Violent tornadoes caused many fatalities and injuries Friday night in Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee and Illinois. The governor of Kentucky said the death toll may reach “70 to 100”. This may be worse than the April 3, 1974 Super Outbreak in Kentucky. Track of the main tornado is over 200 miles…estimate is 217 miles. May be longest tornado in world history. Kentucky has damage in 19 counties. Dozens of workers trapped at an Amazon Warehouse that collapsed in a tornado at Edwardsville IL. As of 3 am, 27 tornadoes have been reported in Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois. These include multiple reports of the same tornado. There were at least 2 fatalities and a number of injuries in Arkansas including one lightning fatality in Little Rock AR. At least 3 people were killed by a tornado in western Tennessee. There was at least one tornado fatality in SE Missouri. One report of more than 50 fatalities just at Mayfield, KY. Map showing Mayfield KY. The Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory collapsed and crews are working to find people who may be trapped under the rubble – from WPSD. Up to 110 people were reportedly trapped inside the candle factory. Mayfield has a population of 10,024. That’s about the size of St. Joseph or Alpena MI. Historic Courthouse in Mayfield sustained heavy damage. State of Emergency in W. KY. I-55, I-65 and I-69 were blocked by downed trees and wires. Damage pics. here.
Preliminary data suggests tornado debris lifted to 30,000 feet, making this one of the strongest tornadoes ever. As of 11 am, nearly 100,000 consumers energy customers without power and nearly 120,000 statewide…peak gusts currently 45-60 mph.
Gov. Beshear of Kentucky declared a state of emergency based on major tornado damage in multiple Western Kentucky counties. He has activated the @kentuckyguard and the @kystatepolice. Storm chaser Brett Adair: “The scope is just so massive in terms of the damage that you know this was a higher-end destructive tornado.”
This was a long-track tornado. It’s possible this tornado crossed parts of four states. The U.S. averages 23 tornadoes in the month of December. The tornado appears to have crossed both the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers.
Here’s storm reports for Friday/Friday night. Multiple reports of tornadoes along what appears to be at least a 227-mile continuous damage path. Damage at Mayfield KY at least EF4 – maybe EF5. This is likely the strongest tornado in the world in 2021.
Tornado Watches stretched from NE Texas up to North Central Illinois and Indiana. The storms also produced wind gusts over 70 mph and hail up to 2″ in diameter. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings came up to the Michigan/Indiana border. Near constant lightning in this video from Arkansas. Tornado damage in Monette, AR. “Up I-40. Parts of the roadway are completely flooded and we’re still seeing that bright, strobe light lightning.” “MASSIVE Tornado crossed I-55 @ MM16 tossing / rolling semi trucks. This tornado was the same as the one that hit Monette.” Video of the Edwardsville Tornado.
The Storm Prediction Center had a Moderate Risk of Severe Thunderstorms (in orange on the map). The Enhanced Risk cqme up north as far as Lafayette, Indiana. The Slight Risk Area was up to the Michigan border…and the Marginal Risk came up into West Michigan as far north as Allegan, Barry and Eaton Counties. The risk of a General (not severe) storm included areas from Ottawa, Kent and Ionia counties to the north. The lightning pretty much stayed south of the Michigan/Indiana border.
The entire area will see strong winds around a deep low pressure system today (Saturday). It’ll stay breezy Sat. night and Sunday, but not as windy as this Saturday. Here’s the latest Gr. Rapids NWS Forecast Discussion.
This map showed the % chance of a tornado within 25 miles of a given point on Friday. When it’s over 15%, that’s significant. The hatched area represents a 15% chance of a strong tornado (EF2 – EF5). Looks like SPC made another very good forecast and it looks like warnings were issued for the tornadoes in advance of the storms.
The map above showed the % chance of wind damage within 25 miles of a given point. Again, a +30% is a significant risk and the 30% risk area was extended north to Lafayette IN. SPC said: “Severe thunderstorms capable of producing several tornadoes and scattered to numerous damaging winds appear probable from mainly Friday evening into Friday night across parts of the lower/mid Mississippi Valley into the lower Ohio Valley and Tennessee Valley. Some of these nocturnal tornadoes may be strong.”
Kalamazoo tied a record high temperature early this morning at 58 degrees. Check out the strong winds at Lake Michigan Tuesday (gusts to 56 mph at the Lake Michigan shore).
- ALSO: How’d you like to be the lighthouse keeper here.
A snowstorm on the way from Colorado and Wyoming east into Wisconsin and N. Michigan. Above is the European model. We could see a few snow showers Saturday/Saturday night before the big warm-up that’s coming for the middle of next week.
ALSO: He’s right. Fort Myers FL sunset. Wow – look at this – there was a 153 degree temperature difference across one country! Sub -60°C is rare and has not been observed outside Greenland plateau in the Northern Hemisphere for 10 years.ornado