Supercell Thunderstorm Produces Multiple Tornadoes
March 18th, 2012 near North Platte, Nebraska

A large upper level trough of low pressure emerged onto the Plains Sunday morning, and helped to produce severe weather across parts of western and north central Nebraska on Sunday evening, March 18th.  An associated Pacific cold front moved through the forecast area overnight. A convergent axis set up from southwest into west central Nebraska, helping to provide better focusing and lift for the severe thunderstorms and tornadogenesis. A summary of the storm survey follows below:

SUPERCELL THUNDERSTORM PRODUCES MULTIPLE TORNADOES MARCH 18TH
 
MARCH 18TH...ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS DEVELOPED AND MOVED NORTH ACROSS
SOUTHWEST NEBRASKA. ONE SUPERCELL THUNDERSTORM INTENSIFIED TO
PRODUCE MULTIPLE TORNADOES WHILE MOVING THROUGH CENTRAL LINCOLN
COUNTY AND SOUTHEAST MCPHERSON COUNTY. THE INITIAL TORNADO TOUCHED
DOWN APPROXIMATELY 10 MILES SOUTHWEST OF NORTH PLATTE WHERE DAMAGE
WAS FOUND ALONG A PATH OF NEARLY 13 MILES NORTHWARD TO THE WEST OF THE
CITY OF NORTH PLATTE. A STORM SURVEY CONDUCTED CONFIRMED A TOTAL OF
FOUR TORNADOES ALONG A 13 MILE TRAJECTORY IN LINCOLN COUNTY WHERE
TWO HOMES WERE DESTROYED...SEVERAL HOMES DAMAGED WITH NUMEROUS
STORAGE AND OUTBUILDING DAMAGED OR DESTROYED...SEVERAL PIVOT
IRRIGATION SYSTEMS WERE OVERTURNED AND EXTENSIVE TREE DAMAGE
OCCURRED AT SEVERAL LOCATIONS. THERE ARE FOUR CONFIRMED INJURIES AT
THIS TIME. AROUND 943 PM CDT A TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN 5 MILES SOUTH OF
RINGOLD. ADDITIONAL DETAILS FOR EACH CONFIRMED TORNADOES INCLUDES:
 
TORNADO 1:  
RATED: EF3 TORNADO  
PATH LENGTH: 6.71 MILES  
PATH WIDTH: 100 YARDS  
INJURIES: 2  
TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN 9.72 MILES SOUTHWEST OF NORTH PLATTE AND  
TRAVELED NORTH DAMAGING TWO HOMES...SEVERAL OUTBUILDINGS AND GARAGES  
DAMAGED OR DESTROYED...TWO PIVOT IRRIGATION SYSTEMS WERE  
OVERTURNED...ONE METAL TRANSMISSION TOWER DESTROYED...ONE WOOD  
TRANSMISSION TOWER DESTROYED AND EXTENSIVE POWER LINE DAMAGE ALONG  
THE PATH IN ADDITION TO TREE DAMAGE. THE TORNADO DISSIPATED WHILE  
MOVING NORTH OF WALKER ROAD.  
 
TORNADO 2:  
RATED: EF1  
PATH LENGTH: 1.50 MILES  
PATH WIDTH: 150 YARDS  
INJURIES: 1  
TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN 5 MILES WEST SOUTHWEST OF NORTH PLATTE TO THE  
SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 80. THE TORNADO MOVED NORTH WHERE A SEMI WAS  
DESTROYED WITH EXTENSIVE DEBRIS SPREAD NORTH AND NORTHWEST AS THE  
TORNADO TRACKED NORTHWEST DAMAGING A GARAGE...OVERTURNING A PIVOT  
IRRIGATION SYSTEM...DESTROYED FENCE LINE AND PRODUCED EXTENSIVE TREE  
DAMAGE ON THE 1.5 MILE PATH BEFORE LIFTING SOUTH OF THE SOUTH PLATTE  
RIVER.  
 
TORNADO 3:  
RATED: EF3  
PATH LENGTH: 1.50 MILES  
PATH WIDTH: 90 YARDS  
INJURIES: 2  
TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN 5.81 MILES NORTHWEST OF NORTH PLATTE ON FRONT  
STREET AND TRAVELED NORTH AND NORTHEAST. THE TORNADO DAMAGE WAS  
EXTENSIVE TO INCLUDE TWO HOMES DESTROYED AND TWO HOMES WITH  
SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE FROM TREES BLOWN OVER AND WINDOWS BLOWN OUT. AS  
THE TORNADO TRAVELED NORTH ACROSS THE UNION PACIFIC BAILEY YARDS AN  
ESTIMATED 15 TANKER CARS WERE BLOWN OVER AND DEBRIS FOUND NORTH AND  
EAST FOR 1.5 MILES. A PIVOT IRRIGATION SYSTEM WAS OVERTURNED NORTH  
OF HIGHWAY 30 BEFORE THE TORNADO LIFTED 5.5 MILES NORTHWEST OF NORTH  
PLATTE.  
 
TORNADO 4:  
RATED: EF2  
PATH LENGTH: 1 MILE  
PATH WIDTH: 40 YARDS  
INJURIES: 0  
TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN 6.5 MILES NORTHWEST OF NORTH PLATTE...JUST  
SOUTH OF PLATTE VALLEY ROAD WHERE A TWO STORY BARN WAS DESTROYED  
WITH SEVERAL OUTBUILDINGS DAMAGED. THE TORNADO TRAVELED NORTHEAST  
WHERE A FIELD OF BOARDS FROM THE BARN WAS DRIVEN INTO THE  
GROUND...ALONG WITH OTHER DEBRIS. AS THE TORNADO TRAVELED NORTHEAST  
TWO HOMES WERE DAMAGED...A GARAGE HAD STRUCTURAL DAMAGE AND AN  
OUTBUILDING DESTROYED. EXTENSIVE TREE DAMAGE OCCURRED BEFORE THE  
TORNADO DISSIPATED 6.7 MILES NORTHWEST OF NORTH PLATTE.  

TORNADO 5:
RATED: EF0
PATH LENGTH: 5 MILES
PATH WIDTH: 20 YARDS
INJURIES: 0
A TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN APPROXIMATELY 5 MILES SOUTH SOUTHEAST OF
RINGGOLD AND TRAVELED INTERMITTENTLY ON THE GROUND FOR FOUR MINUTES
TO THE NORTH AND NORTHWEST BEFORE DISSIPATING NEAR THE RINGGOLD CHURCH.
TORNADO DAMAGE INCLUDED SEVERAL LARGE TREE LIMBS BROKEN OFF...CEDAR
TREES UPROOTED...A NINE TOWER IRRIGATION PIVOT SYSTEM TWISTED AND
OVERTURNED...A SMALL STORAGE BUILDING DESTROYED AND DAMAGE TO THE
CHURCH BUILDING.

ADDITIONAL DAMAGE RESULTED FROM OUTFLOW WINDS AS THE THUNDERSTORMS  
MOVED NORTHEAST. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WILL BE PROVIDED AS MORE  
DETAILS ARE GATHERED. 

 For a complete list and map of all local storm reports please click here
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Radar Loop below


Time of radar reflectivity image 911 PM CDT March 18th, 2012
(Time of radar reflectivity image above was  911 PM CDT on March 18th, 2012)
3D radar image at 911 PM CDT showing updraft into supercell thunderstorm
(3D radar image at 911 PM CDT above, showing updraft into supercell thunderstorm)
Tornado moves north of Highway 30 and Bailey Yard - image time 920 PM CDT
(Tornado moves north of Highway 30 and Bailey Yard - image time 920 PM CDT)
Photo credit: ITO Les Green, taken 7 PM CDT from prior storm in McPherson County
(Photo credit: ITO Les Green, taken  at 700 PM CDT from prior storm in McPherson County)

Page composition
by
Steve Carmel


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