Just a quick note to say our area was not hit by a tornado.

St. Louis did take a significant hit, though, and there are other parts of Missouri that were also hit by tornadoes. To compound the problem. rain is expected until next Thursday, so we’re also expected to get flash floods and river flooding.

Our airport also took a major hit. One jet was actually gently lifted up and moved from one gate to another.

So far, no reports of any serious injury or deaths. The reason why the injury count is so low is because we had ample warning, most folks were at home and off the streets, and the timing was such that most people were awake and aware. In addition, most of the structures hit were either solid enough to protect the people, or had basements or other emergency areas.

However, there’s a lot of people who no longer have a home in St. Louis.

This is the second major tornado system to hit St. Louis in less than 6 months, and our peak tornado season doesn’t hit until May.

Burningbird Weather

Happy New Year

As you can see if you’re reading this, the move to a new hosting company went very well. I’m already exceptionally pleased with Linode, not the least of which the dashboard the company provides makes maintaining the site so much easier.

The only real challenges I faced were setting up the email system, and porting my Just Shelley web site; the former is just plain cumbersome, and the latter did not like the move to a PHP 5.3 environment. After the move I discovered that Drupal 7 is PHP 5.3 friendly, Drupal 6 is not. There is something in Just Shelley that triggered problems, though luckily the other sites ported without any problems.

So, I’ve upgrade Just Shelley to Drupal 7, as well as having installed a new Drupal 7 account, and I’m finally getting a chance to take the new version for a run. I can already see I have a lot of work to do. Yes, a lot of work.

In the meantime, we had a exciting day here in New Year’s Eve. We kept getting tornado warnings, and I spent most of the morning hovering around the downstairs interior bathroom.

Just around noon, the siren went off again and the news said a funnel was spotted over Webster Groves or Shrewsbury. I looked outside, and the winds had suddenly reversed direction. There was a rushing sound, but not exceptionally loud. A few minutes later, the winds reversed back and things started calming down.

We didn’t get hit but the F3 tornado did a major amount of damage a couple of miles away. I don’t know if a tornado that far away could impact on wind in our area, or if there was another funnel cloud forming over us that didn’t form into a full tornado. Regardless, we lucked out. So did the people in Sunset Hills, because for the amount of damage done—and it is significant— folks only suffered minor injuries. Unfortunately, there were folks in other parts of the state not as lucky.

I haven’t been to my favorite walking place, since it’s on the other side of the damage path and I don’t want to add to the traffic. There have been a lot of gawkers, but the folks at Sunset Hills came up with the idea of borrowing firemen boots and taking up a collection for the tornado victims from the gawkers. Absolutely brilliant idea.

Critters Photography Weather

Too hot

Even before Summer officially starts on Sunday, we’ve had heat alerts the last two days. Combined heat and humidity has led to effective temperatures of 105 degrees. We haven’t broken upper temperature records, but we have lower temperatures in the evening.

As these two Grévy’s zebras demonstrate, the only way to handle weather like this is to stay in the shade, or in air conditioning. I’ve had to turn my air conditioning up to 80 degrees, just to keep it from running 24 hours a day.

Not sure if the sudden heat wave is an indicator of a bad summer or not. From what the climatologists have said, it looks like we will have an unusually warm summer. Move over, zebras.

two zebras under shade of tree