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    Jesse Ferrell

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    Why You Don't Stay in Your Car During a Tornado

    April 19, 2011; 11:44 AM ET

    UPDATE: WEDNESDAY 4/20/2011: SPC is now showing 317 tornado reports, 282 for the 2-day period. The number of confirmed tornadoes via LSR storm surveys is 63 and the spreadsheet has been updated. Here's how the tornado strengths break down:

    TOTAL: 63

    EF-0: 7
    EF-1: 35
    EF-2: 13
    EF-3: 8

    Here are some additional stats:

    Folks, this is why you don't want to stay in your car during a tornado. Note the signpost protruding from the back and the engine sticking out over the hood in the front. And this was a mere EF-1 twister with winds of "only" 100 mph. Imagine what an EF-5 with winds over 200 mph could do!

    As Featured on AccuWeather.com Facebook

    Read My Blog "Tornado Fact Check from the North Carolina Tornado Outbreak of April 16th 2011"

    This photo was taken Sunday by the National Weather Service in Atlanta, Georgia, who described the storm thusly in their official report. This tornado was one of over 50 tornadoes confirmed (see links below) from the weekend outbreak.

    "A National Weather Service survey team determined that an EF-1 Tornado touched down 7 miles east-northeast of Fort Benning at approximately 4:50 AM EDT on Saturday, April 16, 2011. The tornado had wind speeds up to 100 MPH with a path length of one quarter of a mile and a path width of 50 yards. The tornado removed one fourth of the roof of a dormitory on base along with portions of the exterior wall of the same building. This was the only building that was damaged. There were 30 trees downed by the tornado along with numerous cars that were flipped and damaged."

    What should you do if you're caught in a car near a tornado? The Red Cross has some advice, depending on the situation. In a recent Facebook Question poll with nearly 2,000 respondents, 47% of AccuWeather.com Fans said they would monitor a local weather station during severe weather while mobile. 20% would monitor their cell phone for weather alerts, but unfortunately 13% of our Fans would not be alerted until they saw the twister. Then again, about 40 people voted for "Auntie Em" or "Flying Cows."

    How many tornadoes really occurred last weekend? There appear to have been 50-60 tornadoes confirmed so far from last weekend, out of 289 total spotter reports (which included multiple reports of the same twisters). Additional details are available from these links:

    National NWS LSR Spreadsheet (48 Tornadoes Confirmed)
    National Storm Prediction Center (289 Tornadoes Reported - 261 In Two Days)
    NWS Raleigh, NC (25 Tornadoes Confirmed)
    NWS Columbia, SC (1 Tornado Confirmed)
    NWS Atlanta, GA (3 Tornadoes Confirmed)
    NWS Birmingham, AL (15 Tornadoes Confirmed)
    NWS Jackson, MS (12 Tornadoes Confirmed)

    Jesse Ferrell

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com


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