Wind Damage >> Surviving A Tornado

Risk Assessment: Wind/Tornadoes Description The term "straight-line winds" is used to distinguish common, non-rotating winds from tornado-related winds. Straight-line winds are responsible for most thunderstorm wind damage, Surviving A Tornado with wind speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour on occasion. 

A "downburst," a small area of rapidly descending air beneath a thunderstorm, is a particularly damaging type of straight-line wind. Downbursts can have wind velocities equal to that of a strong tornado and Surviving A Tornado can be extremely dangerous to aviation and cause significant damage to some buildings. 

A tornado is a violently rotating column (a vortex) of air that bridges between thunderclouds and the earth. A funnel-shaped cloud, spinning like a top, Surviving A Tornado is commonly generated. Wind speeds within the vortex range from 40 to over 300miles per hour. The tornado itself can move across the ground at up to 70miles per hour. 

Damage is generally confined to a narrow path (approximately one-quarter mile), but the tornado may travel over and Surviving A Tornado devastate a large distance (typically up to 10miles, but 200-mile tracks have been reported). Multiple tornadoes may occur during a single storm, resulting in highly destructive events. 

Tornado intensity is measured on the Fujita Scale (see Table 3.13.C below). This table also describes characteristic damages. Straight-line winds of concern are "high winds," defined by the NWS as "sustained wind speeds of 40 mph or greater lasting for 1 hour or longer, or winds of 58 mph or Surviving A Tornado greater for any duration." 

High wind advisories, watches, and warnings are issued by the NWS according to the following criteria: High Wind Advisory is issued by the Surviving A Tornado NWS when wind speeds may pose a hazard. The criteria for this advisory vary fromState to State. 

In Idaho,the criterion is the potential for sustained winds at 30-39 mph or gusts of 45-57 mph, covering a significant part of at least one zone, and Surviving A Tornado lasting several hours. High Wind Watch is issued by the NWS when there is the potential of high wind speeds developing that may pose a hazard or be life threatening. 

The criteria for this watch vary fromState to State. In Idaho, the criterion is the potential for sustained winds at 30-39 mph or gusts of 45-57 mph, covering a significant part of at least one zone, and Surviving A Tornado lasting several hours. High Wind Warning is issued by the NWS when high wind speeds may pose a hazard or be life threatening. 

The criterion for this warning varies fromState to State. In Idaho, the criterion is the potential forsustained winds greater or equal to 35 knots(kts)lasting at least 1 hour, or Surviving A Tornado gusts of 50 kts for any time. Like tornadoes, strong straight-line winds are generated by thunderstorms and can cause similar damage. 

Straight-line wind speeds can approach 150 mph, equivalent to those in an F3 tornado. Two categories of straight-line winds are "downbursts" and Surviving A Tornado "derechoes." A downburst is a small area of rapidly descending rain and rain-cooled air beneath a thunderstorm. 

The winds produced from a downburst often travel in one direction, and the worst damage is usually on the forward side of the downburst. Derechoes are created by the merging of many thunderstorm cells into a cluster or Surviving A Tornado solid line extending for many miles. The width of such a storm can range from 20 to 65 miles, and the length can reach 100 miles or more. 

In extreme cases,these storms can create maximum wind gusts of 150 mph and are also capable of producing small tornadoes. Damaging straight-line winds are much more common than tornadoes, and Surviving A Tornado their damage is often incorrectly attributed to tornadoes. 

Derechoes are not common in Idaho, averaging less than one per year, while downbursts associated with straight-line winds occur more frequently. Location, Extent, and Surviving A Tornado Magnitude Straight-line winds can be encountered anywhere storms form. The events that present the most risk are often the result of thunderstorms. 

Map 3.13.A, above, details the Wind Zones across the United States. It shows that Idaho as a whole falls into the Zone I rating, Surviving A Tornado stating that maximum wind speeds should not top 130 mph. It should be noted that areas along the Montana boarder are termed a ‘Special Wind Region’, where wind-speed anomalies are known to exist. 

This means that those areas harbor winds that can be substantially higher than Zone I wind speeds. Map 3.13.B shows the annual average wind speeds at Surviving A Tornado 80 meters across Idaho. Tornadoes can also occur anywhere thunderstorms form. 

Although no data currently exist to help identify regions of particular risk, records of past wind and tornado events provide useful information in this regard. Tornado intensity is measured using the Fujita Scale, which is detailed in Table 3.13.C. On average, Surviving A Tornado there are about two tornadoes per year in the State of Idaho. 

Past events compiled from multiple sources document a recorded 194 tornadoes between 1936 and 2012; all were F2 or less, and only a single reported death (from the earliest recorded event in 1936). Map 3.13.D, at the end of this section, Surviving A Tornado shows the breakdown by county for past major tornado events. 

A tornado struck the community of Bear in Adams County,resulting in extensive tree damage. Because downed trees and debris caused elevated wildfire risk and blocked roads, Surviving A Tornado a State Disaster declaration was issued. The tornado path was 12 miles long and over half a mile wide along portions of its track. 

One serious injury occurred during this tornado, which was rated F2. Significant straight-line wind events have been recorded in the Lowman area (large-scale forest damage in the 1970s) and the Payette and Weiser area (in the 1990s). Map 3.13.E, Surviving A Tornado at the end of this section, shows the breakdown by county for past major wind events. 

The meteorological processes that produce wind and tornado events are statistically independent of past events. As with other similar natural processes, Surviving A Tornado a return period and probability of future occurrence can be developed from the historical records that are available. 

It can reasonably be assumed, based on recorded observations from 1936 through 2012, Surviving A Tornado that a tornado has occurred once every 0.39 years. [(Current Year) 2012] subtracted by [(Historical Year) 1936] = 76 Years on Record [(Years on Record) 76] divided by [(Number of Historical Events) 194] = 0.39 Based on historical probability, there is a 100-percent chance that a tornado will occur any given year in Idaho.

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