Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Severe Weather Myths: Tornadoes Avoid Valleys

Severe Weather Myth: A tornado can’t hit my town because it sits in a valley

This is one of the most dangerous severe weather myths I have heard, especially here in northwest Ohio. A lot of people honestly believe it. First…let me bust this myth by showing this video of a tornado moving through mountains and valley in Tennessee.


Although the video has proven tornadoes do cross valleys, let’s continue on the assumption that MAYBE valleys do change the path of a storm. Below is a picture from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that shows the topography (height above sea level) of Ohio. Notice that Northwest Ohio is certainly the lowest part of Ohio but there are no significant valleys to affect storms. Severe storms that reach 40-50 thousand feet into the atmosphere will not be deterred in anyway by a 50-100 foot change in elevation on the ground.