Wednesday, September 24, 2003

The accidental stormchaser
As some of you might know, thunderstorms and tornadoes fascinate me, and someday I'd like to see one of the latter - far, far away to the east where it can't turn around and get me. Yesterday I came the closest I've been so far to one - and still didn't see it! - but perhaps too close all the same.

Drove to work unusually early, just after daybreak, after being duly warned by the television that it was going to rain a lot, very soon. Well, that happened - my little Korean car was like a motor launch on the flooded roads, kicking up a little wake. Anyway, the sky to the west was the darkest I've seen outside the Midwest, and my first thought was 'there might be a funnel in there'. It was raining so hard I had trouble seeing and so pulled onto a side street, thinking I'd back-road it to my destination. Then the rain abated somewhat and I changed my mind, going back towards the highway on-ramp.

Thank you, guardian angel!

Farther up the road I had turned onto to back-road it, while I was on it, an F1 (about 100-mph winds) twister knocked down two huge trees.

At least three more touched down in the metro area, including one within easy bicycling distance of where I lived for nine years.

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