Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Whirlwind Is In The Apricot Tree

A Bear Lake waterspout. (Not yesterday's storm.)
From the National Weather Service's website.

Tornado in Davis County! Maybe.
Tornado Warning Issued in Davis County
Aug. 2, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Davis County and south central Weber County tonight but now says it is less likely to occur. It said radar had detected a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado about 15 miles southwest of Syracuse.

It now says the rotation is weak and a tornado is not immediately likely but still is possible. Meanwhile, it says damaging winds, destructive hail and lightning remain possible.

But now, the Weather Service is not sure a tornado touched down. Storm reports from the National Weather do report a large number of homes under construction being blown down.

Unfortunately, not everyone escaped the thunderstorms' wrath last night. One Boy Scout was killed in a lightning strike at Camp Steiner in the Uinta Mountains.

Surprisingly, tornadoes are not unheard of in Utah. The best known, of course, is the August 11, 1999 F2 tornado that plowed through downtown Salt Lake City. But that tornado was not the strongest nor the first. Tornadoes have been recorded as early as 1869. And the the strongest was an F3 that occurred in the Uinta Mountains, fortunately far from anyone or anything. (For an explanation of this F2 and F3 stuff, go here.) One line of thought is that last night's storm formed a waterspout on the Great Salt Lake, and dissipated before reaching shore. From what I've heard, waterspouts over the lake are not unusual.

As you might expect, it's pretty rare for anything larger than an F1 to form, and we definitely don't have to worry about the big ones the Midwest and Plains states get to worry over.

But they're still cool to read about.


At 3:20 PM, Blogger Nathan said...

KUTV Channel 2 news had pictures that showed what looked like a waterspout over the lake last night.


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