Posted by: mrpeatie | March 17, 2008

Severe Weather

I love the weather. It fascinates the hell out of me. Some of my fondest memories growing up was watching approaching thunderstorms with my dad in our garage. In another life I was a meteorologist and I came ever so close to studying meteorology in college.

Over the weekend, I was like a kid again as some nasty storms moved through the area. My side of town got lucky and avoided any direct hits from the severe thunderstorms cells that rolled through Saturday evening. These storms spawned several tornadoes (including the one that hit downtown Atlanta on Friday) and dozens of reports of large hail and damaging winds.

The weather folks got these storms right and predicted them earlier in the day. Only two weeks prior a similar warning was sent out early in the day and the storms that came through were far from severe. But the warning was enough for schools and many local businesses to close early. People then got upset at the weather and news outlets for overreacting.

I don’t get this. A weather forecast is just that…a forecast, a prediction, a calculated guess. I thought folks knew this about weather forecasts. They aren’t always right. In fact, they are probably wrong more then they are right when it comes to storm predictions. 

And who lets people out early because of thunderstorms? I think those people overreacted, not the weather folks.

Severe weather like this is no joke. These storms on March 16th were very strong and very rare for the area. They were similar, in a lot of ways, to the super cell storms that form in the mid-west during the spring time. These kind of storms can spawn deadly tornadoes with unfathomable fury. Like this one that hit Greensburg, Kansas last year.  It was an EF5, the strongest rating a tornado can have. It was 1.7 miles wide and hit the small Kansas town head on virtually encompassing the entire town with 200+mph winds. Here are a few pics from the days that followed and the radar image just after it passed the town. You can actually see the tornado on the radar which is rare.






  1. […] second has to do with my severe weather post from March. It’s about that town of Greensburg which was totally destroyed by that biblical EF5 […]

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