Tag Archive: oklahoma weather

Cyclone of Hell

tornadoIt was after 3 pm yesterday as I was mindlessly working away on a spreadsheet wishing it was closer to going home time.  My boss came by the desk, which usually results in a meeting or some other mundane work activity.  This time it was different.  “Go home and be safe”, he said.  Being lost in my work, I didn’t know why he said to go home.  He briefly mentioned that there was a massive tornado on the ground near OKC.  So I gathered my belongings and worked my way to the parking lot.  Turning the ignition, the radio blasted out chatter of rotating activity all over the state.  It was going to be one of “those” Oklahoma afternoons.

As home came closer and closer, it became evident that our family needed to make some precautionary steps to make sure we were okay.  I made it home about the time the kids and wife had finished the school day.  We then headed for Nana and Papas…where the newly put in below ground shelter had been placed.

The kids were a bit on edge, knowing why we were headed there.  we snagged up some dinner, kept things light and were on our way.

The evening ended very quiet for us, dodging yet another evening of sirens and strong circulating winds.  But we can’t say the same for our neighbors in Moore.  On loosely the same track as the one in 1999, a large cyclone turned homes into junk yards.

One story stuck out strongly…the one about the two schools in the path of this terrible storm.  Lives were lost.  Kids were hurt.   It hit home…very close to home.  What if that happened in our neighborhood?

Both of my kids attend the same elementary school AND my wife works in the cafeteria there as well.  I work 20 miles north of home.  If that were to happen in my hood, it would go down as the worst day of my life.  I can only imagine the grief families are going through today.  I pray for there comfort.

Which brings me to another thought.  With the tragedy of Sandy Hook, something we have ways of somewhat controlling, what can be done with natural disasters…especially in the area known as tornado alley?  How can we prevent loss of life?

I remember hunkering down in the hallways by the lockers.  For a twister of this magnitude, that doesn’t work out.  I wonder if there is a way private industry (or the unlikelyhood of the education department of government), could help all area schools…to fund or donate turning big closets into safe rooms or maybe a large underground facility made for shelter?  Just a starting point of thought.  Can we work together to prevent any deaths at our schools?  Can we help communities have a known location near their house they can go to get better shelter?  I appreciate any thoughts you may have.

Please join me in praying for our fellow neighbors in Moore as well as the other communities such as Shawnee who have been effected by these awful cyclones of hell.


What the May?

snowThe weather sure has been strange lately.  I knew that maybe a few records would potentially fall during my lifetime, but I think just about all of them have been taken care of at this point.  All the heat records for our area have been reset or have been really close to being reset.  We’ve endured a blizzard along with record snow totals and even had a place north of here hit a record low.  I even had my couch rumble beneath me a few years ago when an earthquake rolled over the land.  Crazy.

Now, I’m used to May being a rough month with the heat beginning it’s build up process to lead into the summer months..and I’m used to freak thunderstorms that toss down hail, wind, and twisters….but snow?  Hold the phone and back up the track a bit…Okie don’t play that!  If I want me some snow, I’ll move to Canada or go to the top of a mountain in Colorado (which we’ve done…and were soooo not prepared).

For the record, I love snow and it would be some kind of cool to see it happen tonight or tomorrow…but it’s just weird to think about.  Every time I put away the cold weather gear, the weatherman says “Get it back out”…I hate going up and down the attic stairs.  So listen here weather!  Make up your mind!

Calm Downpour

Living in Oklahoma 33 out of 35 years (and counting) of your life, encountering all extremes of weather is a guarantee.  Over the just the past 3 years, we’ve experienced a few blizzards, earthquakes, and one of the hottest summers ever recorded in this area.  Last night was no different.  We had a late adventure…an unplanned one.

It was bedtime.  We’ve been down this path before; knowing that storms were coming and that sleep would likely not last long.  At the very least, we’d wake up to a clap of thunder.  Instead, we woke up to the weather radio screaming it’s head off.  The only alarm that goes off…the only one I could not turn off because it would be stupid not to (that and the manufacturer made it that way)…tornado.  A few minutes later, the outdoor sirens whined their warning of the coming danger.  It was time to take action.

I’m not the worry type.  As a matter of fact, if I could get by with it, I’d chase these things around.  I am however, a planner and preparer.  We peacefully moved the kids to the hallway as a precaution.  Amber manned most of the questions, while I stood watch at the door and listened to the AM radio.  Not always the best idea, but I’ve been through a bunch of these before.  It’s routine drill in this alley of storms.

This time was a lot more different than any time I can remember.  Normally, the wind is violent and the rain torrential.  The eerie thing this time was that the wind was absent.  Rain poured, but the leaves did not move at all.  I went outside briefly while the liquid drops pounded the pavement.  The air was heavy and thick with moisture.  It was obvious we were close to the pathway and in the updraft area of the storm.

Suddenly, the rain stopped.  Nothing moved at all.  Perfect calm.  Lightning in the distanstormce to the south erupted.  The wind kicked up suddenly.  Then subsided.  It had passed over as quickly as it came a few miles to the south of us.

Another night in the hallway in the books.  If I set up a fund for every time I took precautions during storm season, I’d have a pretty hefty account by now.  Through every time, I am thankful that God has been good to us and protected us during times of nature’s violence.  I pray for those that have property damage and rejoice that nobody was hurt.