk for severe weather for much of Missouri Thursday and a smaller portion of the state on Friday.  Missourians are encouraged to watch for weather updates and be aware of changing conditions.

This graphic from the National Weather Service's St. Louis Office shows where the Storm Prediction Center says there is a slight chance of severe weather Thursday and Friday.

This graphic from the National Weather Service’s St. Louis Office shows where the Storm Prediction Center says there is a slight chance of severe weather Thursday and Friday.

The National Weather Service says storms could move into southwest Missouri after midnight Thursday morning and begin impacting northwest Missouri by around daybreak. Storms the morning carry some risk for severe weather, primarily from hail.

Meteorologist Steve Lindenberg says later Thursday storms could become stronger if enough instability is present.

“During the afternoon and evening we could get additional strong to severe weather with large hail and damaging winds the primary severe weather risk,” says Lindenberg. The Weather Service does not rule out the possibility of isolated tornadoes Thursday.

The front that will produce these storms is expected to move slowly and linger in the state Friday and into the weekend, presenting the possibility of more rounds of thunderstorms Friday and perhaps Saturday and Sunday. A slight chance for severe weather remains for Friday in most of the southern half of the state.

The Storm Prediction Center says the predictability of severe weather for Saturday and Sunday is too low to offer an outlook.

Forecasters are also concerned about the possibility of minor flooding in the next few days, but major, widespread flooding is not anticipated.

For National Weather Service information for your area, visit these NWS pages.

In northwest and western Missouri:  Kansas City (Pleasant Hill)

In northeast and eastern Missouri:  St. Louis

In southwest Missouri:  Springfield

In southeast Missouri:  Paducah, KY

Scotland and Clark counties:  Davenport, IA

Weather Service warns of possible life-threatening storms today

Most of Missouri will have one round of severe weather to contend with today, that could include tornadoes, damaging winds, hail and flooding. Some of Missouri will have two.  

This graphic from the National Weather Service Office in St. Louis shows where the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma says there is a risk for severe weather today.

This graphic from the National Weather Service Office in St. Louis shows where the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma says there is a risk for severe weather today.

National Weather Service Meteorologists say storms today will be life-threatening and are urging Missourians to prepare now for severe weather. Governor Jay Nixon (D) has declared a state of emergency in response to the storms already happening and those to come.

A tornado watch has been issued for 21 counties in southeast and south-central Missouri, for storms that have already prompted a tornado warning in Arkansas this morning. Those storms are anticipated to sweep northeast from southwestern Missouri through the St. Louis area.

These storms could produce large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes. Flooding is a possibility locally in southern Missouri, and more so in central and east-central Missouri where heavy rain has already fallen overnight.

Then for this afternoon will come storms that have caused the Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma to say much of central and southern Missouri has a “moderate” risk for severe weather.

This graphic from the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill illustrates the threats of severe weather today.

This graphic from the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill illustrates the threats of severe weather today.

Today’s threat of tornadoes is the highest the state has been under so far this year, according to Meteorologist Jayson Gosselin with the National Weather Service in St. Louis.

“Unfortunately there will probably be at least one tornado in the state and there could be quite a few,” says Gosselin.

“It looks like it should warm up by this afternoon and get very unstable and a cold front will head from west to east across the state. Out ahead of that and along it we’re expecting thunderstorms that are going to be capable of very large hail, very strong winds as well as tornadoes possible.”

Storms are expected to form in Kansas and Oklahoma before sweeping through the state, first as discrete supercell thunderstorms, which Meteorologist Ryan Cardell with the Weather Service Office in Springfield says are generally the most dangerous.

“They can produce large hail, damaging winds and possibly stronger tornadoes,” says Cardell.

Farther east, storms are expected to gather into a line.

“At that point the threat will switch over to being more of a straight-line wind threat with isolated tornadoes. That will happen early in the evening sometime.”

Flash flood warnings have already been issued in a swath of central and eastern Missouri where rainfall totals have ranged from between 2.5 to more than 3 inches from storms overnight. Gosselin says if more heavy rain does move through, more flash flooding issues are likely.

“Everything is very saturated now,” says Gosselin.

“This is a good time … before the storms have formed … to dust off your emergency plans,” says Cardell. “Make sure that’s all ready so that when the watches do come out you can kind of start heightening your situational awareness to where the storms currently are, if they’ve formed, things like that, so that way you’re kind of ready. When the tornado warning happens you’ve got one foot in place heading into your disaster plan.”

For information for your area, tune in to your Missourinet affiliate station and visit these Weather Service office websites.

In northwest and western Missouri:  Kansas City (Pleasant Hill) and on Twitter @NWSKansasCity

In northeast and eastern Missouri:  St. Louis and on Twitter @NWSStLouis

In southwest Missouri:  Springfield and on Twitter @NWSSpringfield

In southeast Missouri:  Paducah, KY and on Twitter @NWSPaducah

Scotland and Clark counties:  Davenport, IA and on Twitter @NWSQuadCities