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Blown away in Greensburg, USA: prediction and analysis of an EF-5 tornado


knocker
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  • Location: Camborne
  • Location: Camborne

    On 4 May 2007, little more than a couple of hours before midnight in Greensburg, Kansas, a large and devastating tornado struck this small town on the southern Low Plains of the USA (AP, 2007). It earned the highest tornado rating in the country in terms of damage intensity in more than eight years, joining the ranks of the deadly 3 May 1999 Moore, Oklahoma tornado. Additionally, meteorologists labeled it the first EF-5 tornado of a recently revised damage scale, the Enhanced Fujita (EF) Scale, implemented in February 2007 (TTU, 2006). One of a dozen tornadoes that formed between 0230 and 0630 UTC on 5 May, the deadly storm possessed more than enough strength to hurl sport utility vehicles through the darkness and into motel rooms, killing 10 people across the area in a matter of minutes (NWS, 2007).

     

    This article describes the meteorological set-up conducive to the Greensburg supercell thunderstorm, with its long-livedrotating updraft that cyclically produced strong and violent tornadoes. It illuminates the forecasting and warning processes, details the life and demise of the tornado, and includes appropriate satellite and radar images. It also discusses the ground survey of the tornado damage in Greensburg, augmented by revealing insights into this historic event. Additionally, it considers personal safety with respect to taking shelter in interior rooms, hallways, and basements during tornadoes to prevent injury and death. Lastly, it offers advice on readiness for such emergencies and the inclusion of mentally and physically challenged persons in protective action plans.

     

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wea.194/pdf

    Edited by knocker
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