More tornadoes added to March 2nd outbreak

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The National Weather Service has added two more tornadoes to the deadly March second outbreak that left damage across several southern Indiana and central Kentucky towns. An EF1 took down trees in Henry County, Kentucky and an EF0 was added in Breckenridge County where they already recorded an EF2.

Looking at what the radar showed from the March second storms in Henry County, the National Weather Service in Louisville thought it could be yet another tornado to add to the list of the seven others, including the EF4 that destroyed several southern Indiana towns, but they didn't find anything on the ground until volunteer pilots took pictures from the air.
"Our photographer spotter, Tom Boucher, happened to mention it when we thought that's the last of the damage. He said, 'Hey, take a look over here.'" explains Gary Katz with Kentuckiana Volunteer Aviators. The group of trees proves to the weather service that an EF1 with speeds around 90 miles an hour hit just north of Port Royal. It was the same cell that caused the hail and the weaker tornado in Henryville.

The pilots from Kentuckiana Volunteer Aviators also snapped photos of more damage in Breckenridge County, extending the path of that EF2 from 5 miles to more than 17. "What we're trying to get to get out of this, the thing is, ground crews can only go so far in some areas. Sometimes there's damage where roads don't go," said NWS Meteorologist Brian Schoettmer.
Though downed trees and damaged out buildings may not seem that important compared to what areas like Pekin and Marysville saw, Schottmer says having an exact record of just how many tornadoes come through our area is vital. "The overall national tornado database, you want to be as accurate as possible. If we're missing tornadoes that occur than that means the data is not accurate."

It's that research that helps meteorologists put out better warnings the next time a storm like the one on March second moves in and better warnings can save lives.

The Weather Service in Louisville has only been using the volunteer pilots for the last year. They are the first office in the country to survey from the air and say other offices are taking note and starting to do the same.

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