Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I think we just dodged a bullet and praying we continue to be so lucky!

We were on our way home from bringing two of the dogs to the vet for shots.    My daughter calls to tell me we have nickel sized hail at the house.  At that point we were almost home and were hitting mild rain.    Sun is breaking through the clouds to the northwest so we think the storm is just moving through fast and are glad for the water since we just planted.   Most of the road we travel from that point is protected by trees so we don't see much until we turned the big bend toward home....

... and saw the big nasty cloud the color of wet slate hanging over our house; literally, over our house!   We start talking joking about the "black cloud" hanging over our house and the wispy bits hanging below looks like they could be a tornado except there is no movement.   It gets much darker as we turn onto our private road under the cloud and it's almost eerie quiet.   I'm looking up into the cloud and notice a small section, much lighter in color against the dark mass and, closer to the ground, maybe 2,000 to 3,000 feet above the road and a part of our neighbor's pasture, that is CIRCLING!   A dimple, or perhaps a pimple is forming in the middle.   At first I couldn't believe what I was seeing it was so unreal, then the next thought is get to the house NOW.     John floored the gas pedal and we raced up the hill to the house.   I grabbed Dante and ran with him to the barn where the sheep have gathered.  John grabbed Murphy and ran into the house to warn our daughter.  As I leave the barn and run to the house, the wind is really picking up overhead and the air near the ground is now getting breezy.   Spring peepers are getting loud, but still no "train" sounds.   From where I stand, I can't see the circling section through the trees, but it appears that the cloud is no longer stalled and has started to move.   When I get inside John and our daughter are watching the news --- which says there is a 41 percent chance of tornadic activity.  More like 100%    I pulled out the laptop and fired off an email to let them know there is rotation in this cell and it's location.   A neighbor later told me the funnel formed when it reached the end of our road and hit the State highway.   This is the same cell that spawned the tornado that touched down to our north in Oilville. 

For me, that was the scariest part.   Even with all our technology, the time delay in getting information to the people who then disseminate it; that and the fact that people are inside of their homes completely unaware of what is happening right outside unless they are watching the news and watching the weather outside their window.

The second cell moved through just to our west.   Here are pictures of the eastern edge of the same storm that spawned tornados in Farmville to our southwest.  This cell was completely different from the first.  The clouds mass, at least the edge we saw, was much lighter in color and had two distinct layers.   The top layer was billowing and roiling over the lower layer which was moving pretty much in a straight line, at high speed and in a slightly different direction.

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