There’s no doubt that yesterday’s tornado that struck the town of Moore, Oklahoma was a devastating event.
The tornado’s damage path is around seventeen miles long and about a mile wide. Entire neighborhoods have been erased from the map. Two schools were heavily damaged from the storm. Hundreds of cars were tossed aside like toys. Around 20,000 families have been displaced because of the tornado’s incredible path of destruction.
Sadly, 237 people were injured from the storm, and as of the last official statement, 24 people were killed. Last night the death toll was 51 people, but that number was lowered this morning by the office of the medical examiner. The excuse for having an incorrect death count was that apparently many of the victims were counted twice.
The National Weather Service is still examining the wreckage and making a decision about the true power of the storm. We know that the tornado was at least a strong EF-4 tornado, but latest reports claim that destruction has been found that equals the incredible power of an EF-5, the strongest class of tornadoes. Word has it the tornado had a peak wind speed of a whopping 210 mph.
In reality, the ultimate strength of the May 20, 2013 tornado that struck Moore, OK is meaningless. It’s just a statistic for the record books. The reality is that this was a monster storm that nearly wiped out an entire town. The incredible amount of damage stretches for miles and miles in that section of the greater Oklahoma City metro area.
For the residents of Moore, OK, tornadoes are just a part of life. The town is located in the heart of Tornado Alley, and it’s been struck by deadly tornadoes at least five times since 1998. Until yesterday, the most destructive tornado to hit the city was an F5 tornado on May 3, 1999. That storm had the strongest tornado winds ever recorded and was responsible for the deaths of thirty-six people.
VIDEOS OF THE MAY 20, 2013 MOORE, OKLAHOMA TORNADO:
time-lapse video of the tornado recorded from a news helicopter
tornado footage recorded from outside of town
Earlier today on January 30, 2013, northern Georgia experienced an intense squall line associated with a strong cold front sweeping through the Great Plains, upper midwest and southern part of the country.
The region had been experiencing unseasonably warm weather for the past couple of days, and the Atlanta area flirted near 70 degrees Fahrenheit before today’s storms arrived. Considering that it’s the end of January, that kind of a high temperature is quite impressive. It also tells you that something big with the weather is about to occur. You don’t reach high temperatures like that in the winter without “paying” for it. As of right now the storms have passed and we’re dropped twenty degrees in temperature with our low tonight expected to be around freezing. In other words, we went from an early spring back to winter in the course of a few hours.
WSB-TV news footage of the Adairsville, Georgia, tornado
The deadliest part of today’s weather occurred when an estimated EF-2 or possibly EF-3 tornado ripped through the Adairsville, Georgia, area, destroying parts of the town and shutting down interstate 75 for a brief period of time. One person was killed and fourteen others were injured. About 100 cars have been reported to have been tossed around and flipped over by the tornado.
Just north of Adairsville, the outskirts of Calhoun, Georgia, was also hit by a tornado. Eight people were reported to have been injured and local damage includes homes and poultry farm buildings.
As an avid storm watcher, it’s interesting watching the formation and progress of these supercell thunderstorms and how many of the thunderstorm cells tend to hit the same areas of town. Keep in mind what I’m about to discuss is just a theory based on general observations made over the past few years. I don’t have solid facts in front of me right now. Read more…
On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy came ashore near Atlantic City, New Jersey as a Category 1 hurricane.
Although the hurricane wasn’t packing very strong winds (at least, compared to what hurricanes could really do), the primary destruction from the cyclone was from the incredible storm surge. Unfortunately for the coastal residents and businesses stretching from Delaware to Connecticut, Hurricane Sandy came ashore at night during high tide, adding that much more water flooding the region.
Hurricane Sandy approaching New Jersey.
Another factor with Hurricane Sandy and its total area of destruction was a result of the storm’s massive size. As the storm closed in on the northeast coast, Hurricane Sandy had a diameter of about a thousand nautical miles. It wasn’t just a small area that felt the effects of the storm — it was the entire region of the northeast.
Hurricane Sandy making landfall in New Jersey.
Fortunately, residents had plenty of warning about the approaching storm. The computer models were fairly accurate several days in advance of the storm making landfall in New Jersey, giving people plenty of time to leave the area. Many of those who left the area would be completely shocked at the amount of destruction when they return home. Read more…
Hurricane Isaac made landfall last night on southeastern Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane with winds gusting to 85 mph.
Ordinarily, a hurricane this weak wouldn’t draw the attention that this current storm is receiving. The problem with Hurricane Isaac is where it made landfall and where the brunt of the wind, rain and storm surge is going. And that direction is the Mississippi Gulf Coast along with New Orleans, Louisiana.
As we learned in school, hurricanes rotate counter-clockwise around the center of the storm, also known as its “eye.” When you factor in the cyclone’s forward motion, the most intense part of the storm is the upper-right quadrant. The winds are often slightly higher in this quadrant, and they increase in speed the closer you are to the eye of the storm. Read more…
It’s been almost 48 hours since our last update, and Tropical Storm Isaac has finally strengthened enough to reach hurricane status.
Hurricane Isaac’s projected path has finally narrowed and there’s little discrepancy amongst the computer models. Yes, folks, Hurricane Isaac is taking aim at New Orleans, Louisiana. The city is once again being targeted by a tropical cyclone. At least this time the damage should be significantly smaller than when Hurricane Katrina struck the city back in 2005.
The latest advisory by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, places Hurricane Isaac about 55 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and roughly 135 miles southeast of New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Isaac has winds measured at 75 mph, just strong enough to classify the tropical cyclone as a hurricane. Hurricane Isaac is currently tracking to the northwest at around 10 mph, though there was some reported wobble to the hurricane’s path. Read more…
We’re now a couple of days later, and Tropical Storm Isaac is bearing down on the Florida Keys.
Over the past 48 hours, Tropical Storm Isaac has drenched Haiti along with parts of the Dominican Republic and the southern Bahamas, causing some damage along with mudslides from the torrential rains. The tropical cyclone then passed close to Cuba and moved along the northern coast of the island nation, staying over the water most of the time.
Despite all of its time over warm water, Tropical Storm Isaac has only strengthened a little since we last examined the storm two days ago. The latest advisory by the National Hurricane Center of Miami, Florida, lists the storm’s maximum sustained winds to be only around 60 mph. Remember that a tropical cyclone needs to have winds of at least 74 mph to reach the strength of a hurricane.
As of an hour ago, Tropical Storm Isaac was about 50 miles to the south-southeast of Key West, Florida. The storm’s maximum sustained winds were still only about 60 mph. Right now Tropical Storm Isaac is tracking to the north-northwest at 18 mph. Read more…
Tropical Storm Isaac has continued with its westward movement through the northern Caribbean Sea. Impact on the western part of Hispaniola seems imminent.
The latest advisory by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, places Tropical Storm Isaac about 145 miles to the south-southeast of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The storm has shifted slightly to the north and is tracking now to the west-northwest at 18 mph. The storm’s maximum sustained winds are still only around 45 mph, keeping Isaac a relatively weak tropical storm.
The official forecast by the NHC has shifted Tropical Storm Isaac’s official path more to the west, putting it possibly in line with Mobile, Alabama and Biloxi, Mississippi. The storm may pass over the Florida Keys, but right now it looks like the Florida peninsula may not be affected by the storm. The Florida panhandle, on the other hand, is a different story. Read more…
It’s been twenty-four hours since the last update, and Tropical Storm Isaac has now crossed the northern Lesser Antilles and entered the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea.
According to the latest advisory by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, Tropical Storm Isaac is about 270 miles southeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The tropical cyclone is currently tracking to the west at 20 mph. Right now Tropical Storm Isaac still has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, keeping it at the lower end of the 39-73 mph wind speed requirement for classification as a tropical storm.
The official forecast is still keeping Florida in the sights of Tropical Storm Isaac. The forecast has shifted slightly to the west and now places the tropical cyclone possibly striking the Gulf Coast of Florida. The timing with this storm is rather interesting as this Monday starts the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Read more…
It’s been about two weeks since we were last discussing tropical storms and the potential for another hurricane in the 2012 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season.
The last couple of storms sort of fizzled out and posed no threat whatsoever to the continental U.S. This latest storm, Tropical Storm Isaac, looks like it could be rather interesting for residents in Florida and the southeastern United States.
Tropical Storm Isaac recently strengthened from a tropical depression into a tropical storm.
The latest public advisory from the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, places Tropical Storm Isaac in the Atlantic Ocean about 390 miles east of the island of Guadeloupe. The tropical storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, and it’s currently tracking to the west at 18 mph.
Computer models are predicting a decrease in the wind shear currently affecting the tropical storm, thus allowing the storm to increase to a hurricane within the next couple of days. With this forecast in mind, hurricane watches are already in effect for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Read more…
Twenty-four hours later and it appears more and more likely that Tropical Storm Ernesto is taking the southern route through the western half of the Caribbean Sea. Right now the computer models are placing the tropical storm’s path on a direct path towards Belize and southern Mexico.
One of the interesting things about Tropical Storm Ernesto is that the storm has not really strengthened since it officially became a tropical storm a few days ago. In fact, despite being in warm and calm waters, the storm is actually less organized now than it was the other day.
Right now Tropical Storm Ernesto is about 205 miles south-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica, and about 355 miles east of the Nicaragua/Honduras border in Central America. The storm still has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph with gusts up to 65 mph, keeping it a solid tropical storm. Its movement is currently to the west at a quick pace of 23 mph. Read more…