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Old 04-03-2009, 12:02 AM
 
3,384 posts, read 4,585,547 times
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Well... does anyone has a map/ database on WHERE tornados had hit before in this area?

That would've give some clues....
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sedriskell View Post
There's really no where in the Valley that is "in the line of fire" tornadoes strike randomly and without notice.
In my post, I said "line of fire" regarding storms in general and not exclusively tornadic activity. In the eight years I've lived here it has been my observation that storms (particularly the strong ones) seem to follow a general path. Several paths, actually.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsp4ever View Post
In my post, I said "line of fire" regarding storms in general and not exclusively tornadic activity. In the eight years I've lived here it has been my observation that storms (particularly the strong ones) seem to follow a general path. Several paths, actually.
Lol, I know what you meant. There are areas that seem to get hit more than others due to certain bodies of water, mountains, and urban development.

The reason that most of these storms follow a general path is because certain places have certain conditions that allow these storms to grow and produce bad weather. Not to say that one can't just pop outta no where and go BOOM! Cause they can... just look at OK.

The reason that downtown Huntsville gets hit so much is because 1) Monte Sano allows for storms to grow to great heights very quickly and become stronger 2) Downtown produces a lot of heat... which also allows for growth of the storms 3) The river is is VERY close by, and it is relatively shallow, which means that it is warmer than most rivers and allows for a more humid environment to feed storms.

Do you know why Decatur doesn't see a lot of BAD weather like other parts of the Valley do? Because it's surrounded by water on almost three sides. Tornadoes are like a dog infected with rabies, they hate water and tend to stay away from it.

Cullman sees a lot because the ridge and valley topography it's located in. These valley literally funnel the storms, so this is the most literal example of a line of fire.

Ever wondered why Florence seems to get it worse than Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia? Same reason as Decatur. Florence is north of the river, and most of the bad weather is gonna from the NW to the SE. The storm hits Florence and has all of its fun after it eats up all that moisture and heat from the city, then BOOM it sees the river and has a nervous breakdown and becomes a bit passive till it gets just west of Decatur.

Athens gets struck too, mainly because it's pretty flat up there, which allows wind to just sweep across the land, heat to rise in an unimpeded and pretty even manor. Plus, it has an enormous/shallow lake south of the city to get moisture from.

The Tennessee Valley really (pardon the pun) provides the perfect storm for Tornado creation.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:48 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,365 posts, read 51,778,414 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HB2HSV View Post
Well... does anyone has a map/ database on WHERE tornados had hit before in this area?

Tornado History Project - Tornado Map
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Athens, AL
205 posts, read 358,280 times
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To address the construction end of the question, I would suggest building a house with a basement and/or building a house of ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms). These homes are highly resistant to tornados (as well as fires). The whole house is virtually a shelter. Cost for these are a bit higher up front, but it has benifits in labor and time involved in the construction process.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
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Based on my personal experience, if you hear the train sound, it may be too late to do much.

I've seen two close enough to be "in the path" and didn't hear the "train sound" either time-- but both were smaller F1-2 tornados. Maybe the really big ones are louder?
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Alabama!
4,968 posts, read 10,189,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
A very interesting map, Charles, and exactly what we need, but woefully incomplete.

Where are the tornadoes of 1974 that crossed the river and wiped out a trailer park south of Athens? One that my mom saw from her kitchen window just south of Decatur that took out part of an apartment complex that same year? Several small ones that have hit Lawrence County over the years? And the big one in 1989 (I think that was the year) that hit the Airport Road area?

April 4 is the 35th anniversary of the big 1974 outbreak across west, central and north Alabama.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:15 AM
 
1,349 posts, read 1,911,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southlander View Post
A very interesting map, Charles, and exactly what we need, but woefully incomplete.

Where are the tornadoes of 1974 that crossed the river and wiped out a trailer park south of Athens? One that my mom saw from her kitchen window just south of Decatur that took out part of an apartment complex that same year? Several small ones that have hit Lawrence County over the years? And the big one in 1989 (I think that was the year) that hit the Airport Road area?

April 4 is the 35th anniversary of the big 1974 outbreak across west, central and north Alabama.
they are there, you have to pick the year from the drop-down and the location to narrow it down. Charles gave you the timeframe of 1950-2007.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:49 AM
 
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I can atest to the fact that tornados DO sound like freight trains off in the distance........ just a low rumbling/whirring sound.......... as it gets closer it gets louder as if a train is coming closer to you........

I was at a campground west of Cleveland, OH when I was little with my dad. We were sitting around the campfire, it was drizzling out. We knew there were storms in the area, but we didn't feel or see any threat from them. While we were sitting there my dad stood up and looked through the trees and listened really closely. I was PETRIFIED of tornados at the time and I HEARD that far off train sound and I was PRAYING to God that it WAS just a train (There WERE train tracks within a distance that you could hear them)............... I kept listening and my dad kept watching....... all of a sudden he was yelling at us to get in the tent (I know, bad choice, but we HAD no other choice).......... from my dads account he said that all he saw was just TONS of debris coming through the woods towards us.........

As the funnel came closer it was just like a train coming closer and closer until it was right over top of us. It was EXTREMELY windy, the top of the tent was bent down all the way to the ground from the wind (which meant it was hitting us in the back of the heads as we laid flat on the ground)....... debris was hitting the outside of our tent (thank god nothing cut through it).........

After it was all said and done we got in our car and drove around the campsite to see if there was any damage. We talked to a few other campers who had seen the funnel. Apparently it wasn't a full blown tornado, it was just the funnel and hadn't completely touched down yet. But it was developed enough that it sounded like a train....... The funnel headed RIGHT for OUR campsite, passed over us and then touched down AFTER it'd already passed us. (and of course the sirens didn't go off until it was passed us also!)

Needless to say I was TERRIFIED of tornados after that (Not so much anymore).....

BUt yes, they DO sound like trains off in the distance, and it sounds louder AS it gets closer
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:26 PM
 
298 posts, read 433,630 times
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I had a tornado go right over my house one time (it didn't fully touch down, it just partially dropped out of the clouds.) I saw the trees outside spin around, but it didn't sound like a train to me at any point. However, maybe that had something to do with being inside instead of outside? I have never been as close to a tornado as SubaruFiend, and hope I never am.
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