Thursday, December 27, 2012

New record set for tornadoes on Christmas day

Dr. Jeff Masters, 4:04 PM GMT on December 27, 2012

Winter Storm Euclid continues its U.S. tour today, and is pounding New England with heavy snows, high winds, and coastal flooding. The impressive storm set a record for most tornadoes spawned on Christmas Day, as 13 tornadoes have been confirmed (with at least 12 other suspected tornadoes still unrated.) The previous record for most tornadoes on Christmas Day was twelve, back in 1969. Yesterday, Euclid spawned an additional confirmed tornado in North Carolina. No more tornadoes are expected today.


At least two of the Christmas Day tornadoes were rated EF-3. The EF-3 that hit Pennington, in Southeast Texas, completely destroyed a feed store and a restaurant, and had winds up to 150 mph. The other EF-3 hit McNeil, Mississippi, and was rated a weak EF-3 with winds of 140 mph. The tornado cut a path 24 miles long, injured 8 people, and damaged or destroyed 46 homes. Only four other EF-3 tornadoes have been recorded on Christmas Day since 1950, according to the Tornado History Project. The latest in the year an EF-3 tornado has touched down is December 31. This occurred just two years ago, in 2010, when five EF-3 tornadoes raked Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois.


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