TORNADOES IN DELAWARE: RARE, BUT NOT THAT RARE

Since 1954 Delaware has had 62 documented tornadoes. The most recent data goes up to 2015. This is roughly one a year. The Fujita scale, the measured strength of a tornado on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the worst, most of Delaware’s tornadoes have been F-2’s. There has been one F-3 recorded. That was April 1961 near New Castle Airport. There have been only 3 deaths reported in that time frame as well. And most of the Tornadoes were below Dover and points south. That makes sense since Delaware is a coastal plain with more than 90% of the state is flat. The northern part is the Piedmont which has seen fewer tornadoes in this time period. There have also been lots of F-0 which is to say they probably were tornadoes but didn’t do much of any damage and weren’t on the ground for that long of a period.

The conditions are ripe though for the state to experience tornadoes yet since our topography is varied with urban, rural, suburban areas. There is a difference between a storm that has straight line winds versus a storm that can spawn tornadoes.  The damage that tornadoes can do to an area are quite obvious. Straight line winds often damage a specific area and take a more direct path. Tornadoes are notorious of hitting one area and leaving another area totally less impacted.  There is a brilliant report called the Delaware Project: Tornadoes to read more I’m posting the link:

Tornado History Project Delaware

tornado-project

Tornadoes in Delaware: Rare, but not that rare.

Tornadoes are not that rare of a thing in Delaware. Since 1954 Delaware has seen 62 documented tornadoes. That’s equivalent to about 1-2 a year, but they do happen. Most of Delaware’s tornadoes have been F-2 on the Fujita scale which measures the intensity of tornadoes.  There has been one F-3 which happened in April of 1961. There have been a total of 3 fatalities.  Yet, the data only goes to 2015 but since then we probably haven’t recorded another one. I have to check that data.

Delaware is mostly a coastal plain. 90% of the state is “FLAT”, but not Oklahoma flat. The terrain is vast and does have some hilly areas. The northern part of the state is called the Piedmont which his hilly, and elevated. Most of Delaware’s tornadoes have been in the southern part of the state from Dover on south. So, in the summer when heavy hitter storms are coming they can produce a tornado, but most are straight line winds. The debris field form a tornado and from straight line winds is quite vast and you know the difference within minutes of inspecting the damage.  Tornadoes are devastating occurrences . Yet, the warning systems available sill aren’t good enough. That is one area which would save lots of lives.

I am posting the link to the Delaware Project: Tornadoes. It’s a fantastic study:

Delaware Tornado Project

tornado-project

DAILY SNAP: Spotty Showers Later In The Week..Then a Rainy Saturday..Warm..Start of March Looks Stormy..Open Blog Tuesday! Give me a topic of conversation to write about.

Warm temperatures will be followed by spotty showers on Thursday and then steadier rain over the weekend. March looks interesting as the pattern shifts to a stormier beginning and a little colder, but not terribly cold. We could see some wintry precipitation creep back into the picture as well, but I wouldn’t get too terribly excited over that. I did post a picture last night that was a bad on me thing, but you never know with March when it tries to make that transition to steadier Spring like weather.  Have a great day!

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