Cass and Ransom County Tornadoes Rated as EF1 and EF2

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS DETERMINED THAT FIVE DISTINCT
TORNADO TRACKS WERE EMBEDDED IN THE LARGER DOWNBURST WIND AND HAIL
PATTERNS LEFT BY SUNDAY NIGHTS STORMS...IN CASS AND RANSOM COUNTIES.
A TORNADO WAS ALSO REPORTED IN SARGENT COUNTY BUT IS STILL
UNCONFIRMED.

TORNADO NUMBER ONE...TRACKED FROM 3 MILES NORTH NORTHWEST OF EMBDEN
TO AROUND 3 MILES WEST OF EMBDEN...FROM ABOUT 716 PM TO 720 PM. THE
TORNADO TOPPLED A BARN...TUMBLED FARM OUTBUILDINGS AND TOPPLED ONE
STEEL, FOUR POST, HIGH VOLTAGE POWER TOWER ALONG ITS ROUGHLY 3 MILE
LONG AND 150 YARD WIDE PATH. THE TORNADO WAS RATED AT EF2...WITH
PEAK WINDS ESTIMATED AT 125 MILES AN HOUR.

TORNADO NUMBER TWO...TRACKED FROM 5 MILES SOUTHWEST OF CHAFFEE TO
AROUND 6 MILES EAST OF SHELDON...FROM ABOUT 725 PM TO 740 PM. THE
TORNADO YANKED ONE ALUMINUM HIGH VOLTAGE POWER TOWER OUT OF ITS
STEEL FOOTINGS AND TOPPLED SEVERAL OTHERS. IT SNAPPED OFF MATURE OAK
AND ASH TREES NEAR THE MAPLE RIVER...THEN SNAPPED SEVERAL WOODEN
POWER POLES AT MULTIPLE ROAD CROSSINGS ALONG ITS ROUGHLY TEN MILE
LONG AND 200 YARD WIDE PATH. THE TORNADO WAS RATED AT EF1...WITH
PEAK WINDS ESTIMATED AT 105 MILES AN HOUR.

TORNADO NUMBER THREE...TRACKED FROM SEVEN MILES SOUTHEAST OF
SHELDON...IN THE SHEYENNE NATIONAL GRASSLANDS...TO AROUND FOUR MILES
NORTH NORTHWEST OF MCLEOD...FROM ABOUT 745 PM TO 749 PM. THE TORNADO
CUT A LARGE GAP IN MATURE HARDWOOD TREES NEAR THE SHEYENNE RIVER...
SNAPPED SEVERAL WOODEN POWER POLES AND LIKELY TUMBLED SEVERAL
SECTIONS OF AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM ALONG ITS ROUGHLY 3 MILE LONG AND
200 YARD WIDE PATH. THE TORNADO WAS RATED AT EF2...WITH PEAK WINDS
ESTIMATED AT 115 MILES AN HOUR.

TORNADO NUMBER FOUR...TOUCHED DOWN BRIEFLY AT THE WEST END OF TOWER
CITY AND TRACKED FOR ABOUT 1.5 MILES TO THE SOUTH SOUTHWEST...FROM
ABOUT 919 PM TO 921 PM. THE TORNADO RIPPED A SECTION OF ROOF OFF OF
A HOUSE...TOSSED GARDEN STORAGE BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT...AND PEELED
AND OLDER SINGLE CAR GARAGE OFF ITS FOUNDATIONS AND DESTROYED IT.
THE TORNADO WAS RATED AT EF1...WITH A MAXIMUM WIDTH OF 150
YARDS...AND WITH PEAK WINDS OF 110 MILES AN HOUR.

TORNADO NUMBER FIVE...TRACKED FROM 3 MILES EAST OF TOWER CITY TO
AROUND 4 MILES NORTH NORTHWEST OF ALICE...FROM ABOUT 920 PM TO 929
PM. THE TORNADO PLOWED THROUGH WOODEN POWER POLES...VICIOUSLY RIPPED
UP MATURE TREES...CAVED IN THE SIDEWALL AND TORE THE ROOF AND
RAFTERS FROM A STURDY POLE SHED. IT LATER TORE THE ROOF OFF AND
COLLAPSED AN OLDER BARN...THEN LIFTED AND THREW A WELL BUILT TWO CAR
GARAGE OFF ITS SLAB FOUNDATION. THIS TORNADO CRUMPLED ONE STEEL,
FOUR POLE, HIGH VOLTAGE POWER TOWER...AND IN COMBINATION WITH
EXTREME DOWNBURST WINDS... HELPED INITIATE THE COLLAPSE OF DOZENS
MORE OF THESE POWER TOWERS. THE TORNADO TRACKED FOR AT LEAST 8
MILES...WITH A MAXIMUM WIDTH OF 250 YARDS. IT WAS RATED AT
EF2...WITH PEAK WINDS ESTIMATED AT 130 MILES AN HOUR.

THE SUPERCELL THUNDERSTORMS WHICH SPAWNED THESE TORNADOES WERE
MOVING VERY QUICKLY...AT 40 TO 50 MPH...TO THE SOUTH SOUTHEAST. THE
STORMS TRACKED FROM NORTHWEST STEEL COUNTY...TROUGH WESTERN CASS
COUNTY...INTO EASTERN RANSOM AND SARGENT COUNTIES. THEY WERE NEARLY
CONTINUOUSLY PRODUCING EXTREME DOWNBURST WINDS WHICH REACHED SPEEDS
OF 80 TO 100 MPH AT TIMES ALONG 60 TO 80 MILE PATHS. SWATHES OF
SEVERE DOWNBURST WIND DAMAGE AND HAIL OFTEN EXTENDED MORE THAN 6
MILES WIDE WITH MORE EXTREME TORNADIC WINDS FOLLOWING MUCH NARROWER
PATHS WITHIN THIS CORRIDOR. EXTREME TREE DAMAGE...BUILDING DAMAGE
AND POWER POLE DAMAGE WAS WELL CORRELATED WITH ROTATION COUPLETS
EVIDENT ON DOPPLER WEATHER RADAR AND WITH FUNNEL CLOUD SIGHTINGS
RECEIVED FROM STORM SPOTTERS.

WITH SUCH FAST MOVING TORNADOES...THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE
DOWNBURST WIND DAMAGE AND TORNADO DAMAGE OFTEN DEPENDS ON THE TUG
AND THE TOSS OF THE STORM. IN ALL CASES THE DAMAGE TEAM FOUND
EVIDENCE OF A STRONG UPWARD TUG OF WIND...VERSUS DOWNWARD OR OUTWARD
FLOW. WITH THESE FAST MOVING TORNADOES...DEBRIS WAS OFTEN CARRIED
FOR TENS TO HUNDREDS OF YARDS DOWNSTREAM. ALSO...THE DEBRIS SPREAD
PATTERN AND EXTREME DAMAGE TRACK WERE ORIENTED SOMEWHAT DIFFERENTLY
FROM THE PREVALENT DOWNBURST PATTERN.

STORM DAMAGE INFORMATION WILL ALSO BE POSTED WITH FURTHER UPDATES
ON OUR WEBSITE AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/FGF

$$
GUST


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