Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tornado Infographic

With the tornado season now in full swing in the United States, I decided to do a little web surfing and I found this great infographic! 

Infographic displays copious amounts of information in easy to comprehend visual styles.  

This infographic that sources The Weather Channel focuses on general statistics for tornado occurrence in the United States.  

The graph shows the average amount of tornadoes per state, per year.  I was surprised that Connecticut has the highest annual occurrence of tornadoes in New England with an average of 3 tornadoes a year! 

The infographic also shows information on the most deadly tornadoes since the 1950's. No surprise that the Joplin tornado from 2011 tops the list.  

So check out this graph for some great stats on tornadoes! 


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Blue Skies Above: Hurricane Sandy Cause Storm Surge in Ft Lauderdale! (Video)

Believe it or not, but this video is actually a result of Hurricane Sandy! Yes, the storm was so massive, and such a monster, that it sent storm surge all the way down the east coast to Ft. Lauderdale Beach in Florida.  On the morning of October 28, 2012, Hurricane Sandy was about to take her left hand turn into the coast of New Jersey, but it sent swells out in all direction, impacting people and beaches far and wide!  

These swells, combined with an astronomical high tide, sent the ocean crashing over the dunes and right into the stress of Ft Lauderdale Beach. Pretty impressive considering the storm was close to 1,000 miles to the northeast! Sunrise Blvd was inundated with water, shocking many considering the skies were crystal blue and the weather was beautiful.

It truly is remarkable to see the strength and power of these storms!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mayflower Tornado - April 27, 2014

Three years to the day of the Tuscaloosa Tornado Outbreak, the first major tornado outbreak of the 2014 season has begun. On April 27, 2014, Mayflower, Arkansas was hit by a strong tornado. The strength of which has yet to be determined but the storm left at least 14 dead and destroyed homes and businesses to the basement slabs.  According to The Weather Channel, this included a $14 million intermediate school that was set to open it's doors this fall.

The video above was taken of the storm from a distance as it eerily flowed over the landscape in silence.

Below is incredible video from the AP, taken just after the storm moved through. Brian Emfinger used a drone to capture the ariel extent of the devastation has the tornado passed over an interstate and flattened buildings. Besides the amazing shots the drone captures, it begs the question, can drones help in recovery after a natural disaster? Or even help access the damage in a more affordable process?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tuscaloosa Tornado April 27, 2011

Today marks the third anniversary of a devastating disaster, a tornado outbreak for the record books. From April 25-28, 2011 a massive tornado outbreak befell the southern states, causing massive damages in order of $11 billion and changed thousands of lives forever. Sadly the entire outbreak resulted in 358 confirmed deaths.

The outbreak was one of many extreme weather events in 2011.

On the third day of the tornado outbreak, a massive F-4 tornado raced from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham, Alabama. It caused 1,500 injuries and 65 fatalities in it's 80 mile long path. The storms peak winds reached 190 mph, leveling whole neighborhoods.

The storm beard down on the metro area of Tuscaloosa.  The scene of a tornado approaching a highly populated area is one that many have not witnessed in years, if not decades. In our technological age, this storm was caught on camera in hundreds of different perspectives, from television web cameras to mobile phone recordings.

The video above is taken by an individual as the tornado moves right through the parking lot in front of him! It's pretty INTENSE and not something I recommend any body do!

Below is video of a local television station covering the storm right as it forms from a dark funnel into a massive black tornado tearing up the urban landscape!

Finally, here's the ariel views taken a day after the Tuscaloosa tornado on April 28, 2011. As you can see the damage was extensive and many areas were leveled!

Water Spout Takes a Beach Day! (Video)

The above 'tornado' video is pretty AWESOME! I only say this because it shows the amazing beauty of nature while not causing any injuries or too much damage.

This storm starts off as a waterspout, since the vortex is over water and technically turns into a tornado when it crosses onto the beach. Watch as the weak funnel turns color as it begins to pick up sand on the beach. The vortex is weak like most waterspouts are but powerful enough to pick up a couple of beach umbrellas and throw them around like Dorothy's house in the Wizard of Oz!

The storm occurred in Carolina Beach, North Carolina on August 18, 2011. The waterspout first formed .75 miles off shore and moved inland about .5 a mile before dissipating.

The storm made for one heck of a Beach Day!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Storm Surge Hits ChiTown!

It's not often that you see storm surge in a Major city, although if sea levels continue to rise it may become all too familiar. Older infrastructure built in low-lying areas out of connivence are now being threatened by ever rising water levels and increased erosion. However, the video above is not a ocean front shore but a lake front! Lake Michigan to be exact and the highway running along side the rising surf is the infamous Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

You may think that just because Chicago is on a lake, they can't experience storm surge, but you would be wrong. Lake Michigan is so large that strong winds and storms can easily pile the water up on one side of the lake.

This video from September 30, 2011 shows that even in a major city on a lake, the power of water can be dangerous! Lake Michigan never makes it to Lake Shore Drive but it engulfs the park area next to the highway used for walking, running and biking. Like most storm surges, the unsuspecting waves catch a few pedestrians and cyclist off guard. Some even almost get washed away.

Forest Swallowed by Sinkhole in Just Seconds! (Video)

In this amazing video from August 2013, entire trees are swallowed up by a large sinkhole beneath a lake in Louisiana. It's stunning to see what appears to be 50 foot trees just sink gracefully into the muddy waters, never to be seen again. However graceful and amazing, this sinkhole would have been disastrous if it had occurred in a populated area!

Sinkholes are caused for a number of reasons. They occur when subsurface layers are dissolved (natural limestone erosion) or removed (example: mining). When the subsurface layer is removed, an area of open space appears, which then causes the surface above to sink into the giant hole.

This particular sinkhole is amazing due to it's size, it's position under a water source and it being caught on film! In the petroleum rich area of Louisiana, one reason for this particular sinkhole could be the collapse of a salt dome. Salt domes are often found near petroleum deposits.