Almost Too Close

On May 13th 2009, a tornado was bearing down on Kirksville, MO. Bart Comstock who is a storm chaser for almost became a victim when he looks to his left and sees the Twister moving right towards him. Thankfully, he was on the outskirts of the circulation. Make sure you listen to the noise this thing makes when his driver side window is down. This thing is producing the classic ‘freight train‘ noise which is most commonly reported from witnesses.

Here is one with a little more emotion:

And here is footage of the same tornado by a chasing tour. This could have turned into a storm chasing disaster.

Personally, I would have been scared to death but I can almost guarantee that in the video, you would hear me say “this is $%#%^$# awesome”.

NOAA Implements Google Maps To Forecast Pages

I’m a weather junkie, no doubt about it. However, I was surprised to see that NOAA has implemented Google Maps into their point forecast pages. Typically, the map would display a plain image with county lines and various cities. Clicking on the exact location of where you live for your specific forecast was a trivial process of trial and error. Now however, users can zoom into the map, pan the map around, see a highlighted section of the map which describes the forecast area, and download the data in a KML file.

New Google Point Forecast

The Weather Channel website has had an implementation of Google Maps along with radar data for quite some time but I always find the page to load slowly, especially during an animated radar sequence. Although NOAA has not gone that far with regards to local radar images, the new iteration of selecting point forecasts in relation to where you live is a vast improvement.

Here is what the old point forecast used to look like and still does for those sites who have yet to be upgraded.

Old forecast Point Graphics

Not So Severe Storms

On Saturday May 3rd, 2008, a line of convection moved through my area. After receiving some drenching rains in the morning hours, this gave way to sunny skies as a dry slot had formed. The sun came out in full force, but the temperature didn’t rise that much as it mostly stayed within the mid 50s. However, this sunshine was enough to destabilize the atmosphere just before the actual cold front arrived. A line of quick moving thunderstorms developed on top of the cold front and moved through the area. These storms brought pea sized hail with mild gusty winds. I only witnessed one lightning strike during the entire event which is a shame, since I enjoy watching lightning but enjoy the sound of thunder more. Out of all of the cars that have driven down my street playing their loud thumping rap music, none of their sound systems have been able to compare to the bass that thunder produces. It’s just the beginning of May, but I hope this thunderstorm season is a little more active than last years.

Without further ado, here are some images along with a video of the storms as they were moving through the area.

Apocalypse 100_1842 100_1841 100_1839 100_1838 100_1837 100_1836 100_1835

And here is the video.