Saturday, August 4, 2012

Yes, Mother Nature, whatever you say...

All week they said that there would be storms on Friday. The eastern half of South Dakota was in a Severe Thunderstorm Watch area, and the Weather Folk said that there could be scattered tornadoes before the day was over.

We watched the skies and we watched the radar, and the moving clouds and storm fronts all looked to be heading either north of us, or south. We complained a bit because so far, all of the storms have moved north or south of us, and we are in dire need of rain. And we were definitely hoping for a change in the hot and thick and sticky weather.

Then about 5:00 or so, The Hub and I looked west and this is what I posted on Facebook: I do not like the look of these clouds.

Those clouds are the ones of which I spoke. Note the darkness. Note the downy-hangy bits.

 A few minutes later, I posted on Facebook: Ominous
I wasn't kidding.

And a few minutes later, I took this picture. Note the greenish portion in the upper right of the cloud formation... that's hail. Hail is formed when updrafts and downdrafts move moisture up and down in the clouds. That uppy-downy motion has another name: rotation.
After that I posted on Facebook: We have unfocused rotation, lots of updraft, and certainly hail up there

And then I took a short video of the clouds. I shut the recording off before The Hub finished his comment- what he said was that when the wind is blowing one direction and the clouds are moving in the opposite direction, look out.

My next Facebook status, posted minutes later was: Siren! Have adjourned to the basement

For those who don't live in Tornado Country- a specific siren is sounded when funnel clouds are spotted. When you hear one, you don't look up at the sky and wonder where the twister is, you head right to the damn basement, and you hunker down.

That is what we did, so there are no photos of the very very dark sky, or the torrential rain (over 2"), or of the Green Air, or of the small hailstones hitting the ground (and the windows). It has been a long time since the sirens have blown- it's always terrifying.

After about 20 minutes, we ventured back upstairs we did not lose power, but our satellite reception was out. I had the weather thingy on my phone, but it still showed tornadic activity heading toward our town.

Ducking and ready to head back downstairs, we looked out side- we still had another hour of constant thunder and lightning, and more rain, but the storms (and at least two funnel clouds) had moved on to do a little more structural damage elsewhere. There were no injuries reported, thank goodness.

 After the storm, The Hub took some pics of these fascinating clouds.

 Our only damage was a downed tree branch.

 Post storm beauty.

The wonderful and rarely photographed puddle.

The cover blew off the pool, but it survived the storm intact.

Today? Today is partly cloudy, breezy, dry (humidity-wise) and barely 72 degrees.

The weather... always interesting in these here parts.


Mary Keenan said...

Oh Kathi, that is amazing and so scary! (except for the really bumpy clouds at the end, those are just super cool.) We're looking at severe thunderstorms here tomorrow and I can't imagine adding in fear of tornadoes to the general thoughts of which trees will fall on the roof. Glad you're okay!

Julie said...

The weather is always spectacular the day after severe storms, whether they be tornadoes or hurricanes or just plain weather-lunacy. I love that so much. It's like an apology.

twoknitwit said...

holy, smokes

I'll never complain about Pacific Northwest weather (or lack of it!) again

glad your family fared well, Kathleen!

Michele said...

Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing. Glad your family is OK.

Anne Arnold Pierce said...

really beautiful pictures glad you had no damage or injury.

Trish said...

Glad you're ok!

Those "bumpy clouds" are called mammatus clouds. I saw them for the first time after a storm here on Fourth of July last year. We were calling them "butt clouds" until I searched online for their real name. There are some great photos on google.

Wish I could see you at the Michigan Fiber Festival. I'm going to have to miss it due to impending vacation. Oh darn!