Tuesday, April 27, 2010

An Incredible Storm

Damage assessment crews have been out surveying the damage left behind by last weekend's severe weather outbreak in the southeast part of the US, and they've discovered that the tornado had a damage path of 149 miles. It actually started near Tallulah, LA, and then continued to Sturgis, MS with and EF scale rating up to 4 in some areas. That would be about the same distance from Wichita to Dodge City or Wichita to Russell. Can you believe it?

Tornado damage always looks the same, no matter where it happens. But the smaller details are fascinating, such as the one posted here of the plastic that was rammed through a light pole. Although never good, the winds in a tornado do amazing things like shoving a piece of straw through wood or some other very hard object. We've all seen those bizarre pictures, but each time a big tornado happens, we still want to see for ourselves what it left behind.

Severe weather will be back on Thursday. Those areas in central and eastern Kansas will have the best chance of seeing the stronger storms, so stay tuned.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Surviving the First Big Day

We finally had our first big day with severe weather this season. The storms produced tornadoes and large hail over the west, but fortunately, damage reports were rather isolated and there were no injuries.

Earlier in the week, we had been comparing the stats from this tornado season to last. It is amazing that after a busy day yesterday, the number of twister is still down considerably, but there are sign of it ramping up going into May. Next week (toward the end of the week) there may be some more severe weather days coming up.

I hope you have a great weekend (or had one, depending on when you read this).
Millie and I will be heading to Bel Aire Monday night for another weather talk. Hope to have some pictures next week.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Where is Severe Weather Season?

We are now over half way through the month of April and severe weather season is no where to be found. So far in April, just 15 tornadoes have been reported across the United States and there's no indication we'll be adding to that in the next few days. Last year, there were 226 tornadoes in April across the US. But each year is a little different, and we hope Mother Nature doesn't even things out all at once in May. No one knows for sure, but there's still a chance that when the season does get going, it may be hard to slow it down until we get into the summer months.

The weather pattern looks rather benign through the next several days, so we shouldn't expect any strong thunderstorms until the end of the next week. Temperatures should begin to warm up next week too.

Did you see in the news about the big "fireball" that flew through the upper Midwest Wednesday night? It was a meteorite, as most would guess, and there are actually pieces of it that have been found in Wisconsin by a farmer who lives west of Madison. So the scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are doing some in depth research on the composition of the rock. I'm pretty sure if I was out star gazing and I saw something that bright flying through the sky, I'd be headed back in the house, afraid the aliens were coming.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Visiting Oatville Elementary

Tuesday afternoon I visited Oatville Elementary school in the Haysville area and something happened to me that has never happened before. After getting setup in the gym, the school went on mandatory lockdown. All the doors were closed and no one was allowed to enter or leave the building. I was very concerned because the faculty and staff were unaware of the situation. It lasted about 5-10 minutes, and then the all clear was announced. Turns out, it was a practice situation for law enforcement in the area. Other than the lockdown, everything else went as planned and the kids were great.

Cooler weather is going to return for a little while. The threat for thunderstorms and severe weather will diminish for the rest of the week and actually, we don't see any real threat for storms until early next week.

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