We had our first threat this past week. Warm, moist air from the gulf coming north, a cold front moving in from the west and just enough instability in the air over central Alabama to create the perfect recipe not just for severe storms and tornadoes, but the recipe for what they call "Long Track Tornadoes"..... these tornadoes come out of super-cell thunderstorms. They're a very scary threat....they tend to be very wide (as in miles) and they stay on the ground for miles at a time.
The worst one we've ever had here was about ten years ago. It was around 2 miles wide and was on the ground for over 22 miles. Think about it.
And it was classified as a very rare F5 tornado. The worst you can get. Top wind speed of 318 miles an hour. If you are in the path of that monster, you're probably not going to survive unless you are in an actual tornado shelter. No regular home or structure can withstand that. And that storm was measured on the the old scale. The new EF scale increases the winds to greater than 322 miles an hour. Again, think about it.
So, when the sirens went off the other day, TV broadcasts were interrupted and reports started coming in that the storm was approaching, I went out to look. It was IMMENSE. Like nothing I'd ever seen before. Just one HUGE thunderstorm cloud for miles. Fortunately, it never got really bad. Still don't know why. We were VERY lucky. But this was just the first one of the season, and the season runs until June. Looking forward to it........... not.
These are the pictures I took following the storm cloud from the house and out of the neighborhood, down to the shopping area about a mile away where you could REALLY see it without all the trees blocking the view. Took them with my brother's iPhone. The Samsung was out of juice.
- This one I had to alter because I had set the res too high to get the whole visual...looks like crap. Sorry.