TORNADOES OF 2018 – Extreme Weather Documentary

Documentary about Tornado Alley weather in 2018. The best of tornadoes, landspout tornadoes, lightning and spectacular storms caught on camera from South Texas to South Dakota including behind the scenes wildlife & wackiness.

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2018 Tornado Statistics:

It seemed the theme for 2018 was gnarly, tornado warned storms, reluctant to drop tornadoes. It was a less active year with 991 confirmed tornadoes reported in the US. That’s more than 200 less than the annual average of around 1250.

With only 10 reported deaths, 2018 also had the lowest number of tornado-related fatalities on record in the United States. This is the lowest amount since records began in 1875.

2018 also reported an absence of incredibly violent tornadoes. This is the first year since records began in 1950 that a F/ EF4 or F/ EF5 tornado was not rated anywhere in the U.S.
*One EF4 was rated in Canada on August 3rd near Alonsa Manitoba.

Despite a lackluster year for tornado aficionados, there was no shortage of beautiful storm structures and epic lightning. In fact, 2018 is my best year ever for lightning captures since beginning around 1995. One of the highlights of the year was in the AM hours of June 25th. I followed an MCS across Kansas and captured several clusters of multiple leaders leaping up from wind turbines into the clouds. Also know as upward-moving lightning or ground-to-cloud lightning, these upward moving clusters numbered from 6 to 14 leaders upward moving leaders at a time. The discharges appear simultaneous on high speed video with a frame rate of 240 / second, however higher speed video might eventually reveal separations in these clustered discharges.

Storm Facts & Information:

How can you tell the difference between positive and negative lightning?

Positive lightning typically originates higher in the storm and flash durations tend to exist longer than less powerful negative strikes. Negative lightning flashes tend to be quicker and with multiple flickers or strokes. This is a good basis for distinguishing the two, however not fool proof.

Is a landspout a tornado? What is the difference?

Yes, landspouts are tornadoes. Landspouts are like waterspouts but form over land. These tornadoes do not develop from supercell mesocyclones, rather low level vorticity colocated under a stretching storm updraft. They tend to be weaker (on the EF0 to EF1 range) but can still pack all the beauty.

Storm Video, photography and editing by Pecos Hank LLC. Copyright 2019
Additional licensed video of the June 28th Capitol MT tornadoes by Evan Ludes
Additional licensed video of the May 1st Kansas tornado by Blake Brown

“Angle’s Serenade” by Southern Backtones
“Won’t Pray Adagio” by Southern Backtones
“El Reno Blues” by Pecos Hank
“Monster Show (instrumental)” by Pecos Hank
“March of the Serpents” by Pecos Hank
“Slumber Party Adagio” by Southern Backtones
Glamorous Adagio” by Southern Backtones

*Music Score / guitar noodling by Pecos Hank


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