...Severe Weather Pummels the Region May 1st-2nd...

Two rounds of severe weather pummeled Kansas City and the surrounding region between 5 pm Thursday May 1st and 3 am Friday May 2nd. The first wave of severe thunderstorms began shortly after 5 pm Thursday. These storms developed along an advancing dry-line that stretched from northwest Missouri into eastern Kansas. This first wave of activity produced severe weather almost immediately as the storms that formed along the dry-line were supercells. Supercell thunderstorms are rotating thunderstorms that produce abundant amounts of severe weather. These supercells produced mainly large hail reports. However, there were two confirmed EF 0 tornadoes. One touched down in extreme northwest Cass county south southwest of Belton and the other tornado was reported  just east of Plattsburg in Clinton county.

The images below show two supercell thunderstorms on the evening of Thursday May 1st, 2008. Both storms storms display the characteristic "hook echo" signature of a classic supercell, but only the northern storm (near Plattsburg) produced a tornado.
The left image is reflectivity, with the hotter colors indicating heavier rain. The right image is storm relative velocity, where green colors indicate winds blowing towards the radar (located in Pleasant Hill MO just out of the image frame to the south) and red indicates winds blowing away from the radar.


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Click here to go to a web page on how the Doppler Radar works and how to interpret images.


As the first round of storms faded away during the late evening hours a second line of storms was taking shape across south central Kansas. This line of storms developed into a Bow Echo which raced northeast at speeds in excess of 50 mph into the greater Kansas City metropolitan area and surrounding communities early on the morning of Friday May 2nd. The Bow Echo generated hurricane force winds which brought widespread wind damage to areas from Emporia Kansas northeast through Kansas City to Brookfield in north central Missouri. As the Bow Echo moved through Kansas City it spun up a couple of tornadoes along the apex, or nose, of its leading edge. One tornado moved across the north side of Gladstone starting near North Oak and 70th Street, while the other moved through an area 3 miles northwest of Liberty affecting locations in the vicinity of Cookingham Drive (Hwy 291) and 112th Street. However, most of the damage was due to the strong straight line winds that were also occurring along the apex of the Bow Echo.

The following image is of preliminary storm reports received by the National Weather Service Office in Pleasant Hill.

          
Preliminary Storm Reports

Precipitation Map

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Latest local storm reports (text format)
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The next group of images are of the Bow Echo that brought the wind and tornado damage as it moved through the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. The images are reflectivity, with the warmer colors indicating heavier rain.


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Approximate damage path for the tornadoes north of Liberty and in Gladstone.


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Tornado path near Cookingham Drive north of Liberty.
This tornado was rated an EF-3.
(Link to page on the EF scale)


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Tornado path in north Gladstone.
This tornado was rated an EF-2.
(Link to page on the EF tornado scale)

 




Storm Damage Images


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Damage 3 miles NW of Liberty

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 Damage 3 miles NW of Liberty

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Damage 3 miles NW of Liberty

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Damage in Gladstone on North Oak Traffic Way

             

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Gladstone damage







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