Recent Tornados

  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Mar 17, 2008 1:18 PM GMT
    I have been watching CNN since an F2 hit downtown Atlanta. I've always been fascinated by tornados, I wanted to be a storm chaser when I was a kid, so I often forget the tragic aftermath of these weather events.

    I'm hoping all the RJers living in the affected areas in Georgia and South Carolina came out ok.
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    Mar 17, 2008 2:17 PM GMT
    Which makes me think of this Craig's List add.

    JOAd.gif

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    Mar 17, 2008 2:22 PM GMT
    ShawnTO saidI have been watching CNN since an F2 hit downtown Atlanta. I've always been fascinated by tornados, I wanted to be a storm chaser when I was a kid, so I often forget the tragic aftermath of these weather events.

    I'm hoping all the RJers living in the affected areas in Georgia and South Carolina came out ok.


    Great White Sharks, chasing tornadoes, ShawnTO you do have "living on the edge" streak to you. Have you sky jumped yet?
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Mar 17, 2008 4:25 PM GMT
    Well let me say I almost put "Andover Tornado, 1991" on the thread of "Major events we can remember", but decided to leave it out. Anyone in Andover, KS knows where they were and what was going on April 26, 1991 when the tornado hit our community, killing 7 people.

    I was home from school, studying for finals (it had been forecast to be a horrible day). Mowing the lawn at home and wondering if my Dad would be back from his trip. It hit (not smashing our home), but I'll never forget the sound or the look. It was about a mile from our home at the closest approach. The aftermath looked much like what Greensburg exhibited last spring after the F-5 hit.

    Shawn, I understand your desire to watch and study these storms, just do so safely. The Great Plains area is really interesting beginning in a few short weeks and lasting until about June. If I get a chance I'll certainly send you some photos......

    Hopefully no damage.
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Mar 18, 2008 1:33 AM GMT
    MunchingZombie - ICK! That's just bizarre.

    jbedwards - Sky diving is near the top of my list of 'things to do', although I've never considered myself a dare devil. There's a big difference between finding yourself in a scary situation and placing yourself in one intentionally. I think the excitement for me is not exploring dangerous situations like jumping out of a plane, but finding yourself in one without intention. I'm trying my best to explain what I mean, I hope it's coming across.

    HndsmKansan - For all my talk about being fascinated by tornados, I couldn't imagine the feeling of wondering if everything I knew and owned will be destroyed that day as I watch a tornado coming closer and closer. So I do my best to acknowledge the pain and suffering of all the people affected by tornados whenever I think 'oh man, that's awesome'.

    About 9 years ago my hometown was hit by 3 tornados from one storm. It's not even a rarity in Thunder Bay, it's something that's just never happened before. I didn't see any of them as they didn't hit anywhere near my house, but a tree did fall on my brothers truck, making it a complete write-off.

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    Mar 18, 2008 1:42 AM GMT
    Ajax used to advertise that it cleans "like a white tornado".

    I don't think they'd use that anymore.
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    Mar 18, 2008 1:59 AM GMT
    I live just South of the downtown area, and it was only a little stormy. But it's amazing how the skyskrapers were smacked hard in a straight line. I've got a good friend in East Atlanta, where the tornado went after it left downtown. Here's a picture gallery if you're into lots of messes: http://picasaweb.google.com/michaelddriscoll/Tornado
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    Mar 24, 2008 7:00 PM GMT
    jbedwards said: "...Great White Sharks, chasing tornadoes, ShawnTO you do have "living on the edge" streak to you. Have you sky jumped yet?..."

    Hah. I just noticed this Forum thread. Just wanted to point out, as a tornado researcher myself, that studying tornadoes in the field is not a particularly dangerous thing to do. There is a common misconception that tornadoes occur randomly and can move in odd, impossible to predict, directions. That's simply not true.

    I have been studying tornadoes in the field since 1985, and probably have seen 100 of them, some of them very close up, mostly on my own with a few colleagues, but sometimes as part of a larger government/university research project like VORTEX (very loosely depicted and inaccurately in the movie Twister).

    Legitimate and responsible chasers never put themselves in the path of a tornado. Unfortunately, that's what the director had the characters do in Twister, despite advice not to from the severe storms consultants he had, which has left the impression that tornado researchers do that. We simply don't.

    The chief hazard we face is from lightning, and some have self-created danger from driving unsafely. I don't.

    That's different than the hazard faced by the populace when a tornado comes into an urban area, particularly, at night. The average person does not have the training to anticipate tornadoes, and must respond to tornado warnings unhesitatingly. Once a tornado is in an urban area, there are no escape routes, realistically, and the only response is to take cover.

    Oh...on the Andover tornado mentioned by HndsmKansan, one of the most serious misconceptions about what to do in a tornado was perpetrated by the Wichita news-team that was out on I35. One of the most DANGEROUS things to do is to attempt to hide under a freeway overpass. Many studies have corroborated the observations of meteorologists that tornado winds are funnelled and augmented by the structure itself...so that the wind strength in the place in which those idiots hid was actually much stronger than that outside. The safest action for them to have taken was not to try to catch up to the tornado (which is what they were doing, if you have seen the video) thus purposefully putting themselves in its path.

    The safest action was for them to have stopped and let the tornado cross the road ahead of them. The next safest action would have been to have gotten out of their vehicle and lain down in the drainage ditch adjacent to the freeway,

    If you guys want to see pictures of my storm chases, you can click on this link: http://tornado.sfsu.edu/geosciences/stormchase.html.