My Workplace Needs a Weather Radio

It’s definitely not a good thing not to know about a tornado warning until your students tell you after the fact — especially not when the storm in question actually did produce a confirmed tornado just to your south. Eeeep!

ETA @ 11:00 PM: There’s a radar-indicated tornado passing through my county right at this moment. Fortunately, it is passing to my west, but I’m close enough to see the light show:


One thought on “My Workplace Needs a Weather Radio

  1. From the first day of this outbreak (last Friday!) through today…all told…this may be one of the worst tornado outbreaks of all time. In that four day period there've been at least 292 tornado reports. There are probably only about 80-90 actual tornadoes because the reports often double-triple-quadruple count one tornado if it passes through a long enough track that it gets reported by more than one observer, but, the shear volume and persistance of severe weather impacting some of the same areas again and again…and again…AND AGAIN!…has rarely been seen in this modern age. Poor Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama…the savage pounding they've taken this week is hard to top.

    Today, for example, one tornado that narrowly missed the heart of downtown Tuscaloosa, AL had doppler-estimated core wind velocities that averaged (over a 15 minute period) 210 kts (~240-250 mph!)..mind you, the radar can only see in roughly 1 km resolution and the tornado itself was about that wide…perhaps twice that wide…so realistically, the winds were likely higher in the wall of the twister. Spotters confirmed that this tornado produce a massive wall of debris over a mile wide and there are multiple fatalities associated with it.

    Another tornado literally erased a small town from existance when it passed through Vilonia, AR two days ago. That storm caused roofing tiles and other odd scraps of debris to rain down on neighborhoods 25 miles upwind, ripped the concrete right off of the ground, destroying a wide swath of the highway into town, and left nothing but cracked and broken concrete slap foundations where homes once stood. Miraculously, no one died in this tornado as the citizens all took the warning seriously and got to their shelters and they had a good 20 minutes lead time.

    The massive severe weather outbreak has thus far claimed about 80 lives all told…a tragedy, certainly…but also a tremendous victory for the men and women of the National Weather Service and the Storm Prediction Center…an outbreak this large in scope would ordinarily have had death tolls in the hundreds or even thousands as little as fifty years ago.


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