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An update from Frank:
"After the NWS released the start and end point of the tornado track ... extrapolating, I figure my grandparents would have been hit or missed by a half mile or less had the tornado not lifted and dissipated. The end point of the tornado damage path is within 5 miles of their house, and the fatalities occurred about 5.5 miles away. I am not sure why the tornado lifted when it did and why the storm cell finally weakened after having tracked for such a long time ... but there was a LOT of population ahead of the tornado when it lifted. Had the tornado followed a path extrapolated northeastward beyond the end of the damage path ... the south side of Rock Hill would have been hit with probably 25,000 people at risk."
It's been a long week in the Southeast, with over three dozen tornado and funnel cloud reports. Much damage was reported from Texas through the Carolinas. Most of the deadly storms happened yesterday.
On a personal note, my friend and meteorologist Frank Strait will no doubt have some interesting things to report later today -- a deadly tornado struck just miles south of his home town of Rock Hill, South Carolina last night. Frank uploaded this radar velocity image of the storm before it struck:
As the colors at opposite ends of the scale come together, it means high winds are rotating. Another tornado of note was this one in the Piedmont of North Carolina, which crossed over Route 64 that I take down to the beach every year. Thank goodness it was south of the populated area of I-40.
Damage video from the Associated Press, along with additional information about the Auburn, Alabama tornadoes, can be found below and in our news story.
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