Needless to say, the week between Christmas and New Year's Day is not historically known for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes... snow and ice, maybe, but not thunderstorms. Well, history-shmistory! Residents of eastern Missouri and western Illinois will remember the end of 2008 as stormy, not snowy. Strong thunderstorms producing hail, damaging winds, and even tornadoes marched across the Mississippi River valley Saturday, December 27. With flash flood warnings in effect for much of our area, it was tough to find anyone who didn't receive at least one inch of rain!
Severe thunderstorms and the threat of tornadoes overshadowed the heavy rain and flash flooding for a few hours late Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon. There were numerous reports of tornado touchdowns in both Missouri and Illinois.
Now that the weather has settled, the National Weather Service has deployed damage survey teams to assess the aftermath. Our friends at the local Weather Service office have confirmed one tornado touchdown inside the News4 viewing area. The tornado touched down in north-central Lincoln county, just a mile and a half southeast of Davis, MO.
Click this image for a full-size version. Look closely at this picture from near Davis, MO. You can see pieces of 2x4 lumber, and even more impressive 6x6 supports driven into the ground after being hurled through the air. Thanks to the National Weather Service for the photograph.
The tornado was on the ground for about a mile and a half with a damage path from 30 to 50 yards wide, destroyed a two-story barn, severely damaged one home, and caused minor damage to two other homes in a nearby subdivision. Other smaller machine sheds and trees were damaged.
To find out how this tornado ranked on the Fujita scale, and to see more pictures of the damage, check out the full report from the National Weather Service.