In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, PAT wrote:
> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I understand the _height_ of buildings
> in a community make a difference also. For instance, I have never seen
> nor heard of a tornado in downtown Chicago (for example; is it even
> possible?) nor in Manhattan, NY. I _assume_ it may have something to
> do with the overall height on average of the buildings. Am I correct
> on that? Our tallest buildings here in Independence are, approximatly
> in this order: 'Professional Building' downtown, 6 stories; the 'Arco
> Building' (also known as 'Independence Corporate Office Center'), 5
> stories; a portion of Mercy Hospital, 4 stories; 'Penn Terrace' (a
> senior citizen housing complex), 6 stories; Saint Andrews Roman
> Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church, and Epiphany Episcopal Church
> each of which have steeples about 50-70 feet high. And they are all
> scattered about town, not right next to each other, as for example one
> would see buildings along Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Unlike a place
> like Chicago, where one town ends and another suburb immediatly
> begins and the only thing you notice is a sign saying now leaving
> suburb X and entering suburb Y, same style houses and continuing
> streets, you leave one town here, go through a rural area and then come
> eventually to the next town, five to fifteen or twenty miles
> away. That may make a difference in air/wind patterns also. PAT]
The only infallible rule about tornado paths is "they go where they
d*mn well please". E.g. the 'wisdom' that tornadoes won't cross a
river valley. See Xenia, Ohio, 1974 for how accurate *that* wisdom
Since 1855 there have been 89 'significant' tornadoes in the Chicago
area. One in 1876 ripped apart buildings in downtown Chicago, a large
multiple-vortex tornado was seen moving out over Lake Michigan. 2
fatalities, 35 injured.
In 1896, one went through Park Ridge, Edison Park, and Norwood Park.
In 1912, one touched down in (now Skokie), and carried through Wilmette.
1920, a biggie, starting around Romeoville, going through Maywood/Bellwood,
and all the way to Wilmette. a 53 mile(!) ground track.
1963, wholly inside the city -- from 91st & Western to 68th and the
lake. $7 million in damages -- 1 killed, 115 injured.
1967, Palos Hills to Oak lawn, to Chicago's South side; over $50
million in damages, _33_ killed, 500 injured.
Several 'smaller' tornadoes have hit near Evanston since the 1950s, and,
in 1961 and 1967, tornadoes hit just south of the U of C on the south side.
As for (modern) big cities being immune, on March 28, 2000, a twister
went through downtown Fort Worth TX, killing 2, and causing $400
million in damages. Oklahoma City, Miami, Nashville, Salt Lake City,
Cincinnati, Birmingham, and Washington D.C. have also been hit in
for a picture of a tornado among the skyscrapers.
See: http://www.usatoday.com/weather/tornado/wtcities.htm for stuff on