Sunday, May 06, 2007


Video of a Tornado from Ellis County, Oklahoma - May 4, 2007

The big news right now is the near-complete destruction of Greensburg, Kansas. Elsewhere in the southern Great Plains another outbreak is occurring. While nowhere near the destruction Catholicgauze is receiving a lightning show with periods of downpour.

The basic science and geography of tornadoes is excellently explained over at's Tornado page. Be sure to also check out information on the Fujita Scale.

In the United States most Tornadoes occur between the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains. The greatest concentration is in Tornado Alley (be sure to check out the maps over at Wikipedia's page for Tornado Alley and Tornadoes). While there is no official Tornado Alley, the Great Plains stretch from northern Texas to South Dakota is a good rule of thumb. Internationally Bangladesh, Europe, South Africa, Australia, and China are known for their moderate to severe tornadoes.

If one is in the area of severe weather with the possibility of tornadoes be sure to seek shelter in a basement or an interior room away from windows. If one is outside seek safety in a ditch. NEVER seek safety under an overpass. These areas will become wind tunnels and one risks being sucked in by sever gusts.

The U.S. Severe Weather Map at Weather Underground maps out all areas at risk of severe storms and tornadoes.


Catholicgauze said...

Update: Photo of the destruction at Greensburg are available to view.

cokaygne said...

There is a sort of mini tornado alley in central CT and MA. These New England tornadoes may not be as frequent as midwestern ones, but they can cause a lot of destruction because of southern New England's density of development.

Catholicgauze said...

Huh, I never new about the New England tornadoes. Geographer Mitchel Stimers made a tornado scale that measured tornadoes solely by damage and not wind speed. I wonder how the New England ones would compare to the average tornado in the Great Plains using that scale.