Sunday, March 04, 2012

Thoughts on tornadoes & the blizzard of 1971

What more can you say about the violent storms in the Midwest and south, the damage leaves you struggling for words.
Winds have abated this morning across the Montreal area after reaching speeds of as high as 90km/h in Montreal and over 100km/h in eastern Ontario. Power was out to thousands in Ontario, but little damage was reported in our region. The storm was deadly and widespread with traffic accidents in snow and wind and tornadoes claiming dozens of lives from Quebec south into Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Alabama. I was looking at pictures from the Appalachian town of West Liberty, Kentucky. The images leave you without words. The damage is complete, from small trailer homes that you would expect to be destroyed in an EF-3 storm all the way up to solid brick buildings that have stood for many decades. There is no structure left untouched and the town will have to be rebuilt. Of the 34 deaths from Friday's outbreak, 17 occurred in Kentucky, 1 in West Liberty.

The cold front responsible for all the tornadoes, 97 in all, is well off the east coast this morning leaving in its wake clearing skies and much colder temperatures. To add to the misery some portions of the disaster area will see 2 to 3 inches of snow tonight.

Blizzard of 1971...

I have posted two more images from the vault at Radio Canada. They are of the famous Montreal blizzard of March 3rd and 4th, 1971. Close to 50cm of snow fell driven around by near hurricane force winds up to 111km/h. This is what started it all for me in weather. Read more about it from my previous blog post HERE.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I've only heard stories of the Blizzard of '71 - apparently my Dad walked home from work (downtown) to LaSalle because he was afraid my mother (who was 9 months pregnant) would go into labor and be home alone. I wish I had been around for it - I love big storms (obviously ones where nobody gets hurt).