• Please note this new thread in the Announcements forum regarding updated management of the site. Jeff Duda has agreed to assume ownership and lead management responsibilities during what is anticipated to be a 3-12-month interim period while we perform some updates to the site, including changing the hosting. The staff will do their best to provide timely and transparent updates throughout this transition period.

  • A website update occured last week that rendered some of the page display styles obsolete. If you have logged onto the site and are experiencing a strange or messy appearance, it is likely due to this factor. An inadvertent mistake in the meantime likely made this issue worse. It has hopefully now been fixed. See this thread for details on the fix. --Jeff

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.