Strong Tornadoes Rare In South Florida

May 22, 2013

This article was posted to the CBS-Miami Channel 4 website on May 22, 2013:

Strong Tornadoes a Rarity in South Florida

By Craig Setzer

We have all seen the devastation left in the wake of an EF-5 tornado that tore through Moore, Oklahoma Monday afternoon. Miami has the occasional tornado, but Oklahoma is in the middle of tornado alley which set the stage for Monday’s twister.

Several ingredients came together in extraordinary fashion on Monday over central Oklahoma to produce the violent and unusually large tornado that tore a path through Moore.

A strong jet stream dip, as well as warm and humid air from the south, and drier air from the west converged just west of Oklahoma City spawning the outbreak which resulted in nearly two dozen tornadoes including the one that ripped through Moore.

Tornadoes are not common in South Florida with about 6 or 7 weak, short lived tornadoes a year.

Occasionally, about every decade or so, tornadoes become deadly with the last tornado fatality in 2003 when Liberty City was struck by an EF2 with winds over 100 mph.

(EF refers to the “Enhanced Fujita” scale that measures the strength of tornadoes)

More recently an October 2012 tornado hit the Sunrise and Plantation areas of Broward in 2011.

Still, the twisters in Oklahoma should remind people everywhere to always remain weather aware when severe weather or hurricanes approach.