Author Topic: Mini-Twister  (Read 1811 times)

The Grand Poohbah

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Mini-Twister
« on: May 20, 2016, 01:38:05 AM »
I witnessed a strange weather phenomenon yesterday and wonder if anyone can explain it.

About 3:30pm, I was working at my computer on a comfortable 80-deg-F day. It was calm, sunny and the sky was blue with a few puffy clouds. (I should have been outside but I was having too much fun working on WeatherCat for Apple Watch. Really.) It had been calm all day. Then, strangely, the wind quickly increased and my station was reporting wind speeds of 18 mph. Suddenly, I heard a loud racket of metal sheets banging. I went out on the deck and looked across the road at my neighbor's barn. Half of the barn roof was gone. There were sheets of bent tin roof, about 5x20-feet in size, and debris scattered all around the barn. According to my neighbor, someone not prone to exaggeration, he observed a small twister of dirt and debris mangle the roof off of his barn and carry the pieces over a utility pole, deposit them about 100 feet away, and then dissipate. Indeed, the roof over one half of his barn was gone. The barn was severely damaged, but the area around the barn was not disturbed. There were mangled pieces of tin roof laying in the pasture with their ten-penny nails still sticking out.

The whole event lasted no more than a few minutes. The sky was sunny and blue during the whole time. There is no record of any kind of twister like this in our county.

What was this weather phenomenon?

Here's a link to a story and photo in the local newspaper - http://www.theunion.com/news/22068907-113/nevada-county-man-says-twister-destroyed-barn-threw

xairbusdriver

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Re: Mini-Twister
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2016, 02:42:55 AM »
Must not have worked on a row crop farm much, either! :) These things need some dry, loose ground so they can pick up dirt/dust/leaves (sheet metal?) that make them visible. But they can also form over water, they are then called 'water spouts'. Here are a couple of links that explain small but strong vertical winds/updrafts; no clouds needed.Edited to hopefully sound less authoritative and condescending! My bad [banghead]

The Grand Poohbah

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Re: Mini-Twister
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2016, 03:56:54 AM »
Quote
You live in Nevada
Um...California.

Bull Winkus

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Re: Mini-Twister
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2016, 06:14:30 PM »
A random dust devil, one might suspect. Or is it random? Perhaps there is an intelligence behind the vortex that directs it, or perhaps the vortex itself is a live, thinking life form, not based on carbon or silicon, but micro current processes we confuse as chaotic when in actuality they are not.

I've long suspected the possibility, ever since I was a young man in college. There was an incident that set these thoughts in motion. It was a blustery afternoon in the Fall. I was headed across campus to get to my class on time. As I approached the Hall, a large 2 story brick building with many hedges and sidewalks alongside its open grassy lawns, I started watching a small dust devil kicking up the leaves as it wandered across the lawn. It was no larger than I was, perhaps a bit shorter, but carrying quite the collection of debris, and very stable. There were no other students in the area at the time. I remember wondering if any were watching from the windows. It was putting on quite a show. It seemed to be playing in the leaves. For a moment I paused and watched its antics.

As I started down the sidewalk and got past the hedge row, I noticed it change its direction and move over to the sidewalk I was on that lead to the entryway. It was still about 20 feet away, but it stuck to the narrow sidewalk while continuing to move in my direction. When it reached me, at about 3 feet away I stepped to the side and swept my arm front to back in a manner acquiescing it the right of way. It hesitated briefly, almost shyly at first then continued very slowly right past me, conforming to the sidewalk path and eventually lifting off and disappearing.

After the encounter, I felt as though I had made contact with an unknown species. I couldn't help but think that if it were so, establishing communication with the species might be very beneficial to mankind, both in negotiating their right-of-ways and protecting our property, and in what we might learn from them. Alas, though, we never met again, but I did run into a wind vortex a couple of years ago who was much larger. He (she?) had just crossed our lake, destroying houses on both sides, and was headed up the hill in front of my house, from the opposite side. Rather than run for the basement garage, as I should have, I stood on the concrete porch, facing south, listening to the roar of the wind with my hand on the door, ready to run. My anxiety grew quickly as the roar was getting louder yet without changing its point on the compass. It was becoming obvious to me that we had a tornado, and it was headed straight for the house.

Suddenly the tops of the trees across the street began tossing about in extreme torture. Not like a straight wind, but in chaotic fashion with no sense of direction. Then a great and strong wind descended on the street blowing debris back and forth at great speed. It was the full width of my front yard, though all I could see was the debris being tossed about. I was, by this time frozen, more or less mesmerized by this force of nature. I was torn between watching and running for cover. Then the roaring diminished. The wind abated, and the street became calm again. I stayed and listened. After about a minute or less, I heard the roaring start up again, more to the left, or east.

I went and got my neighbor and we rode around to immediately survey the damage. It had cut a path from the south to the north with a slight tilt toward the east. It damaged some homes, destroyed others and did little damage to the forest trees. Several homes were severely damaged on the south side of the hill I was looking at. Right before it got to my house, it picked up, moved about 4 blocks east and set back down again, damaging the roofs of a few more homes.

Perhaps that was my little buddy, all grown up and he recognized me.

 [lol2]
Herb

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Re: Mini-Twister
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2016, 06:42:17 PM »
Interesting story Grand. And yours too, Herb. Having lived in Texas for almost 30 years, I have experienced firsthand both hurricanes and tornados. Hurricanes last longer, but tornadoes are just awful for quick destruction. Moved to Utah 9 years ago so I could just worry about earthquakes.
Blick


xairbusdriver

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Re: Mini-Twister
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2016, 09:41:59 PM »
Great story "Bull", now I know how you got that name...

BTW, are you sure you weren't knocked to the concrete back in that college 'encounter'? Jis' sayin'

Bull Winkus

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Re: Mini-Twister
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2016, 10:04:46 PM »
Thanks Blick and Xair! Actually, the story is all true. I wouldn't tell it any other way. Perceptions are, in fact, subject to interpretation, however.

Xair, I did not hit my head on anything. However, it's possible, though highly unlikely, that I was exercising my right as a college student named Herb to indulge in his namesake.

 

For some reason, I just can't remember.

 [lol2]
Herb

xairbusdriver

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Re: Mini-Twister
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2016, 10:19:15 PM »
Quote
...I just can't remember.
I used to have a prescription for Aricept. But I could never remember to take the pills...

Which reminds me... Last year I volunteered for a drug test investigating a drug for Alzheimers. One of the tests was an x-ray of my brain (which did prove I had one!) after an injection of a radioactive substance that is attracted to the plaque usually found in people with that disease. Unfortunately (depending on how you look at it) I had no indications of plaque, so I could not continue participating in the drug testing. Good news/Bad news.

elagache

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Glad no one was hurt. (Re: Mini-Twister)
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2016, 12:23:14 AM »
Dear Grand, X-Air, Herb, and WeatherCat weather watchers,

I witnessed a strange weather phenomenon yesterday and wonder if anyone can explain it.

I can't explain it, but the photo of the damage makes it clear that something with considerable force plowed through the area.  I'm sorry for the damage but am glad nobody got hurt!

Be careful Grand (and everybody) the weather isn't quite to what we are used to anymore . . . . . :o

Cheers, Edoaurd

Randall75

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Re: Mini-Twister
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2016, 01:44:22 AM »
Hi Cat Family
 I grew up in Tornado Alley seen many but that sounds more like a down bust or straight line winds but it could have been a mini tornado EF zero


cheers


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Bull Winkus

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Re: Mini-Twister
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2016, 05:56:03 AM »
Quote
...I just can't remember.
I used to have a prescription for Aricept. But I could never remember to take the pills...

Which reminds me... Last year I volunteered for a drug test investigating a drug for Alzheimers. One of the tests was an x-ray of my brain (which did prove I had one!) after an injection of a radioactive substance that is attracted to the plaque usually found in people with that disease. Unfortunately (depending on how you look at it) I had no indications of plaque, so I could not continue participating in the drug testing. Good news/Bad news.

I'd say, GOOD NEWS!

There are two attributes associated with Alzheimers. (Thanks for helping me spell it, by the way.) That's plaque and tangles. But, now that I think of it, the tangles are like a second stage attribute. So, (I think) you've got to develop plaque before you get tangles.

There is some evidence that a combination of vitamin K2 and a good magnesium supplement can forestall development for awhile. There may be more to it than that. It has been awhile since I've read it. But, K2 is the vitamin that attaches to serum calcium so that when the calcium becomes attached to cholesterol, it doesn't produce sticky cholesterol, and the calcium can ride the cholesterol until it is needed somewhere as bone mineral or consumed in the muscles. If it's sticky it can lodge almost anywhere, in the arteries as arterial sclerosis, in the veins as peripheral vascular disease, in the joints to cause and perpetuate arthritis, or in the brain as plaque.

You get plenty of vitamin K2 in your diet when you eat green leafy vegetables, or from fermented vegetables like pickled okra, cucumbers, relish, etc… and from fermented dairy products, like cheese, real yogurt and curds and whey (AKA cottage cheese). Even beer will add some vitamin K2 to one's diet. But, it is a good vitamin to supplement since it is so important.

The magnesium is vital to maintenance of the myelin insulators on nerve axions, among other things. It also supports a healthy immune system, reduces muscle spasm, reduces blood pressure, reduces inflammation, regulates blood sugar and many more benefits. In the brain (if you can get it in there; it's not easily absorbed through the blood brain barrier), magnesium is essential to the formation of memory path synapse.

MIT has developed a dietary supplement called magnesium l-threonate that researchers are recognizing as highly beneficial for memory function in the aging brain. I've been using it for awhile (~9 mos est). Of course, results are entirely subjective, but I think it started working within a few weeks. I had a little difficulty with the dosage. I think the pills I bought had too much in each pill. After a week of one pill a day, it started sending me to the bathroom with loose stools. That is the symptom of too much magnesium in your system. The body processes the excess into the gut where it helps digestion (a little too much). But, soon after that I metered it down to one or two pills a week, and it's fine. I still have those instances where I can't remember a name that that I haven't used it in awhile but should be familiar to me, though. And, I still walk into another room and forget why I came in there. But my ability to assimilate a great deal of information and reduce it to a boolean expression is very much improved. Err… that means I can take in a complicated question and quickly give an answer, yes or no. Lol!

Anyway, that's enough of my rambling. Your turn.

References:

(OK, I looked up some of the stuff to support my ramblings. Most of it was ad-lib, though.  [lol])

Pub Med research articles on magnesium l-threonate.

The one I bought at Amazon.

Top 20 benefits of magnesium.

Vitamin K2: Bones, Cardiovascular Health, Blood Sugar Control & Cancer Prevention

 [cheers1]
Herb