Tornado Kills Three in Uruguay


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A dangerous thunderstorm plowed through the city of Dolores, Uruguay bringing with it a destructive tornado on 16 April 2016. Tornadoes are rare for the area and caught the city’s 25,000 inhabitants off-guard; leaving 3 dead and another twelve missing. The last tornado in Dolores occurred in December 2012. The video below, powered by Earth Networks Total Lightning Network, shows the high frequency of both cloud-to-ground (yellow) and in-cloud (purple) lightning during the time of the tornado.

In-cloud lightning is oftentimes a precursor to other dangerous weather conditions. In this instance, heavy rains, high wind gusts and even hail battered the city and surrounding areas. The below screenshot taken of Earth Networks PulseRad shows the rain totals for the area during the 16th. The gold area represents the approximately 64mm of rain that fell on the area during 16 April.

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According to the National Institute of Meteorology (InUMet), an orange alert was issued from 16:45 to 21:00 local time. This alert was for heavy rains, gusting winds, an increase in electrical energy and the precipitation of hail. Besides the loss of life and injury, the tornado also inflicted damage by overturning cars, decimating buildings and ruining agricultural structures. It was reported that barns and silos flew through Dolores. Outside of the city, the tornado and accompanying storm also negatively impacted farming communities; disrupting soybean, maize and sorghum crops in the final stages of development.

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