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Friday, May 6, 2016

Close Calls



A good friend of mine who lives lives in Kentucky e-mailed me today. A tornado touched down in his backyard. There was a lot of tree damage but his house survived in good shape. That's as close as I'd ever want to come to a tornado. Actually, that's closer than I'd care to come.

I'd rather deal with a hurricane. At least there's some warning. There's time to decide if one should bug out or hunker down. Tornadoes give very little warning.

My lovely wife and I had some tornado encounters this past winter in Florida. They weren't backyard close, but close enough for high winds to strip all the leaves out of trees.

Tornadoes are rare here in the mountains of New Hampshire. They aren't completely unheard of, but it can happen. They don't last long and tend to be weaker than those in tornado alley. The worse damage in recent memory involved some lost roof shingles and damage to a garage. The weather service at first denied it was a tornado, but someone had video so they had to admit it was a tornado.

My buddy's e-mail reminded me that live changing events can come out of nowhere. Had the tornado landed just a little bit to one side his house would have been turned to splinters instead of his trees. We can't take the future for granted.

That doesn't mean we don't make plans for the future. We just should not believe those plans are set in stone. Sudden change can literally drop out of the sky.

-Sixbears

13 comments:

  1. In Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and I assume the rest of the Great Plains, about 15 minutes is all the time you have, from when the wind drops and the dead calm starts, for you and your loved ones to best be in the fraidy hole. Cause once the wind picks up again it's pretty much too late.

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    1. That's not a lot of time. If it was me I'd have drills so it would be automatic in a crisis.

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  2. The Bible doesn't promise us tomorrow.

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  3. We get them clear up here in Vancouver WA!

    One missed me by a half mile a few years back, it tore up a bunch of houses. destroyed hundreds of trees and Hop Scotched about two miles before it dissapated .
    No thanks, they can keep those things.

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    1. I had no idea. I guess being outside of tornado alley is no protection.

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    2. Well, not absolute protection, no. But practical protection? Yeah, mostly.

      For example, your comment about tornadoes in Florida. You had an experience. It gave you a perception. Plus, if you look at this link, it will make you think that Florida has quite a few tornadoes:

      http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/2007/florida_tornados.gif

      However, as you know, perception and actuality aren't always the same:

      1. That graph, though big and red, shows that FL usually has 5 or less tornadoes a year (nearly 75% of a 50-year period). And that statistic even overstates the point. What it doesn't tell you is that those are overwhelmingly tiny, localized, unheard-of events causing no damage to speak of, and often only noticed by the weather service with the assistance of high tech gear. Far from the Hollywood images of swirling houses and flying cows.

      2. Grew up in FL. Never saw or even heard of a tornado there in my entire childhood. Hurricanes? Yeah, bunches. Tornadoes? Not one.

      That is very different than Tornado Alley. But then again, my information on the Gateway to Oz is really just my perception as well. ;-)

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    3. Or maybe it isn't just my perception ... in this case:

      http://www.weather.gov/images/ict/climate/KS%20daily%20Tor%20freq.png

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    4. Two people died from one of those tornadoes in FL this past winter. True, not hurricane alley bad, but bad enough for those two.

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  4. here on the Texas coastal area, we get tornadoes and hurricanes both! Plan for the worst and hope for the best! ( Saying a prayer doesn't hurt, either)

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    1. At least blizzards are down to a bare minimum!

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  5. I have seen and been way too close to too many of them. Hurricanes spin off tornadoes which creates a double whammy. . .

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    1. I forgot to mention that little fact. Thanks Dizzy.

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