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Old 07-25-2008, 04:32 PM   #1
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Default Tornado Damage (Aerial photos)

Technically not a Winnipesaukee item (except maybe for a few Alton / Wolfeboro folks), but those of you who would like can view a bunch of aerial storm damage images at http://www.lakesregionaerials.com/ph...2008_g123.html

Personally, I've never seen anything like it from the air.
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:45 PM   #2
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Nice pictures, you can actually see the path of destruction. Thanks for sharing...
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Old 07-25-2008, 04:48 PM   #3
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No doubt in my mind that we had a tornado as evidenced by those pictures. The papers reported people seeing funnel clouds but they seemed to avoid the "T" word.
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:02 PM   #4
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No doubt in my mind that we had a tornado as evidenced by those pictures. The papers reported people seeing funnel clouds but they seemed to avoid the "T" word.
Tornado in some areas was confirmed today by the NWS. Other areas experienced "only" straight-line winds.

And holy crap, those are some amazing pictures!
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:40 PM   #5
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Amazing photography. Thank you for sharing.
Those photos really bring to light the ferocity of the storms yesterday.
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Old 07-25-2008, 06:00 PM   #6
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AWESOME PICS!!!

In a couple of your photos, I can see the circular pattern to the felled trees. Absolutely amazing. These pics confirm my posted hunch that we'd have an interesting tornado season here in New England, back in May or early June, but I still couldn't imagine that kind of damage happening in New England even though I knew it has happened before -- a long time ago.

And August isn't even here yet -- the usual "best chance" for tornadoes in New England.

This is the second tornado at the lake in less than a week. I heard enough people report last week's suspected funnel cloud was definitely rotating after it passed Gilford. There was one poster on this forum who reported seeing falling debris (bits of tree) after it passed Mt. Major, which wouldn't surprise me. That would indicate it touched down, however briefly, making it a tornado instead of just a funnel cloud.

And radar later detected rotation in the storm, resulting in the tornado warning southeast of the lake. But by that time it was too late -- no one down there even saw a funnel cloud. The warnings on that storm were way behind schedule. My location didn't even get a severe t-storm warning until the severe part of the storm had passed.

Therefore, I am going to call the storm of a week ago a tornado on the basis that it most likely couldn't have avoided touching down in the Belknap Mountains somewhere, which is about when the radar would've picked up the rotation. It would've been a few minutes until the tornado warning was issued, by which time the storm was halfway to Dover already (and that's about when the warning was actually issued.) My opinion isn't official. Only the NWS opinion is, and so it will likely never be confirmed as either a funnel cloud or a tornado. We all know what we saw, and therefore as far as I'm concerned we have had two tornadoes within a week of each other here at the lake.

It would be a good idea for everyone to review tornado safety rules since there are so many myths and legends out there. It would also be a good idea for everyone to review or learn disaster preparedness skills and be ready to help neighbors. These pictures show that it would be better to have those skills and not need them, than to need them and not have them. 90% of it is just mental -- looking at pics like this and imagining it happening in your neighborhood, asking yourself what you would/could do. The other 10% of it is learning skills you don't already have, making sure you have a really good chainsaw, realizing that you can't use it on trees that are or may be touching electric lines, having your important documents in a safe place or places...etc.
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Old 07-25-2008, 06:12 PM   #7
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Default Amazing damage and photos....

I was trying hard to see the circular patterns in the enlarged pictures. I only saw in a couple, which yes, would indicate rotation and thus a twister touch down, but many pictures showed a lot of straight line wind damage - which seemed most prevalent in the pictures. But the swath of damage on the 18 mile run is hard to dispute and the few trees that lie at angles on the ground say it was tornadic winds - something travelled that line. Having experienced a tornado - not this one, but one several years ago - I'll tell you - you don't hear the snapping of the trees - just the roar of the wind and it is terrifying! I would not have wanted to be up at Northwood Lake yesterday....what a scene! Simply amazing what Mother NAture - when at her worst - can do.

Last edited by wildwoodfam; 07-26-2008 at 07:50 AM. Reason: further investiagtion of pictures, news clips....
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:02 AM   #8
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Finally have my internet link back. Photos of the damage on Merrymeeting can be found here.

http://mmlake.org/forums/showthread.php?t=277
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:37 AM   #9
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AWESOME PICS!!!
This is the second tornado at the lake in less than a week. I heard enough people report last week's suspected funnel cloud was definitely rotating after it passed Gilford. There was one poster on this forum who reported seeing falling debris (bits of tree) after it passed Mt. Major, which wouldn't surprise me. That would indicate it touched down, however briefly, making it a tornado instead of just a funnel cloud.
It wasn't a tornado, it was nothing more than scud clouds. Their tendency to hang extremely low and move very rapidly leads to them being mistaken for funnel clouds pretty often.

I shot several pics and video of that storm and while its appearance was extremely menacing, it was harmless, other than the 40mph winds that quickly followed. There was no shortage of vertical motion, and at times plumes of water vapor did appear to stretch from ground to sky, but there was not a shred of rotation visible to the eye or in storm-relative radial velocity images from GYX.

The tornado warning that was issued for southeastern NH wasn't even related to the line of storms that passed through here. While the line of storms propagated to the southeast, individual cells, namely the one that hit us, actually pushed eastward into Maine.
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:35 PM   #10
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It wasn't a tornado, it was nothing more than scud clouds. Their tendency to hang extremely low and move very rapidly leads to them being mistaken for funnel clouds pretty often.

I shot several pics and video of that storm and while its appearance was extremely menacing, it was harmless, other than the 40mph winds that quickly followed. There was no shortage of vertical motion, and at times plumes of water vapor did appear to stretch from ground to sky, but there was not a shred of rotation visible to the eye or in storm-relative radial velocity images from GYX.

The tornado warning that was issued for southeastern NH wasn't even related to the line of storms that passed through here. While the line of storms propagated to the southeast, individual cells, namely the one that hit us, actually pushed eastward into Maine.
May we see the pics and video? I didn't see it rotating, either, so I couldn't call it anything based on my own sight. But what to say to the many who did? My friend saw three "fingers" as she described them, dancing in a circle around each other. I know her to be sane, intelligent and drug-free. I have seen my share of scud clouds over the last 20 years and this one stood out to me. And why did the wind direction at my station blow directly toward the "scud" cloud the entire time it was passing? Storms don't normally do that here. We get straight-line from whatever direction they're coming from. This scud cloud acted as a magnet for surrounding air, the entire time it was passing.

This storm has caused me to doubt (more than before) what the radar really sees around here, because there apparently wasn't enough of an echo to warn my location about the severe thunderstorm until the worst of it was already passing. Before getting here, it had already done a good deal of damage, which I saw when I left to drive around afterwards. The lights went out about 5 minutes before the storm's arrival (when the wind was still calm here) and that was my cue to prepare for severe -- if I'd been depending solely on official warnings I'd now be retrieving my stuff from the lake, and/or recovering from injuries.

The radar doesn't catch everything around here. It's usually most obvious in winter when we're having moderate snow and the radar shows clear. I called in to GYX with a snow total one night last winter and whoever was on duty didn't know it was even snowing. I was shoveling it off the walkway.
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Old 07-26-2008, 01:04 PM   #11
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May we see the pics and video? I didn't see it rotating, either, so I couldn't call it anything based on my own sight. But what to say to the many who did? My friend saw three "fingers" as she described them, dancing in a circle around each other. I know her to be sane, intelligent and drug-free. I have seen my share of scud clouds over the last 20 years and this one stood out to me. And why did the wind direction at my station blow directly toward the "scud" cloud the entire time it was passing? Storms don't normally do that here. We get straight-line from whatever direction they're coming from. This scud cloud acted as a magnet for surrounding air, the entire time it was passing.

This storm has caused me to doubt (more than before) what the radar really sees around here, because there apparently wasn't enough of an echo to warn my location about the severe thunderstorm until the worst of it was already passing. Before getting here, it had already done a good deal of damage, which I saw when I left to drive around afterwards. The lights went out about 5 minutes before the storm's arrival (when the wind was still calm here) and that was my cue to prepare for severe -- if I'd been depending solely on official warnings I'd now be retrieving my stuff from the lake, and/or recovering from injuries.
People see what they want to see. Ever see those shows on the discovery channel where they float logs in water on Lock Ness? Every one of the perfectly sane people saw the Lock Ness Monster.

However, there were definitely fingers of scud, rapidly rising in the updrafts which fueled the storm. And rapidly rising air has to be replaced from somewhere, so it's not unusual to have the wind rushing in towards the storm like you indicate. I observed the same thing.

Right click on this link and choose "save as." The other videos I took are too long to upload. This is looking towards Gilford and if I had to estimate, I'd say the base of that scud was over Governors Island. You certianly can't fault anyone for being spooked, as it did make a lot of people do a double-take, I'm sure.
http://www.weirsonline.com/DSCN4142.MOV

The below pic is not from this storm, it was taken in 2005 and is one of my favorite fake-tornado scud pics. It had people panicked. The hill in the foreground is Brickyard Mountain.
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:00 AM   #12
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We were out on Champlain yesterday around 3 or so. The NWS did an emergency alert about sever T-storms on the NY side, headed north. 70 MPH winds, etc...

I could see further to the south, on our side, another line. We beat it back to the dock, and within a few minutes it started to sprinkle. A major line of T-storms was fast approaching us, and they gave the warning when it was here for our side. Any dumb chit looking at the Doppler could see a massive line of storms headed north/NE, it was probably 100 miles long.

I have less faith in the forecasts and alerts now than ever before. They're all on computer models and auto pilot. Now I just look around and guess myself
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:52 AM   #13
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Published in the Citizen from 7/26/2008 - 7/27/2008

http://www.legacy.com/Citizen/DeathN...onID=114291599
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:47 PM   #14
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I have less faith in the forecasts and alerts now than ever before. They're all on computer models and auto pilot. Now I just look around and guess myself
I can assure you that most forecasters are not on auto pilot. With all the information that is now readily available to forecasters, in some ways it is harder to complete a forecast in a timely manner.

I had a double-E tell me over ten years ago that human forecasters would soon be obsolete...I'm still waiting. Of course, many double-E's ignore noise as long as the signal-to-noise ratio is large enough. That's impossible in meteorology...it's the noise that busts forecasts.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:56 PM   #15
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The papers reported people seeing funnel clouds but they seemed to avoid the "T" word.
That's a good thing. It means they know their job is reporting available information that has been checked for accuracy. They left damage assessment to the professionals. I wish Pam Cross on Boston Channel 5 had done that many years ago when she declared of damage in the Lakes Region that the NWS may have determined it to be a microburst, but she sure thought it was a tornado. The on-air meteorologist (and I can't even remember who it was because I was busy putting my hair out which had suddenly burst into flames) was much kinder than I ever would have been, but he definitely put her in her place.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:08 PM   #16
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Default Headed to St Albans Bay for the week....

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We were out on Champlain yesterday around 3 or so. The NWS did an emergency alert about sever T-storms on the NY side, headed north. 70 MPH winds, etc...
We heard the lake was high - friends of our pulled their docks out??? We are visiting family near Kill Kare - heard the weather was going to be good all week but with lake level high - considering not bringing the boat up and just relyign on family (though I much prefer to pilot my own vessel.)

Any thoughts?

Thanks.
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:05 PM   #17
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On the 18th of July, my family and I were on our dock on the side of Barndoor that faces the broads. We all witnessed the updraft happen on the Guilford side of the rear of Rattlesnake Island. The cloud cover was hanging low over one of the coves southeast of Ames farm and shot straight up into the sky like smoke from a hot fire. Then we saw the infamous fingers drop down but were not rotating at all. The front rolled over our heads looking like a wave in heavy surf but rolling up and back into itself. At that point we ran like hell and got to a safe spot. Nothing like the fury of Mother nature.

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Old 07-27-2008, 09:53 PM   #18
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Wildwoodfam,

I noticed yesterday afternoon that the water level marker in the Weirs channel was reading a tad under "full". I didn't see any particular issue with the level in our travels on Friday evening or Saturday covering the Wiers, Meredith and Glendale dock areas.

We slip at Thurston's and definitely notice when the Lakeport dam is open and fast water flowing - also nothing to worry about from that standpoint.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:39 AM   #19
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I have less faith in the forecasts and alerts now than ever before. They're all on computer models and auto pilot. Now I just look around and guess myself
It wasn't my intention to undermine the extremely important work that the National Weather Service does for us. One should always take a storm warning seriously, and listen to the advice given in the warning text.

However, here is the summary of my post (which is also how I feel about science in general): The earth is still better at what it does than we are at what we do. Technology is great, but is never greater than what's all around it. We are at our best when we stay humble to Murphy's Law.

VtSteve isn't wrong to forecast by looking around. One thing I have noticed is that the computers in science sometimes do take on a more important role than they should have. One of my best friends comes from a line of New England farmers, and he can make daily weather forecasts based on look, listen, and feel (or as he said, "The maple trees speak to me.") He knows very little about the science of meteorology, yet he's beaten me in forecasting contests this summer, even once with a severe storm threat.

This sometimes-superiority of the "farmer's method" over the "scientific method" is also supported by the words of a meteorologist I know who interned at a National Weather Service office while in college. When severe storms were approaching, he went outside to look, listen and feel. Upon returning inside, his supervisor redirected his attention back to the computer terminals and said, "Don't let the weather distract you from the weather." He felt it was a shame that more of the old-fashioned ways were being lost rather than included to work alongside modern methods, and that the exclusion might not be a good thing.

Once again, the earth is a step ahead of us. Case in point (and bringing this thread back to its original topic)... Last Thursday morning I don't think any forecaster honestly thought an EF-2 tornado would cut a "long track" (though broken, in places) through New Hampshire with a forward speed of 50 mph.

Most forecasters (including myself) saw at least a small chance that it might happen. But still, there were too many questions. I read many of them in the discussions. Would the day's cloud cover inhibit storm growth? That was a big question, among others. There was definitely a mention of tornadoes in the SPC discussion for the northeast that morning. That's not unusual during a severe weather threat. I've seen them write more excited-sounding discussions about this area in the past.

Here is what was on my mind: The night before, when the energy was beginning to flow rapidly into New England, the Providence area got some tornado action. A severe thunderstorm watch had been issued for southern New England at 10 pm, until 5 a.m. The storms were operating independently of the sun's heat. They didn't need it because the atmosphere had all the "crack" it needed for an all-night high (and still, it was nothing compared to what happens on the Plains sometimes.) If thunderstorms are maintaining or gaining "severe" intensity overnight, that's usually a scary, "outside the box" situation, even for modern day forecasters.

When weather reaches a certain intensity and breaks the confines of the rule books we normally use, it can be very humbling for many people, even if it's behaving by a rule book that's known but less-used. Less use means less practice. My first question of Thursday morning's weather was, "Where has last night's atmospheric energy gone?" and after looking at the information, the answer seemed to be, "Nowhere, really." We were going to see some "outside the box" weather that day, I was pretty sure, but what kind of weather, I wasn't sure. Tornadoes were on my mind, but I was thinking more like a couple of EF-0 with maybe one EF-1. A roof ripped off here and there, but not enough to make the news headlines for more than one day.

I can't speak for others, but from the discussions it sounded like they were having similar thoughts. I think if anyone at SPC foresaw the tornado we had, we would've had the tornado watch issued that morning instead of that afternoon. The tornado watch for Maine, when it was issued, seemed like more of a reaction to what had already happened in the storm's NH wake. As it turned out, the worst had already happened by the time the tornado watch was issued.

Still, it didn't mean the threat wasn't real. It WAS. It didn't mean any forecasters had dropped the ball. It only meant that the weather was making people--including forecasters--humble. It does that. We're smaller than it is.

Was the funnel cloud of June 18 actually just a harmless scud cloud as Scott mentions? He might be right. And maybe not. I have reasons to believe and disbelieve him. No one will ever know for sure. Science is full of mysteries like that, which is why people study it. Is there a Loch Ness Monster? What about Bigfoot? Have we been visited by aliens from other planets? Once again, the only correct scientific answer to any of those questions is, "No one has ever proven an answer 100%."

What does this mean for someone watching a weather forecast? If we say there are weather hazards possibly coming, listen and prepare. Your preparations might be in vain. So what. Also try to learn enough about weather so that you can spot some of the unpredicted storm threats without needing official warning, because sometimes storms sneak past the forecasters. They do that because they can. Even after what I said about the GYX radar in my last post, I still depend on it. I just try to keep its flaws in mind. It was made by people.

The weather of the last couple of weeks in NH should be a reminder to everyone that all science is the ongoing study of something we don't know everything about, or else "ongoing study" would not be necessary. Since it is necessary, Murphy's Law is always in effect -- and unfortunately proved deadly last Thursday.

Don't let uncertainty get the best of you, though. If anything, try to enjoy it. One of my favorite quotes is from the guy who wrote "The Polar Express" (I can't remember his name.) "A world in which there might be a Santa Claus is clearly superior to a world in which there definitely is not." And so, we have the science of meteorology, all mights and no definite. Just love it.

Last edited by CanisLupusArctos; 07-29-2008 at 01:20 AM.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:10 AM   #20
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Looking at these pictures, I just can't imagine how you even try to clean up your yard with 100's of trees down. I hope the trees have some financial value so that someone will want to pay to take them away. Great pics, thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-29-2008, 06:23 AM   #21
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Looking at these pictures, I just can't imagine how you even try to clean up your yard with 100's of trees down. I hope the trees have some financial value so that someone will want to pay to take them away. Great pics, thanks for sharing.
There are already free offers on craigslist for cutting up and taking away the wood. If you are willing to do the work, it is a great way to get some free firewood while helping someone in need.
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:00 AM   #22
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Last Thursday morning I don't think any forecaster honestly thought an EF-2 tornado would cut a "long track" (though broken, in places) through New Hampshire with a forward speed of 50 mph.

Was the funnel cloud of June 18 actually just a harmless scud cloud as Scott mentions? He might be right. And maybe not.
The Lake's Region part of that "long track" can be viewed at the site below.

The bottom photo, the start, is just west of the Camp Pierce/Birchmont area on Lake Wentworth. The top photo is described as where the tornado-track ended, but doesn't list the mountain's name. The site does mention Cotton Mountain, and photographing as far as Effingham.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zephyrp...7606420814448/

The track is described as 3-tenths of a mile wide.

My sightings of those "points" of scud clouds while boating on the ocean have often dipped down into the water to create a water spout, sometimes three or four at the same time.

Close to the Camp Pierce/Birchmont area:
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:39 AM   #23
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There are also vandals out there stealing downed trees.
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:34 AM   #24
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I took some aerial photos from Lake Wentworth in Wolfeboro down the damage line to freedom. You can view them here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zephyrp...7606420814448/

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Old 07-29-2008, 11:23 AM   #25
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Only one word - wow. Okay, two - frightening.

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Old 07-29-2008, 01:41 PM   #26
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flyguy:
Are any of the photos of Alton?

I was down on Hollywood Beach road and also the intersection of Stockbridge Corner and Rt 28 on Friday but I can't tell if any of your photos are of that area, not being used to looking down like that.
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:43 PM   #27
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We heard the lake was high - friends of our pulled their docks out??? We are visiting family near Kill Kare - heard the weather was going to be good all week but with lake level high - considering not bringing the boat up and just relyign on family (though I much prefer to pilot my own vessel.)

Any thoughts?

Thanks.
Oh it's not that high by any means. Well, it has gone up over a foot this month Currently at 97 plus feet, I wouldn't worry about docks generally until 98 plus. It's usually either too high or low, never perfect. So far this year it's been from 101' down to about 96'. Perhaps we should have tide tables
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:32 PM   #28
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The picture of the tornado end point is Green Mountain I believe (please let me know if it is not), it is quite a few miles from cotton mountain in Wolfeboro. (10 maybe?)
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:52 AM   #29
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We live in the Merymeeting River MHP where we were hit pretty hard, dozens of homes damaged or destroyed and hundreds of trees also. I believe it was our thick tree cover which saved us from total destruction, as the tornado came across the river and ran into a thick mass of hardwoods and pine and although that area was devastated it seem to deflect the tornado upwards where it did miminal damage compared to where it initially entered the park. Scariest few seconds of my life! Unbelivable nobody was injured with all the destruction and flying projectiles. But I would love to see an arial shot of where it enterd the park, someone must have one with all the aircraft flying over in the last week. We have united into a mean lean tornado cleaning up machine and I am proud to know all my neighbors for coming together and putting or slice of heaven back together.
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:40 PM   #30
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The NWS updated their webpage for the tornado. Most of the pics aren't anything new, except for one which has wowed me. It's posted below.

Full site:
http://www.erh.noaa.gov/gyx/SevereWe...nado072408.php

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Old 08-01-2008, 09:57 PM   #31
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I attached a little goody showing the July 24th tornado. It's the storm relative radial velocity image. What it shows is the motion of precipitation in storms. Precipitation moving toward the radar has negative velocity shown in blues/greens and precipitation moving away from the radar has a positive velocity, shown in yellows and oranges. This is how you identify rotation in storms and spot tornadoes.

Look near Barnstead and you can clearly see a couplet, which is a blue pixel touching a red pixel. Only way for a rain to be moving towards and away the radar in such a small area is for there to be rotation.
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Old 08-02-2008, 06:53 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott View Post
Look near Barnstead and you can clearly see a couplet, which is a blue pixel touching a red pixel. Only way for a rain to be moving towards and away the radar in such a small area is for there to be rotation.
Thanks, Scott, for getting and posting this. I've been looking for it archived online, but anything that I found which was already processed didn't have the resolution.
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Old 08-02-2008, 06:55 AM   #33
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I went back and re-shot the track from the Van Berkum Nursery to Lake wentwort, on Wed, 7/23. Now that many of the trees have been removed, the extent of the damage is more apparent.

http://www.lakesregionaerials.com/ph...2008_g123.html
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:33 AM   #34
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Hi Flyguy, love your photos but I still cannot locate where the tornado came across the Merrymeeting river through Merrymeeting river MHP and across RT11 maybe i am not recognizing any features
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Old 08-03-2008, 11:42 AM   #35
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Given the fact I live in tornado country - - Middle Georgia - - and being in my 70s now, I can assure folks after looking at your pictures, that was tornado damage you had. The popped off trees, the path, etc. says it all to me. Sometimes they will hop & skip around, other times, they stay right on the ground for miles. Also the pictures of the black "fingers" - - if I had seen those in my area, I'd been heading for the basement or a tornado cellar as quick as my legs could carry me.
Trust me on this one.
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Old 08-03-2008, 03:46 PM   #36
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Your pictures are amazing... thanks for letting us see them. I was at home in MA preparing to take my family to the lake for the week. The storm blew through central MA the radar showed it heading toward the lakes region... When we drive up Rt 28 we were detoured away from the damage. It was scary in MA.... must have been terrifying for those in the Tornado path...

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