By Nathan Barney
Salt Lake residents were given a start as another tornado visited the valley.
The tornado, described as a black glob, touched down in Holladay at around 6:30 p.m. May 25.
Classified as an F0, the tornado had winds up to 75 mph and blew out car windows, knocked down trees and sucked out skylights at Cottonwood High School.
No injuries were reported.
The twister ripped parts of the roof off of a tire store and a grocery store. Tree limbs and garbage cans were blown through the neighborhood leaving a big mess for residents to clean up.
The tornado only lasted a few minutes but clean up will take a few days.
Other areas of the storm knocked out power in other parts of the valley. Around 16,000 people were without power. Utah Power crews worked through the night to restore power.
Between 6,000 and 8,000 people in Davis County were without power until around midnight. West Jordan residents as well as residents of east side Salt Lake had their power restored at around 9:00.
Hail as large as one and a half inches in diameter, or about the size of an ice cube, were reported in West Valley City.
“It’s fairly unusual to have this kind of (storm) in Utah,” said Richard Jackson, a BYU geography professor.
Jackson said these kinds of storms usually occur in the mid-West where warm tropical air from the south collides with cold arctic air from the north on the flat, uninterrupted plains.
This was apparently the case in Thursday’s storm as warm air from the Gulf of California mixed with cold air from Canada.
Jackson said these storms, while rare in Utah, will most likely happen in spring and fall when temperatures are at different extremes.
Thursay’s tornado is the second to hit Salt Lake in the last nine months. On August 11, 1999, an F2 tornado touched down in downtown Salt Lake causing $170 million in damage.
F2 tornadoes have winds up to 159 mph.
The August tornado damaged 387 homes and uprooted hundreds of trees. One person was killed and 80 people were injured.
Jackson said global warming may cause more drastic weather changes in the middle latitudes so Utah may see more of these storms in the future.
Jackson said that as we become more urbanized we are more likely to see more damage as a result of these storms.