Growing up in Atlanta, I personally experienced a number of notable weather events, including the Blizzard of ‘93 and the Atlanta Tornado of 2008.
The tornado struck the Georgia World Congress Center and the Georgia Dome during the SEC Basketball Tournament, with the University of Alabama squaring off against Mississippi State University.
Until then, please allow me to share my personal experience:
In March 2008, I was working at both Starbucks and Bath and Body Works in Atlantic Station. It was close by, and gas prices were high that year, so I often walked to work.
It was a warm evening on March 14 when I was walking back to my house in Home Park. I happened to notice a thunderstorm off in the distance producing an insane amount of lightning bolts -- dozens per second -- and it was off to the northwest.
I didn’t know how far the storm was, but being able to see so many distinct lightning bolts let me know that it was fairly close, and highly electric -- and there is a strong correlation between lightning count jumps and tornadic storms.
So I ran back home (only a quarter of a mile, but I *ran* because for the first time in my life, I was afraid of a thunderstorm).
I arrived home just in time to boot up my laptop with Gibson Ridge GR2 analyst on it. The storm had a severe thunderstorm warning tagged to it at I-75 and I-285, but it started to produce a hook as it moved southeast... towards my house...
I went outside because.... Well... I’m Jo Harding from Twister and I WANT TO SEE IT!! But that was obviously the foolish thing to do...
The mesocyclone went right over my house: I tried to close the door, but the pressure gradient made it difficult to close.
A few minutes later, storm damage reports came surging out of Downtown Atlanta.
Wild to think that the tornado touched down a mere 2 miles from my house!
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