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Severe Storms in Ozarks 10/20-21/19: REVIEW

A line of storms moved through the Ozarks last night with wind damage, tornado warnings and a probable tornado.

This was one of those storms where the intensity was actually going to ramp up a bit as the evening turned to the early morning hours. This was a classic set up for a “wavy line” (you may see this referred to as a QLCS: Quasi-Linear Convective System) of storms in which instabilities in the wind field cause bumps or waves in the line which can lead to tornadoes.

One of these was detected near Battlefield which lead to the first tornado warning for Greene County. A similar signature was detected near Highlandville at about the same time, most probably related to a 70 mph wind gust report near this area.

Green Triangle Indicates a Rotation Area and Possible Tornado

The Greene County rotation did not seem continuous or well-defined as it moved through southeastern Springfield but because radar is not perfect, this one caused us to hightail it down to the shelter! (we live just east of 65 in southeast Springfield)

UPDATE 10/23/19

The National Weather Service confirmed a few more tornadoes as of 10/23/19. With regard to the paragraph above, they did find one about a block from my house!! The path was extremely intermittent, in fact leaving my neighborhood requires crossing the path and there is no damage visible at all.

The more southern rotation held together a bit longer as it approached Ozark. A second rotation formed southeast of this one and it looks like this was a tornado. This is based on damage pictures and reports, verified by the appearance of debris on the Springfield National Weather Service Doppler radar. (shown circled in black). This debris signature was detectable from around highway 14 between Ozark and Sparta and stayed on radar to just north of Highway U southeast of Rogersville.

As usual, the storm survey crews from the Springfield National Weather Service will do a bang-up job verifying storm damage and making assessments today which will tell us where any tornadoes and wind damage reports occurred!

Updates here:

This was a night of severe weather in the south-central U.S. which included a tornado in the northern portion of the Dallas, Texas Metroplex and a storm which blew out windows at the Memphis, TN airport early this morning.

UPDATE 10/21/19 8:18 PM

The National Weather Service (NWS) have confirmed 3 tornadoes in the Ozarks with this event. Two EF-1’s and an EF-0.

Tree Blocking McHaffie Drive in Sparta (Photo Credit Cody Wilson)
Damage South of Rogersville (Photo Credit Richard Stirts)