A weekend convective storm outbreak in the U.S. Midwest– including 122 tornados in a 24 hour period between April 14 and April 15 — will likely result in the most damage being reported in Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa, according to catastrophe modeling firms RMS and AIR Worldwide.
Preliminary reports say that the most severe damage occurred near the greater Wichita city area of Kansas where 100 tornados reportedly made touchdown, including the system’s most powerful twister, according to Dr. Tim Doggett, principal scientist with AIR Worldwide.
“Preliminary reports found damage consistent with an EF-3 tornado in Wichita (estimated population of 382,368 in 2010); this tornado ravaged heavily populated residential neighborhoods, and a few mobile home parks southeast of the city, in the Oaklawn district,” Doggett said in a statement.
A statement from RMS added that “significant tornado damage” was also experienced in Oklahoma in a town 140 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. Emergency management officials reported damage to 89 homes and 13 businesses in the town of Woodward, according to RMS.
An unconfirmed EF2 Tornado also struck Thurman, Iowa where damage occurred to to 75% of homes, RMS added.
“Damage assessments from the National Weather Service are ongoing and it will take weeks to develop a more complete picture of the destruction,” the AIR statement said.
AIR added in its statement that seasonal severe storm activity “is slightly higher than normal” but “a single strong event often offsets the annual total level of activity from the normal level.”