July 19, 2012

Storms again today. Three tornado warnings!! Why are there so many tornados lately? I don't remember ever having this many tornados, about twice the normal number. (If you do the math - we get an average of 1 1/12 tornados a year. How do you get half a tornado?)

All day long we heard how they were coming. Severe weather warnings, pictures of big red weather blobs on the radar screen. Gosh, if this storm is half as bad as it looks, we will be reduced to splinters.

"It will be here at one o'clock," said the weatherman. How do they know what time it will be here? Apparently, they don't. At one o'clock the sky was blue with fluffy clouds. We began to wonder if they really knew what they were talking about or if it was another futile weatherman's rain dance.

But that ominous red storm front was still pulsating on the radar, surrounded by yellow and green.

At about quarter till two, the tornado warnings went out. Then the weatherman told us to go to a safe place in the building. Safe places are stairwells, the basement, bathrooms, and rooms without windows.

We do not argue too much about moving to shelter when there is a tornado warning. We were living in North Carolina when a tornado hit a number of years ago. We remember the chaos, how people didn't take warnings seriously and were caught in flying debris and glass from broken windows.

Remembering the last time, I knew phones could go out. I was at work and we were told to park our trucks in the "safe building" - a concrete monstrosity that the boss owned. We agreed that the building was a good place.

Back to the present: At the height of the storm you couldn't see out the windows it was raining so hard. Even this brave heart decided to come to the bathroom. Lady Laura, Rudy and I huddled together in the tub behind a solid shower door.

"What's that noise?" asked Laura. We could hear the rain and wind as it passed over, but if there was a tornado in the storm, it did not touch down.

It was moving fast and was over in a matter of minutes. Eventually, the all-clear was issued, and we ventured out of our hole.

So, we dodged the bullet, but some other places didn't.

I don't know where all this terrible weather is coming from. Tornados happen in the Carolinas and Florida, in Kansas, Illinois, and Indiana - not in the mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania.

Would someone pass that message along to the weather makers? It's thundering again and I'll talk to you when it's over.