Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tornado Safety: Why It's Unwise to Wait Before Seeking Shelter...



A tornado struck the Myrtle Beach, SC area during the late afternoon hours of Saturday, June 29, 2013.  The above video was taken by resident Melissa Porshia and posted to You Tube.

If you look closely (and she points it out), you can see debris in the air around the circulation, but there is no visible funnel cloud present during this particular video segment.

A photo taken by Kathleen Winans shows the tornado from another vantage point, likely just after the above video had ended:


As you can see, by that time a "traditional" condensation funnel had become apparent, though it does not appear to extend all the way to the ground.

Fortunately this tornado was weak, with only EF-0 damage found - but don't let that mislead you.  I've seen cases where much stronger tornadoes caused damage with little or no visible funnel extending all the way to the ground at the time.

The point of this post is to illustrate that a condensation funnel does not need to be present in order for there to be a danger from a tornado.  The circulation is what counts - and there may not always be visible evidence of a funnel cloud.

Further proof that when a Tornado Warning is issued, you should seek shelter immediately!

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