First January tornado since 1950 strikes forecast area (1/29/2006)

By: Rob Cox

Tornado strikes east Newton around 320 pm on January 28th.

January has been in rare form this year with mild temperatures and very dry conditions. It even brought forth a rare tornado which affected the east side of Newton, where it damaged 50 cars at Conklin's car lot, and blew over a light pole. This tornado then travelled to NE 12th and Hillside where it threw a wheelbarrow into a home. At the end of its path, which was about 4 miles, it blew some shingles off a home at 2 miles southwest of Walton.

Not only was this a rare event by January standards, it was a very unique tornado. This tornado actually did not have a thunderstorm associated with it. In fact, it was most likely a cloud with a strong updraft. See Image 1. The radar certainly did not show any evidence of a developing tornado. However, Image 2 does show two weak low level boundaries intersecting one another which is close to the development of the tornado. These type of tornadoes are sometimes given the term landspout, because they usually form from the ground and stretch their way up into the cloud. The wind speeds of this landspout tornado was up to 70 mph which classifies it as an F0. The width of the tornado was about 50 yards.

Here are a couple of images that shows damage from the landspout.

image 3 image 4

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