CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -
The EF-2 tornado that ripped through Shelby in mid-April may not be an outlier, at least that’s the conclusion of a study published in the journal Climate and Atmospheric Science that shows that the traditional tornado alley is moving east.
“There is no denying the numbers, increased activity as you head east of the traditional tornado alley and that does include Ohio,” said 19 News Chief Meteorologist Jason Nicholas.
The study was conducted over forty years and shows a big increase in the number of tornadoes through the south, which has now been dubbed Dixie Alley, and up into and through the Ohio Valley.
The trend is unmistakable, but the why is still not clear.
“They don’t know, climatologists and scientists are still trying to figure out why,” Nicholas said.
The people in Shelby do not need to be convinced as they are still trying to get their lives back in order after the EF-2 ripped through that small town on April 14th and destroyed a car dealership, homes and barns.
“It’s still surreal, it feels like it was a dream, like it really didn’t happen,” Pam Hummel of Shelby told us 3 weeks after the tornado hit.
Hummel and her husband lost 2 barns but their home was spared and there was some anxious moments for Pam as her husband Ron was at the family farm, a mile and a half away, that also took major damage.
“I thought he got hit and was dead underneath the rubble from the barns,” Hummel said.
At the Hummel Family Farm, 2 barns were destroyed as well as a machine shed but the biggest loss was their grandfathers home, built in 1900.
“It’s been there 119 years and now it’s gone, it’s quite a shock, a lot of memories,” Gary Hummel said.
The rebuilding process is now underway and it’s underway in what is now considered the eastern edge of tornado alley.