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Since "weatherdude" isn't around, I mean how dare he not be here EVERY SINGLE second there are storms somewhere, I thought I would post this short Diary so people could chat. Here in southern Illinois the first tornado warnings have just started to pop-up. Best I can tell from the reports the worse will pass to the north of me.

Good for me, not so good for those that live in Iowa and other places.

Just to put you in the "mood" here is a pic taken from my front door. Last June. Worse storm I've ever been in outside of that time I was stuck in Baton Rouge when Hurricane Andrew hit. But that is another story!

DSC00941

So in the comments let us know how the weather is where you are. And stay safe people. I also hope it goes without saying if you live in a place tornados are really rare and you get warnings. Don't mess around. Tornados really suck!

Just a few weather related stories:

The current map from the Weather Channel:

trvlthun_600x405

Midwest tornadoes: 5 dead, 29 injured in Okla.

Tornadoes raking communities across the Midwest and Plains left five people dead and at least 29 injured in Oklahoma, damaging a hospital, homes and other buildings as a vast severe weather front plunged eastward Sunday across the nation's midsection.

Oklahoma emergency officials said five people died after a tornado touched down at 12:18 a.m. Sunday in and around the northwest Oklahoma town of Woodward, the high winds damaging homes, toppling trees and downing power lines about 140 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The brunt of the damage was reported on the west side of the town of about 12,000 and its outskirts, where search teams scoured the rubble for hours for any still trapped or injured.

Storms also were reported in Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska as a wide-ranging storm system lumbered its way across the nation's midsection Saturday and Sunday. Lightning, large hail and heavy downpours accompanied the system, which was so large that it still posed a severe weather threat from Minnnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan in the north to eastern Texas and Louisiana hundreds of miles to the south.

Much of Nebraska Slammed with Severe Weather

Much of Nebraska was affected by severe weather that brought strong winds, rain, flash floods and hail. Tornadoes were reported in western Nebraska. No serious injuries or deaths have been reported.

On Friday, the Storm Prediction Center issued warnings for possible tornadoes for much of Saturday in the center U.S. with a focus on Nebraska, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.

Nearly marble-sized hail fell in Norfolk nearly 30 minutes, according to the Norfolk Daily News. The ice chunks accumulated with several inches of rain, leaving drifts in various roadways. The city deployed plows to clear roadways.

A tornado watch for 63 of the state's 93 counties prompted the cancellation of the annual Nebraska spring game. Lincoln Public Schools postponed the prom at North Star High School.

Six homes were damaged in Nebraska City when a storm passed through around 5:30 p.m.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Stay Safe People n/t (16+ / 0-)

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 01:22:33 PM PDT

  •  Family in Northern IL (Algonquin) said all OK (7+ / 0-)

    so far.....I suggested she pull the kids toys inside as there is likely be wind issues there later at least.

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

    by kimoconnor on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 01:28:35 PM PDT

  •  Heaviest rain here in Chicago... (8+ / 0-)

    ...seemed to be early this morning. Kept me up late, and the cat under the dining room table. I'm wondering what the acoustics for thunder will be like in a concrete geodesic dome.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 01:37:35 PM PDT

    •  It Is Sunny Here (5+ / 0-)

      been that way all day (rain right before sunrise). But the front is just about 150-200 miles West of me. Heavy rain, hail, and maybe 50 MPH coming. Tornadoes that were feared yesterday should pass to the north of me.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 01:41:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  concrete dome: do you live in one.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emmasnacker, JeffW, Calamity Jean

      ... or are you planning to?

      Say more, this is interesting.

      (For anyone who's wondering: an arch is an inherently stable structure since any force acting on it is distributed compressively over its entire area.  Concrete has high compressive strength ranging from about 3,000 - 6,000 pounds per square inch in common use, and up to 10,000 for special applications.  Reinforced concrete adds the tensile and torsional strength of steel.  A reinforced concrete dome is theoretically an incredibly strong and stable structure, that could be built to resist most types of natural disasters.)

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 06:05:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Planning to... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        ...visit www.aidomes.com to see what we're going to put up on our farm. We're planning a 48" dome, and are hoping to put up a 36' dome after we move in and sell our house in Chicago. American Ingenuity claims their domes are hurricane- and tornado-resistant.

        Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

        by JeffW on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 07:07:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  interesting, though... (0+ / 0-)

          .... beware those dormers and other projections that have overhangs, since these "features" are things that high winds can get hold of and rip.  And especially beware large areas of glass, that create asymmetric structural weaknesses.

          But in any case, congratulations for making the move, you'll be well-prepared for the ecological shit-hits-fan times ahead.  

          What are your plans for water supply, waste disposal, electricity, and heat?  

          Here's something that'll cut your indoor water usage by 20%: laundry-to-toilet graywater recycling as follows:

          Laundry discharge to 60-gallon drum with high-water-level overflow to drain.  12-volt bilge pump at bottom of drum, with flexible hose connection run to additional small faucet in bath tub, and power switch for 12-volt pump outside of bath tub area.  Place a 2-gallon bucket under that faucet.  Flip the switch to fill the bucket, use the bucket to flush the toilet by pouring water quickly into the bowl.  In the event of system malfunction all graywater water finds a drain.  100% code compliant.  g2g original design, and I'm using a variation on it where I live.

          For telecom, run flex conduit to outlets in every room; at each outlet, one Cat 4 cable split to two 2-pair RJ-14 for voice; one or two Cat 5 cables to Ethernet jack each (T-568-B color code on Ethernet jacks).  Telephone cables to cross-connect with type 66 connecting blocks; data cables to patch panel.  Leviton or Panduit jacks & faceplates.  This is a commercial-grade setup that provides complete flexibility for voice & data services, eliminates dependence on unreliable wireless devices, and is far less expensive to install at construction than to retrofit later.

          It may also be worthwhile running additional Cat 4 cable for use with low-voltage "household control" systems for energy & resource management.  There are ways to design this for a single low-wattage power source for control relays and suchlike; relay logic is far more resilient than anything that depends on microprocessors.  

          If you're planning for solar, ask your solar contractor about mounting PVs & solar thermal panels on the ground outside rather than on the building: less susceptible to wind, longer lifespan for PVs, easier to service, and can be covered with plywood when storms are expected.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 07:43:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, weve done a wind survey... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            ...and plan to install a wind turbine, batteries, and a synchronous inverter, with PV's coming later, all grid-tied. Any juice we don't need or store gets sold to Commonwealth Edison, and if we need more, we buy some from `em. Of course, most, if not all of the PV's will need to be on pedestals, since it would be hard to install them on a geodesic dome with effective orientations. Water will be from a well, and wastewater will be handled by a septic system. Heat will be propane, plus the modern woodstove in the kitchen, plus some passive from the southward facing windows. Those dormers and arches are monolithis to the dome, the reinforcing mesh being clipped together, and concrete troweled in.

            All we need now is to not have any more flippin' family emergencies!

            Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

            by JeffW on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 07:58:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  about household wind: (0+ / 0-)

              Speaking from experience, design engineering on a few hundred megawatts of utility-scale wind:

              Turns out (Dutch or Danish study), typical small home-sized wind turbines aren't worth it compared to solar.  Power output is a function of swept blade circle, and this cannot be made up for by increasing the speed of the turbine.  Bottom line is, you need the largest possible swept blade circle to get much more than supplementary or minimal power, even if you're in a class 4 or 5 wind area.

              Also and from our specific experience: beware wind survey, the survey instruments in common use have fatal flaws that over-estimate usable wind output.  This they do by taking averages of wind output integrated over periods of time from 5 - 10 minutes or more: thus making it appear that low wind plus gusts average to usable wind, when neither low nor high are actually usable.  Under any conditions, wind survey requires running for an entire year.  But even with that, you have to be really careful about the underspeed/overspeed problem.  

              On a farm you can probably install large turbines with a decent swept blade circle, and you can probably install more than one to take advantage of yearly fluctuations in wind speed & direction due to terrain.  But I would suggest being really careful about this and over-designing the system.

              Grid-tied systems (solar and wind) do NOT supply power during grid outages.  This because the inverters are designed to shut down when there is no grid power, to avoid transmitting power back to dead powerlines and creating the risk of killing utility personnel who are working on the lines.

              Though, if you have a battery bank, chances are you're using two inverters or some other means of automatically taking your system off the grid connection during grid outages.

              One more thing: you'll need clean sine wave power for critical electronics.  That means an additional inverter that will power the circuits where you plug in devices such as computers (35 watts for a laptop, 60 - 100 for a desktop), microwaves (1200 watts), telephone equipment if any (2 watts for a cordless phone, 30 - 60 for a home office PBX), and medical electronics (varies depending on what specifically).  Most inverters produce a "stepped wave" that has harmonics that will screw up sensitive electronics (speaking from experience dealing with repairs on clients' sites).  True sine wave inverters are more expensive so using a small one for a critical circuit is a reasonable solution.

              Sorry if this sounds like I'm sticking my proverbial nose into your biz, but so far you're basically on the right track and I'm interested in helping you avoid some common mistakes.  

              If the dormers are part of the reinforced concrete construction they might be OK, I'd check with folks who live in high-wind areas seeing as severe wind storms are increasing.  

              Family emergencies?  Eeyow.  For some odd reason they tend to not occur as much during critical times for tasks such as building a house, having a kid, etc.  Here's to hoping for no more "excitement" in the family while this is going on.

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 11:20:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  LOL (12+ / 0-)

    Not until y'all start paying me. :P

    Since "weatherdude" isn't around, I mean how dare he not be here EVERY SINGLE second there are storms somewhere
    I might start something later if the bad storms in the upper midwest start going. Might.
    •  What, there isn't some homework you (6+ / 0-)

      want to avoid?

      Republicans: if they only had a heart.

      by leu2500 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 04:52:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps we can work out a deal... (0+ / 0-)

      Bill in Portland Maine gets a salary from his fans through Daily Kos, and health insurance to boot.  To keep his column active after his layoff from a job that facilitated writing the column, Markos said that he'd pay BiPM a salary for one year and arrange for healthcare benefits if his fans would put together $50,000.  

      Should we ask Markos to repeat the deal in your case?  It can be part-time or seasonal since you seem to specialize in severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.  

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 10:00:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Northern suburb of Chicago here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ninkasi23

    It's windy, but right now the sun is out.  Poured last night.

    •  Feels a little strange here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ninkasi23, radical simplicity

      Tornado watch for about the southern third to half of Minnesota came up a bit ago, then one for most of the state of Arkansas. It's already warmer than the forecast for today and the sun keeps popping in and out.

      So far none of the watch areas are expecting anything more than EF2 storms. I hope it stays that way.

      (I'm in Minneapolis. I wish the storms would just get here already-they're all several hours west.)

      I'd take a bullet for Neil Gaiman.

      by imonlylurking on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 02:47:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tornado watch #4 just posted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ninkasi23

    It's a large area but none of these storms are expected to be too severe.

    I've just jinxed it, haven't I?

    I'd take a bullet for Neil Gaiman.

    by imonlylurking on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 03:00:47 PM PDT

  •  Westville, IL here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ninkasi23

    Skies overcast, although the radar indicates that the front is still well away from here.

  •  Several weak and isolated tornadoes here in MN (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ninkasi23, radical simplicity

    None of them in the 'moderate' warned area.

    The most recent tornado watches are talking about bowing structures.

    I'd take a bullet for Neil Gaiman.

    by imonlylurking on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 03:36:26 PM PDT

  •  From this afternoon... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    broths




    taken from the trestle trail bridge that crosses Little Lake Butte des Morts in the Town of Menasha. Was pretty warm and sunny most of the day with some strong breezes. Then it got very cloudy and even windier. I'd say gusts around 40mph. I'm guessing that if we get any more weather it will be late tonight.

    "Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." — Howard Zinn

    by blueyedace2 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 07:07:22 PM PDT

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