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Sunday, May 1, 2016

TV weatherman talks tornadoes

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

WTWO News Channel 2 weatherman Jesse Walker talked about tornadoes with members of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce Tuesday. Jason Moon Photo.
Most can see his face plastered on the television between 6-6:30 p.m. each weeknight.

On Tuesday, WTWO News Channel 2 weatherman Jesse Walker paid a visit to members of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce during the organization's monthly luncheon.

He spent the afternoon at the Brazil YMCA discussing tornadoes.

"Typically, May is the biggest month, on average, for tornadoes," Walker told the audience.

Walker said April, May and June consist of the tornado season.

"We're two-thirds of the way through it," Walker said. "But it's been a very busy year."

Walker said from last Thursday through Tuesday, he had seen reports of 179 tornadoes.

However, he said the Wabash Valley has not seen a dramatic increase in tornadoes this season because of temperature.

"When you've got cooler than normal weather, you're going to have fewer tornadoes," Walker said.

But he said severe weather could head this way by the weekend as temperatures begin to rise.

Walker -- who has lived in Clay County for close to 20 years -- said tornadoes are the "most intense storms on the planet."

While discussing tornadoes Tuesday, Walker touched on myths involving the storms. He said some things have been modified over the years regarding staying safe when a tornado is approaching and the way of thinking regarding tornado safety is not what it used to be.

Walker said the worst outbreak of tornadoes in the Wabash Valley took place on Saturday, June 2, 1990, when 37 tornadoes hit the area in a five-hour period, with the closest hitting Worthington.

While talking about the storms Tuesday, Walker discussed the ratings of tornadoes, with zero being the weakest and a F-5 being the strongest.

He said in 1999, a F-5 tornado touched down in Oklahoma that had wind speeds of more than 300 mph. However, the only other F-5 tornado to hit the United States since then took place in Greensburg, Kan., last year. But that twister, Walker said, covered the entire town of Greensburg at one point.

Walker added the last F-5 tornado that took place in Indiana happened in 1974.

"They are extremely rare," Walker said. "Most of our tornadoes are zeros, ones, twos or threes."

Walker said this year's tornado season has been unusual.

"This has been a very busy year," he said. "This could be the most dangerous year for tornadoes in almost 70 years."

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