Saturday, May 17, 2008

Finally corroboration !

It was a slightly windy and sunny evening. One might have been deceived into thinking it was the perfect evening for a run. Blaine was in his running clothes on the way out the door when I hollered at him to wait while I checked the weather. I knew severe storms were in the forecast (I always know...), but it looked so darn nice outside. I checked the weather and to my surprise find that we were under tornado warning. Let's clarify, a tornado watch means to "watch out" the conditions are favorable for a tornado. A tornado warning means that a tornado is imminent and has either been spotted or that there is extreme rotation in the thunderstorm. Okay that has happened once or twice in our county since we have been here (warnings are usually issued by counties). I referred to all of my weather websites and found that this particular storm was supposed to track right over top of us! It was a big storm, but the particular part that was going to track over us was the part that was rotating. Um. Yikes.

Okay, this is the doppler radar image. You see how the storm has a little tail (ie "hook), where the diamond at the base of the arrow is? That is where the rotation is, when there is strong rotation in a storm the winds are so high that the rain actually wraps around the tornado (hence the stillness that precedes the tornado!). Okay well that little hook rotation part is the part that was on a crash course with the part of the city we live in.

The storm wound up not being so scary. I mean, it was scary, but we were safely gathered in our closet with our flashlights, granola bars, weather radio, blankets, and even the dogs this time (much to Blaine's dismay). I had enough forewarning and it seemed imminent enough that I even had time to barricade our closet with our couches.

I know it sounds insane, but my philosophy is that if we are given the time to prepare, we may as well prepare as much as we can. I would rather have to put my kids to bed late and move my couches back the next day then lose a kid to a tornado. You know what I mean?

Don't worry, we even had our bicycle helmets on. I know. Crazy.

As the storm passed over us we could hear the hail pounding the windows and the porch. The storm had produced hail 4 inches in diameter (that's really big folks), but in our city it only got to about baseball size.

It was so long before I let anyone leave our closet that we didn't really get to see the hail. I don't think ours was quite so big....from neighbors I have heard it was about marble size.

Anyway---the good news is that since I freak out and hide in my closet during all severe storms (it used to be ALL storms, now I am so relaxed that it is just severe storms :) ), that we are all used to it, we know the drill. Gwen thinks it is fun. We keep toys and blankets and all our emergency supplies in the closet, so there is no last minute freaking out.

This particular storm was so bad though that my neighbor came and pounded on my door to warn me (which was really nice of her and it made me realize that I am not nearly so thoughtful since I had been in my closet for a good hour before hand). Lots of other people from the area have blogged about the storm too (ie the people who I stole the images from---thanks Chelon!), so it wasn't just me this time. That feels great!

We are alive and well though, and now that we have been through the eye of a storm hopefully my tolerance for bad weather will increase!

The end :)


Holly and Brad said...

You are in good company Kristi.

However, being from Texas I can tell you that the storm we just had was about as bad as it has been for me (personally) in years, meaning like the last 5 or even 10. At my house we only get in the closet when there is a warning and the storm (tornado) is headed our way. Honestly I can count on one hand the amount of times we had to do that from birth until now, so if its any consolation perhaps we won't have that many more warnings in our future. I have seen alot of "watches" in my day, but nothing has ever come from those, alone...unless it turns into a warning, that is.

I hope that makes you feel a little better friend :) You're right though, that is about as bad as its going to get, besides an actual tornado that is.

Good for you for being sooo prepared...we should all follow your example. I'm on the road to a fully functional storm shelter (i.e. stairwell closet) myself.

Sarah said...

Wow! I don't think I could handle living there. TORNADOES? No way man. Good luck.

Gretchen said...

Man, we're totally chumps. We never watch TV and we'd been working in the yard so no internet. We didn't know there had been a tornado warning until the next morning. When the storm and it's hail hit as we were getting the kids ready for bed, I got suspicious, but about that time our power went out and it was out until 5am. So with no battery powered weather radio (now on our shopping list), I eventually called my parents in CA to check for warnings me. By that time the bulk of the storm had passed and it had been downgraded to a "watch" and no indication that it had been a "warning." Hence our surprise the next morning! At least M didn't go into work like he had been planning! Apparently people who don't watch TV are doomed to die unless they get a NOAA radio :)

Wendy/mom said...

Wow - Interesting experience. Of course my mind is now swimming with questions. How long were you in the closet? Did you answer the door when your neighbor came? Did you hear the hail and were you tempted to go peek out the windows and see what was going on? Did everyone (okay, Blaine) stay in the closet the whole time? And wear their helmets? (I couldn't get him to buckle his seatbelt sometimes!) Also, how did you baracade the closet with the couches? It seems like you would have to be outside of the closet to do that. Perhaps I'm thinking too hard! I think I should save these for a phone conversation!!

Shauna said...

Umm, now I'm afraid for our house there. Was there a lot of roof damage? Shoot! There were like 7 tornadoes the day we brought Spencer home from the hospital as a newborn (after he spent 2 weeks in the ICU). We'd been in Texas all of a month and a half. They moved all the beds of the newborns on the ICU floor into a room with no windows. When they released us we went to another office so they could do an ultrasound on Spencer's spine. While we were there, we were watching the news as the tornadoes were touching down nearby. The power went out, and they had us all move into a center room with no windows and had us sit on the floor with blankets and pillows. They downgraded the warning to a watch and we hopped in our car in the torrential rain and headed home, just in time to get stuck on I-35 in bumper to bumper traffic as they put all the watches back to warnings. I was panicking. My newborn was in the car, it was pouring rain, Annie was at home with my mom, and there were tornadoes moving up and down the I-35 corridor. We finally made it home, but it was nerve wracking. We never ventured out in a big storm again. Tornadoes are scary...I'm with you.

Blaine said...

Actually, I have to say I was amazed how brave Kristi was for this big storm. She really has gotten tons better since we moved here over a year ago now. To answer my mom's questions, I did go outside a couple times (never too far--Kris wouldn't allow that--but I did open the door and look out to try to see the hail. It was loud but not big enough to see in the dark grass so I figured it wasn't baseball sized or anything...) And no I don't wear a helmet but Gwen is a pretty good sport to put hers on when Kris asks. Really we were only in there for an hour tops, and that was with getting in and out a lot. Anyway, Kris still gets nervous but she really has gotten tons braver, a fact I don't know if she's really noticed.

Melissa Ash said...

How big is this closet? I don't think I have one closet in my house (that has doors on it) that our whole family would fit into. And, my husband would think I was NUTS if I told him to get into any closet! We had a warning in VA, and he thought I was nuts for not wanting to go out to dinner that night. We ended up going anyway. At least Blaine goes along with the whole closet routine!! Good for him! And good for you to be so prepared!

Jill said...

Helmets! What a genius idea! I'm a big woss like you Fids. I'm afraid I would make Parker wear full on football pads or something. How scary.

Joe Speredon said...

It's great to be in Utah. All we have to worry about here is an Apocalyptic earthquake that will demolish everything but the temple and the state capitol.
Good Luck with the weather.

Melissa Ash said...

HA HA. I don't know what's worse. The thought of an earthquake or a tornado. I can't really stand the thought of any, and I am a HUGE woss when it comes to the earthquake thing. YIKES. I think I'd rather live in Texas!!!! ( I have lived through Tropical Storms in Florida, and I'll take those any day compared to an earthquake!)

Janny said...

Heck! After you've been through a few of these, and then you finally move away from Texas (sad!), you'll look back with fond memories on those Texas storms. Storms anywhere else will seem like wooses...Aunt Jann