The PJ Tatler

Video: The incredible Tuscaloosa tornado

Growing up in Tornado Alley, these storms are just a part of spring. The sky would turn green, the air would feel ominous, and tornadoes would strike. But in all those years of watching wall clouds and lightning and hearing the roar of thunderstorms until we drifted off to sleep at night while the weatherman listed the counties in the warning zones, I never saw anything even close to this. This is a beast from Hades, with rare sideways tornadoes swirling off of and around the main force.

The only thing in my memory that comes close to this is the tornado outbreak that pummeled Wichita Falls, TX in April 1979. That storm was supposedly a mile wide, and it carved a serious path of destruction that was talked about for years. Wikipedia (which should always be cited with wary skepticism) says that tornado was an F5 and killed 58 people from Texas to Indiana. The total death toll from this week’s tornado outbreak is nearing 300, across several states.