Rita Becomes a Major Tornado Threat

Posted on September 25, 2005

Rita has been downgraded to a tropical depression and has moved away from the Texas and Louisiana coast. Unfortunately, she has become a severe weather and torando threat. This webpage which lists current tornado and severe weather warnings has been showing a new tornado warning every few minutes. Yesterday, Rita produced 21 tornadoes yesterday and has already exceeded that number today. The Storm Prediction Center provides information about current severe weather and also tracks recorded wind damage reports and tornado reports.

Rita's remnants are currently headed east into Alabama. They are forecast to evenutally end up in the Northeast as a rain producer. Hopefully, Rita will not break Hurricane Frances' record of 117 tornado reports from a hurricane. This NOAA article talks about the tornadoes produced by hurricanes last year:

"The number of tornadoes associated with tropical storms and hurricanes was extraordinary and can be partially blamed for the high number of overall tornado reports," McCarthy said. Tropical Storm Bonnie and five land-falling hurricanes-Charley, Frances, Gaston, Ivan and Jeanne-affected the mid-Atlantic and Southeast states during August and September. Tornadoes frequently occur in the northeast quadrant of northward advancing tropical systems or their remnants.

Hurricane Frances produced the most tornadoes for a tropical system with a preliminarily number of 117 reports. Frances tops Hurricane Beulah, which spawned 115 tornadoes in September 1967. Hurricane Ivan was close with 104 tornado reports, and a total of 16 tornadoes were reported in association with Hurricane Jeanne.

More from Science Space & Robots