Spring has Sprung

In this March 8, 2010 photo provided by John W. Cannon of the Elk City Daily News, a vehicle drives across the top of Foss Lake dam with a funnel cloud in the background Monday March 8, 2010, in Foss Lake, Okla. (AP Photo/Elk City Daily News, John W. Cannon via Google)

As we turned the calendar from February to March, we moved from meteorological Winter into meteorological Spring.  It’s true that astronomical Spring will not arrive until March 20 when the Vernal Equinox occurs, but we scientists are lazy and like to make things a little more simple, when possible.  And, fittingly, it appears Spring has arrived to many across the US.  Temperatures have warmed in recent days, especially across the eastern two-thirds of the country, where it was unseasonably cold for much of February. (More on this in a later – but not too much later – post.)  The past few days here in the nation’s capital have been gorgeous, with temperatures climbing to and above 60F with bright, sunny skies.  I even got a little golf in yesterday – with the sunburn to prove it.  (I always forget the first time out.)

In addition to warmer weather, Spring marks the beginning of severe weather/tornado season.  After a relatively quiet start (one tornado in all of February), it appears severe weather season is getting under way in the heartland.  Monday night, five homes were destroyed, and several others damaged, as a tornado moved through the tiny town of Hammon, OK about 15 miles North of Elk City in western OK.  The tornado was rated an EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Fortunately, it doesn’t appear anyone was killed or injured severely, although I haven’t found an article confirming this.  The tornado was captured in pictures and video – being on the ground for 40+ minutes will help the cause.  Below is a video taken in Hammon.

As someone who has storm chased before, I have my own feelings/beliefs/moral code or whatever you want to call it, regarding pictures and video of live tornadoes.  I’ll explain this further when a better example presents itself.  These guys saved themselves with the last line heard on the video.

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