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Must-see: Northern lights brighten the night sky in parts of U.S., Canada

Published: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 1:48 AM

The Majestic Show in the Sky

Some lucky skygazers across parts of the northern United States and Canada got a chance to see the aurora borealis light up the night sky late Sunday and early Monday.

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If you missed the show, here are some stunning photos of the northern lights shared by social-media users:

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WATCH: Stunning time-lapse video shows supercell, lightning storm

Published: Monday, July 10, 2017 @ 8:32 AM

Thunderstorm (stock photo).
Samuel D. Barricklow/Getty Images
Thunderstorm (stock photo).(Samuel D. Barricklow/Getty Images)

A photographer captured stunning views of a long-lived supercell storm in Kansas on Friday that is wrapped in a vivid array of lightning bolts.

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Jake Thompson/LSM shot the storm outside Russell Springs in Logan County just as the sun set Friday. The mesocyclonic structure seemed to hover as large hail pummeled the area.

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Unsettled weather moved across the Central Plains of the U.S. on Friday, sparking off storms in several states.

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Tornado Facts and Safety

Published: Friday, June 23, 2017 @ 5:44 PM



Cultura RM Exclusive/Jason Perso/Getty Images/Cultura Exclusive
(Cultura RM Exclusive/Jason Perso/Getty Images/Cultura Exclusive)

Tornado Facts

Tornadoes can range in intensity. Wind speeds are measured on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which was implemented in February of 2007:

  • EF0 = 65 – 85 mph winds
  • EF1 = 86 – 110 mph winds
  • EF2 = 111 – 135 mph winds
  • EF3 = 136 – 165 mph winds
  • EF4 = 166 – 200 mph winds
  • EF5 = Over 200 mph winds


Tetsuya Theodore "Ted" Fujita (1920-1998) developed the original Fujita Tornado Intensity Scale. The scale was changed to the “Enhanced” Fujita Scale in 2007, after more information about the destructiveness of tornadoes had been scientifically examined. The estimated wind speeds were updated, and more specific damage requirements were set. Tornadoes are now measured AFTER damage has been assessed, days after a tornado strikes.

The size of a tornado is not necessarily a measure of its intensity. Larger tornadoes can be weaker and less violent than smaller tornadoes that have more intense winds. Tornadoes in the EF0-EF2 range are much more likely to develop than stronger ones, but all tornadoes can be deadly. Following these tips could save your life.

Tornado safety tips

1. Have a plan in place:

  • Know in advance exactly what to do when a tornado nears.
  • Know where to take shelter in seconds.
  • Practice home tornado drills with your entire family.
  • Have your kids draw a picture of their home with their “safe place.”

2. The best shelter is a tornado shelter, or an interior room like a closet or bathroom on the lowest level of your home, away from glass or windows.

  • Bring pillows and blankets to cover yourselves from falling debris and wear bike helmets to protect your head.
  • Have a flashlight and a battery-operated radio to take into your shelter with you.
  • You may even turn your television volume up loud enough so that you can hear severe weather alert updates.

3. If you live in a mobile home:

  • Get out!
  • Find the nearest shelter, like a neighbor’s house.
  • If no other shelter is available, it is safer to lie down, as low as you can, such as in a ditch, outside, covering your head with your hands.
  • Even if your mobile home is tied down it is not a safe place during a tornado.
4. If you’re in your car:
  • Get out!
  • Find shelter in a sturdy building. If you don’t see one, find a ditch away from trees and other cars.
  • Lie down in the ditch with your hands covering your head.
  • If there’s no ditch, find an open area of land away from trees and cars. Lie flat on the ground and cover your head with your hands.

Tornado flattens buildings near Birmingham, Alabama

Published: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 5:54 PM

Liquor bottles remain untouched on a shelf after a possible tornado touched down destroying several businesses, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Fairfield, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/AP
Liquor bottles remain untouched on a shelf after a possible tornado touched down destroying several businesses, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Fairfield, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)(Butch Dill/AP)

A tornado damaged several businesses outside Birmingham, Alabama, onTuesday.

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Meteorologist Jason Holmes said buildings, including a liquor store and a fast-food restaurant, in the suburban community of Fairfield, west of the city, were reported damaged.

Holmes also told The Associated Press that trees were down and buildings were reported damaged along the Interstate 20 corridor on the southwestern outskirts of Birmingham.

Photographs on social media showed what appeared to be a funnel cloud in the air in the Birmingham area.

30 minutes of hail costs Texas a whopping $480 million

Published: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 3:05 AM

A man shows a piece of golf ball size hail that caused some damage in the area in Odessa, Texas, Wednesday, June 14, 2017. (Jacob Ford/Odessa American via AP)
Jacob Ford|Odessa American/AP
A man shows a piece of golf ball size hail that caused some damage in the area in Odessa, Texas, Wednesday, June 14, 2017. (Jacob Ford/Odessa American via AP)(Jacob Ford|Odessa American/AP)

What’s a little hail?

If you’re asking Texas, almost $500 million in damages

Last week, grapefruit-sized hail fell in Odessa for about 30 minutes, the Houston Chronicle reports. But what’s especially newsworthy about the occurrence is that the half-hour managed to cause $480 million in damages, according to an estimate made by the Insurance Council of Texas.

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Thousands of homes and some 35,000 vehicles are thought to have been damaged during the storm. 

According to one Insurance Council of Texas official, a hailstorm hasn’t caused as much damage in the area in 20 or 30 years. 

One car dealership reported that all of its 700 vehicles were hit in the storm, totaling an estimated $10 million worth of damage. 

Read more here or here.

Get Ahead of the Storm - 5 Severe Weather Hacks

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