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Tornado Season Getting Off To An Early, Deadly Start

Natural Disasters Tornado Season Early warnings Emergency

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#1 Vapor Trails

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:19 PM

Here we go. :( And we're not even into March yet.  :headshake:

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HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) Twisters roared through the nation's heartland in the early morning darkness Wednesday, flattening entire blocks of homes in small-town Illinois and Kansas and killing at least 10 people.

Winds also ripped through the country music mecca of Branson, Mo., damaging some of the city's famous theaters just days before the start of the busy tourist season.

The tornado that blasted Harrisburg in southern Illinois, killing six, was an EF4, the second-highest rating given to twisters based on damage. Scientists said it was 200 yards wide with winds up to 170 mph.

By midday, townspeople in the community of 9,000 were sorting through piles of debris and remembering their dead while the winds still howled around them.

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The twister that raked Branson seemed to hopscotch up the city's main roadway, moving from side to side.

As sirens blared, Derrick Washington stepped out of his motel room just long enough to see a greenish-purple sky. Then he heard the twister roar.

"Every time the tornado hit a building, you could see it exploding," he said.

At least 37 people were reported hurt, but most suffered only cuts and bruises. After the start of Branson's peak season in mid-March, up to 60,000 visitors would have been in hotels on any given day.

Just six guests were staying at J.R.'s Motor Inn, and all of them escaped injury by taking refuge in bathtubs. Engineers deemed the building a total loss after the second floor, the roof and all windows were destroyed.
Manager Lori McGauley choked back tears thinking about what might have been.

"We had 25 people booked for next week," McGauley said. "If this happened a week later, we would have lost some people."

A note to what I bolded above, because this is VERY important to know-and I've brought this up in past tornado threads...

Green thunderclouds are a sign of severe updrafts and turbulence. The reason the clouds are green is due to hail. Hail is ice that is blown up high into the thunderstorm-and these particular thunderstorms are known as supercells. They reach heights of 60,000 feet, and they can have updrafts as fast as 200 miles an hour. Basically, what happens is that the particle of water is blown up to the top of the thundercloud. It freezes, falls, and then is blown back up again with another layer of water on it. That layer freezes on top of the first layer. The cycle repeats-the ice falls, is blown back up, and another layer of water freezes onto it; it falls again. The more violent the updraft, the more this cycle repeats itself-until the hailstone is too heavy to be held up by the wind. It then falls to the earth. Basically, the bigger the hailstone, the more severe the updraft. The most violent thunderstorms can have hail the size of softballs, and even grapefruits! On rare occasions, hailstorms can kill people.

Therefore-the clouds look green because they are filled with hail. Light shining through the hail causes them to emit a green color. Severe updrafts are one sign of a possible tornadic storm.

Another ingredient are winds moving in different directions in the atmosphere. That gives these supercells a twist-so you end up having rotating thunderclouds. Tornadoes will form by the supercell's updraft points.

I'm really scared about this upcoming tornado season. Already this winter, in Texas, there have been days where the temperature has gone above 85 degrees, and now we are already starting to have the warm humid air masses coming from the Gulf. Keep in mind: the greater the contrast in air temperature and humidity between the two colliding air masses, the more severe the thunderstorms. When you add a jet stream above that acts like a bottle opener to intensify the updrafts, and winds moving in different directions in the atmosphere, you can have an army of tornadic supercell thunderstorms that can bring about death and destruction. It's already begun. :( And I still remember that last season, we lost several hundred people-making 2011 the second deadliest tornado season in history. The only one that was greater happened in 1925, when a tornado/series of tornadoes killed 689 people.

It looks like I might have to bump up my weather radio thread again. :tired: :(

Edited by Vapor Trails, 29 February 2012 - 09:24 PM.

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#2 Peridot

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:17 PM

Yeah, I saw this on the news today...don't usually watch news in the afternoon, but I was waiting for my spouse to finish a medical appointment and the TV was on in the waiting room.  :unsure:

The footage that they were showing from Harrisburg was just incredible...an appalling amount of destruction there.  :(

VT, thanks for including that description of how these storms function in your post...some of that stuff I didn't know, even though I grew up in tornado country.


BTW I set up a check-in thread in The Beach...don't know how many people we have currently active from the states affected by the tornadoes but at one time we had folks from all of them, I think.

Peridot
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#3 Vapor Trails

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:22 PM

Peridot...

At some point, if I find time, I should post some links dealing with storm formation. Also-stop by The Stormtrack board-that is a board of storm chasers, meteorologists, and those who are fascinated with severe weather-like myself. I'm a member of that board.

This sub-forum at Stormtrack could help answer some questions you may have.
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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#4 Vapor Trails

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:25 PM

Quick note before I log off-

When you cut open a hailstone, particularly a large one, you'll notice it will look like an onion inside. Each ring you see corresponds to one trip up to the top of the thundercloud-and at 60,000 feet up, the temperatures are below zero. That's why the water freezes when it's blown up there.
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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#5 Peridot

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:26 PM

View PostVapor Trails, on 29 February 2012 - 10:22 PM, said:

Peridot...

At some point, if I find time, I should post some links dealing with storm formation. Also-stop by The Stormtrack board-that is a board of storm chasers, meteorologists, and those who are fascinated with severe weather-like myself. I'm a member of that board.

This sub-forum at Stormtrack could help answer some questions you may have.

Thank you!  :)  It's not really that I have any particular questions, more just that I find weather science interesting, occasionally even fascinating. And of course, living in Michigan, there is also a risk of tornadoes here.  Not usually to the degree that one sees in other parts of the Midwest---I believe the Lakes do buffer us from some kinds of weather, while increasing the chances of others---but still enough that understanding storms is a good idea.  I took a very quick glance at the link you gave, and I noticed some there seem to be some pretty knowledgeable people posting there...cool link! :)


View PostVapor Trails, on 29 February 2012 - 10:25 PM, said:

Quick note before I log off-

When you cut open a hailstone, particularly a large one, you'll notice it will look like an onion inside. Each ring you see corresponds to one trip up to the top of the thundercloud-and at 60,000 feet up, the temperatures are below zero. That's why the water freezes when it's blown up there.

Yes, I've seen that...I believe at least once when I was a kid, but I might have also seen it once or twice as an adult.

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#6 Vapor Trails

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:13 PM

One minor correction-

Supercells can go up to 60,000 feet in height. Typically, they are between 45-55,000 feet high.
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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#7 Kosh

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:39 AM

We had two touch down in West Virginia. One played out just a few miles from where I work. I was already home. We didn't get any more than some high water. Almost straight across the river got hit hard. No one was injured!!
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#8 Vapor Trails

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:30 PM

Kosh,

Glad to hear you're okay, and that no one was injured!

Edited by Vapor Trails, 06 March 2012 - 06:31 PM.

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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#9 FnlPrblm

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:10 AM

Peridot also started a check in thread in The Beach for all those in the Midwest.  :hugs: Peri :)
"It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." --- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Beryl Coronet

The Boscombe Valley Mystery: "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

"Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing." --- Ralph Waldo Emerson 'Art,' 1841

"Such welcome and unwelcome things at once, 'Tis hard to reconcile." --- Macbeth IV.III.138-9


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"Once in one's life, for one mortal moment, one must make a grab for immortality; if not, one has not lived." -- Sylvester Stallone

Time to eat all your words, swallow your pride, open your eyes...Sowing the Seeds of Love - Tears4Fears

#10 FnlPrblm

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:23 AM

This was as bad as it got anywhere in the Saint Louis metro area.  However, it was only the northern county that got this.  I got some hail, but nothing like my cousin's backyard and south county didn't even get rain, let alone hail.

Now, we've been in a wind and fire advisory for the past two days.

Attached Files


"It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." --- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Beryl Coronet

The Boscombe Valley Mystery: "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

"Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing." --- Ralph Waldo Emerson 'Art,' 1841

"Such welcome and unwelcome things at once, 'Tis hard to reconcile." --- Macbeth IV.III.138-9


LauraBertram.net

"Once in one's life, for one mortal moment, one must make a grab for immortality; if not, one has not lived." -- Sylvester Stallone

Time to eat all your words, swallow your pride, open your eyes...Sowing the Seeds of Love - Tears4Fears

#11 Peridot

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:33 PM

And here we go again... :unsure:

Tornadoes Rip Through Michigan, Damage over 100 Homes

And here's another article on the storms from USA Today.


Thankfully, no one was killed, and it appears that there were also no serious injuries.  But the damage was not loss of roof shingles and the like; more than a dozen homes are basically destroyed, and the damage to many if not all of the others is quite serious.

We're okay here, we didn't even get the hail, just rain, but....this just doesn't happen, in Michigan, in March...  :o  :oh:

Peridot
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#12 Lin731

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:19 AM

Quote

Tornadoes Rip Through Michigan, Damage over 100 Homes

And here's another article on the storms from USA Today.



That's my where I live, it was weird seeing my county on CNN and the weather channel. My daughter lives a couple miles away from the one that hit over by German Rd. It picked up a house and moved it off it's foundation (didn't shift it mind you) but picked it up and planted it elsewhere.
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#13 Peridot

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:55 PM

View PostLin731, on 18 March 2012 - 10:19 AM, said:

Quote

Tornadoes Rip Through Michigan, Damage over 100 Homes

And here's another article on the storms from USA Today.



That's my where I live, it was weird seeing my county on CNN and the weather channel. My daughter lives a couple miles away from the one that hit over by German Rd. It picked up a house and moved it off it's foundation (didn't shift it mind you) but picked it up and planted it elsewhere.

Yeah, I wondered if it would be close to where you were...I remembered that you live more towards the eastern part of the state. :unsure:

I must admit I was relieved when I saw your posts in OT! :)

Isn't this just the freakiest weather ever?  First the tornadoes, and then all this heat?  :eek:

Peridot

Edited by Peridot, 19 March 2012 - 08:57 PM.

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#14 FnlPrblm

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:53 AM

And it continued in Dallas two days ago. :(  Weird...just weird about how they act and the way things react to them.
"It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." --- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Beryl Coronet

The Boscombe Valley Mystery: "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

"Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing." --- Ralph Waldo Emerson 'Art,' 1841

"Such welcome and unwelcome things at once, 'Tis hard to reconcile." --- Macbeth IV.III.138-9


LauraBertram.net

"Once in one's life, for one mortal moment, one must make a grab for immortality; if not, one has not lived." -- Sylvester Stallone

Time to eat all your words, swallow your pride, open your eyes...Sowing the Seeds of Love - Tears4Fears

#15 Vapor Trails

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:31 PM

Drew started a tornado thread in The Beach, due to the outbreak. Head on over.

Edited to add the link for future reference; view the thread here.

Edited by Vapor Trails, 15 April 2012 - 09:19 AM.

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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#16 Vapor Trails

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 09:19 AM

Here is the 4 Feet of Hail thread in ETU. Check it out. It's simply incredible. I've never seen anything like it!! :eek3:
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Politicians are like bananas; they hang together, they're all yellow, and there's not a straight one among them.

"We're relevant for $ and a vote once every two years. Beyond that, we're completely irrelevant, except of course to consume, and preach the gospel according to [insert political demigod here]."--Cait

#17 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 11:19 AM

Storms in the Northeast last night:

Two dead, over 100,000 without power after fierce storms

Quote

A woman who was camping in Genesee, Pennsylvania, near the New York State line, was killed when she took refuge from the storm in her car and a tree then fell on it, John Hetrick, director of emergency services for Potter County, said.

In New York City, a 61-year-old man in Brooklyn's Cobble Hill neighborhood was killed when scaffolding at a church collapsed on him as the storm passed through near 8 p.m., police said.

"It's possible that lightning struck the top of the roof, causing some bricks to fall on top of the scaffolding, causing the scaffolding to fall on top of the victim," a police spokesman said.

In Elmira, the city's east side took the biggest hit from the tornado. In one four-block neighborhood, most homes had trees toppled upon them, street signs were bent in half and tree trunks had debris wrapped around them. Several cars were crushed by downed trees.

One two-story brick building had most of the second story torn off in the storm.

On Friday morning, most power remained out for the city's 29,000 residents.

Meteorologists said 70-mile-per-hour (113-kph) winds were reported in parts of Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma.

As the storms sent black, menacing clouds rolling across some cities, hail ranging from the size of a dime to a quarter fell in some areas of Pennsylvania, AccuWeather.com said.


Elmira, N.Y., hit by suspected tornado as storms slam Northeast, knock out power to thousands

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The storms moved through New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Thursday afternoon and evening, CBS Station WCBS reported. Power outages were reported throughout the tri-state area, and the storms halted trains in Long Island. Passengers had to leave a Long Island Rail Road train on the Oyster Bay line because a tree crashed down on the tracks, preventing service.



I hope everyone's OK.  I posted in the check in thread too.

SFG

Edited by Sci-Fi Girl, 27 July 2012 - 11:22 AM.

"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger's life was a picture of an idea in flight, and the idea will continue long after.  As long as there are people with goodness and courage in their hearts, the idea will continue forever.

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Check out my music threads:

Beautiful Music: Folk, Acoustic, Traditional, and World

A Celebration of Song Lyrics, New and Old: Just the poetry  (to include those with different musical tastes than me)

When Sci Fi Actors Sing

#18 FnlPrblm

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 10:27 PM

Sad day for those in Little Rock, Arkansas as severe tornadoes have ripped through the northern suburbs of Mayflower and Vilonia killing several.  Reports are still coming in of course and more weather expected tomorrow.  We have at least one member down that way, so here's hoping they're ok.
"It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." --- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Beryl Coronet

The Boscombe Valley Mystery: "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact."

"Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing." --- Ralph Waldo Emerson 'Art,' 1841

"Such welcome and unwelcome things at once, 'Tis hard to reconcile." --- Macbeth IV.III.138-9


LauraBertram.net

"Once in one's life, for one mortal moment, one must make a grab for immortality; if not, one has not lived." -- Sylvester Stallone

Time to eat all your words, swallow your pride, open your eyes...Sowing the Seeds of Love - Tears4Fears

#19 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 06:57 AM

Tornadoes in the northeast are rather rare, but they do happen, and almost always near memorial day weekend.  :eek:  And yesterday's storm, while yet to be confirmed, looks very much like a tornado, and a big one (for the northeast).

Violent storm spares lives

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Violent storm spares lives
Possible tornado travels 20 miles across region, leaving trail of destruction


The National Weather Service's radar indicated that a massive storm — possibly a tornado — touched down near Amsterdam, churned across Duanesburg and tore into western Albany County on Thursday afternoon, destroying at least one home, damaging others, turning over tractor-trailers and stunning even seasoned meteorologists with its size and duration.

The possible tornado — which the weather service will not be able to confirm or categorize in strength until it studies the scene Friday morning — whirled across three counties with winds of up to 100 mph for nearly half an hour, the weather service said. The twister was one of the most extended, largest and strongest to ever rip through the Capital Region.

"An event like this is very, very rare," said Hugh Johnson, a weather service meteorologist based in Albany.

Even more amazing — no deaths or injuries were reported.

Thank goodness!

Quote

Witnesses reported black skies, dangerously large hail, flooding, agitated animals, roaring thunder and damage unlike anything they had previously seen.

It destroyed Margaret Krylowicz's home of 20 years. The 69-year-old was in Sharon Springs when the storm struck.

She called her son, Jeff Bivins, 46, an Esperance volunteer firefighter, to ask him to check on her place at 7338 Route 20 in Duanesburg. What he found was devastation.

Miraculously, Krylowicz's dachshund, Missy, and her German shepherd, Lexy, survived inside.

"The good Lord is looking after us today," Bivins said. Krylowicz's other son, Bruce, is an air traffic controller at Griffiss International Airport in Rome where President Barack Obama landed on Thursday for a visit to Cooperstown. Bruce Bivins cleared Air Force One for takeoff minutes before he received a text message that his mother's home had been destroyed.

Little except a couple of walls remained standing.

A storage shed was blown into the woods. Pieces of wallboard, insulation and other debris hung from nearby trees and bushes.

Because the storm was narrow and focused, it caused only minor damage to neighboring homes.

And two doors down:

Quote

Darlene Pettit was in Albany when she heard the alert about the approaching storm and raced home.

As the storm approached, Pettit's 21-year-old daughter, Alyssa, herded the family's horses — "they were acting weird" — into the barn. Once the animals were safe, she pulled her 1989 Pontiac Trans Am into her mother's garage. Before she could even get out of the car, she said, the swirling winds struck.

"The tree fell right in front of her," Darlene Pettit said. The maple – thick enough that it would take three people to wrap their arms around it – fell without injuring human, animal or building.

Pettit ran into roadblocks and detours near her home in southern Schenectady County. "It was very anxiety producing 'cause my daughter said, 'Mom, there is a house missing,'" she said.

On Thursday evening, Pettit surveyed the damage and said she was thankful it wasn't worse.

"House is standing, the barn is standing ... and two doors down the house got blown away," she said. "I'm thankful. Everything that I hold dear is still walking,"

Quote

The size and duration of the storm surprised meteorologists.

"Here, (tornadoes) usually last for a few minutes and then they're gone," Johnson said.

Johnson said the last tornado near the Capital Region to stay on the ground for at least 20 minutes was in Catskill in 2003.

And the reports continue with tractor trailers overturned, roads closed, and power outages.

Many of these places are familiar to me.  I am in another state at the moment, but I will have to make some phone calls today to check on people.  :oh:

Where I am now got thunderstorms too, and I think large hail nearby.  Probably most of the northeast got some part of this storm system.

SFG
"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger's life was a picture of an idea in flight, and the idea will continue long after.  As long as there are people with goodness and courage in their hearts, the idea will continue forever.

Posted Image   Posted Image


Check out my music threads:

Beautiful Music: Folk, Acoustic, Traditional, and World

A Celebration of Song Lyrics, New and Old: Just the poetry  (to include those with different musical tastes than me)

When Sci Fi Actors Sing



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