4-9 pm. Time when severe storms are most likely in and near the MSP metro area.
NOAA Weather Radio. The only device that will alert you of a late-night tornado in your county.
TV, radio. Check batteries. Make sure you have a working flashlight in case power goes out.
Internet/E-mail. Monitor startribune.com for updates throughout the day. Check the latest videos for more info.
Smartphone apps. Many iPhone and Android apps can display Doppler and nearby watches/warnings.
Sirens (outdoor use only). Remember, the sirens were never meant to be heard indoors.
|If you are in:||Then:|
|A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)||
|A trailer or mobile home||
|The outside with no shelter||
- Show a second way to exit from each room or area. If you need special equipment, such as a rope ladder, mark where it is located.
- Make sure everyone understands the siren warning system, if there's such a system in your area.
- Mark where your first-aid kit and fire extinguishers are located.
- Mark where the utility switches or valves are located so they can be turned off--if time permits--in an emergency.
- Teach your family how to administer basic first aid, how to use a fire extinguisher, and how and when to turn off water, gas, and electricity in your home.
- Learn the emergency dismissal policy for your child's school.
- Make sure your children know--
- What a tornado is
- What tornado watches and warnings are
- What county or parish they live in (warnings are issued by county or parish)
- How to take shelter, whether at home or at school.
1). Wall Cloud. Lowering, rotating cloud base. This "wall cloud" is where tornadoes are most likely to spin up.
2). Large hail. The larger the hail, the stronger the T-storm updraft, the greater the potential for tornadoes. I start to worry when hailstones are golf ball-size or larger. Baseball-size hail? Head to the basement. Don't wait for warnings or the sirens to sound.
3). Debris visible: sparks on high-tension wires. These are additional tell-tale signs that a tornado circulation may be reaching the ground.
4). Black/green sky. A green or yellowish tint to the sky often means significant hail in the thunderhead overhead. It's not a foolproof tip-off, but trust your gut, and your instincts. If winds are increasing sharply, and large hail is falling, it's time to head for the basement, or a small, windowless room near the interior of your home or office.
* The smaller the room, the better. The more walls between you and the tornado, the better.
2230 425 15 NE GAIL BORDEN TX GOLF BALL, TENNIS BALL AND SOFTBALL SIZE HAIL BROKE WINDSHIELDS ON VEHICLES. (MAF)
2145 275 2 N POST GARZA TX WINDSHIELD BROKEN OUT BY HAIL ON 207 NORTH OF POST. (LUB)
2211 200 10 ENE POST GARZA TX HALF MILE WIDE SWATH OF HAIL AT HIGHWAY 380 AND 208. LARGEST HAIL MEASURED AT 2 INCHES. (LUB)
2150 200 NE INGALLS GRAY KS (DDC)
2210 200 4 W NEWLAND AVERY NC HAIL UP TO SIZES LARGER THAN GOLF BALL FELL FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES AT THE FRANK VFD. (GSP)
Monday Wind reports:
2115 70 HOPKINSVILLE, KY THUNDERSTORM WIND GUST ESTIMATED 70 MPH. LOCATION WAS AT THE INTERSECTION OF THE BYPASS AND FT. CAMPBELL BLVD. (PAH)
* thanks to Seth Carrier from Earth Networks (formerly WeatherBug) for passing these reports along.
* no, that's not a typo: tornado chasers in southern France. That's a new one.
Photo credit above: "A high-magnification photo of a sand grain containing titanium dioxide in the form of rutile (Photo: Bob Richmond via Flickr)."
Photo credit: "(Credit: Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)."
- iPads account for less than 1% of all data sessions but make up 5% of total traffic."
Photo credit above: "Eating two servings of strawberries and blueberries a day can delay memory decline in older women (Photo: Shutterstock)."
"True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable." - Dave Tyson Gentry
* wall cloud photo above courtesy of Skywarn Spotter Paul Brooks.
Ever since the movie "Twister" thousands of would-be amateur photographers have taken to America's highways, checking Doppler, trying to be at the right place at the right time, capturing tornado footage that will a). get them paid, and b). show up on TV.
I have mixed feelings. The swarm of tornado chasers is triggering potentially dangerous traffic jams, in some cases making it harder for first responders to reach tornado damage. But studies repeatedly show that many Americans don't head to the basement until they SEE that the tornado threat is real. Warnings and sirens simply aren't enough to get some off the dime.
No basement? Consider spending a few thousand dollars to reinforce an interior closet. These "safe rooms" are booming down south and might be a good idea for northern homes. In recent years, for a variety of reasons, many still unclear, some of the largest, most violent tornadoes have been touching down outside of traditional "Tornado Alley". In 2010 Minnesota experienced the most tornadoes in the USA (145). There's no evidence that this spring/summer season will rival 2010 - but we need to be ready.
You know the drill: small, windowless rooms on the ground floor afford the most protection (closet or bathroom usually works best). If you're in an office the safest place is an interior (concrete-reinforced) stairwell or bathroom. If a warning is issued and you're home with the kids consider football or hockey helmets. Don't laugh. Most tornado injuries are blunt head trauma. A helmet could - in theory and reality - save your life.
T-storms later today may be severe - I expect a few tornadoes fairly close to home. The good news: no more jackets. If the sun comes out we may hit 80 through Friday. A damp start Saturday gives way to slow clearing; the best chance of Sunday storms over southern Minnesota.
Photo credit above: "Galileo, Alfred Wegener and Ignaz Semmelweis."
Photo credit above: "Wind turbines generating electricity at Horse Hollow Wind Farm Nolan, West Texas, the world's largest wind power project. Photograph: Alamy."
Flooding Spreads Invasive Species In Vermont, Iowa, Louisiana. Here's a snippet from a story at Huffington Post: "BETHEL, Vt. (AP) — Last year's hurricanes and flooding not only engulfed homes and carried away roads and bridges in hard-hit areas of the country, it dispersed aggressive invasive species as well. In Vermont, the floodwaters from Tropical Storm Irene and work afterward to dredge rivers and remove debris spread fragments of Japanese knotweed, a plant that threatens to take over flood plains wiped clean by the August storm. The overflowing Missouri and Mississippi rivers last year launched Asian carp into lakes and oxbows where the fish had not been seen before, from Iowa to the Iowa Great Lakes. Flooding also increased the population along the Missouri River of purple loosestrife, a plant that suppresses native plants and alters wetlands."
Photo credit above: "In this April 26, 2012, photo, Japanese knotweed grows on a stream bank in Bethel, Vt. The flood waters of Tropical Storm Irene and work to remove silt and restore roads afterward had an unintended consequence: they spread Japanese knotweed, an invasive plant that has already clogged some river banks and roadsides in Vermont. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)."
Photo credit above: "The most energy- and carbon-efficient hotel chain in the U.S., according to Brighter Planet, is Vagabond Inn. Above, the Vagabond Inn in Long Beach (Priceline.com / April 27, 2012)."