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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 03/15/2008

News & Notes: Atlanta Tornado and More

By Jason Samenow

By Jason Samenow  | March 15, 2008; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  News & Notes  
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Next: News & Notes: Southeast Tornado Outbreak

Comments

Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are simply a part of life from February to April in the Deep South....if you live down there you simply have to get used to it. The region, during the early spring, is in a prime clash zone between advancing warm, moist air from Gulf and cold, dry air from the northwest. In addition, they don't have the Appalachians like we do on the East Coast to cut off the dry slot from the southwest that often triggers intense squall lines.

Every spring, the media gets worked up over storms in the Deep South.....you would think that by now TV and the papers would be used to it, and stop making a big deal out of it. I'm not saying that the loss of life and property should be ignored (the suffering, of course, is real), but writing up the same stories every spring is not going to change anthing.....it is a fact of life.

Oh, and by the way....interesting article from NOAA on the 2007-2008 winter....thanks for posting it. So much for the global-warming crowd....it doesn't give Gore & Co. much credibility. The people at NOAA are true professionals (I know...I worked there many years myself). They talk facts, not politics.

Posted by: Mike | March 15, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Mike, although tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are a part of life in the South this time of the year, as you point out, I think you're completely missing the newsworthiness of the Atlanta tornado. This is a tornado that touched down in the middle of a major urban area, and hit two major sports venues, a convention center, and the headquarters of one of the largest cable news networks in the world. This was not a typical tornado rolling through rural Georgia, it was in fact what meteorologists have long feared: a tornado rampaging through a downtown area with little warning and little chance of getting people out of harms' way. Luckily in this case it wasn't a total worst-case scenario, but it was still headline-worthy.

Posted by: Andrew Freedman, Capital Weather Gang | March 15, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

More tornado warnings in Atlanta now... second (somewhat rare) High Risk of the season from SPC today.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | March 15, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Some of the warnings from Atlanta today are ominous again:

TORNADO EMERGENCY FOR THE ATLANTA METROPOLITAN AREA!!! THIS IS A TORNADO EMERGENCY!! DOPPLER RADAR INDICATES A LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE TORNADO MOVING THROUGH THIS HIGHLY POPULATED AREA. PEOPLE IN THE WARNED AREA SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE TO ANOTHER PLACE OF SAFETY... SEEK SHELTER IMMEDIATELY IN YOUR PRESENT LOCATION!!!

BASEBALL SIZE HAIL HAS BEEN REPORTED IN ATLANTA WITH THIS STORM. TAKE SHELTER NOW!

And the Airport reported a tornado:

KATL 152011Z 26023G39KT 9SM +FC -TSRA SCT042CB BKN050 BKN065 24/15 A2955 RMK TORNADO B09 8N MOV E AO2 PK WND 23039/2005 TSB1958 PRESRR TORNADO B07 8N MOV E FRQ LTG OHD-NW-N TS NE-OHD-SW MOV NE CB DSNT W-NW P

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | March 15, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

washingtonpost.com food blogger Kim O'Donnel reporting in from the Midtown neighborhood of Atlanta: We just returned home from being in the middle of two bands of hail, size of marbles. Thunder, lightning followed by sunshine, now skies are darkening again. Lots of power outages.

Posted by: Kim O'Donnel | March 15, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Kim-- Thanks for the eyewitness report!

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | March 15, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Growing up in Atlanta, the severe weather every spring was always unsettling and ever present. The sky would change to unearthly greens and yellows and the clouds would swirl black in cones that seemed so close to the ground. I can remember being scared to death next door at my best friend's house and wishing I could go home. But I was too afraid to cross the fifty yards of solid hail to get there. Back in those days, we didn't have the timely weather warnings like now. You could feel those afternoons when the air was heavy, thick, all wrong and unstable and just wierd. While I lived there, two twisters hit within a mile of my home (northeast of Atlanta) and after I moved up here a tornado took out a whole neighborhood nearby and areas near my church and high school in DeKalb County. These areas still don't look the same even years after the storm. I always wondered why the tornados never seemed to hit downtown... I guess this new outbreak brings home the scary reality of the potential damage from bad weather outbreaks in densely populated areas.

Posted by: missy | March 15, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

About that fear of a major tornado hitting a downtown area of a major city. One of the cable channels (National Geographic, History, something) did a docudrama about a tornado hitting Dallas. It was fiction, but based on scientific studies, estimates, etc. One of the biggest problems would be all the falling glass from the skyscrapers.

Posted by: ep | March 15, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

This tornado hit during the midst of the SEC basketball tournament. It caused a good deal of damage at the Georgia Dome.

Posted by: El Bombo | March 17, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

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