Astro's Blog

Severe Weather Threat 4/27-30/14

By: Astrometeor, 4:29 AM GMT on April 27, 2014

There is a severe weather threat for April 27, 2014 through the morning of April 30, 2014. This storm will be a multi-day, multi-threat event, and everyone in the area should stayed tuned to the local news channels and the National Weather Service for the most up-to-date information regarding the storms. This outbreak is expected to be the worst one yet this year, and possibly the worst one since April 27, 2011, but not approaching that intensity.

For Sunday, April 27, 2014, the threat is as follows: Clear, hot and sunny Sunday morning and afternoon with highs in the 80-85 range. The severe weather threat for Sunday night is mainly damaging winds and large hail, but one can not rule out the chance for an isolated tornado.

For Monday, April 28, 2014, the threat escalates. There is a good possibility the SPC will issue a HIGH risk for portions of Tennessee and Mississippi. Temperatures for Monday will be in the low 80s, but the dewpoint shall rise to create hot and muggy conditions-perfect for severe storms and tornadoes. The threat includes: tornadoes, damaging winds, large hail, and flash flooding.

For Tuesday April 29, 2014, the threat level diminishes slightly with a nearly identical weather forecast as Monday's. Same threats as well. Flash flood risk will escalate on Tuesday as the last heavy rains arrive. By this time, 2-4” of rain may have already fallen. Even though Middle Tennessee has been dry in recent times, anytime there is a heavy amount of rain in a short period, expect flooding to happen.

By Wednesday, April 30, 2014, the severe weather conglomerate should exit Middle Tennessee and allow us to breathe easy again. There's a slight chance for t-storms on Wednesday from the NWS, just in case we have any stragglers from the main system. Temperature will be more comfortable, with highs in the low to mid 70s.

Make sure to have several ways of getting storm warning information as the power may not be able to stay on throughout this long event. Stay safe, everyone!

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Tornado Disaster Prep Weather Severe Weather Spring

College Choice

By: Astrometeor, 3:27 AM GMT on April 25, 2014

Hi everyone. On Monday, April 21, 2014, mother and I paid the enrollment deposit fee for Millersville University, a school situated just south of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. So, that will be my new home for the next four years. Here are my reasons for choosing the school, note that not all reasons are specific to MU, other schools shared some of the reasons, but not all of them.

1. Top-notch meteorology program (multiple sources have told me MU has an excellent program).
2. Far away from home (freedom!).
3. Grandparents live an hour away in Camp Hill, PA.
4. Snow. Lots of snow. Way more snow that what I get in Tennessee.
5. Relatively small school (when compared against OU or PSU).
6. Good cost and financial aid ($5K/year merit scholarship).
[Might be able to graduate debt-free or near to debt-free.]
7. General good feeling when visited (gut feeling).

I graduate from (ok, been waiting a while to do this) Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet School for Health Sciences and Engineering at Historic Pearl High School on May 24, 2014.



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The Great Nashville Tornado of 1998

By: Astrometeor, 3:19 AM GMT on April 17, 2014

On this date in 1998, a F3 tornado tracked straight through the heart of Nashville. The only fatality from the storm was a college student underneath a tree who died from injuries sustained. The mere fact of losing only one person is astounding, considering some of the surprised tourists who didn't know what a tornado looked like, or that Nashville even got them. My father was working (and still does) in the Andrew Jackson State Office Building, and he witnessed the tornado coming nearly head-on before he took shelter in the building's stairwell. I was merely a toddler, not even 2. My little brother was to be born 2 months later. My older brother and my sister were sent home early, with the storms practically bearing down on them as they raced up the driveway after the school bus dropped them off.

An historic tornado outbreak of at least 13 tornadoes struck Middle Tennessee on April 16, 1998. Many of these tornadoes were strong or violent and tracked long distances, killing 4 people and injuring nearly 100 people, while causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. The most infamous tornado during the outbreak struck downtown Nashville, blowing out numerous windows in skycrapers and causing the collapse of some older buildings. Other notable tornadoes included three violent tornadoes in southern Middle Tennessee that reached F4 to F5 intensity, and an F3 tornado in Pickett County that damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses. Wilson County was struck by 4 different tornadoes during the event.

This tornado outbreak was unusual in several respects. First, the event lasted nearly the entire day, with the first round of severe weather beginning very early (around 4 AM CST), and the second and more significant round of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes occurring during the afternoon and evening. Second, synoptic features with this outbreak were not noticeably intense, with a relatively weak low level jet stream of only 35 to 45 mph at 850 mb (around 5000 feet above the ground), and a weak area of surface low pressure around 1000-1005 mb located well to the north across the Great Lakes. Upper air soundings at Nashville also were not noticeably impressive, with the 18Z sounding showing veered low level winds and only modest convective available potential energy (CAPE) around 1000 J/Kg. However, a large wind maximum at 500 mb (around 20,000 feet above the ground) of 80 to 90 mph extended from Texas into the Tennessee Valley region, which provided considerable lift for severe thunderstorms to develop throughout the day.

Due to several errors apparent in Storm Data for this historic event, a reanalysis was undertaken in 2013 using radar data, NWS research and documentation, spotter reports, and Google Earth imagery.  Based on this information, several updates were made to the times, paths, and damage information for these tornadoes.  Some of the longer track tornadoes were also determined to be separate tornadoes, and a final total of 13 tornadoes is listed below.  However, a few other tornadoes may have also touched down across Middle Tennessee, as indicated by radar imagery.

Read more here.

There are some great youtube videos out there as well, one shows tourists being pulled inside a building while the tourists are asking why are there sirens going off. Oh, tourists...
Here's one for example. Some people held on to their videos for a number of years before putting them online. I've always had a hard time discerning just where the twister's edges were, it almost seemed as if the entire wall cloud dropped to the surface.

My avatar happens to be a screen-shot of the radar picture just before the supercell entered Metro Nashville.

Wiki page (rather short, in my opinion)

Mom said that the weather forecasters the day before were brilliant. Almost to the hour when to expect storms. She said that they were told to “expect storms in the morning, followed with tornadoes in the mid-afternoon.” That's exactly what happened. This might explain the low death toll. However, the fact that the F3 crossed I-24 during rush hour...and didn't kill anyone, is still amazing.

Please, go check out those youtube videos, that tornado is a very important event in Nashville's history. Every person who was here for that remembers picture-perfect what they were doing that day. Just purely amazing. Too bad I was only 1 year of age. Thanks for reading!

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A Flock of Crows

By: Astrometeor, 4:23 AM GMT on April 08, 2014

Most people would look at me and assume automatically a weak but perhaps nerdy/geeky student. And, perhaps that is what I am. Just a normal, unassuming member of homo sapiens, a species that has wrought havoc on Earth not seen since the dinosaurs.

However, if one observed, and took note of my full range of personalities and intellect, then (hopefully) the observer would take me for a greater human. They should take me for someone higher than the proletariat, but not quite as high as the superior intellectuals, even though (like Raskolnikov from C&P) I dream that I am. Recall, if you will, that in Dostoevsky's infamous novel, Raskolnikov fails utterly in a vain attempt to prove that he is one of the higher order that he himself theorized. Part of his demise comes about from the wise policeman Porfiry Petrovich, who had read Raskol's article on the theory and connected the dots of the murder to Raskol, just was unable to prove it lacking the concrete evidence. Our dear Rodya would've escaped punishment if his nerves hadn't been his undoing, and his anxiety became the dagger that destroyed his whims on being one of the superior humans who could rise above the law.

So, my question to the world is thus: How does one truly prove that he (or she) is a great person? The common person's response is that a person is great if the results or acts performed by said person are great. Unfortunately, this presents a problem. How would one know if he was great if his occupation or environment acts a suppression to any potential greatness? Dilemma indeed. To the author (me), this is what motivates Raskol to commit murder. Rodya attempts to prove his greatness by murdering a louse, but miserably fails and sends him into a feverish madness that scares nearly everyone around him, including most readers.

Yet another question arises. In order to prove oneself, is murder the way to prove it as Raskol had attempted? To use a modern (okay, maybe not modern, more like recognized) and real case, still no. Look to the military, soldiers kill (murder) others, it is a part of their job. However, these acts don't make the soldiers great, as they are merely indoctrinated to kill upon issuance of command or to kill under specific circumstances. And, mind you, I'm not really taking into account the morality of these situations, as morals are loosely tied to greatness.

Greatness isn't something you prove – it is an attribution by others! (Italics are from BaltimoreBrian)

My quarrel with this is that in order to be successful, I have been told countless, innumerable times to have confidence in everything I do. Seeing as how I know that I am smart, and others comment on my intelligence from time-to-time, I would think that in order to display confidence, one would have to assume that he or she is a great person. That being for those who have an intellect of mine or higher, not trying to be arrogant. However, this cannot possibly work for everyone. If it did, if confidence was the ONLY requirement to being great, then a whole batch of lesser people, ignorant people, or just (pardon the crude language) plain stupid people would label themselves as 'great'. As all of us know, our fellows over in Congress do not deserve that designation.

That being said, I do see a positive side to this egotistical knowledge of oneself. Take, for instance, the man Steve Jobs. He's a recent example. Others would be John Rockefeller or Vanderbilt. The History Channel had a great series on these men, "The Men Who Built America". Now, back to Jobs. He HAD to have known that he was great. The self-knowledge showed in his tactics and his bold moves in the technology market. He was a rather crude and rude man (he was fired from Apple at one point in his career), but still he led the revolution in hand-held devices. He may not have had the best social skills, but nonetheless his hardline attitude and creativity generated major technological leaps and bounds and his work has inspired scores of others to follow in his footsteps.

Of course, Steve Jobs is a particular all in his own right and world. I suspect that others who will be remembered as 'great' know that they are. After all, even though one can act humble in front of others, the sub-conscious has a way of consistently nagging a person about certain thoughts, despite the effort one may attempt to exert over those thoughts.

So I ask the world, do I dare disturb the universe with my greatness? (Again, BaltimoreBrian's)

Sure, by all means. As long as the effect is positive for the world (which is actually not determined by others, because that is subjective but rather partially by history and partially by one's effects), then you should be good. And, I guess I should go a little bit more in-depth on that note in parentheses. What I mean is that good things aren't always noticed by the surrounding populace. Sometimes the good thing isn't noticed when the effector is still alive, sometimes the effect is labeled as "false" or "part of a controversy" when really there isn't any controversy at all. Often times the good deed done by a person is noticed by almost no one except for the exact few. There have been a few times during the TV series Cosmos where Neil DeGrasse Tyson spoke about persons whom I had never heard of.

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to debate me on this in the comments section below!

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***Special Note: The majority of this was written in November of 2013, and so I am a bit fuzzy on my reasoning on parts of this. Apologies in advance.***

Human Tendencies Miscellaneous Writing


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.