Recap: October Tornadoes Hammer Northeast Nebraska, Northwest Iowa By Jon Erdman Published: Oct 7, 2013, 9:45 AM EDT weather.comTornado Outbreak in October
Animation of radar with preliminary tornado reports (red tornado symbols) during the evening of Oct. 4, 2013 in northeast Nebraska and northwest Iowa.ENLARGE THIS LOOPThe first supercell spawned its first tornado, a brief „rope” near Stanton, Neb. around 4:30 p.m. CT. Just one hour later, that supercell spawned another tornado which produced significant damage on the east side of Wayne, Neb. Fifteen were injured in initial reports. This tornado also destroyed a farm house and an airport near the town.Less than half an hour later, a multi-vortex tornado was spotted in neighboring Dixon County, Neb. to the northeast of Wayne from that same supercell. The tornado, at the time, was estimated to be a half-mile wide.After damaging at least one home near North Sioux City, S.D., this supercell crossed into Plymouth County, Iowa, with at least one report of a one-half to one-mile wide tornado west of Hinton, Iowa.
- Time from first to last tornado report: 2 hours, 49 minutes
- Distance supercell traveled while producing tornadoes: About 75 miles
- Tornadoes (& ratings) from this supercell: Preliminary EF4 in Wayne, Neb., based on damage to the industrial park. Two EF1s (100-110 mph winds) near Jefferson, S.D. Another EF1 (100-110 mph winds) near McCook Lake, S.D. (more to come as surveys continue)
- Supercell #2: Macy, Neb., Woodbury and Cherokee Counties, IowaNine minutes after the first supercell spawned tornado hammered parts of Wayne, Neb., a second supercell began its two-hour rampage.
- After spawning a brief tornado near Lyons, Neb., it then swept into the town of Macy, Neb., destroying at least four homes and damaging 12 others.Crossing the Missouri River, the tornado in Woodbury County, Iowa was observed to be one-mile wide near Sloan, and east of Moville, Iowa, with damage reported in both locations.
Continuing northeast into Cherokee County, major damage was reported in the town of Quimby.Time from first to last tornado report: 2 hours, 1 minute ;Distance supercell traveled while producing tornadoes: About 70 miles ;Tornadoes (& ratings) from this supercell: To be determined (damage surveys ongoing)A Close Call Play VideoTornadoes Spare Sioux City While recognizing the damage these tornadic supercells were responsible for, we should point out a close call.Sioux City, Iowa, with a 2010 population of about 82,000, is the most populous city in the area affected.The twin supercells on Oct. 4, 2013, one spawning a multi-vortex tornado, the other a mile-wide tornado, thankfully missed the city to the north and south.
Unusual for October?Of course, the very nature of averages smooths out anomalous, extreme events. Any time warm, humid air near the surface clashes with cool, dry air aloft — especially when sufficiently strong wind shear is present, particularly in the lowest levels of the atmosphere — tornadic supercells can result.While certainly not unprecedented, October tornadoes in this part of the nation are relatively infrequent.Average October tornado threat in the U.S. (Source: Dr. Greg Forbes)MONTHLY TORNADO RISK These are the first October tornadoes in Nebraska since 2001 and in Iowa since 2007.Prior to this event, there had been 62 October tornadoes in Nebraska and 13 in Iowa since 1980.The Hawkeye State had been in a relative tornado drought during the past few years.According to the National Weather Service Office in Des Moines, Iowa set a modern-era record low tornado count in 2012, with only 16 tornadoes statewide.This year hasn’t been much more active, thankfully, with only 15 Iowa tornadoes, prior to the Oct. 4 event. Those 15 tornadoes were also contained within a 38-day period from May 19 through June 26, the shortest such period on record prior to the Oct. 4 tornadoes, according to NWS-Des Moines.The intensity of the Wayne EF4 tornado is also unusual. Severe weather expert Dr. Greg Forbes says it was only the sixth violent October tornado – a tornado rated 4 or 5 on the original or enhanced Fujita Scale – nationwide since reliable tornado records began in 1950.
MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Nebraska/Iowa Tornado Damage Photos
Antarctica’s Scars Hold Clues to Hidden Water By Becky Oskin, LiveScience Published: Oct 7, 2013, 10:38 AM EDT From our partners By Becky Oskin, LiveScience Published: Oct 7, 2013, 10:38 AM EDT From our partners
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MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Spectacular Photos from Antarctica
Could Lightning Charge Your Cellphone?By Sean Breslin Published: Oct 7, 2013, 10:36 AM EDT weather.com
Tornadoes in October, November: Fall Considered Second Severe Season By Becky Kellogg Published: Oct 7, 2013, 9:39 AM EDT weather.com1 / 6
10 Breathtaking Cliffs of the World (PHOTOS) By Stephanie Valera weather.comWhite Cliffs of Dover, EnglandNext
Featuring stunning, sheer drops and scenic (sometimes vertigo-inducing) views, cliffs are some of Mother Nature’s best work. Some of the rock formations on this list feature thriving villages or tourist destinations on their peaks while others serve as remote getaways. All of them are geological wonders, spectacularly carved by time and weather, and worthy of exploration.The White Cliffs of Dover are one of England’s most iconic landmarks, its sheer cliffs standing guard over the country’s southeast coast, facing France and the European continent. The white cliffs are made from chalk, a soft white, very finely grained pure limestone, and are up to 1,312-ft deep, according to the National Trust. The chalk layers built up gradually over millions of years, and stayed white because they are allowed to erode naturally. The cliffs have also been witness to some of England’s most important moments in history. There are slit trenches, dug across the cliffs in WWII to provide protection for soldiers during bombing or attack by enemy aircraft, states the National Trust website.The majestic cliffs, however, are also vulnerable to the effects of weather. In 2012, a large section of the white cliffs collapsed into the English Channel, BBC News reported. It is thought freezing conditions over the winter may have weakened the cliffs.NEXT: Ireland’s most visited natural attraction
By Stephanie Valera weather.com
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland1 / 8
By Stephanie Valera weather.com
Preikestolen, Norway 1 / 11
Afraid of heights? You may want to avoid Norway’s most visited natural attraction, Preikestolen (or „Pulpit’s Rock”), which towers a vertiginous 1,982 feet above Lysefjorden, opposite the Kjerag plateau, in Forsand, Ryfylke, Norway. It is particularly known for its flat mountain plateau (approximately 82 by 82 feet), which was most likely formed with the melting frost 10,000 years ago, according to VisitNorway.com. To this day, no safety railing has been constructed on the edge of the cliff so as not to harm the natural beauty of the site.Legends also surround this spectacular cliff. There is a crack between the plateau of Preikestolen and the mountain, and it is said that on the day seven sisters marry seven brothers from the Lysefjord area, the plateau will tear itself away from the mountain and fall into the fjord, creating a huge wave that will destroy all life in the surrounding area. The walk to Preikestolen is very steep in places. The path starts at an elevation of approximately 886 feet above sea level, and climbs to 1,982 feet. Visitors can expect to spend 4-5 hours hiking, according to VisitNorway.com.NEXT: These cliffs have inspired artists
By Stephanie Valera weather.com
Cliffs of Étretat, France
Winter Storm Atlas: Snowmelt Turns South Dakota Into Soggy Mess Published: Oct 7, 2013, 7:30 AM EDT Associated Press
Typhoon Fitow Hits Asia with Strong Winds, Rain
Published: Oct 7, 2013, 7:15 AM EDT Associated Press1 / 11Huge wave hits the dike as Typhoon Fitow moves to make its landfall in Wenling, east China’s Zhejiang province on October 6, 2013. China was on its highest alert for Typhoon Fitow on October 6. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
BEIJING — A typhoon slammed into southeastern China on Monday with powerful winds and heavy rains that killed two people, cut power, canceled flights and suspended train services.Typhoon Fitow struck Fuding city of Fujian province with winds of up to 151 kilometers (94 miles) an hour in the early morning hours, then slowed before weakening to a tropical storm, the National Meteorological Center said.(MORE: Tropical Update)More than half a million people had been evacuated and fishing boats were called back to shore while authorities issued a red alert — the highest warning — on Sunday as the typhoon approached.The provincial flood relief agency in Zhejiang, which neighbors Fujian, said 574,000 people had been evacuated by Sunday evening and 35,800 vessels returned to shore. Fujian’s government said 177,000 people had been moved to safety and nearly 30,000 fishing boats called back.Play VideoKaren’s Remnants Move Up CoastAutoplay
The typhoon cut power in towns and counties in Zhejiang province while high-speed rail services in the region were suspended. At least 27 flights out of Wenzhou airport in Zhejiang were canceled on Sunday, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.Xinhua said two people were killed in Wenzhou, including a 55-year-old man who was blown off a hill while heading out to help rescue a stranded fisherman. Calls to the city’s flood relief agency and other government and Communist Party offices rang unanswered Monday.The typhoon began dumping heavy and torrential rain across the southeastern seaboard, with rainfall of up to 29 centimeters (8 inches) in some parts as well as gusty winds.Before striking China, Fitow skirted the northern coast of Taiwan, causing many flight disruptions and dumping large quantities of rain on the island, but resulting in only minimal damage and no casualties.Officials said it delayed or canceled more than 200 domestic and international flights, and brought about the evacuation of several hundred people from northern Taiwanese communities considered vulnerable to rain-induced mudslides.Elsewhere in Asia, a typhoon east of the northern Philippines blew away with no impact on the country.MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Hurricane Images
Two Fires in Southern California Force Evacuations Published: Oct 7, 2013, 6:52 AM EDT Associated Press
Nearly 340 firefighters were at the scene. The fire’s cause was under investigation.About 40 miles to the north, a fire sparked in a mulch pile at a nursery near Santiago Canyon in Orange County prompted the evacuation of 23 residents on Sunday.The fire was not threatening homes and an RV park in the area, but residents were evacuated because of heavy smoke and in case a spot fire is ignited, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi.The blaze burned an outbuilding and quickly charred about 30 acres of surrounding wild vegetation. One firefighter suffered a minor injury.”Mulch piles get hot, and when a fire breaks out it’s hard to douse the flames,” Concialdi said.The powerful Santa Ana winds that kicked up late Thursday subsided by Sunday evening. The fierce winds triggered a red flag warning of extreme fire danger from the National Weather Service, which called the situation the region’s „most significant fire weather threat in the past five years.”A peak wind gust of 90 mph was recorded Saturday morning at Laguna Peak in Ventura County.Wind gusts of 65 mph were reported near the area of a small fire that began Saturday near a key freeway interchange in northern Los Angeles County. The effort to put out the fire brought traffic to a standstill for about 90 minutes.(MORE: Wildfire Risk Map)The driver of a big rig that went off U.S. 101 in Oxnard and crashed into a car dealership said wind was a factor in the crash, police in the Ventura County city said. The crash set off a fire that spread to vehicles in the lot.Forecasters said the summer-like weather is expected to shift by midweek, when a storm system could bring much cooler temperatures, rain and possible mountain snow to southwest California.MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Protect Your Home from WildfirePlay Video