PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Hurricane IRENE continues to pound the region with flooding rains, damaging winds and numerous Tornado Warnings.
Between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday, more than a dozen unique tornado warnings were issued throughout the Delaware Valley. One tornado report from two miles south of Lewes, DE indicated 15-17 homes were hit and 1 home was demolished.
Meanwhile, numerous trees, power lines, and other debris were reported blowing on streets from South Jersey to the Lehigh Valley.
Irene is currently packing winds of 80 mph which places it as a CAT 1 on the Saffir Simpson scale but this storm is Large, powerful and far from over.
When a TORNADO WATCH is issued, it means that conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes. When a TORNADO WARNING is issued it means that danger is imminent and a tornado has been indicated by Doppler Radar or has been spotted by a trained observer and you need to seek Shelter immediately.
It is not uncommon for hurricanes to spawn tornadoes, especially in the front right quadrant of the storm. The change in wind speed and wind direction with height (called wind shear) can cause rotation and ultimately cause tornadoes. The outbreak of tornado warnings we experienced earlier was a result of an extreme rain band moving onshore.
IRENE is rocketing up the U.S. east coast and will leave a path of historic flooding and destruction in our area for years to come.