Grapefruit sized hail

Mentor
Here is tonight's forecast for me from the Weather Channel.

"Thunderstorms have developed along a cold front that is marching eastward across Kansas, Oklahoma and central Texas. Strong tornadoes, very large hail (possibly to the size of grapefruits) and damaging thunderstorm winds are possible with the storms."

Ok, I've already been demolished by baseball size hail, my house was hit by lightning and I lost not only every appliance I own but also my inside electrical wiring. Now they're predicting tornadoes and grapefruit size hail. It's already started thundering.

All this after freak freezing temperatures and a snowstorm that dumped almost a foot of snow a couple of weeks ago, destroying all of my plants and trees.

I hate the midwest!!

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berkeman
Mentor
Be sure to take some pictures. You never know what Zz will come up with next for a photo contest!

J/K. Hang in there, and good luck. I know the HAM emergency nets are already activating for this storm front.

Mentor
Be sure to take some pictures. You never know what Zz will come up with next for a photo contest!
That's true!!

I know the HAM emergency nets are already activating for this storm front.
That's good to know!! Unfortunately since my basement still has water from the flood a couple of weeks ago, I can't go into the basement if a tornado hits.

Oh well, maybe for once I won't get hit.

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Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
I hate the midwest!!

I hope your house comes out OK after this storm!

Be sure to take some pictures. You never know what Zz will come up with next for a photo contest!
Haha,

my house was hit by lightning and I lost not only every appliance I own but also my inside electrical wiring.
I can relate. A few weeks ago a power surge of some sort (maybe lightning, I was asleep) took out every appliance I had except my computer which was unplugged (because lightning killed my last one). I decided not to replace my TV and to spend more time reading and on the internet. I had TV withdrawal for about two weeks, but now I don't really miss it.

We get more lightning here than anywhere in the world (well, now they're saying Rwanda does). The surge protectors I had didn't help, so now do I have to unplug everything every time we get a storm? I think I'll just take my chances.

Mentor
Ouch, sounds like two of us in the same room might not be a good idea.

I had surge protectors also, they did no good and they were quite expensive, the lightning killed them also.

It happened at about 4:00am. I awoke with a vague awareness of having heard a loud BOOM ZAP. I smelled smoke, ran out to the living room, turned on a light and saw my TV smoking like a chimney. I took it outside so it wouldn't set off the smoke detector. It just now occured to me that the detector is wired, not battery operated. I wonder if it's still good?:uhh: Oh well.

turbo
Gold Member
Take care, Evo! We have gotten some pretty serious storms this month and have set a record for snowfall in April, but nothing as damaging as huge hail. Man, I wouldn't wish that on (almost) anyone! On the downside, though, four of the fruit trees that I planted last year were damaged by the the 80+ mph winds the weekend before last, and though I pruned them to retain some possible branching sites, I think they're toast. We lost power for long periods during one of the earlier storms, but have not had damaging surges. I guess we have been lucky. 20 years ago we were not so lucky, and April Fool's day brought us floods that destroyed bridges, swept houses away, and obliterated historic landmarks. This last storm destroyed lots of beach-front properties in southern Maine, but that's not a huge problem. If you can afford beach-front property in southern Maine, you can afford insurance, and you can afford to rebuild. The more immediate concern is the loss of sand dunes (nesting areas for wading birds) and contamination of shellfish habitat with run-off, though you wouldn't know it to watch the news and see people whining about the loss of their multi-million-dollar "cottages". Jeesh! When a storm comes in on a Southerly wind in conjunction with a high tide, beach-front properties will be damaged. Is that hard to understand? We shouldn't be subsidizing cheap flood insurance for these spoiled brats so they can rebuild their castles at our expense every 5-10 years.

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I hate the midwest!!
Time to move! I would never want to live someplace with the sort of weather you get. It seems like every spring/summer thunderstorm comes with major destruction in tow.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Come on out Evo. Tsu and I have an extra room.

There are devices that will actually protect your home's electrical, but I think they sell for about $6K for a unit that size. We use them in industry. Moonbear Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member Come on out Evo. Tsu and I have an extra room. There are devices that will actually protect your home's electrical, but I think they sell for about$6K for a unit that size. We use them in industry.
Considering how much she probably had to pay to replace everything damaged, that might be a bargain! Especially if that's a common problem around there.

Have somehwere safe to crawl under. hiding under a mountain of pillows and blankets may cushion the blow of falling debris

Maybe you should consider temporarily driving out of town a bit into a slightly safer area.

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Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Have somehwere safe to crawl under. hiding under a mountain of pillows and blankets may cushion the blow of falling debris
I've heard that climbing into the bathtub and pulling a mattress over you will work if you don't have a basement to climb into. Not sure if that only works if the bathroom is an interior room.

Maybe you should consider temporarily driving out of town a bit into a slightly safer area.
Even a better idea considering what a magnet Evo's house seems to be for freak weather systems.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Considering how much she probably had to pay to replace everything damaged, that might be a bargain! Especially if that's a common problem around there.
It's been so long since I priced one... I think I gave a number more inline with a small industrial app. Now that I think about it, something more like $1300 comes to mind. They are cool though. They are designed to explode within a container so as to dissipate the energy safely. Moonbear Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member It's been so long since I priced one... I think I gave a number more inline with a small industrial app. Now that I think about it, something more like$1300 comes to mind. They are cool though. They are designed to explode within a container so as to dissipate the energy safely.
Between a TV and a couple computers, not to mention rewiring a house, that would easily earn it's value with a single storm. Are they a "single use" kind of thing, or is there a part that's replaceable without having to shell out \$1300 a second time if it was "tripped."

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
The type that I know most about is a one-time device but there may be other technolgies designed to take a full strike.

This looks like the sort of things that I'm talking about but I don't see a price.
http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=PMP3D

IIRC, lightning strikes normally range from 1k to 10k joules per strike. The device above is rated for 3k joules. The other thing is to suppress the energy before it gets into the house. Nearby strikes often come in through the wires.

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what about installing a little system of mulitple surge protectors

would that have any affect?

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
The key numbers are the total joule capacity, the peak amps, and the response time. Five cheap ones don't make a good one.

Ivan Seeking
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Something else that comes to mind, and I'm pulling from quite some time ago, but that number for a strike of 1 to 10k joules is for each strike. There can be something like three to ten strikes of decreasing magnitude during a typical event; with as many as twenty strikes measured before. So depending on how much energy you want to prepare for, and depending on the response time that you are willing to pay for, there is probably a very large price range available for any given application, including a home. When I got involved in some of this directly, we were working with some of the fastest technology on market at that time, and the top line units were often several tens of thousands of dollars each...maybe as high as 50K for very large apps.

That is too far for just a small flood
No one thinks of that

Lisa!
Gold Member
I hate the midwest!!
Time to move in with t_e!

Stay put! Wait till the police come and help you out of the flood.
They have big jeeps, guns, and helicopters. You'll look gorgeous like a real hero on the van loaded with packages of clothes and useable stuff. Hang on !
That was done in Katrina long ago too, I watched the TV.

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BobG
Homework Helper
We just had a storm blow through the Colorado Springs area yesterday - hopefully our last snow of the year. It was snowing sideways out on the prairie with nearly no visibility going North. Everywhere West, North, or East of town got blasted.

This morning? The highway out to where I'm working this week is closed, so I have a two hour delay. My office right on the eastern edge of town has a delay because they took a power hit and it will be at least 2-3 hours to get the computers back up.

That's so depres... no, that doesn't quite describe my feelings. I mean .... cool!

Edit: There's a couple of routes back to the city from where I'm working. I chose the southern road, because I had a feeling traffic would turn the 15 mile drive on the main highway into a 3-4 hour trip (it's happened to me before). I made the right choice. Reading the news, there were still around 70 people stranded out on the main highway around 9:30 last night that had to be rescued.

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Art
Wouldn't a lightning conductor be the cheapest way to protect a home?

Passive lightning protection
Passive lightning conductor systems are available in two basic forms; either as the classic lightning rod systems (roof ridge conductor with two earthings or more earthings based on the protection diameter of the building) used for residential gable (or any slope) roofs; or as the conductor grids (gridlines created from conductors covering whole building with two or more rods for grounding) used for flat or low slope residential roofs.

In both cases they are cheap, easy to install systems.