Oddity of the Week: Tornado Alley

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Weather can be scary.

Tornado Alley

A tornad over Kansas in 1902.

If you looked at this scary picture and joked, 'Well, I guess we're not in Kansas anymore,' you watch too many movies. And you've probably never lived in a tornado alley – an area which is tornado-prone. Tornados are nasty. Much to the amusement of radio announcers in the Northeast corridor, they 'sound just like a freight train' when they come through. Let's see how the New York crowd would deal with a freight train in their apartments.

Your Editor was in St Louis, Missouri, once – the next state over from Kansas – and waiting for a bus when the alarm sounded. He looked around: flat landscape, open territory, not a soul in sight. The sky was a sickening shade of green. He thought, 'Well, maybe I'll meet the Wizard of Oz after all,' and just sat there. There wasn't much else to do. Fortunately, no flying cows appeared.

Here in North Carolina, the tornado alley is very localized. During tornado season – spring, summer, and early fall – the TV weather people keep us apprised of the tornados. They're proud of their new software which allows them to track twisters street-by-street. If you sign up, their autodial system will phone you and tell you to run for the cellar, if you've got one.

Once there, crack open your emergency kits, brew up some coffee on the camp stove, stay away from windows, and try singing 'Somewhere over the Rainbow'. This, too, will pass.

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Dmitri Gheorgheni

28.04.14 Front Page

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