2006 Weather in Review
WE CAME IN FIRST PLACE
The Weather Forecast Office in St. Louis, Missouri experienced more severe weather than any other office in the National Weather Service this year, with a total of 723 severe weather events recorded.
RECORD # OF TORNADOES
The 2006 tornado count for Missouri and Illinois this year surpassed the previous record year of 2003 when 84 tornadoes were recorded in Missouri and 120 in Illinois.
The year started off extremely warm. In fact, Quincy experienced the warmest January on record, while Columbia and St. Louis observed their second and third warmest, respectively. Daily average temperatures at St. Louis, Columbia, and Quincy remained above normal the entire month of January. St. Louis and Columbia never observed a high temperature below freezing that month, which has only occurred two other times in the more than 100 years of records kept.
Two snow storms brought the region a taste of winter on February 8th and March 20th. Although, early spring will likely be remembered for thunderstorms and not snow, as the severe weather season came early and hit hard this year. A total of 48 tornadoes occurred the 11th and 12th of March in Missouri and Illinois. This tornado outbreak included a F4 tornado in Monroe County, Missouri. This was the first voilent tornado to occur in the St. Louis County Warning Area since 1981.
March 12th F4 Tornado Damage Near Paris, MO
March 11th Tornado Damage near Festus, MO
Less than a month later, on April 2nd, a line of severe thunderstorms moved across the region, producing straight line winds in excess of 70 mph and 9 tornadoes.
April 2nd Tornado Damage in Fairview Heights, IL
The two severe weather events that will mark this year in history occurred in the middle of July during an excessive heat wave. A bowing line of severe thunderstorms traveled southwest from central Illinois and directly hit the St. Louis metropolitan area with winds up to 100 mph. This caused significant damage to trees and power lines, as well as structural damage to houses and businesses. Power outages to more than a half of a million Ameren customers were recorded.
July 19th Structural Damage in Downtown St. Louis
Less than 48 hours after this event, another line of severe thunderstorms moved from central Missouri through the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area and into southwest Illinois. Additional damage to trees and power lines caused the number of customers without power to rise to a historic 750,000.
This was the largest power outage ever to occur in the region according to Ameren Electric Company. Many people of the region suffered for up to seven days through unbearable heat and humidity with no means to cool their homes. Temperatures during this period climbed into the upper 90s and heat index values were at times as high as 114 degrees.
July 21st Tornado Damage near Germantown, IL
The heat was on by late July and August. St. Louis recorded a high temperature of 101 degrees for four consecutive days between July 30th and August 2nd and Columbia reached 103 degrees twice during this same period of time. The heat and lack of rainfall during the summer caused extreme drought conditions across the region.
Another significant tornado outbreak occurred on September 22nd. Amazingly, some of the very same locations that saw tornadoes during the 11th and 12th of March outbreak fell victim to this outbreak. One of the supercells that produced several long track tornadoes in the St. Louis county warning area ultimately produced a F4 tornado in Perry County, Missouri which caused substantial damage to Crosstown.
Tornado Damage Near Mine La Motte, MO
Tornado Near Highway N in Iron County
A significant winter storm hit the region November 30th and December 1st with some locations from central Missouri to west central Illinois receiving up to 18 inches of snow. Across eastern Missouri and southwest Illinois up to an inch of freezing rain lead to another widespread power outage. More than 500,000 people were left without power for up to a week during the coldest air of the season thus far. Unfortunately, many of these same customers lost power during the July outages.
Significant Ice Accumulation in Waterloo, IL
Some improvement in drought conditions were experienced during the last month of 2006, thanks in large part to the aforementioned winter storm. Much of the region continued to be in a long term drought with rainfall deficits between 5 and 10 inches common for the year 2006.