3 March 2012
Marysville, Indiana destroyed by twister. Midwest death toll at 18 and climbing.
Posted by Dan Satterfield
Update Saturday 3 March: the death toll is now at 37 and never before have so many tornadoes been reported so early in March. Even though it is only the 3rd day of the month, it seems likely this will be record breaking March. The storm survey for Madison County Alabama is here. The NWS in Louisville is surveying the Indiana and KY paths and should have an update soon here.
The video below is a collection of several different tornadoes from AL to Indiana. As I type this, a tornado is indicated near Marietta GA.
Now, compare the number of tornado warnings at any one tie with the situation on April 27, 2011- during the mega outbreak. Daryl Herzmann (a meteorologist in Iowa) who put this together.
My daughter has a friend in Harvest, AL whose home was destroyed on April 27th. They rebuilt, and today it was destroyed again. She was not alone in that. Read this.
Without doubt large tornadoes tend to come through in similar tracks. It’s likely due to orographics, on a local and synoptic scale, that cause this. Even land use (forest or plowed field) likely is involved. The Harvest area was hit during the super outbreak in 1974, as well as the mega outbreak last April.
I had an Uncle try to tell me last year that tornadoes tend to follow similar tracks. He is my crazy uncle, so I dismissed it, but after googling it, it seems that there is some thought that this may be the case, as you seem to have hinted at here. I was wondering if you could talk about that idea, and whether it is just an old wives tale, or if there is solid science behind it. Also, how would “land use (forest or plowed field)” affect tornado track?
Dr. Mike Brown at Miss. State Univ. did his doctoral Thesis on it I think. He found a direct correlation with land use if memory serves. Will look it up and perhaps do a full post on this.
That would be awesome. A google search did not return the thesis, but if you find it and could post a link, that would be almost as fascinating to me as a post, as long as most of it is written in English. Sadly, while I find scientific discussions fascinating to watch, my degrees do not really help
me to understand when the conversations go too far into the weeds of the legalese of the scientific world.
Nice article Dan, very interesting. I would love to read a article on tornadoes following similar tracks and how often it happens, if it happens just during major outbreaks and how it relates to land. I have only been interested in severe weather for a few years but during that time I have been studying weather mainly the forecasting and nowcasting part. As I watch storms on Grlevel2 I notice tornado’s and/or tornado warned storms take a very similar path. We live a few miles above Ohatchee, Al which was hit hard April 27th. Tonight, although it did not touch down, a strong rotation came right over the same path not to mention a meso forming right in our back yard that never fully formed a few hours before that one.
If I understand correctly, correlation in time of day and number of active warnings on 3 different days. 6 PM peak,
25 / 45 active warnings 26/27 Apr, 25 /35 active warnings 2 Mar. Your other blog correlates similar paths across Alabama. Probably some bias in 6 PM. Chief Meterologists on duty for evening news, more public siting reports during commute time, but would not account for such drastic change. Total amount of sun and heat of day
peak in afternoon, so generates favorable conditions. Is this on or off base?
Had the fields in Mississippi been plowed On 2 March? Think they had 26 April. Is there ground cover Mississippi and Alabama farmers could plant down to reduce occurrences in early March, and in late April. We are getting torn to pieces Dan.
I have heard that tornadoes tend to hit near water. In Knoxville, TN the outbreak that happened on Friday, March 2, 2012, all the funnel clouds and tornadoes that touched down were near water.
Is this a coincidence or fact?