Monday, September 1 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:31:17 GMT
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morning.Troopers say the crash occurred on Bookman Rd. about three miles west of Elgin at about 6 a.m. The motorcycleMore >>
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morningMore >>
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Take a real-time look at where it's raining here in the Midlands and across the state with WIS First Alert radar.More >>
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
It's been a deadly tornado season all across the Midwest.
It's been two weeks since the EF-5 tornado in Moore, OK killed at least 24 people.
I asked KLTV meteorologist Grant Dade to explain why the same places keep getting hit over and over with large tornadoes.
But first he explained, step by step, what causes tornadoes to form.
Dade says you need two things to form a tornado - winds that change with height and speed in the atmosphere - that's called wind shear - and a lot of energy in the low-levels of the atmosphere - that's called buoyancy.
"A tornado is a perfect balance, if you will, of winds coming to and from. And as long as it's in perfect balance, and keeping it under the updraft of the thunderstorm, which is where the air rises in the thunderstorm, that tornado will continue," said Dade.
Just outside Moore, the storm's winds shifted and the outflow wind became the dominant wind, which is how the tornado died out.
"So once we have outflow winds the dominant wind, more dominant than the inflow, it pushes the tornado off the updraft, basically, and then we call that the rope-out stage," Dade said.
And Dade says we see more large tornadoes now than at any other time of the year.
"Of course, they can happen at any time, but the ingredients across Oklahoma and Kansas come together more often in late May into the first week of June," he said.
Grant told me violent tornadoes form in the same places mainly because of the country's topography.
"There are certain areas of the country where all the ingredients come together to produce what we were talking about. The wind shear, the buoyancy. We need to have the Gulf of Mexico moisture available," Dade said. "And it just so happens that the central plains is an area of the country, from Kansas down to Oklahoma, where those ingredients come together the most."
That's because storms with colder air will come out of the Rocky Mountains, while at the same time, warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico moves into the area, mixing with the cold air and creating buoyancy.
"Remember, we have that low pressure in Colorado bringing the winds off the Gulf into the Plains states. That's a southeasterly wind at the surface. Just above the ground, the winds are racing out of the west. So we get that changing of wind of height," Dade said, creating the perfect opportunity for larger tornadoes to form.
But even though we're close to Oklahoma, as Dade points out, no EF-4 or EF-5 tornadoes have happened in our viewing area of East Texas since 1950.
"That's not to say it can't happen. Just the odds of those combinations coming together are so unlikely compared to what it is just a few hundred miles to the northwest," he said. "The further west you go, the drier the air mass, and that dry air plays a huge role in the severity of the storms."
Our topography plays a large part in keeping the larger tornadoes away, too.
Things like our hills and trees obstruct the winds moving in the lower levels of the atmosphere, which is where violent tornadoes form.
Sunday, August 31 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:12:10 GMT
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Dozens of videos are all over Twitter from parties held at Coastal Carolina University. Many of the posts lead back to a group called I'm Shmacked. It makes videos at universitiesMore >>
Dozens of videos are all over social media from parties held at Coastal Carolina University.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 12:21 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:21:29 GMT
An Alexander County woman is facing charges after deputies say she molested a four-year-old at a church while services were happening. According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old CarolMore >>
According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old Carol Diane Britto, of Taylorsville, was charged with one count of first degree statutory sex offense and one count of indecent liberties with a child.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 8:58 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:58:33 GMT
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.Prices are about $3.11 in the area on Labor Day, which, when compared toMore >>
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 8:32 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:32:26 GMT
With a severe thunderstorm moving its way through the Midlands, customers across Richland and Lexington counties currently find themselves without power. South Carolina Electric & Gas is reporting overMore >>
Over 4,000 outages have been reported across the Midlands according to SCE&G.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:54:12 GMT
Whitney Hempsey remembered what doctors told her before she gave birth to her second child years ago. "It's like, 'Hey, are you tired of being pregnant?" Hempsey recalled. "'We can give you this and youMore >>
Mothers come together at Improving Birth Rally in an effort to stop rushed births.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:18:34 GMT
Under a bright Carolina sun, citizens across the state enjoy going out and making a few waves on the lakes. Some like Johnathan Crossland enjoy fishing as a method of recreation and relaxation for a while.More >>
Boaters and law enforcement officials provide safety advice when making waves on the lakes.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:55:16 GMT
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing. Among those heroes are the thousands of troops who brought Hitler's EuropeMore >>
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing.More >>