Killer Tornado

According to preliminary SPC and media reports, a killer tornado has struck the town on Wright, WY. The town of roughly 1500 is about 40 miles south of Gilette; early information indicates that a number of mobile homes were destroyed along a 1/4 mi wide damage path. A quick check of the NCDC storm database shows only 2 tornado fatalities in the state since records began in the 1950s. In a year with relatively few tornado deaths, it is interesting that the most recent fatality was in Wyoming, and moreso, that it occurred only a day after the anniversairy of the SLC tornado.

EDIT: lol...sorry, Andy - this has happened to me a couple of times also.
 
Originally posted by beaudodson
I don't believe we are allowed to talk about this here? The rules say no current storm discussions. Not sure what \"current\" means.

For the record, I think this topic is acceptable here, since the storm is long gone and this isn't really a REPORT. Feel free to discuss tornado fatalities this year or in other years if desired.
 
Originally posted by Jeff Snyder+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Jeff Snyder)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-beaudodson
I don't believe we are allowed to talk about this here? The rules say no current storm discussions. Not sure what \"current\" means.

For the record, I think this topic is acceptable here, since the storm is long gone and this isn't really a REPORT. Feel free to discuss tornado fatalities this year or in other years if desired.[/b]

Thanks...wasn't sure.

Appears this was a nasty storm out there. NWS is going to send out a team tomorrow to determine exactly what happened. Anyone have any screen shots of the storm? Radar?
 
The storm on the edge of the radar display south of Gillette (GCC). The time on the radar was 2247Z with the tornado around 2245Z

20050812_224706_black.png
 
Multiple witnesses reported seeing a rope tornado (waterspout) cross Cheney Lake, Kansas, on July 3 where one person was killed and seven injured when their boats overturned.
 
\"The warning was going off just as it hit from what I understand,\" Pownall said. \"They didn't have a lot of time to seek shelter.\"

I wonder if that is really true. I wonder when the warning was actually issued and how long it took for the final dissemination and broadcast through the various media.

I know and have personally experienced tornadoes in the past up to F2 that didn't get warned on and hit populated areas. This was early in my career and before I knew to call in tornadoes. An NWS warning coordinator told me that you can't always 'see' the smaller tornadoes on radar. Not that you can see any on radar, but he meant that the signs in the upper levels of the cloud are not always evident as to what is taking place near the ground. Also hand off between CWA's can sometimes be a problem. Out in WY - remote and somewhat off season perhaps it just slipped below a bit?

Consider how many more lives would be lost if it wasn't for our radar operators / warning coordinators, severe weather specialists saving lives. Certainly we've taken a huge dent out of this problem, but I doubt we will be able to save them all for a long time. Often people ignore warnings anyway because other warnings in the past didn't maim or kill them or someone they knew.
 
I also doubt they were talking about the actual NWS issued Tornado Warnings....... They were probably referring to the city's tornado sirens....... I wish people would finally get it through their heads that those should NOT BE YOUR FIRST MEANS OF HEARING A TORNADO WARNING..........
 
Originally posted by Bill Tabor+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Bill Tabor)</div>
I wonder if that is really true. I wonder when the warning was actually issued and how long it took for the final dissemination and broadcast through the various media.
[/b]

Actually, while that seems to be the case most of the time, this tornado had little/no lead time. Here is the warning from the Rapid City office (the office that issues for that part of WY):

<!--QuoteBegin-UNR Tornado Warning


BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RAPID CITY SD
446 PM MDT FRI AUG 12 2005

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RAPID CITY HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTH CENTRAL CAMPBELL COUNTY IN NORTHEASTERN WYOMING

* UNTIL 545 PM MDT

* AT 442 PM MDT...A TORNADO WAS REPORTED NEAR WRIGHT...OR 37 MILES SOUTH OF GILLETTE. THIS TORNADO WAS MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 30 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
WRIGHT...
--> http://kamala.cod.edu/offs/KUNR/0508122246.wfus53.html

The time on the LSR is 5:51PM MDT... This doesnt' entirely match up, since the warning above states that the tornado was already on the ground. Figure it takes a minute or so to go through the park, that's 5:50. The warning time is 4:46, but figure it takes a minute or two to get broadcast, and you indeed have a valid "little/no warning". Well, the park (if it did go through at 5:50-5:51), probably had 2-3 minutes, which certainly isn't much lead time.
 
Re: the death at Cheney Lake in Wichita, I had often wondered about that since. On July 3, I was nowcasting for several chasers in Wichita, monitoring local media and in frequent contact with my sister there, and wrote in the TALK thread: "Again, another second hand I just heard from Wichita. Boat evidently cap-sized on Lake Cheney w/ 3 people missing."

Never was able to find any follow-up information...from all accounts, that was an extremely intense storm over Wichita that day, and reviewing the TALK thread bears witness. Not sure if this has been included in the official tornado fatality statistics for the year, but, thanks again, Mike Smith, for your accurate info.
 
KWCH has information about the man who died on Cheney Lake, KS. As for the killer tornado in WY, im pretty suprised as I was watching the radar just before they issued the Tornado warning and didn't seem that impressive on radar. It's not exactly clear yet but it appears the trailer park residents had between 3-5 minutes. I certainly wouldn't consider that no warning at all though as some of the media outlets make it sound.
 
On FOX news, they showed a police dashboard camera video of the massive tornado. The video is a bit dark but the large tube is easily visible.

Bill Hark
 
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