April 24, 2010

Overview Radar Loop Edmonson County Mercer County LaRue County

On April 24, 2010 severe super cell thunderstorms developed over the middle and lower Mississippi Valley.  As these storms moved to the northeast they congealed into a squall line that passed from west to east through central Kentucky.  The middle part of the line "bowed out" (see the radar pictures below) and produced significant wind damage as well as a couple of small tornadoes.

The surface map that day showed strong low pressure forming over Arkansas and deepening as it moved northeast to Illinois.  A cold front pushed into an extremely unstable atmosphere over Louisiana and Mississippi, resulting in many deadly tornadoes of as much as EF4 strength.  As the low moved northeast it brought some of those storms up into the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys.

 A Tornado Watch was initally issued for much of central Kentucky and southern Indiana at 1:20pm CDT, followed by another Tornado Watch at 6:15pm CDT for much of central Kentucky.  Tornado Watches were issued because of the extreme wind shear found across the region.  Wind shear is the changing of wind direction and speed with height.

Below is a radar loop of the squall line at its most intense as it crossed central Kentucky:

Radar Loop

 

In addition to damage from straight-line winds, the squall line managed to spin up two small tornadoes.

Edmonson County Tornado

Strength:  EF1, 100 mph peak winds
Touchdown:  5:40pm CDT at Sunfish in the northwest part of the county
Liftoff:  5:42pm CDT 1.1 miles east of Sunfish
Path length:  1.1 miles
Path width:  50 yards
No fatalities or injuries

A well-built home suffered significant damage and a shed was destroyed.  Several outbuildings were damaged and numerous trees were uprooted or snapped. 

Click on the images below for larger versions.

Map

Track map.

Map

Location map.

Edmonson County

Board stuck into the ground.

Edmonson County

This barn was hit hard by cross-winds.  Note the leaning wall and damaged roof.

Edmonson County

A close-up of the barn's wall.

Edmonson County

Barn damage.

Edmonson County

Board stuck into the ground, debris along fence.

Edmonson County

Home damaged, especially the garage on the left.

Edmonson County

EF1 garage damage.

Edmonson County

Damaged home.

Edmonson County

Where the family pool used to be.

Edmonson County
Another view of the damaged garage.

Edmonson County

The roof of this shed caught the wind like a sail.  Its support poles were pulled from the ground.

Edmonson County

You can see how far out the pole was pulled!

Edmonson County

Outbuilding damage.

Edmonson County

Roofing peeled back.

Edmoson County

This concrete block wall collapsed easily.

Edmonson County

NWS storm surveyer entering GIS damage data.

Edmonson County

You can see how easy it was for this wall to fall over.

Edmonson County

More outbuilding damage.

Mercer County Tornado

Strength:  EF1, 90 mph peak winds
Touchdown:  8:25pm EDT near McAfee
Liftoff:  8:27pm EDT near Ebenezer
Path length:  1.4 miles
Path width:  50 yards
No fatalites or injuries

Near Patterson Lane and McAfee Lane a well-built barn had two walls blown out and its roof blown one-half mile downstream.  Two other barns were also damaged or destroyed, and many trees were uprooted or damaged.

Video of Mercer County tornado Video of the tornado!  (13 MB)  Taken with a cell phone, shared with us by Caleb Smith.

Mercer County

Track map.

Mercer County

Note the missing roof and the insulation in the fence.

Mercer County

Destroyed building.

Mercer County

There used to be carpet on the concrete behind the open door.

Mercer County

Destroyed barn on top of a hill.

 

LaRue County Straight-Line Winds

Thunderstorm winds up to 90 mph buffeted LaRue County, especially west and south of Hodgenville.  Several barns were damaged or destroyed along KY 222 between Eagle Mills and Mathers Mill.  Significant damage also occurred at the intersection of KY 84 and US 31E where a store lost its roof and hardwood trees were snapped.  One unfortunate resident found his porch lying on top of his roof after the storm. The survey team also went into northern Hart County and found more tree and sign damage, but not as widespread as Larue County.  

LaRue County

Location map.

LaRue County

This trailer's porch ended up on the roof.

LaRue County

The roof of this small store was blown only a short distance.

LaRue County

Partially caved-in silo.

LaRue County

Note the heavy downpour of rain in the middle background.

LaRue County

Same as previous picture, near Magnolia.

LaRue County

See the new rain shaft in the middle of the picture -- possibly a downburst.

LaRue County

The rain shaft, and any strong winds associated with it, hits the ground.

LaRue County

Still near Magnolia, the line of storms advances.

LaRue County

Destroyed barn.  WAVE-TV

LaRue County

Destroyed barn.  WHAS-TV

LaRue County

Leaning telephone pole.  WHAS-TV

LaRue County

Destroyed barn.  WHAS-TV

   


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