Late night, early morning thoughts.
Not much to add to what I wrote on Tuesday. The tornadoes expected today developed across a wide area and the line is on the move tonight. The image above shows where it will be late Thursday and while green is a nice color for St. Patrick’s Day .. red on this map is never a good color to see ever. Let’s call it the Danger Zone.
Everyone under the red zone is in danger. Loop below.
I stayed offline today mostly to get some things done and to avoid the hype and wait to see how things play out in real time. At times I just looped and watched the jagged line sweeping across the South sending various meteorological torture to an area still trying to clean up from last year’s hurricane season before dealing with newly named storms of the next Hurricane Season and the reality of Spring bringing Severe Weather too soon to an area all too familiar with destructive weather.
There were a lot of tornadoes today across a wide area, fast moving spin ups and some lingered too long as opposed to one or two long tracking EF5 tornadoes. As things calm down tonight in the Deep South the Coastal South East of the Appalachian Mountains try to go to sleep and not obsess too much about what tomorrow may bring. I’m blogging because I owe y’all a blog and it’s how I process things.
#1 Check out that tightly wound up Low Pressure.
#2 To the East you see the triangular shape of the clouds.
#3 You can see where tornadoes could form at some point.
That’s an impressive signature.
Let me make it clear, this is no surprise event descending out of the blue. Many schools were cancelled, and others will send kids home early tomorrow. All Covid testing and vaccination appointments were suspended today and are being rescheduled for Friday in the Raleigh area. That’s how serious they are taking it. I was at Belk briefly to return something and the lady behind the counter started talking fast, nervously about what Thursday would bring and how she should prepare. I was impressed she knew what level concern we were at and what problems this weather could bring; old timers in these parts know well what early Spring tornadoes can do to the Carolina are and especially this part of the Piedmont. Charlotte will deal with it first, South Carolina and North Georgia will feel the impact as we watch in real time to see how it evolves. Then it’s our turn……
There are just so many factors and the timing and severity of the event is dependent on various factors that are so fluid that even the local experts cannot say for sure how it will play out. They can say for sure that we are in the danger zone for extremely severe weather of one kind, or many kinds from strong thunderstorms to hail to STRAIGHT LINE WINDS across a WIDE AREA and the always concerning possibilities of Tornadoes. The reason I capitalized straight line winds above is because if you get a long system moving rapidly and that line holds together it can slam into many areas across a wide span of miles bringing down trees, power lines and hopefully no Church Steeples. I’ve seen that in this area… things just take flight and slam into something down the road or a huge oak comes crashing down and a line of pines can cripple a community.
But most of all in the Carolinas, especially North Carolina, you are never sure what you will get until you get it. It’s like a box of unmarked chocolates with no warning on the box that some may have Red Hot Chili Peppers inside just when you were expecting caramel centers. There is no telling for sure as of tonight as weather in this neck of the woods always evolves in real time be it snow storms or hurricanes or severe weather and tornadoes. In the Winter the Fronts get stuck at the VA NC border and we watch as winter happens to our North, in the summer we wait to see where the heaviest rain and weather from a landfalling Hurricane happens and how far inland impacts will go and in the Spring when a Warm Front is pushing North rapidly as a cold front is also approaching we wait and see how far North it gets into North Carolina. Hopefully this line does not stop and visit South of the Border, because it would get really messy and we do so love our Iconic Tourist Spot.
So we do what we need to do:
Charge our phones, phone batteries, laptops and tablets; yet never forget the old iPod often used mostly while flying in the days before Covid happened. Keep them charged, do not fully charge your phone then spend 2 hours talking to Aunt Martha and Uncle Ted to assure them you are fine only to find out the power went out and your phone was on 8%. Keep them charged fully.
Know where to go in case of a tornado or serious weather… a basement or a reinforced room such as a bathroom or interior closet… only professional chasers should chase and if you are standing by the window keep one eye on the sky and one eye on the radar… the local networks will be online all day covering it. Download your Apps for local coverage, yet keep those phones fully charged and don’t use the battery up as if you lose power it may take a while to have it restored.
MAKE SURE YOUR WEATHER ALERTS ON YOUR PHONE ARE TURNED ON!
If you own a weather radio, use it.
Put your car in the garage or near the house and do not park it under a large tree!
Know where your valuables are such medicine, money and diapers if you have a toddler. Priorities!
If things get wonky fast let your family know where you are staying, if things stay calmer than expected and your area is not directly impacted let everyone in your Family WhatsApp group know you are okay. Stay home and off the roads, trees will most likely be down somewhere and crews will be out trying to assess the damage and do what they can to restore power. Really hoping everyone will be okay and we are just in for a nasty ride, but until I see how the line develops tomorrow morning I won’t know deep down what I think. Thanks to my weather expert friends for reaching out and sending me their thoughts and concerns.
I can say Charlotte may be under the gun or the Sandhills are more problematic than Raleigh and I wonder as always when Raleigh’s luck will run out because it’s been a while since we had a significant severe weather event across a wide area. Greensboro is often in it when Raleigh isn’t yet every event is unique, different and dangerous.
I’ll update Thursday late in the morning when we see how the warm front is doing, if it’s raining or it remains foggy, if Cold Air Damming begins once again to happen (it happened a few times this week but will it be a factor tomorrow…) and if Tornadoes are happening or if it seems Straight Line Winds w of let’s say 60 to 80 MPH are possible and trust me Carolina Pines don’t do well in those conditions nor do large heavy oak trees.
Always Mother Nature shows us what is coming down the road… it’s not looking pretty even if the image above is beautiful to look at it’s not so beautiful when you are on the ground watching everything go wild all about you.
I’ll update late Thursday morning,
@bobbistorm on Twitter and Instagram
Ps.. Remember I’m a tropical girl who always prefers dealing with hurricanes to these multiple unknown entities with too many variables. While I have a sincere fascination with hail I’d prefer a hurricane any day to a tornado. Yet, again I remind you these sort of straight line winds moving fast of strong Tropical Force Winds (65 MPH) can do real damage and can be deadly so take precautions to stay safe when the storm arrives and don’t be lulled into a false sense of reality when the morning is quiet or foggy because trust me it’s coming.
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