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Old 05-31-2019, 03:17 AM   #1
Spletbr
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Midwest weather safety

We’ll be traveling across the Midwest this summer, PA to CO and back. Recommendations on what to do if one of these nasty weather fronts come through, whether we are on the road or in camp? Pull in slide? Face a certain direction? Put head between knees and kiss? Thunderstorms are one level of concern, tornado watches another. Wondering what experiences folks have and suggestions to make it all less terrible!
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:07 AM   #2
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If the winds get really high we pull in the slides. This reduces the flapping of the slide covers. If possible face into the wind. However with a tornado ypu won’t have time to find another spot or turn your rig, you just need to know where the shelter is. Have a safe and enjoyable trip.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:09 AM   #3
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Most campgrounds in "tornado alley" have designated tornado shelters. When making reservations, you can ask about location of these shelters and on registration/site assignment, be sure to ask. Then, when (if) you experience "dangerous weather" it's more important to get yourself and your loved ones to the shelter than it is to worry about repositioning a rig. Property can be replaced, human life can't.....

For us (we just returned from a 6 week trip from Michigan to Nevada) we changed our plans for the return route because of the weather. We were planning to visit friends along the I-70 routing in Kansas and Missouri. Because of the tornados and flooding, we changed our plans and from Denver, headed east on I-76 to I-80 and home. We were "just ahead" of the recent storms through the I-80 corridor.

I'd say, stay aware of weather developments, know your shelter options and prioritize safety over property loss...... YMMV
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:44 AM   #4
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Just went through the twisters that came through Kansas City and saw the destruction at Jefferson City. A trailer is not a shelter. Get out and head to the designated shelter until it passes. Dont take chances.

The frequency of storms will start to diminish going into June but always stay alert and ready.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:48 PM   #5
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Thanks all. Also thinking about what to do when driving....thunderstorms, watches, etc...
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Old 05-31-2019, 03:26 PM   #6
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Thanks all. Also thinking about what to do when driving....thunderstorms, watches, etc...
Pull off and go shopping inside somewhere.
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Old 05-31-2019, 05:46 PM   #7
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Thanks all. Also thinking about what to do when driving....thunderstorms, watches, etc...
If you are going thru locations where the weather can be dangerous take precautions;

KNOW what the forecast is for where you are going, what has happened in front of it and what is going to happen as you go through.

DO change your route to avoid bad storms. They come on you in an instance and can be devastating in just as short a time.

DELAY departures that will put your course in line with bad weather. Many times I've stayed over a day or two to avoid driving through something that might endanger us.

WATCH the clouds and their movement. You can see bad stuff coming but you have to pay attention and know "rain" clouds from a potential "funnel" cloud.

As was said, most campgrounds in tornado prone areas have a designated "safe" area. If you are in that place ask if the info is not posted.

Do not think that the RV is a place to "hunker" down. I've seen what a tornado does to an RV - but I had to be told what it was. Always look for a safer place. I'd rather jump in a ditch or crawl in a culvert than sit in the RV.

Face into the wind or pull in the slides? I've never done either because where I've been, by the time it hits there's no telling 1) what direction the wind is actually going to hit you and 2) once it's that bad I'm not trying to get DW and myself blown somewhere trying to reposition the RV. I suppose pulling in the slides "might" be of some benefit in a bad situation, but, if it is bad enough for me to have to pull in the slides to keep the RV from "going over there", I've already left it and checked into a motel.

In the midwest/southwest/tornado alley remember that thunderstorms can actually tear the heck out of stuff. Golfball/softball size hail can be devastating. My daughter took a brand new 89 Mercury Cougar XR7 to Walmart on a day we had thunderstorms....but, the thunderstorm decided to slam tennis ball hail down at the Walmart location. She had to stay in the store and the storm passed (15 minutes?), went out and the car was totalled. Brought it home to me (she was a sophomore) with the rear view mirrors broken and hanging down, windshield busted, back window cracked and the body, well, destroyed. That's a "thunderstorm" and remember, in my part of the country a steady 30-40 mph wind with gusts to 50 isn't unusual. The last few weeks we had days where the wind was 81 and 88 mph - just run of the mill spring. Tornado watches are just an fyi - be alert. Tornado warnings mean there is/has been one in your vicinity - much more urgent and when knowing how to read the clouds comes in handy.

Not trying to scare you - you will be fine I'm sure. The really bad stuff is not frequent and everything else just requires you to be aware, take the time to know what's happening around you and your destinations, adjust and "have fun". Wishing you a safe and happy trip; you're going to go through/to some awesome places.
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:07 PM   #8
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We use the WeatherBug app on our phones and look ahead where we are going. We also have stayed an extra day or two to avoid driving into danger.
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Old 06-01-2019, 07:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
If you are going thru locations where the weather can be dangerous take precautions;



KNOW what the forecast is for where you are going, what has happened in front of it and what is going to happen as you go through.



DO change your route to avoid bad storms. They come on you in an instance and can be devastating in just as short a time.



DELAY departures that will put your course in line with bad weather. Many times I've stayed over a day or two to avoid driving through something that might endanger us.



WATCH the clouds and their movement. You can see bad stuff coming but you have to pay attention and know "rain" clouds from a potential "funnel" cloud.



As was said, most campgrounds in tornado prone areas have a designated "safe" area. If you are in that place ask if the info is not posted.



Do not think that the RV is a place to "hunker" down. I've seen what a tornado does to an RV - but I had to be told what it was. Always look for a safer place. I'd rather jump in a ditch or crawl in a culvert than sit in the RV.



Face into the wind or pull in the slides? I've never done either because where I've been, by the time it hits there's no telling 1) what direction the wind is actually going to hit you and 2) once it's that bad I'm not trying to get DW and myself blown somewhere trying to reposition the RV. I suppose pulling in the slides "might" be of some benefit in a bad situation, but, if it is bad enough for me to have to pull in the slides to keep the RV from "going over there", I've already left it and checked into a motel.



In the midwest/southwest/tornado alley remember that thunderstorms can actually tear the heck out of stuff. Golfball/softball size hail can be devastating. My daughter took a brand new 89 Mercury Cougar XR7 to Walmart on a day we had thunderstorms....but, the thunderstorm decided to slam tennis ball hail down at the Walmart location. She had to stay in the store and the storm passed (15 minutes?), went out and the car was totalled. Brought it home to me (she was a sophomore) with the rear view mirrors broken and hanging down, windshield busted, back window cracked and the body, well, destroyed. That's a "thunderstorm" and remember, in my part of the country a steady 30-40 mph wind with gusts to 50 isn't unusual. The last few weeks we had days where the wind was 81 and 88 mph - just run of the mill spring. Tornado watches are just an fyi - be alert. Tornado warnings mean there is/has been one in your vicinity - much more urgent and when knowing how to read the clouds comes in handy.



Not trying to scare you - you will be fine I'm sure. The really bad stuff is not frequent and everything else just requires you to be aware, take the time to know what's happening around you and your destinations, adjust and "have fun". Wishing you a safe and happy trip; you're going to go through/to some awesome places.
This x2. Excellent advice on how to handle the weather issues that will come up.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:24 AM   #10
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Bad weather can hit anywhere across the country.
A few years back we were parked in central Michigan visiting family, while sitting outside I told DW I didn't like the looks of what few clouds I could see through the trees so we headed to the bathhouse for cover, just as we went in other people started coming & said "we figured if the Texans were taking cover we better go", just then the tornado siren started, storm lasted about 20 minutes with lots of wind & buckets of rain & then sunshine.
As already stated the very last place you want to ride out a storm is in a rv, get out, don't try to reposition it, just take cover.
Just curious Danny what part of W. Texas are you in, we grew up in the panhandle (Dumas) & a lot folks call that west Texas, but to me w Texas is Midland/Odessa to El Paso.
With the winds & storming you're describing sounds exactly like the panhandle, BTDT.
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Old 06-01-2019, 02:04 PM   #11
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We were in the UP several years ago with our Springdale. It was a bright, sunny day. We parked the camper, launched the boat, went out to check the "fishing holes" we always fish, about 3 miles from the boat landing, all of a sudden the sky turned dark, the wind picked up, before I could turn the boat around, we were in 5'-6' waves. I thought we were going to capsize, but I managed to keep the bow into the wind. We did test the "level flotation" and it worked. As quickly as it came up, the sky cleared, the sun came out, we were drenched, so went back to the boat ramp and walked up to the campground (about 200 yards). As we crested the hill, we found a tree on top of the Springdale. When I opened the door, there were limbs piercing the roof in several places. Where my DW's recliner sat was a limb through the roof and through the cushion on her chair.

Had we "raced to get back to the trailer for cover, no doubt she'd have been injured or worse, from that branch. Although the part of the tree that was on top of the trailer wasn't "that big" as you can see in the photos, it doesn't take a "monster tree" to total an RV.

RV's are no place to ride out bad weather !!!!!
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:29 PM   #12
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Bad weather can hit anywhere across the country.
A few years back we were parked in central Michigan visiting family, while sitting outside I told DW I didn't like the looks of what few clouds I could see through the trees so we headed to the bathhouse for cover, just as we went in other people started coming & said "we figured if the Texans were taking cover we better go", just then the tornado siren started, storm lasted about 20 minutes with lots of wind & buckets of rain & then sunshine.
As already stated the very last place you want to ride out a storm is in a rv, get out, don't try to reposition it, just take cover.
Just curious Danny what part of W. Texas are you in, we grew up in the panhandle (Dumas) & a lot folks call that west Texas, but to me w Texas is Midland/Odessa to El Paso.
With the winds & storming you're describing sounds exactly like the panhandle, BTDT.

We're in a little farming town called Lamesa (about 9400). About 55 mi. S of Lubbock and about 55 mi. N of Midland/Odessa; about 60 mi. E of the NM state line. Almost at the corner where the state line turns from N/S to E/W and runs to El Paso. We are called "W TX" by those out here but in reality, to me, we are on the "south plains" of TX but no one has any idea what that is.

For us folks Dumas is the panhandle as is most anything N of Plainview. Lubbock would start the S Plains but is called W TX as well. At Midland that would be true W TX and by the time you get to Pecos/Van Horn it is far west TX and then on to El Paso and down to Big Bend.

And yes, the panhandle has weather like I described. Never thought that an area in TX could get so cold and the wind blow so hard. Lived in Guymon, OK for about 2 1/2 years (not too far from Dumas) and when I left told DW I had no intention of ever living in that area again. The RV that was hit by a tornado I described in my previous post was in Happy, TX several years ago; S of Dumas a bit.
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:21 PM   #13
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We're in a little farming town called Lamesa (about 9400). About 55 mi. S of Lubbock and about 55 mi. N of Midland/Odessa; about 60 mi. E of the NM state line. Almost at the corner where the state line turns from N/S to E/W and runs to El Paso. We are called "W TX" by those out here but in reality, to me, we are on the "south plains" of TX but no one has any idea what that is.

For us folks Dumas is the panhandle as is most anything N of Plainview. Lubbock would start the S Plains but is called W TX as well. At Midland that would be true W TX and by the time you get to Pecos/Van Horn it is far west TX and then on to El Paso and down to Big Bend.

And yes, the panhandle has weather like I described. Never thought that an area in TX could get so cold and the wind blow so hard. Lived in Guymon, OK for about 2 1/2 years (not too far from Dumas) and when I left told DW I had no intention of ever living in that area again. The RV that was hit by a tornado I described in my previous post was in Happy, TX several years ago; S of Dumas a bit.
Seems the south plains & the panhandle is where most if the storms start & head northeast from there.
We moved from the panhandle to the DFW area & the DW was in total awe the first good rain storm that the rain came straight down & not sideways.
When we meet folks traveling & they ask about the weather in our areas of Texas my response is that it's always too something, too hot, too cold, too windy, too stormy, but seldom too pretty, but for 45 years didn't know any difference.
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:34 PM   #14
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We camped at the Oasis Rv Park on the west side of Amarillo a few years ago, had our 10 year old granddaughter & my MIL with us.
If you've ever been there it's a big park with nothing around it, a storm blew in, when the slides started breathing in/out we headed to their bathhouses, which are storm shelters, had to go 5-6 sites away, I had my GDs one hand & one of the MILs while the DW hand her other one & both the GD & MILs feet never touched the ground the wind was so strong.
That storm blew over one small TT & scattered outdoor furniture all over the park, weather said a tornado was spotted a few miles to the southwest.
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:48 AM   #15
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... Where my DW's recliner sat was a limb through the roof and through the cushion on her chair.

Had we "raced to get back to the trailer for cover, no doubt she'd have been injured or worse, from that branch. ...
Wow! Glad she wasn't hurt. As you have previously said, possessions can be replaced.
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