Tornado/Storm Videos in New Boston, Michigan, Yesterday 6-27-10

I was in Chicago for the weekend (Clapton’s Crossroad Guitar Festival—yessssss!), and missed the very bad weather we had around here. I’m actually a little bit happy our plane due to take off at 10:10 am never actually materialized. We refused to try to get on the 2:15 flight thinking we would just get delayed or end up having to land in this storm! We opted for the 6:20 pm flight and really had no idea how bad it was. That is until we talked to the attendant at U.S. Park across from DTW that said she had to take cover twice! This morning my husband called from work and said people took videos of a tornado in New Boston.

I am soooooo glad I wasn’t home for this alert. My poor cats and parrot were home though. No wonder Louie slept in my travel satchel all night. I guess he’s goin with me next time no matter what. But I digress. I found some good videos :) of the New Boston tornado.

Good job people! You’ll never get a video of a tornado outa me. I’ll be locked in my inside bathroom with cats and parrot. Anyway, here’s what was happening in New Boston’s neck of the woods:

These first 2 videos are by Great Moogly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDa3mVDES7U.

I can’t make out the music Great Moogly, but good choice. Sounds like Nugent but not?

These videos are from johnk5141: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-xcu9jp6pA.

Ah, this music is easier, Kid Rock’s “Cowboy” although I think I hear Great Moogly’s music in there too. Neighbors? And we have Nazareth’s “Son of a Bitch” a good accompaniment to what looks like an ominous bunch of clouds just trying to cause trouble and aimed at johnk’s backyard.

This video is from bsatroop557: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkmdvgxTtu0.

And bsatroop557, you must be a neighbor of johnk5141 too because I’m still hearing Nazareth in the background. Nice backyard shots guys.

To bsatroop557′s wife—famous last words of husbands and storms, “Ah, it’ll be all right…Nothin’s gonna happen…There’s plenty of time honey… I’m going out to watch… I’m gonna video this…” And finally, “This isn’t good. Run, run now…”

Another really clear view from jdw21212121: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUyGEFV2cnA.

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6,000 Still Without Power in Monroe County After 50 Tornadoes Ripped Through 5 States

ABC News reports 50 tornadoes ripped through 5 states including Monroe County early Sunday morning that left behind devastation to homes, farms, and businesses that left 7 dead. One of the hardest hit was Lake Township, Ohio where a tornado hit a high school just an hour before a graduation commencement ceremony took place and continued on for 8 miles. The valedictorian’s father was killed.

DTE reports that 6,000 people are still without power after one of the tornadoes ripped through Dundee. It won’t be an easy fix. Some 200 power poles were snapped off and even with 170 crews working to restore power it will take quite a coordinated effort to get the power supply and distribution center working again for that area. Damage to Dundee area homes, farms, and businesses is extensive. Cars could not travel M-50 just yesterday from all of the debris. Luckily no one perished in Monroe.

The storms here were typical of a skipping tornado where some places were obliterated while homes right next door were untouched. The path appears to have traveled from Dundee touching down through parts of north Monroe, (my friend’s yard had damages on Hollywood Gulf Crest), and onto the beach areas, even causing damage to the Fermi II Plant before heading for Lake Erie. The roof of a main building at the Fermi II site was damaged causing the reactor to temporarily shut down. I can see the Fermi Cooling Towers from my front window and my home is located on the Huron River between Wayne and Monroe counties. A resident of Taylor took a picture of the sky looking across the Trenton Channel at Grosse Ile also right up the road from my home. The climatologist for WXYZ said the ominous looking black streak in the picture might have been the aftermath of the tornado clouds that ripped through Dundee and continued on.

My husband and I woke up around 3:00 am from the sound outside. My husband asked if the sound was wind or rain. He thought he heard sirens but assumed it was a siren for a fire that may have started from a lightening strike. When I looked out my windows there was very little wind at all. The trees were hardly moving. What we got in my area was a huge lightening storm much earlier that prompted me to unplug our entertainment center, followed by a deluge of rain that came straight down, but very little wind while the tornado that ripped through the Fermi complex wasn’t a mile south of my home. I saw nothing looking south at the Fermi towers.

It wasn’t until early afternoon that I even knew what happened. I spent yesterday morning cutting back my roses and securing them to trellises and picking cherries from my cherry tree. I couldn’t figure why one of the small branches from my elderberry bush broke off. Tornadoes are extremely perplexing. One end of my county is devastated. The Fermi Plant is hit by what may have been the same funnel cloud. The downriver area reports damage, and I didn’t even lose the cherries on my tree.

It seems we’ve been praying for many disasters already this year. Unfortunately, it’s our turn. We need to pray and reach out to all those suffering loss in our own county this time, but please refrain from traveling to the Dundee area for pictures or to have a look see. ABC News WXYZ just reported that throngs of people driving around taking pictures are hindering cleanup and repairs to that area. I’m sure Monroe News will have plenty on the aftermath there.

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News Reports Tornado Outbreak

There couldn’t be a better description but “Tornado Outbreak” when “at least 37 tornadoes were reported” ripping through the heartland yesterday. Unfortunately, as of this morning 6 people died from the super cell that cut a 150-mile swath through the middle of America hitting some places during rush hour traffic.

Property damage looks to be high. Our heartland is tornado alley. If tornadoes get worse and worse and property damages continue to the point insurance companies cancel, will it leave the heartland more sparsely populated? Because this isn’t the first time a group of tornadoes cut a really wide path across America. Since tornadoes twist the same way, I’m still wondering about one big behemoth tornado if a pack ever unites. Just some things to think about.

There are some really striking visuals and good reporting from Sam Champion on Good Morning America’s website.

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2010 Tornado Season Started Slow, Belied What Was to Come

This year’s tornado season started out slow even though forecasters claimed it would be exceptionally nasty due to all the late precipitation in the form of snow that is just now melting in the middle of the country keeping things cool there while warm air from the south moves in to collide. We all know what that collision means—twisters, big, big twisters. And we got them this weekend.

This morning the final tally for tornadoes that ripped through 9 southern states yesterday is 61. At least one of them created a swath of destruction in some places a mile and a half wide. The group of tornadoes together covered some 250 miles. It was first reported that the 160 mile per hour winds may have been on the ground for 97 miles, but according the Good Morning America this morning, climatologists are thinking that quite possibly they were on the ground 200 of the 250 miles breaking a record set in 1925. More news about this is sure to surface as climatologists surmise where the tornado’s path of destruction began and ended finally ended. Twelve people are dead as people search through rubble what used to be their homes in multiple states. Mississippi one of the worst hit, claims that the destruction is on par with Hurricane Katrina.

I have two questions.

1. How long before groups of 50 or more tornadoes at a time manage to unite into one mammoth mother lode of wind destruction? Something like that has the power to suck a person right out of their basement. It was reported on ABC that the roar of the twisters this weekend left one man partially deaf after his shoes were sucked off his feet.

2. How long can the insurance industry keep paying claims for the annual weather destruction prevalent in the U.S.? We do have quite a variety—tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, mudslides, fire, hale, and snow that have caused sustained power outages, forced evacuations, and great property losses in a great many states.

This was a frightening prediction model done for a mass of tornadoes like this weekend’s on a path toward the Dallas/Forth worth area of Texas, and the resulting cost of lives and property: http://www.nctcog.org/weather/features/tdramsc.pdf.

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High Winds Hit Grosse Ile; Looked Like a Tornado to Me

Yep, that’s right. That nifty little storm that came up quick yesterday then went on to damage homes in Grosse Ile looked like a tornado to me. I caught the western edge of that dark strip. I live in Berlin Twp. and am about a ½ mile inland from the lake.

I was painting my living room yesterday. I saw clouds gathering and stepped outside to get my cats in, and put small things on the deck away. I thought to myself, “Perfect tornado weather.” I thought I’d better check the local news—nothing, not even the little icon in the corner showing thunderstorms. I went back to working in the living room. I have 12 ft. of southern exposure across the front and the blinds were wide open. It got so dark at one point I couldn’t see what I was doing. I stood in front of those windows with a wet paint brush and thought, “Uh oh.”

I saw a defined edge to a large swath of black as far south as I could see. The dark section in the sky was to the east of me and at a diagonal. Directly in front of me was a lighter sky, much lighter. I couldn’t tell how wide the dark swath was because trees blocked my view. All of a sudden there was a crack of lightening and buckets of rain shot out at the windows like someone hit them with a high-powered hose. My clump birch tree was bent toward me…I closed the blinds.

I walked into the kitchen and looked out on the deck facing directly west. The water was pouring off the roof so hard it held the mesh top to a pergola down. The rain kept it from blowing off, but the whole metal pergola started moving toward a step down. Then my chairs started to move, something they normally don’t do because the material is mesh and allows the wind to blow through. I thought, “This can’t be good, yet no siren, no news about it.” Luckily the top of the pergola blew up and got stuck on the last wrung. There was nothing catching the wind to move it any longer.

The rain kept pouring buckets. I walked to the TV room in the back and looked out that doorwall to see where the storm headed. I was facing north and could see the black swath head for the lake but it didn’t break up. Later on my husband called and said, “So there was a tornado or something hit the south end of Grosse Ile.” I told him the edge went past the yard. I told him about the pergola walking toward the step.

The rain lasted longer than the wind. When I walked back into the living room near the front door I wondered what I spilled on the floor. Then I saw a little wave of water was forced under my screen door, and then my entry door. That’s how hard the storm pounded.

The looks of that dark swath with a definite edge facing west anyway, looked ominously like the tornado I watched on 20/20 Friday night. That tornado was like a large block of darkness in the sky, but tornadoes can be thin in width with a tail that briefly touches down, wide with a tail, or just plain devastating wide as far as the eye can see meaning large girth and large tail capable of wiping out a town. What I saw may have had a little whipping tail that smacked down on Grosse Ile. Or maybe it was a “biggun” that stayed in the sky. It didn’t look like straight line winds. Everything in my backyard was swirling. My sunflowers are all twisted or knocked down today.

I’m just mad I didn’t put that paint brush down long enough to snap a little You Tube video of it. Darn!

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Can Mega Wind Farms Inhibit a Tornado or Defer Its Path?

I was watching ABC news about the 900 mile swath of 21 tornadoes that were active from western Michigan to Missouri last night and remembered watching a special on TV about one of climatologist’s biggest fears, tornadoes that unite to become multi-vortex mega storms. Is this what we’re beginning to experience? The NOAA website reports: “There is a statistical trend (as documented by NSSL’s Harold Brooks) toward wide tornadoes having higher damage ratings. This could be related to greater tornado strength, more opportunity for targets to damage, or some blend of both. However, the size or shape of any particular tornado does not say anything conclusive about its strength.” So there is a trend but it appears to be downplayed, while tornadoes are becoming rampant across the heartland of our country, destroying more and more properties every year, and occurring out of season.

Residents in the Missouri area said they witnessed 4 distinct heads of the multi vortex tornado that covered a 5-mile swath of land. This tornado was also described by the newscaster as a bouncer, touching down, going up, and then touching down again. The same NOAA website states that tornadoes don’t literally skip. It says: “By definition [] a tornado must be in contact with the ground. There is disagreement in meteorology over whether or not multiple touchdowns of the same vortex or funnel cloud mean different tornadoes (a strict interpretation). In either event, stories of skipping tornadoes usually mean

1. There was continuous contact between vortex and ground in the path, but it was too weak to do damage;
2. Multiple tornadoes happened; but there was no survey done to precisely separate their paths (very common before the 1970s); or
3. There were multiple tornadoes with only short separation, but the survey erroneously classified them as one tornado.

So was this multi-vortex, bouncing tornado possibly a new phenomena? Is there anything that can be done to limit the increasing velocity and strength of tornadoes? Well, “Daniel Barrie and Daniel Kirk-Davidoff of the University of Maryland concocted an experiment. They took the pattern of expanding turbine fields to an extreme, and used a computer model to calculate what might happen if all the land from Texas to central Canada, and from the Great Lakes to the Rocky Mountains were covered in one massive wind farm,” according to an article on Discovery Channel website. It said, “[They] acknowledged the hypothetical wind farm was far larger than anything humans are likely to build. But meeting the Department of Energy’s goal of wind power generation by 2030 would require that scores of huge wind farms be built throughout the Midwestern United States. The total disturbance caused by turbines could be enough to steer storms.”
Interesting!

Although the NOAA website states that it is unlikely we could ever come up with anything that could stop a tornado that wouldn’t be worse than the tornado itself, it does talk about dissipating one, which means to slow down or cause it to break up. The website’s FAQ’s page said that tornadoes do need a source of instability and a “larger-scale property of rotation (vorticity) to keep going.” It went on to say that a lot of processes surrounding a storm could rob the area around a tornado of either instability or vorticity. Cold outflow is one. This is the flow of wind out of the precipitation area of a shower or thunderstorm. It’s been observed that cold outflow causes a tornado to go away. It also says: “For decades, storm observers have documented the death of numerous tornadoes when their parent circulations (mesocyclones) weaken after they become wrapped in outflow air — either from the same thunderstorm or a different one.”

Could that different outflow of air possibly be produced by large wind farms in the near future? Could they produce enough wind to replicate the outflow air of a thunderstorm? If so, it’s incentive enough to develop wind power. There are far too many homes and properties destroyed every year from increasingly bad weather. If we thought the stock market dive was bad, imagine insurance companies going bust?

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=7582543

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/11/25/wind-farms-weather.html

http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado

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National Geographic’s Planet Earth

If you ever had any questions about a anything relating to earth and its functions, how it all happened, how our climate is changing and why, how we know this stuff, and many other things, watch National Geographic’s presentation “Planet Earth.” This is family stuff, enlightening, interesting, and a little bit scary.

Some of the presentations areexplosive. It’s a little mind boggling how they are able to present prehistoric earth with video footage of events and places from the present. I watched the one about ice mass, and last night was about earthquakes, ending with volcanic eruptions. There is as much action as the latest Rambo movie. My husband was perturbed we changed channels from the movie “Mash,” but said it was really a great presentation and he wants to see more of it now. You’ll find yourself saying “Wow” and “I didn’t know that!” more than once.

I know some people don’t get the National Geographic Channel, but the DVD set of “Planet Earth” is available. It’s better than any encyclopedia books I was brought up with. Maybe if they had this type of learning tool back then more of us would have went into science.

“Planet Earth” is on every night this week, beginning at 9:00 pm on the National Geographic Channel. Tune in.

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Cash Corn Crops Go the Way of Floods in the Midwest

For those of us in Michigan or anywhere else that think global warming or any of the climate events happening elsewhere won’t/don’t affect us guess again. Just like yesterday’s blog about Dead Zones that affects our penchant for shrimp, crab, and select fish like grouper, the California fires are in wine country. So that perfect glass of wine to accompany that already vulnerable seafood dinner may not materialize at all.

Floods in the Midwest have caused a huge loss in corn crops also. So much for ethanol as an alternative. The loss of corn is going to cause an even greater problem with food shortages worldwide, which really can’t take another hit. As a result we’ll soon see food prices climb even higher here.

It simply amazes me that we’re experiencing such drastic degrees of bad weather at the same time. Look at the flood risk this year: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/hic/nho/. Hundreds of people have lost homes and irreplaceable keepsakes due to flood damage.

Does anyone remember some of the prophecies about the future from the likes of Nostradamus, Cayce, and Dixon? One of the prophecies was that the U.S. would be divided by water eventually. The water rose through the middle of the country separating the east from the west. This doesn’t bode well considering the middle of our country is flooding.

As for fires, it looks like a fifth of California is burning: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sto/cafw/. Eighty homes and other structures have been destroyed by fires, while more homes are still threatened. If fires sweep through wine country there will be zilch for the year 2008.

And for those of us that have always grown things we know weather problems affect our little gardens, fruit trees, and whatever we grow just like the big guys. The wind that ripped the shingles off my house on Monday would have caused a big loss in my vegetable garden had it been later in the season when the plants were bigger. I’m saying this because I see many more gardens planted this year than ever before, and I just wonder if the novices realize that the survival technique of growing our own food can backfire on us easily if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate. The idea of living like our forefathers or Grizzly Adams if we have to won’t cut it without the support of a decent environment, so relying on ourselves for survival may not be viable if the weather continues to be extreme. Like the old commercial for butter used to say: “It’s notnice [or wise]to fool with Mother Nature.”

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Wicked Weather Last Night

So Monroe, MI, how about that weather last night? Monroe doesn’t usually get anything that bad, especially my area near Lake Erie. Usually the lake just sucks out the storm, but last night blew the shingles off my roof. And they were only 2 years old! Straight-line winds just dropped in out of nowhere. I actually went to sit in the bathroom with my bird and one cat that doesn’t like storms. I wasn’t thinking tornado, but I was thinking scary thoughts. My only clue that it wasn’t going to be too bad is that there were birds, and mallard ducks eating under my bird feeder up until the moment that wind hit.

It could have been worse. Bloomfield Hills and counties North of us really got walloped with trees landing on houses and no power since Friday for some.

It’s no wonder weather events are extreme. Our country is experiencing some pretty diverse climate conditions all at once. Washington state was in the 30′s and expecting snow today. Places like Racine, WI got flash floods. Racine is bewildered because that NEVER happened before. And parts of Arkansas and N. Carolina are drought stricken. Mix snow, floods, heat, and droughts together and it’s little wonder we have climate explosions where bad weather just drops in like the 117 mph winds that ran through the Columbus, OH area last night.

We’re already greeted with a pretty wicked windy season and it’s only June 10th. I’velost some shingles. I just hope I can hang onto my new awning until windy season is over, and I hope no one suffered anything worse.

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2008 the deadliest year for tornadoes in U.S. since 1998, and it’s not even Memorial Day yet.

Since the Myanmar (Burma) hurricane, with already 100,000 people reported dead and 200,000 more missing, China was hit by a massive 7.9 earthquake with nearly 9,000 people dead and thousands missing or injured along with devastating tornadoes that ran through the middle of the U.S. all the way to Georgia leaving 23 dead, and there were very few reports about a tidal wave that hit S. Korea May 4th, but it killed at least seven people when it hit a pier and seaside rocks sweeping away tourists and anglers. Who knows how many were in the area.

So it’s been one heck of a week for big disasters. The tornadoes that keep hitting the center of our nation worse and worse every year are taking more and more lives. It wasn’t long ago that we could honestly make the statement that while tornadoes wreak a lot of damage across our country; very few usually die from them. Not so anymore.

Hits like this from Mother Nature are getting noticeably worse and more and more frequent. According to Wikipedia, as of May 8th, 819 tornadoes have been reported in the United States (of which at least 465 have been confirmed), with 98 confirmed fatalities. This already makes 2008 the deadliest year for them since 1998, and it’s not Memorial Day yet!

People can pooh pooh extreme weather all they want. I reported a long time ago in one of my blogs that I was curious about reports of global warming relative to increased disastrous weather/climate activity and researched the recorded events myself. This was back in 2000. I went to the NOAA website and printed extreme weather events worldwide from 1990 to 2000. 1990 events took up 1/3 of a page. By 2000, 3 pages printed out for that year.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how fast weather events are advancing. We don’t hear enough about them in the media. We need to see it, and hear it, over and over until we have some notion of what some people are going through because of Mother Nature, not just look out our windows and say “Well, it’s not me.”

Great explanation and map of active fault lines and what causes earthquakes @:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7807001/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tornadoes_of_2008

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