I don’t know what it is that is behind all these tornadoes breaking out this early in the year.
Normally, it is the spring when tornado season begins, as I have said before, but it has obviously started way too early and it is the Deep South that has been in the crosshairs lately. Today, it was east New Orleans that got socked. 250 homes damaged.
As an aside: it sure seems like there has been a lot of New Orleans news here at the blog lately — particularly news about the late Joe McKnight and that whole road-rage murder case, which is what it is now.
While some of us are comfortably sitting at home watching the Atlanta Falcons dismantle the Green Bay Packers on TV, others in Georgia and all around the Deep South have been hiding in their basements because of tornadoes.
A really bad tornado ripped through Mississippi yesterday, with four lives lost. Today, there was major damage in Georgia, and there are three PDS-warned storms in Florida alone as we speak. It’s kind of unheard of for the weather to be this tornadic so early in the calendar year, and also unusual for the Deep South to be in the bullseye, but that is indeed the case.
Meanwhile, folks up north like to complain about all the snow. Trust me, northerners, you do not want to be in Florida today.
Folks in the South, pay close attention to weather warnings today — that is way more important today than what is going on in these football games.
I’m currently watching the online coverage of Cat.4 Hurricane Matthew as it now heads to the Florida coast. It looks like it’s going to hit the central Florida space coast area around Cape Canaveral, among other places, which happens to be the part of Florida that I’ve been to before in my life. Even Disney World is closed, folks. The Bahamas, not far away, has just taken a direct hit from the storm. There are hurricane warnings in effect along the Florida coast all the way into South Carolina.
This storm has already killed hundreds of people. Yet there is lots of concern that people aren’t taking the TV forecasters or calls for evacuations seriously; they think this is a lot of hype. Even the Weather Channel had to issue a statement saying we are not kidding.
Come on, folks in America. I know you don’t like to believe anyone in power or in the media these days, but this is one time to actually take the warnings seriously and to get the heck out of there.
It has been a rough few days for people in Kansas dealing with tornadoes hitting the state, and more of them look like they could be on the way tonight.
Some communities are already dealing with the carnage from the last batch of storms: yesterday in Dickinson County, eight homes were destroyed and up to 20 more damaged. That was an EF-4 tornado. Two days ago, twin tornadoes hit near Dodge City, Kansas! So it’s been a rough go for people there, but great for the storm chaser crowd.
As I said, central Kansas looks like it is in the bullseye today again. I may go online and look for live streams from storm chasers, although they are getting harder to find now that TVNweather has gone belly-up. They were great for storm streaming, but closed down just recently. Oh, well.
It doesn’t look like Oklahoma is quite in the direct bullseye tonight, which is good because the locals there need the power to stay on so they can watch the Oklahoma City Thunder topple the Golden State Warriors in the Western finals.
In other “news from America”, I notice Donald Trump was in North Dakota today where he officially clinched the number of delegates needed for the GOP nomination.
Well, we are at that time of year again folks.
That is right, it’s tornado season. It is the season in which Americans in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas and other states routinely head to their storm shelters to hide from Mother Nature.
And while I am tempted to gloat, the fact is I am living in the Saskatchewan version of “Tornado Alley” right now, so we have to worry about these things as well. The difference here is that we really don’t have to worry for at least a few more weeks. Those folks down there have to worry RIGHT NOW. Yikes.
Yesterday, in between hockey games, I tuned in to see some of the tornado activity going on in central Kansas, and potentially even worse weather is in store for this week. The storm chasers are all set for a big chase day tomorrow, Tuesday. The Weather Channel has a grim-looking forecast out for tomorrow and Wednesday, and the folks there seem really worried about what could transpire on the plains. We don’t know exactly where the storms will hit but it’s still a scary forecast, in general.
All the usual chasers are down there right now, and some of them are getting an early start looking for storms. I notice the local Saskatchewan storm chasing team the Tornado Hunters (of CMT Canada fame) are down there this week as well. So this system should be worth watching for the severe weather fans. We shall see what transpires tomorrow; hopefully it won’t be too awful for people.
Hopefully for you it was a Merry Christmas. It sounds like it was good weather for a lot of people, as there were record highs throughout the Northeast on Dec. 25. But unfortunately, it was not the case for everyone.
Texas in particular was very hard hit yesterday with the Dallas area, and Garland in particular, badly hit by tornadoes last night.
11 people were killed and something like 600 buildings damaged. Tornadoes are almost unheard of at this time of year — usually May is the biggest month for them in Texas, so for this sort of thing to happen in December was really unusual.
Add to that the fact that the western part of the state was hit by a blizzard the same day — something noticed by viewers to CBS’ hilarious telecast of the Sun Bowl game between Miami and Washington State in usually sunny El Paso. It was hilarious, in part, because they had Allie LaForce interview this shirtless Washington State fan with the snow falling at the Sun Bowl.
Unfortunately, what happened in the rest of the state was no laughing matter. The weather this year is crazy.
I followed on Twitter and on the TVN weather app much of the storm-chasing action from last night, and it proved hugely entertaining for weather fans, though it was far less entertaining for western Manitoba’s farmers and insurance people.
That huge storm that developed in southeast Saskatchewan not only produced a tornado that touched down in western Manitoba, but it was a huge tornado that stayed on the ground for at least a couple of hours! Maybe even three hours! That is unheard of, folks. Surely, this must have been an F-5, the type of storm you might see in a place like Oklahoma or Kansas.
Chaser Greg Johnson was on it and he called it a “monster” and one of the top four tornadoes he’s ever seen. Fortunately, this storm missed the major cities, and a good thing, too because it could have caused huge problems. This shows you how southern Manitoba, southern Saskatchewan, really is in the bullseye when it comes to these sorts of storms.
Moreover the storm chasers had nailed the location of the tornado almost spot-on and got some amazing shots of it. Columnist and Estevan resident Brian Zinchuk wrote a column about the big storm and marvelled at how the storm chasers were able to correctly pinpoint where this tornado was going to land.
Update: now they are saying this tornado on the ground is rated as a high-end F-2. F-2?! Really, that low?
I am spending this evening watching the weather coverage focusing on southern Saskatchewan. The forecast for down there is frightening. There is a tornado watch in the southeast and the storm chasers have all descended on that area looking for the storm action. In many other parts of the province, there are predictions of very heavy rain and some major flooding.
Yikes! At least where I am, all we are getting is just some rain. We’ll let someone else get the really bad stuff, for a change. I’ll keep you posted.
I have been tuning in the live streams online from Shreveport and also from Little Rock and both places are reporting tornadoes in the vicinity. You can find live updates over at the Weather Channel. Scary business. That is it for me for the moment.
Been watching some really frightening live streams on TVN Weather of a tornado on the ground in Illinois, with at least one town heavily damaged there. The Weather Channel has coverage of this and other storm situations across the United States happening right now — there’s really bad weather happening from Ohio all the way down to Texas.
Update: Good grief, what a mess.
I am hiding out at home, checking out the weather conditions all over Saskatchewan on the Weather Network right now. I am also checking the Twitter feed and plan to tune in the storm chaser streams soon, There are already multiple severe weather watches and already some warnings all over Saskatchewan, and the current conditions can be found here.
Where I am it is quite dark-looking outside, but most of the really bad weather is to the south at the moment. But it is the very south of the province that is expecting a really bad storm situation. Last night, the southwest was hit really badly with a big storm that had baseball-sized hail! That is the last thing the farmers need. And keep in mind, only a short time ago the eastern half of the province was flooded. Anyway, that is what we are in for today in beautiful, Grey Cup-winning Saskatchewan.
Now, here’s a link to a story at Global Saskatoon about how bad the storm warnings have been in this province. Among other things, there weren’t any official storm warnings issued for those recent tornadoes that hit the province until it was too late, even though the storm chasers and all the TV weather forecasters around here were all predicting it and Tweeting about it.
Moreover, the Bethune radar broke down yet again this summer, right when it is most needed. (I understand it is now back up and running.) Really, this is ridiculous! We need a system in place here like they have in the ‘States, where all the resources are in place and people are given proper warning before the big tornado hits. This business of people having to go outside and look at the sky to guess what is going on is not good enough.
That’s it for now, back to live continuing Weather Network watching for me.
If you were wondering what I was up to Saturday, I was being chased by a big storm all the way on the highway to Saskatoon. As it turned out this storm produced some scary tornadoes south of the city.
That was interesting. Hopefully, the weather here will improve and people here can maybe actually enjoy summer for a change.
Wow, this has been a frightening year for storms in Nebraska. Today, the state took yet another hit with two powerful tornadoes hitting the small town of Pilger, Nebraska.
It was really scary because two twin tornadoes were on the ground and spinning at the same time, within sight of each other. I happened to see some videos of it posted on YouTube and elsewhere, and it was a scary sight.
It sounds like half of Pilger was flattened, with several injuries and at least one person killed. Sad times.
Also, another tornado developed later in the evening in Nebraska near Burwell, and I watched that one develop live on TVN’s livestream.
I sure hope these tornadoes don’t develop up here where I am later this summer, but I’m quite concerned about all this severe weather striking as far north as it is doing right now. Another month from now, this could be the same situation Saskatchewan faces. Stories of Nebraska already getting hit by tornadoes, and North Dakota getting hit not too long ago, are worrisome indeed.
There have been some weather forecasts in the last 24 hours predicting possible supercell storms in southwest and south-central SK today. Apparently, the forecast is so bad that it has apparently even attracted famous storm chaser Reed Timmer here to SK again to chase tornadoes.
Whether this threat comes true is another story, entirely, as chasers have been wrong before.
Keep your eye on the storm chasers on Twitter at #skstorm and the live streaming action at TVNWeather and on Greg Johnson’s Tornado Hunter site later this afternoon. Also be sure to watch The Weather Network and stay tuned to Environment Canada.
Tornado Watches have now been issued for a good portion of the southwest including Swift Current and Moose Jaw, extending right to the US border. We’ll see if any of these become Warnings if storms develop. Keep in mind Watford City, ND got hit by a big tornado a couple of days ago, so be sure to take any weather threat today seriously.
Stay alert and stay alive today, folks.
Update: Well, we didn’t get tornadoes but there were big storms across Saskatchewan, and I notice Greg Johnson had to call for help to get his vehicle out of the mud. Hairy stuff.
Like a lot of storm fans out there, I have been checking the hurricane sites like the one at My Fox Hurricane, the WWL Hurricane Central, and HurricaneCity in an attempt to follow the active weather out there.
There’s just one problem — there IS no active weather. Nothing is happening! As a result, there has been one story after another, like this one from Reuters, declaring hurricane season to be a dud.
Then again, you have to remember that earlier this year, people were all wondering when the tornado season would start. It sure seemed like it took forever to arrive in the USA. But when the storms did blow in, boy, did it ever cause chaos. Those tornadoes absolutely ripped Oklahoma to shreds.
Even though we have no hurricanes to report right now, it would be premature to think we won’t see something happening. Keep in mind the terrible Hurricane Sandy storm, the one that did so much damage to the United States east coast and elsewhere, didn’t happen until late October.
So the storm-enthusiast people all need to calm down and relax. Hurricane season is still far from being a writeoff.
Here’s a report on what transpired with today’s storms in Saskatchewan. Fortunately, it looks like the twisters touched down mainly in unpopulated rural areas.
A scary weather day is unfolding in Saskatchewan. Much of the southern portion of the province including Saskatoon and Regina are under Tornado Watches. There were already Severe Thunderstorm warnings out for a few places but those are now lifted, for the time being anyway.
Here’s what the Weather Network had to say about the situation. Chris Scott of the Weather Network already tweeted there were going to be “‘Oklahoma-style’ t-storms for Saskatchewan today.”
Whenever any forecasting higher-up invokes the word ‘Oklahoma’ to describe the weather situation, folks had better take notice. That’s exactly the type of word used to get peoples’ attention.
I have a few links to share on where Saskatchewan folks can get weather information today. Obviously, there’s Environment Canada Weather (including their radar page) and the Weather Network, but Twitter is a good resource by using the hashtag #skstorm.
As well, Tornado Hunter Greg Johnson plans to be live streaming today, and I expect the same activity over at TVN Weather. Also good in these weather situations is CKOM and CJME who usually cut in for live coverage in storm situations.
That’s all I have for now. Hopefully these storms today won’t be too terrible.
Some more news about last week’s horrible El Reno tornado. The death toll is now up to 18 people. As well, the National Weather Service now rates it as EF-5 and not EF-3 as before.
Well, that’s more like it! That rating is more in line with the freaked-out reactions from storm chasers when they saw this tornado develop on Friday. That’s more in line with what I was seeing on the live streams! It sure looked like the worst tornado I had ever seen. It turns out now that’s exactly was it was. According to the weather people, this tornado was 2.6 miles wide, a record width.
Thank heavens this tornado fizzled out before it was able to ransack Oklahoma City! Who knows how much carnage would have been inflicted.
I should also note that the local TV weather people there continue to take a beating on social media for suggesting to panicked viewers they should drive south to get out of the way of the storm. The criticism is that so many of those folks wound up in traffic jams and couldn’t get out of the way.
Here’s my suggestion. Instead of going south, why not go west and move to California, like so many Oklahomans have done before? Then you won’t need to worry about any more tornadoes!
Hey, it was at least a shot at humor.
Of course, by moving to flat-broke California, you are only trading in EF-5 tornadoes for EF-5 earthquakes. Personally, though, after seeing what’s gone on the last two weeks in metro OKC, I’d rather take my chances with the earthquakes.
Read on stormchaser Greg Johnson’s site that the weather people were about to be issuing a “Particularly Dangerous Situation” alert — a “PDS” — and he’s saying on Facebook populated areas like the Oklahoma City metro area are in the risk zone.
Good grief, that area can’t catch a break!! The live coverage is already on from News 4. Among others, one of the storm chasers reporting in to their coverage is storm-chasing legend Reed Timmer of Dominator fame. All the major-leaguers in storm-chasing seem to be down there today. That tells you a lot.
Stay tuned — the people on TV already look worried down there.
UPDATE: “PDS Tornado Watch” until midnight OKC time in Oklahoma City.
This time it was eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas that got hit by tornadoes today. I was watching Tulsa TV news who reported a place called Broken Arrow got hit.
The last two days, there were storms in Kansas and tornadoes touching down over there. Tomorrow is supposed to be another bad day, too. Aren’t you fed up yet with all these tornadoes? For the longest time this tornado season, things were awfully quiet on the plains as far as storms were concerned. But for whatever reason, all of a sudden the tornadoes have fired up just in the last two weeks.
I sure hope this isn’t a bad omen for what we could be in store for on the Canadian prairies later this year. Our Saskatchewan storm chaser Greg Johnson was in our community here in March during a howling blizzard, and he was predicting good tornado conditions for Saskatchewan. Yikes! Well, I sure hope our storms aren’t as bad as what Oklahoma is getting now.
People are still having a hard time getting their heads around this massive Moore, Oklahoma tornado that killed 24 people Monday.
In retrospect, it is amazing the death toll isn’t higher than it is considering the scale of the carnage there, with entire neighbourhoods completely flattened. It’s confirmed now that the tornado was an EF-5, the highest possible ranking.
A lot of people are comparing the damage to what happened to Joplin, Missouri two years ago. The place looks like an atomic bomb hit it when you are watching on TV, and yet the death toll is as low as it is.
I think that goes to show you how aware people are in Oklahoma about tornadoes and about how well the information got out to residents about the storm. When I tuned into the storm coverage from the Oklahoma City TV stations on the Internet on Monday, they were telling people exactly which streets the funnel cloud was moving toward and telling people exactly what they had to do. One weather guy on the air was telling people they were going to die if they stayed anywhere above ground in the path of this monster storm. So people made sure they were out of the way. Information went a long way towards saving lives down there.
On the other hand — apparently there still are homes there that do not even have storm shelters. Good grief, man, this ought to be a basic requirement everywhere in Oklahoma and in Kansas, too! This is the heartland of Tornado Alley, the place that’s always targeted and hit by them! It’s harrowing enough to live somewhere that is always hit by EF-5 tornadoes, but it’s crazy and stupid if you don’t build storm shelters to save peoples’ lives. I’m with the mayor of Moore who says every new home built there should require a storm shelter by law. It just makes for basic common sense.
That is enough writing from me about tornadoes. I’m sick of them, and I hope this is the end of them for a few days, at least.
I was visiting in Saskatoon Monday when I tuned in the live streams of the massive tornado in progress as it was bearing down on Moore, Oklahoma early in the afternoon.
The newscasters from Oklahoma City were literally going crazy telling people to hide in the storm shelters or otherwise get out of the way, that’s how big this tornado was. A couple of schools and entire neighbourhoods took a direct hit, and a lot of people were killed — about 24 at last report. The story from CNN.
The bad news is we are in for more storms today with North Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth area targeted AGAIN. Apparently the Texarkana area is under a tornado warning right now. There are more storm threats elsewhere in the USA as well as this crazy weather continues. Here’s the live updates from the Weather Channel on today’s threats. Stay tuned, folks.
Here’s the link to the CNN story on today’s tornadoes that hit not just the Oklahoma City and Wichita areas, but also Iowa (ending 359 days without a tornado) and apparently even Illinois.
The area around OKC, though, seem to have gotten the worst of it, with lots of levelled homes and flipped semis, and at least one person killed. Those tornadoes down there in Oklahoma were MASSIVE.
I find it hard to imagine tomorrow being worse of a day than today was, but the predictions are for more storms tomorrow in Tornado Alley, including in — oh no, not again! — Oklahoma and Kansas.
Yes, the forecasters were definitely not joking today. Take cover now. News coverage now up live from News 9 Oklahoma City.
Yesterday was an interesting one in western Kansas as some tornadoes were spotted landing on the ground. Apparently, that is the warmup act to today’s expected big event.
The predictions are for a high possibility of tornadoes over a wide area that includes central Oklahoma and eastern Kansas.
The forecasters also are openly speculating whether Iowa’s almost year-long tornado-free streak will come to an end this weekend. These weather people sound like baseball announcers — with all this talk about “streaks” and “records’! Methinks they could be in the wrong line of work.
Anyway, while Iowa is not out of the woods by any means, most of the tornado chasers have targeted our favorite Tornado Alley states Oklahoma and Kansas today. Tomorrow is supposed to be a bad day, too, with the threat moving east.
As for TV, you can find the Weather Channel live stream page here. I notice they had some live video from their own storm chasers up there yesterday.
UPDATE: TORNADO WARNING to the SW of Wichita, KS. Live stream from CBS Wichita can be found here.
I am watching the live streams right now of the storm chasers on what is being widely predicted as the biggest potential weekend for tornadoes so far this year, fresh on the heels of that outbreak near Dallas-Fort Worth in which six people were killed this past week.
Right now the storm-chasers seem to be running around an area in west Kansas, in between Dodge City and Hays, Kansas. The storms look like they are firing up as we speak. If you want to see some live streams from the storm chasers, here’s TVN Weather here. Also, Saskatchewan tornado-chaser Greg Johnson is down there, too, in his new storm-chasing vehicle, and you can find his live stream here.
I am continuing to tune in to the live streams of Hurricane Sandy, now dubbed Superstorm Sandy because it is turning into a combined hurricane/Nor’easter. Already it is wreaking havoc. There was a construction crane in New York City that collapsed on its side, and there are reports of flooding all over Atlantic City and other places in New Jersey. Now, reports are the 911 lines are jammed, and the latest report now from CNN is that there’s flooding in the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.
This is terrible! I’m sorry I even suggested in my previous post that it was good that other places were getting terrible weather, just like we were. The fact is this is far worse than what we’ve gotten. Last week, we got tons of snow which caused trucks to roll over right into the ditch on the highways. The ice and snow is still on the ground here, but our terrible weather looks good compared to what the East Coast is getting right now.
What a mess. This is going to be very expensive to clean up.
Well, just a day after that big 7.7 earthquake hit the remote west coast of Canada, we’re all waiting for Hurricane Sandy to hit the east coast of the USA.
Already the hype machine is out of control for this storm, with all the talk about “Frankenstorm” and the like. The thing is that if there is too much hype, people at home may not want to believe it and may choose to ride this thing out. It sure looks like this storm could really make a mess the next couple of days and cause a lot of power outages, with New Jersey bearing the brunt.
Once again my blog is back with live continuing coverage of twisters. Yes, unfortunately it is still tornado season where we are. Today proved to be yet another day of storms across Saskatchewan. Fortunately they did not strike where I was today, but they sure hit near Regina, where tornadoes touched down just to the east of Balgonie. Once again local stormchaser Greg Johnson was right there to stream the tornadoes live as they touched down in a farmer’s field, blowing over a lot of stuff but fortunately missing the farmhouse.
It was pretty exciting stuff, and I must say I am addicted to watching these tornado live streams. It has really livened up a boring summer and given Saskatchewan people something to be interested in other than football, but I gotta say — I hope the end comes soon for all these tornadoes. Any more of these and we may end up taking the title of “tornado capital” away from Oklahoma, and that is a rep Saskatchewan can do without.
Putting a lid on the recent Saskatchewan storms — first of all, here’s a link to a story at the Weather Network website on how the recent storms drew storm-chasers from everywhere to the province to witness all our wonderful tornadoes.
Second, here’s a link to an interview Greg “Tornado Hunter” Johnson did with the CBC.
Finally, here’s my News Watch column for July where I talk about my experience getting caught up in the big storm that hit right in the middle of a city council meeting.
Today and the last few days have seen sunny skies and warm temperatures. Hopefully this will keep up and we won’t need to worry about hiding in a basement for a while.
To make a long story short, today was another day of tornadoes in Saskatchewan. This time it was the entire middle of the province that was hit — that area between Saskatoon, Regina and Yorkton. One of these things landed near Diefenbaker Lake, while others hit further east. I read somewhere that Environment Canada issued 24 warnings in Saskatchewan alone today. (UPDATE: I read it was actually 48!)
Aren’t we in Saskatchewan fed up yet with all these tornadoes?! I know I am, and I am fed up worrying about whether or not to plan my days based on a possible trip to the basement to hide.
As far as I am concerned, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and these other tornado alley states can have these tornadoes and keep them. It’s storms like this that make us clamor for the return of winter, 30 below and all. And that is my comment on tornadoes, summer weather, and life in Saskatchewan. It sucks!!
Okay, maybe we don’t want 30 below either, but it’s better than getting your house blown to bits.
WOW when they predicted big tornadoes for Saskatchewan today they weren’t kidding. Tornado Hunter Greg Johnson has been streaming the live touchdown of a BIG tornado west of Moose Jaw. This is HUGE. Also, one of the other pro Storm Chasers, Reed Timmer the Dominator, is reporting a tornado near Swift Current! UNBELIEVABLE — the south of the province is getting hit bigtime.
For live coverage check out the live radio coverage on News Talk 980 CJME. Wild stuff — makes what we went through in the Battlefords yesterday look like chicken feed in comparison.
Monday indeed turned out to be a very hairy day of storms all over Saskatchewan, INCLUDING HERE IN THE BATTLEFORDS where the city council meeting I was covering last night ended up SUSPENDED because the roof was shaking from the big storm that rolled in. Then the power went out and I got drenched in a mad dash to the car, trying to avoid being hit by lightning.
We don’t know exactly what the heck happened, but there were winds of 100 km an hour or more. Today, they were cleaning up uprooted trees everywhere around here. And it sounds like we had it easy compared to Prince Albert, which got hit by the same system and now is facing power outages for three full days!!
They say today is supposed to be worse and full of tornadoes. My reaction to that is simply to say that it cannot get any worse. If it is worse then God help us all.