DISCUSSION: A little over 10 years ago today, there was a very scary and historic day in United States weather history. If you were to ask people across Kansas what this day in Kansas state history meant to them, they would more than likely reference the historic Greensburg, Kansas tornado. Some insights from this particular tornadic event are provided below (courtesy of www.ustornadoes.com). To read the full story, feel free to click on the following link.
"As dusk turned to dark on the evening of May 4, 2007, what started as a beautiful striated supercell turned into a tornado machine.
At first, the tornadoes were quick, relatively small, and short lived. Around 9 p.m. — right at the end of civil twilight — the first “big one” of the night touched down. It started off somewhat slender as it danced along the fields of southern Kansas. But it morphed with each passing minute. It gained strength and it stealthily churned in the direction of Greensburg.
As the tornado neared the town, it took on the much-feared “wedge” shape, visibly crowding the horizon in the lightning flashes. These are tornadoes that appear wider than they are tall. They’re usually bad news, primarily because they are so huge. Amidst a slew of increasingly urgent warnings, the town of Greensburg prepared as best it could. Life-saving equipment was moved out to wait. The 1,500+ inhabitants of the town were as ready as they could be.
Around 9:50 p.m., the tornado that would almost fully destroyed Greensburg began shredding it to bits. The tornado had already been on the ground for almost an hour, and was entering the final part of its 26 mile track. At 1.7 miles in width, the hit would prove unnecessarily excessive. Terrible and miraculous all at once, “only” 11 residents lost their lives. Nearly 70 others were injured.
The first EF5 on the launched-in-2007 Enhanced Fujita Scale, Greensburg was also the first F/EF5 in the state of Kansas since the Andover tornado of April 26, 1991. It’s the most recent to happen in the state as well."
To learn more about other past historic weather events from around the world, be sure to click here!
©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz