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22 Tornadoes!

Here is the article on how monstrous the Greensburg tornado really was.

Greensburg study finds that storm contained 22 tornadoes

By STAN FINGER
The Wichita Eagle

The first in-depth study of the Greensburg, Kan., tornado has uncovered new
details about one of the strongest and most dramatic tornado outbreaks ever
recorded.

“There are a lot of things in that storm that made me go, ‘Wow,’” said Les Lemon,
a co-author of the study and research associate meteorologist with the Cooperative
Institute in Mesoscale Meteorological Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

“Most meteorologists will see this kind of storm once in their lifetime.”

A large, long-lasting tornado 1.7 miles wide and measuring EF5 on the Enhanced
Fujita scale virtually wiped Greensburg from the map shortly before 10 p.m. on May 4,
2007. Eleven people were killed and more than 50 others were injured.

It was one of 22 tornadoes that touched down in southern and central Kansas from the
same thunderstorm complex on the night of May 4 and early morning of May 5.

That’s more tornadoes than initially thought, said Mike Umscheid, co-author of the
study and the meteorologist who issued the “tornado emergency” warning that night
for the Dodge City branch of the National Weather Service. A handful of small
satellite tornadoes rotating around larger twisters initially went unnoticed.

Four of the tornadoes, though, were especially large.

The Greensburg tornado registered at the top of the Fujita scale, with peak winds
estimated at more than 200 miles an hour based on damage in downtown Greensburg.

The tornado that struck Moore, Okla., and other suburbs of Oklahoma City on May 3,
1999, was labeled perhaps the strongest tornado ever recorded.

But research shows the Greensburg tornado had EF3 or stronger damage in a track at
least a mile wide — at least double the size of the Moore tornado.

“When you compare the two damage paths, there’s really not much comparison,”
Umscheid said.

After destroying 95 percent of Greensburg, the tornado continued north, then curled
left and looped back around, nearly striking the town a second time before lifting.

By then, a second monstrous tornado was on the ground a few miles to the northeast.
That second twister — eventually dubbed the Trousdale tornado — grew to more than two
miles in width and EF3 in strength.

Also, a third tornado touched down and marched north-northeast on a virtually parallel
path a few miles to the east. Called the Hopewell tornado, it grew to 1.3 miles in width
and EF3 in strength. The Trousdale and Hopewell tornadoes were on the ground at the same
time for nearly half an hour.

As the Hopewell tornado began to weaken, another large tornado touched down just to the
northeast and tracked northeast just east of Macksville.

The Greensburg and Trousdale tornadoes were so intense the weather service’s radar in
Dodge City detected vortex holes in them — something the radar had never done before,
Umscheid said.

A vortex hole “is what you would see in the eye of a hurricane,” except it’s in a
tornado, he said. They form when winds are rotating so rapidly they pull debris and even
large raindrops from the storm’s center.

The Trousdale tornado’s vortex hole was about two miles in diameter — or not much smaller
than the eye of Hurricane Charley, a Category 4 hurricane in 2004.

The outbreak featured something else researchers had never seen before: the mesocyclone —
or “mother ship” cloud from which tornadoes develop — was rotating as rapidly as the
tornadoes.

Typically, the mesocyclones rotate slowly. The Greensburg outbreak featured mesocyclones
rotating so rapidly it was hard to tell them apart from the actual tornadoes on radar,
the researchers said.

WOW! And those of you who may think that there is no climate change going on?

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No Responses to “22 Tornadoes!”

  1. Heath Says:

    Thanks. It was bad that it hit Greensburg, but think if it had hit a town like Wichita, OKC, KC or Dallas.

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Heath … Just too much! That storm was huge!

  3. wilson Says:

    Linda, I’m sure that it’s hard time to going through all this tornadoes. Hopefully, the number will be decreased in the upcoming years…

    wilsons last blog post..A More Natural and Healthier Way to Keep Fit!

  4. Linda Says:

    Hi Wilson … I am sorry to say that they will only increase with the climate changing. Just like hurricanes will increase.

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