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NOUS41 KRLX 231336
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WVZ015-016-018>020-027>032-039-040-047-240215-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON WV
936 AM EDT MON JUN 23 2014

...70 YEARS AGO THIS EVENING...THE SHINNSTON TORNADO...

SEVENTY YEARS AGO THIS EVENING...A DEVASTATING TORNADO KILLED 103
PEOPLE IN WEST VIRGINIA. TO THIS DAY...IT REMAINS THE DEADLIEST
TORNADO ON RECORD FOR THE MOUNTAIN STATE.

ACTUALLY...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TELLS US THERE WERE A
SERIES OF TORNADOES ON JUNE 23RD...BACK IN 1944. HOWEVER...BACK
THEN...THERE WERE NO WEATHER RADARS IN THE REGION TO MONITOR THESE
STORMS.

THUNDERSTORMS FORMED OVER NORTHERN OHIO...IN ADVANCE OF A COLD
FRONT. THESE STORMS RACES SOUTHEAST. THERE WERE 4 PARALLEL PATHS
OF DESTRUCTION FROM NORTHWEST TO SOUTHEAST. ONE TORNADO WAS NEAR
INDIANA PENNSYLVANIA. ANOTHER TORNADO TRACK WAS FROM NEAR
PITTSBURGH TO SOMERSET. THE THIRD TORNADO WAS FROM WELLSBURG
THROUGH SOUTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA...THEN INTO PRESTON COUNTY...AND
FINALLY ENDING NEAR DEAR PARK MARYLAND.

THE 4TH...OR SOUTHERN MOST TORNADO IN THIS OUTBREAK...WAS THE WORST.
THE FUNNEL HIT THE GROUND AT 7 O'CLOCK ON THAT EVENING. IT WAS
JUST NORTHWEST OF SHINNSTON...NEAR THE SMALL COMMUNITY OF WYATT OF
HARRISON COUNTY. THE TORNADO CONTINUED FOR 40 MILES...UP AND DOWN
THE MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS...UNTIL DISSIPATING ON CHEAT
MOUNTAIN...NORTHEAST OF ELKINS AFTER 9 PM THAT FRIDAY EVENING.

THE COURSE OF THAT SOUTHERN TORNADO...WAS RIGHT THROUGH THE
PLEASANT HILL SECTION OF SHINNSTON. SOME EYEWITNESSES STATED THAT
WHEN THE TORNADO CROSSED THE WEST FORK RIVER...WATER WAS ACTUALLY
DRAWN UP...AND THE BOTTOM OF THE RIVER WAS VISIBLE.

THE STORM CONTINUED SOUTHEAST...HITTING THE TAYLOR COUNTY
COMMUNITIES OF FLEMINGTON AND SIMPSON. LUCKILY...THE TORNADO
SPARED PHILIPPI...PASSING JUST TO THE NORTH OF THAT BARBOUR COUNTY
COMMUNITY. THE NORTHERN RANDOLPH COUNTY TOWN OF MONTROSE WAS THE
LAST SIGNIFICANT COMMUNITY TO RECEIVE THE FURY OF THAT TORNADO.

SINCE THE MOST DESTRUCTION AND FATALITIES WERE AROUND
SHINNSTON...DOWN THROUGH THE YEARS AND DECADES...THIS STORM IS
SIMPLY REMEMBERED AS THE SHINNSTON TORNADO.

TORNADOES ARE INFREQUENT VISITORS TO THE MOUNTAIN STATE.
HOWEVER...70 YEARS AGO THIS EVENING IS A DEADLY EXAMPLE THAT WEST
VIRGINIA IS NOT IMMUNE TO THIS POWERFUL FORCE OF NATURE.


$$

KTB

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