Monday, May 20, 2013

Increase in tornadoes

After a rather quiet start to storm season, things have really ramped up in the last week through the central US. While listening to the initial reports from Moore, OK, it didn't sound like it would be as bad as May 3, 1999. While the wind speeds may not have been as strong as 1999, the number of fatalities have already surpassed the number from May 3.
Tornado track comparison

It is surprising to me to see how similar the tracks were from the big tornado 14 years ago to what happened this time around. I don't know what it is and we will probably never know, why some geographic locations are natural magnets for tornadoes. The same could be said about Clearwater, Haysville, and Andover. We saw a similar situation with the April 14, 2012 tornado and how it compared to the big Andover tornado in 1991.

We get asked time and time again about the confluence of two rivers and how that will save the town. I never want anyone to believe that is true, because it only takes one storm to prove that theory wrong, and it nearly happened Sunday. The storm took a right turn over Mid-Continent Airport and the circulation essentially went right over the city. If the tornado would've stayed on the ground, we would've had widespread damage right across the city and been in a similar situation to what Moore, OK is dealing with now.

My final thoughts moving toward the end of May and into early June. I think we are at the beginning of another active cycle of weather. Early May was a bit chilly, but fairly quiet around the central US. There will be more storm chances heading through the holiday weekend, so campers beware. We could also be looking at a more severe weather chances in our last week of May (sometime around May 30th) Tornado season may have started slow (most likely because of the slow departure of winter), but now that we've warmed up, our severe season could go a little longer than usual. The best thing, especially for this time of year, is to stay informed and know what's in the forecast.


Robbie Isbell said...

I have a question that I would like to ask you. Of all the pictures that you have shown on KWCH or on your blog, as the ones that I've seen, the path seems to start at the southwest and runs northwest. Is that the normal tornado path. If so, what cause this to happen?


Robbie Isbell

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm NOT taking severe storm precautions anymore, on or after the first of July.

Kent Daniels said...

I just know that the other night when the storm went over MidContinent and headed towards downtown, I made my family go to the basement for the first time in several years. It just "felt" bad.

Kimpossible said...

Thanks so much for the information Ross.

Nila Burch said...

Thanks Ross for the info and all that you folks do

Kathy Henderson said...

I want to commend the KWCH weather team and other staff members for last Saturday evening's coverage of the severe weather. We live in central Kansas and, as usual, you all did an outstanding job.

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