A storm system brewing in the Rockies today might trigger an outbreak of deadly tornadoes in the nation's midsection on Friday, according to meteorologists. In case you missed it, read PopSci senior editor Seth Fletcher's piece about how tornadoes form — and how climate change may be making them worse.
The midwest already suffered plenty of severe weather this week, with 30 tornado reports and 12 deaths Tuesday night and into Wednesday. Is 2012 shaping up to be another 2011?
Last year was a banner year for tornadoes, with a deadly spate of twisters leveling homes and businesses throughout the midwest and south in the early part of the year. And, of course, the city of Joplin, Missouri. Fletcher recounted the damage to his hometown in our January issue, in which he also ponders whether global warming may have contributed to that tornado's incredible power. Check it out for a thorough description of how tornadoes form, and how a warming atmosphere may be making them worse. Meanwhile, fellow midwesterners, heed those tornado sirens.
Until people in the mid-west and southeast begin to think like Hobbits they are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Homes being rebuilt following a tornado should be rebuilt like Hobbit homes (partially underground with earthen berms to protect the structures inside) and then we wouldn't have to listen to all this nauseating stories again and again and again ad infinitum.
I'm tired of the way people just keep building homes like matchsticks and just waiting for the big bad Wolf to come along and huff and puff and blow their house down.
And he does. Again and again and again as everyone keeps rebuilding the same way that failed the first time.
A nation that can't learn from it's mistakes is doomed to repeat them--and fail.
I guess you missed the part about buried infrastructure, such as sewers, phone/internet lines, gas lines, etc. Also, I guess you missed the part about suburban sprawl and apartment complexes that are several stories tall that simply can NOT be built underground, at least not feasibly.
Hold on, I've got an idea: Why don't you think about the logistics of an idea before you spout off an angry epithet about an entire region of your own country, which, it seems, you don't seem to know an awful lot about?
And before you start screaming about "Oh, that only applies to cities, tornadoes never hit cities", think back to just this weekend, when Branson got hit, and last year, when Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa, Alabama got hit. Those are three large cities that got hit in less than one year's time.
I've lived through several tornadoes, and thankfully, my home was never hit. I watched one spin up directly over my house, then watch it tear apart the city I live in.
Do you really think that it is practical for everyone in the mid-west to live underground?
I have lived in tornado alley most my life. The odds of my home being destroyed by a tornado in its 30 year lifetime is something like 1 in 10,000.
Unless I build my home completely underground, a EF5 tornado will destroy it despite any "hardening" efforts. Imagine you neighbor's half-ton pickup truck being hurled at your house at 100+ miles an hour.
So, do I spend millions (that I don't have) on building a bunker to protect all of my stuff from something that will most likely never come? Or should I spend $2,000 creating a small storm shelter to protect what I cannot replace and buy insurance to protect the stuff I can?
If you live underground to protect yourself from tornados, you either have more money than you know what to do with, or you are an idiot.
Yep just spout the extreme event and ride of on yer high horse. Steel reinforced concrete would help reduce damages and if it's just little old F1 then maybe the beer won't even spill. Stick homes just keep filling up landfills and raising insurance rates due to those that believe the cure is better than prevention.
Or, I don't know... move? If I lived in a disaster prone area I'd be out of there in a heartbeat. It's gotta be cheaper than just rebuilding every year. What's a few tough years of accommodation to a new city/town next to peace of mind, and, you know, a lower chance of freaking dying?
"It's gotta be cheaper than just rebuilding every year."
Who is rebuilding thier home every year? I've been living in the middle of tornado alley for 20 years. I don't know a single person who has had their home destroyed by a tornado... EVER.
"Steel reinforced concrete would help reduce damages and if it's just little old F1 then maybe the beer won't even spill"
What's the difference? If your house is built to code, you are protected from an F0. What happens when your F1 house is hit by an F2 tornado? It will be destroyed the same as your neighbor's F0 house. You will still need a storm shelter (if you want to live through an F2+) and insurance (if you want to rebuild after your home is destroyed by an F2+).
The difference is that in the end, you would have spent twice as much as your neighbor to protect your "stuff" and weren't any safer in your uber house.
actually a cheaper alternative is a dome home...that is until the debris flies into it...toys, branches, trees...maybe a semi truck.
I heard on the TV today, over 90 tornadoes touches down with this storm. My heart and prayers go out to all those who suffered!
Science sees no further than what it can sense.
Religion sees beyond the senses.
The Mid-West is pointless, it is completely bare now eventually that entire section of the country will be a beautiful flat land with no inhabitant. I agree with gizmowiz they need hobit holes.
Like earthquakes in So Cal...1 out of 100,000 are damaged and the morons start talking about $1M hardening efforts for homes..
That is like requiring each car to have a $2000 low impact bumper to resolve the risk of having to replace a $200 bumper
When it costs $30,000 to replace a trailer or $150,000 to replace the house NEW...
They make it sound like the houses are blown away year after year..
Then there is the "climate change" comment...now that "manmade global warming" is being exposed as a hoax, they are changing their reference to "climate change"...
If you research it, climate change is constant and the ice has been melting for the last 14,000 years (before man was even civilized).
The claim that the tornadoes are being caused by climate change when we barely have 100-150 years of data, and maybe 50 years of good data is criminal within the scientific community.