Severe Weather 12-10-21

Wild weather was in the forecast for Friday, but no one predicted how bad the tornado outbreak would turn out to be.

They are still assessing the damage of the tornado outbreak across 5 states late on Friday night and early Saturday morning. The severity of the outbreak and the duration of the tornadoes is terrifying.

The damage is devastating and heartbreaking.

So far, over 70 people are reported killed. A nursing home was damaged in Monette, Arkansas. A candle-making plant in Mayfield, Kentucky, the whole town is almost destroyed. At an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois, the roof collapsed, trapping workers inside.

Houses have been blown away, only concrete slabs remaining. Bark has been stripped off trees. Unofficial spotters on the scene say the wind damage looks like an EF-4 or EF-5 tornado.

This outbreak was the southern edge of a storm system that brought the first major snowstorm and over 10 inches of snow to Minneapolis/St.Paul area to the north.

Chicago was in the middle of it all.

Yes, there was some wind damage, here, too. Fallen trees, and tree branches down, and 60 mph wind gusts reported.

Is this a pattern of more severe storms to come due to climate change? Yes, I think so.

I also think about Dr Ted Fujita, creator of the Fujita wind scale, and how he tried to make sense of what tornadoes are, and the surreal damage these winds can cause. Here is a post about Dr. Fujita.

I think how fortunate we are to be where we are. How thankful I am to be picking up fallen branches on a Saturday morning, the miraculous ordinary of people walking their dogs in the evening, a clear sky, and the quarter moon.


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  • I thought tornadoes in December were virtually nonexistent, but there us a site that tracks them, and indicates that they typically form where these did.

    There was also a comment that a tornado is most likely where the red and green radar signatures meet, but here the closing velocity was something like 248 mph.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for reading, Jack. Yes, tornadoes in December are extremely rare, and EF-5 tornadoes are even rarer.
    The radar last night was really scary.
    This outbreak happened in the middle of the night, too. Even with warnings, there is not much time to prepare. People were working the night shift in Mayfield and Edwardsville. Where could they go?

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    "Where could they go?" According to WGN News OSHA is going to investigate. Those going to the north side of the Amazon building were saved, but those going to the south were not.

  • In reply to jack:

    Yes! There was no safe place. Phones were not allowed in the warehouse, even though this was a weather emergency.
    It is beyond negligence, Jack.

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    The WGN-TV report to which I referred doesn't necessarily reflect that, if one assumes what the Amazon spokespersons said. But it will be up to OSHA and other authorities to sort it out.

  • Well put. I agree that it was another example of climate change's exacerbation of the potency of hurricanes and tornadoes.

    BTW, my nephew Jim Partacz was Dr. Fujita's assistant at the University of Chicago..Jim used to track tornadoes. When Dr. Fujita retired, Jim changed careers and went into teaching in Romeoville.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Thanks for stopping by, AW. Yes, climate change and the pandemic are making severe weather events much worse. I just got off the phone with a friend, who told me about a friend of hers who had moved to Metropolis, IL to take care of her mother. That's just 25 miles away from where the Mayfield KY, tornado hit. There were warnings on the local news all day for people in trailer parks to go to a safer place. Where could they go?

    I admire Dr. Fujita so much. I wish I could have met him.

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Maybe one silver lining is that it's easier for rescuers to find out how many people are at home these days and nights. I know I'm reaching, but I try to do that to feel less like everything is bad.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Thank you, Margaret Serious! Yes, people in nearby communities are helping with rescue and clean-up efforts, too. They have set up temporary places for people to go. FEMA has offered emergency housing. Hopefully, we will learn from this disaster.

    At least, this didn't happen in December of last year!

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Another example of Six Degrees of Separation!

  • A strong area of low pressure brought some severe thunderstorms to central Indiana late on December 10 into the early morning hours of December 11. Damage was mainly confined to trees and power lines down, but some structures had damage as well. More significant severe weather took place across areas to the south and west of Indiana.

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  • Thanks for reading, Ragland. It was very big and dangerous storm system. I hope you are all right!

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