Eye-roller study: Climate change, tornadoes and mobile homes: A dangerous mix

From MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY and the “volatility” department comes this ridiculous study that was debunked even before it was written by existing tornado data, which shows no increase in tornados F3 and higher to 2012

and all tornadoes, essentially flat

and actually in downtrend since 1970:

Plus, a study also published this week that says a warmer climate is a more stable climate, ie. without increased severe weather volatility suggests their claim of more deaths and damage is just junk science with an agenda.

Climate change, tornadoes and mobile homes: A dangerous mix

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Tornadoes and mobile homes don’t mix to begin with, but throw in the volatility of climate change and the potential for massive property damage and deaths is even higher in coming decades, indicates a new study by Michigan State University researchers.

The number of mobile homes in the United States has risen dramatically in the past 60 years, to about 9 million currently. Meanwhile, the U.S. is the most tornado-prone country in the world, with an average of 1,200 twisters per year, and scientists predict climate change will continue fueling more unstable weather events including tornadoes.

The annual impact of tornadoes is expected to increase threefold over the next few decades due to the “twin forces of increased climate variability and growth in the human-built environment,” according to the study, which is published online in the journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

“If the climatologists are right about the continuing effects of climate change,” said Mark Skidmore, MSU economics professor and co-author of the study, “then people living in mobile homes could be particularly vulnerable to tornadoes in the years to come.”

The researchers investigated underlying factors of tornado fatalities in the U.S. from 1980 to 2014. There were 2,447 tornado-related deaths during that period; the bulk occurred in the “tornado alley” region of the Midwest and Southeast.

On average, Texas has the most tornadoes annually (150) followed by Kansas (80), Oklahoma (64) and Florida (61). Florida also has the most mobile homes in the nation (849,304), followed by Texas (731,652), according to U.S. Census data.

The two biggest factors related to tornado fatalities were housing quality (measured by mobile homes as a proportion of housing units) and income level. When a tornado strikes, a county with double the number of mobile homes as a proportion of all homes will experience 62 percent more fatalities than a county with fewer mobile homes, according to the study data.

The number of mobile homes in the U.S. increased from just 315,218 in 1950 to 8.7 million in 2010 – a trend that has been driven largely by persistent income inequality, Skidmore said.

“Though mobile homes offer a relatively inexpensive but comfortable housing alternative, it appears that this trend has made the United States more vulnerable to tornadoes over time,” the study says. “Given this trend and our findings, it is critical that federal, state and local policymakers consider alternatives to reduce vulnerability for those living in this type of housing arrangement.”

Recommendations include requiring communal shelters in mobile home parks and eliminating the often sizable tax breaks that mobile home owners receive and directing that extra revenue toward emergency management and public safety efforts.

While tax advantages make mobile home living more attractive, they also encourage people to live in housing that is more vulnerable to tornadoes, the study notes. “The external cost of being exposed to greater tornado risks may be ignored when households choose to live in mobile homes due to affordability.”

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117 thoughts on “Eye-roller study: Climate change, tornadoes and mobile homes: A dangerous mix

    • Good one !

      The whole problem is including the EF1 tornado data since these lesser events have been strongly affected by deployment of doppler radar and modern connectivity leading to the slightest dust devil being film, Facebooked and Instagrammed to death. EF1 much be removed as it is more an indication of detection limit than of what is happening in climate. This has been known and recognised for decades.

      Now look at the rest : the “extreme” weather events:

      https://climategrog.wordpress.com/tornado_compare_ef234/

      However, excluding EF1 category storms, the record of more powerful categories can be seen to be quite consistent.

    • Wrong answer, Greg. It’s right under your nose: TAX MONEY!!!

      Right here: Recommendations include requiring communal shelters in mobile home parks and eliminating the often sizable tax breaks that mobile home owners receive and directing that extra revenue toward emergency management and public safety efforts.

      “often sizable tax breaks” — Gee, all that extra revenue that is actually collected by mobile home PARK OWNERS from their tenants via the monthly lot rent and paid to the county, while the HOME OWNERS pay the tax on their homes directly.

      Always follow the money, Greg. It’s all about the money, and never anything else.

      • Sara, …..right on, it’s the lost TAX MONEY!!!

        And lots of those “mobile home” are moved in and out of those mobile home parks so often that the Tax Accessors never learn about them being there or catches up with them in time to record them on the County Tax Rolls.

    • Mobile homes should all be driven out into the desert, and parked there, to keep the tornadoes away from people.

      g

  1. The study claims the risk comes form poor housing and climate change.
    Why look at climate change?
    Poor housing is easier to fix.

    Building houses is less work than re-creating the chemistry of the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere.
    And it’s less controversial too.

    Politics is the art of the possible. This is a prime example of why climate change alarm is politically vulnerable.

    • But Greens don’t want houses to be made of trees, which help save the planet from the Evil Gas by sacrificially absorbing it.

      Mud or holes in the ground of course would be even better than metal, since require less energy to produce. As long as the holes were dug by shovel, with the diggers holding their breath.

      • Chimp, a bit of a correction:
        Greens already have their houses made of wood..in the forest.
        They simply don’t want anyone else to have one of these, as it would make their forest more crowded.

    • Poor housing is easier to fix.

      Trailers have an advantage that most houses lack. They are designed to travel down the highway at 60 mph. My gut feeling is that it wouldn’t be too hard to make trailers just as tornado proof as regular houses. link

      • with small modification we can design them with better glide ratios than your standard single family home despite what that propaganda film “The Wizard of Oz” would have us believe.

      • powers2be May 4, 2017 at 4:15 pm

        … better glide ratios …

        Very interesting. It seems that a properly constructed mobile home can fly 130 miles vs. 10 miles for a conventional home. link I totally would not believe this if I hadn’t found it on the internet.

      • ” My gut feeling is that it wouldn’t be too hard to make trailers just as tornado proof as regular houses.”

        The main problem with trailers is they usually have flimsy plastic skirting surrounding the lower part of the trailer, and because of this, high winds can easily get underneath a trailer and lift it off the ground, and then you are in big trouble.

        Everyone in Tornado Alley should have some kind of shelter they can run to if necessary. No home, trailer or site-built, can withstand the stronger tornadoes. You need to be in a shelter, preferably underground, when the big one comes through.

      • The trailer parks that I have visited have had shelters. The problem is distance. These are usually communal shelters in the center of the park. There’s a big difference between running outside and down into the shelter that’s beside your house, versus having to run a block or two to get to the shelter.

      • Trailers are designed to be driven down the highway narrow end first. 60 mph crosswinds often knock over 18-wheelers.

        You need to put your mobile home on a turntable configured to make it be a wind vane.

    • Hmmmn. But the Greenie-enviro’s allies in Congress and the regulatory bodies CAUSED the housing crisis (by their demands on the lending industry to oppose “racist” policies that actually required people to be able to pay for the house they were getting a loan to buy!) and by the energy crisis oil-price spike in 2007-2008 that tripped the rest of the economy in the recession.

      So, less greenie-activism means better economy and a better economy means fewer trailer parks are needed to house the starving masses yearning to breathe free.

      • LOL…..RACookPE1978 must never have heard of a “CDO” that wonderful Wall Street financial engineering invention for mortgage backed securities. They came out a long time before the “housing crisis.” Because Congress and the regulatory agencies had no say in how these wonderful “inventions” were created and marketed, the people selling them (investment banks) not only sold them to investors, they sold them short because they knew better!!!!!

      • Yeppers. He was. And he DID push and emphasize the growing (and very popular) [CAGW] trend – at that time the “pause” was less than 3-4 years in length! – that DID bring problems that Obola only exaggerated.
        Do you really think that “republican” means “conservative” all the time?
        Do you really think Bush was even a conservative in any real way? Foolish assumption, that.

      • “Bushy-boi”

        They just can’t help themselves. They have to indulge in personal attacks. It’s part of the mindset, I guess.

      • “Do you really think Bush was even a conservative in any real way?”

        I remember castigating Bush back in 1994 on Usenet about his soft stance on illegal aliens. I told him then that he was going against the will of the American people. He didn’t seem to understand that then, and he doesn’t seem to understand it now. Trump understands.

        G.W. was a moderate, but he was very good at recognizing who our enemies in the world were (so is Trump, and they are the same enemies). He was prescient in his description of the horrors that would take place in Iraq, were the U.S. to pull combat troops out too early. Bush turned an Iraq success story in 2008, over to Obama who promptly turned it into a horror story by pulling out U.S. combat troops too early. Just what Bush advised against. Now Trump is having to play cleanup.

        Bush wasn’t perfect, but he was as good or better than any alternative at the time. We could have had Gore leading us down the path of destruction, you know. It was too close.

      • That castigation of Bush on illegal aliens took place in 2004, not 1994. I was hammering on the NASA administrator back in 1994 (sci.space.policy). Then I did a long stent on alt.politics/talk.politics, and then I came over to WUWT, to a very interesting conversation that is ongoing. I love this place!

      • I find it amazing how leftists actually believe that anything less than total government control of everything, is the equivalent to anarchy.

        It’s also fascinating how little historical knowledge the average leftist has. In their minds, the housing crisis started the day it first hit the news. The fact that it took decades to build up to the point where everything collapses is to complex an idea for their simple minds to comprehend.

        PS: Bush presented a bill to congress to fix this problem, but your Democrats fillibustered it to death.

    • It sounds like a myth, but I think there is some possible truth to this, and I think the causation is backwards. Mobile home parks are often on the outskirts of cities and at least one study has concluded that tornadoes tend to track along transition zones, i.e. the cities edge, topography changes. And I’ve noticed from living in tornado alley, that once an area is hit by a large tornado, people are sometimes hesitant about building a home there again, and the area is usually built up with lower land values, i.e. mobile home parks.

    • This has been know since the creation of mobile home parks. But if you just through in “climate change” it becomes a new study.

    • Around thirty-five or forty years ago a TV station in Denver, Colorado, on their afternoon news & weather, showed the track of a tornado that had just hit eastern Colorado. The tornado had traveled straight down the main street of town for several blocks (I have forgotten the name of the town), turned hard left for 2 blocks, turned hard right to hit a mobile home park a couple of blocks down that street, then turned back to the main street and traveled out of town on its original path. Even with all the devastation it was awful hard not to laugh. There has to be some kind of (magical?) attraction that mobile home parks have for tornadoes to that to happen.

    • “Tornadoes and mobile homes don’t mix”

      But they do. Mobile homes attract tornadoes. Everybody knows that.

  2. a trend that has been driven largely by persistent income inequality, Skidmore said.

    Sigh. Just gotta push those watermelon buttons…

    • It’s a nearly universal trend. The greater the power of government, the greater the income equality in the country.

      • Income inequality will exist as long as inequality of abilities exists.
        Inequality of abilities will exist as long as there is more than 1 person in the world.
        Inequality of abilities stems from the innate desire to be a successful thriving human.

      • But taking wealth accumulated from the hardest working and most apt people and giving it away to the least apt is a good idea, right? What could go wrong with telling everyone that they will receive a certain amount of wealth regardless of how hard they strive? You act like it would create a self entitled culture that expects a relatively comfortable lifestyle is just given to them…oh wait.

      • The greater the power of government, the greater the income equality in the country.

        Well well. No. The more homogeneous ethnic composition, the less income inequality.

      • MarkW – May 4, 2017 at 2:24 pm

        Don’t forget skimming of a sizable chunk for the people who run the government.

        “YUP”, and it is that sizable chunk and the yearly increase in government employee “skimming” that prompts the government to mandate increases in Minimum Wages and “freebies” to the underachievers and “couch potatoes” …… to prevent them from biting off the hands that have been feeding them.

    • a trend that has been driven largely by persistent income inequality, Skidmore said.

      Sigh. Just gotta push those watermelon buttons…
      _______________________________________

      In the end – a president isn’t elected by dollars. But by voters.

      • There is very little correlation between how much a candidate spends and whether the candidate wins or not.
        About the only place where money makes much difference are in local races that get no media coverage.

  3. There was a cartoon circulating that depicted two angles watching a tornado tear into a trailer park. One angel comments to the other:
    “You’d think by now they’d have figured out that the Big Guy doesn’t like trailer parks.”

      • They must have been going off on a tangent…

        FWIW, in SE TX, many mobile home/travel trailer dwellers are Hispanic. Can’t wait for the paper that points out the racial inequality of tornado paths.

  4. In reality is it the unsubstantial nature of “mobile homes” that puts them at high risk to any sever weather that includes high winds.
    Unsecured to the foundation
    Light weight construction
    Large flat sided structures with little to no internal support
    Usually situated in marginal housing zones after all the good property is occupied.

    What possibly could go wrong?

    • Also…
      They are subject to sales tax on purchase like an RV or car on full or partial value.
      They have unusual financing that is not like a mortgage.

      • Incorrect. The tax is on the title to the home. It is not a sales tax. And the financing is a 30-year mortgage. And furthermore, since it’s considered to be a dwelling, not an RV, there is a property tax levied by the county, which is paid by the homeowner If the homeowner doesn’t own the lot, he pays a monthly rent which includes property tax levied on the park owner, among other things.

      • I’ve paid sales taxes on home sales before. Might depend on the state you live in.

    • They are built much better than say 40 years ago. My trailer house is framed from 2x4s, 16″ O.C., 7/16 waferboard sheathing, and roof trusses just like a typical site-built house. If I recall correctly, the trusses are anchored to the wall top plates with metal straps. There’s insulation in the walls, roof, and floor, and the many windows are all double-glazed.

      I don’t understand what the big tax break is supposed to be. I pay property taxes on my house and fifty acres just like anyone else with real estate.

      Interesting comment above regarding the wind lifting up the house from underneath. It makes me real glad the central part of my house is on an 8 foot deep basement, with a waferboard skirt to close in the crawl space on each end. And some day I will properly anchor my house to the concrete foundation with steel cables, maybe even before a big wind blows it away.

      The best part about buying a used trailer house for less than the cost of a new Camry is that I don’t have to be a debt slave to the banks for thirty years. Maybe that is the whole objection to trailer houses – bankers insist they must suck everyone’s blood to their dying day “in order to save the economy”.

  5. What does a red neck divorce and a tornado have in common? Somebody is gunna loose a trailer.

    • Trailer Park Rules

      1. No cars up on blocks for longer than three weeks.

      2. No changing your oil in the street.

      3. No loud and wild parties without inviting the manager.

      4. You may have no more than 3 beer can wind chimes each only having no more than 6 cans each.

      5. Drunkenness will not be tolerated in the streets prior to 10 am.

      6. While outside of your trailer you must be at least partially clothed.*

      7. If you prefer to clean your trailer in the nude, please close the curtains. *

      8. When bringing in the Jerry Springer or COPS film crews, please provide the management prior written notice so that certain residents may be forewarned.

      9. Empty beer bottles should not be discarded on the front lawn. However, they may remain there until you are sober enough to collect them with the understanding you will collect them within 7 days whether sober or not.

      10. When bringing dates home to your trailer, please be advised that in the event the sidewalks need to be repaired or replaced due to the weight of your date, you will be responsible for all cost incurred.

      • 11. Loud arguments with your spouse or children should only spill out of the trailer if the subject under discussion is suitable for a wide audience.

        12. Please ensure that your dog does NOT “do its business” in your next door neighbours plot. It should shit at least 3 plots away.

  6. The entire rating scheme for tornado intensity will be thrown into chaos if they keep damaging trailer parks. The “F” scale (Fujita index) is a measure of a tornado’s intensity based upon the damage it inflicts in $ value. You could wipe away an entire trailer park and not rise to a very high F# due to the low value of the property[sarc]

    • It all evens out, because the industrial park across the street is worth millions.

  7. I’m wondering how many people really don’t know or believe that a mobile home is a bad place to be in a tornado. If people know this, and know there are tornadoes, isn’t that just a choice they make? When I lived in tornado country, I would not have lived in a mobile home not on a foundation or would have made sure there were provisions for a place to go very near the home in case of bad weather. I live in a double-wide mobile home now, in a high wind area. When there’s a tornado warning, I go to the garage, which is on a foundation with very little glass, etc. Is it safer? Probably. No one really can tell. My point is I know the risks and live here by choice even with the risks. I take as many precautions as possible. You can only avoid so much risk.

    • Yes, the garage is “safer” than in the trailer (which is higher up, catches more wind and that wind is at higher veocities. The garage, a solid building on a slab with anchored walls all nailed/screwed together IS more stable than a trailer.

      But you are far better to have even a shallow hole (pit or storm cellar or even a lined closable shelter) than being above ground. Let the trash and debris go by overhead. Duck! Ours in the basement, beside the wall with a reinforced door frame. You may not be able to afford that. But anything low-down with a roof is better.

  8. “Climate change” can’t cause anything. A long-term change in WEATHER shows the climate Is changing. This is like saying spots on one’s face causes measles.

  9. Insurance companies actually live in the real world, not the fake world . They have actual data that reflects their”risk”
    I wonder what they think about this “study”????????

  10. Here’s the actual abstract from the article below. It’s paywalled so I can’t read the whole thing.

    Not a single word about climate change in the abstract. I wonder if this is one on those things where they just threw that in for fun? If anyone has the actual article, is there any mention of climate change within?

    “Tornadoes are the most frequent of the natural hazards in the United States, causing significant yearly human and economic losses. Given the potential destructive power of tornado events and their largely unpredictable nature, it is important to identify the major determinants of vulnerability. To date, only a limited number of studies have empirically investigated the determinants of tornado-induced deaths. Based on a conceptual framework where risk is considered to be a function of physically defined natural hazards and socially constructed vulnerability, we extend previous empirical studies by examining a wider range of potential socio-economic, governmental, and housing factors that determine tornado-induced fatalities. Using detailed county-level data for years 1980–2014, we find that counties with higher per capita income and per capita government spending on public safety and welfare have fewer deaths, whereas counties with greater income disparity are more vulnerable to tornadoes. We explore which aspects of poverty seem most associated with fatalities. Housing quality (measured by mobile homes as a proportion of housing units) is a critical factor in explaining tornado-induced fatalities.”

    • Yeah. Could have told you that. Rich counties (highly urban areas) don’t have trailer parks (but DO have large number of high rises and apartment buildings = more people in less areas in those very areas NOT in the middle of the tornado allies of the rural central states! = fewer chances of people getting hit by a tornado!

      Who would have thought?

      And their “social justice editor”/advisor just had to throw in the mandatory “income inequality” there too, right?

      Rural counties DO have larger number of people spread out, have people in more trailer homes, and have their people spread out in the very areas that DO get hit by tornadoes! Boston-CT-New York-NJ-Philly-Baltimore – Washington DC. Any of those in Kansas, Missouri, central TX, or Oklahoma?

  11. This points to a golden opportunity for climate alarmists. “What?”, you ask.

    Well, the climate-alarmist faction of government should subsidize insurance for mobile home owners in high-risk storm areas, thereby encouraging more people to move their mobile homes into these high-risk storm areas, thereby increasing the frequency and severity of damage to mobile homes, thereby fabricating a now valid statistic — all financed by the government.

    Or is this already happening?

    • Geography. Which is similar to many other places in the world – but a lot of those do not have quite so much property to damage, or population. In others (particularly those where tornadoes are mostly spawned off of ocean systems, not plains thunderstorms), construction is already fairly well beefed up to withstand those storms, tornado or not. Except for Florida and the Gulf of Mexico States…

      https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/styles/full_page_width/public/globdist.jpg?itok=EPIp_d_q

      • To expand on that, nowhere else has Canada and cold air on one end of a fairly low area between mountain ranges and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, giving an open temperature gradient for the storms.

      • In much of Australia we get willy willys or dust devils. Occasionally in central Australia the dust devils catch fire which is quite spectacular. We get an occasional short lasting tornado like winds but nothing like tornado alley in the US.

        What an interesting, varied and sometimes harsh and scary world.

      • When you grow up in tornado alley, you think this is just normal weather.

        Recently saw a flash of blue lightning over the western end of Lake Erie. Have seen blue lightning over the lake a couple of times prior to this recent blue flash.

      • Cool! Here in Arizona, we’ll get our “sheet” lightning (really just cloud-to-cloud, but above the deck) – and it occasionally lights up the entire sky like a dome.

        I love watching lightning (from a reasonable distance, and under cover).

      • “When you grow up in tornado alley, you think this is just normal weather.”

        It *is* normal weather for Tornado Alley. :) Although, the last few years have been very mild when compared to the past. This year seems to be starting out cool, and the storms coming through don’t really build up to gigantic proportions like they can do sometimes. I’m loving it! Tornadoes bad!

        I personally have an underground shelter that is within 50 feet of my home. The one and only time I ever felt the need for it, I went out in a blinding rain, opened the dark door in the ground, stepped down on the wooden ladder, and the ladder collapsed, and I was standing up to my waist in water. The ladder had rotted sitting in the standing water.

        I stood there for a moment and tried to decide whether it was worse to go back in the house and take my chances with the tornado, or stand there in the water. I decided to go back in the house. The tornado, a very small one actually, missed me but got a few out-buildings within a quarter mile of me.

        Up to that time, I had not realized the shelter could flood, and never had occasion to open it, so I got a big surprise. Since then, I have built a shelter over it to keep the rain out and it is dry as a bone now. I have never had the need to get in it but that once, and I live right in the heart of Tornado Alley.

        Most people around here have a pretty good sense of the weather and what it is doing. You can tell from the radar, if you are in a danger zone or not, and we have lots of radar and lots of storm chasers around here keeping everyone informed.

        So far, a mild season, and there isn’t much left of the Tornado season around here. Maybe another month, and then normally the weather heats up and dries up, and the focus of tornadoes moves east and north and then fizzles out as summer sets in.

    • This is usually covered in an Earth science class so a Geography 100 level textbook will have it.
      There is lots on the web.
      Example: Here

      Key ideas include warm/moist air available from over the Gulf of Mexico, cooler air to the north, a relatively uninterrupted surface region, atmospheric movements to bring the different air masses together.
      Also: http://www.weather.gov/ama/supercell

  12. Ah, yes. The solution to housing problems due to income inequality – is to make the low-cost housing less affordable.

    Actually makes sense; a good cave is pretty safe from tornadoes. Not many of those in “flyover country,” though – which probably does not concern this bunch.

  13. “Though mobile homes offer a relatively inexpensive but comfortable housing alternative, it appears that this trend has made the United States more vulnerable to tornadoes over time,” the study says.

    Oh, I get it. The people living on the other side of the UP rail line, that little valley with all the overpriced houses sitting cheek-by-jowl and yards smaller than mine, are just peeved, peeved, I tell you! because their property tax is about 100 times MY property tax on my park model double wide home (2 tiled bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, full kitchen and dining room and living room, hardwood floors, etc.). And MY house is set in a spot where the geography (hilly) is not tornado-friendly but THEIR houses are set in a perfect spot that IS tornado-friendly (downslope of a hill and all downhill from there), so they think I should have to pay more tax because TORNADOES!!!!! (Snort!!!) Yeah, right!

    See, it’s just another excuse to tax old farts like me out of existence and make us go live in tents or something.

    Unfortunately for the imbeciles who put this study together, topography has a lot to do with whether or not a tornado hits one place worse than another.Basically, if a twister strikes around here, it’s more likely going to ravage the Walmart over on the other side of the county highway overpass, because it’s in FLATLAND, than it is likely to come over to my house and rattle the front door, because I live in on top of a very hilly ancient sand dune left over from when Lake Michigan’s western shore was about 50 miles further inland than it is now.

    And in addition, if you watch ANY twister videos, you’ll see that the issue is NOT mobile homes versus homes on foundations and private lots. It’s the simple fact that the twister gets its fingers under the eaves of ANY structure and rips the roof off, then shreds the rest of the building, regardless of its particular housing category. ANY STRUCTURE INCLUDING BUCKINGHAM PALACE AND A HIGHRISE BUILDING IN DALLAS, TX, CAN BE SHREDDED BY A TORNADO. Haven’t you seen those videos?

    Now, if houses were designed and built so that the traveling wind bomb couldn’t GRAB anything and start pulling the roof off or tip something over, you might see a lot less damage and destruction. And no one has yet come up with a fascia or soffit or building design that lets the windstream slide over it as if it weren’t even there.

    Anyway, I’m not moving. The squirrels would miss me.

    • The first three seconds of a tornado are as follows:
      UP TO 00:01
      As a twister barrels toward a home, it brings flying debris that shatters windows and pounds away at the exterior walls. Because they’re going so fast, the winds blowing over the roof exert uplift, the same aerodynamic force that allows airplanes to fly. Roof shingles and possibly even pieces of the roof decking tear away, becoming part of the maelstrom as the twister’s funnel begins its sweep over the unlucky home.

      00:02
      Air rushes into the home through the busted windows, filling the structure with pressure like a balloon being inflated, Reinhold says. Internal pressure pushes up against the ceiling, joining the uplift on the roof from the gales outside in putting pressure on the roof. The relatively weak connections between the roof and the walls give way and the roof blows off.

      “Homes are not designed to withstand tornadoes,” says Timothy Marshall, principal engineer at Haag Engineering Co. and an expert on tornado damage. Building codes in non-hurricane designated areas—that is, everywhere except for southeastern Florida and off the coasts of Louisiana and Alabama—call for two 16-penny (3 1/2 inch) nails connecting roof trusses to exterior wall top plates. These connections are intended to gird homes against gusts up to 90 mph for 3 seconds at a height of 33 feet. But even an EF-1 tornado is capable of doling out more punishment.

      00:03
      With the roof gone, the walls are next. “Unless there are a lot of interior walls bracing and going into them, the [exterior walls] are flimsy and not well attached to each other at the corners,” Reinhold says. Without a roof, an ordinary home becomes a house of cards in the face of a tornado.

      Though tornadoes spin in a cyclical motion, the fact that they’re so big—with a typical footprint measuring 500 feet wide—means that a house is effectively hammered by straight-line winds. The side walls parallel to the direction of these winds will typically go first, Reinhold says, because they feel the most suction. The front, windward wall then gets pushed in by the tornado, and finally the back wall blows out, all within about a second.

  14. So much ignorance.

    Tornado damage is caused by differential pressure of the intense low pressure in the eye. Open the windows.

    I have seen a massive old ‘historical landmark’ courthouse in Indiana gone except for the bathroom stalls in the basement. The remaining cold war era ‘shelter’ signs were a touch of irony. No one killed because no one was there that evening.

    The low pressure sucks up debris that will shred everything in the path. It does not matter if it is a piece of straw or a telephone pole unless your building a nuclear containment building.

    Mobile homes are not mobile. A more accurate description is a manufactured home. Built in a factory, moved to its final location. Camping trailers and motor homes are mobile. Park models are camping trailers designed to be located with water and sewer hookups.

    All move down the road at speeds in excess of storm damage caused by falling trees and PV not secured properly.

    • RKP.
      “Open the windows” Wrong. Opening the widows invites in high pressure air which usually leaves when things go Boom.

      • Not wrong!
        Wiki may think so.
        “It is often thought that opening windows will lessen the damage caused by the tornado. While there is a large drop in atmospheric pressure inside a strong tornado, it is unlikely that the pressure drop would be enough to cause the house to explode.”

        It is the extreme and sudden pressure drop created by the rotation that creates the lift and extreme winds. Tornadoes are an interesting thermodynamic model.

    • Incorrect. Opening windows does nothing.

      And park model homes are NOT recreational vehicles.

      • Not wrong!
        Wiki may think so.
        “It is often thought that opening windows will lessen the damage caused by the tornado. While there is a large drop in atmospheric pressure inside a strong tornado, it is unlikely that the pressure drop would be enough to cause the house to explode.”

        It is the extreme and sudden pressure drop created by the rotation that creates the lift and extreme winds. Tornadoes are an interesting thermodynamic model.
        Also Sara may be in violation of federal law. It is a matter of codes and standards and who enforces what that defines a RV from a manufactured home.
        In the zeal to protect ‘poor’ people who are increasing living in the back of their cars and RV, governments cracking down. I have had a police officer in California with his hand on his gun and second patrol car as backup tell me we could not sleep in our RV. Sanctuary city my rosie behind.
        HUD proposed regulations to make it a federal crime to live full time in something that does not meet their standards.

        “What a Park Model RV Is
        PMRVs (also sometimes referred to as recreational park trailers) are built on a single chassis, mounted on wheels and have a gross trailer area not exceeding 400 square feet in the set -up mode. They are certified by their manufacturers as complying with the ANSI A119.5 standard for recreational park trailers.
        … These units are designed and built to be used for recreational/camping purposes only. They are not meant to be affixed to the property in any way, they do not improve property values in any way, and they are neither designed nor intended by their manufacturers to be used as permanent residences. Park model RVs are titled as motor vehicles by the various states just like other RV types.
        The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) operates a safety standards and inspection program that requires member manufacturers of all recreation vehicles, including park model RVs, to affix a RVIA standards program seal to every unit they build in their factories. This seal indicates the manufacturer’s certification that the unit complies with the requirements of the applicable standards. A park model RV can always be identified by the blue and gold RVIA ANSI A119.5 certification seal (or its predecessor green RPTIA seal) affixed to the right of main door of the unit.
        What a Park Model RV is Not
        Although the distinctive appearance of park model RVs may sometimes lead people to think they look like small manufactured homes, appearances can be deceiving. PMRVs are actually titled and registered just like any other RV. Due to their design, small size and use as recreation, vacation and seasonal units, PMRVs are explicitly excluded from being considered or used as a manufactured home under the codes and regulations of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) specifically because they are a type of recreation vehicle (Title 24 § 3282.8(g)).
        Park model RVs are built in accordance with the national safety standards set forth under a nationally recognized standard, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A119.5 Standard, not the HUD requirements that manufactured homes are mandated to comply with.”
        http://www.park-model-homes.com/what_is_a_park_model_home.ydev

      • Also Sara may be in violation of federal law. It is a matter of codes and standards and who enforces what that defines a RV from a manufactured home.
        In the zeal to protect ‘poor’ people who are increasing living in the back of their cars and RV, governments cracking down. HUD proposed regulations to make it a federal crime to live full time in something that does not meet their standards.

        “What a Park Model RV Is
        PMRVs (also sometimes referred to as recreational park trailers) are built on a single chassis, mounted on wheels and have a gross trailer area not exceeding 400 square feet in the set -up mode. They are certified by their manufacturers as complying with the ANSI A119.5 standard for recreational park trailers.

        The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) operates a safety standards and inspection program that requires member manufacturers of all recreation vehicles, including park model RVs, to affix a RVIA standards program seal to every unit they build in their factories. This seal indicates the manufacturer’s certification that the unit complies with the requirements of the applicable standards. A park model RV can always be identified by the blue and gold RVIA ANSI A119.5 certification seal (or its predecessor green RPTIA seal) affixed to the right of main door of the unit.

        What a Park Model RV is Not
        Although the distinctive appearance of park model RVs may sometimes lead people to think they look like small manufactured homes, appearances can be deceiving. PMRVs are actually titled and registered just like any other RV. Due to their design, small size and use as recreation, vacation and seasonal units, PMRVs are explicitly excluded from being considered or used as a manufactured home under the codes and regulations of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) specifically because they are a type of recreation vehicle (Title 24 § 3282.8(g)).”

        http://www.park-model-homes.com/what_is_a_park_model_home.ydev

  15. I lived in Peachtree City, Ga for 16 years (’87-’03). There is (was) a Trailer Park north of Newnan that was severely damaged five times during that period. Heard many negative comments about God & trailer parks. Curious that tornadoes seemed to frequently track along I-85 from SW to NE. Probably due to typography and wind patterns.

    • “Curious that tornadoes seemed to frequently track along I-85 from SW to NE. Probably due to typography and wind patterns.”

      I’ve noticed a strange local weather phenomenon here over the last few years. I will be watching an approaching severe storm front on the radar screen, and it will be a solid line stretching the entire length of the state of Oklahoma, and then when this line gets within about 30 miles of my location in Eastern Oklahoma, the line will split in two, and half of it goes north of me, and half of it goes south of me, and I’m left in the clear. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen. I have always wondered if topography was influencing this behavior. Don’t have an answer.

  16. ““If the climatologists are right about the continuing effects of climate change,” said Mark Skidmore, MSU economics professor and co-author of the study”

    Professor Skidmore said the magic words! This statement should preface every climate change study.

  17. “Plus, a study also published this week that says a warmer climate is a more stable climate”

    I don’t know about that. The 1930’s was the warmest recent time period we have experienced and the weather definitely was not “more stable”. We are not experiencing extreme weather today like we did in the 1930’s, so claiming the mild weather we are having now is connected with extreme heat is not logical.

    • That is proof that the 1930 were much hotter than our “mild” temperatures today…

  18. “The number of mobile homes in the U.S. increased from just 315,218 in 1950 to 8.7 million in 2010 – a trend that has been driven largely by persistent income inequality, Skidmore said.”

    I wouldn’t say that. Some “mobile homes” are large, expensive dwellings that you couldn’t tell from a site-built home.

    What you are describing are “trailer parks”.

  19. My post about what is an RV and a manufactured home apparently went to moderation.

    In this Issue, there is a lot of nanny state going on. My current motor home was purchased in the nanny state of Washington State. It has additional requirements to save energy on heating a cooling. Some of the windows are double pane. I sure the additional wight won’t hurt millage.

  20. Speaking of eye rollers and dangerous mixes, there’s now the global problem of Killer Whales and PCBs-
    http://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/most-contaminated-animal-washed-up-in-scotland/ar-BBALwfN
    So the reader is naturally drawn to the most PCB contaminated Orca in the world-

    “Analysis of Lulu’s blubber revealed PCB concentrations 100 times higher than the accepted toxicity threshold for marine mammals, the stranding scheme reports. High PCB levels are linked to poor health, impaired immune function, increased susceptibility to cancers and infertility. 
    Once PCBs get into the marine environment, they accumulate through food chains and are difficult if not impossible to remove, Brownlow said. 
    The investigation revealed that Lulu was at least 20 years old but apparently never reproduced, despite being much older than the average age for maturity in killer whales. Brownlow called Lulu’s apparent infertility an ominous warning and said it is “increasingly likely that this small group will eventually go extinct.” Lulu lived in a pod of about eight whales.”

    Well that’s it for the killer whales by the looks of it but I wonder about their breeding habits-

    “There is a huge amount of information about orca reproduction even though it has been very difficult for scientists to research this species in its natural habitat.”…..
    http://www.killer-whale.org/killer-whale-reproduction/

    So we don’t have much info on them in the wild but if one 20 yr old wild female hasn’t calved at 20 but could up to age 46 she’s clearly infertile due to PCBs and it’s curtains for the orcas. The thought that the accepted toxicity threshold for PCBs in marine mammals could be 100 times greater than it currently is never occurs to them?

  21. “On average, Texas has the most tornadoes annually (150) followed by Kansas (80), Oklahoma (64) and Florida (61).” – Does anyone know if this number for Florida includes waterspouts?

    • I don’t for fact know about the waterspout count but my guess is no. Water spouts are pretty common in the summer and I expect the count would be much higher

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