Tornado Effect Seen on Security Video: Internal Debris Flying at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Terminal

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport officials released surveillance video that shows debris flying in one direction, and then at the end of the video — with lights out from an apparent power failure — the debris changes direction. The debris initially flies away from the security camera, but near the end of video, the debris flies toward the security camera. The change in direction of the debris is probably due to the passing of the tornado with changing air pressure and direction change of the wind force caused by the passing tornado. Most tornadoes spin counterclockwise, or cyclonically, in the Northern Hemisphere.

A tornado’s winds in proximity of a structure could change direction depending on the path of the tornado, where an observer could witness one direction of the cyclonic motion on the approach of the tornado, and opposite or near opposite direction of the cyclonic motion on the departure of the tornado.

Keep in mind the cyclonic spin is referenced from high altitude above the storm system, which shows a counterclockwise spin. If a person were looking up into the tornado from the ground, the tornado would be observed to be spinning clockwise from that reference vantage point.

The worst damage at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport located in Berkeley and Bridgeton, Missouri happened in Concourse C of Terminal 1, which houses Air Tran, American, Cape Air and Frontier airlines.

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