Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lafayette Area Residents Find Out How Lucky We Have Been

Courtesy of Dick Rosenbarger

This was taken by Dick while he was watching a baseball game in Louisiana last Friday. This waterspout was estimated to have wind speeds over 100 mph! The only team to take cover was the Indiana team, while the other team just stood there. So you know who the winner in my book was no matter what the scoreboard read. Here is what Dick had to say as he snapped this unbelieveable shot of the water spout.

Mike, attached is a photo of what is believed to be an F-2 to an F-3 tornado (water spout) over Lake Ponchartrain on the north side of New Orleans last Friday (7-20-07) around 2:00 PM.

We were watching the Indiana Bulls 18yr old baseball team play at the University of New Orleans when it formed. The spout lasted for nearly 10 minutes. Ironically when it formed the boys from Indiana ran for cover, the team from Texas that we were playing stayed in the dug-out and watched tornado the entire time. Afterwards when play resumed we were talking with parents from the opposing team and they were laughing at us Indiana people, they said they see these all the time.

Your team definitely did the right thing and as all of us Hoosiers know that no matter how many times we have a tornado warning, we take cover immediately and ask questions later. The Indiana Bulls were smart in taking cover because water spouts have been known to move on land as devastating tornadoes. The team from Texas was obviously the foolish team in this case. I am glad everybody is safe and sound. But this is not the case across much of the world.

There has been extreme weather all over the world this summer, including hundreds of deaths in Europe from severe weather and heat waves. Reports out of Hungary are very sad with over 500 people killed by the worst heat wave in over 120 years. Britain has seen the worst flooding is some parts in more than 900 years of record-keeping. That is right, 900 year floods have taken place. Australia had parts of its country that saw not one drop of rain in 5 years. Then with little warning the Outback was blitzed with 10 years worth of rain in a week, with new "desert lakes" forming.

Closer to home in the United States have had some of their driest, hottest, and wettest weather on record. We remember the forest fires in Georgia and Florida, that made it hard to breathe and drive on interstates from central Florida all the way up to Atlanta. Planes were actually delayed due to low visibility from smoke. Oklahoma had its wettest June ever and rainfall surpluses in Texas are close to 20 inches. Dust devils in Arizona have turned into fire and ash devils which are made of the fire and ash from the abundant forest fires taking place. Hurricane season will really start to heat up in the Atlantic basin the next couple of weeks. I am looking for at least 3 land-falling hurricanes in the United States with the highest risk areas in the Carolinas and Florida. I shudder to think this, but my beloved Jacksonville may have a rude awakening this year with its first hurricane possible since 1964.

Back home here in Indiana we have a lot to be thankful for. We have had weird weather but not devastating weather. Yes, it has been dry, but we have not had a full-fledged drought. You have to wonder when this will catch up to us. Stay tuned and stay safe. One thing is for certain. We have lots of catching up to do when it comes to thunderstorms. Take a look at these incredible stats. We are not even close to where we were last year.

The latest models are showing very good thunderstorm chances beginning tonight and lasting through Friday night. There is concern that we could go from little or no rain to flash flooding in an instant. So keep your guard up. It is Indiana so we need to stay weather ready. I will talk about a rare low pressure that could bring heavy rain tonight and have more on this tomorrow on the blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are SO right, Mike. We have been blessed even if we are dry! After living through and dealing with our hail storm last year, it brought home to a degree what others go through in a violent storm or flood situation.

I know nature has to balance itself out and I can only wonder in what form our precipitaton will fall!
Take care....Mary Anne