WhatTF is going on with our weather? NYC got hit with 5 micro tornadoes — upturning trees, moving cars, disrupting rail and highways — over the course of about 20 minutes.

The commute home was insane — the railroads were all essentially canceled, with multiple trees on the tracks — and the drive home was simply unimaginable.

I cannot describe what it was like to take one hour to go a single exit. Normally, it takes me 30-40 minutes to get home at 8:30 at nite. I just walked in at 1am. It took me over 4 and half hours to get driven home (courtesy of CNBC).

FIretrucks every where, ambulances, police — it was bedlam.

I’ve never had a ride like this — an on rare occasion, I drive into the city with ush hour. That takes 60 – 90 minutes. This traffic was about 5X worse — it looked like a post-nuclear war. I was in the car for an hour just to get out the tunnel, and another hour before I got 2 miles east of the tunnel. It was simply unconscionable.

Forget nuclear bombs, terrorist can disrupt the entire metropolitan area with a few tree saws . . .

Photos courtesy of NYT

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Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

31 Responses to “NYC Tornado”

  1. FrancoisT says:

    “WhatTF is going on with our weather?”

    Ask all the climate change deniers; they’ll tell you with ayatollah-like conviction that the sun spots were very active 23 hours ago, or some BS of the same registry.

    This is only the beginning. Just take a look at what it’ll look like in a couple of decades.


    These maps should scare the beejezus out of anyone…save the deniers, of course!

  2. The Window Washer says:

    Homeland security was money well spent then.
    We moved the bar from box cutter to chainsaw in a decade.

  3. The Window Washer says:

    Sorry if that hit to close to home Barry.

  4. not at all — its sadly accurate

  5. sainttjames says:

    Ha! – welcome to my world.

  6. Julia Chestnut says:

    I was stuck in stand-still traffic on the Washington Bridge when a tornado touched down in NY a couple of years ago. The whole sky was green — and being from Texas, I damn well know what that means. But I could no more have headed for cover than sprouted wings: we were stuck. So I rode out a tornado — that eventually I could see over New York — on a huge suspension bridge, in a car, trapped in the open. Struck me as mighty impractical!

    Extreme weather is no fun. Especially in conjunction with extreme traffic. Glad you eventually made it home!

  7. mathman says:

    Lack of leadership over the decades (and continuing now with Obama) have lead to our inaction.
    We don’t have decades to act any longer and the climatic changes will continue as nature balances our inaction with its action.


  8. Robert M says:

    This is a cautionary tale your comments on what trees can do. You pointing out what jackasses can do if they were to change their thinking from trying to be the next google dangerous.

    Have an easy fast.

  9. lineside says:

    Come on.

    I’ve lived in the NYC area for 50 years. This is by no means the first time we’ve had violent thunderstorms with intense winds (possibly not recognized as the newly-coined “mini-tornados” decades ago) resulting in plenty of downed trees.

    I’m not saying that climate change isn’t happening. But those who would depict this storm as some sort of unprecedented event and by extension a proof of climate change, make yourselves look silly to anyone who’s lived in the area for any length of time.

  10. My issue was the traffic — I watched the storm from my office window, it was very dark and quick — but the traffic was inexplicably insane

  11. pintelho says:

    You should have seen Park Slope…Every single block on 5th and 7th ave had a downed tree…and many of the side streets as well…

    These weren’t young trees either…they were big girthed old trees…Brooklyn Industries on 9th street had all their windows shattered…

    It was a mess and I had to drive through it all…so it took me about 1 hour to get to Park Slope from my Summit NJ commute, then another hour to get through it.

    Anyway them trees stored a lot of carbon…so the viscious cycle of Global Warming just got that much worse.

  12. ashpelham2 says:

    And I’ll say about the traffic that it’s because anyone with a pulse can get a license now. Surely there was a lot of confusion and blocked streets, so people were taking alternate routes that they didn’t know or weren’t as familiar with. But anyone and everyone can drive a car now; after all, it helps the economy to have more licensed drivers, right? Just ask Atlanta, or LA, or other places with car density so high that it’s essentially choked off growth. Let’s thank the US automakers too, while we’re discussing weather and tornados (!?!?!), for flooding the streets of America with autos to anyone and everyone with a w-2, or not, and then laying off 100′s of thousands of employees who built them. We’re stuck with the heaps of steel and debt, clogging the streets and clogging the air, tying us interminably to a payment, so rush hour is now rush EVENING.

    I’m still thinking of a way to blame Obama and Bush for our current malaise. I’ll get back to you.

    Will Rogers once said that the cure for traffic woes was to allow only paid for cars to drive the streets. You could let your children play jacks on the 110 in LA if we did that.

  13. Lugnut says:

    F’in A, I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Commuting south on the GS Parkway around 5:15, the rain starts hitting real hard, and as I get to the top of the Driscoll Bridge (big span about 150′ high that spans the Raritan River), the shit hit the fan (at about 100mph). This was perched over my car about 50 yards ahead of me:


    Not my picture, but taken by someone who was there, and posted it on NJ.com. Everyone came to pretty much a standstill on the top of the bridge, and were looking at everyone in the car next to them with a ‘WTF’ look on their faces. tons of debris blowing through the air, the lights on the lightpoles went out, trees were sideways, I saw a flock birds get caught up in the cell and get blown out into the bay. It was NUTS. Once I got on the other side of the funnel cloud, the rain was crazy hard, people were moving at around 10mph, it was like a localized hurricane for about 5-10 minutes. Once I got home later in Monmouth County, our house got hit by another small hard cell around 6:20 and knocked stuff all around the neighbor hood. Very wacky storm, never seen anything like it.

  14. curbyourrisk says:

    How anyone from NY would think this is global warming or climate change, er climate disruption is beyond me. This is nothing new.
    The reaction to things are what is different. People allof a sudden go into panic mode. I was on the LIRR while it happened and they actually announced to us there was a tornado on the ground. I was scared for about 6 minutes.

  15. ES says:

    > How anyone from NY would think this is global warming or climate change, er climate disruption is beyond me. This is nothing new.

    Try getting out more. I spent some of this summer in Russia – not fun. I don’t want to argue what ios causing these extremese, but it is not normal and what is even more not normal – how clsoe these events are together. Sure, you can have one in a 100 years, but not several in a single year.

  16. rktbrkr says:

    Surprising how long it took LIRR to restore service, lots of office sllepovers I guess

    Imagine a hurricane hitting NYC or major metro on Atlantic coast -and we haven’t had one in a long time, overdue

  17. louis says:

    No Robert Moses Tornado Lane on those roads? Safe at Home


  18. constantnormal says:

    At least you still had power … recall the east coast blackouts of 1965 and 2003 …



    So far as I can tell, the fragile design of the power grid has only been beefed up, not radically changed to prevent a repeat performance at some point down the line, when most likely weather (it could be terrorists, but the weather is much more likely and unstoppable) will disrupt the power grid again, and our much-more-dependent-on-electricity society is plunged into darkness once more.

    Whether in the depths of a very hot summer, and the demand for A/C pushes us close to the edge, or in the depths of a severe winter, where ice drops the transmission lines, traffic difficulties will be the least of your problems.

  19. WaveCatcher says:

    Too. Little. Margin.

  20. constantnormal says:

    Just wait until there is a REAL tornado, one that hugs the ground for several miles as it rolls through NYC …


    Whether you attribute this to global climate change or random chance, the weather is still the most impressive engine of destruction (aside from hydrogen bombs), and there is absolutely nothing we can do in the short term about the weather, except to get out of its way.

  21. ZedLoch says:

    “terrorist can disrupt the entire metropolitan area with a few tree saws”

    I’ve always wondered why they don’t do that. Ya know, just cause more of a general nuisance and persistent headache, non-lethally even!

  22. curbyourrisk says:

    Weather is uncontrolable. Weather is unpredictable. Weather happens.

    Global warming is a scam…..just ask good ole Algore how much he has profited from it over the last 20 years. Stop buying into his scam and think for yourself.

  23. Alaric says:

    One of the problems I have noticed over the years is that trees are not pruned properly or at all.

    In the UK today, there is a sense that if you plant a tree and it grows large, you could at some point have a problem because parts or all of it may eventually fall down.

    There is no sense of this in NY anymore —- I have seen huge trees next to homes, roads, railroad lines which will definitely come down with a high wind — particularly when high wind strikes and the leaves are still on the trees! (It may sound strange, but the leaves help to catch the wind significantly).

    NY’ers should spend time looking after their trees, so as to prevent problems.

  24. donna says:

    With flash floods in Arizona, I was stuck once at work a quarter mile from my apartment, which was across the freeway. The water was flowing so fast in the wash along the freeway that traffic couldn’t cross, so I just stayed at work for a couple hours.

    It doesn’t matter where you are, nature wins over traffic every time.

  25. bergsten says:

    I’ve found that if you want to see where storms hit in NYC, look at the
    Con Ed outage map

  26. arthurcutten says:

    Just think what a mass evacuation might be like.

  27. parsec says:

    Holy crap. You’ve turned into Nashville.

  28. willid3 says:

    not sure what to make of this. we have Tornadoes all the time (being in Texas does that). and my real first one was a dozy. it was a mile wide. but that was many years ago. i am guessing they NYC isn’t used to them showing. the most recent here was a rope one, which doesn’t look like much. but it can mess up things pretty well.

  29. BTRFLY says:

    I feel for you about the wait, but you haven’t lived an adventurous life if the worse you can come up with is that. Try the ice storm two years back in NH. We couldn’t leave the driveway without a chainsaw. Hell to get two streets away you needed to own one yourself. No power for three weeks. In most of the state, and beyond! I have two very small children. We were displaced for weeks. My baby had bronchitis too. It was so much fun. Oh to have traffic be the biggest problem. Schools were out too, for a LONG time. Hell they were being used as shelters! I am sure it was quite something there but just sayin.

  30. subscriptionblocker says:


    Ever see what those Okies get to live with? Mile wide tornadoes, ice snapping power poles like toothpicks, dust, floods, hail.

    The rest of us are just wusses :)

    Yep, NY will get my attention when it gets locusts.

  31. subscriptionblocker says:

    NY really should worry more about hurricanes. How will you get people out?