What Would Happen If Deadly Oklahoma Tornado Struck Montgomery?
This tornado season has been off to a late but deadly start. While it's been fairly quiet in Alabama, could we ever see a tornado like the one that hit Oklahoma Friday? It was the widest tornado ever recorded in the U.S.
The tornado that hit Oklahoma had winds reaching 296 miles per hour. The storm was 2.6 miles wide and carved a path more than 16 miles long destroying countless homes. Search crews found 18 bodies. Six were children.
"We have ingredients in the south that contribute to significant tornadoes," says Alabama News Network Chief Meteorologist Ashley McDonald.
If a similar storm hit Montgomery, the devastation it would cause would stretch from downtown to the Waugh exit on Interstate-85.
Alabamians will never forget the deadly tornado that hit Tuscaloosa in 2011 killing 65 people and injuring 1,500. That twister was under a mile wide when it struck Tuscaloosa, and when it crossed interstate 65, it was 1.5 miles wide.
"We actually see more tornadoes in the deep south than the great plains," says McDonald. "We just don't see the large scale tornadoes like the EF-4 and EF-5s. Those are a lot more rare just because of the dynamics of the terrains."
The National Weather Service reports the largest tornado in Alabama was just 1.6 miles wide. It struck Jackson and Dekalb counties in 1973.
We are in another severe weather season. Hurricane season started Saturday. Don't miss Alabama News Network's weather special: Safe from the Storm. Find out what you can expect this season, and how to stay safe. That's Saturday at 6 on CBS 8 and ABC Montgomery.