|Damage from last month's strong winds|
Remember the movie The Day After Tomorrow which most scientists poo-pooed as being improbable or highly unlikely? The flick is about the sudden oncoming of a new ice age caused by global warming. If you remember the show, do you remember about all the horrible storms breaking out in places where that type of weather was rare or unheard of. Although tornadoes are not unheard of in the hills of East Tennessee, up until just a few years ago there were very few reported or confirmed, less than one small one each year and probably less than one each five years. Most that we did have caused minor damage; usually a roof blown off a barn and a few trees downed. Last night in my area, at least nine people lost their lives to strong storms and reported tornadoes and more than 200 died over the rest of the southern states. We’ve had tornadoes reported and confirmed for many of the past 10 years, and this year has been even more exceptional. To add to the damage, we’ve endured many shearing, downdraft winds where cyclone force winds fall straight down from a thunderstorm and then shear along the ground, uprooting trees, crashing homes and other buildings, and causing huge damage. JJ and I witnessed one such downdraft about 10 years ago, albeit a small one. There was a violent thunderstorm around our house, and he and I were on the back porch watching the backyard flood. At the end of the porch and hanging from the rails, Carolyn had three long terracotta planters full of pansies and petunias. Suddenly they went straight up into the air about 10′ (3m) and then slammed into the driveway beside the house. The planters had to weigh at least 20 pounds (9kg) each when dry and even more soaked with water. Both of us figured it was time for us to go inside for awhile as the gust brought horizontal rain to us and nearly knocked us down. The movie may have been wrong in the time elapsed for the new ice age, but I can surely see something is going badly with our present weather patterns. You youngsters (anyone under 55 years of age) better get used to it; it will most likely get much worse over your lifetime.
Have a dry and calm Thursday!