Interview With Pat Kerpan By Will Kerpan


I interviewed my dad about Tulsa, growing up, his job and his previous jobs. Mostly we talked about growing up in Tulsa. He told me that when he was growing up in Tulsa it was still growing up too. It was very small but now it is larger. He told me that the main difference between Tulsa and here (Illinois) is the weather. It is a lot colder here, and also we don’t have as many windstorms. Listen to the interview below.

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Kerpan Interview by


You grew up in Tulsa OK., what was it like?

Tulsa OK. back then was, I think, 100,000 people. So about the size of Evanston, so it was a good starter city. It was like a real city, and it had a theatre, and a ballet, an opera, and police, and rich people, and poor people, and black people and white people, so it was like a real city with all the diversity of a real city only small. So it was like growing up in a city with training wheels.

How would you compare it to tulsa OK. today?

I haven’t been to tulsa for quite some time, but it’s much, much bigger. OK. has a lot of indian names, so one of the small towns just outside Tulsa was called Broken Arrow, apparently someone broke their arrow there once. Broken arrow back then was about 1,500 people, and now broken arrow has about 125,000 people.

What are some of the most significant differences between OK. and here?

OK. has wilder weather than here. Here by the lake, we don’t get as many of the big wind storms and things that you might in the plains in IL. So OK. weather is a lot more like the plains here. In the summer time you were in tornado watch or tornado warning basically all the time, there was almost never a time when you weren’t. [It’s] Nowhere nearly as cold as here, although in OK. you would get what was called black ice. You would get ice storms that would encase everything, your car would have an inch of ice around it, and you would have to melt your car free from the ice that came down.

Tornado Danger

With winds of over 300 mph, tornadoes, dangerous natural disasters that leave a trail of destruction and death in their wake. Tornadoes are columns of air that rotate violently, picking up dust and debris and destroying buildings as they go along. Tornadoes are the single most violent type of atmospheric storm.

Tornadoes are most common in the United States with an average of 1,200 every year. Although tornadoes can happen almost anywhere given the right conditions, they are most common in the region of the U.S. dubbed tornado alley. Tornado alley includes the majority of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska, it also covers parts of Texas and Colorado. Just like tornadoes can happen anywhere, they also can happen anytime, but they are the most common in tornado season. Tornado season is in may and june, tornadoes are most likely between 16:00 and 21:00. Every year, tornadoes are the cause of an average of 70 deaths and 500 injuries.

When trying to spot a tornado look for these signs, a dark and greenish sky, hail, or a large and dark and low cloud especially one that is rotating. Other signs include inflow bands, a beaver’s tail, a wall cloud, a rear flank downdraft, or a condensation funnel. An inflow bands are ragged bands of low cumulus clouds that extend from the main storm. Cumulus clouds are a type of puffy, relatively flat, and low cloud. These inflow bands show that there is a storm several miles away. I these clouds are spinning, it means that there is rotation happening which is another sign of a tornado. A beaver’s tail is a smooth, flat cloud coming from the part of the sky with no rain and spanning towards where there is rain. These clouds also mean that there is rotation. A wall cloud is one cloud that lies low and near the rain-free part of the thunderstorm. When a wall cloud forms, there is about ten to twenty minutes left before a tornado forms. Other ways to recognize a wall cloud is that it will often be rotating, and have strong winds. A rear flank downdraft or RDF is a downward rush of air on the back side of the storm, coming at the same time as the tornado. A RDF causes winds on the surface. RDFs are more visible on a radar than with the human eye. A condensation funnel is a funnel of condensation extending from the heart of the thunderstorm. If the cloud reaches the ground and touches down then it would be considered a tornado, otherwise it is just a funnel cloud. To know weather it is a tornado or a funnel cloud look for dust and debris at the base.

Tornado watch means that conditions for a tornado are favourable, but no tornado has been either spotted or reported. Tornado warning means that a tornado has either been spotted or reported and is a serious threat to your area.

In case of a tornado be sure to protect your head and neck, and put on a pair of shoes. Go to the lowest level of the building. If there is no basement then go to the centre of the lowest level of the building preferably in a closet or an interior room or hallway. Also, preferably away from corners, windows, and doors. Remember to not open any windows. Try to not be next to a wall with the outside on the other side, put as many walls between yourself and the outside as possible. Get under something such as a mattress or a table. If you are in a mobile-home get to the nearest storm shelter or see if anyone with a basement will let you stay with them. Mobile-homes offer little to no protection from a tornado. If you are outdoors and have no shelter, like with a mobile-home, try and get to shelter. If your car is hit by debris park, and remain in the vehicle with your seatbelt on. Put your head below the level of the windows and keep your head protected. Try to get to lower ground if possible. Try not to stay under an underpass or bridge for too long, instead stay on low and flat ground. If you are in an urban environment, the chances of outrunning the tornado are slim. You do not want to get stuck in a congested roadway during a tornado. Keep an eye out, and try to avoid flying debris. Getting hit by debris is the number one cause of deaths and injuries during a tornado.

Tornadoes are dangerous natural disasters, picking up dust and debris, destroying buildings, hurting, and killing people as they move. Every year, tornadoes are the cause of an average of 70 deaths and 500 injuries, don’t be one of these unfortunate people and be prepared and take tornadoes as the serious threat that they are.

Tornado Blanket

Buy the new Tornado Blanket now and never again worry about a tornado. If a tornado is coming just get real snuggie and wait for it to pass. The new Tornado Blanket uses anti-tornado tech, a new technology that is wind resistant. Before the Tornado Blanket, you would be picked up by the wind, but now you can just sit comfortably on the couch eating pop corn in your Tornado Blanket. Look at the comparison below between our blanket and the other leading brand’s!

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Just look how strong and comfortable this looks. (Cat not included)

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Now look at this ugly, itchy, and poorly made blanket.

The choice is clear, you can either be comfy and safe, or you can be uncomfortable and in danger from the tornado. Why would you want a itchy blanket instead of a soft one in a time of panic. A recent study by the American International Blanket Quality Standards and Inspection Bureau (AIBQSaIB) shows that people are less likely to panic in a stressful situation if they are comfortable.

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Stressions are a measurement of how much stress someone is under. Comfortions are a measurement of how uncomfortable someone is. The data says it all. Tornado conditions are on average 19 Stressions. If you extrapolate the data that means and uncomfy person would be under approximately 274,877,906,944 Comfortions. A comfy person would be under approximately 21 Stressions. Watch the infomercial below!


What Causes Tornadoes?

Nobody fully can answer that question what causes tornadoes. They come from supercells, rotating thunderstorms rotating in a pattern called mesocyclone. A mesocyclone is a rapidly rotating air mass. Mesocyclones can be two to six miles wide. Mesocyclones do not turn into tornadoes but a tornado may develop within a mesocyclone. Mesocyclones are able to be spotted on a radar, but are not visible to the naked eye. Although, there will be high winds and visible rotation. Supercells produce hail and really strong winds, lightning, and flooding. Supercells are the most dangerous type of storm. Supercells are often known to precede tornadoes. It is believed by some people that tornadoes can be caused in part by temperature differences in the outskirts of the mesocyclone. Besides that, there is a lot more to learn about how tornadoes are formed.

My Interview by


"NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory." NSSL: Severe Weather 101: Tornadoes. NOAA, n.d. Web.

"NOAA's National Weather Service - Glossary." NOAA's National Weather Service - Glossary. NOAA, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2013.

"NOAA's National Weather Service - Glossary." NOAA's National Weather Service - Glossary. NOAA, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2013.

"Tornadoes." Home. FEMA, n.d. Web.