Elaine Meinel Supkis
Terrible weather, many tornado warnings and some touched down already, this is proving to be as bad a tornado year as hurricane year. Europe has been having huge floods, the Danube is over its banks, Hawaii is flooding, too. Africa is having a drought and so is Texas. Global warming: xtreme weather.
The Storm Prediction Center has received 11 reports of tornado touchdowns or sightings Friday afternoon in Tennessee. Forecasters predict severe weather will continue to track over parts of northern Alabama, northern Mississippi and west and middle Tennessee.
Schools in North Mississippi shut down early Friday ahead of a storm that put much of central and northern areas under a tornado watch until 8 p.m.
Schools in Benton, Marshall and DeSoto counties were closing at midday or early afternoon.
Several counties in Tennessee and Kentucky are under a tornado warning, the weather service said. Latest Nashville radar image.
The weather service said Friday that the potential existed for powerful storms, possible strong tornadoes, very large hail, heavy rainfall and damaging winds.
This is the same system that came off of the Pacific Ocean and flooded California and left huge amounts of snow on the mountains even though it is spring. Some rangers died at Mammoth Lake. Associated Press:
By BRENDAN RILEY, Associated Press Writer 42 minutes ago
MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. - Three members of a ski patrol died after two plunged into a volcanic fissure at the Mammoth Mountain resort and the third fell trying to rescue them, a resort official said.
Four other would-be rescuers were hospitalized for exposure to carbon dioxide but were doing well, said Rusty Gregory, chief executive officer of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.
The patrol team had been on the mountain after a snowstorms checking on a fence surrounding a fumarole, a natural vent that releases volcanic gas from deep within the Earth, Gregory said.
They slid into a depression which had toxic gasses. This is a depression in the Great Rift Complex of California. There was a big 6.2 earthquake off the shore in Mexico this last week, at the lower end of where the Great California Rift Complex ends, the end of the Gulf of California. At the top end, there was a smaller but significant earthquake today in the zone where the rash of 4+ events happened in quick succession last week. Mammoth Lake can suddenly turn into a volcanic event with little warning, it is hissing and outgassing right now.
Mother Nature is awake and busy. When she is fed energy, she expresses it in various ways and melting all the ice on either pole is setting into motion a massive amount of both geological energy and fluid mechanics as water changes it form and becomes a liquid rather than a solid and the weight distribution of all this water is shed from one place and running into another, ie, the oceans.
April 4, 2006 — A warm winter contributed to a busy and deadly start to the tornado season, according to NOAA meteorologists. A total of 68 tornado reports and 26 tornado fatalities in eight states on Sunday brought the totals for the year to 355 tornado reports and 38 deaths, said Dan McCarthy, warning coordination meteorologist with the NOAA Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. Sunday's storms also caused two wind-related deaths and approximately 196 injuries.
This is the highest total number of reports for the first three months of the year since 1999 and is a sharp contrast to last year when only 96 tornado reports and five deaths occurred by April 3. The number of deaths so far is the highest since 1998.
Indeed, even as we struggle to maintain our happy-go-lucky lifestyle, it is biting back viciously. Our love of fast, gas guzzling vehicles is turning our communities into splinters. We think, no one can stop us even as Mother Nature does exactly that with a flick of her fingernail.
If we evolved as a culture to accomodate tornadoes and hurricanes, we would live quite different lives. People who insist on living as if there isn't an evironment will be doomed to suffering and pain when the environment does what it must do. In Japan, for centuries, they built light houses that would be reassembled quickly after earthquakes, for example. But when they built the huge city of Tokyo, an earthquake started huge fires that consumed the city. This is why one has to change gears when the population operates differently.
I could imagine Hobbits evolving their house styles while living on the Great Plains. After all, domed houses facing southeast don't need to worry even slightly about tornadoes, they would simply spin past them or hop over them, maybe distrubing the chimney if it isn't well-pointed. But we want to build European houses that seldom see tornadoes.
Except they had a tornado in England this year and another in Hamburg, Germany, of all places, just this last week! Did considerable damage and both were only catagory 2 tornadoes. In America, we get the monster ones, the catagory 5's, even, which rip up asphalt roads and suck ponds dry.
But even those would pass over a Hobbit house with minimal harm. Of course, people want to have what they always had so no one is going to do the smart thing, as usual. Instead, we will open our wallets and build inappropriate, dangerous houses. Until the bitter end. Spitting in Nature's eye.
She doesn't care. She has an endless supply of tornadoes and hurricanes up Her sleeves.