Archive for the ‘suction vorticies’ Category

Glamor Shots: Hoxie, KS Tornado May ’08

Posted on: November 7th, 2009 by Jonathan Merage 2 Comments

A couple of my favorite pics of the large Hoxie, KS tornado from May 22, ’08.
Contrast-enhanced to emphasize details in the intricate multivortex structure…

Although no wind speed measurements were taken with the absence of the DOWs & lack of damage in the sparsely populated area, from the NSSL Online Tornado FAQ:

“Suction vortices can add over 100 mph to the ground-relative wind in a tornado circulation.”

So, assuming winds in the larger tornado were around 150 mph–a very rough estimate, for the sake of argument–this means the total tangential (horizontal circulating) wind speeds could possibly have very briefly reached 250 mph! Of course, even with mobile Doppler scans, determining wind speeds in suction vortices is generally impossible due to their small sizes (especially compared to the larger tornado) and extremely short, transient lifespans.

For more pictures, visit my photo gallery.