Monday, June 15, 2009

Now That Was One MAD Storm...

There is a saying in Texas, "If you don't like the weather, just stick around a few minutes and it'll change." A hearty amen to that!

In fact, here in Austin, I have witnessed the most polarized weather scenarios - one inch of snow on the ground at eight o'clock a.m. only to be sixty degrees at noon - on Valentines Day. I have watched northern fronts become stationary raining buckets until cars could be seen floating down Sixth Street in front of my office. I have stepped outside in the summer to have my breath taken away by the brutal combination of heat and humidity. Perhaps that is what led my husband's grandmother to once proclaim, "Honey, never marry a Texas weatherman because they just can't help but lie."

Now, before I go rankoring all of the weather forecasters, let me say that my hat's off to you. Our forecasters do a really good job with all of their tools these days staying ahead of threatening weather and keeping people alerted. Here recently, the storms have been a little more than angry. They've been downright MAD. A good example is last Thursday.

It was beautiful and sunny all day - and lest I forget - it was hot! Skies were blue with very few clouds. If you would have told me at four o'clock that a few hours later, my children and I would be camped in an interior closet with funnel clouds swirling overhead, I would have probably called you a liar. Yet that is exactly where we found ourselves.

We had gone to dinner and saw that there were severe storms in the hill country. Usually these storms fall apart once they make it over the rolling hills. But this particular storm is what they call a super cell. We could see out of the window and it seemed that it had become a little cloudy. and we could hear thunder rolling in the distance.

When we left the restaurant, I turned to look back over my shoulder only to see the most menacing clouds I have ever seen. We raced home and turned to the local weather channel only to hear the terms "hook echo" and "rotation." First came the hail - and lots of it. Then, the winds went from very still to very high. Immediately, we grabbed the dogs and instructed the kids to get to the closet. We were sitting there quietly, listening to the wind and hail - my son's eyes were as big as saucers. It was at that time that my husband said, "Maybe you can write a story about a tantrum-throwing tornado." I threw a shoe at him.

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