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Archive for the ‘tornadoes’ 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. Tornado Update – April 29

Posted by feww on April 29, 2011

Deadliest Ever Tornadoes?

Confirmed Death Toll 302; Unconfirmed 318

The Late April Tornado Attack:  The worst U.S. natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina claimed an estimated 1,800 lives in 2005; current unconfirmed reports put this week’s toll from tornadoes and storms at at least 318.

Wednesday also turned out to be the deadliest day of tornadoes in the U.S. since April 3, 1974 when 310 people perished.

Confirmed Death Toll by State

Alabama: 198
Tennessee: 35
Mississippi: 32
Georgia: 16 (Ringgold has 7 tornado deaths: Bradley County 9)
Arkansas: 11
Virginia 8
Louisiana: 2
Total: 302
(as of posting)

Up to 2 thousand others have been injured in storm-related incidents.

The Dark Wednesday

The Dark Wednesday: SPC received 180 tornado reports and a 584 other severe weather reports.

Thursday reports, as of posting. Click image to enlarge.

The tornadoes and violent storms that ripped through 7 states left  “major, major” trails of destruction in their pathes.

Entire civic infrastructures were wiped out as tornadoes and storms leveled entire neighborhoods in various parts of the South, obliterating homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, churches…

There are no official reports of the dimension of destruction as yet; however, FIRE-EARTH estimates that up to 6 thousands structures may have been razed/damaged, with an estimated loss of about 10 billion dollars.

Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia have declared states of emergency.

Forecast: Large-scale Lightning Outbreaks

Unfortunately, the worst may NOT be over yet.  In addition to more tornadoes and violent storms this year and the next, FIRE-EARTH forecasts phenomenally large-scale outbreaks of potentially deadly lightning clusters throughout the United States.

Related Links

Global Disasters

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U.S. Weather: Flooding, Wildfires, Heavy Snow

Posted by feww on April 8, 2011

Severe weather for NE Kansas and NW Missouri today: NOAA

Flooding to increase in the Dakotas and Minnesota, southern Plains threatened by extreme fire weather conditions, as central Rockies continue to be buffeted by winter storms, NOAA forecasters say.

Click map to enter NWS portal.

Heavy Snow Forecast

“Scattered heavy snow is expected in parts of Montana, Idaho, Washington, California, Nevada and Colorado while light to moderates snow will be widespread in the Pacific Northwest and the Mountain West. Rain and thunderstorms are forecast for the central Plains, the Midwest and the Central Gulf states. With the exception of isolated rain and thunderstorms in Texas and southern Louisiana, the South will remain dry from southern Texas across Florida to the Eastern Seaboard.” NWS reported.

Alaska hit by a “dynamic and dangerous storm”

“Winds of 100 miles per hour roared through an Aleutian Island village on Thursday, ripping roofs off buildings, blowing out windows and causing structures to collapse,” local officials were reported as saying.

“The damage in False Pass, a tiny fishing village on Unimak Island, made it among the worst-hit parts of the state in a fierce winter storm that moved in from the Bering Sea.”

Twin Cities

“A strong weather system will organize on Saturday, bringing the first severe thunderstorm potential of 2011 to the area, especially late Saturday afternoon and night. The system will then track east on Sunday, still leading to thunderstorms …” NWS

Snow melts, river levels rise in the Upper Midwest

Melting snow and ice in Upper Midwest is inundating the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers.  National Weather Service (NWS) has issued flood warnings for communities along those rivers. NWS reported  major flooding along the Minnesota River at Montevideo, and along the Mississippi River at St. Paul, as well as warnings for moderate and minor flooding in the region. The above IR/visible light images were taken by MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite on April 6, 2011 (top), March 28, 2011 (middle), and February 28, 2011 (bottom). Source: NASA-EO

Related Links

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Mega Tornadoes to Bombard U-S Tornado Alley

Posted by feww on March 3, 2011

2011 Tornadoes Ever Deadlier: FEWW

Start of Meteorological Spring Signals Hyper Tornado Season

Based on several climatic indicators and recent weather trends, FIRE-EARTH forecasts a deadly peak tornado season in 2011.

“Tornado reports are already coming in,” says the National Weather Service forecast offices.

“Tornado Alley should be geared up. Typical peak tornado season runs from late winter through mid summer. The peak period for tornadoes in the southern plains runs from May to early June. On the Gulf coast, it is earlier during the spring. In the northern plains and upper Midwest, it is June or July. Remember, tornadoes can happen any time of year if the conditions are right.”

The Maximum Threat

The following map shows the time for maximum probability of significant tornadoes.

Time for maximum probability of significant tornadoes (F2 or greater). Source: Severe Thunderstorms Climatology

Time for maximum probability of tornadoes. Source: Severe Thunderstorms Climatology

  1. Tornado
  2. F2 or greater (significant) tornadoes
  3. Wind
  4. Hail

Monthly Probabilities

Any Tornado

Signif. Tornado (F2-F5)

Violent Tornado (F4-F5)

Java animation Java animation Java animation

Monthly frames

Monthly frames

Monthly frames

January January January
February February February
March March March
April April April
May May May
June June June
July July July
August August August
September September September
October October October
November November November
December December December

The probability of having one or more days with a tornado within 25 miles of a point sometime during a month. The base data for all tornadoes are the reports from 1980-1994 and for significant and violent tornadoes are the reports from 1921-1995. The values are probabilities in percent. Source: Severe Thunderstorms Climatology

F5 and EF5 Tornadoes of the United States: 1950-present

[Storm Prediction Center]

Click image to enlarge. Click here for details.

Tornado Stats:

  • Deadliest U.S. tornadoes: The “Tri-state” tornado of 18 March 1925 killed 695 people along a 219 mile track across Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, causing F5 damage. The 25 deadliest tornadoes on record are listed here.
  • The deadliest U.S. tornado days: On 3 April 1974, a “Super Outbreak” of tornadoes killed 308 people. Two lists of the top 15 deadliest tornado days since 1950 are posted here.
  • Biggest outbreak of tornadoes: Some 147 tornadoes touched down in 13 U.S. states on 3 and 4 April, 1974. See map here.
  • The biggest known tornado: “The Hallam, Nebraska F4 tornado of 22 May 2004 is the newest record-holder for peak width, at nearly two and a half miles, as surveyed by Brian Smith of NWS Omaha. This is probably close to the maximum size for tornadoes; but it is possible that larger, unrecorded ones have occurred. “
  • Single month with the most tornadoes: Tornado record was set in May 2003, with 543 tornadoes touchdowns confirmed . Previous record was 399, set in June 1992 (modern tornado records began in 1950).
  • The strongest tornado/ the highest wind speed in a tornado: Not Known! “Tornado wind speeds have only been directly recorded in the weaker ones, because strong and violent tornadoes destroy weather instruments. Mobile Doppler radars such as the OU Doppler on Wheels have remotely sensed tornado wind speeds above ground level as high as about 302 mph (on 3 May 1999 near Bridge Creek OK)–the highest winds ever found near earth’s surface by any means. [That tornado caused F5 damage.] But ground-level wind speeds in the most violent tornadoes have never been directly measured.”
  • The costliest tornado: The Topeka (KS) tornado of 8 Jun 1966 is believed to be the costliest. The tornado caused damage estimated at  $1,599,537,000 in 2007 dollars, after adjusting for inflation. “The Bridge Creek-Moore-Oklahoma City-Midwest City, OK, tornado of 3 May 1999 currently ranks first in actual dollars but third when inflation adjusted.  A list of  top-10 tornado damage in 2007 dollars is posted here. SOURCE: Storm Prediction Center

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Humongous Wind Storm Wreaks Havoc in the Midwest

Posted by feww on October 27, 2010

Massive Storm System Causes Substantial Damage in Parts of the U.S.

A massive wind storm, extending more than 2,000km (1,200 miles) north to south, pummeled the Midwest Tuesday, spawning tornadoes, causing widespread damage, and disrupting air travel throughout the region. Some 31 states were impacted by the storm system.

Click Image to enlarge. (24-Hr FE ED). Click HERE to Animate Image. (Source: SSEC/Wisc-Uni)

IR satellite image of the massive storm system heading north to Canada Tuesday after causing widespread damage in the midwest.Source: NOAA.

The system set a record low barometric pressure of 955.2mb in Minnesota, or the equivalent of cat. 3 hurricane [on land.]  The storm caused significant damage to buildings in Lincoln County, N.C., Racine, Wisconsin and Peotone, Illinois. Some structural damage in St. Louis, Missouri, were also reported.
At least 11 people were injured after a tornado swept through Lincoln County, N.C. causing extensive damage to homes and vehicles, reports say.

Click image to update.


Tornado watches extended from western New York through Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, as well for southern Ontario, Canada. At least 21 tornadoes were reported by Tuesday evening.

National Weather Service Warnings, Watches and Advisories

Click image to enter NOAA portal.

Related Links:

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Deadly Tornadoes Turn U.S. Midwest into ‘War Zone’

Posted by feww on June 7, 2010

Tornadoes and thunderstorms have killed at least seven people in U.S. Midwest, destroyed 50 homes, damaged many more and forced Fermi nuclear power plant to shut down

At least 7 people have been killed, more than a dozen injured, 50 houses destroyed and many more damaged in north-western Ohio, according to the officials.

US Weather forecast snapshot. Click image for an update.

The states of Illinois and Michigan have also been severely affected by the extreme weather, local reports say.

The Lake Township, one of the worst-hit areas was described as being “like a war zone,” by its Police Chief Mike Hammer [Mark Hummer.]


Fermi nuclear power plant, located on the shore of Lake Erie, Michigan, was forced to shut down after strong winds seriously damages one of the buildings.


The city of Streator in Illinois has been seriously damaged by high winds and thunderstorms. About 2 dozen [50] people were taken to hospital, and 30 buildings sustained “major structural damage,” the  Streator Mayor was reported as saying.

“I saw people coming out of their homes right after the tornado hit; a second story of a house was taken off,” an eye-witness said.

Eastern and
Midwest U.S. Satellite image. GOES East AVN COLOR IR CH4. CLICK HERE to UPDATE!

Goes North America Satellite image Snapshot. Click image to update.

Related Links:

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Deadly tornadoes Kill at least 3 in Arkansas

Posted by feww on May 1, 2010

Tornadoes rip through central Arkansas killing at least 3,  injuring 26 others and destroying homes: local authorities

Teams of rescuers are  searching for any resident who may be trapped under the rubble in a damaged home in Center Ridge, north of Little Rock, Arkansas, according to the State Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman.

She confirmed that at least 3 fatalities had occurred and a number of homes destroyed in Van Buren County.

Meanwhile, tornado sightings had been reported in Culpepper and in the Oakland area, near the Missouri border, Arkansas State Police said. Power lines were down along interstates in both counties, they said.

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Texas and Oklahoma on Fire

Posted by feww on April 11, 2009

Wildfires and tornadoes fueled by strong winds cause widespread destruction in the southern US.

A fraternal lodge in Mena, Ark., was in ruins yesterday after a tornado struck the town late Thursday. Storms also hit Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Alabama. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston via Boston Globe). Image may be subject to copyright.

A summary of events:

  • About a dozen people have been killed in Texas, Tennessee and Arkansas, with about 200 hundred others injured, a half of them seriously.
  • Several thousand people have been evacuated across the three states.
  • The storms destroyed or damaged nearly 200 homes and businesses in Arkansas, spanning over 12 counties.
  • Wildfires destroyed more than 180 homes in Oklahoma, injuring about 70 people and prompting the Oklahoma governor Brad Henry to declare a state of emergency in 32 counties.
  • A storm system moving across the area has caused power cuts, damage and widespread destruction throughout the southern and mid-western US.
  • Wildfires have scorched up to 100,ooo hectares of land. [About 95 percent of Texas is currently in some stage of drought. ]
  • On Thursday, wind speed reached a category 1 hurricane with peak speeds of about 120km/hr (74mph).
  • Texas wildfire burned down dozens of homes prompting  evacuation of several towns.
  • One of the fires in Oklahoma may have been started deliberately, officials said.

Flames illuminate a storage tank as a grass fire moves through Choctaw, Okla., Thursday, April 9, 2009. Fire crews in Oklahoma and Texas raced Thursday to control wind-whipped wildfires that destroyed dozens of homes, forced evacuations and shut down parts of a major highway. Photo: Sue Ogrocki /AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

These scenes are forecast to reoccur across the country throughout 2009.

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