So, one thing about Tennessee is that, unfortunately, it is located in the lovely Tornado Alley. Apparently every March-May there is a large influx of storms that pass through, and something about the warm air mixing with incoming cold fronts, it is a breeding ground for tornadoes. (said from the girl with zero weather knowledge) Awesome. I hadn't even been at my new job a week and we already had to take refuge in our filing room because of a tornado warning. And then a week later it happened again - another great time with my coworkers waiting out the tornado warning in the filing room. At least I got smart that time and took my work in there with me. Ridiculous! As it turns out, JD loves living up here because he is one of those crazy stormchasers. He got his degree in meteorology, so he knows what he's doing and how to tell where they're going to be, but still - those things are scary. The idea of seeing a tornado in person really appeals to me (I'm a sucker for storm-wrecked devastation type movies and so forth) so naturally I'm intrigued and wanted to try it out. I got to go with him one day last month, but we were about 5-10 minutes too late and missed the tornado that touched down near Watertown, TN. He took me again a few days later, this time down near Birmingham, AL, in hopes of having more luck. It's about 3 hours down there so I brought reading supplies. For the most part, it's just like riding shotgun for any other road trip and therefore a bit on the boring side. It finally got exciting when we were down there and we parked underneath a huge rotating cloud...to which he later informed me that it was actually a bad idea for us to have stopped there since it could've dropped a funnel at any moment, but it was still cool to see.
The storm was moving pretty fast, so we quickly got back into the car and tried keeping up with it.
Unfortunately, we were blocked by the world's longest train that was passing through town. I thought JD was going to lose it as we waited, stuck by the train, while the storm trudged on in front of us.
As hard as he tried quickly navigating through the small towns, we never were able to catch up with it. We had to give up once we reached a lake that would take too long to drive around.
I did not get to see a tornado (sad face), but it was exciting to get a little peek into what they do. I will definitely be going again...and I WILL see a tornado!
Well, JD went down to Alabama last Wednesday to chase during the ridiculous tornado emergency. Seeing as there were no less than a gazillion tornadoes during the outbreak, I wasn't surprised to hear that he encountered one. He later found out it was an F5...so odds are it was doing some killer damage when he saw it. Here's the video he took of the massive storm from I-65 outside of Huntsville. He just got a little bit of footage before having to high tail it out of there to get out of its path.
I think it's great and exciting that he does this (and has been for years and years) buuuuut as long as he stays safe!
Hopefully I will have a snazzy tornado video to post soon! :)
"Cow! ... Another cow!"
"Actually I think that was the same one."
(I LOVE that movie!!)