Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stormy Weather

Tornados to the north, thunderstorms and big hail fed by the hot hot and humid weather. If the rotation area turns south, the computer goes off and we rouse the Offspringen out of bed and cower in the downstairs hallway. Hope the Darwins are keeping away from the windows.

Last week I listened as the tapping of rain on the skylight turned into the rapping of hailstones, and then a puzzling thumping all over the roof. A look out the window showed our road dappled with white. Big old hailstones, the biggest I've ever seen live and up close. Offspring #2 and I sat out on the porch swing and watched the ice fall out of the sky. And watched our new-to-Texas neighbors watching in dismay as their expensive cars got battered. We grabbed a couple of stones--O#2 got one a good three inches across--and I thought briefly about going for one of the really big ones, but sanity prevailed.

Everyone stay out of the low water crossings. Remember a dozen people died in the 2001 flood because they thought sure their SUVs could cross the water.

Update: The first cell missed the city, but the second front hit us square on. Massive hail, high winds, and continuous lightning right after midnight, and this morning parts of trees scattered thickly across the neighborhood. 20,000 homes without power from falling tree limbs. Regular reader A. in comment box reports two broken windows. No word yet from the Darwins or from Eudoxus' parents (who got whacked by the first front, the one with the rotation). What fun!

I hear in some parts of the country, they have robins to tell them spring is here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have two broken windows from the hail last night. The storm hit our house after midnight, prompting a scene very like the one in The Sound of Music. First the two little boys pounced on the parental bed. Then the teenage girl came down. Finally, our almost-grown young man joined the party, worried his windows might shatter over the bed. The boys were granted permission to sleep on the floor - a most exciting night!

5:03 AM  
Blogger Darwin said...

The first storm to go through hit us hard -- and showing that blogging is a community of sorts we had a bit of warning (despite our TV-less and radio-less condition) when Jen of Et Tu Jen called us up and warned us that the center of the storm was heading for us.

We actually did wake the kids and bring them down for a bit -- in part because of the uncertainties resulting from trying to get accurate tornado watch info with only an internet connection. But though we got some massive hail, continuous lightning, and really crazy winds, we had not damage.

Eventually we packed the kids off to bed and went back to watching our movie on the iMac.

3:51 PM  
Blogger The Opinionated Homeschooler said...

Do y'all not have a weather radio? The weather station itself is pretty useless when you know there's activity in the area, as the geographic descriptions are impossible to locate mentally, but you really ought to have something that buzzes loudly when severe weather is in the area. After the alert, turn to a local FM station, where they'll describe rotating cells and spotted tornados in terms of local landmarks (like "coming north up I-35!").

The continuous lightning is the big tipoff that you have rotation very near you. Scary as hell. I've only once seen rotating clouds myself, as a little kid (right before they rushed us all inside the school building to huddle under our desks).

4:13 PM  
Blogger Darwin said...

No, we don't have a weather radio, though I'm thinking maybe this means I should get one.

I'm not sure I'm nuts about the warning yowl, but so long as I've got something that can turn to the local weather service station and find out what's going on, that should nail it for me.

I guess given that the ground doesn't move around here I'm in the habit of thinking: ah, disasters -- this is nothing! Still. One good funnel cloud could ruin you whole day...

7:59 PM  

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