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Mario F.
02-06-2008, 03:05 PM
Aren't these supposed to start in the spring?

And around 50 dead? What happened?

SlyMaelstrom
02-06-2008, 03:10 PM
I heard 27 and I didn't hear the location, but in some places tornados are year-round.

dwks
02-06-2008, 05:41 PM
http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/tornadoes.asp

Tornado Season

Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year. In the southern states, peak tornado occurrence is in March through May, while peak months in the northern states are during the summer. Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 and 9 p.m. but have been known to occur at all hours of the day or night.

whiteflags
02-06-2008, 06:35 PM
America has got to be one of the more dangerous places to live at least in terms of natural disasters. I thought the most recent tornado event was morbidly humorous. Last night, I watched a lot of CNN. I remember telling my mom, "Tornadoes on Super Tuesday! God hates America!" I feel awful.

Mario F.
02-06-2008, 06:41 PM
OMG! You made me laugh with that one.

I know, I know. But the irony is killing me.

Elysia
02-06-2008, 06:44 PM
The irony is that people are stupid enough to build stuff in tornado areas.
Stop it. Move somewhere else, outside tornado areas, and we wouldn't have nearly as much of this problem. It also stops costing the state a lot of money to rebuild that which is going to be destroyed again.

dwks
02-06-2008, 06:46 PM
Goodbye, central USA. http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=tornado+alley&btnG=Google+Search&meta=

Mario F.
02-06-2008, 06:49 PM
It's not that simple Elysia. People aren't stupid. Some of the tornado corridors in the USA happen also to be some of the richest agricultural areas in America.

People move where they can make money. Others stay where they can make money. And others yet stay because they can't go anywhere else.

People don't generally have death wishes.

Elysia
02-06-2008, 06:51 PM
People move where they can make money. Others stay where they can make money. And others yet stay because they can't go anywhere else.

People don't generally have death wishes.

That's what I'm implying. Sort of anyway.
Some don't want to move. Some want to make money, etc, etc.
Point is, we're never going to evacuate from those areas, that's just life.
But if we could just do something about it, we could save a lot of grief and money.

Mario F.
02-06-2008, 06:57 PM
No you wouldn't. As I told you, and dwks illustrated you would send USA into a recession.

Elysia
02-06-2008, 06:59 PM
Emphasis on if. IF it could be done.
But that's not how it works, I know. It simply can't be done.
The world is a boring, unforgiving and ruthless world.

VirtualAce
02-06-2008, 07:05 PM
Aren't these supposed to start in the spring?

And around 50 dead? What happened?


None of you are going to like what I have to say about this. My father and I just talked about this very thing and I will say that 50 people dead with 56 twisters is 100% totally unacceptable given the modern warning systems we now have in place.

In short most people simply take the weather for granted. Having chased these storms for over 20 years throughout Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas I will say that I've never seen a tornado that 'just happened'. They follow a definitive process each time they occur. The reason they 'just happen' is because people do not pay attention until it is too late.

I was examining the radar last night on Intellicast, NOAA, SPC, and the Weather Channel. At about 7pm EST Intellicast radar was indicating TVS and MESO all the way from just south of central Missouri down into Tennessee and into Kentucky. TVS is short for Tornado Vortex Signature which indicates that the radar system has determined that a tornado is either happening, about to happen, or is aloft - thus a funnel cloud. MESO means that the radar has detected rotation in the thunderstorm and/or the entire storm is rotating which is usually known as a supercell. The doppler radar has modes that are called storm relative velocity and relative velocity. These show the direction of wind within the storm. When you compare the two you can determine rotation by looking for red areas (away from the station) next to green areas(towards the station). This is usually indicative of a supercell or rotating thunderstorm or rotation within the thunderstorm or a MESO. Last night there were over 15 MESO indicators and nearly as many TVS signatures. This is very indicative of a tornado outbreak occurring. Supercells are not to be taken lightly and can and will produce a tornado at any time.

All of these radar images are freely available to the public at all times via the NOAA site. They even have a complete explanation of radar, the images, and how to interpret them as well as other facts you probably don't care about. I got in relatively fast which means the servers were not that busy. Normally when this would happen in a storm prone area the servers would be clogged. I think people thought...hey it's winter we cannot have a tornado and just ignored all the tell-tale signs.

I also know that the NWS now has the practice of issuing tornado warnings based on doppler radar. This means that if TVS was indicated the emergency sirens should have been on in those areas. A tornado warning now means that either a tornado has been sighted on the ground, or a funnel spotted in the air OR has been indicated by Doppler Radar. The NWS also operates hundreds of NOAA radio stations that closely monitor the weather and give up to date information concerning the current weather conditions. Radio stations are plugged into this system and get their warnings from it. NOAA also issues weather radios that will turn on in alert mode with a hideous noise that would wake even the dead should a warning be issued in your area. In short there is tons of technology available that is designed to save lives but it only works if you utilize it. Not heeding the weather outside is like ignoring your gas gauge in your car. Sure you can do what you want but eventually you will run out of gas.

I know for a fact that there were watches and alerts from the SPC days before this system even approached. The SPC convective outlook indicated expected tornadic activity across the entire area. This is the same information that spotters will use to get 'briefed' on the current situation. This is also the same information that is used and propagated to forecasters. Most TV stations DO NOT have a meterologist. Most of them get their weather 'off the wire' from the SPC and the NOAA. The Weather Channel was very clear about the imminent dangers of the system days before it even hit the area. So the problem here is not the information or the flow of information but that people obviously are not listening to it. We have had much bigger outbreaks of tornadoes in years past and had less casualties. F2 to F3 tornadoes are really not that large but F4's and the ultimate F5's like the one that hit Moore, OK and Oklahoma City, OK in May 1999 are very large. However visual size of the tornado is not an indicator of it's relative strength.

I seriously doubt that these people had no warning and that the tornadoes 'just happened'. I don't even live near the area and I knew there were tornadoes occurring just by looking at the doppler radar. Doppler is available on the internet, on your phone, on your tv, and some places have specific TV channels that just broadcast doppler images. People must be aware of the weather and they must heed the warnings. Sure there is a fine line between over-reacting and not-reacting but I would almost prefer over-reacting. I love the weather but I also respect the weather. The moment you stop respecting the weather and the power and fury it has it can and will kill you.

I'm sorry these people died and I'm sure some of them just had no escape...but not all 50. If you live near or in tornado alley buy a battery operated NOAA weather radio and have a family plan that can be followed in the event that a tornado does in fact threaten your locale. Truly is a tragedy but one that could have been minimized. And no it's not abnormal for tornadoes to happen now. I've seen tornadoes in January, Feb., Dec. etc. Any time you have warm moist unstable air masses with correct upper level winds and enough wind shear (wind changing in speed and/or direction with height) you can have severe storms and tornadoes. This is nothing out of the ordinary and certainly not a large outbreak by any means. Some years back we had an outbreak of over 300 tornadoes.

Mario F.
02-06-2008, 07:13 PM
Yes. What shocked most was the death toll. Totally unusual in current times. You explanation does shed some light...

But... help me here... what's the usual sirens window? And how does the system operate in remote areas like farms? Surely residents in these places have some equipment as you described. But do they get immediate warnings like folks living in urban areas?

tabstop
02-06-2008, 07:14 PM
I'm not sure there's very many places on earth, let alone in the USA, that hasn't had some sort of natural disaster happen. I mean, why haven't we abandoned Florida yet after all those hurricanes?

And for that matter, even in tornado-prone places, what gets destroyed and what doesn't is very hit-and-miss. My parents' house has been standing for 80+ years in the middle of Kansas; there were a lot of storms this past summer but all we lost was a bit of roof (and, okay, quite a few trees). Occasionally you get something like the tornado that took out Greensburg; it sounds bad to have a tornado wiping out a town, but Greensburg wasn't that large (Wikipedia says 1450 people, which is larger than I remember from high school) and EF5 tornadoes don't happen all that often (that was the only one anywhere all year).

You get used to it. You expect to always have the yellow "watch" on, but when it turns red, then you start looking. (Of course my parents always said that "it doesn't matter until you can see it", but then they don't really travel and there's not much you can do for the livestock anyway if it decides to come down on your pasture.)

VirtualAce
02-06-2008, 07:28 PM
parents always said that "it doesn't matter until you can see it",


That will get you killed. In a wet supercell or one with a lot of precipitation the rain often wraps around the tornado. One benefit of this is that this is the only way normal radar can pick up the famous hook echo. Many many tornadoes are hidden in rain bands and in the chaser world this is known as the core. When you 'punch the core' you take a path right through the rain core to the tornado. It's extremely dangerous and not even the NWS recommends that spotters attempt to chase tornadoes in wet cells. They have an official name but I don't rememeber it off hand.

Dry supercells normally hit like Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, etc. The tornado is usually very visible against the blue sky behind it and this is where most of the pictures you see are from.
There is tons of information about this on the internet and several very good chaser sites that know way more than I do about the topic. I'm just a avid storm chaser and up until recently Illinois and the entire area had been very inactive. The storms would just fizzle like they had no energy whatsoever. But weather changes from year to year and now we are getting back to 1980 style winters with 1970 - 1980 style tornado outbreaks. There were some outbreaks in the 90's, most notably 1999, but overall in my area it was boring.

Now I'm on the east coast so no more tornadoes for me. Now all I have to worry about is hurricanes. :)



But... help me here... what's the usual sirens window? And how does the system operate in remote areas like farms? Surely residents in these places have some equipment as you described. But do they get immediate warnings like folks living in urban areas?


The window is very large now with doppler radar. The moment doppler picks this information up the sirens would be sounded. This does result, sadly, in a lot of over-reaction in activating the sirens but ultimately the concept is sound. So wherever there is a doppler radar site the siren window should theoretically be the same as in a large urban area. Farmers especially should know far better than the weatherman when a tornado is going to hit. Animals act agitated, restless, etc. And they have been on the farm long enough to know when a big storm system is coming. It's far easier to chase a storm and follow a storm's progression in rural areas than it is in urban.

As an example I was in a small town in Illinois watching a movie one night at the theatre. Suddenly they shut the movie off right before the ending and said we should take cover. Before going to the theatre, we knew the storms were approaching from the west but they shouldn't have been in our area until well after the movie ended. Well I started calling my father, friends, and then looked at the radar images on my phone. Come to find out the sirens had been sounded and the tornado had just crossed the county line about 25 miles from where I was. That's a pretty big window. Almost too big because then people don't trust the sirens. I had to drive 15 miles north of the theatre and wait for about 20 min before the thing even approached. The cops finally came and told us or 'requested' us to stop and not proceed. Then the typical fire engine came and started circling the highway indicating it's probably not wise to proceed further.

I'd say the siren and warning window is sufficient enough to ensure survival in most cases. There are instances where storms produce that were not expected to. These are extremely fast and deadly but they are also very rare. This case was a definite storm system and front that was expected and was not surprising that it produced tornadoes. Perhaps the number was surprising, but the event was not. And on a side note the average ground speed for a tornado is 35 mph. Not breaking any speed records for sure. Usually if you are prepared there is time to plan and react in a sensible fashion. Going to bed with severe storms and/or tornado warnings in your area is just plain ignorant. Wait for them to pass and then go to bed. Normally these types of storms are fast moving and once the main line of storms passes your area you are in the clear. The air front is actually far behind the main storm front which is why you wake up the next morning to very different weather.

tabstop
02-06-2008, 07:37 PM
That will get you killed.
Well, yeah. But then I think most of the sayings are going to be different for stormchasers vs. people deciding whether to stay in the kitchen or go down into the basement. (The power's been out for hours anyway by this point, and the AM radio sounds the same either way.) Although, even Dad went down to the basement the night of the Greensburg system, even though he didn't "see" anything.



Now I'm on the east coast so no more tornadoes for me. Now all I have to worry about is hurricanes. :)

Ditto.

brewbuck
02-06-2008, 07:40 PM
The irony is that people are stupid enough to build stuff in tornado areas.

You seem to have uninformed, obnoxious opinions on everything.

I live within sight of Mount St. Helens. Ash fell on my house in 1980 (that's when I was living several hundred MILES away from it). Mount Rainier is less than 200 miles to the north, and is a known active volcano. The city of Tacoma WA is built on top of lahar deposits from this volcano from less than 500 years ago. The entire Northwest is also threatened by massive tsunamis from superthrust earthquakes. I suppose you think we should evacuate all of Seattle and Portland.

Moving on let's examine California. Again, numerous large earthquakes and tsunami danger. Massive wildfires in the autumn. Let's clear the whole damn state.

How about Wyoming, home of the supervolcano at Yellowstone, the eruptions of which have devastated over 40% of the present land mass of the USA in the past? Oh, and we're "due for" another one. So let's clear out the Rocky Mountain areas.

Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida? All have been slammed by huge hurricanes causing billions in damage.

Missouri? Think you're safe there? Think again. It has suffered earthquakes powerful enough to erase islands from the middle of the Mississippi river, and was felt in Washington DC. Evacuate!


It also stops costing the state a lot of money to rebuild that which is going to be destroyed again.

Tyrannical thinking. The state exists to serve its people, not the other way around. If people want to live in a particular place then that is how it is. You have no say in it, and thankfully so.

Elysia
02-06-2008, 07:43 PM
Yes, let everyone go ahead and get killed and blame the government for it! Yes, let the government pay for all those damages and rip the rest of the world off for money to rebuild for you who just have to live there instead of spending that money on making the country a better place. Getting rid of criminality, giving the homeless people a place to live. Making a social system where the government pays for schools, hospitals, etc, etc.

brewbuck
02-06-2008, 07:46 PM
Yes, let everyone go ahead and get killed and blame the government for it! Yes, let the government pay for all those damages and rip the rest of the world off for money to rebuild for you who just have to live there instead of spending that money on making the country a better place. Getting rid of criminality, giving the homeless people a place to live. Making a social system where the government pays for schools, hospitals, etc, etc.

If you want to make the country a better place by evacuating dangerous regions, then the country is going to empty out. Get out of your basement.

The government is made of people. It exists to serve them. Wake up.

VirtualAce
02-06-2008, 07:50 PM
Missouri? Think you're safe there? Think again. It has suffered earthquakes powerful enough to erase islands from the middle of the Mississippi river, and was felt in Washington DC. Evacuate!


You'd have to evacuate the entire Midwest as well because of the New Madrid fault. There is more pressure on this fault than has ever been on the San Andreas. Last time it caused a quake it re-routed a river and put an entire town under water.

The key is to be aware of your area and the natural events that can affect it. If you are prepared then most likely living through these things, while scary during the event, is possible in all but the rarest cases. Quakes are different b/c they give little warning but weather gives you plenty of warning with the technology we have now.

Mario F.
02-06-2008, 07:51 PM
Yes, let the government pay for all those damages and rip the rest of the world off for money to rebuild for you who just have to live there instead of spending that money on making the country a better place

You surely understand this either puts you in the 9 years old scale of things or, on the other hand you are desperate and instead of admitting you are wrong (it's ok. We all are sometimes) you prefer resorting to arguments that people even have an hard time replying to.

Elysia
02-06-2008, 07:53 PM
Yes, it exists to serve them, not damn them which is what they're doing when they let people live in the dangerous areas. They help people get killed. They help people get poor. They help screwing off other people to help those who were hurt by tornadoes or such, which could be avoided if people just didn't live there! And considering the milliards of dollars that could be saved, I really dare imagine what they could be used for. USA has so many problems, and yet they spend all their money on friggin' military and building up destroyed areas after tornadoes!

Well, let's have the government wake up. Don't just rebuild blindly in the area. Evacuate what was destroyed into other areas as much as possible as think of other ideas or persuasion to get people out of there.
It's stupid to live there in the first place, seeing as we don't have the technology to stop natural disaster to occur.
Prioritize big disaster areas first, then the smaller ones. It will make wonders to the country, you'll see.


You surely understand this either puts you in the 9 years old scale of things or, on the other hand you are desperate and instead of admitting you are wrong (it's ok. We all are sometimes) you prefer resorting to arguments that people even have an hard time replying to.
It is true to an extent what I state. The last time there was a big tornado, they messed up big time on predicting the size of it and it caused devastation for milliards of dollars. The big might states o' mightiness even had to ask for help from other countries to finance reconstruction and help affected people.
None of which might have happened if they didn't live there in the first place.
Believe it or not, but I'm not ignorant of how the world works. No, we're probably never going to move out of those areas because we're too stubborn. That's just the way it works.
And that's what's annoying me too. People can be so stupid. It's like if they're not even trying to get away from the areas. Instead they put resources into trying to prevent the natural disasters from occurring, when they could evacuate big disaster areas to avoid it altogether.
It seems like they can't do disaster prevention right nor evacuation right, so what's to do? They lose lots of money that could be spent elsewhere on these silly matters and lives are lost in the process. Aren't lives what is important?

These ordeals annoy me to no end. That's all.

VirtualAce
02-06-2008, 07:57 PM
Just in case you were misinformed we actually profit quite well from natural disasters. They are a boost to the economy as a whole. This is not to say they are not a tragedy or minimize the death toll and its impact on the people involved, but usually the only ones who really suffer financially are the insurance companies and the uninsured. The people who rebuild the area usually make a small fortune. Sad but true.

You cannot stick your head in the sand and refuse to live anywhere something bad might happen. Tornado alley encompasses Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and on up north to Minnesota. That's a helluva lot of real estate to just ignore. So you wanna evacuate Dallas, TX eh and just sorta tell everyone to live elsewhere?

Sorry Elysia I just don't agree with you on this one.

PING
02-06-2008, 07:58 PM
As I told you, and dwks illustrated you would send USA into a recession.
The US economy is already in recession .

VirtualAce
02-06-2008, 08:00 PM
The US economy is already in recession .


So we are being told by the mass media. All the indicators are not there, however. But if the mass media can let everyone 'perceive' there is a recession...then yeah we could be in one.

brewbuck
02-06-2008, 08:00 PM
Aren't lives what is important?

Free will has no value to you?

I'm decently convinced that you're in high school by this point. "Programming master." Okay, whatever.

VirtualAce
02-06-2008, 08:01 PM
...back on the topic of the twisters.....

Mario F.
02-06-2008, 08:01 PM
No it's not.

Trust me, you will know for sure when it is.

Meanwhile, technically what happened is that the economy slowed down. There is still hope the recent packages (involving not only domestic economy, but also the UE and asia countries) will avoid the recession.

Mario F.
02-06-2008, 08:02 PM
Yes back on twisters... sorry...

Mario F.
02-06-2008, 08:07 PM
Following up on the evacuation theme, we are talking only about the US here. What about Turkey earthquakes, Sourthern Asia typhons (heck here alone you would have to evacuate all of the philipines, indonesia and surrounding islands), Japan earthquakes and vulcanoes (the whole country had to be evacuated. There is no such thing as a safe place in Japan)...

Elysia
02-06-2008, 08:10 PM
Obviously, it's not an option in Japan. Instead, they must focus on minimizing the damage and preventing as much from happening as possible.
I simply hope they can do a better job than USA.

Thankfully, where I live, there are no such things as tornadoes or earthquakes. Why don't everyone move over here instead? :p

tabstop
02-06-2008, 08:16 PM
And as far as the government goes, well, that depends on your level of cynicism. Sure, some federal money and some state money gets spent everytime there's a big set of tornadoes. That money is going to get spent anyway: that's the government's job, spending money, once they have the money it has to go somewhere. So this money goes to tornado victims instead of a police department somewhere getting a grant to buy new equipment. Maybe next year. And remember this is the American Midwest: the only proper response, to our way of thinking, to the phrase "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" involves a shotgun. (You don't have to fire it, just brandish it a little -- government types scare easily.)

I don't remember foreign governmental aid for the last big tornado? I remember International Red Cross, but that's charity. And of course Americans have been good about sending our charity money overseas too -- that's karma.

We in tornado alley often shake our heads about the people who get flooded away; we say the same things you say about "they know they're living next to a river, and at least we only get blown away once every hundred years". But we don't really mean it, and we know that in most places they only get flooded out every hundred years too. (The ones who get flooded out every year are usually planning for the eventuality.)

SlyMaelstrom
02-07-2008, 06:16 AM
Thankfully, where I live, there are no such things as tornadoes or earthquakes. Why don't everyone move over here instead? :pYou mean... the sky?

crvenkapa
02-07-2008, 04:56 PM
I have a solution.
Let's move to Mars or some other planet!:devil:

VirtualAce
02-07-2008, 06:52 PM
Obviously, it's not an option in Japan. Instead, they must focus on minimizing the damage and preventing as much from happening as possible.
I simply hope they can do a better job than USA.


Just how do you propose that we minimize the damage when a tornado tears through a town or a hurricane rips the coast line? What you are proposing is preposterous.

Elysia
02-08-2008, 02:13 AM
I have a solution.
Let's move to Mars or some other planet!:devil:
Hmmm. Not sure about that. I think other planets have other problems instead.


Just how do you propose that we minimize the damage when a tornado tears through a town or a hurricane rips the coast line? What you are proposing is preposterous.
Preposterous or not, it's what I'd like to see. Though, I'm not a politican, so I don't have a say in the thing. Thank the gods for that, eh?

whiteflags
02-08-2008, 02:45 AM
I love how foriegn people are waiting for America to become smaller. According to recent population statistics from the Census Bureau, there are 85 people per square mile in America, with a counted population of about 300-million. Not bad, but yeah, no exodus away from tornado alley anytime soon. It's way too much of the country, and we don't have quite as much space to actually preserve, like say, Canada does. Plus, people immigrate here from Mexico illegally all the time. We do need all that we are using now.

Mario F.
02-08-2008, 07:16 AM
Preposterous or not, it's what I'd like to see. Though, I'm not a politican, so I don't have a say in the thing. Thank the gods for that, eh?

Mankind lives in the edge of danger. Floods, storms, earthquakes, volcanoes, all are part of mankind history. USA is not even by close the country where the most people die due to natural disasters.

People don't move to these places because they are stupid or because their government forced them to. Culture, education, human ties, chance, all contribute for the decision of staying or leaving a certain place.

Regarding Tornado Alley storm frequency and intensity are not that demanding on people's lives or property that would justify the biggest exodus in American history and the worst recession the world ever experienced. Tornados aren't even big killers anyway. Earthquakes probably are.

You say you would like to see people move anyway... no you wouldn't. Because your cereals would soon be over, your parents would probably soon lose their jobs, banks would give no more loans, credit companies would shut their doors. And what do you think would happen to the folks that actually had to move from tornado alley.

I hope you aren't saying you would like to see that happen. Is that what you are saying?

Elysia
02-08-2008, 10:58 AM
I hope you aren't saying you would like to see that happen. Is that what you are saying?

I would like to see the ideal situation where everyone moves to a better location and stops rebuilding in the area. And by ideal I mean a no-lose situation. No lost jobs, and such.

Mario F.
02-08-2008, 01:05 PM
I would like to see the ideal situation where everyone moves to a better location and stops rebuilding in the area. And by ideal I mean a no-lose situation. No lost jobs, and such.

Anything else?
There's still plenty of room for more nonsense.

Elysia
02-08-2008, 01:18 PM
No, that would be all.