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A rare tornado touches down on Oahu

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posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 09:21 AM
link staff reports: A rare tornado blew roofs off homes and left other damage in its path through the Hawaiian communities of Lanikai and Enchanted Lake on Oahu, weather officials confirmed Friday.

A National Weather Service team surveying damage and talking to witnesses determined a waterspout came ashore and was reclassified as a tornado in Lanikai about 7:30 a.m. The 20-yard-wide tornado traveled about 1.5 miles in 15 minutes to Enchanted Lake with wind speeds reaching 60 to 70 mph before dissipating, officials said.

Hawaii, known for its famous sunshine, has been hit with unusually harsh weather for about a week.


Unusual weaqther indeed for paradise.

With an extra mild winter in the western hemisphere and Europe experiencing unusually cold temperatures, is there anything to link these phenomena together?

Usually when you think of supercells you think of the Great Plains of the United States, where cold / dry Canadian air meets with warm / moist air off the Gulf of Mexico. This setup produces supercells; with violent tornadoes, if ingredients are right.

But Oahu is experiencing a supercell with the look of one that would travel Tornado Alley. Senior Meteorologist Kevin Martin weighs in.

"This is very rare for Hawaii to have this type of supercell," said Martin. "This has a classic hook echo and even rotation with a possible tornado touchdown with it. The ingredients came together perfectly as an upper level low to the west of the Islands provided the cold mid-level atmosphere over the tropical warm low level layer. This combined with strong upper level divergence to set thunderstorms off. A strong mid-level jet was not present, but some low level jet dynamics coming into surface low to the south of Hawaii did and created the low level rotation."

Supercell thunderstorms with three inch hail and tornadic signatures hit Hawaii

Other news stories about the strange weather in Hawaii

The early outbreak tornadoes earlier this year together with the above regferenced winter wierdness does not give me warm and fuzzy feelings for this year's hurricane season.

In this post of my North Atlantic Hurricane Watch 2012 thread, I link a study which seems to indicate that dust storms off of Africa have a dampening effect on Cat 5 hurricanes.

This is encouiraging at first, until one remembers that tropical storms Allison and Francis dropped so much rain in the Houston area, that I-10 was turned into a river and caused flooding in areas which are well above the 100 year flood plain.

Tornado Alley 3d premieres at Moody Gardens this week. Maybe there will be a "Tornadoes in Paradise" sequel.

All kidding aside, I hope the people in Oahu are safe and damage is minimal.

posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 09:24 AM
Already posted.

posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 09:25 AM

posted on Mar, 10 2012 @ 09:26 AM
Yeah, I know.

I spent too much time fleshing out the thread with other bits of info and additional links.

Thread closure in..




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