(updated: 3rd tornado added)
For the second time in as many weeks, Southwest Missouri was hit with an outbreak of severe weather producing three confirmed tornadoes and widespread straight-line wind damage. The National Weather Service in Springfield says this week’s event was triggered when a strong cold front pushed through the region during the evening and overnight hours of Monday, March 6th through early Tuesday, March 7th, 2017. The front interacted with instability and strong wind shear already in place across the area.
Surveys from the National Weather Service report that the first tornado reportedly touched down at 10:01 p.m. Monday night about three miles south-southwest of Quincy in Hickory County, Missouri with estimated peak winds between 90 to 95 miles per hour. It was only on the ground for about one minute traveling a total of three-quarters of a mile with an estimated width of 100 yards. Damage was confined primarily to farm outbuildings and trees.
The other two tornadoes happened within minutes of one another in two different counties. The first tornado, an EF-1, happened at 10:33 p.m. Monday night in Camden County, Missouri about one mile southwest of Macks Creek. Peak winds were estimated at 110 miles per hour, and the maximum width of this tornado is estimated to be one-quarter of a mile. One person was injured, but fortunately no fatalities were reported. This tornado damaged a mobile home along with some outbuildings and trees.
Surveyors with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Springfield say the third tornado hit four minutes later at 10:37 p.m. one mile south of Rocky Mount in Morgan County, Missouri. This EF-O tornado was fairly small and short-lived with an estimated width of 50 yards and a path of about one-third of a mile. No injuries or fatalities were reported. Some outbuildings and docks were reportedly damaged.
More details about this event including an interactive map can be found here.
These recent outbreaks come after what had been a fairly long lull in tornadic activity throughout Southwest Missouri. In fact, at Tuesday evening’s Spotter Training Class in Greene County, Steve Runnels, KD4OPZ, with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Springfield said that prior to last week, it had been 21 months since the last Tornado Watch was issued within our County Warning Area!
It’s only early March. This could end up being a very long and busy severe weather season. We can’t stress this enough: We need to get prepared and stay prepared. Twenty-one months is plenty of time to build a false sense of security or even a feeling of indifference. As Severe Weather Awareness Week continues throughout Missouri, please develop a plan for you and your family should a tornado emergency befall our area. Keep your HT batteries charged. Start bringing your HT with you more often. Check into the Tuesday evening Skywarn Training Nets more frequently so that radio operation becomes second nature.
We thank each of you for your on-air reports during severe weather and for being part of our awesome team!