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    Wedge Tornado - Xenia, Ohio


    Photographer's description not available.

    Photographer Fred Stewart
    Date taken April 3, 1974
    Location Xenia, OH (Greene County)     map
    Event Wedge tornado

    Additional notes
    This violent tornado tore a devastating path across Xenia, Ohio during the Super Outbreak of 1974.  The tornado, rated F5, killed over 30 people, injured 1100, and destroyed more than 1000 homes.

    The tornado in this photo is a rare wedge tornado, meaning it is at least as wide as it is tall. Its massive appearance at this stage alerted residents to its devastating intensity.  However, in earlier stages this tornado consisted of a series of vortices on the ground without a condensation funnel, but still produced incredible damage.  This shows how not all strong or violent tornadoes look like the massive twister pictured here.   While there is little correlation between a tornado's appearance and its strength, it is generally safe to assume that most wedge tornadoes have the potential to produce strong or violent damage. 

    Related NWS Product: Tornado Warning

    Safety Note: If you see a large tornado on the ground, take cover immediately!  Taking photos or video in this situation is very dangerous, and you are losing vital time to protect yourself.  Even if the tornado appears to be moving away from you, nearby downdrafts and inflow can strike without notice, and can reach speeds in excess of 80 mph.  These strong winds are often blowing toward the tornado, and may drag objects into the tornado itself.

    Be aware that clearly visible tornadoes such as this one are uncommon in the Ohio Valley.  Many (if not most) tornadoes in this part of the country are rain-wrapped and are difficult or impossible to see.  If a tornado warning is issued, do not stand outside expecting to see a tornado.  You need to be taking shelter.

    Storm Spotters: How to report this?

    Learn more about the 1974 Super Outbreak

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