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View Diary: Recapping the 2011 Tornado Season* (54 comments)

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  •  weatherdude (5+ / 0-)

    thank you so much for this . . . i have it saved to my hotlist, and it's very, very helpful.

    i have a dummy question . . . .  family in the midwest tell me about "straight line winds" (which they fear at least as much as a tornado) but i've never really understood what that means.

    i've asked them, and looked online, but i'm still not sure.  could you tell me, please? i'm not good with this kind of science and don't understand what i've read.

    It's never the changes we want that change everything. - Junot Díaz

    by Avila on Fri Dec 23, 2011 at 11:26:03 AM PST

    •  Straight line winds can be more damaging (6+ / 0-)

      than a tornado, because they go across longer distances and can be sustained for minutes at a time.

      A straight-line wind is a wind produced by a thunderstorm that moves in a straight line, sort of like a wall across the land, as opposed to swirling around like a tornado. They can cause significant damage when they get up around 70 or 80 MPH, and sometimes in derechos they can reach 130 MPH. Whenever you hear of wind damage caused by a thunderstorm, it's usually due to straight-line winds.

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