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Record Warmth for the Central and West; Active Weather for Alaska and Hawaii

High pressure from the west coast to the southeast will bring above normal temperatures to the area. A developing storm will bring heavy snow, blizzard conditions and bitterly cold temperatures to Alaska this weekend. Heavy rain and flooding expected in the lower elevations of Hawaii and blizzard conditions are expected in the Big Island Summits this weekend. Read More >

Overview

On Monday, October 11th 2021 (Columbus Day), the potential for severe weather existed across east-central/northeast Missouri and most of central and northern Illinois. Despite limited instability (energy for storms to develop), plentiful shear (changing wind speed or direction with height) from a potent mid-level storm system provided the potential for severe storms. Though most storms never became strong or severe, one supercell in particular became organized enough to produce a tornado.

Around 2:35pm, a severe thunderstorm developed in west-central Illinois southwest of the small town of Wrights. Shortly thereafter, a tornado formed over Wrights, which was photographed and videoed by residents and storm chasers. Damage to structures and vehicles was also reported via trained spotters, residents, and broadcast media. NWS St. Louis surveyed the storm damage and estimated the peak winds at 115 mph due to the extensive damage done to two well-built barns.

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A radar loop of the supercell developing as it approaches Wrights, IL (red dot in the center of the loop). Left: Reflectivity (0.5deg), Right: Storm-Relative Velocity (0.5deg).
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Photo of the tornado as it began to touch down near Wrights, IL. Credit: Tom Stolze (via Facebook) Photo of the tornado near Cloverleaf Feed Mill from Roodhouse, IL. Credit: Luke Nolan (via Facebook) Photo of the tornado causing damage to a structure near Wrights, IL. Credit: Paul Davis (via Facebook)
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