Monday’s tornado in Wrights was ‘significant,’ with 115 mph winds

Monday’s tornado in Wrights was ‘significant,’ with 115 mph winds

A tornado that caused major damage Monday in Wrights was the first Greene County tornado to rate on the Enhanced Fujita Scale since one that cut through the area on Aug. 31, 2012.

“This one was rated at an EF-2,” said Marshall Pfahler, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in St. Louis. “It’s peak winds were at 115 mph.”

The EF Scale tops out at EF-5, for tornadoes with speeds of more than 200 mph. That means Monday’s tornado in Wrights was significant but still on the smaller side, despite the damage it caused, Pfahler said.

“The length of the tornado was established to be on the ground for 3 miles and the width of it was 75 yards,” he said, adding that the tornado’s path took a south-southwest to north-northeast direction.

No other tornadoes were recorded during Monday’s storm, though an earlier storm had clouds with some rotation, Pfahler said.

“Might of had a smaller impact but nothing major happened,” he said.

The August 2012 storm was rated at EF-0; it traveled just under 1.5 miles and was 60 yards wide, according to the National Weather Service.

Since April 1880, there have been 22 recorded tornadoes in Greene County, including Monday’s, with the largest one recorded in May 1917; it traveled 155 miles and was 800 yards wide.

The Wright farm in Wrights sustained major damage from Monday’s tornado, which destroyed two large sheds, a silo and some farm equipment.

During the touchdown, one person took shelter in one of the sheds and two people sought safety inside a pickup truck.

According to Greene County Emergency Management Department, a damage estimate for Monday’s tornado has not been determined.

The EF Scale rating for tornadoes is:

EF-0 — weak, 65-85 mph, gale

EF-1 — weak, 86-110 mph, moderate

EF-2 — strong, 111-135 mph, significant

EF-3 — strong, 136-165 mph, severe

EF-4 — violent, 166-200 mph, devastating

EF-5 — violent, greater than 200 mph, incredible.

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