Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Live birth on live TV

I've lived my whole life in Tornado Alley. I've seen funnels and wall clouds. I've seen the damage tornadoes leave behind. I've written newspaper stories about death and destruction and injury from them.

Last night was a first, though. I saw this tornado "born" on live TV. (Photo by a viewer submitted to KFOR-TV, Oklahoma City.)

AMAZING, the weather and broadcasting technology I've seen in my life. Used to be, tornado watches were issued for entire swaths of territory, putting everybody on edge for hours. Used to be tornado warnings were almost always issued too late.

Nowadays, the danger is we take them too lightly. Last night, as the tornado sirens sounded in my neighborhood -- because they do still issue warnings by county -- I sat on my front porch, smokin' a cigar and readin' a book.

Dr. ER was whooping and hollering in the living room. (Read her fun account here.) I was going back and forth from the porch to the TV -- and happened to see the live birth, taking place, oh, maybe 20 or 25 miles away. Way cool.


Scary stuff...We were thinking about you guys last night as soon as we saw this footage on the local news and heard the words "Oklahoma" and "tornado".....
Hell ER, you kinow that's just a little ole F-1 cow tosser. That chopper guy should have roped that sucker and towed it back to the station, to keep for "show and tell" when he visits schools to talk about weather.
By the way I really like the way the intake vortex started forming up a dust funnel on the ground about 50 yards from a local cop car driving parallel to it on a dirt road. I'll bet that boy had a sudden come to Jesus. Suprize!
That's what made it so cool. Life went on. I saw one guy jogging into a Carl's Jr. with the dang twisterlet off in a pasture out back!
I lived in tornado alley for over 30 years before I saw my first tornado, and boy was it ever a big one!

I was at work, and one of my employees, (of whom we used to say, we know when he's lying because his lips are moving) said, Hey everybody! there's a tornado coming down out side" whereupon the rest of us replied, "Yah, right Danny, sit down."

But a coulpe of minutes late, I myself saw it out the office window. Just begiinng to touch down.

It stayed on the ground from SW of Wichita, through the neigborhood where my dad was just sitting down to dinner, and wondering why the lights just went out, until it receded into the clouds somewhere in South Dakota.

It came within 1/4 mile of where I was standing, and looked as if I could have reached out and touched it.


True story! In fact, I'll bet most of you saw the same tornado. A video tape was taken of it as a small group of people cowered under a highway overpass and it passed directly over them. It made the national news networks. It was an F-4.
I *have* seen that video, shot in or near a town that starts with an "A" ... was it Andover?

Spew Key!
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