The Storm Prediction Center is equipped with high-tech radar to make accurate and timely severe- weather forecasts and issue appropriate warnings to U.S. citizens. However, Weather.com writer Nick Wiltgen reports that, despite the advanced equipment, a tornado unexpectedly hit Lovelady in East Texas, causing residents to fear for their lives and property.
“Sometime between 4:30 and 5 o’clock, a tornado spun up on the west side of town, within spitting distance of the town’s traffic light. In an instant, at least two large trees were pulled from the ground,smashing into the dining room of Toni Cowger’s mobile home. She had just left the dining table to peek outside at the wind-whipped commotion – and escaped with a cut leg.
At the same time, Esther Ramirez’s mobile home was shoved off its foundation and mangled by the twister.”
Further investigation revealed that Lovelady is in a blind spot in the radar network, its location making it impossible for the surrounding Doppler radars to detect any severe weather activity happening within 12,000 feet aboveground. Without any severe weather signals showing in the area of Lovelady, weather forecasters were clueless of the forming tornado.
College Station is a mere one-hour drive from Lovelady. It may be nearer to the radar network, but surprise tornadoes could also happen in the city and catch residents off-guard. What locals can do is to prepare for the worst, and consider hiring a reliable College Station roofer, such as America’s Choice Roofing, to install a new roof that will withstand tornadoes.
When tornadoes strike, roofs provide the initial defense for the home. When winds blow continuously over the roof, however, with the same force that enables planes to fly, they can tear roof shingles away, piece by piece, or blow the entire roofing system off the home. While there is no possible way to make roofs tornado-proof, there is a way to make them stronger and more resistant to extreme weather conditions.
For one, the roof materials used by roofing contractors in College Station, TX are key to ensuring the roof’s strength against weather disturbances. Slopes are also another important element, according to Rima Taher, an expert on wind-resistant structures. She says those who are constructing a new home or installing a new roof can consider having four slopes, instead of the usual two, to improve the structure’s aerodynamics. Another suggestion from the expert is to install a moveable flap near the roof’s seam to ease the pressure applied by hurricanes or tornadoes.
In tornadoes as powerful as the one that struck Lovelady, the roof is usually the first to go. Homeowners can work with experienced roofers to have a roof built which will withstand Mother Nature’s wrath.
(Source: The Tornado East Texas Never Saw Coming – And Why They May Not See The Next One, Weather.com, April 18, 2014)