"Morning! Anyone seeing anything falling out the sky? Let scottontvKSDK and me, chester_lampkin know."
My first reaction to this was to consider the possiblity of bits of tree branches or meteors or planes coming down on us. And, as I had just read a story of a man who broke the fall of a woman who jumped from the third level upper deck at the Oakland football game, the image of people falling from the sky was on my mind.
St. John's was hit by a tornado yesterday, losing its steeple and much of the roof and 2 died as well. St. John's has a long and interesting history and if you happen to be LCMS, it's even more poignant.
Settlers from Minden Germany came to this area in the 1840 and named the town New Minden. The church was founded in 1846 and their pastor's name was CFW....Scholz. If you are Lutheran you'll recognize the first 3 initials. Anyway, St. John's became one of the charter member congregations of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. The current church building was dedicated in 1863.
During yesterday's outbreak of tornados and high winds over many states, there were news reports of tractor trailers being blown over. I passed one which was laid out on its side in the eastbound lanes of the Poplar Street Bridge which caused those lanes to be shutdown for hours. Similar stories on other highways as crews worked to get the big rigs up on their feet.
Semi's have gotten bigger and bigger in recent years, longer, wider and most drastically, taller. The height of these trucks makes them much more susceptible to losing control in bad weather causing skidding and tipping. So here's a question. When a few people fall ill after eating, say, lettuce, or if something on a new model car causes the cars to do something which endangers the drivers or others, then safety regulators are Johnny on the spot to alter the rules regarding these things. They recall the food and stipulate that changes must be made in processing and the same goes for cars and other appliances which have issues.
So where are the regulators looking to make restrictions on the size of these big trucks? Anyone who follows local traffic news has frequently heard of traffic tie-ups because a tractor trailer has tipped over. Maybe it's time to get serious about road safety for the sake of truck drivers and those affected by these trucks laying on their sides across 3 lanes of highway.
A storm front came fast just as I was heading from Collinsville to St. Louis, had no idea the wind this thing would bring.
What it looked like as I left
Then at the Belt Line and Vandalia stop light.
By the time I got to Belt Line and 157 the rain came down so hard it was impossible to see, but ended quickly. But then the wind came and it was hard to keep the car steady. When I got onto the Poplar the eastbound lanes had no one on them, but this is why. A tractor Trailer flipped onto its side by the wind and all east traffic was stopped.
I didn't take the picture, I was in the westbound lanes but it was right next to us. Then just past downtown, right about at the Sheraton, a westbound vehicle got slammed into the concrete divider wall hard enough that it knocked down a pole and the pole fell across the lanes. All of us going west had to slowly move to the far right shoulder lane to get by.
What a day. It was far worse in other places but so easy to understand how tornadoes could have formed. Amazing what a wide area this weather front covered.
When we watch the local weather reports, the weather person appears to be pointing at incoming cold fronts or rain or heat, but in reality that person is standing in front of a blank usually green board. Here's Chester Lampkin of Channel 5 in St. Louis this morning.
What we see is a weather map behind him on which he moves his hand to show the movement of a band of coming rain. How does he do this? It's weird and it's done by all tv weather people.
Here's Jim Kantori of the Weather Channel.
I mean, he's seeing nothing.
Here's one explanation on how this is done. First they superimpose the weather person onto a computer monitor which has the weather map. These computers are to the side and in front of the forecaster. "To keep track of where he/she is pointing, they look at the monitors on each side of the blue or green screen." It takes practice for sure. Most newsrooms have a green screen which is why most weather people never wear green clothes even on St. Patrick's Day.
Here's a woman who did wear green and she disappeared except for her face.
One of the seminary's former students is now a pastor in western Wyoming and he sent a couple of pictures he took of lightning near his house as a storm passed through. He wrote that it was actually on toward dark but the lightning just lit things up.