Midwest tornadoes check-in May 28, 2019 8:11 PM   Subscribe

Midwest MeFites, please stay safe and check in if you can.

The Guardian is reporting that Monday marked a record-tying 11th straight day with at least eight tornadoes in the US.

A disaster preparedness question is currently active on AskMe, and the MeFi Wiki has a Disaster Planning & Recovery page that collects a variety of resources, including links to past AskMe threads.
posted by Little Dawn to MetaFilter-Related at 8:11 PM (21 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

The NYT is reporting 12 Straight Days of Tornadoes Have U.S. Approaching ‘Uncharted Territory’, and "Forecasters said that even the briefest of reprieves might not come until late this week." The Associated Press is reporting "Tornadoes were confirmed in eastern Pennsylvania and the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of New York City and northern New Jersey," and is offering an interactive Tornado Tracker. Please stay safe, everyone!
posted by Little Dawn at 8:55 PM on May 28


Do we know what's causing it? Middle of Iowa is fine as far as I know.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:05 PM on May 28


Stay safe friends, everyone is in my thoughts.
posted by Fizz at 2:10 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


Do we know what's causing it?

Climate change, most likely. All weather is going to keep getting stronger and more severe, as far as I've heard from experts.
posted by cooker girl at 6:28 AM on May 29 [3 favorites]


So, partly May is just peak tornado season in the southern plains. Comparable years of high tornado frequencies are less than 10 years ago (2011). The jet stream looks to be stuck with cold air just northwest of the warm states where the storms are firing up, and pushing everything southwest to northeast.

Climate change isn’t directly responsible for lots of tornadoes hitting tornado alley, but it sure as hell won’t help, and may affect jet stream activity and position going forward.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:34 AM on May 29 [7 favorites]


From the NYT:
“From mid-April on, it’s just been on a tear,” said Patrick Marsh, the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla. “What has really set us apart has been the last 10 days or so. The last 10 days took us from about normal to well above normal.”
From the AP:
The past couple of weeks have seen unusually high tornado activity in the U.S., with no immediate end to the pattern in sight.
And from USA Today this morning:
As the system moved into Missouri, the weather service urged residents of areas such as Excelsior Estates and Mosby to take shelter from confirmed tornadoes. [...] The tornado sightings are part of a massive severe weather system mostly positioned in the central United States. Preliminary reports show 27 tornadoes struck mainly Kansas and Missouri on Tuesday, the Storm Prediction Center said. But the East has not been entirely spared.
posted by Little Dawn at 8:14 AM on May 29


My ex's family is in Lawrence, KS. I can't reach out to him because of Reasons, but think they were impacted and I am very afraid for them.
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:21 AM on May 29 [9 favorites]


Tornado went through my mom's neighborhood the other day. She fine thankfully. But the flooding in Tulsa is bad. The Arkansas River is about at it's limits and the riverside casino and restaurants and all that are underwater. Sinkholes opening up in the park. Hopefully things settle down soon.
posted by downtohisturtles at 1:09 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Vox piece
posted by Ideefixe at 2:22 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Indiana here...
The bad stuff here started touching down ten or so miles downwind from us, so we only got wind and rain. Good friends of ours live in downtown Pendleton and were pretty much in the middle of it. They came through unhurt. They’re still without power. Their house came through relatively intact, but the surrounding trees went through a buzzsaw.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:42 PM on May 29 [5 favorites]


Last evening here in Kansas City was interesting. When the tornado formed and was sighted south of Lawrence, it was reported to be a mile wide and possibly an F5. That turned out to be an overestimate, although then and for the next 20 minutes it was quite ferocious.

Anyway, its track was NE which aimed it almost directly at me. When it was at Linwood I was worried. It would have reached us about eight minutes later. But then it turned slightly southward and dissipated. Although right about then the sirens here went off.

Basically, as it passed over the more densely populated portions of Kansas City and the northern suburbs, it had dissipated. Then, back into more rural areas, it reformed only briefly.

KC was very fortunate.

I wasn't very scared and didn't go down to the basement, although we were briefly within a full warning area and all the authorities and media were all "go to your safe place NOW!"

I dunno, I've spent three-quarters of my life in Tornado Alley and I'm sort of at the point that if you can't actually see it in person heading toward you, the odds are very small that you'll be in its path and even less that you'll be hurt.

I don't advise other people to behave the same -- after all, when I was on a flight that had a bomb threat and an emergency landing, my main thought was, "well, this would actually be a very interesting way to die and that's kind of cool".
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:32 PM on May 29 [11 favorites]


STL. Storming tonight. More flooding. Blues down 1-0 in the Cup.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:03 PM on May 29 [4 favorites]


PS I do have my 'Watch from the back porch when the sirens go off' beer.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 4:04 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


I have a friend in Oklahoma, and her FB feed has been full of the warnings, maps and photos of the flooding, etc. She is okay, some neighbors got damage recently (but no injuries), and said the mail carriers are having to drive miles out of their way to deliver their mail, as she is basically almost on an island now due to the flooding. Have been reading reports of things like casino closing, which has put 1,500 people out of jobs for now, and can only imagine the economic toll on people. My heart goes out to them. I had a basement flood one year when I lived in IL, and it's no fun at all.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:09 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Regarding the "go to your safe place NOW!" exhortation, I was confused because my safe place is a pint of coffee Häagen-Dazs and listening to Dark Side of the Moon and I'm not sure that was what they meant.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:08 AM on May 30 [21 favorites]


It has been more active here in OKlahoma as far as quantity of tornadoes and tornado warnings for sure, with multiple deaths and some property damage, but the major damage has been from flooding.

To give you an idea of the sheer volume of excess water right now, here is a quick comparison from a few days ago that is astounding - keystone reservoir was releasing 254000 cubic feet per second. That number has increased to 275000, compared to Niagara Falls where 100000 cubic feet of water flows over the falls each second. To give you some additional food (or water) for thought, in Oklahoma at this time we have nine reservoirs that are releasing more water than The American/ Canadian tourist destination.
posted by domino at 12:15 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


I saw a tornado just over the treeline in Minnesota maybe ten years ago, and I'll never forget it. I shiver for you all.

(The picture comes up on my work laptop screen-saver now, and my kids still ask about the time we ran from the tornado.)
posted by wenestvedt at 12:51 PM on May 30


A few days ago, my husband and I got to stand out in our backyard and watch the formation, maturation, and dissolution of what turned out to be an E-F1 tornado, which was pretty cool.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 8:58 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


My first year in KC was 2002, when 9 tornadoes hit the metro - two of which I saw touch down almost simultaneously. Later that day, after the danger had passed, a local informed me that most people go their entire lives without seeing one. And I believe it - it's been seventeen years and I've never seen another, though we had a touchdown 2 miles away recently, and we end up in the basement waiting them out a few times every year.
posted by annathea at 11:16 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


'So much land under so much water': extreme flooding is drowning parts of the midwest (Guardian)
Weeks of flooding is drowning large parts of the midwest, wrecking communities and turning farms into inland seas. On top of that, a near record number of tornadoes has whipped through the region, smashing homes and claiming nearly 40 lives so far. [...] Storms and near record rainfalls have caused the region’s three major rivers to flood, inundating communities from Nebraska to Michigan and Illinois to Oklahoma, driving tens of thousands in to shelters, shutting businesses and closing interstate highways. Waters that used to surge and recede have stayed around, swamping millions of acres of farmland and devastating the planting season.

[...] In Iowa, bordered on either side by America’s two greatest rivers, the Mississippi and the Missouri, entire towns have been engulfed and some may never revive. At the weekend, levees failed on three rivers, flooding homes and forcing the evacuation of thousands in Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas. In other places, authorities raced to shore up protections against surging waters. Burlington was the latest city in Iowa to be swamped after its floodwalls failed and river water poured into downtown following three days of intense rain. The Mississippi has been in flood for 80 days with little sign of returning to normal anytime soon.

Across state after state, people say the same thing unprompted: they have never seen anything like it.
Please stay safe, everyone.
posted by Little Dawn at 7:30 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


So levees are breaking now. Things are underwater. Pics.

STL-BOS 2-2. Game 5 tomorrow. LGB.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:00 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


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