Storm chaser’s close callApril 15th, 2012 at 6:17 pm by Tara Hastings under Weather
I explained in yesterday’s blog how violent the severe weather was in the plains. Now that it’s light we are able to see just how bad and how many tornadoes touched down Saturday. Reports are beginning to come in that five people died last night in Oklahoma. Here’s a link and another link with more of the details.
Here’s a look at some of the tornado reports from Saturday. Now some of these are duplicate reports (people calling in seeing the same tornado from different locations) but you get the idea that there were several large tornadoes on the ground.
I’m not sure I have seen so many red dots in one location! I took off the wind and hail reports but here’s another image from the Storm Prediction Center.
One of our own meteorologists Brandon Redmond was in the thick of things yesterday. He and his SWAT (Severe Weather Alert Team) team was in Kansas and was able to see several tornadoes touch the ground. Here are a few photos.
Brandon’s team decided to get into a safe position on a storm exiting Oklahoma and heading toward Wichita. They lost radar data and facing poor road connections they ended up INSIDE the tornado. While driving they saw debris starting to circle their vehicle and slammed on the breaks. They covered their heads and had to ride out the storm. Brandon told the car was lifted a little and they sustained minor damage to the windshield. Luckily no one was hurt. He mentioned he didn’t want to be in the heart of the storm and wanted to get on the safe side of the storm to see if they could view the tornado. Instead poor road networks and no radar data left him stuck and blind. He and his team have learned from this experience and are going to take precautions the next time they are out chasing at night.
A camera mounted on top of the vehicle captured the terrifying moments. As soon as our newscast is over and the video is on our website I will share the link.
One thing I did hear from last night’s tornado event. Some of the OUTDOOR warning sirens weren’t going off because power was out. So again I’ll preach – you need a NOAA weather radio and make sure there are batteries in it. It’s a great idea to have several ways to get warnings in case the power goes out.
More severe weather is expected today. I am hoping we don’t have more deaths and that everyone heeds the warnings.