The Joplin Tornado: one part Oregon air, one part Havana air… Presto!

Simon bar Sinister and Natasha have outdone themselves in getting the weather to turn deadly.

Unseasonably hot and wet air is crossing into the plains from the south while unseasonably cold and dry air continues to be supplied from the West Coast, creating these monster tornadoes. Fresno, here in California, is in an inland valley that should be very hot now, but it is very cool here as another wave of nice cold air heads towards the plains. So this late tornado season is not over yet.


Riding out the Joplin tornado in the walk-in fridge of a Fastrip mini mart. Survivors include those who had shelter in a hospital, a church — various parts of town. Many were killed. The most insane death toll from a tornado in over 50 years. Those hoping to escape by car were also killed. The hard hit hospitals apparently lost nobody, despite the fact the hospitals were multi-story structures exposed to all the wind. Almost everyone at the hospitals were hit by flying glass, but nobody died. Wind estimates were revised upward from 120 to 200 mph. The tornado was short lived but moved across town at a snail’s pace doing 7 miles in its 20 minutes on the ground, giving every bean in the grinder a fine grind. A tornado of equal strength occurred in Oklahoma the next day, running over mostly farm fields, but killed at least 3 people in a small cluster of homes. Absolutely guaranteed all victims had found proper shelter by normal tornado standards, but there’s no real way to assure your shelter was adequate while an EF-5 tornado passes over.

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