Navigation

Severe weather check-in: May 2018

May is bringing things besides spring flowers! Looks like the Midwest has a big swath of angry weather crossing it — all the way from Texas and Oklahoma over to Iowa. Saying big prayers and sending good for folks like @Nemo88!

A broken line of severe thunderstorms is erupting in southwestern portions of Kansas and western Oklahoma. One thunderstorm between Wichita and Dodge City, Kansas is showing signs that it may be a long-lived damaging wind producer across south-central Kansas with an occasional embedded tornado. 

Tornado watches have been issued for a sizable swath of Kansas, western Oklahoma, the eastern Texas panhandle and parts of northwest Texas until 10 p.m. CDT. This includes the cities of Wichita, Topeka and Wichita Falls.

I've been in the path of bad storms several times, sometimes better prepared than others. I've learned a lot about prepping ahead of a storm from other members of this community.

AAFA has a great blog post with 

Are you in the path of these storms or other severe weather? Have you been affected by severe weather? Let us know how you're doing!

49
221

Comments 49

  • LK

    Yes, in eastern Kansas we have a Flash Flood Watch until tomorrow evening and a Tornado Watch until the wee hours of the morning. Springtime in the Midwest!

    Which brings up a perplexing question.  Why so some places like Ohio, Chicago, and places further East consider themselves the 'Midwest' when they are clearly in the eastern half of the USA?  We lived near Chicago for years so I know of that of which I speak.    Having grown up in western Missouri, which we always called the Midwest, it seems like these other places are more Great Lakes or (can I coin new term?    )  'Mideast'?  Thoughts or other non-serious musings like mine?  

  • K8sMom2002

    That's a good point, Lisa! 

    I am sending good (and gentle breeze type) your way! May you not have flood waters lapping at your doors or winds blowing you away! 

    What sort of plan do you have in place in case of bad weather?

  • LK

    Posted this in the Daily Roll Call thread, too.

    Had an interesting evening weather-wise.  Our area has a Flash Flood Watch until tomorrow evening and a Tornado Watch until just after midnight.  To add to the fun, we just spent the last hour or so in the basement because the Tornado sirens went off and there was a Tornado Warning for about an hour.  Haven't watched the local news yet to see if there is much damage but I heard of some power lines down and 80 mph winds.  At least one tornado was spotted by trained weather spotters.  

    Thankfully our extended family in the area here is safe.  Hopefully everyone else is, too.

    Hope you all have a peaceful night!  

  • LK

    Thanks, Cynthia!  Our Emergency Plans for severe weather mainly concern tornadoes or severe thunderstorms.  We are not in any sort of flood area so don't have to worry about that.  

    We have a small room in our basement where we go when tornadoes are in the area.  I keep in touch with our nearby family to make sure they are aware of the weather situation and check in with them after we get the all clear to make sure they are safe. 

  • Shea

    So scary LK!!! Be safe!!! Tornadoes freak me out :/    And I dont know why tbey call the "midwest" that name– maybe because when they named it that was when they first were expanding west early in our country, and it just stuck? 

  • LK

    Shea,  Your explanation makes a lot of sense!  Thanks for the suggestion! 

    Guess I'm just curious as to why my area and those places both consider themselves the 'Midwest'.  Just wondering!   

  • K8sMom2002

    Lisa, ugh on the tornadoes! Basements are the safest place to be, our local weatherman says … but south Georgia has basements in short supply!

    Glad you made it through the night without any damage. How do the horses do with all of the severe weather? 

  • LK

    Cynthia,  Thanks for asking about the horses!  You know how much I enjoy talking about them!    

    Usually the horses do okay in severe weather.  Certain things like hail and very gusty winds tend to make them more skittish.    

  • Pljohns

    This is the first house we've had with a basement-all of the others had garages because the land was so flat.  Here in b'ham, there are too many hills NOT to have a basement-can't find a garage/ranch house anywhere. 

    If it gets really bad, we hit the basement too.  Half of our basement is finished and that's where all of DH's network servers and computers are so as long as we have internet, we are right where we need to be for information (and the TV too).  That area has easy access to the generator too so if we are without power for an extended time, at least I can use/charge my neb. DH has a HUGE oak desk that weighs a ton so if push comes to shove, we can all get under it but that particular level of our house is totally underground so we're pretty safe.

    I don't do well in weather like that-several years ago we had bad weather and something just told me to leave work and get out of the building.  I had been on that job for 2 weeks.  I had enough time to get home (about 10 min) before a tornado slammed into the building-I had a car on my desk and a power pole through my office window.  Ever since then, I don't do well in that kind of weather.

  • LK

    Oh, my goodness Lynn!  I am so grateful you listened to that still small voice that told you to head for home!  Glad you did so you could be with us here!!  

  • Shea

    Whoa that is freaky PLJohns! I am glad you and LK have basements–we dont get basements here in FL because of the sea level, but we do have tornado warnings. I have never been affected by them, I guess Id have Tommy and I hide in our guest bathroom it has no windows and is central in the home. We could lay in the tob with a mattress over us. I remember doing drills in school– and since we do virtual school from home now, I should probably do them with Tommy. I already do emergency prep and how to call for help lessons– so I can incorporate it. I do get weather alerts on my phone, so we have some time and warning. 

     

  • Marie E Natzke

    Lisa,Shea Cynthia,Lynn,PINKLADYCHA,

    I looked it up about Chicago and the Midwest.  Long explaination and many different names, but some of it is based on the mountain ranges, rivers etc.

    We had a microburst in the south side of Chicago. Some homes lost their roofs…but I don't think anyone was hurt.  Most homes around here have some type of basement.  I saw the cloud go over us but it looked like it was heading out over the lake,  we had a lot of rain where I live in Chicago but not sever weather.  We are to have more rain tonight but no severe weather….so the weathermen say.  It cooled off some but still not as cold as it was.  Had to run the air conditioner last night humidity shot up yesterday with the weather….oh well there was a grass fire in Alsip from the trains going over the rails casuing sparks but they were able to get it out.

  • LK

    Marie, Thanks for the geographical information!  

    Glad no one was hurt in either the micro burst or the grass fires!

  • Shea

    Yes thanks Marie, the mystery of the midwest name is getting clearer but craziness on the weather and fires. Im glad you are safe!

  • K8sMom2002

    Marie, glad you escaped the worst of the bad weather, and I hope that things settle down — wind and fire are never good! Thanks for the tidbits about why the Midwest got its name! There's a book I want to read about Chicago called the Third Coast (I think that's the name.) I think it's super interesting that much of Chicago was elevated — I saw that on a documentary, and it was neat to see.

    Lynn, ugh on the near miss on that past tornado, but thank goodness! A car on your desk and a power pole through your window?!

    And it sounds like you are set up well for emergencies! Nice!

    Shea, I think that's an excellent idea about the drill. Could you incorporate it in a science lesson about the weather? He seems to love science (this kid is going places, just you watch!), and that might give him some context.

    Two other tips I saw on The Weather Channel … thick blankets might be easier to lug in the bathroom than a mattress, and bike helmets are a way to help prevent head injury from flying objects. Those folks are all about preparation — who would have thought about bike helmets? But that could be something you buy and store in your bathroom cupboard so you didn't have to scrounge for them.

    Saw the weather was going to be kind of iffy for the center of the country again today … saying prayers and sending good gentle everyone's way.

  • Melissa G

    We have had a lot of nasty thunderstorms with high winds and hail rolling through the area over the last week. How is everyone doing in the path of these storms? Everyone ok?

  • Pljohns

    We got a lot of thunder and lightening tonight but not much rain.  It poured for about 30 min and that was it.  We’re supposed to get nothing but rain the next 4 days though.  UGH my lungs won’t like that

  • Marie E Natzke

    We ended up with about 4 inches of rain from the last 3 days today and yesterday were good no rain and we are only half way through May

  • Melissa G

    I have no idea how much rain we have gotten so far but by Sunday we are supposed to have gotten close to 7". I am so over the rain. 

  • Melissa G

    There have been a lot of downed trees due to the ground being saturated from all the rain. We have been fortunate we have not lost power. 

  • Marie E Natzke

    We had heavy rain again today and now the Des Plaines River is over its bank. Some areas are flooding. 

    hope everyone else is doing ok with this weather

  • LK

    Hope you stay dry Marie.  We had thunderstorms and a lot of rain but so far so good.

    I agree with Marie and hope everyone is doing okay.

  • K8sMom2002

    Ugh, Marie … not good on the flooding! Stay safe!

    We've got rain for the next week. 90% chance.

  • LK

    Hope all the rain and dampness does not get everyone's lungs aggravated!

    Our forecast this week is for hot and humid days.  Feels like late June instead of May.  Thank the Good Lord for air conditioning!!  

  • K8sMom2002

    My lungs want a new forecast, too! And ugh, saw this AM that our first Invest of the season has been identified. 

    On Wunderground, Dr. Jeff Masters had this blog post: 

    This SHOULD stay at most a tropical storm and not a full-blown hurricane.  Much of the tracking now says panhandle of Florida (our worst case scenario for a major hurricane), but it's days out, so who knows? I know enough to count my candles, make sure I have matches, and rinse out my beverage coolers that I store water in. 

    But hopefully this won't develop and will fizzle out. C'mon, windshear!

  • LK

    Cynthia, For us Midwesterners, what is an "Invest"?  I've heard of tropical depressions and hurricanes, but not this.  

  • K8sMom2002

    Oh, oops … an invest is a baby wannabe-a-hurricane-when-I-grow-up. Hopefully they decide instead they want to be a good rain shower on a dry patch of earth instead, but it all depends on air currents, wind shear (if you have lots of wind shear that blows across an invest or even a tropical storm, it can disrupt it) and ocean temperatures. 

    Hurricanes are like oak trees … they start off super small. A "tropical wave" off the coast of Africa can grow and develop into an invest, which will develop into a tropical depression, which then can become a tropical storm, which then … sigh, might be a hurricane … at which point, it might turn into Irma-geddon, like @tlb2002 and I thankfully survived last year.

    The good thing about hurricanes (unlike blizzards and tornadoes that you Midwesterners have to put up with) is that they are kind enough to give us loads of advance notice before dropping in. 

  • Marie E Natzke

    Well Saturday it was so chilly with the heavy rain we had to put the heat back on. Guess what it is today yup 80 degrees…with 90's being forecasted for the weekend. My breathing is ok but my voice is hoarse…summers back!!!

    I really hope you don't have a hurricane Cynthia and Shea stay safe everyone!!

  • LK

    Just hot and humid here in the Midwest!  Had a Heat Advisory issued for today.  Welcome Summer!  

  • LK

    Thanks, Melissa!  Since DH has been doing all the horse chores I don't really have need to go out in this heat for very long, thankfully!  DH is good about keeping himself hydrated, too.

  • Pljohns

    We got some storms last night-we didn’t think it was anything bad but we went to run errands today and found a tree across the street just down from the house.  We saw the fire dept go by last night and it sounded like they were close-now we know why!  So far today-just hit and miss rain.  It’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow.

  • Marie E Natzke

    So now our air advisory has gone into day 3 and might continue into tomorrow. The storm that is hitting Florida will be heading to Chicago by Wednesday and they are predicting 1to 2 inches of heavy  rain. 

    Stay safe everyone

  • LK

    Lynn,  Glad you didn't have any damage to your house or property!

    Marie,  That kind of weather sounds like it is going from rough to rougher!  I guess at least the rain may clear out the air a little??

  • Pljohns

    Well-I got up to flood warnings and high winds-there are trees down everywhere-even on the interstate (the were beside the interstate and blew down onto the interstate).  I made it to work-we've lost power 3 times and the rain is blowing sideways!  We are supposed to get 4-6" of rain today and wind gusts up to 40+mph.  It's going to be a fun day-

  • LK

    Stay safe and dry, Lynn and everyone else in bad weather today!!  

  • Marie E Natzke

    LK, wishful thinking now they are saying when the rain passes it's supposed to get very humid here and in the 90's it's been hit here but not too humid around 40% I know for some of you that's high but not for us here.

    I'll never forget the trip I took to visit my friends in Montana and they were complaining about how humid it was I think it was 15% humidity. I started laughing!!!

  • LK

    Marie,  Made me smile!!     Years ago my brother moved to New Mexico and he thought it funny when the locals complained about high humidity – It was only 30%!  

    Earlier this year our humidity was down to about 38% and it felt so, so nice outside!  I think that was a record low!  Ours here in Eastern Kansas is similar to yours so it's always humid.  

  • Pljohns

    Same here in AL-it's not unusual to have 90+% humidity-your soaking wet as soon as you walk out the door.

    We got almost 2 1/2"of rain yesterday, it quit yesterday afternoon so we thought it was done but nope-thunder rolled in during the night and it's pouring down again.  At least there isn't any wind today but I may need a boat to get home.