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Archive for the ‘Tornado Alley’ Category

Two tornadoes target Iowan town

Posted by feww on May 13, 2011

Town of Lenox Reports “Significant Damage”

Buildings leveled, roofs blown off and the debris covered the small town.

At least 35 blocks in the small Iowan town of Lenox (pop: 1,407) in Taylor County  received some damage, reports say.

Lenox, IA. EF1 tornado caused damage to homes. Source: NWS/Des Moines

The first tornado was an EF0 with a peak wind of about 80MPH (width of 0.3mile; path of 0.6mile) , and the second one an EF1, with more fierce winds of 105MPH (width of 0.3mile; path of 1.2mile) . There were NO fatalities or serious injuries reported, NWS said.

Taylor County was declared a disaster are after the two tornadoes struck, increasing the state’s 2011 tornado tally to 30.

Severe whether continued in Iowa Thursday night, with  3-in diameter hail attacking  western Iowa counties of Monona and Woodbury, a report said.

Image above shows the severe thunderstorm that spawned the EF0 tornado near Sharpsburg in northeastern Taylor County, Iowa at 4:22 pm on May 11. “Note the hook right over Sharpsburg.” Source NWS. Click images to enlarge.

This image shows the severe thunderstorm that spawned the EF1 tornado in western parts of Lenox, IA at 4:51 p.m.

The Enhanced Fujita Tornado Scale – Quick Chart

EF0: 65 TO 85 MPH
EF1: 86 TO 110 MPH
EF2: 111 TO 135 MPH
EF3: 136 TO 165 MPH
EF4: 166 TO 200 MPH
EF5: Wind speeds greater than 200 MPH

The damage contour map and details of the Lenox tornadoes are posted HERE.

Related Links

2011 Disasters

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U-S Tornadoes: Pray for the Dead

Posted by feww on April 30, 2011

Governor Bentley Declares Sunday as a Day of Prayer for the Dead

Governor Robert Bentley signed a proclamation late yesterday calling for a statewide “Day of Prayer” on Sunday, May 1 to remember those who lost their lives in Wednesday’s storms.

“I am asking all people of faith in our state to set aside Sunday as a Day of Prayer in memory of our family, friends, and neighbors who were taken from us in this shared tragedy,” Governor Bentley said.  “It is appropriate that we pray for those we lost, for those who loved them, and for those still suffering.  We all need divine guidance and providence in the days ahead as we seek not only to rebuild, but to heal.”

Bentley has also issued a directive for flags on all state government buildings to fly half-staff until Monday, May 2 at 8:00 a.m.

Tornado and Storm Death Toll in Alabama

At least 238 people lost their lives with more than 1,700 others injured.

Tornado and Storm Death Toll across Southern US

At least 346  deaths have so far been reported across southern United States, including 108 fatalities in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.

In Tuscaloosa the death toll has reached 42, but cadaver dogs are brought in to search for more bodies, a report said.

The death toll across the region is expected to rise.

The Dark Wednesday: SPC received 211 tornado reports among a total of 806 severe weather reports.

Tuesday April 26 tornado and severe weather reports

Other Damage

  • Tornadoes and storms have destroyed/damaged at least 10,000 buildings across the devastated areas.
  • An estimated 25,000 people are left homeless.
  • The tornadoes have paralyzed Alabama’s poultry industry, America’s  3rd largest chicken producer.
  • A number of other industries have been severely affected as a result of Wednesday’s tornadoes.

Mega Tornadoes

The National Weather Service said the twister that touched down at Smithville in Monroe County, Mississippi on Wednesday was an EF-5 (F5) tornado, with top winds of 205MPH.

Super-cell T-storms

“These were the most intense super-cell thunderstorms that I think anybody who was out there forecasting has ever seen,” Greg Carbin of the SPC in Oklahoma told the AP.

The twister that destroyed large parts of Tuscaloosa, is also believed to have been an EF-5 tornado [See below for Fujita Pearson Tornado Scale.]

“We have neighborhoods that have been basically removed from the map,” Tuscaloosa mayor Walter Maddox said, describing the damage as a path of ”utter destruction.”

Another large twister, possibly an EF-4 tornado, reportedly destroyed about 90% of the town Hackleburg, in Alabama’s Marion County.

The National Weather Service has confirmed an EF-4 tornado touched down in the Tennessee Valley, a report said.

States of Emergency

Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia have declared states of emergency.

Storm Shuts Down 3  TVA Nuclear Reactors at Browns Ferry in Alabama

The 3 reactors at TVA’s 3,297-megawatt Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama, the second largest in the US,  switched over to emergency diesel generators to supply power for the reactors cooling system at 5:30 EDT (22:30 UTC) after storms knocked out  transmission lines that supplied power, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Agency said. More…

The tornadoes and violent storms left about a million homes and business without power, mostly in northern Alabama and Mississippi, a report said.

“Roughly 70 high powered transmission lines remain out of service, with some creating dangerous situations because they’ve fallen across roads.”

Browns Ferry nuclear plant won’t restart so long as so much of the grid is down, TVA chief of operations was quoted as saying.

“When the system is ready for the plant, we can begin the process of restarting it. But we have to get the transmission system ready.”

On April 20, a tornado reportedly damaged the switchyard at Dominion’s Surry Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) forcing both aging reactor units to shut down.

Related Links

Global Disasters

Fujita Pearson Tornado Scale

F-0  [39%]
40-72 mph, chimney damage, tree branches broken

F-1 [35%]
73-112 mph, mobile homes pushed off foundation or overturned

F-2 [20%]
113-157 mph, considerable damage, mobile homes demolished, trees uprooted

F-3  [5%]
158-205 mph, roofs and walls torn down, trains overturned, cars thrown

F-4 [0.9%]
207-260 mph, well-constructed walls leveled

F-5 [<0.1%]
261-318 mph, homes lifted off foundation and carried considerable distances, autos thrown as far as 100 meters

Source: US gov. [Figures in brackets represent long-term relative frequencies—revised by FIRE-EARTH]

F5 and EF5 Tornadoes of the United States – [1950-present]

This is a map and list of tornadoes since 1950 which the National Weather Service has rated F5 (before 2007) or EF5 (equivalent, 2007 onward, the most intense damage category on the Fujita and Enhanced Fujita damage scales. The tornadoes are numbered in the order they happened since 1950; so the numbers run from the bottom up. NOTE: Since the (E)F-scale is a subjective damage assessment tool, official NWS ratings (as logged in Storm Data and in the NSSFC/SPC database) may differ on occasion from those of other tornado databases, such as those of the Tornado Project or University of Chicago. [Mirrored from Storm Prediction Center]

NUMBER	DATE                    LOCATION
======	=====================   =================

53	April 27, 2011		Smithville MS
52	May 25, 2008		Parkersburg IA
51      May 4, 2007             Greensburg KS
50	May 3, 1999             Bridge Creek/Moore OK
49	April 16, 1998          Waynesboro TN
48	April 8, 1998           Pleasant Grove AL
47	May 27, 1997            Jarrell TX
46	July 18, 1996           Oakfield WI
45	June 16, 1992           Chandler MN
44	April 26, 1991          Andover KS
43	August 28, 1990         Plainfield IL
42	March 13, 1990          Goessel KS
41	March 13, 1990          Hesston KS
40	May 31, 1985            Niles OH
39	June 7, 1984            Barneveld WI
38	April 2, 1982           Broken Bow OK
37	April 4, 1977           Birmingham AL
36	June 13, 1976           Jordan IA
35	April 19, 1976          Brownwood TX
34	March 26, 1976          Spiro OK
33	April 3, 1974           Guin AL (#101)
32	April 3, 1974           Tanner AL (#98)
31	April 3, 1974           Mt. Hope AL (#96)
30	April 3, 1974           Sayler Park OH (#43)
29	April 3, 1974           Brandenburg KY (# 47)
28	April 3, 1974           Xenia OH  (# 37)
27	April 3, 1974           Daisy Hill IN  (# 40)
26	May 6, 1973             Valley Mills TX
25	February 21, 1971       Delhi LA
24	May 11, 1970            Lubbock TX
23	June 13, 1968           Tracy MN
22	May 15, 1968            Maynard IA
21	May 15, 1968            Charles City IA
20	April 23, 1968          Gallipolis OH
19	October 14, 1966        Belmond IA
18	June 8, 1966            Topeka KS
17	March 3, 1966           Jackson MS
16	May 8, 1965             Gregory SD
15	May 5, 1964             Bradshaw NE
14	April 3, 1964           Wichita Falls TX
13	May 5, 1960             Prague OK
12	June 4, 1958            Menomonie WI
11	December 18, 1957       Murphysboro IL
10	June 20, 1957           Fargo ND
9	May 20, 1957            Ruskin Heights MO
8	April 3, 1956           Grand Rapids MI
7	May 25, 1955            Udall KS
6	May 25, 1955            Blackwell OK
5	December 5, 1953        Vicksburg MS
4	June 27, 1953           Adair IA
3	June 8, 1953            Flint MI
2	May 29, 1953            Ft. Rice ND
1	May 11, 1953            Waco TX


[Mirrored from Storm Prediction Center]

*** IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT ENHANCED F-SCALE WINDS: The Enhanced F-scale still is a set of wind estimates (not measurements) based on damage. Its uses three-second gusts estimated at the point of damage based on a judgment of 8 levels of damage to the 28 indicators listed HERE. These estimates vary with height and exposure. Important: The 3 second gust is not the same wind as in standard surface observations. Standard measurements are taken by weather stations in open exposures, using a directly measured, “one minute mile” speed.

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Tornadoes, storms tear across Midwest and South

Posted by feww on April 21, 2011

34 tornadoes rip through vast area from Oklahoma to Ohio

SPC received reports of 34 tornado sightings, 541 storms including 20 with winds of greater than 65 knots (120+km/h), and 355 hail reports, including 20 reports of the stones measuring 2+inches (5+cm) in diameter between Tuesday evening and Wednesday Morning.

Fatalities: None reported as of posting
About 2 dozen homes destroyed in Mid and W. Tennessee (NO reported touchdowns as of posting)
Power Outages:
Storms knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses across Tennessee.
7 to nearly 10 inches for in parts of southeast Minnesota, Green Bay, Wisconsin, and various areas in Michigan

See inset for dates.

Tornado reports (April 19) 

Illinois – 14, Missouri – 11, Ohio – 4, Arkansas – 3, Kentucky – 1, and Oklahoma – 1 (Source: SPC)

April 20 Storm Reports

Brief tornado touchdown was reported along I-10 at Mile Marker 449, Kimble County, Texas late last night. Click image to enlarge.

Tornado touchdown in Bowling Green, Missouri April 19, 2011. Frame grab from a video clip posted HERE.

Weather Forecast for Wednesday Evening/ Thursday

Possible severe storms across “parts of the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Southern Plains, the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic” starting Wednesday evening, with large hail, heavy rains and 60MPH winds forecast for the areas.

“… areas of the South and East, the south-central Plains and the Midwest at Slight Risk of severe weather development through the rest of the week.” NWS reported.

Tornado Toll in North Carolina

The toll for last weekend’s tornado and storm assaults on NC was

  • Deaths: 24
  • Injuries: 133 
  • Homes destroyed: 439 
  • Homes with significant damage: ~ 6,200
  • Businesses destroyed: 21
  • Businesses damaged: 92
  • Source: NC Gov Perdue

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