Tuesday, April 04, 2006

NOT a twister

following up on the storms that thrashed the regions bank building in downtown indy: the NWS has concluded that the skyscraper was not hit by a tornado:

Authorities hope to get into the Regions Bank building at One Indiana Square today to begin assessing damage, but cleaning up from the storms that walloped the tower and damaged more than 500 homes across the state late Sunday could take weeks.

Damage to the Downtown Indianapolis tower was caused by straight-line winds, rather than a tornado, said Steve Haines, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis. He said officials are still trying to determine if other damage in the southern half of the state was from similar, straight-line winds or from tornadoes.

"We had a team out evaluating the damage (in Marion County), and they couldn't find any signs of 'rotations' that would indicate a tornado," Haines said.

good old straight winds. while it's a relief that it wasn't a tornado (reaffirming that tornados virtually never hit the city itself), it's not too reassuring to think that normal thunderstorm winds can pack that kind of wallop.

i got a glimpse of the damage last night when i was picking virago up from night class, but even with DST it was too dark to get a good look. still, it's a prominent landmark—i want to say that once upon a time that building was the tallest in indy, back before bank one tower was built.

furthermore, several streets surrounding the building are closed indefinitely because officials are afraid that crap will fall off the building and land on people. so driving around downtown kinda sucks right now, but i admit: it doesn't suck as much as it would to get crushed by debris falling off a skyscraper.

update: any physicists here? advance indiana is calling BS on the "not a twister" conclusion. meanwhile fox 59 is reporting that the damage was likely caused by the bernoulli effect. nobody in my high school physics class paid the least bit of attention, so i don't know about these things, but i will say i'm more inclined to believe the national weather service than advance indiana. sorry gary.

1 comment:

djempirical said...

well, i'm not a physicist by trade, but i did get a BS in physics.

the pro-tornado argument seems believable, if that's what you're wondering. whether it's what happened, i can't say, of course. it's plausible, though.