Your web browser (Internet Explorer) is out of date. Some things will not look right and things might not work properly. Please download an up-to-date and free browser from here.

Major tornado outbreak hits America

Softball sized hail is pounding the area around Dallas Fort Worth International airport right now as a major line of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes again pushes back into many midwest States.

Reports are now coming in that the airport has been closed.  Our weather contact in America Jim Loznicka from WJHG in Florida is tweeting messages as the storm moves in.  He says airport staff are currently screaming at people to get away from windows.

JUST IN: This massive hail stone was picked up in Texas / TWC viewer

Meanwhile our weather partners in Atlanta at The Weather Channel are reporting sustained winds of 160km/h in Kansas and tornadoes now touching down around Texas. forecasters say Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri are all at high risk right now with the severe thunderstorms and tornadoes tracking directly towards Joplin – the city hit by the deadliest single tornado in US history on Monday. says the storms will be peaking about now and hopefully will start to weaken in the coming hours as night time sets in across the MidWest.

Watch live updates from The Weather Channel here


Sue on 25/05/2011 5:36am

HI Phil
I am having significant debates with people at the moment on the normality of weather and natural disasters happening around the world so far in 2011. I am wondering if you have any statistical data that might support what I believe by observation and research is correct – this year has been a year like no other of 100 year events, biblical size disasters and phenomenally wild weather patterns. Would be great if you could start a comparative blog post up so maybe others could throw some of their stats in so that we can try to get to the bottom of how “normal” 2011 is shaping up to be or not. For example I read that the average tornados in the mid west for April is normally 160ish but this year has been recorded at 872.

By the way I watched this really interesting Channel Ten Australia series if anyone wants to…… here is part one and it follows on from there. Its called 2011: 100 Days of Disaster


WW Forecast Team on 25/05/2011 6:09am

Hi Sue,

Funny you should ask about this, as the column I’m writing in this Sunday’s Herald on Sunday addresses this very question.

It is very very hard to work out whether we are getting more natural disasters and severe weather events.  In the 90s a big tsunami hit PNG but it was hardly a huge news story here – these days it would capture the world’s attention with video footage coming in from cellphones, uploaded via YouTube and Twitter and Facebook – plus there are more helicopters, better roading, better access to places – and more people on the planet to record things.

So we have more reporting of severe weather events – plus we have better technology to record weather events – so we can detect more hurricanes and tornadoes and lightning strikes etc.  So while the numbers are perhaps going up, it doesn’t mean they weren’t happening before – it’s just that we are detecting and recording them now.

The globe is also warming up – and hotter weather produces more severe events. It’s a question that we may not be able to answer for another decade or two – are we getting more severe weather events?


p.s. – Grab a copy of my column in the Herald on Sunday this weekend!

Sue on 25/05/2011 7:27am

Cheers Phil looking forward to your column and thanks for all the efforts you put in to keep us informed. You and your team are wonderful.

Leighton on 25/05/2011 3:44am

What is this world turning into? Natural disaster after disaster. I use to think it was just more media coverage than ever before but this is getting beyond a joke. Makes you wonder…

Paul Owen on 25/05/2011 9:42pm

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

Guest on 25/05/2011 2:33am

*with that website – scroll down and click on ‘storm chasers’.

Guest on 25/05/2011 2:32am

Found this website:

It shows, on a Google map, where storm chasers are. Click on the car icons and it opens a live feed from cameras mounted on their dashboards. Crazy stuff!

BQ on 25/05/2011 3:28am is a better link. A few even run sound with on going commentary from their cars

Guest on 25/05/2011 4:41am

You’re right, a much better link!

BQ on 25/05/2011 10:52am

usually best to watch from about 11am onwards .. as it’s still daylight, and the afternoon heating/convergence fires the storms up in the midwest in their late afternoon.

The art of stormchasing has become so glorified and popular in the US that now chasers often report about congestion around supercells from all the chasers!

View more comments

Related Articles