Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane vs. Tornado

With Hurricane Irene in the news lately, it raises the question would you rather live here in Tornado Alley, or along a coast that could be slammed by a hurricane? I've found mixed reactions over the years, but I would still have to chose Tornado Alley. Granted, the winds associated with tornadoes tends to be stronger than winds with a hurricane, but the isolated nature of tornadoes and scope of the storm is dramatically different. Hurricanes are so large in scope that millions of people are affected at once, while tornadoes cover a much smaller chunk of real estate.

The area of the hurricane with the strongest winds is usually in the right front quadrant of the storm. So as Irene moves up the east coast, the outer banks of North Carolina will feel the strongest winds, but the storm surge will be significant everywhere along the coast. It will be interesting to see how New York City fares with the storm and the wind. It should be a category 1 storm by the time it reaches the big metro area, but it's been a long time since a storm of this magnitude has taken aim at the northeast and the New England states.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Stage Collapse

Scary times for concertgoers at the Indiana State Fair over the weekend with the stage collapse at the Sugarland concert. A strong line of storms rolled through the area just after 8 in the evening and the National Weather Service had a warning out 16 minutes prior to the storms hitting the fairgrounds. Of course, what people will tell the media is they had no warning. But the announcer did mention over the loudspeaker that storms were in the area and informed the fairgoers where to go for shelter. Maybe some of the people didn't realize the severity of the storms, or didn't know a warning had been issued. It's difficult to say without being there, but it's something meteorologists have discussed in great detail at conferences and workshops. What do you do with thousands of people at a large outdoor event when storms are near? The fact of the matter is this is not the last time something like this will happen. Severe storms are no strangers to large outdoor venues (just like the storm that rolled over Bill Snyder Family Stadium last fall at a football game). So, we can learn something from this tragic event in Indiana. Wind gusts of 60-70 mph were reported as the storms moved through(certainly enough to bring down a stage that already has a huge amount of weight up high with the lights)

It's going to get hot again this week as kids head back to school. It shouldn't be as hot as it was in July, but we'll be close to 100. Look for storms off and on this week too. We still need the rain!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

I Survived

I spent my Saturday in Kansas City running a 5K race called the Warrior Dash. I didn't know anything about it until March when a friend of mine suggested I sign up and give it a shot. They have a video posted online at that shows potential racers what to expect, and my first impression was it looked like boot camp, or maybe a Survivor challenge for immunity.

This race has 12 obstacles and I'm not sure if their intention is to get you to feel like a warrior, or just to get you really really dirty. But the organizers of the race did a good job of making sure nobody came out of the race clean. Just about everyone I saw was muddy from head to toe. Some of the obstacles included running through knee deep water, climbing walls, climbing over a stack of hay bales nearly 25 feet tall, and at the end, you had to cross two rows of fire and swim through a mud pit. I was so sweaty at the end that the mud pit felt great (almost wanted to root around in it like a pig).

I'm posting pictures from before and after. Fortunately, I had some great warriors to participate with, and it wasn't 115 degrees like I was afraid it might be earlier in the week.

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