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"Tornado-like" sound alarms people in Florida

By Ted Bonnitt on February 5th, 2012
"Tornado-like" sound alarms people in Florida
Strange sounds recorded in Leon, FL (Google)
Strange sounds recorded in Leon, FL (Google)

Strange and intense atmospheric sounds have been reported throughout the world in the past year.   

A video (see below), from the Tallahassee, Florida, area offers an excellent example of the phenomenon.   The video was taken on March 9, 2011, by an alarmed mother in Leon, FL, whose anxiety and devotion to Jesus intensified with the roaring atmosphere, which she feared was an approaching tornado.  

The Tallahassee airport is only about a mile to the north of the witnesses' location, and the rumbling was reportedly loud enough to make the earth shake.  

Area police received many calls about the odd noise.

Local TV news outlet WCTV reported on the event:

We had a lot of calls early Wednesday evening, primarily from the area from Woodville to Crawfordville, about rumbling sounds that sounded like a freight train, with residents fearing it was a tornado. But, it was NOT. The leading edge of thunderstorms was well to the south by that time, and while there were still rumbles of thunder, the severe weather was over.

It was certainly unusual, and for those residents - a bit scary, but it was not a funnel cloud or tornado. It was likely a phenomena called "ducting", and the Tallahassee National Weather Service office addressed it in the special statement below.

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENTNATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TALLAHASSEE FL718 PM EST WED MAR 9 2011

...STRANGE SOUNDS BEING REPORTED ACROSS THE FLORIDA BIG BEND...

THERE HAVE BEEN SEVERAL REPORTS OF VERY STRANGE SOUNDS FROM THE WOODVILLE AREA SINCE ABOUT 645 PM EST. THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BELIEVES THIS PHENOMENON IS BEING CAUSED BY THUNDER FROM DISTANT LIGHTNING STROKES... BOUNCING OFF A VERY STABLE LAYER ABOVE THE GROUND. THIS IS CALLED DUCTING...AND CAN ALLOW SOUND TO TRAVEL UNUSUALLY LONG DISTANCES. THIS SOUND HAS BEEN MISTAKENLY ATTRIBUTED TO POSSIBLE TORNADOES...BUT WE AT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WANT TO BE VERY CLEAR THAT THERE ARE NO TORNADOES ... AND NONE ARE EXPECTED.

After a few minutes, a bright flash in the sky appeared (see video), and the roaring sound ended.   This same sequence of a flash followed by the sound ending has been recorded in other parts of the world.

 

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