Tornadoes don’t occur in the Loop, do they?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
Tornadoes don’t occur in the Loop, do they?

Derrison Platt

Dear Derrison,
Tornadoes can occur in the Loop. According to tornado researcher the late Dr. Ted Fujita, the friction caused by tall buildings in central Chicago would disrupt the inflow needed for tornadoes and help dissipate weak ones, but nothing would stop the strongest EF4 or EF5 tornadoes.
On May 6, 1876, an F3 tornado (containing winds of 158 to 206 mph) struck in what would become the Loop. Two people were killed, but no tornadoes have been reported in the Loop since then.
No spot in the Chicago area is immune from tornadoes, and the same holds for the entire Midwest. Tornadoes can occur anywhere in the nation’s midsection; the chance occurrence is low but not non-existent.


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