The thing that surprised me the most about the Day of the Worst Outbreak of Tornadoes in History was the almost total lack of preparedness by the weather-watching community. Barring the National Weather Service, many of the weather watchers, like my self, were caught mostly off guard. The daily forecast map was the only indication that later that evening, we would be caught up in the world’s largest outbreak off tornadoes in history.
I remember that that evening is was warmer later in the day than I had imaged, so warm was it that I had left a window or two open as late as 7PM. That one thing should have clued me that something was amiss. I checked the radar earlier and visited the NWS to hear that the severe weather was going to happen, but that it was going to happen later that evening. In my diary for that day I wrote ‘It was a busy day with none of the nastiness affecting my area’. Will it did pass by with nary a drop of rain, pass as it did just to the north of Forsyth Missouri where I live.
At right is a panel summary of the weather for the day, pretty non-descriptive right. We had an after the fact brief shower of .38 inches (this amount from my other weather station) with a high temperature of 76.5 degrees.
I thought nothing of it and decided to go to bed around 7:30 PM, as a booster shot had done a number on my body.
I had just gotten comfortable when my weather alarm went off and then kept going off – that got my attention and I began to pay attention – particularly to an app called Fox Weather on my cell phone.
Over the next 40 minutes or so, I moved to the master bath in my bed room, phone clutch in hand and waited…..
I watched the cell of interest approach and the slide off to the north. The siren sounded and a brief rain fell and that was it. I remember that God for keeping me safe and the I did a silent prayer for the in the path of what I assumed was a limited outbreak.