Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tornado Myth - SW Corner of the Home Is the Safest

       This is one of my favorite tornado myths: The southwest corner of the home provides the safest location from flying debris.

       Actually, I thought this was an excellent observation. I was so glad that actual verification of this statement was spot on.

        Really? Look, I have been a storm spotter for many years. Although I have not been in an actual tornado, I have seen the funnels and the rotating and lowering wall clouds. In addition, I have witnessed winds coming from the opposite direction of an approaching storm. That's kind of eerie, actually. I've even been in a hurricane, witnessing the effects of Charley (August 2004) as it raced ashore and impacted the area I was located just outside of Orlando and Kissimmee Florida. I've seen what 100 mph winds can do to a structure. A screened-in porch was ripped away from a neighbor's home just down the street and sent flying overhead  into the house next door to where I was staying. Therefore,  just based on a minimum category 2 hurricane, I can assure you that no part of your home is safe when it comes to flying debris.

        Take a look below at additional reasons why this myth is debunked. I really like the first one listed.

  • This myth was devised slowly by the misconception that all tornadoes move to the northeast.  Therefore as the tornado hits your home, all the debris would be directed to the northeast, away from you (Italics mine).  Interestingly, if the tornado is approaching your location from the southwest, aren't you in the path of the debris field just northeast of the impending twister? Therefore, as the debris field pelts your home punching holes in the structure and smashing windows, the tornado now proceeds to ravage the rest of your structure, lifting the roof off, buckling the walls and sending any leftover flying debris into any corner of the house. Since tornadoes can move in any direction, this myth is false.

  • The SW corner is no safer than any other part of the basement, because walls, floors and furniture can collapse (or be blown) into any corner.

  • Debris such as motor vehicles can also be pushed into the basement by a tornado.  You should position yourself under the I-Beam or a heavy work bench in your lowest level to increase your chances for survival.

  • During a tornado warning, seek shelter in an interior room on the lowest level of the building, away from windows, and if possible, under a sturdy piece of furniture or staircase.
       (Information from above bullet points provided by http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mkx/?n=taw-part2-tornado_myths)

       All comments in red are mine.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

An Ominous Weather Analog ...

Feel that humidity in the air. In fact, we can almost wear it, kinda just clings to me, at least. However, change is on the way. Sometimes, change in the Ohio Valley from a warm and humid to a cooler weather pattern almost invariably leads to severe weather.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed our region in Kentucky under a Slight Risk category. At this time, the good folks there do not expect a widespread outbreak of severe weather.

Looking at weather analogs for this storm system, most analogs are fairly benign with low amounts of severe weather anticipated. However, there was one 'ugly' analog that happened to show up for this event and actually has skewed the results for the rest of the 14 other top analogs.

The tornado outbreak of April 27-28, 2011. It has been claimed that this outbreak even surpasses the April 3-4, 1974 event.

Remember the locations affected? Perhaps you were glued to The Weather Channel as I was when they were showing live video footage of a large tornado bearing down on Birmingham, Alabama. Earlier, Tuscaloosa was ravaged by a violent tornado. And later, Chattanooga, Tennessee would be struck as well.

316 deaths were attributed to the outbreak nationwide. 15 violent tornadoes (EF-4 to EF-5 damage) were confirmed. Over 4 billion dollars of damage occurred.

Let's hope that the odds are in our favor that widespread tornadoes are not expected. But, do not let your guard down. Even the SPC says that isolated tornadoes may occur near the Low-pressure system. And that would put it in our region of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana.

For additional reading about the tornado outbreak of April 27-28, 2011 as well as the Joplin MO tornado on May 22 of that year, click on the link below:

The Historic Tornadoes of April 2011


MikJournal Monday 02/25/2019...Drying Out

What a wet pattern we have been enduring. Will we finally dry out? Welcome to another installment of MikJournal Monday, the 25th of February...