2020-03-28 EVENT: IA/IL/MO/WI/IN/TN/AL

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Jan 14, 2011
2,941
2,744
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St. Louis
stormhighway.com
The environment down there didn't seem to portend such a strong tornado. I looked at the surface obs during the tornado, and the nearest ASOS just to the south had southerly winds at only 10 knots - much weaker than farther north. I'm wondering if there was an outflow boundary in this area or possibly an MCV? I have no idea as I was never even remotely considering that area, and never looked at it in detail.

Was the Dewhirst tornado photo from Jonesboro, AR?
David, yes, I believe this was from a tower cam.
 
People have mentioned the coronavirus as a factor in keeping the death toll down because people were home instead of being out in the shopping areas that were badly hit. I think that is true, but I think the other factor was that the tornado was broadcast live on TV as it was moving into the city. People saw that and knew immediately that it was the real deal. When you look at some of the pictures showing how totally destroyed a number of homes were, it is remarkable that nobody died and that the number of injuries was fairly low. I do think that when it is possible to do so, broadcasting live images of an approaching tornado saves lives.
 
Apr 6, 2019
31
13
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Pittsburgh
Honestly somewhat surprised by the low-end EF3 rating. The vehicle damage was some of the most intense I have ever seen, plus some of those houses looked like they took winds over 140, even if they weren't anchored to the fullest extent.

On the bright side, the social distancing orders actually saved lots of lives with the freeway being mostly empty and the stores being closed.

Morning convection always seems to cause problems in an otherwise well structured severe set-up like this.
 
Aug 18, 2018
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Novi, MI
People have mentioned the coronavirus as a factor in keeping the death toll down because people were home instead of being out in the shopping areas that were badly hit. I think that is true, but I think the other factor was that the tornado was broadcast live on TV as it was moving into the city. People saw that and knew immediately that it was the real deal. When you look at some of the pictures showing how totally destroyed a number of homes were, it is remarkable that nobody died and that the number of injuries was fairly low. I do think that when it is possible to do so, broadcasting live images of an approaching tornado saves lives.
The legendary James Spann and some of his fellow meteorologists at his station in Birmingham were interviewed after the 4/27/11 super outbreak on how that event affected their lives and what they would do going forward. He said that the fact that they live-streamed both the Cullman and Tuscaloosa EF-4s likely saved dozens of lives. He said previous events and especially that one has taught them that when you show them concrete images of a life-threatening tornado, it is significantly more likely people will act than if they only talk about a tornado warning.
 

Nate M.

EF0
May 16, 2019
23
79
1
Neosho Mo
Great video from a local TV station's tower cam live. Reminiscent of Tuscaloosa.

Tuscaloosa was my first thought as well. I had noticed some early damage photographs that suggested higher end Ef3 but then as more videos of the tornado surfaced, the motion looked like it could have been higher than that.
Honestly somewhat surprised by the low-end EF3 rating. The vehicle damage was some of the most intense I have ever seen, plus some of those houses looked like they took winds over 140, even if they weren't anchored to the fullest extent.

On the bright side, the social distancing orders actually saved lots of lives with the freeway being mostly empty and the stores being closed.

Morning convection always seems to cause problems in an otherwise well structured severe set-up like this.
A couple of extremely close range videos of the base of the tornado have surfaced. I’d love to see a photogrammetric analysis of this tornado, because the motion certainly looked incredibly violent.
 
Aug 18, 2018
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Novi, MI
If you look at the images side-by-side, the Tuscaloosa and Henryville EF-4s looked strikingly similar to how the Jonesboro tornado did at times. In several images, they all exhibit these vortices or bulges coming off the main tornado above the ground. I’m no expert on that, but I’ve read that that can signify a violent tornado.

It isn’t shown very well in the Jonesboro image, but if you watch the newscast from KAIT yesterday, those characteristics will stick out. Images are listed in this order: Jonesboro, Henryville, Tuscaloosa

9833A714-BD17-472B-8728-EC0A76E40B8E.jpeg 092C4A5D-F65C-4C92-A28D-5B508C573238.jpeg 5FBC59BF-B2C3-49DD-ABB9-B871C5C4B293.jpeg
 
Mar 3, 2012
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Hillsdale, MI
Incredible footage from the local station. The first footage I saw was a close up still cam from the DOT tower, building from nothing to quite big in seconds. All I could think of, as it passed restaurants and your typical exit businesses, was COVID-19 at least prevented those places from being filled with diners, patrons and customers and may have saved people. But I hadn't seen the news cast. That station definitely helped people down the line as it rapidly picked up steam.

Even from the few seconds of the tower cam, It was reminiscent of how fast Joplin, Henryville and a few other big time tornadoes, rapidly grew from a rope to a large cone with violent rotation and speed, in just seconds. Interesting comparisons here. Glad this one didn't leave as much fallout as it could have and as much as the other notable ones did.

I also wonder if in the era of streaming television and using DVR and watching recordings and not watching as much live television to miss commercials and to stream, if people are also missing out on these live broadcasts and updates of tornadoes. People like us are going to know what's going on minute to minute and probably be in our vehicles instead of watching TV as a tornado barrels down on our town, but I question if the average person, particularly in the younger generations, is actually seeing news broadcasts like these. They might only be getting a phone update, which many ignore or blow off, or possibly hear sirens.
 
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Jun 1, 2008
530
469
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Chattanooga, TN
www.linkedin.com
Regarding Jonesboro, a second short wave was in the southern stream. It likely enhanced deep layer shear and lift. However I could not find an outflow boundary on surface and visible. I was looking all day, because CAMs had robust cells in the Delta. There was a discernible dewpoint boundary, where it went from 65-ish to 70-ish. Believe something was there. Need something to enhance low level shear.

All I know is I'm so glad no fatalities. Some serious injuries were reported though. With all that's going on our thoughts are surely with the patients and their medical professionals.