After Hours

Extreme weather photos from the NOAA

Tornadoes

Weather can be an awesome and dangerous thing and these images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration prove it.

On April 3, 1974, Louisville was one of the hundreds of cities to be hit by a tornado. I was 12 and the memory of the destruction delivered that day is still vivid. The power revealed by those events has fueled a life-long fascination with extreme weather. The images in this gallery are mesmerizing and ominous and never cease to amaze.

Note: Since I am sure someone will bring it up – yes some of these images are grainy or a non-perfect resolution, but they are public domain and often have historical significance. If you want better images, they are available, but I cannot display them in a gallery like this without violating copyright laws.

Photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

This photo gallery was originally published in November 2010.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

21 comments
DimBulb
DimBulb

I guess my definition of 'extreme' differs from TR. Clouds, sunrises...?

RandiSl
RandiSl

Looking at a map, that might be a bit difficult. Sure it wasn't sunRISE? Of course, this is extreme weather ...

butkus
butkus

I'll stay in Jersey...

g-man_863
g-man_863

Growing up in the Midwest and now living in Texas, I've always been fascinated by tornadoes. Given the number of storm chasing shows airing on cable it appears I'm not alone. My only question: If Sigmund Freud was still around, would he consider this displaced interest in...uh...well...you get the idea. :-)

glengiancola
glengiancola

nature is beautiful and the photographers have nerves of steel

schriv
schriv

Excellent pictures. Living in the Kansas City area leaves us with the occurence of tornadoes as a fairly regular weather item. These pictures are great.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

Do you deal with extreme weather where you live on a regular basis? How to you cope? What preparations to make?

paulfx1
paulfx1

If you are on the eastern side of the bay.

g-man_863
g-man_863

Tornadoes can happen in any state. If one happened there, I'd enjoy watching Snookie freak out over it. LOL

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

Did you guys add a non IT forum to your list of topics to follow? Do I have to unsubscribe? If I want to know about the weather I go to weather.com. If I want to know about IT stuff I go to Tech Republic. Edit - Sorry this post was supposed to reply to the original post.

g-man_863
g-man_863

For tornadoes, you just have to pay attention to the weather forecasts. Although most common in the spring, they can occur anytime the weather is warm and humid. One of my best friends from college was at work as a grocery store manager in Owensboro, KY when it took a direct hit several years ago - in January! Luckily nobody in the store was seriously injured. When they realized what was happening, they hearded everyone into the meat locker at the back of the store; it provided protection against the flying debris. After the storm passed, they found parts of a checkout counter embedded in the drywall above the meat counter at the back of the store! A NOAA weather radio with "SAME" technology is the best warning device. About $40, it can be programmed to sound an alarm and automatically turn on when a watch or warning is issued for your specific county. If a storm pops up at 3AM, it'll wake you and give time to take shelter before it's too late. Another tornado threat along the Gulf Coast are smaller "spin up" twisters associated with tropical storms and hurricanes. Unlike the monsters shown in the pictures, these hit with almost no warning. This is why tornado watches can last up to 36 hours when a hurricane is making landfall. Depending on the size of the hurricane, spin up twisters can happen up to a few hundred miles inland. In 1998, I didn't evacuate when Hurricane Georges hit Mobile. After the storm passed, I went outside and discovered half of my front roof had lost all the shingles. Around the corner, a full size Coke vending machine that had been up against a gas station was blown about 40 feet into the middle of the street. Scary. :-0

RandiSl
RandiSl

Ah, I was looking at the wrong area of RI, further south. Actually, I don't see how you'd get any picture without some area of land, looking east or west. More atmospheric haze than I'm accustomed to, I guess, living in Wyoming!

paulfx1
paulfx1

You can use all the tech help that you can get!

eferrell
eferrell

If I'm reading the question right, it is IT related. How do you prepare for severe weather? Off-site backup storage, power generators, raised flooring, etc. Your comment was extremely rude and unneeded.

santeewelding
santeewelding

You have managed to debunk for me anything else of value you contributed in the past. You have joined that great division of those who would have life divided, and no capability of the Great Belly Laugh. Good luck with that. You will need it, old man.

Bronte G
Bronte G

Surely there has to be something about the weather in the computer literature now. After all, Cloud Computing is the Latest Thing. You just have to get with it! (Even if I don't.)

paulfx1
paulfx1

People in Rhode Island learn how to boat before they know how to walk. So they can show you the Sun over the water at any angle any time of the day! They can also navigate in any weather conditions too. It's scary. Like my buddy Dave from Rhode Island taking you out of sight of land in a 12 foot row boat off Block Island. Ah, don't worry about it, I do this all the time ... I don't know why everyone says Rhode Island is a small state, the Atlantic Ocean looks pretty big to me! Not to them though. To them it is their backyard.

paulfx1
paulfx1

I built a data backup site once. The place was awesome! They had a whole room of battery racks and another room of diesel generators the size of train locomotives. In the event of a nuclear war you will still get your credit card bill at the end of the month. I can guarantee it! Although supposedly that particular site backed up Wall St. It had something to do with the financial sector.

paulfx1
paulfx1

What is cloud computing? Seems like marketing droid buzzwords for networking to me.