All Weather News

Deadly Tornadoes Tear through Central U.S. Friday Night

11 Dec 2021, 6:00 pm

Numerous, long track deadly tornadoes ripped through the mid-Mississippi River Valley Friday night and early Saturday morning, bringing a path of destruction to many.

A moderate risk of severe weather (level 4 out of 5) was issued on Friday ahead of the storms.

This was only our 3rd Moderate risk day in December in 6 years. The last time a risk of this magnitude was scene was in December of 2019.

Tornado reports in Kentucky are slowly beginning to trickle in. The strongest tornado hit Bowling Green with at least EF-3 winds. The local weather service is assessing the damage area. It will likely take a few days before hear the latest on the tornado that struck Mayfield.


A tornado that started near Jonesboro, AR traveled over 225 miles on Friday night, ripping through the town of Mayfield, KY, which is about 20 miles south of Paducah on the west side of the state.

The Governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, says that “there will likely be 70-100 deaths” as a result of Friday night’s storm.

This storm will likely be one of the longest track tornadoes on record. During the time the tornado was moving through Mayfield, radar was estimating the strongest gate-to-gate shear (or inflow into the storms) ever recorded.

Edwardsville, IL

In neighboring Illinois, in a suburb of St. Louis, another damaging tornado ripped apart an amazon warehouse leading to two deaths.

At the conclusion of today’s survey, the NWS St. Louis office found EF-3 damage that hit the Amazon Warehouse in Edwardsville. Another tornado with at least  EF-3 winds hit the community of Defiance, MO near St. Louis!

We will update you as we receive more information about the tornado ratings across the South and Mid Mississippi River Valley.



About the author
Erik Kostrzewa was born and raised in the state of Michigan; spending much of his life in the suburbs of Detroit. Erik attended the University of Michigan and earned a Bachelor’s Degr... Load Moreee in Earth Systems Science and Engineering with a concentration in Meteorology. His first on-air job was straight out of college in Lansing, Michigan at WLNS-TV. After a few years, he moved an hour west to Grand Rapids to continue his career at FOX17 news. While in the heart of the lower peninsula, Erik covered a wide variety of challenging weather from lake-effect snow to derechos. Erik definitely has an interesting last name which comes from his Polish descent. If you are wondering how it is pronounced, the easiest way to say it is “Ka-Stree-Va”. Erik is thrilled to forecast on a national scale at WeatherNation and experience an even wider range of weather in Colorado! He is also looking forward to experiencing his first 14er on one of the many mountains in the state. Follow Erik on Twitter and Facebook!

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