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Randy Mann: Late-season storms hit the Midwest

Thu., Nov. 21, 2013

The Northern Hemisphere has experienced unusual weather through the first half of November.

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on Nov. 7. This massive storm was the second-deadliest Philippine typhoon ever recorded and was one of the strongest storms ever observed.

That super typhoon was the equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane. Typhoons and hurricanes are both violent tropical cyclones; the difference is in their location. Sustained winds for Haiyan were between 145 and 175 mph, but there was a one-minute period when the winds hit 190 mph with gusts near 235 mph.

In the western Pacific Ocean, storms can form at any time of year, but most typically develop between May and October, the same as the Atlantic and Caribbean hurricane season. It’s very unusual to see a storm that intense so late in the season.

On Sunday, a huge storm brought strong thunderstorms, hail and deadly tornadoes to the Midwest.

Illinois was the hardest hit, with seven counties declared disaster areas. Whole neighborhoods were wiped out in parts of Illinois’ Washington County. The final tally for the storm is likely to be 30-40 tornadoes, but there were reports of 80 twisters that touched the ground.

The record for November tornadoes is 105, set Nov. 21-23, 1992. Before Sunday’s storm, the last time a severe weather warning was issued for so late in the season was in 2005, when 49 tornadoes were reported.

The storm also hit Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan, where it set a record as the latest tornado-producing system in the state’s history.

Contact Randy Mann at, or go to for additional information.

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