May 24, 2010 Tornadoes in Eastern Meade and Perkins Counties

Multiple tornadoes tracked across eastern Meade and Perkins Counties, South Dakota, on Monday afternoon, May 24th. Significant tornado damage occurred with both tornadic storms, resulting in EF-2 damage ratings by the National Weather Service assessment teams. The range of wind gusts with EF-2 damage is from 111 to 135 mph.

The first storm produced a tornado that tracked 22.5 miles from 7 miles southwest of Howes to 13.5 miles southwest of Faith. The tornado lasted from 124 pm to 157 pm MDT, or 33 minutes. A manufactured home had its roof mostly destroyed, and about one half of the walls were flattened. Several trees and power poles were snapped. The estimated width of the tornado was one quarter mile with EF-2 damage. As the tornado continued north and crossed Highway 34 just east of Plainview, it snapped several trees and power poles. A pole barn was completely flattened and a combine was rolled a few times. After this tornado dissipated, the same storm produced another tornado about 5.5 miles southwest of Faith at 200 pm MDT. The tornado crossed Highway 212 just west of Faith and then dissipated. The second tornado did not produce any damage so it was rated EF-0.

Another tornadic storm developed adjacent to the first storm as it was weakening. The first tornado with this second storm occurred in southeastern Perkins county, about 11 miles north-northwest of Faith. The storm produced multiple tornadoes, with 2-3 reported simultaneously as it was near the Progress School. The last tornado dissipated just west of Shadehill. The path length from the first to the last tornado was about 42 miles, and the duration of the tornadoes was from 234 pm to 335 pm MDT, or 61 minutes. The tornado produced significant damage to a ranch about 18 miles north of Faith, with multiple buildings and farm equipment destroyed, as well as power poles downed. A round baler was carried about 275 yards across a small stream. The ranch house was damaged, but remained intact, as it was in between two tornadoes (and thus did not suffer a direct hit). The estimated width of the tornado was one quarter mile with EF-2 damage. The final significant damage was produced at the Progress School near the intersection of Highways 73 and 20. The width of the damage was about one-tenth of a mile, and the tornado was rated EF-2. At this point the tornado crossed to the west side of Highway 73 and generally remained in open country until it dissipated.

Approximate paths for tornadoes (click here).

Image 1: damage to manufactured home southwest of Howes.

Image 2: damage to uninhabited cinder block home.

Image 3: damage to Gleaner combine (rolled a few times).

Image 4: destruction of pole barn (foreground), with van and hay swather thrown into trees (distant).

Image 5: destroyed round baler thrown about 300 yards from destroyed pole barn (distant, behind baler).

Image 6: destruction of Progress School. Chimney helped interior walls remain standing.

Image 7: roof of Progress School 175 yards away (to the northwest).

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