Was It a Tornado Or Straight-line Winds? Here’s What Survey Teams Look for After a Storm

It’s been a busy few weeks for meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s office in Fort Worth.Recent storms this month have caused damage throughout North Texas. In some cases that damage has been the result of strong straight-line winds, and in others, tornadoes have been to blame.After an outbreak of severe weather, weather-service meteorologists gather information from storm reports, and, based on how extensive the damage is, determine whether to deploy two- to four-person survey teams to evaluate affected areas.Straight-line windsDamage from straight-line winds is generally easier to determine than that of a tornado — a tell-tale sign is trees felled in the same direction as the wind’s flow. Although straight-line winds aren't always considered as fearsome as tornadoes, they can be just as destructive."Those winds can be strong enough to produce damage like that of a tornado," said Bianca Villanueva, a meteorologist with the weather service.  Continue reading...

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