Saturday, June 13, 2009

Brief recap of 6/12/09 Memphis derecho

My comments here will be brief as a full-length commentary with pics is in the works. A major convective system (derecho) passed overhead the WXLIVE! sensors of MemphisWeather.net at 5pm, lasting about 20-25 minutes. Tornado sirens were activated and my family headed for the interior closet during the peak of the storm. The NWS confirmed a 150 yard path length EF-1 tornado touched down in Bartlett very near where my parents live (within a mile). Trees, tree limbs, flagpoles, some street signs and traffic signals, and even a couple of buildings were damaged or destroyed by the wind. 139,000 people were without power at it's peak on the Memphis Light, Gas & Water network (greater Memphis). (See link to the right for the current outage map or click here.)

I wish to apologize profusely for the abrupt loss of severe weather alerts (and many other features of MemphisWeather.net) during the height of the storm. The computer equipment that produces the information and alert e-mail suffered a major power and internet connectivity loss at 5pm as the storm passed. The outage lasted 19 hours, with internet down an additional 3.5 hours. All service is now restored. While the data loss is regrettable, there was simply nothing that could be done given the current resources available.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

we were driving through Memphis heading south when this storm occurred. It was very frightening for everyone. I had never heard tornado sirens in my life,and had only seen them in movies,but this was real. I am thriled to be back online as well.

MWN/Erik said...

Being a Meteorologist, there aren't too many times I put my family in the closet, even when the warning sirens go off, as I can usually tell exactly where the storm is headed and the sirens go off across the whole county. However, in this case, we were all in our "safe place." It was a scary storm and one I won't forget. Glad you are well.

Kevin said...

No apologies necessary Erik. That was one hell of a storm. I've been in tornado's before and when I felt the pressure change I knew it was time to head to the safe room. Even the dogs were freaking out, and that doesn't happen very often.