Video Appears to Show Terrifying Encounter With a Large Tornado in Italy

Dennis Mersereau · 07/08/15 02:40PM

Two videos posted to Facebook this afternoon appear to show an Italian’s intense run-in with a large tornado that tore through the northeastern town of Mira, a community near the coast of the Adriatic Sea just a couple of miles west of Venice. The tornado tore apart buildings and pelted the car with debris as one occupant inside dutifully recorded the dangerous encounter.

National Weather Service Revamps Its Website So It Sucks a Little Less

Dennis Mersereau · 07/07/15 12:37PM

If you’re one of the millions of people who visits the National Weather Service’s website when things go downhill, you’ll notice that they’ve made some changes that’ll either make it easier to read their forecasts or confuse the everloving hell out of you. Progress!

More Heavy Rain to Soak Areas of Central U.S. Already Soaked to the Bone

Dennis Mersereau · 07/06/15 10:58AM

Have you had a chance to dry out from Rainpocalypse 2015? I hope so! We’re getting ready to see significant amounts of rain across the central U.S. in a short amount of time, and flash flood watches are in place in anticipation of this environmental ablution as we trudge through the first full week of July.

This Airport Lets You Feel Your Destination's Weather Before Taking Off

Dennis Mersereau · 07/02/15 08:00AM

If you’re sitting at the airport and can hardly wait to get to your warm, tropical destination, you can get a small taste of the weather there before you even set foot on the airplane. The largest airport in Stockholm, Sweden, now has a nifty room called a “climate portal” that simulates weather conditions at your destination while you’re still at the gate.

Feedback: Help Make These Maps Un-Suck

Dennis Mersereau · 07/01/15 09:04PM

Hi! I need your feedback, if you wouldn’t mind. Several readers have chimed in over the past week or two about how I could better design the maps that appear here on The Vane to make them more readable for both desktop and mobile users. I aim to please, so if you have any comments or suggestions about how I can make my maps better, please let me know.

Does It Seem Like Thunderstorms Keep Passing You By? You're Not Alone.

Dennis Mersereau · 06/30/15 03:52PM

If it seems like that promising thunderstorm on the horizon will defy the laws of physics to avoid where you live—depriving you of needed rain and soothing thunder—you’re not alone. Even though it seems like won’t stop raining in much of the eastern U.S., many areas are slipping into drought as we head into the middle of the summer.

Your Commute's Gonna Get Screwed up by Thunderstorms This Evening

Dennis Mersereau · 06/30/15 03:19PM

If you live in or around any of the counties shaded in blue on this map, odds are that your commute’s gonna suck as you head home this evening. Severe thunderstorms are firing up all over the place, and these counties are all under a severe thunderstorm watch through nightfall. Damaging winds, large hail, and some tornadoes are possible in these storms.

Significant, Prolonged Heat Wave to Blanket Europe Over the Next Week

Dennis Mersereau · 06/30/15 02:31PM

Most of western and central Europe is on track to experience a dangerous heat wave over the next week, allowing temperatures to soar up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit above average for several days beginning on Wednesday. This level of heat is extremely dangerous in this part of the world due to the lack of air conditioning in many homes across the region.

Woman Struck by Lightning While Getting Off Flight Diverted by Storms

Dennis Mersereau · 06/29/15 01:03PM

A Charlotte-bound flight was diverted to Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday evening due to strong storms over the Queen City. As if landing in South Carolina against your will isn’t bad enough, a storm developed over Columbia and zapped a passenger as she got off the U.S. Airways Express flight.

Dennis Mersereau · 06/27/15 11:04AM

The Storm Prediction Center says that there’s an elevated risk for tornadoes around Washington D.C. and Baltimore this afternoon. Keep a close eye on watches and warnings today, and make sure you have a plan to take quick, adequate shelter either at home or if you’re out somewhere. Avoid box stores if storms are looming on the horizon.

Severe T'storms and Flash Floods Likely in Eastern U.S. This Weekend

Dennis Mersereau · 06/26/15 04:00PM

Away we go into the last weekend of June, and the month will draw to a close just as it (and we) began life: wet and angry. In fact, we’re closing the month with a storm system that’s more common in fall than the middle of summer. Heavy rain will soon overspread much of the eastern United States this weekend, accompanied by some severe thunderstorms on the southern end of the system.

Nature Resumes Torturing Western U.S. With Rough, Record-Breaking Heat

Dennis Mersereau · 06/25/15 04:08PM

A slow motion disaster will continue playing out in the western United States this weekend as the same weather pattern that kept the west dangerously hot and dry this past winter is back to roast it over an open fire beginning this weekend. Some locations will see highs in the 100s through the middle of next week.

800,000 Power Outages Reported After Fierce Storms Blast Mid-Atlantic

Dennis Mersereau · 06/23/15 08:11PM

A line of intense thunderstorms rolled through the I-95 corridor this evening during the height of rush hour, stranding commuters, tearing down trees and power lines, damaging buildings, and even injuring a few people. After the rain wound down, more than 800,000 customers from D.C. to New Jersey were without power.

Strong Storms Will Hit D.C., Baltimore, Philly During Today's Rush Hour

Dennis Mersereau · 06/23/15 03:38PM

You can swim through the air on the East Coast this afternoon. It’s a typical hot, muggy summer afternoon, and an approaching cold front is allowing this soupy air to explode skyward and trigger some nasty thunderstorms. It looks like the storms will arrive in the megalopolis just in time for rush hour, of course.

U.S. Senate Chickens Out of Fixing Major Issues in Weather Forecasting

Dennis Mersereau · 06/23/15 01:35PM

Last week, the United States Senate briefly flirted with the idea of actually doing something useful. Depending on whom you ask, the National Weather Service Improvement Act was either a positive step toward modernization or destructive enough to give Rick Santorum the quivers. Even though the bill is now dead and gone, the idea of fundamentally restructuring the National Weather Service is a debate worth having.

News Anchors Worry About Howard Stern Prankster's Safety During Tornado

Dennis Mersereau · 06/22/15 11:04PM

Someone managed to pull a classic (but weak) Howard Stern prank during NBC Chicago’s live coverage of a tornado warning southwest of Chicago on Monday night. Even better than the call itself was the reaction of the worried anchors, who were completely oblivious to what happened.

Intense Squall Line Produces Extensive Damage, 95 MPH Wind Gusts in Iowa

Dennis Mersereau · 06/22/15 01:49PM

An intense line of thunderstorms ripped, tore, screamed, blasted, and raced through the state of Iowa this morning, producing wind gusts exceeding 90 MPH in spots. Right or wrong, the storm is being touted as a “derecho” in the media; regardless of the name, the storms were brutal.

Dennis Mersereau · 06/19/15 06:41PM