Very well written and documented account of that tragic event. Having been on the storm prior to it hitting Joplin I can agree with your description of it as â€œmessy and disorganizedâ€. When the main cell was near Neutral (view on the photo is from the WSW) it did for a short time exhibit a low rain free base with a broad area of circulation. However it soon became enveloped in heavy precipitation and from my perspective lost any visual sense of structure. With visibility very limited, the cell moving toward a large populated area and other cells firing to the south I decided to abandon the cell and go after a different target. Minutes later the merge happened and subsequently the birth of one of the deadliest tornadoes in history.Hey guys, I just got done writing a blog post about the Joplin tornado and I'd love some feedback on it. Between family issues and researching it took a loooong time to finish, so to be honest I didn't even proofread it. I'm sure there are mistakes, so if anyone reads it please feel free to let me know if I messed something up.
Potentially. I just remember hearing that what I saw and what hit Joplin was around the same time. The areas I saw damage in were Dibble and Newcastle, OK. There was a house in Dibble that had most of its roof torn off and a fair number of walls that had been stripped of nearly everything but the frame, and debris lined the highway through Newcastle for miles.2 days after Joplin(May 24) Piedmont, OK got hit by an F5....That might be what you saw. The Joplin storm fired up much closer to the OK, KS, MO border.
Shawn,Hey guys, I just got done writing a blog post about the Joplin tornado and I'd love some feedback on it. Between family issues and researching it took a loooong time to finish, so to be honest I didn't even proofread it. I'm sure there are mistakes, so if anyone reads it please feel free to let me know if I messed something up.
Thank you Brian. That was one detail I wasn't sure on at the time, because I'd seen both 5:31 and 5:38 as the time when the sirens were activated a second time. Most sources, both newspapers and official documents, stated that it was 5:31 when the second sirens sounded. After doing some more digging I began to suspect that the 5:31 figure was either mistaken or deliberately manipulated. A member of another forum who was in Joplin when the tornado struck also mentioned that he thought the siren had sounded several minutes later, and that video would seem to confirm those suspicions. I haven't read Mike's book, but I may pick up a copy at some point.Shawn,
I liked your article, and the pictures are excellent. But there is one mistake I saw. Your article says the sirens in Joplin sounded for the second time at 5:31 PM. But according to Mike Smith's "When the Sirens Were Silent" it was 5:38 PM when the sirens sounded for the second time. At 5:38 the tornado had been on the ground for four minutes and it was already doing EF-4 damage. It was three minutes later at 5:41 that the tornado crossed into the Joplin city limits. So when those sirens sounded that second time, the residents of south Joplin had roughly 3 to 6 minutes to find shelter. The timing of the second siren alert was very likely a factor in the number of deaths and injuries that occurred.
The video below from KSNF-TV Joplin confirms that the tornado was on the ground doing damage when the sirens sounded the second time.