Wednesday, April 12, 2006

late friday tornado blogging

Friday catblogging was pre-empted by multiple tornaodes in the area. While I did see one wall cloud and possible funnel right before it went over the house (and damn near was struck by lightning), it was too dark to get a photo. About half and hour later, another tornado went about 2 miles south of the house, and I got to hear a tornado for the first time.

Now, I've seen several tornadoes and funnel clouds in my life. Hell, one of my earliest memories is as a child going outside to play right after a bad storm. I saw matamus clouds hanging down on the back side of the cell that had just passed, then looked straight up. Directly overhead was a perfect spiral in the clouds, moving relatively fast. Yes, I've looked straight up in a funnel cloud. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I told Mom what I saw, and at the time she dismissed it, since by the time she looked outside the funnel had disappated, although the matamus was still overhead. A few months later a program on tornadoes was on PBS, and it talked about how matamus often was seen in tornadic cells. Mom believed what I had seen at that point.

I've seen tornadoes on the ground from a distance a copule of times, and been in two tornadoes in my life. One in elementary school when one went right over the school, and one in Tennessee when a storm snuck up on us while my parents, sister and I were going to the Smoky Mountains. Our car was almost blown over, we were in the inflow to the tornado which was on the ground which was less than a mile away.

Friday night was the first time I actually heard a tornado. Not suprising, it sounded like a lot of wind, very low pitched. Think of a jet engine from a distance so you don't hear any of the high-pitched sounds or of a train minus the sound of the wheels on rails. A low pitched, constant rumble. It doesn't sound exactly like a train, you can hear a rhythymic sound in a train that isn't there in a tornado. So there you go, a first-hand account of what a tornado sounds like.

View from my house, looking to the west-northwest at about 1815 hours (6:15pm for you non-24 hour time people). You can see the roation in the clouds. There was a tornado on the ground about 70 miles to the west at that time, heading in my direction at about 75 miles an hour.

1 comment:

Omnibus Driver said...

Knock, KNOCK!!! Anybody home???