Fallout of Debris from Tornadic Thunderstorms: A Historical Perspective and Two Examples from VORTEX

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Preliminary results of an investigation of debris lofted by tornadoes, its long-distance transport by thunderstorms, and its subsequent fallout are reported. The authors begin with a review of historical accounts, including the unique study of the 1984 Barneveld, Wisconsin, tornado by Anderson, which shows that long-distance transport and fallout of debris have occurred and that distances involved have been significant. The authors then report first-hand evidence of these phenomena in two events with F2 tornadoes: the Tuskahoma, Oklahoma, tornado of 25 April 1994 and the Gainesville, Texas, tornadoes of 26 April 1994. In both cases, traceable material in the form of canceled checks, bills-of-sale, invoices, and legal documents were reported to the authors, who were able to locate the source locations for several of these items. The authors close with some conjectures on the implications of these first findings.

*College of Geosciences, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.

+Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri.

#School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.

Corresponding author address: Dr. John T. Snow, Office of the Dean, University of Oklahoma, Sarkeys Energy Center, Room 710, 100 East Boyd St., Norman, OK 73019-0628. E-mail: jsnow@uoknor.edu

Preliminary results of an investigation of debris lofted by tornadoes, its long-distance transport by thunderstorms, and its subsequent fallout are reported. The authors begin with a review of historical accounts, including the unique study of the 1984 Barneveld, Wisconsin, tornado by Anderson, which shows that long-distance transport and fallout of debris have occurred and that distances involved have been significant. The authors then report first-hand evidence of these phenomena in two events with F2 tornadoes: the Tuskahoma, Oklahoma, tornado of 25 April 1994 and the Gainesville, Texas, tornadoes of 26 April 1994. In both cases, traceable material in the form of canceled checks, bills-of-sale, invoices, and legal documents were reported to the authors, who were able to locate the source locations for several of these items. The authors close with some conjectures on the implications of these first findings.

*College of Geosciences, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.

+Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri.

#School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.

Corresponding author address: Dr. John T. Snow, Office of the Dean, University of Oklahoma, Sarkeys Energy Center, Room 710, 100 East Boyd St., Norman, OK 73019-0628. E-mail: jsnow@uoknor.edu
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