The tornado outbreak of April 7th-April 9th, 2020 was a historic event that set new records. The outbreak impacted the states of Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont; and was the worst outbreak of the Hoosier Alley since 2013. Overall, it marked the beginning of a violent future for tornadoes.

Meteorological Synopsis

During the late morning hours of April 7th, 2020, a strong lower level trough hovered over the Midwestern states, forcing an impressively deep surface low into Missouri. This deep low combined with a notably strong jet stream set up significant instability in the atmosphere, creating a deadly mix of conditions that would produce multiple violent tornadoes across the Midwest for the next two days.

On April 1st, the Storm Prediction Center had issued a 15% severe weather risk area stretching from western Illinois to eastern Indiana on days 6 and 7 of the SPC Convective Weather Outlook. On the approach of April 3rd, the Storm Prediction Center issued a 30% severe weather risk area stretching from central Illinois to a small portion of western Indiana, while expanding the 15% severe weather risk area from Missouri to Ohio. As of April 6th, outlook day 2 showed a high risk over eastern Missouri and outlook day 3 showed a moderate risk stretching from far eastern Illinois to Ohio. On the approach of April 7th, outlook days 1 and 2 showed back-to-back high risks stretching from central Illinois to eastern Ohio with CAPE values ranging from 4000J/kg-5000J/kg and dew points skyrocketing into the 70s, a worst case scenario.

April 7th -

Over the early morning hours, a moist, rainy air mass tracked a deep surface low over the states of Montana and Wyoming. As the clock struck noon, the air mass swung down into Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma, and storms were already firing in a squall. As the storm system crossed into Missouri, supercells began dropping tornadoes across Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa. By 4:00PM, more supercells erupted and tornado activity brought in storm chasers and media coverage from all over the country.

April 7th, 2020 (Remake)

Day 1 of the Storm Prediction Center Convective Weather Outlook as of April 7th, 2020

April 8th -

At about 11:00AM, rotating supercells began flaring up east of Columbia up and down the state of Missouri in front of a storm system, blasting east-northeast at 65MPH and producing 6 tornadoes. At around noon, the supercells crossed the Missouri/Illinois border, dropping 7 more tornadoes before reaching central Illinois, where activity picked up immensely.

April 8th, 2020 (Remake)

Day 1 of the Storm Prediction Center Convective Weather Outlook as of April 8th, 2020

April 9th -

As the deep surface low weakened and began to push into the northeast, several severe thunderstorms developed and dropped tornadoes in the very early morning hours.

April 9th, 2020 (Remake)

Day 1 of the Storm Prediction Center Convective Weather Outlook as of April 9th, 2020

April 7th Tornado Statistics

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Iowa -

Rating Location Time(CST) Path Length Path Width Injuries/Fatalities Description
EF0 Hepburn, Iowa 2:28PM 3 miles 151 yards 0 Rope tornado spotted outside of Hepburn.
EF1 Gravity, Iowa 2:39PM 5.4 miles 0.1 miles 0 Small cone tornado caused roof and siding damage in Gravity.
EF1 Macksburg, Iowa 2:57PM 6 miles 0.2 miles 0 Photogenic elephant trunk tornado spotted just outside of Macksburg.
EF2 (disputed) Corydon, Iowa 3:28PM 6.4 miles 0.3 miles 2 injuries Rainwrapped cone caught 2 drivers off guard and lifted them off the highway near Corydon.
EF0 Unionville, Iowa 3:53PM 2 miles 118 yards 0 Needle-like tornado briefly touched down and took down limbs in Unionville.
EF3 Salem, Iowa 4:33PM 11.4 miles 0.5 miles 5 injuries, 1 fatality Half-mile wide wedge clipped the north end of Salem and heavily damaged several homes.

Missouri -

EF Rating Location Time Path Length Path Width Injuries/Fatalities Description
EF2 Maryville, Missouri 2:36PM 6.9 miles 0.3 miles 0 Large cone tornado tore through south Maryville, warranting isolated spots of EF2 damage.
EF1 Easton, Missouri 2:46PM 9.3 miles 0.3 miles 0 Large multi-vortex lightly damaged rural farms.
EF0 Ectonville, Missouri 2:49PM 2.8 miles 69 yards 0 Needle-like tornado did light damage to structures in the Ectonville outskirts.
EF3 Darlington, Missouri 2:54PM 7.4 miles 0.2 miles 1 fatality Semi-rainwrapped cone tornado skimmed past Darlington and killed a man from flying debris.
EF0 La Tour, Missouri 3:05PM 3 miles 51 yards 0 "Funnel" did EF0-class damage to trees and small structures after forming over Highway 2.
EF4 Milo, Missouri 3:06PM 13.7 miles 1 mile 17 injuries, 3 fatalities Huge rainwrapped wedge decimated Milo and dodged many small communities, Milo's disaster preparedness saved many lives.
EF2 Coffey, Missouri 3:31PM 5.9 miles 0.1 miles 0 Multi-vortex tornado crossed I-35 and dodged drivers.
EF0 Tina, Missouri 3:51PM 3.5 miles 0.1 miles 0 Small, rainwrapped tornado did minor damage to a school.
EF1 Osgood, Missouri 4:02PM 7.7 miles 0.3 miles 0 Large, cigar-like tornado downed powerlines along isolated farm roads east of Osgood.
EF1 Marshall, Missouri 4:03PM 6.3 miles 0.3 miles 0 Relatively large cone tornado passed through the town of Marshall and a few other small communities.
EF1 Jordan, Missouri 4:06PM 3.8 miles 0.2 miles 0 Moderately rainwrapped cone tornado downed dozens of trees south of Jordan and in the Mule Shoe Conservation Area.
EF0 Bahner, Missouri 4:09PM 2.1 miles 54 yards 0 Tiny rope tornado hovered over farm fields, causing no damage.
EF3 Dermott, Missouri 4:17PM 9.9 miles 0.2 miles 6 injuries, 1 fatality Fairly large cone tornado tore through houses and farms west of Dermott, causing a farmhouse to collapse on its side. The damage was rated EF3.
EF2 Clarksburg, Missouri 4:28PM 8 miles 0.3 miles 5 injuries Large straight-sided cone tornado passed through Clarksburg, injuring a family of 3 after they were crushed by their roof. Many buildings were left without their roofs.
EF2 Kliever, Missouri 4:36PM 5 miles 65 yards 0 Small multi-vortex tornado uprooted trees east of the community of Kliever.
EF1 Rucker, Missouri 4:38PM 4.5 miles 83 yards 0 Small cone tornado tore through swaths of trees and sucked the roof off of a small home, as well as flattened two outbuildings.
EF3 Yancy Mills, Missouri 5:01PM 7.8 miles 0.6 miles 0 Large wedge tornado started just west of Yancy Mills, tipping a fully-loaded semi truck traversing Highway 63 before tearing the walls and roof away from a newly-built house east of the highway. Hundreds of trees were downed or debarked east of the highway to Lecoma.
EF1 (anti-cyclonic) Yancy Mills, Missouri 5:02PM ??? 202 yards 0 Anti-cyclonic tornado that developed near the Yancy Mills EF3. The tornado downed trees over Highway 63 and toward Lecoma.
EF0 Mineola, Missouri 5:19PM 0.9 miles 57 yards 0 Brief spin-up tornado was confirmed east of Fulton.
EF3 New Florence, Missouri 5:27PM 16.3 miles 0.9 miles 12 injuries, 2 fatalities Large, multi-vortex tornado developed just north of Florence and quickly morphed into a wedge. Several homes and outbuildings were completely flattened in the path, including a 2-story home which was levelled. A metal logging hangar was completely demolished, with debris travelling large distances. All structures in New Truxton were destroyed.

Arkansas -

Illinois -

Kentucky -

Tennessee -

Indiana -

Ohio -

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