Tornadoes Rampage Oklahoma

April 19, 2012 | Current Events, Natural Disasters

Oklahoma (Photo: cnn.com)

Tornadoes went on a rampage in the Midwest, particularly in Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa  and Nebraska for two consecutive days with Oklahoma as being the worst hit by the storm.  High winds toppled electricity lines, destroyed houses, rooted up trees, and caused widespread outages.

The outbreak which started Friday, April 13, 2012 spawned more than 120 tornadoes, most of them landed in the rural areas of Kansas and Oklahoma. Luckily,  the densely populated places in the U.S. Central and Southern plains, a.k.a. “Tornado Alley” were not hit.

Six people have been reported dead due to the storm and a number of houses were leveled into piles of rubble. Officials said that casualties would have been much greater had it not for the 24-hour advance “high-risk” warning issued by the National Weather Services Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma.

Woodward, Oklahoma has had the deadliest tornado every recorded in history which claimed 116 lives. Fortunately, it was not the case with the recent tornadoes due to early detection and extremely stern warnings issued by the weather service.

Despite the relatively small casualties, authorities warned that they cannot let their guard down. As Chris Vaccaro of National Weather Service said, this incident is just a “fraction of what’s to come.” It’s just the beginning of a major outbreak.

Citizens are advised to stay alert and not to be complacent with the storm warnings. They are also urged to have their radios and smart phones at all times.

Oklahoma – the Tornado State

The Midwest has been particularly known as being  tornado prone for the following reasons:

  • Oklahoma’s vast, plain, countryside landscape provides supercells enough room to generate powerful twisters.
  • F-4 and F-5 tornadoes are common in Oklahoma, which is why it has earned the reputation as a notorious tornado state.
  • Tornadoes form when there is a very sharp contrast between dry, cool air and hot, humid air followed by a twisting in the atmosphere due to the cold front.
  • Another factor that comes into play is Oklahoma’s moist air in agricultural lands from which tornadoes feed their parent thunderstorms.
  • Summer warming and the changing seasons make it a very suitable condition for these twisters. It usually happens during the tornado season from March to May.

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