(updated: 2 tornadoes added to this event)
It’s not even spring yet, and surveyors from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Springfield have already had to evaluate three separate tornado events in nine days! In a third round of severe weather throughout our County Warning Area on Thursday, March 9, 2017, four tornadoes are now confirmed along with numerous reports of large hail.
N.W.S. surveys say the first tornado hit at about 6:43 p.m. Thursday around 2 miles east-northeast of Butterfield, Missouri in Barry County. This EF-0 tornado had estimated winds of around 75 miles per hour and caused damage to one home.
The second tornado is now confirmed to have touched down about 5 miles east of Reeds Spring, Missouri in far western Taney County just south of Highway 160 at 6:50 p.m. This very brief EF-0 tornado destroyed a wooden frame structure and caused minor roof damage to 3 homes. Peak winds were estimated at about 80 miles per hour with a maximum width of around 75 yards and a total path of about one-tenth of a mile.
The National Weather Service says the third tornado, the strongest of the four, uprooted and snapped multiple trees northeast of Cassville about 6 miles northeast of Cassville in Barry County, Missouri. This 100-yard-wide EF-0 tornado hit at 7:01 p.m. and also traveled roughly one-tenth of a mile on the ground with peak winds reaching about 85 miles per hour.
Surveyors say the final tornado, also an EF-0, struck at 7:07 p.m. near downtown Forsyth in Taney County, Missouri. The estimated winds of 60 to 70 miles per hour from this twister reportedly damaged a strip mall and uprooted some trees.
Thankfully no injuries or fatalities were reported from either of these four small tornadoes.
If you were monitoring this particular event, you may have noticed that the trajectory and layout of these storms were a bit different than normal. Initially, the storms primarily affected the northwestern portions of our County Warning Area. Instead of the individual storms moving from southwest to northeast like they usually do, these storms appeared to congeal into a west-to-east oriented line which then moved from northwest to southeast through the remainder of our counties and eventually into Northern Arkansas.
Behind this front is a reminder that winter is indeed not yet over.