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What is a PDS Tornado Watch, you ask? I (Monica) did not know either. It is a “Particularly Dangerous Situation” tornado watch — a rare severe event which, according to the National Weather Service, means that “long-lived intense tornadoes are likely” and they are issued “when in the opinion of the forecaster, the likelihood of significant events is boosted by very volatile atmospheric conditions.”The weather forecasts in the southern Plain states on Sunday into Monday were ominous and the storm cells spawned approximately twenty tornados that damaged buildings and produced heavy rain, but there were no severe injuries, prompting some people on Tuesday to declare the storms a “bust.”Meanwhile, torrential rain and flooding pounded the region on Tuesday as the storms made their way east into Missouri and Illinois and Indiana overnight, and today the eastern part of the country will begin to be impacted.
Some school districts in Oklahoma canceled classes Monday, and Tinker Air Force Base relocated several planes to other military installations in anticipation of storm damage, while state workers in several Oklahoma counties were sent home early.
On Tuesday flash floods caused numerous problems in Tulsa and Oklahoma City prompting road closures, including portions of Interstate 40 and swift-water rescues, and in southern Kansas as well.
Why This Matters: Any storm this serious in which no one is injured is not a bust, it’s a great day. And people who think tornadoes and hurricanes are the “real deal” should be aware that actually flash flooding and storm surge are just as dangerous or more so than high winds. As if we needed more evidence that our storms are getting stronger and more dangerous and much more disruptive. Fortunately, the most severe tornados his sparsely populated areas. But to those who lost homes and valuables, the fact that there was not more damage is small consolation. Good for all the weather forecasters — public and private — for spreading the word, and kudos to the people in those communities who took the PDS warnings seriously. As we head into hurricane season on June 1, and with these severe storms now heading east, we need to take those warnings seriously because there will be more severe storms this year and beyond.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer As the 2020 hurricane season draws to a close, scientists are reflecting on the devastating records set by this year’s storms. 2020 had the most named storms ever recorded, ten of which were classified as “rapidly intensifying,” a record which occurred only in two other years, 1995 and 2010. […]
The 2019-2020 Australian bushfire season burnt more than 18 million hectares across the country, destroyed more than 2,000 homes, and claimed the lives of 34 people and about one billion animals. The devastation was gutwrenching and a wake-up call to the entire world that climate change is our greatest existential threat. Yet as fire crews […]
by Ashira Morris, ODP Contributing Writer Hurricane Iota, the 30th named storm this year, made landfall in Nicaragua Monday night as a Category 4 storm. As it continues to move across Central America, it could still bring “life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds, flash flooding and landslides,” according to the National Hurricane Center. Iota was the […]
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