*Information gleaned form my science book & online*
Tornadoes and hurricanes are some of the most dangerous weather phenomenon known to man.
America experiences over 1,000 tornadoes a year, with 1,520 in 2019.
A tornado forms out of a supercell thunderstorm, after a mesocylclone has formed. (After a mesocyclone has formed, there is a 50º/º chance a tornado will form in the next 30 minutes).
Tornadoes form as the result of updrafts that form thunderstorms. In the first stage of their development, the updraft of air that’s forming a cumulonimbus cloud begins being hit by winds blowing in a different direction at higher altitudes. Stage one: the whirl stage.
These winds cause air to begin rotating horizontally. Combined with the updraft, this makes a funnel, with air whirling around and up. This is often called the vortex.
Next, as the funnel touches the ground, we have our organizing stage. Once this happens, and a solid base is formed, along with the continued whirling vortex sucking up debris , we have a darker tornado – we’ve reached the mature stage, the worst one.
Eventually, the forces that hold the vortex together begin to dissipate, and the tornado grows smaller – the shrinking stage.
Finally, the tornado slowly disappears as it dies in the last stage – the decaying stage.Until March 3, 2020, the worst-ever recorded tornado in Cookeville was in 1974 – an EF-4 that claimed the lives of 10 people. Almost double 1974’s death toll, the fateful nigh of March 3 took 18 lives.
According to the Washington Post, “Tornadoes spawned by the same parent supercell thunderstorm carved a 50-mile long path of destruction in Tennessee.”
5 children were among the eighteen dead.
The Enhanced Fujita scale rates tornadoes 0-5. The March 3,2020 tornado was an EF-4, which means it’s winds were in the 166-200 mph range. Cookeville winds were, in fact, 175 mph.
Up until this month, the last deceased due to a tornado in Putnam county was on 2012. (See last link.)
Cookeville’s storm’s ferocity exceeded Nashville. On the scale, Nashville’s was EF-3, with 165 mph winds.
The most destructive natural disaster in recorded Putnam County history brought out the best in people, with a vigil at the Putnam County Courthouse and a prayer meeting at Collegeside Church of Christ Tuesday night (Mar 3). Literally thousands of volunteers showed up to volunteer Wednesday morning.
Although their power varies, tornadoes can be truly devastating, and scientifically we still don’t fully comprehend how they form/work. But, although we know they’re scary and deadly, we also know ways to be careful, and that together we can triumph.