Storms in the Heartland

Every year as the weather turns from winter into spring we are subjected to the collision of warm fronts and cold fronts across the heartland. The larger the difference between the temperatures along that line determines the severity. The warm air carries a lot of moisture and the cold air knocks the moisture out of the air. The movement of the air as the fronts collide can set off spinning motions and tornado's form. The normal time of the day for tornado's is later on in the day when the sun is out warming the clouds. Moisture from the ground is sucked up and the intensity builds. As the clouds reach higher altitudes, the moisture sometimes starts to slip out and can be dropped and then blown up several times and often hail forms within the clouds until the hail is so big it cannot continue to yo-yo and falls to the ground. Blown by the winds and varied by size, the hail can fall as small pea sized hail and cover the ground or can be as big as golf balls and rip roof shingles to pieces. The larger the storm the more likely to have hail. The occurrence of hail often is linked to tornado activity.
This last few days, that collision of fronts occurred here and we went from a deficit of rainfall for the month to what I can only describe as a soggy mess. We start April about an inch and a half ahead in moisture for the year.
There is not an absolute "daytime only" time frame for tornado's. As the people in Udall, KS can report they can rip through towns about midnight and catch a lot of folks in bed. The traditional direction for the tornado travel is from southwest to northeast but many places the fronts formed tornadoes and then backed up. At least one town had the same tornado go through at least twice. Springtime is the most usual time for tornadoes but there has been a recorded tornado in every month.
We have been very fortunate here to have the severe weather pass us up and we received only rain. We feel blesses with the moisture and after fighting the insurance company glad to have the solid roof overhead a couple of years ago. They have some new formula that takes the deductible off and depreciates the roof so that our $6,500 new roof cost me more than it cost them. The good news is we had the money to put a new one on. I'm not sure that everyone could say that.
After losing a house to a tornado in 1983, I watch the sky and listen for warnings. I would not want to live in a house without a basement or a "fraidy hole". I love Kansas but would be glad to have that one weather related item go away. I know that everywhere there are tornadoes and there are just more here in the Heartland.


  1. Holy smokes Mudman! Tell me you did not take that picture! If so, I'm impressed with your bravery and your camera skills, but a little afraid of you because you must be outta your freakin' mind.

    I'm just up the road a bit from Udall. It's on my list of little towns to visit nearby. I get a kick out of driving country roads and seeing smalltown America.

  2. Wow, some photo, will let you know about the photo index program soon as i talk to Rick.