It was a wild night for a little while. There were 16 tornadoes last night in Oklahoma. The storm had tracked in a straight line east, from Oklahoma City toward our front door, there was a tornado on the ground 50 miles out and another at 30 miles west of us. This morning there are six confirmed dead and a ton of damage in Oklahoma.
As I sit here this morning, I am amazed at the system now in place for alerts and warnings ahead of time compared to when I was growing up. When I was growing up, everyone was basically on their own. My dad was always on top of any severe weather, he had been in a tornado when he was young. We had a storm cellar and used it frequently while I was growing up.
As a teenager, I was playing baseball one night in Springdale. The game was called due to lightning moving in. On the way home, dad was listening to the radio and there was no mention of storms. By the time we arrived home, across town in Springdale, a tornado had leveled 5 blocks of homes and businesses. This was only a mile from the ball field where I had just been playing.
I applaud the efforts of everyone involved for being able to detect and predict storms ahead of time now. I heard about the threat of severe storms moving in Monday, on Saturday's weather forecast. That is 2 full days advance warning that something might happen. Not to try to scare people, just letting them know to keep an eye out Monday ... something could happen. And it did. Last night I was watching live radar feeds on the internet, watching tv reports and had my scanner set to the weather spotters frequency. For a while it looked like we were going to take the storm head on, but thankfully it turned and just went north of us.