2008-02-05 DISC: TX / AR / MO / IL / KY / TN / MS

Major damage in the town of Highland, MO. SevereStudios chaser Ben Holcomb and associate chaser Chad Rust witnessed a large tornado tonight near Hardy, MO. A while later they proceeded to Highland where they found many buildings destroyed and cars thrown into trees.

Get the first pictures at: www.severestudios.com

This was the same cell responsible for fatalities in Atkins, MO and damage in Clinton, Mountain View, and Ash Flat
 

Kevin Statler2

15 dead as of now..and expected to go up..

Tn - 5
AR - 7
KY - 3
 
Fox News is reporting 21 confirmed fatalities in the outbreak. I've been at bowling all evening so I've been unable to watch this unfold... but reading through the NOW thread, it appears this was a very substantial event.. The light of day may foretell a sad breadth of damage. Very, very little play in the national media given Super Tuesday primaries
 
Dec 9, 2003
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Unfortunately, CNN is raising the TN death toll to eight. I believe this includes the latest reported fatalities near the Castalian Springs, though the reported 30 ambulances sent to that NG pumping station fire gives me chills.
I haven't heard about that 30 ambulances requested. CNN just showed video of it (400 feet of flame!), but they said no injuries occurred with that since nobody was in the immediate area. The latest AP article on this notes "at least 22 die" -->

AR - 11
TN - 8
KY - 3

--> http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23006771/

It's a little futile to try to make a new post every time that death toll changes since I assume that number will trickle upward as more searches are performed, but I can only think the final death toll may end up near 30 (hopefully no more). As far as I know, all deadly tornadoes were covered by tornado warnings at the time.
EDIT: CNN reporting 23 dead --> http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/02/05/tornado.bad.weather/index.html
EDIT 2: Now they're saying that there were injuries associated with that gas pumping station explosion/fire, but no fatalities I guess.
 
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Dec 26, 2004
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A local tv station here in Lexington that I am watching for severe weather coverage is now reporting a total of 26 fatalities. I wasn't 100% sure who they gave as their source, but I believe it was the AP.
 
The AP is now reporting an "undetermined number" of fatalities in connection with the Trousdale/Wilson County TN explosion and resulting fire. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23023302/

I originally posted this to the NOW thread, but given the add'l discussion of the topic I figured it'd be applicable here too.

"More info on that pipeline, which runs from the GoM to Ern KY. "Columbia Gulf Transmission operates a 4,200-mile pipeline system across Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky that include 13 compressor stations with more than a half million horsepower"

http://www.ngts.com/company/columbia-gulf.asp"
http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?t=15159&page=18

Good God I need some sleep.
 
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Dec 10, 2003
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Horrible News

Horrible news:

According to CNN, the number of fatalities for this storm has increased to 45
. Tragic.

Some comparisons to consider:

This outbreak is now, unfortunately, in terms of fatalities, on the same rank and scale as the May 3, 1999 Tornado outbreak in Central Oklahoma that claimed 46 fatalities. The May 3 had far more injuries, at 665, I don't believe we have that amount with this outbreak at this time, with over 100 injuries reported at this point. The May 3, 1999 Tornado outbreak had 66 confirmed tornadoes. PRELIMINARY indications from the Storm Prediction Center are showing 68 tornado reports, but this will likely be trimmed as tornado reports are congealed into single tornado events.

This has been the deadliest tornado outbreak in 5 years, since the May 3 - 11, 2003 "9 Days of May" TornadoFest that claimed in a period of 9 Days a total of 48 fatalities at that time.

This is the earliest tornado outbreak in a calender year since the Hazelhurst, Mississippi Tornado Outbreak in 1969 that claimed 32 lives, not counting the Central Florida tornadoes of February 3, 2007 - that was only 3 tornadoes and not considered an outbreak.

DISCUSSION:

This tornado outbreak has been significant for several factors: The massive number of tornado reports, the early season factor, and all conditions coming together perfectly. The Storm Prediction center nailed this with a High Risk early in the day, with a forecast of a significant tornado outbreak.

As the day went on, scattered to numerous supercells developed well in front of an approaching strong cold front in a high shear environment. The abundant moisture, dewpoints in the mid 60s, an unusually strong jet stream and approaching front combined with the high shear combined to give the perfect ingredients for an outbreak. The storms developed rapidly in the mid afternoon, and rapidly exploded into tornado producing High Precipitation supercells.

Chasers were certainly on the scene. Tony Laubach, a storntrack member, flew from Colorado to the outbreak, and was rewarded with a multiple vortex wedge tornado. Other chasers also caught tornadoes as well, as chaser turnout and spotter activity was extremely high. Hard work it was however, with storm motions at 55-60 MPH.

These incredibly fast storm motions are partly responsible for the high fatalities as the high speed of the approaching tornadoes simply caught many by surprise, despite the urgency and constant blast of emergency warning sirens.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS

I was up at my computer most of the day yesterday watching these events unfold with 30 other storm chasers in the #stormchase IRC chat room and was saddened at each new large tornado report and damage report coming in. It was sad how many large population areas were direct targets this time around - and very stressful when you realize you can't do anything about it but sit and watch and hope for the best. IT was exciting to watch, but the excitement is dampened this morning with such a large loss of life.

This tornado outbreak will go down in history - and my thoughts and prayers go out to all families affected by this tragedy.
 

Kevin Statler2

Well the May 2003 tornadofest doesnt really count as single outreak like this event which was over 24 hours. I think this number went up because it continued overnight,and when i went to bad there was numerous tornado warnings..
 
Mar 3, 2004
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www.facebook.com
I'm not a tornado damage expert by any means, but looking at the extensive damage on CNN it seems there could be another EF5 in there somewhere. Houses are wiped clean off foundations and it takes a hell of a lot of wind to bring dormitory buildings down. There has to be at least several EF3 and EF4 damage paths from the storms.
 
I don't know how many of you were watching the Union University webcam when the tornado hit, but it was just unbelieveable! I couldn't believe I was watching a tornado tear through campus. I knew there would be damage, but never thought there would be that much! 48 dead :eek: This is a true tragedy, especially for early February.

On a side note, is there any way to get the video from an archive for the Union University webcam? If someone could get that, it would be amazing. The tornado was so clear and it came within a few yards of the camera. I'm assuming all the images are saved to an archive somewhere?

Let's hope the fatality number is done going up for this outbreak!
 
Mar 1, 2007
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Valencia, CA
I don't know how many of you were watching the Union University webcam when the tornado hit, but it was just unbelieveable! I couldn't believe I was watching a tornado tear through campus. I knew there would be damage, but never thought there would be that much! 48 dead :eek: This is a true tragedy, especially for early February.

On a side note, is there any way to get the video from an archive for the Union University webcam? If someone could get that, it would be amazing. The tornado was so clear and it came within a few yards of the camera. I'm assuming all the images are saved to an archive somewhere?

Let's hope the fatality number is done going up for this outbreak!
Yeah...right when one of the member's (can't rember who) put up the link to the camera, I went to the link to find it dead. I thought it was due to internet traffic, not from a tornado destroying it. Amazing! I hope the camera was saving images, but I am not holding my breath. Prayers to everyone affected.
 
Apr 26, 2005
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I too caught that tornado live from the Union web cam. I scrambled to get a web cam shot. I tried to enhance it, but not much luck. Here is the shot anyway, for what it is worth...

 
Wow that's a pretty gnarly image (above)!!

The AP is now reporting an "undetermined number" of fatalities in connection with the Trousdale/Wilson County TN explosion and resulting fire. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23023302/
Thankfully, it appears that this was misinformation, as one of the sub-headlines of a WSMV-TV article is "Company: No Fatalities in Gas Plant Explosion."
 
Apr 18, 2006
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With the toll now at least 48, it's the deadliest outbreak since May 31, 1985 :(
Not to nitpick, but the 3 May 99 outbreak also claimed 48 fatalities. Remember, you have to count ALL fatalities from tornadoes that day...not just the Bridgecreek - Moore tornado.
 
I too caught that tornado live from the Union web cam. I scrambled to get a web cam shot. I tried to enhance it, but not much luck. Here is the shot anyway, for what it is worth...

I was the member who posted the link. I'm so glad someone was able to get a screenshot of the tornado. It was interesting to watch it change as it approached the campus and I think there was one lighting shot from above that illuminated the tornado perfectly. I sure wish there were a way to get to the archived video. Perhaps that's something that can be done after the tragedy on campus has been dealt with.

Chris, news agencies may be interested in this webcam capture you have. I would contact them if I were you, as most people don't have any footage of this tornado, especially just before it impacted Union U.
 
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Apr 26, 2005
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I was the member who posted the link. I'm so glad someone was able to get a screenshot of the tornado. It was interesting to watch it change as it approached the campus and I think there was one lighting shot from above that illuminated the tornado perfectly. I sure wish there were a way to get to the archived video. Perhaps that's something that can be done after the tragedy on campus has been dealt with.

Chris, news agencies may be interested in this webcam capture you have. I would contact them if I were you, as most people don't have any footage of this tornado, especially just before it impacted Union U.

I have the original on my home pc that is un edited. Any suggestions on whom to contact or an addy?