Various Severe/Tornado Event Questions

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Cyclenall
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Various Severe/Tornado Event Questions

#1 Postby Cyclenall » Fri May 24, 2013 9:36 pm

Because I have so many questions in general about severe and tornado events, I'm just going to put most of them in this thread instead of making a bunch of them. Let's see if anyone knows the answers to these:

1. What was the worst fall tornado outbreak in the US recorded? (# of tornadoes, strength of them, damage, and deaths in consideration)

2. What major tornado outbreak did not feature a squall line or linear convective system afterwards?

3. During the May–June 1917 tornado outbreak sequence, there was a tornado report description that in the W of Blackhawk to S of Clay City IN tornado, the funnel that wiped out a large house later turned into a downburst near Clay City. How is this possible? Its likely it means the storm itself turned into a damaging straight-line wind system, possibly still being a supercell at the time. I can't see a tornado or funnel just magically turning into a downburst.

4. Where can I find photos taken (or video) of tornadoes that have occurred in the morning between 5:30 am to 9:00 am? I don't recall ever seeing any.

5. Largest sized High Risk area issued by the SPC based mostly or solely on tornado potential. I know that May 30, 2004 at 2000 UTC has officially the largest area covered but that was based more on wind and hail (it was 35% tor probs but I'm thinking more like 40%+). That outlook was also a revision to eariler ones, what about largest original outlook? I think it might be April 14, 2012.

6. A List of the Top 10 strongest tornadoes worldwide (or US)?

7. Fastest moving tornado and the exact supercell that was documented as moving 130 mph that I once read about. El Reno Tornado inspired.

8. Why do powerful tornadoes cycle at all if the environment is insanely perfect...what's the problem? I don't remember tornadoes on April 27, 2011 cycling.
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#2 Postby brunota2003 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:07 am

For #8, I can't give an exact answer, but will try to answer as far as I understand.

A tornado forms on the cusp of where updraft air and downdraft air meets. While conditions may be insanely good, they will never be perfect (one condition may be less than another, even if only by a hair). This imbalance eventually ends up playing itself out in the storm scale scheme of things, and throws a wretch into the whole system. This can be the updraft weakens some or the downdraft intensifies some, causing the rain cooled air to "outrun" the storm. So instead of the storm pulling in this perfect mix of rain cooled air and super unstable air, it starts pulling in more and more rain cooled air. While it seems, at least to me, this initial "gasp" may be good for a tornado (look at the ones that rapidly intensified just as they started occluding, definitely interesting), in the end it ends up killing the tornado and weakening the rotation of the storm. This allows the rotation to refocus itself in a more favorable spot, restrengthen, and drop another tornado.

Am I right? Probably not, it is 4 am, so :lol:
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#3 Postby Cyclenall » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:53 pm

I haven't heard that explanation before but it sounds like that could be it, basically it comes down to random chance at how long a tornado lasts.
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#4 Postby brunota2003 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:32 am

Eventually the tornado will die, the question is how long can the storm keep everything "perfect". You can only juggle so many balls for so long. I'm sure there is a LOT of meteorological details involved (including a bunch we don't know or fully comprehend), but I wouldn't be the one to be able to answer that.

Another thing you have to look at is, do changes in topography (ie hills, buildings, or even cars/people etc) play any effect? You would think no, but if someone believes in the butterfly effect, a small change now could lead to big changes later in something as small as storm scale.
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