May 25, 2011

Update on Tornadoes: May 22 and May 24

May 24, 2011 -  Canton Tornado

The Canton tornado (picture reposted here) of May 24, 2011 has been rated an EF3 tornado.   We also have learned that the first video we took (to be posted later) may have been the tornado that caused the most damage.

May 22, 2011 - Joplin Tornado

We have included a map showing the track of the Joplin tornado, now rated EF5.  The red arrow shows the track of the tornado based upon NWS surveys.  The black squares represent our position (by GPS) at 5:48 and 5:50 PM.  The tornado first formed at 5:41 PM and lifted at around 5:53 PM.  At the time it lifed, we were stopped by the heavy precipitation and hail in the hook curling around the storm's southside.   If we had continued through the hook, we likely would have had a very close encounter with the tornado at about the time it was dissipating.

More sobering for us, is that we waited about 10 minutes in Miami, OK before moving northeastward, photographing a funnel cloud.  If we had not done that, the hook would have not been crossing the freeway when we got to Joplin...and, worse, we likely would have been well into the city of Joplin when the tornado was in the city.