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2006 STS V8 Blackberry,2004 CTS 3.6 Loaded, 2016 SRX LOADED
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It's that time of the year. Tornado conditions are caused when different temperatures and humidity meet to form thunderclouds. In the United States, warm, wet winds from the Gulf of Mexico move northward in spring and summer, meeting colder, dry Canadian winds moving southward, also comes from the mountains in Colorado. The place where these two winds meet is called a dry line, usually around Oklahoma. High, dry air coming from the north piles on top of low-moving, moist Gulf air at a height of over 10,000 feet. The warm southern winds try to rise, but the cold northern air blocks them. This clash causes the warm, trapped air to rotate horizontally between the two air masses. At the same time, the sun heats the earth below, warming more air that continues to try and rise. Finally, the rising warm wind become strong enough to force itself up through the colder air layer.

When this occurs, the cold air on top begins to sink, sending the rising warm wind spinning upward. The warm winds rotate faster and faster in a high column. When the updraft is strong, the column can rise to heights of 10 miles or more, twisting at speeds of up to 100 miles an hour. The rotating winds produce strong storm clouds about 70,000 feet high, sometimes spreading 10 miles wide.

This storm system may stay intact for several hours, at which point its thunderclouds are known as supercells. These storm clouds can send down an inch of rain in a mere ten minutes or shower the ground with baseball-sized hailstones. Supercells can accumulate into huge clusters, forming a line almost 100 miles long, which can then develop into mesocyclones.

This new scale is now called the "Enhanced Fujita" scale rather than just the old "Fujita" scale. The new factors added into the tornado power classifications include what types of buildings and structures were damaged.

According to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration statement, the scale was enhanced because
"Limitations of the original F Scale may have led to inconsistent ratings, including possible overestimates of associated wind speeds. The EF Scale incorporates more damage indicators and degrees of damage than the original F Scale, allowing more detailed analysis and better correlation between damage and wind speed."

The strongest F5 was registered May 3, 1999 in the Bridge Creek edition in Moore, Okla. just south of OKC. 302 mph winds. The finger of God.
 

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2006 STS V8 AWD, '95 Ford Ranger
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I thought you were going to warn us about the gas saving gadgets they sell on Ebay.
 

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See my sig...
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And next on The Weather Channel....
 

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Ironically Florida had its first Tornados of the year already and we're not even into hurricane season (begins in June, hooray!) yet.
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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One of my favorite things about spring is waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of the civil defense siren, turning on the weather channel and seeing the storm front is right over your town.

Nothing like a surprise night storm. I hope it's gonna be a stormy year. I want to see lots of bad weather while on the road for work.
 

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2003 Cadillac Seville STS 73k Miles, '90 Chevy 1500 Reg Cab
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Having grown up in Tornado alley and being a storm spotter through high school and college, tornado season is cause to get the batteries changed in the weather radio, the lawn chairs dusted off and a cooler full of cold drinks cause its going to be a good show. It was always funny to watch in college when a severe storm warning/watch was issued, the majority of the farm kids and those who grew up in the midwest went outside to watch, everyone else went to the basement.
 

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For those of you who aren't familiar with tornadoes and are hearing news
coverage of the ones in the Oklahoma City area in recent months, here's a
short glossary to help you understand.

Fujita Scale: Scale used to measure wind speeds of a tornado and their
severity.

F1: Laughable little string of wind unless it comes through your house, then
enough to make your insurance company drop you like a brick. People enjoy
standing on their porches to watch this kind.

F2: Strong enough to blow your car into your house, unless of course you
drive an Expedition and live in a mobile home, then strong enough to blow
your house into your car.

F3: Will pick your house and your Expedition up and move you to the other
side of town.

F4: Usually ranging from 1/2 to a full mile wide, this tornado can turn an
Expedition into a Pinto, then gift wrap it in a semi truck.

F5: The Mother of all Tornadoes, you might as well stand on your front porch
and watch it, because it's probably going to be quite a last sight.

Meteorologist: A rather soft-spoken, mild-mannered type person until severe
weather strikes, and they start yelling at you through the TV.: "GET TO YOUR
BATHROOM OR YOU'RE GOING TO DIE!"

Storm Chaser: Meteorologist-rejects who are pretty much insane but get us
really cool pictures of tornadoes. We release them from the mental
institution every time it starts thundering, just to see what they'll do.

Tranquilizer: What you have to give any dog or cat who lived through the May
3rd, 1999 tornado every time it storms or they tear your whole house up
freaking out of their minds.

Moore, Oklahoma: A favorite gathering place for tornadoes. They like to meet
here and do a little partying before stretching out across the rest of the
Midwest.

Bathtub: Best place to seek shelter in the middle of a tornado, mostly
because after you're covered with debris, you can quickly wash off and come
out looking great.

Severe Weather Radio: A handy device that sends out messages from the
National Weather Service during a storm, though quite disconcerting because
the high pitched, shrill noise used as an alarm sounds suspiciously just
like a tornado.

Tornado Siren: A system the city spent millions to install, which is really
useful, unless there's a storm or a tornado, because then of course you can
t hear them.

Storm Cellar: A great place to go during a tornado, as it is almost
100% safe, though weigh your options carefully, as most are not cared for
and are homes to rats and snakes. and scorpions and spiders...

May-June: Tourist season in Oklahoma, when people who are tired of bungee
jumping and diving out of airplanes decide it might be fun to chase a
tornado. These people usually end up on Fear Factor.

Barometric Pressure: Nobody really knows what this is, but when it drops a
lot of pregnant women go into labor, which makes for exciting moments as
their husbands are trying to drive them to the hospital and dodge tornadoes
at the same time.

Cars: The worst place to be during a tornado (next to a mobile home). Yes,
you can out run a tornado in your car...unless everybody on the road decides
to do the same thing, and then you're in grid lock.

A Ditch: Supposedly where you're supposed to go if you find yourself without
shelter or in your car during a tornado. Theoretically the tornado is
supposed to pass right over you, but since it can lift a 20 ton truck and
uproot a three hundred year old tree, I'd bet my life on out-running it in a
car.

Mobile Home: Most people are convinced mobile homes send off some strange
signal that triggers tornadoes, because if there's one mobile home park in a
hundred mile radius, the tornado will find it.

Earthquake: What any Californian would rather go through on any scale of
severity than face a tornado.

Tornado: What any Oklahoman would rather go through on any scale of severity
than face an earthquake.

Twister: Slang for 'tornado' and also the title to a movie starring Helen
Hunt, which incidentally everyone thought was corny and unrealistic until
May 3rd, 1999.

Power Flash: One of the most reliable ways to track a tornado at night, it's
the term used when the tornado hits a power line and a bright light flashes.
It's also the emotion experienced by meteorologists when they get to make
the call to interrupt prime-time must-see TV. and a million dollars worth of
advertising to track a storm for viewers.

Here are some phrases you might want to learn and be familiar with:

"We'll have your electricity restored in 24 hours," which means it'll be a
week.

"Your electricity is going to be out for a week, so buy a lot of supplies
and an expensive generator," means it's going to be back on within twelve
hours, probably as soon as you return from Wal-Mart.

"It's a little muggy today." Get outta town. It's getting ready to storm.

"There's just a slight chance of severe weather today, so go ahead and make
your outdoor plans." Ha. Ha ha ha ha.

And the BIG TIP of the day:

When your electricity goes out, and you go to bed at night, be sure to turn
off everything that was on before it went out, or when it is unexpectedly
restored in the middle of the night, every light, every computer, your
dishwasher, your blow dryer, your washing machine, your microwave and your
fans will all come on all at once.

1) You'll just about have a heart attack when they all come on at the same
time, waking you from a dead sleep.

2) Your breakers will blow, leaving you in the dark once again.
 

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:yeah: I remember driving through Andover about 3 weeks after the big storm and the destruction was insane. While I was an RA in college I had a resident who's grandmother lost her roof in the Greensburg twister and some of the before and after pictures he had were freaky.....all that would be left of one house would be the slab foundation but 100 feet away was the barn almost untouched.
 

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This picture creeps me out. Just because of the extremely dark black clouds (due to the extremely primitive technology, but still) and the shape of the tornado.

 

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As another veteran of tornado alley, I don't missing the near constant threat through the spring and early summer. I will admit I enjoy watching storm chaser shows on the Weather Channel, though. When there's not a threat of one bearing down on my house-without-a-basement, they're pretty fascinating.

The brother of one of my best friends survived the 1999 tornado in Moore, probably because they did have a basement. He shot video going through the house before the storm hit trying to get some documentation for what they were about to lose for insurance purposes, caught a glimpse of the coming apocalypse, then coming out of the basement to find their house completely destroyed. There was absolutely nothing left.
 

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Was the Moore OK twister that really famous F-5?
 

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Ugh, I'm not a fan of tornados... I've seen one in person and that was enough to do me in. I have been in the basement more than I can count on my fingers and toes due to a tornado. I hate the tornado siren, the hair stands on the back of my neck. I've recently developed panic attacks to the siren when I hear it, started when I was 10.

My tornado story: I was young about 6-8 years old and I was swimming in my pool with my best guy friend. It's raining and I don't care; I love swimming in the rain. I remember going underwater and hearing this BOOM! I shoot up and I heard this noise; it does sound like a train like people say. The siren is going off and as I get out of the pool, I see the demon. I was frozen stiff watching the tornado slide across the golf course. My mom is screaming grabbing me and running inside. Probably one of the most freakiest things I have seen in my life.

I still have nightmares about tornadoes and if I do that normally means something bad is going to happen... and it normally does :(

I can watch them on TV cause the fascinate me but in person and hearing that siren just makes my body go into panic mode. I went on that Twister ride at Universal? I did ok but the majority of the time I buried my face into my mom's shoulder out of terror.

They recently tested the siren in downtown Chicago and my whole body got stiff. My palms started sweating profusely and my heart was beating incredibly fast. The guy next to me asked if I was going to be ok since I looked as pale as a ghost he told me. Lovely...
 

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Was the Moore OK twister that really famous F-5?
Yes.

Nicki, I sympathize entirely. I remember so many times huddling under a mattress in the hallway when warning sirens went off. It doesn't matter whether you're 6 or 17 (I spent my 17th birthday party under one of those mattresses), it's scary. To this day, I don't know why Abilene hasn't been wiped off the map.
 

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When I was watching the the video and I heard that tornado whine I got shivers...
 

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Nicki, I sympathize entirely. I remember so many times huddling under a mattress in the hallway when warning sirens went off. It doesn't matter whether you're 6 or 17 (I spent my 17th birthday party under one of those mattresses), it's scary. To this day, I don't know why Abilene hasn't been wiped off the map.
The one tornado that hit in Pittsburgh on Mt. Washington was on my sister's birthday, June 2, 1998. It was the first time in 300 years a tornado hit Pittsburgh. The major problem with Pittsburgh is that they use the tornado siren for emergency personal if they need volunteers to come in ASAP. So when the tornado sirens went off you can imagine people didn't run to their basements, thankfully no one was killed.

Here is a picture I found:


When we first moved to PA, in the middle of the night they turned on the tornado siren (to us IL people). We later learned from our neighbors that since it's very rare for PA to have tornadoes, they use the siren as a signal for emergency personal. I don't know how many times in my 9 years of living there I would wake up in the middle of the night to that siren and just be wide awake in fear. Worse was when the train was passing by at the same time and I would get out of bed and scan the area to make sure it was not a tornado.
 

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It's just another fact of life, at least around here.
 

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Agree with Ciws, when you live in the alley you Learn about them, respect them for what they can do and go on with life. Most regions have their natural disasters, I'm just thankful mine has warning signs, unlike an earthquake.
 

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I live in the alley and have never been in a tornado, but a few months back we had a real powerful storm blow through that felt like it could have been a tornado. It took the chimney off the 3rd floor apartment above me, The entire chimney came off the building and broke the stairwell on the way down and landed a few feet away from my patio.

I tried to stay outside as the storm approached, but it got bad real fast and I had to go in, Once I got inside, the patio door started shaking and I could feel the wall move in and out. My apartment backs up to a breeze way so the wind blowing through it was very loud and made that wall shake a bit. It only lasted a few minutes then everyone ran outside to see what the noise was, When we saw the chimney laying in the parking lot we were stunned. A few minutes later you could see transformers blow and we lost power.

I do remember the tornadoes that hit DFW several years back, We got some bad weather from that storm too, but no tornadoes.

We had one round of storms already today that produced some small hail, Getting ready for rounds 2 and 3 over tonight and into tomorrow. Supposed to be over 3 inches of rain, but no mention of tornadoes yet.
 
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