I was in Raleigh, North Carolina earlier this week when notice of the tornados and storms hit the middle part of the United States. We got some rain and a great deal of wind but that was about it. The weather was very warm and humid and that’s never a really good sign when it just hits out of the blue. We left Raleigh and got home and this morning’s news was all about another round of storms though Kentucky, Indiana, and other places in the south and midwest. The pictures of the damage were just devastating. Ontario has had its share of major storms over the past few years in Leamington and Goderich and you can’t help but feel the damage that each of these storms bring. I’ve read in places that there were over 250 warnings this time around.
I guess that it’s a sign of the times when the day after has YouTube filled with video documenting the storms. I remember when your first instinct was to go to the basement or an interior room; not to grab your video camera or iPhone and head outside or to a window to document things. A sample appears below.
Uploaded by ryanclausing on Mar 2, 2012
But, a simple Google search filtered to the last 24 hours reveals over 100 000 hits.
It seems that this sort of weather is early. Living in Essex County, we do get our share of storms. Fortunately, many of them are less than tornado strength and just give us really strong weather. But, tornado warnings and watches are a common occurrence and schools have drills and practices just in case.
Environment Canada has a great resource for anyone who lives in an area that could be hit by tornados. It’s available here.
As luck would have it, I was enjoying a conversation with Donna Fry where she shared a resource that I’d never see before. It’s a map of the province identifying areas where there are power outages. Hydro One calls it its Storm Centre.
The science behind tornados is fascinating to me. There is a very good simulation available on line here. You’ll need Java enabled in your browser but the animation does give a good idea of what to expect. It even includes a cow caught in the storm.
It would be nice if this was the last of the storms for this spring but that seems highly unlikely. Being aware of how to stay safe is very important. Stay safe.