National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


A persistent pattern set up over the Mid Mississippi River Valley during May 21-23. Upper level winds were consistently southwesterly, providing large scale lift and moisture to the area. Converging air along frontal boundaries at the surface provided sufficient low level lift to initial storms each night. During the afternoon of May 22, 2019 specifically, a warm front was moving north into southern Missouri, increasing low level moisture. At the same time a cold front was approaching from the west. Storms developed along the cold front as it pushed southeastward through Missouri. The significant low level wind produced storms favorable for hail and tornadoes. 

Over three days these storms produced five tornadoes in our county warning area; two EF-0 tornadoes, two EF-1 tornadoes, and the EF-3 tornado which hit Jefferson City. The storms also produced straight line winds, damaging homes and trees across the area.

Learn more about the EF-3 Jefferson City Tornado, which resulted in the first-ever Tornado Emergency issuance from our office, using our interactive GIS-based event summary.


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