Who do we call to find out if this was tornado?

bo_berrinJune 2, 2007

Woke up last night to the sound of my roof and ceilings popping and creaking, with the telltale "freight train" roar. It sounded like it was far enough away that I didn't think we were *in* a tornado, but definitely close to one. My son complained of his ears popping, I'm guessing from the change in pressure?

When I went outside to survey the damage at daylight, the metal roof on our stone house was surprisingly intact, but two trees were damaged. How can I tell if this damage was from straight-line winds or from a twister? Am I supposed to report this to some weather-recording people somewhere?

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bo berrin. You post made the hair on my arms, neck and legs creep. I was caught in a tornado once while driving in my car. One of the things that strikes true to me is the ear popping. I felt like my ears were being sucked out. I was not able to open my car doors to get out and crawl into the ditch because of the change in air pressure.

You may want to check with a local meteorologist/news channel, meterological society or NOAA's National Weather Service. Let us know what you found out.
Take care and stay safe this tornado season.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 8:51PM
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We were in the path of a small tornado yesterday around 9:00 AM. We experienced some damage to our home, but not like others in the neighborhood. We reported it to the National Weather Service and they still are saying damage was caused by wind gusts of around 60 MPH due to Barry.

Listen, I've been in hurricanes and these winds had to be over 100 MPH and were swirling. Our tree cutters said he saw evidence that trees were twisted rather than just being blown over by straight, strong winds.

For some reason, they're not admitting we had a tornado even though people heard "the train" and damage was sporadic.. hitting one home, skipping a couple and then damaging another further down the block. Wind gusts don't do that.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 9:03PM
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Wow--your stories are alarming. I went to the National Weather Service's website and didn't find much info on how to contact them directly, other than snail mail. We've already taken care of one of the trees and will do the other this week. The damage isn't enough to call our insurance provider, so I guess it just ends here without us ever really knowing for sure.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2007 at 10:13PM
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In 2000, we had a 'micro-burst' go off over our house. It sounded like a train was coming through our house, the pressure changes were horrific and the air turned green. I yelled for the kids to get to the basement. It damaged most the houses in our neighborhood, included high winds, hail, rain and all the homes had to have roofs, siding, windows replaced or repaired. There was damage to cars from the golfball size hail and electric was out for days.

We thought it was a tornado, but they told us it wasn't, but a 'micro-burst'.

We are just now getting the mold remediated out of our attic, apparently left over damage that we didn't realize was going on.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 11:26AM
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One of the determining factors is looking at the damage. If it appears all the debris(tree brnches, buildings pieces etc.) were blown in the same direction then not a tornado. Tornados are rotational so you will damage that appears to be from multiple directions.
They also look at radar images from the time.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 9:48AM
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Check with your local EMA.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 4:06PM
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You can go to Weather Underground and get very detailed historical data for your zip code. It includes wind speed, gusts, pressure, precipitation, etc. for a given date in history that you choose.

Go to Weather Underground. At the top of the page next to Fast Forcast put in your zip code. At the next screen you'll see current forecast. Toward the bottom of that page you'll see multiple local locations in your area that are designated as Personal Weather stations. Just below each Personal Weather Station location is a small line "Historical Weather Data". Locate the Personal Weather Station nearest your home, then click on the Historical Weather Data link below it. At the next screen put in the date at the top that you want weather history for. You'll get lots of info!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 9:05AM
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