Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Danger of Rain-Wrapped Tornadoes

Like a King Cobra waiting in the bushes, a rain-wrapped tornado can strike without people realizing the danger. Never go outside to look for a tornado. 

Today is the one-year anniversary of the Lawrence-Linwood  (Kansas) Tornado which Kathleen and I
chased from its inception. We saw the funnel cloud when the tornado first formed. However, the rain (background, lower left) quickly wrapped around the funnel/tornado and it became invisible.

Here is what it looked like when the tornado was just southeast of Lawrence. It was just a mass of rain.
Far too dangerous a chase environment for my blood.

However, there are those who chase in these situations and I want to use this video to illustrate the extreme danger to the public of rain-wrapped tornadoes. You can't see them. 
Even though the tornado was right in front of them, some of the passengers evidently didn't recognize it.

That's why going outside to see or watch a tornado during a tornado warning is a bad idea. One of the reasons so many died in Joplin was because they literally could not see the tornado coming.

For those who would like to learn more about this violent tornado, the National Weather Service in Topeka has put together an extraordinary piece on the storm.

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