The St. Louis tornadoes of 2010

I don’t normally post stuff like this, as weather posts are usually mundane. Today was a little different. We had tornadoes touch down in the St. Louis area today.

At about noon, we took cover in our basement. By 12:10, it was over. Sometime while the wind was raging and the sirens were going off, a crazy UPS driver dropped off some packages for delivery. The packages stayed put during the scare. Some areas to the north weren’t as lucky. Sunset Hills sustained 150 MPH winds.

I worked in an office building in Sunset Hills for a couple of years around the turn of the century, and the main reason we venture into the area now is to eat at Five Guys, so it’s familiar. We share the same fire district. The worst of the storm followed I-44 into the St. Louis area, putting Sunset Hills right in its path. The Lindbergh and Watson business districts and the homes right near them seem to have sustained the worst of it, locally. So far there are no reported fatalities in the St. Louis area, but numerous businesses sustained significant damage and some homes got leveled.

I kept televisions on the whole time, and kept a web browser up and pointed at wunderground.com and periodically hit F5 to refresh the radar. The meteorologists kept warning that it would look fine in a lot of areas, then before you knew it, without warning, rain and tornadoes would be right on top of you. They weren’t kidding.

It’s a balmy 58 degrees right now, and that Indian Summer contributed to the severe weather. It’ll be 32 before midnight comes, thanks to a monster front coming in. It’ll stay above freezing, so at least we won’t ring in the New Year with thundersnow. That would be about the last thing we need. Non-native midwesterners think I’m joking when I talk about thundersnow. It’s rare, but it can happen, and when it does, it’s nasty.  It’s just what it sounds like: thunder, lightning, and feet of snow. St. Louis isn’t used to dealing with feet of snow.

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