Sunday, April 22, 2012

An unusual picture

In the wake of the big tornado outbreak on April 14th, I'm still thinking back to that day and remembering particular radar images, different things we said, and some of the amazing storm shots we collected that night. There were so many unusual events taking place that night, such as 4 tornado emergencies issued in one night (Macksville, Conway Springs, south Wichita, and east Wichita). The other thing that was unusual (but not unheard of) is that the National Weather Service in Wichita (located by Mid-Continent Airport) turned their duties over to the National Weather Service office in Topeka. It is rare that during a big tornado outbreak, you would see the weather service operations center empty. But when the storm was coming out of northern Sumner county and approached Clearwater, we were informed the staff at the Wichita weather service office may in fact take cover. So as the storm rolled into Wichita, here is what their office looked like. I've had a first hand glance at the room in which they take shelter, and it's very small and reinforced for their safety.

Several people have asked what KWCH would do if a tornado approached our studio location on the north side of town. We have narrow hallways here and they are made of concrete, cinder blocks. That's where our staff would likely take cover in the event of a tornado, but we wouldn't take those precautions unless we were certain KWCH was going to take a direct hit. In my career, I've only signed off one time, and that was during my time at Channel 6 in Lawrence when a storm was coming right over the city and had been producing tornadoes. It's not something we like to do, but when it comes to safety, we don't take any chances.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ross, where would millie and ellie be in a storm. Most of us are not going to abandon our pets in a storm and just wondering what you have planned for the weather dog.

Millie's number one fan ....

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