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Insider Blog: High winds can produce tornado-like damage

Storms yesterday produced heavy winds and triggered a tornado warning for several counties across Mid-Missouri. But the National Weather Service has determined that damage along the path of that storm was more consistent with high winds not associated with a tornado.

A line of heavy storms tracked into the area from the north after sundown on Thursday bringing a prevalent wind threat. Rotation was detected on radar in a cell tracking through northern Boone County into Callaway after 9 PM. This led officials to issue a radar-indicated tornado warning due to strong signs for a tornado to form. However, with the overnight timing of storms yesterday there was no official photo or sight of a tornado touchdown.

For a tornado warning to be confirmed a storm spotter on the ground must relay to the National Weather Service that a tornado has officially touched down. Tree and structure damage from last night matched more closely to straight-line winds - and this isn't uncommon. It's estimated that winds in the storm reached upwards of 80 mph or greater, equivalent to an EF0 to EF1 tornado. While this would be associated with a weaker tornado, winds at this speed can destroy roofs, uproot trees, and flip mobile homes.

Last night's storms are a reminder that high winds can be destructive even without a tornado, and you should always prepare for any severe weather in your area. New warning systems in Mid-Missouri communities may trigger sirens when a destructive severe thunderstorm is warned in the area, which can give more people a chance to prepare for these winds.

Article Topic Follows: Weather

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Nate Splater

Nate forecasts on the weekend edition of ABC 17 News This Morning on KMIZ and FOX 22, KQFX.


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