Just As I Thought

Live Digital Doppler 3D

Days like today I find myself obsessed with weather radar. I even have a little window on my Powerbook constantly feeding an image of local radar.
As I write this, the local media is on constant coverage of the weather as Ivan makes it’s way through the DC region. Right now, there are 7 tornado warnings out, and I’m watching as a tornado is forming over my aunt’s town, Manassas Park, and headed north over my dad’s house in western Fairfax. Because the news vans must lower their masts during storms, the coverage is limited to reporters on cell phones, describing funnel clouds but apologizing for not showing pictures.
My aunt Flossie lives in a small little frame house — the same house she’s lived in for, oh, at least 40 years I think. I lived there myself for a year or so after my parents divorced. She has no basement, and the house would blow away in a tornado… but it’s been there for an awful long time, so I’ll bet it’ll still be there in a few hours.
My dad does have a basement so I’m less worried there.

Also on days like today, my weather radio is working overtime, with shrill alarms and lots of warnings.
For those of you in Arlington County who don’t have weather radios, you can take advantage of a free service called Arlington Alert — the county will send warnings and notices via e-mail and SMS message to your mobile phone. Sign up at http://www.arlingtonalert.com/register.php. They send such varied messages as tornado warnings and notices of unusual activities like the low military fly-overs last week.

(Update: the tornado mentioned above formed just north of my aunt’s house, so she’s okay; and my father and sister stood out in the front of their house and watched it pass by about a mile west.)

You can watch the trees swaying hypnotically in front of my bedroom windows on my cam page via the live video feeds, although Arlington is not on the front lines of Ivan. Frontyard Weather / Backyard Weather

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