Tuesday, April 27, 2010

more doom and/or gloom

reading my daughter's fabulous blog today (monkeyheartdiscourses.blogspot.com) made me realize that my posts of late haven't been much "fun". she lives in "the big easy" aka new orleans, la. she's right, i seem to be obsessed with tornadoes of late. living in tornado country all my life, to the best of my recollection, i have never, not even once, seen a tornado with my own peepers. that's okay with me. i've never lived through a hurricane either. not that i particularly want to have that experience. for just a moment consider which storm is the badder of the two. in the case of a hurricane the storm is big, so big the radar reflects the "eye" of the storm. this allows the weather guys to keep the public up to date with a storm's latest pressures etc, mapping every zig and zag. technology is such that the weather guys can tell withing a few miles where the storm will make land fall. hurricanes even get a name. how cool is that. technology has advanced to the point that you can see with your own eyes whether you're in danger's way and have the time to prepare. there is time to prepare to ride it out or to make a run to safety. the folks on galveston island, back in the day, had no such luxury. in the case of the tornado, science has made some gains. the weather service can tell us when the conditions are ripe for a tornado to develop. radar can show us the progress of the storm providing an idea if the thunderstorm is headed toward you. radar can show a hook echo, it can indicate rotation in the storm but something is lacking in that return. i've never seen the "eye" of a tornado on radar. the weather guys can follow the progress of the storm on radar but without a "spotter" gluing their eyes on the skies the science cannot confirm a tornado on the ground. a twister can literally drop out of the sky at any moment but science can't really tell when that is going to happen. it takes a real live person, a "spotter" to verify there is a tornado on the ground. so you pick your poison-- hurricane or tornado. neither, for me, thank you. being in the path of either storm is not something one would choose. one of the national talking heads made the point recently that the number of spring tornadoes this year is 1/3 the average number seen this far into the season. that statistic should really make those folks in mississippi feel better, huh? hurricane season is just ahead, starting june 1st running until november. one good thing about living in the pothandle of texas is that i'm fairly sure i won't have to worry about a hurricane threatening us up here in a-town. and the weather fun just keeps on coming. aio

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