The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.


Published June 5, 2019

More details released on Eldon tornado

MILLER COUNTY – The National Weather Service has released more information on the tornado that hit Eldon on May 22.

That tornado was one of 14 that hit the state during the period of May 20-22.

According to the National Weather Service:

• Date: 5/22/2019
• Time: (Local) 10:56 PM
• EF Rating: EF -1
• Estimated Peak Winds 104 MPH
• Path Length: 13 Miles
• Max Width: 880 Yards
• Injuries/Deaths: 1/0

A tornado touched down west of the Eldon Country Club and damaged numerous homes across the southern and eastern sections of Eldon. One injury occurred in this area. The tornado then tracked northeast, crossing Highway 54 twice, then across rural areas in northeastern Miller County before crossing AA at Spring Garden and entering Cole County near Shipman Road.

This is the same tornado that hit Jefferson City.

The tornado strengthened from an EF-1 to an EF-2 as it moved into Cole County between 11:00 and 11:20 p.m., removing the roofs from well built one and two story buildings.

Within five miles of Jefferson City, MO, the tornado strengthened to an EF-3 with a peak wind speed of 160 MPH.

As the tornado moved northeast into the Jefferson City area it destroyed or greatly damaged a warehouse and car dealership.

At 11:40 p.m. the tornado had reached downtown Jefferson City, causing severe damage to well made residential structures.

The tornado then crossed the Missouri River and entered Callaway County just to the east-northeast of Jefferson City, where it dissipated near the Railwood Golf Club.

This tornado reached a maximum width of 1,500 yards and traveled for 19.38 miles. There were 32 injuries and no deaths.

The Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale classifies tornadoes into the following categories:

EF0 – Weak 65-85 mph
EF1 – Moderate 86-110 mph
EF2 – Significant 111-135 mph
EF3 – Severe 136-165 mph
EF4 – Extreme 166-200 mph
EF5 – Catastrophic 200+ mph

Though 14 tornadoes may sound like a lot, compared to other tornado outbreaks it’s relatively minor.

The 2011 Super Outbreak was the most prolific tornado outbreak in history. It produced 360 tornadoes, with 216 of those in a single 24-hour period on April 27, including 11 EF4 and four EF5 tornadoes. 348 deaths occurred in that outbreak, of which 324 were tornado related.

During the F5 Bridge Creek–Moore tornado on May 3, 1999 (in the southern Oklahoma City metro area) a Doppler on Wheels situated near the tornado measured winds of 324 mph momentarily in a small area inside the funnel approximately 330 ft above ground level. These are also the highest wind speeds observed on Earth.

The deadliest known tornado outbreak was the Tri-State Tornado of March 18, 1925 which killed 695 people in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

A single tornado from this outbreak holds records for the longest path length at 219 miles, the longest duration at over three hours and fastest forward speed for a significant tornado anywhere on earth (73 mph).

The other tornadoes that hit the state on May 20-22 were:

A supercell was tracked in eastern Kansas on May 20 and that cell dropped an EF1 tornado in Cherokee-Crawford County in Kansas at 4:14 p.m. Estimated peak winds were 105 MPH. The tornado was 440 yards wide and stayed on the ground for 2.21 miles before lifting.

Seven minutes later the same supercell dropped a tornado back into Crawford County, KS, where it traveled 10.63 miles into Barton County, MO. The wind speeds again were 105 MPH and it was 1,320 yards wide.

At 6:45 p.m. in Jasper County, MO an EF0 tornado briefly touched down in a field. The peak wind speeds were 60 MPH, it was 50 yards wide and traveled .33 miles.

The next day (May 21) an EF0 tornado touched down briefly in Greene County, MO, (Fair Grove) at 1:06 p.m. This tornado was 100 yards wide, peak wind speed was 85 MPH and it traveled 1.18 miles.

At 2:48 p.m. that day an EF1 tornado touched down in Marshfield MO (Webster County). The peak wind speed was 100 MPH and it was 100 yards wide and traveled 7.41 miles. Wind speeds were measured at 80 MPH before an anemometer broke near the intersection of Cologna Rd and Whispering Oaks.

At 3:17 p.m. that day another EF1 tornado came down in Mansfield/Hartville, MO, area (Wright County) packing a peak wind speed of 110 MPH, this tornado was 200 yards wide and traveled 21.75 miles.

At 4:18 p.m. in Edgar Springs South (Phelps County, MO) another EF1 tornado touched down. This had a peak wind speed of 100 MPH, was 880 yards wide and traveled 5.86 miles.

On May 22, at 7:34 p.m., back in Cherokee County, KS, an EF0 tornado touched down with a peak wind speed of 75 MPH, was 440 yards wide and traveled three miles.

About 30 minutes later (8:05 p.m.) that same supercell dropped another tornado in Cherokee County, KS, which traveled into Jasper County, MO (Carl Junction, MO).

This one, however, was more powerful than the previous day’s tornadoes. This was an EF3 and had a peak wind speed of 140 MPH, was 440 yards wide and traveled nine miles.

At 8:23 p.m. in Jasper County, MO (Oronogo MO) an EF0 tornado came down with peak wind speeds of 81 MPH, was 200 yards wide and traveled for eight miles before lifting up.

At 8:51 p.m. in Jasper - Barton County, MO (Golden City, MO) an EF3 tornado came down packing a peak wind speed of 142 MPH. This tornado was 880 yards wide and traveled for 12 miles.

This was the last in a series of at least four tornadoes produced by a supercell that tracked out of northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas into Jasper County, Missouri. This tornado caused one injury and three deaths.

At 10:07 p.m. in Tiff City, MO (McDonald County) an EF1 tornado touched down with a peak wind speed of 94 MPH. No other information was available on this tornado.

On May 23 at 1:49 a.m., an EF1 tornado touched down in Laquey South (Laclede-Pulaski County). This tornado had a peak wind speed of 93 MPH, was 440 yards wide and traveled 11.09 miles.

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