Figure 1: Damage survey analysis over east-central Missouri and southwest Illinois. The blue arrows, green dots, and red lines represent wind damage, severe hail, and tornado tracks respectively.
Figure 2: Radar composite of the 06 May 2003 Severe Storm System from KLSX radar. Solid contours are tracks of mesovortices. Times are in UTC.
Figure 3: Composite of the evolution of Mesovortices 9 and 10 with damage swaths overlaid. Shaded areas of light(dark) blue represents estimated winds of 30(40+) m s-1 respectively. Red lines represent tornado tracks. Time is in UTC. Figure
Figure 4: GOES visible satellite imagery and surface data plots.

St. Louis, Missouri

May 6th 2003 
Bow Echo - Desoto, Missouri


On May 6th 2003, a broken line of supercells formed across central Missouri and moved east along a stationary front orientated just south of Interstate 70. The two southern most supercells intersected developing convection ahead of the line and ultimately formed into a bow echo.  The thunderstorm complex moved eastward producing scattered severe wind and hail reports from central Missouri to southwest Illinois, the worst damage was located in and around the town of Desoto, Missouri. Here the thunderstorms produced a 20 to 30 minute period of severe winds estimated to be between 80 and 100 mph. It is believed that the bow echo moved across the town of Desoto first, and then shortly thereafter was followed by the intensifying mesocyclone from the northwest.

The storm produced a 10 by 13 square mile area of severe straight line wind damage in the town of DeSoto, Missouri. From a storm survey conducted shortly after the event, it was determined that two weak tornadoes were also responsible for some of the damage that occurred that evening in the Desoto area. According to a damage assessment survey conducted by the state emergency management agency and the American Red Cross, 6 single family homes were completely destroyed, 27 had major damage, and over a hundred claimed minor damage. In addition, 2 businesses, a church, and a school sustained partial or major roof damage. Unfortunately, one fatality was reported due to flash flooding, and dozens of people were injured during this severe weather event.

More Information:
Sieveking, J.E. and R. Przybylinski 2004, The Interaction of a HP Supercell Thunderstorm and Bow Echo To Produce A Prolonged Severe Wind Event in East Central Missouri. Preprints, 22nd Conference on Severe Local Storms Hyannis, MA Amer. Meteor. Soc., 7A.5.

Damage Survey, Radar Images, and Damage Photos

Storm Survey Map


Storm Survey

Storm Survey Photo

Storm Survey Map

Mesovortex Tracks

Storm Survey Close-Up

Visible Satellite Image





Radar Image (22:47 UTC)

Radar Image (23:27 UTC)

Radar Image (00:35 UTC)

Radar Image (01:10 UTC)

Damage Photo

Damage Photo

Damage Photo

Damage Photo

Storm Damage Photo #1

Storm Damage Photo #2

Storm Damage Photo #3

Storm Damage Photo #4

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