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No. 29: Sep-Oct 1993

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Satan's storm

June 1960. Kopperl, Texas. Thunderclouds and lightning gave way to winds in excess of 75 mph, with temperatures of up to 140F. Surveying the storm damage later:

"Aside from the expected remains of a severe wind storm -- uprooted trees, snapped telephone poles, roof damage and banged-up boats docked lakeside -- the area had the ironic appearance of having been stung by a June freeze. Tree leaves, shrubs, hanging plants and crops were curled and wilted, as if frost-bitten. Uncut Johnson grass was dried and ready to bale, although the hay normally required two or three days of drying time after being cut. Perhaps the most startling remains of the storm was in what had been the cotton patch at Pete and Inez Burns' farm. The cotton was about knee high and a 'lucious crop' the day before, according to the couple. The next morning all that was left were carbonized stalks peeping out of the ground. The corn fared little better."

(Glaze, Dean; "Kopperl's Close Encounter with Satan's Storm," Meridian (TX) Tribune, May 12, 1983, p.1. Article appeared originally in the Dallas Times-Herald Westward Magazine. Cr. J. Mohn)

Comment. The consequences of this storm closely resemble the burning and drying effects of some tornados. See GWT in our Catalog: Tornados, Dark Days. Ordering information here.

From Science Frontiers #29, SEP-OCT 1983. 1983-2000 William R. Corliss