1980-06-03: Grand Island, NE

Discussion in '1980s' started by Mark Blue, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Dawn Thieme

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    Yes Doug, Thayer County has been fairly quiet this year, and I'd kind of like to keep it that way!! I don't remember the GI storms either, as I would have just turned 4. I do recall reading Ivy Ruckman's book many times in jr high and high school. So I learned a lot about that storm through the story, and the gitwisters.com website. Tornado Hill is kind of a site to see if you ever get up that way.
     
  2. Mark Blue

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    Tomorrow is the 30 year anniversary of this event. Honestly, it seems like yesterday when I think about it. I'll be curious to see what the Grand Island newspaper does for this particular milestone.

    http://theindependent.com/
     
  3. Mark Blue

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    The Grand Island newspaper posted this article in memory of the event and those who did not survive yesterday on their website: http://bit.ly/brWy06

    It was pretty much a recap of what happened, but worth reading if you are interested in what happened (Lonnie?!?). I also found this write up on the NWS site for Grand Island and Hastings. Again, nothing new as far as findings and research are concerned, just something to take you down memory lane for those who like following and remembering this event: http://bit.ly/d4pHgp
     
  4. Dave Rennie

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    Interesting reading. I was stationed at Air Force Global Weather Central at Offutt AFB, Omaha, Nebraska, at the time of the tornadoes. Some time later I was able to attend an AMS meeting in Omaha where Ted Fujita was the guest speaker and presented a slide show of his investigation of the Grand Island tornadoes. It was a very interesting presentation.
     
  5. Brian Hartmann

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    I have enjoyed reading more about this event. It was brought back to my mind this evening by, of all things, noticing that my little toddler's bath water was going down the drain anticyclonically. I grew up in Minden and was 3 at the time of the event, so I have no personal recollection beyond the stories of my brother who traveled with my dad to help out to aid the recovery and those of my cousins who lived on the north edge of Hastings and said it was the scariest storm event they ever witnessed even though it didn't affect them directly.

    When I was in college, I did a bit of research work into the meteorological setups of the NW-flow supercells in central Nebraska. During that research, I visited the NWS office in Hastings to pick their brains and their archives over the event. I was lucky enough to get a copy of the weather bureau radio transcript from that night. It is riveting to read.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?nidj584j5ej2sd1

    I hope that you all enjoy reading it.

    Brian
     
  6. joel ewing

    joel ewing Member

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    Brian, thanks so very much for posting the NWS / Grand Island / Norfolk / Alliance / Hastings / Omaha transcripts of this incredible event. I was bored tonite and decided to surf on into StormTrack to see if there was anything that was interesting to check out. Wow! Talk about ending my boredom quickly....those 14 pages were absolutely riveting!! It's hard to believe that this event is over 30 yrs. old now. Like I said in a previous post, one of my cousins was living in G.I at the time. She took shelter in some building that just got narrowly missed by one of those tornadoes. She told me..."They really DO sound like trains!"
    While reading this transcript, one thing that stuck out to me was how well all these guys from the various weather agencies throughout Nebraska worked together. For those that haven't read this yet, Grand Island was bombarded by at least 8 tornadoes, some of them killers, in one evening. The crew from the NWS in Grand Island (NWS Grand Island is now actually just north of Hastings, Nebraska....about a half-hour south of Grand Island), which was very near the airport, had to evacuate their stations to go underground at least twice during this event. During these evacuations, it was amazing how flawlessly the surrounding NWS offices picked up the slack and continued manning the various radar views as well as verbally issuing tornado warnings throughout the central and east central portions of the state. I don't even work for the NWS, and just reading this account made me proud as hell for the job all these offices did under incredibly stressful conditions. But, we Nebraskans, that's just an everyday way of life for us...haha. My thanks once again for posting these transcripts, Brian.
     
  7. Mark Blue

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    Nothing major to add to the thread, but today is the 35 year anniversary of the "night of terror".

    http://www.theindependent.com/news/...776-09a2-11e5-9b68-ab41df831526.html?mode=jqm

    If you've read this thread before you would understand the profound impact this had on me, after I had just graduated from high school. This event and witnessing a tornado hit my grand parents farm in Minden, NE, when I was 5 years old sealed my fate and interest in severe weather.
     
  8. Royce Sheibal

    Royce Sheibal Member

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    I think it's both fitting and eerie that on the 35th anniversary of one of the most insane happenings in the history of weather, that the same area is targeted again today.

    Stationary fronts, like the one that night, insane 6000+ capes, and localized vorticity along stationary boundaries enhanced by slow moving cells due to lack of upper level support, are what I consider to be the more 'classic' Nebraska Tornadoes. I think Pilger, NE last year was a comparable event, with perhaps not the exact same synoptic conditions, but pretty close. I made a forecast that day for here on Stormtrack, front just hanging around, 6000 cape, bad upper level support, but low level boundaries made it happen, just like in GI. It's important for people to realize that there are multiple modes of high-probability, high threat tornadic scenarios, not just classic southern plains or deep south modes. And that our lazy stationary front can be just as active.
     
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  9. Virginia H.

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    Hello Brian! I've never posted on StormTrack before so please forgive me if I'm not doing this correctly. I've enjoyed reading through this thread about the 1980 Grand Island Nebraska event. I'm very interested in reading the transcript referenced above but the MediaFire link is no longer active. Do you still have it or is it available anywhere else? Thanks much!
     

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