20 March 2012

Tornado Season Shows Up Uninvited

So on this topical Tuesday, I thought about getting into the War on Women and why the GOP has the rest of the world mocking us. I considered delving into the ABNA cut-offs, as I find out today if I go on... but as I don't KNOW yet (as of this writing) that is what would be classified as non-news. Really, though, the biggest excitement (and by excitement, I mean mortal peril) I have encountered is the Bloody TORNADO that touched down about ten miles from home.

Just 10 miles from home...
Now some of you who live in tornado alley think 'big whoop' ten miles, zen smiles. Nice and safely distant. But in the twelve years we've lived in Michigan, this is the closest to home one has hit. I suppose over those twelve years we have AVERAGED one tornado a year that needs to be taken seriously. Averages being what they are, this means a few some years, none others. But this is by FAR the earliest I've seen one. (in fact in Michigan history there have only been 4 this strong in March)

And the fact Michigan had THREE tornadoes that day... though the one in Dexter was the strongest: an EF3 which means winds swirling at between 130 and 160 mph (ours was reported at 140). There was an EF2 to the north (110 mph) and an EF0 a little south (90 mph)

I have heard about big ones in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky... This just seems like a REALLY early start for these tornadoes!

Normally I am a huge fan of big weather. But when I say that, I mean thunderstorms, blizzards (when I am safely at home). Big wind isn't really my thing, and especially not as powerful as all this.

Just look at that. Walls gone. Washers still there.
So QUESTION. Why don't they NAME these things?

The one that hit in Dexter destroyed several houses. Amazingly, nobody was hurt, but the destruction of tornadoes is so strange—so concentrated that it can completely destroy what it actually hits, leaving the house next door completely untouched.

So what do you think—is this going to be a really bad season for these, or is this an early fluke and things will get back to normal soon? Don't get me wrong, I adore the early spring we are having (heck, I think this is only the third time I've ever SEEN spring in Michigan—normally winter gives spring a miss and goes right on in to summer). But I'd be content to not have another of those...

How do you feel about big weather? Any where you are?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I read somewhere that with tornadoes this strong this early, it's going to be a rough season.
We occasionally get them and two have come within a couple miles of our house. Not fun!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Include us too, in MO. We were a part of the leap day tornadoes. A hit was two miles from me. My inlaws homes were destroyed as well as a trailer park where one woman died. My 85 year old inlaws were hiding out in a couple of bedrooms. That was the only part of the house not destroyed.

I think it will be a stormy year.


Hart Johnson said...

Alex-that was what I feared!

Theresa-oh no! I am so glad your in-laws made it, but what a terrifying event!

Christine Murray said...

The one thing about living in Ireland is that there's no big anything, including weather. We had a mini tornado that landed on the main street of a small town a couple of years ago, but not much else.

The idea of a proper tornado terrifies my Irish self.

Hart Johnson said...

Christine-Ireland is temperate like the Pacific Northwest, so I moved here feeling EXACTLY that way!