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Anything outdoors!  Tornadoes, eagles, blizzards, or auroras.  If it is in the sky, running through the woods or swimming in the water, I'm there!


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Death outbreak in the mid-south

It isn't like yesterday came as a big surprise. For days the NWS and media were preaching the likelihood of a major severe weather outbreak. People got up yesterday morning and heard the drone of the media talking about the risk of severe weather in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. It's February...it can't be that bad, right? People went to work, people went to school, people went shopping. A normal Tuesday other than the fact the day coincided with it being Super Tuesday on the political front.

I sat at work with the normal distraction of the alt+tab toggling I do to monitor the weather stuff. By 11:30 am CT it was apparent a bomb was going to go off somewhere in eastern AR or northern MS in the form of a few supercells which where going to spin like crazy without a whole lot of prodding. My gut feeling was being reinforced by data the Memphis TN area was going to go through hell over the next 12 hours. I made a quick post to my resident chaser board and headed out to grab some lunch. I called Eric Whitehill and told him Memphis was going to be ground zero today. Eric told me Tony Laubach had flow out the night before and was en-route to that same area.

By 2pm the show was under way. Tornado warnings quickly started popping up in AR and soon my hunch was correct as a cell fired to the SW of Memphis. Oh, shit. This is not going to be good. As expected it easily dropped a tornado on the northeast side of town which Tony caught on video. Thanks for the link Doug.

A second cell whacked the east side of Memphis and dropped which appears to have been a much stronger torn hitting a mall and several restaurants. Remember, most of this is occurring during rush hour traffic.

I headed to bed about midnight expecting the worst as the fatality reports started to come in. Sure enough, this morning the headline

Tornadoes rip through South

is blaring at me on my computer screen. Dear god...33 dead. As I was reading the article, the page refreshed upping the death toll to 44. The sun is coming up and this number will continue to rise.

Weather radios people. You already have a smoke detector in your house. Right? Doesn't spending $25 to stay alive make sense?

Off to work for me...keep the victims in your prayers today.

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