Twister Weather

Twister weather.  That is what my beloved grandmother called it, and it is that time of year here once again.

We have been twister watching and twister dodging all of our 50+ years of life.  I have many harrowing stories to share, but I won’t bother with those today, with one exception.

My most recent experience in twister dodging was in 2013.  I even wrote about that terrifying experience here a few days later.  My nephew and I made a quick road trip to Oklahoma City on the very day of the El Reno tornado that was so deadly and devastating, and if not for checking the NWS Norman Twitter feed as we sat down for a late lunch there that day, we likely would have been right on that very interstate west of town when the twister crossed the road and killed so many people, including some storm chasers.  We got out only an hour before it hit that area, and it gives me chills every time I sit and think about it.

The lesson I learned from that experience in Oklahoma is that Twitter is your friend in severe weather when following the local NWS office in the area.  They know before anyone else what the story is, and it is a wise decision to follow their Twitter feeds closely during severe weather, if possible.

2015-04-22 20.01.28

The first Tornado Watch of the year was just issued for my area about an hour ago.  Time to review tornado preparedness steps again.  I really wish we had a storm cellar, too.

Tornado Safety Tips

In more recent years, my mother was the “weather-bird” of the family and never failed to keep me informed of the weather, both here at home, and at our travel destination if we were headed out-of-town.  Now that twister weather is back, I’m finding that I’m missing the concern she had for our welfare, too.  I miss my Mom calling me to make sure I’m aware of the weather update.  She would already have called me by now.

Nobody loves you like your mom.

Isn’t it strange the things we miss when our loved ones are gone?  It just hit me big time.

Tis the season.

Update:  My immediate area missed out on yesterday’s storms, but counties to the north and east of us got clobbered with large hail (baseball size) and two tornado touchdowns.  My PYKL3 Radar app on my phone showed it all and even rotations that never touched down, and I saw it there even before it was reported on the news.  That is a truly great app to have.  Only $10 for Android phones.

D
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Author: DK

Blogger at My Five Fs (Faith - Family - Food - Fotos - Fun) and Animal Wonder. Empty-nester that now shares life with my hubby and our two standard poodles. Enjoys camping in our RV, taking and editing photos, trying new low-carb recipes, baking pretty decorated cookies for special occasions, walking daily, spending time with family and friends when we can, playing with the dogs, and is grateful to God for every single day of this blessed life and for the opportunity to share and connect with some great people here.

16 thoughts on “Twister Weather”

  1. Thanks for the plus side of following Twitter. I know what you mean, almost every day I’m reminded of something my mom did, or said. I guess that’s evidence of the role they played in our lives from day one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely a good thing to just follow them on Twitter. You can also try on Facebook, but FB won’t necessarily show the post in your feed like Twitter will. Twitter doesn’t edit feeds like FB does. I’m sure these memories will hang on for a very long time, maybe always. It just hit from from out of the blue yesterday in a big way.

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  2. So glad the storm missed you! My husband is the weather watcher in our family and one of the reasons we travel with our satellite dish is so he can check the weather on tv! I have a couple of apps on my phone, too but we can’t always get service when we camp. Thanks for the tips!

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    1. We have used the PYKL3 radar several times to monitor and avoid severe storms when traveling, in addition to using it at home. You can pinpoint your exact location on the radar map, even while driving, which is a great feature. It was developed mostly for storm chasers but anyone can buy it. We also bought a satellite dish last year, too. We often do not have cell or internet where we camp, so that helps, for sure. I feel for the people that got hit last night, though. It hit the area around Caprock Canyons SP hard, baseball sized hail, etc.

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  3. Having lived in ‘Tornado Alley’ in Oklahoma and Kansas for many years, I can totally identify with this post! I’ll never forget my twister experience in 1979 either when a nasty twister literally lifted up into the sky right over our apartment. Scary stuff. Of course, then there was the time we experienced a minor earthquake while living in Oregon and some tremors on a trip to California and even one here in PA. Weather and nature is something to be reckoned with that’s for sure!

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    1. I do have a healthy fear of tornadoes. We had a really bad one here in 1970 that killed 26 people. We only had some minor damage at our house, fence and a huge elm tree that fell and just missed falling on our house with us in it. Many other scares over the decades, too. At least with a tornado, we have a chance of some advance warning, unlike an earthquake. I really think Oklahoma is truly “tornado alley,” too! The area around Oklahoma City is ground zero, in my opinion, especially after my harrowing experience there two years ago. 😉

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  4. My sympathies on the Twister front. Not sure how well I could handle that kind of stress. Somethings I can just let roll off my back but I’m not keen on things humans have no control whatsoever over.
    Over the years when counseling survivors about handling their grief over loved ones it has always been the part about missing them most when your departed family member WOULD have said something and they didn’t. So much of life we come to regard almost as habit — certain things are supposed to happen — and when they don’t they throw us.
    Anyway…. stay safe.

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    1. I readily confess my fear of tornadoes and the really bad storms. Living through one made a believer out of me early in life, for sure. I think I will always remember Mom and her storm warnings and updates. I don’t think I’m the only family member that will remember it either. She always talked about the weather nearly every time I saw her or talked to her by phone. Storms are gone for now thank goodness.

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      1. I have so rarely been in truly terrible storms — that’s part of the ‘problem’ for me — I don’t really understand how bad they can be and that’s a bad thing. That said, I AM really a man of faith. I know who’s hands I’m in and while I don’t believe in taking foolish chances, I’m also believe that He is in control and that I have nothing to fear. (which of course does not mean that he will keep me from harm, God’s people have never been kept from harm — there’s ample proof in Scripture on that one). So, I take my precautions and try to sit back and enjoy — as long as I’m not in harm’s way. 🙂

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        1. Hearing that awful “train” sound is just soooo… sobering. I’ve only been close enough one time to hear it, back in 1970. I am also a person of faith and agree with everything you said. Some things in life are more challenging to me as far as my faith, and this is one of them. Maybe this falls more into the realm of a healthy fear, though? I’m pretty motivated to stay informed at such times when my spouse is not. I don’t even want to think what might have happened to me and my nephew if I had not checked Twitter that day in Oklahoma City, too. I’m sure you already know that if you and Peg should ever find yourselves in an imminent tornado threat to get the heck out of the RV to a more sturdy building… restrooms, campground office, etc. Caprock Canyons is actually in one of the more frequent storm areas, and one camp host told us that they have to go site to site to try to warn campers to go to the restrooms until the storm has passed. I don’t think I often give the camp hosts enough credit at times like this. That is a pretty awesome responsibility.

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          1. Healthy fear is a good thing.
            Then again I can be blasé because I don’t have to deal with it. Not so for you.
            Yeah — know about shelter in a time of storm in an RV. And when we camp hosted in WI we were expected to warn campers in times of storm warnings — and we had our rest room shelters. Also on the Coast — different dangers — high winds off the ocean at 100+mph regularly, and earthquake and tsunami warnings. volunteers are expected to warn people but no sure how that would ever play out.
            For me — the tsunami’s freaked me out – just the unpredictability and suddenness of what can happen. Also there the top layers of soil are all SAND — in case of an earthquake all the roads would go away and you’d be pretty much stuck where you are for a very long time. THAT was not a comfortable feeling. We all have our weak links — and recognizing them is important.

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    1. I don’t think we ever really figure how how to deal with this crazy and unpredictable weather we have at times, but we just deal with it and the aftermath when needed. Had to replace our roof last year after a couple of big hail storms in the spring and sure hope we don’t have to do that again anytime soon.

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      1. We experienced a microburst which is as you may know “similar to but distinguishable from tornadoes” according to Wikipedia in our travel trailer when in AZ. Other than that we’ve been extremely lucky avoiding bad weather as we travelled around the U.S.

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        1. Microbursts are scary at times, too, although I think the biggest danger is for aircraft. I remember a Delta plane crashed taking off from the Dallas Fort Worth airport and crashed due to wind shear. Microbursts have rapid downward wind and are mostly pretty short in duration, while tornadoes have violent rotating upward wind and can last from a brief touchdown to a very long time over many miles. Wind shear will definitely get your attention, too. Straight line winds can also be really bad here in the Panhandle, especially this time of year. Often, if we find ourselves on the back side of a storm, we get really high winds that are actually flowing across us and into the storm,up to 70 mph at times. Winds like that can blow over trucks and RVs in no time, too. Several trucks have already blow over on open roads here and it’s not even May yet. May and June are our peak MO the for bad storms. So, you are exactly right in that there are lots of things other than tornadoes to watch out for this time of year.

          BTW, hubby just got back from almost two weeks in Europe on business and really liked his time In Germany and France. He really liked Colmar. Wondering if you have visited that area in northern France? His photos from Colmar are so neat!

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          1. We’ve been very lucky then although we weren’t thinking that while we sat through the microburst. We didn’t know that’s what it was until we read about it the next day and had never even heard of it before. I’ve never of Colmar either so have been to Google maps to look it up. I’ve been to the top, bottom, middle and left side of France but not the Colmar region. Post some of hubby’s pictures!

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