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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

10th Anniversary of Kansas City MO Tornado Some Local TV Mets May Forget

uring the evening of May 11- 2000- I was feeding severe weather information to the breaking news Website I had at the time- 'The Corner Coffeeshop.'

There was a lot of information to feed that night- the Storm Prediction Center had put all of Metro Kansas City under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch No. 265 around 6:30 p.m..

Then at 8:53 p.m.- a small tornado touched down in southern Jefferson County KS near Grantville (see accompanying image 'Storm Reports') and moved east- striking Tonganoxie in southwestern Leavenworth County around 10 p.m..

We're never under a Tornado Watch as that tornadic storm continues to move east across Wyandotte County KS toward the Missouri Metro.

By 11:15 p.m.- at least 2 meteorologists on Kansas City television stations report that the storm is weakening- and there's little to no threat of a tornado in or around Kansas City.

At 11:22 p.m.- the SPC issued a new Severe Thunderstorm Watch- Number 267- that includes Metro Kansas City.

At that time- the "weakening" tornadic storm cell had crossed the Missouri River into Kansas City near the Waterworks area on M-9 and U.S. 169 and had strengthened.

Three minutes later at 11:25 p.m.- the storm cell dropped a tornado onto a car dealership in the 4100 block of North Oak in Kansas City's Northland.

The tornado tore down the dealership's building- flipping a few cars in the lot- tangling power lines and toppling power poles- then lifed to tree-top level as it continued moving east- northeastward.

The tree-top-height funnel coursed across the Northland- generally following a path along Parvin Road until it retracted completely back into the parent storm near Worlds of Fun.

Fortunately- no one was hurt in the Northland.

It was sort of shocking as I had listened to the KC-MO Fire dispatcher call the NWS office in Pleasant Hill on the MERS radio channel at 11:26 p.m. telling them of the North Oak touchdown- then hearing the NWS office tell them back that they were issuing a tornado warning.

Well- I guess no more shocking to me than the fact we were never under a Tornado Watch- even after Tongie got hit- and that 2 of the 'premier' TV weather people in this town had downplayed the tornado threat before the North Oak touchdown.

That's why I'll stay up late at night if necessary to watch severe storms threatening the Metro (see also May 2- 2008) and put little credence into the opinions of local TV weather people when it comes to vagaries of Mother Nature.

Wonder if Horner and Busby (or Lezak and Thompson) will note this 10th anniversary of a damaging Kansas City MO tornado?

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