Twister ‘Wedge’

April 10, 2015

gA thick, rolled cloud layer hangs to the east this early Friday on California’s north coast, dulling the light into a gray haze with a decent-chance of some sprinkles maybe to complete the picture.
The NWS says ‘mostly sunny’ expected today, but we’ll wait and see.

Meanwhile, out in America’s flat heartland, a picture with a way-different outlook — yesterday at least 16 tornadoes touched across the region, killing one person, injuring a dozen or so. Massive “wedge” twisters reported: ‘“This is unusual, not only to see in our area, it’s unusual to see in any area. There aren’t that many of these throughout the course of a year,” said CBS 2 Meteorologist Ed Curran. “Many times wedge tornadoes are very powerful, with wind speeds that get up to what we call EF4 or EF5 levels.”

(Illustration: John Stewart Curry’s ‘Tornado Over Kansas‘ (1929),  found here).

In the clean-up mode today — as Fire Chief Pete Polarek of Sycamore, Ill., said this morning: ‘“We’re hopeful that our search will be fruitless in the sense that we won’t find anybody.”
More dangerous weather is forecast for eastward into the Deep South today and tomorrow.
I grew up in south Alabama, north Florida, tornadoes there are normal. One shitty weather phenomenon, but then again, there’s a whole shitload of them.

Prior to a couple of twisters at the end of last month, this had been a quiet/slow tornado season (‘only the second time since the 1950s — when good record keeping began — the first three weeks of March were tornado-free throughout the United States‘) and a typical March sees about 120 twisters (via LiveScience), this also being the third March in a row with a small tornado count, so the era of weather’s unpredictable weird.
Yet in it all, apparently some natural shit like tornadoes are hard to gauge in relation to a warming environment — studies on twisters and climate change have been elusive in displaying what is really going to happen. However, there will be a change, and if like about everything else, that change will suck.

Via CBS News last summer:

Research published in the journal Climate Dynamics finds that although tornadoes are occurring fewer days per year than they used to, they are forming at greater density and strength.
This means that on days when tornadoes do form, there tend to be more of them and they’re often more powerful.

Less still means more — twisted awry.

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