1978-06-17: Whippoorwill / Pomona Lake Tornado

These posts got me to thinking about the SCItanic event on the Tennessee River, south of Huntsville, AL. On July 7, 1984, a microburst capsized a pleasure boat there, causing eleven people to drown. The boat's captain had picked up the severe thunderstorm warning and the two-story 100-foot-long paddle-wheel was headed back to port, keeping the bow in the wind which is normally an enhancement to stability and safety. The microburst broadsided the boat, causing it to capsize in "white-out conditions" and trapping many passengers in cabins underwater.

Investigations by various agencies, including the USCG, determined that there was nothing else that could have been done

This incident precipitated Dr. Ted Fujita's first visit to Huntsville to study the effects of microbursts.