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You are browsing the archive for 2011 April.

29 April 2011

Incredible Video of Tuscaloosa Tornado

This was posted on YouTube today. This is the likely EF-5 tornado that destroyed part of Tuscaloosa, Al. on Wednesday afternoon.   This is what the radar looked like at that moment.   The blob south of the hook echo is called a debris ball, and you see this only in very large tornadoes. It’s caused by the radar beam reflecting off of debris in the air around a tornado. …

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500,000 without power in North AL

Madison County, AL is in the dark tonight. Every main feeder line into the area was destroyed by the tornadoes yesterday, and  you can walk outside and see the sky the way my great grandparents saw it 90 years ago!  I am writing this post using the generator that is running the five lights in our studio, and (we are told) no power is likely for at least 4 days. …

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28 April 2011

Deadly Tornado Swarm Pounds Alabama

  I write this post from a hotel in Birmingham tonight. My flight was diverted coming back from a climate change seminar in Oklahoma and  it was one wild ride into Alabama.  I rarely get nervous on a plane, but I did this time. My last post was about the high risk outlook from the Storm Prediction Center and it is quite obvious that the warning was a good one. …

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26 April 2011

Storm Prediction Center Issues Rare “High Risk” of Severe Storms

There are two main ingredients for severe thunderstorms, wind shear and instability. These long lasting thunderstorms called supercells produce almost all of the severe weather that hits the plains and Southeast USA in the spring. If you have large hail or see a tornado, then you are in a supercell. Meteorologist combine instability and shear into an number called the supercell index. Anything above 5 is significant, and over 10 …

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We Don’t Want To Believe What We Know

This TED talk is a must watch. It speaks for itself.

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24 April 2011

Where The Wind Comes Right behind The Rain (but, not without warning!)

I am back home in Oklahoma this weekend for a climate change seminar at my alma mater, the University of Oklahoma. I graduated from OU in 1981 and it has changed dramatically. OU is now the world’s premiere school for studying the atmospheric sciences and the seminar was in the new National Weather Center that houses the NOAA Storm Prediction Center, (They are responsible for issuing tornado watches nationwide) along …

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20 April 2011

70 MPH Winds Rake Midwest

70 mph winds approach Memphis late Tuesday. Notice the bow shape of the line of storms. Yet another band of severe storms has caused widespread damage across the Eastern U.S. The event late Tuesday was composed primarily of damaging straight-line winds with a few strong tornadoes. Memphis was hit with winds up to 70 mph, (around 10 PM)  and when the line hit Jackson TN an hour later, a gust …

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19 April 2011

New Tornado Outbreak Coming- This one in the Midwest.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman (They are the ones who issue the tornado and severe thunderstorm watches) has indicated a moderate risk of severe storms on Wednesday afternoon and Evening over much of the Midwest. After last weekends swarm of tornadoes, this is not good news, but it is April and some of our deadliest tornado outbreaks have been in this month. There are already signs in the numerical …

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17 April 2011

Wild Friday Tornado Outbreak

The tornado outbreak on Thursday night into Friday from Oklahoma into Alabama was the worst of the spring so far. More damage was reported into North Carolina on Saturday but the states of Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Alabama were hardest hit. Most of the tornadoes were EF 0 to EF-2 which means winds were around 70-115 mph. You will survive if you are in a house, but a trailer park …

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16 April 2011

Yes Indeed, I’m in on The Big Conspiracy!

I want you to read an email I received this week. Trust me this is a good one, and please note I have removed the email address because I do not want to be accused of making fun of this person. Meteorologists (on and off air) along with many scientists in atmospheric or related Earth science fields get these kind of letters fairly frequently. Normally, I would never write a …

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