Helping Business Weather the Storm

Thinking About the Heat? Don't Forget About Tornadoes!

by Daphne Thompson, on Jul 14, 2016 12:05:25 PM

It's mid-July and many of us are thinking about the heat and avoiding sunburn. How many of you are thinking about tornadoes and avoiding flying debris? For those in the Northeast, you might need to be prepared for this today!


The Storm Prediction Center currently has a slight risk of severe storms starting in eastern Colorado and stretching to Kentucky. Another area is located over New York to Maine. Looking a little closer and we find a 2% chance in the New York area for tornadoes. That may not sound like much, but any chance of tornadoes is a reason to pay attention to the weather. You can bet that when I read a forecast mentioning supercells, I will be watching the weather and RadarScope more closely. 


WeatherOps Map with Outlook


So, how many tornadoes hit the U.S. in July? Is this really something you need to worry about? Looking at a map showing the average number of tornadoes for the month, you can see that the area outlined today does not often get them at this time of year. Further north, Minnesota and North Dakota are the states that have them most often. Colorado also shows a peak, compared to the rest of the country. 


Avereage Number of July Tornadoes


How strong are these July tornadoes? Looking over records, I only find three instances of tornadoes that would be considered EF-5 from their damage. Let's take a little historical stroll and see what they were.


July 6, 1893: Pomeroy, Iowa- Well built homes were reported to have been swept away and grass was scoured from the ground. 71 fatalities.


1893 Tornado Damage in Pomeroy, Iowa


July 2, 1955: Walcott, North Dakota- There were 11 farms that were destroyed or swept away, one contained a home that was totally swept clean. Two fatalities.




July 18, 1996: Oakfield, Wisconsin- This tornado is reported to have swept well built homes, with anchor bolts, away. There were also vehicles that were thrown up to 400 yards away, leaving them practically unrecognizable. No fatalities.


Oakfield Tornado (Credit: Cailyn Lloyd)


However, you don't need an EF5 tornado to ruin your day. Even without a tornado, winds gusting over 50 mph with large hail can cause a lot of damage. The bottom line is that you need to be aware of the weather today. If you're only worried about heat in July, then you need to expand your view of the weather. We can help you do that. Try a free 7-day trial of our WeatherOps products today and don't get caught unaware of the severe weather to come.


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