Thursday, April 28, 2011

Going Down In History

Usually when I greet people on the air in the morning I’ll start with the word “happy”. It’s a little difficult to start off the blog this morning with “Happy Thursday” after the historic tornado outbreak yesterday in the deep south. As of now, it’s being reported that there were 154 tornadoes yesterday with 100 confirmed deaths, 61 from Alabama alone, that number will rise. Officials are still in clean up mode as towns were leveled by massive wedge tornadoes that are usually more common in the wide open plains, not through metropolitan areas. When I saw the radar image coming out of Tuscaloosa, my heart dropped. It’s a sinking feeling to know there is a violent tornado on the ground and people are in danger. In fact, the Tuscaloosa tornado image had a clear cut hook echo image, and was SO clear, that at the end of hook you could see what’s call a “debris ball”. A highlighted area of pinks and magentas on radar that show actual debris that’s swirling around in the tornado itself. In the coverage I saw yesterday, a chief meteorologist out of Birmingham AL was covering the same cell from Tuscaloosa that was at the time threatening downtown Birmingham. They were getting reports of debris in the air in Birmingham that had traveled in the tornado from Tuscaloosa. It’ll take months for all the clean up need for all the towns and cities that were devastated by the outbreak yesterday, I pray for them for the quick recovery. It’s a sobering moment as a meteorologist, and reminds you how powerful Mother Nature really is.

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