June 24, 2013
To hear a few of our readers explain it on the newspaper’s website, LimaOhio.com, the reason the city has been spared from tornadoes in the past is because of the “bubble” that forms over the refinery and chemical plant.
Supposedly, all the emissions (now there’s a kind word) spewing out of the complex act as a force field that guards Lima from nastiness, instead sending it either south to clobber Buckland or northward to do peril on places such as Dupont and Rimer.
Check it out, I was told.
That I did, and must report Mr. Nick Greenwalt of the National Weather Service was very kind when we spoke, although I detected a burst of laughter from the meteorologist while hanging up the phone.
No, he said, a “bubble” didn’t spare Lima from the hunker-down straight-line winds of a few weeks ago. More like plain luck.
“With a large-scale storm system, something like you’re describing would have little effect,” he said.
But Greenwalt did open a door.
It’s possible the “bubble” could cause a few more thunderstorms here, although he used the term “urban heat island” instead of bubble.
“The heat and moisture produced from cities or large manufacturing complexes can, under certain atmospheric conditions, lead to some isolated thunderstorms,” Greenwalt said.
So, how about lightning from those storms: Is it true lightning never strikes the same place twice?
“No,” said Greenwalt, pointing out lightning hits the Empire State Building about 25 times a year.
Next question: How about animals, can they predict the weather? You know, that Farmers' Almanac stuff, like “When cattle lie down in the pasture, rain is on the way.”
“Better check a zoologist on that one,” he said.
Enter Beth Posta, an animal behaviorist for the Toledo Zoo.
“All animals adapt to the environment where they live,” she said.
So, does that mean someone could predict the weather by watching an animal’s behavior?
She wouldn’t go there, instead offering, “People are probably better off watching the meteorologist on TV.”
Obviously, she is not aware that a sure sign of rain occurs when a dog eats grass, a cat purrs and washes, and sheep turn into the wind.
ROSES AND THORNS: The rose garden finds room for a game of poker, a New York play, a 100-year-old woman and some cold lemonade.
Rose: To the Oaks boys of Bluffton — Jay, 10, Drew, 9, and Regan, 8 — as well as their friend, Isaiah Mikesell, 8. The four boys put together a lemonade stand and donated the $10 it raised to the Mustard Seed Café, which fell victim to a break-in and vandalism.
Rose: To Jeremy Price, of Fort Jennings. He sued the Putnam County Board of Elections for violating Ohio’s open meetings law and was awarded $40,400 in damages and attorney fees by Judge Sumner E. Walters.
Rose: To Linda Evans, of Van Wert. She wrote the music, lyrics and the book of the musical “Enter Singing,” which will premier at the end of July at the Workshop Theatre in Manhattan
Rose: To Robert Deppe, of Lima, who competed for the sixth year in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
Rose: To Anthony McClish. The 2008 graduate of Shawnee High School is a basketball operations intern with the San Antonio Spurs, who made it to the NBA finals before losing in seven games to the Miami Heat.
Rose: To Edna Emans, of Harrod, who celebrated her 100th birthday on June 16. Her neighbors on North Phillips Road placed 100 candles in her yard to mark the occasion.
Rose: To Charlotte Apfelbeck, of Lima, whose idea is featured today in the syndicated comic strip “Pluggers.”
Thorn: Rumors that an Elida school board member has failed to attend any of its meetings this year are not true. According to the board minutes, Dennis Fricke and Brenda Stocker have attended all seven meetings, Sally Ulrich and Brian Anders have attended six of seven and Brad Settlage has been present for four of seven, missing meetings in March, April and May.
PARTING SHOT: You know you’re stressed when you start getting on your own nerves.