D.I.Y. Tornado Tracker
On Thursday, wbrz.com/weather reported on the Month of March pacing out to be an historically slow month for tornadoes. Still true, the final tally for the month will place March 2014 in the top 10 in terms of least number of tornadoes. As of March 26, there had only been 4 reported twisters; but several tornadoes since then indicates that severe weather season is just ramping up.
While forecasters will be hard at work tracking the next significant weather event, ESRI has provided a product that allows one to take a vast, interactive look back at the history of tornadoes, EVERYWHERE. As shown on smithsonianmag.com by Helen Thompson, from your home state, to your own backyard the nifty tool allows you to type in your hometown and the map will automatically zoom to your desired location. From there, choose the year in which you are interested and blue bullet points note where individual twisters have touched down. Click on the blue dots and get all the stats on the tornado of interest including its Enhanced Fujita Scale rating, track length and monetary losses it caused.
The aforementioned Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF) allows meteorologists to rate tornadoes based on the damage caused by their winds. Since 1980, the United States has experienced 21 twisters ranking the maximum of five on the EF scale. You may recall the tragedies that occurred in Greensburg, KS., Joplin, MO., Tuscaloosa, AB., along with Moore, OK. and El Reno OK. just last year-all were EF-5 tornadoes.
While the Midwest is known as "Tornado Alley," a secondary hotspot has become prevalent, that includes Northern Louisiana, known as "Dixie Alley." From Shreveport, LA., to Jackson, MS., to Birmingham, AL., to Atlanta, GA., a secondary bull's-eye for tornado reports can be found by examining observations over the last few decades.
With April, May and June historically the busiest three months for tornadoes, stick with WBRZ's weather team for the latest local forecasts and updates on any pending severe weather.
You can get forecasts from Meteorologist Josh Eachus weekdays on 2une-In from 5-7am and News 2 at Noon from 12-1pm. Additionally, you can get the fastest and latest forecasts and weather news by checking in with wbrz.com/weather, liking Josh on Facebook and following him on Twitter.