The 2008 U.S. Tornado Year: An Early and Angry Start
Joseph Schaefer, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/NSSL/SPC, Norman, OK; and G. W. Carbin
On December 27, 2007, three tornadoes were reported in the Texas Panhandle. During the following six months, tornadoes occurred across the United States at a record pace. An outbreak of over 70 tornadoes occurred from January 7th to 10th. Tornadoes in this early winter outbreak occurred from Louisiana to Wisconsin! Starting on February 5th, “Super Tuesday”, while the presidential primary elections were underway, the thirteenth deadliest tornado outbreak since modern records began in 1950. Even though the storms were forecast nearly six days in advance, at least 57 fatalities were record before the Outbreak. As the late winter/early spring progressed, high impact tornadoes occurred in Atlanta, the Tidewater area of Virginia, and the old lead mining area of northeast Oklahoma. Parkersburg Iowa experienced an EF-5 tornado, and an EF3 tornado killed four scouts at a Boy Scout Camp in Western Iowa. This tornado was part of a mid-June Outbreak that stretched from Central Kansas to Southwestern Minnesota. A violent tornado crossed the campus of Kansas State University hitting a nuclear reactor and demolishing the Kansas Wind Erosion Laboratory. Fortunately, in mid-June the rate of tornado occurrence decreased to more normal levels. In total, 2008 will be a near record year for the number of tornadoes in the United States. Whether a new record is set will not be known until the final data is in after New Years Day 2009.
Session 3, High Impact US Weather Events
Tuesday, 13 January 2009, 3:30 PM-4:45 PM, Room 230
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