December Tornadoes Not So Far Fetched
MISSOURI - Winter thunderstorms that develop into tornadoes result from the same weather conditions as thunderstorm's year round. Missouri has experienced significant severe weather in the past.
Strong tornadoes caused significant damage and killed seven people in Missouri and Arkansas on New Year's Eve morning. The National Weather Service reported that one system generated 18 tornadoes in Missouri. The NWS rated two of the tornadoes a 3 on the 5-point Fujita Scale. Those two twisters struck Fort Leonard Wood and Rolla.
The system of 18 tornadoes surpassed the record for the most tornadoes on a single December day in Missouri. The old record was 15, on December 2, 1982.
Tornadoes in December are more common than you might think. The NWS documented a total of 52 tornadoes nationwide in December 2009, another 45 in December 2008 and 19 in December 2007.
Weather conditions were ideal for tornadoes to form on December 31. A strong cold front moved in hitting the already warm, humid air in the atmosphere. The masses conflicted creating severe weather.