tornadic

A storm at the beginning of June

From the OED:

Of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a tornado.

1884 Amer. Meteorol. Jrnl. I. 7 Four series of storms of tornadic character have passed over the states east of the Mississippi River since the beginning of the year. 1890 Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch 13 June, These are tornadic conditions. 1898 H. W. LUCY in Daily News 18 Feb. 2/2 Mr. Orchardson’s portrait..presenting the ex-Speaker in one of his not unfamiliar tornadic moods.

“Tornadic” is not a word I was familar with before moving to the American Midwest. Now I hear it fairly frequently. Tonight the local television stations pre-empted quite a bit of prime-time programming to keep us up to date on the weather. Talking heads and brightly colord maps do not make for exciting watching, let me tell you. A dramatic storm with golf-ball-sized hailstones passed over us about an hour ago. No tornados, though.

Has a tornado ever hit a big city downtown? Hmm.

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8 thoughts on “tornadic

  1. That’s some heavy weather. Remember getting off campus after the College Park(!!) tornado?
    >Has a tornado ever hit a big city downtown? Hmm.
    Happened in Houston (I believe) some years back.

  2. Not a big city here — 250,000, and I am sure was much smaller in the mid-50’s when a tornado wiped out downtown. Downtown never recovered. All the shops moved out to the outskirts while the downtown area was recovering, and they never came back.
    Or so I’m told. I’ve heard stories since I got here last fall. My reaction was — it was 50 years ago; it’s time to move on!

  3. Having lived here all of my life and never having had a tornado actually hit where I’ve lived, I’ve acquired a completely sarcastic attitude towards any sort of weather warnings.
    Last night was a classic as I was walking out the door.
    Roommate: Um, there’s a tornado warning in Leavenworth County, and it’s headed east.
    Me: Yeah…I don’t care. Bye!
    I then considered the possibility of last night being the one time a storm actually hit, assuming the weather wanted to spite me. Mostly I think it takes pleasure in scaring small children and out-of-towners. I’m sticking with the “That could never happen to me” mentality.

  4. This is how I remember it: A few years ago I was working late at MITH, which is located in the bunker-like basement of McKeldin Library. I heard someone in the hallway knocking on the door, and that somone turned out to be a very windblown Matt whose first words were, “Don’t go outside!” We then checked Weather.com to see what was going on outside (this was the first time I ever saw the “map in motion” tool). And after eventually determining that things were reasonably safe, we negotiated our way off campus past at least one upside-down car and a number of sizable uprooted trees. Two students (sisters) were killed when the car they were riding in was lifted up over a dormitory and then dropped on the other side.
    During the carnage I had been oblivious in the library basement.

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