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1560 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Feb 2019 at 9:00 AM (10 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2019-02-03 04:35:10 AM  
Storms, vortices, hurricanes, earthquakes, auroras, tornadoes, hail, blizzards, avalanches, heat waves, haboobs, niños, dust bowls, floods, droughts, tornadoes, tsunamis, mudslides, thunderstorms, meteor showers, etc. - share your stories about what happened when you experienced events affected by these types of phenomena.
 
2019-02-03 04:48:04 AM  
Until I'm senile, I'll never forget the first snow I saw with my first son. Luckily for my powers of memory, it happened the day after my birthday that year, an October surprise.

"You'll never remember," I told him, "but I'll never forget."
 
2019-02-03 05:29:57 AM  
Early one morning, 30+ years ago, I was awakened by (what I thought was) a fighter jet flying by my north Florida apartment, at treetop level.  The noise subsided as quickly as it appeared ... so, I just blinked groggily, said to myself, "huh.  that was weird," and drifted back to sleep.

I woke up a few hours later, had some breakfast, and stepped outside ... into what looked like a war zone.

Trees were down everywhere.  Many cars were overturned and/or smashed. The building across the street had giant holes in its walls and roofs.  There were firemen and rescue workers everywhere.

Turns out it had been a tornado that had woken me up earlier that morning ... and the funnel had passed within just a few feet of my apartment building (which was entirely undamaged).

So, it could have been a much ruder awakening for me, that morning.  I've always been thankful it wasn't.  ^^;
 
2019-02-03 05:46:15 AM  
Let's see...

Yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, and even an etcetera for the 100mph+ Chinook.

Funny that we were having 100mph winds tearing our roofs off for days in a town of 250K, resulting in mudslides from the sharp temperature increase and snow melt, but since it's Alaska and not a hurricane, there was no coverage in the news.

And personally, I think "Haboob" is stupid. As a desert denizen, we had a perfectly swell word for "haboob." It was "dust storm." We have deserts in  English-speaking countries, you know.

Burning Man is just about guaranteed at least one major dust storm a year. I love them -- Severe weather has always fascinated me. When those storms hit, people are often away from their camps, unable to secure them -- and that's where  I come in.

I strap my dust mask on and look for camps with bars destroyed, furniture blown away, infrastructure failing. For hours while the storm lasts, I'll find ways to secure the unsecured so that when people are finally able to go home, all of their things are returned without them having to look for them and perform inventory.

It's one of my gifts to the community.

And then there was the 7.0 Earthquake just over a two months ago. Again, nobody noticed because there wasn't enough blood and death to make the news. The real tragedy in that one was personal.

It was a Friday. Alaska state law allows you to work a 9-80 (nine days, 80 hours) without overtime, if you opt into it, so you can have what we cal a "Flex Friday" and get a three-day weekend every other week. Great for fishing season, but I didn't opt in. Everyone else did -- the office had three people in it on my side of the building.

Among those missing was the entire safety contingent. Those are the people who are supposed to help the handicapped out of the building when the elevators are out of service.

I have a crippling bone disease, and can't use stairs. The evacuation alarm sounded. An excruciating fifteen minutes later, I finally emerged from my epic trip of three flights  of stairs, followed by the 300-yard sojourn to the evacuation meeting site. Those taking roll admonished me for taking to long to get to the assembly point. i farking unleashed a division director (that's an exec position) and asked her to explain why I was still in tears if I was having so much fun.


But the 7.9 in 2002 was probably the funniest of all time. I'd come home from work and laid down on the couch for a nap. I was awakened by a single *SLAM*. It didn't feel like a quake at all when it woke me up.

But then, surreally, everything started swaying more and more, and I knew it was big, so I headed out the door of the condo and onto the lawn. All of the cars in  driveways were dancing together with a syncopated choreography. The trees looked like a Janet Jackson video.

I wasn't the only one to realize there was time to escape. An elderly neighbor appeared on his lawn  across the street. His wife also emerged, but she  didn't make it past the doorway.

"Woman, get out here!" he  reprimanded.

"But they say to stand in a doorway," she said in a voice that said  she was recalling fear instead of  processing  causal relationships.

"Love, come out here and nothing can crush your tiny little skeleton!"

"But they say to stand in the doorway!"

"Woman, it's still shaking. Things can still fall on you there. Out here they can't."

"But they say to stand in the doorway!"

Their conversation was cut short when the longest quake I'd ever sat through (3+ minutes) finally ended, with her still in the doorway.
 
2019-02-03 05:51:58 AM  

noazark: Early one morning, 30+ years ago, I was awakened by (what I thought was) a fighter jet flying by my north Florida apartment, at treetop level.  The noise subsided as quickly as it appeared ... so, I just blinked groggily, said to myself, "huh.  that was weird," and drifted back to sleep.

I woke up a few hours later, had some breakfast, and stepped outside ... into what looked like a war zone.

Trees were down everywhere.  Many cars were overturned and/or smashed. The building across the street had giant holes in its walls and roofs.  There were firemen and rescue workers everywhere.

Turns out it had been a tornado that had woken me up earlier that morning ... and the funnel had passed within just a few feet of my apartment building (which was entirely undamaged).

So, it could have been a much ruder awakening for me, that morning.  I've always been thankful it wasn't.  ^^;


I suppose I should mention the tornado "yup." The bastard hit my home town destroyed the high school, put a car in a tree  (yes. In a tree.) and somehow avoided destroying the historic covered bridge. It then retreated skyward to gather its strength, went 20 miles, and touched down in Niles, OH, where it repeated its destructive performance.
 
2019-02-03 05:52:18 AM  
The coldest I've ever been.  January 1985, freshman year of college, living in the dorm.  Record setting cold of -30ishF settles in as do 'most' of the dorm residents.  Sadly for the main idiot of the story, one of the guys in my hall had an old boat of a convertible.  "Any of you guys also bored? Let's put the top down and go cruise the bar district..." Seven of us thought that was a splendid idea and ran to get bundled up.  Eight corn fed males made all the bigger due to the multiple layers of clothing. Three in front, five (very crowded) in the back.

We head out, cruise the area bars, not altogether surprising, the fairer (& brighter) sex want nothing to do with a bunch of idiots out driving around in a top down convertible in -30F weather so we head back to the dorm. Along the way, I (in the backseat) decide to see what a 50mph wind chill feels like on top of the bitter cold temp and stand up...holy balls it's cold ... and try to sit back down.

Remember I mentioned that there were five of us in the backseat, tightly crammed in there.  Once I stood up, the pressure was relieved and the other four continued to completely fill the backseat, albeit with slightly more elbow room...

Thankfully it was only a couple of miles/minutes back to the dorm as without the motivation of impressing the ladies, there was no way we were getting five large guys into the backseat once again.... So I got to look like Patton reviewing the troops for the remainder of the journey home...

Yes, -80ishF wind chill is exceedingly cold
 
2019-02-03 06:02:33 AM  

Recoil Therapy: Yes, -80ishF wind chill is exceedingly cold


Only if you're naked.
 
2019-02-03 06:11:46 AM  

Lenny_da_Hog: Recoil Therapy: Yes, -80ishF wind chill is exceedingly cold

Only if you're naked.


Definite shrinkage would occur.
 
2019-02-03 06:38:26 AM  

The Rest Are Bait: Lenny_da_Hog: Recoil Therapy: Yes, -80ishF wind chill is exceedingly cold

Only if you're naked.

Definite shrinkage would occur.


Although, this reminds me of yet another story.

Old people have lots of stories. This one is about extreme temps and polar bears.

In the early 90s, I was on a fact-finding mission for the trans-Alaska pipeline system (TAPS). Pump Station 1 at the top of the line didn't have enough bedding, so I was put up by BP's Man Camp (now declared a politically incorrect label) and transported by bus to PS1 every day.

This was in February, The wind was high, but it wasn't wind chill that worried us.

One night, we were on our way back to the Man Camp, and the bus driver informed us that a polar bear had been seen at the Camp. Polar bears have only one rule: If it moves, it's food.

By the time we got to the camp, the wind was so high that you couldn't see more than a couple of feet in front of your face. It was -30, (-80 wind chill, but people worry about wind chill here like they worry about Weather Channel winter storm names, because we wear clothes, for the most part.)

So because we wouldn't be able to see the bear coming if it did, we were told to stay on the bus.

The bus heater ran on alternate fuel -- not from engine heat -- so we were fine for the first couple of hours. Then  they turned down the heat to extend it another hour more. Finally, they decided we wouldn't be able to make it when the fuel ran  out, so they plotted a way from the bus to the Man Camp  entry.

A security guard made his way to the bus from the camp. There, he instructed us to exit the bus and link arms with the  person in front of you, and DON'T. LET. GO.

We didn't use flashlights -- with the snow and wind, it was all white noise  anyway, and when  we  finally  got within visual range  of the camp, we wanted  to see the street lights, not the snow. So for ten minutes, we slowly trodded along, each of us thinking, "Okay. I'm in 80 mph winds, it's 30 below, and I'm hoping not to get lost on the way to the camp -- AND THERE'S A FREAKING POLAR BEAR STALKING US!"

That ten minutes seemed longer than the three hours spent on  the bus.
 
2019-02-03 07:16:44 AM  
It was in May, a long long time ago in a state far far away. Okay it was in Indiana.
The weather was unusually sticky and the air was very still. I was playing outside, digging holes as toddlers do. Suddenly the birds all went quiet. Then my ears began to ring. Literally one minute later the #ky grew very dark, the wind picked up, it started to hail and what sounded like an airplane taking off, my mom grabbed me and hauled me inside. I didn't cross the threshold at the front door when a piece of the barn roof crashed into the living room, and stuff inside the house flew around such as an umbrella. We didn't even make it to the crawl space when it was all over.

When we went outside the devastation was apparent. The tool shed, gone. The playhouse, gone. The above ground pool, a crumpled of steel across the field. The barn completely stripped of a roof. The tree tops, all twisted off. The garage all caved in like two trucks from opposite sides crashed into it.

It was a tornado that was NOT predicted but came out of nowhere.

Those my friends are the scariest mother scratchers ever.
 
2019-02-03 07:17:08 AM  

Lenny_da_Hog: Recoil Therapy: Yes, -80ishF wind chill is exceedingly cold

Only if you're naked.


Wearing typical "Southern Ohio winter gear" and a hoodie or two ... there wasn't a whole lot of difference now that I think about it some more.

Now if I had been going to school in say, Edmonton* then I would have had gear appropriate for the temp ... alas.

/Watching the occasional hockey game on a Canadian feed, their commercials crack me up... "Our shiat's so good it will reliably work in -40 degree weather..." (for a wide variety of products - clothing, oil, alcohol, etc)
 
2019-02-03 07:45:33 AM  
When I was a teenager I woke up during a storm, and went downstairs to watch it. It was pretty loud, and apparently woke my dad up too.

We watched as a waterspout formed on the lake through a giant window. We watched the waterspout move across the lake, and saw the funnel cloud as it became a tornado.

The next morning we found out that tornado killed three people, and it was at that moment that I realized that watching a storm like that through a giant piece of glass was a stupid idea.

Twenty years later and neither of us has mentioned it to Mom.
 
2019-02-03 07:49:22 AM  
In the late 1990s, I had to go to DC for a meeting in January. At home that weekend before, we had an ice storm and the power went out. I had washed clothes I needed for the trip, but had not put them in the dryer overnight. So I dried them in front of the fireplace.
Monday, I get up, power is still off, but the roads are clear enough to get to the airport. I get to Dulles (the adventure of the blue van ride to the hotel is another story). Monday night, a snowstorm hits DC, leaves about 4" of snow, and the people we are supposed to go meet are not there, because DC declared a snow emergency.
We talk the hotel out of an unused conference room, a couple of the DC people make it to the hotel and we basically have the meeting anyway.
 
2019-02-03 08:39:08 AM  

Recoil Therapy: Lenny_da_Hog: Recoil Therapy: Yes, -80ishF wind chill is exceedingly cold

Only if you're naked.

Wearing typical "Southern Ohio winter gear" and a hoodie or two ... there wasn't a whole lot of difference now that I think about it some more.

Now if I had been going to school in say, Edmonton* then I would have had gear appropriate for the temp ... alas.

/Watching the occasional hockey game on a Canadian feed, their commercials crack me up... "Our shiat's so good it will reliably work in -40 degree weather..." (for a wide variety of products - clothing, oil, alcohol, etc)


Something tells me you're one of fourteen Farkers who might appreciate this:
South Side of the Sky by Yes in 1080p HD
Youtube 3TdhZscQu_M
 
2019-02-03 08:58:04 AM  

Lenny_da_Hog: Recoil Therapy: Lenny_da_Hog: Recoil Therapy: Yes, -80ishF wind chill is exceedingly cold

Only if you're naked.

Wearing typical "Southern Ohio winter gear" and a hoodie or two ... there wasn't a whole lot of difference now that I think about it some more.

Now if I had been going to school in say, Edmonton* then I would have had gear appropriate for the temp ... alas.

/Watching the occasional hockey game on a Canadian feed, their commercials crack me up... "Our shiat's so good it will reliably work in -40 degree weather..." (for a wide variety of products - clothing, oil, alcohol, etc)

Something tells me you're one of fourteen Farkers who might appreciate this:
[YouTube video: South Side of the Sky by Yes in 1080p HD]


Indeed, very cool. Thanks
 
2019-02-03 09:13:12 AM  
I've been camping in Florida at 19 degrees Fahrenheit, multiple times.

I've had my truck stolen by murderers/rapists while I was camping.  The azzhats that did this stole my truck, was recovered 3 weeks later.  https://www.nytimes.com/1994/02/23/us​/​killing-and-rape-in-a-florida-national​-forest.html

And I've spent 2 weeks hiking on the Appalachian trail, and during that 2 weeks there was only about 4 hours when it wasn't raining....
 
2019-02-03 09:20:06 AM  
It's -38 c w/ the windchill here in Calgary, we're just getting our shorts on to mow the lawn and get the yard set up for the Super Bowl party.
 
2019-02-03 09:25:22 AM  

Lenny_da_Hog: Let's see...

Yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, and even an etcetera for the 100mph+ Chinook.

Funny that we were having 100mph winds tearing our roofs off for days in a town of 250K, resulting in mudslides from the sharp temperature increase and snow melt, but since it's Alaska and not a hurricane, there was no coverage in the news.


My biggest Mother Nature memory from my 7 years in Anchorage was the 1989 Mt Redoubt event.  I remember everyone freaking out at work trying to cover every computer and anything else electronic with plastic.  The fear was that the ash would infiltrate them and kill them dead.  Fortunately that didn't come to pass.   The layer of ash resulted in a quicker snow melt during breakup that year.

When Mount Spurr went off three years later it felt more like a "Been there done that" moment.
 
2019-02-03 09:26:19 AM  
We were on spring break, traveling to Florida in 1993. We ran into a massive snowstorm in Alabama.
12 inches of snow of coving a major highway. No plows. there were just two ruts right down the middle of the road with a line of traffic doing 20 mph for at least 40 miles.
We pulled off the highway in Montgomery, went to a Perkins. They had almost nothing to cook. We went to a donut shop across the parking lot, they had coffee and donuts. We were fueled up for the rest of the trip.
Right when we hit the Florida line, it cleared up and the sun came out.
We had a good time in Panama City.
 
2019-02-03 09:36:03 AM  
here is a short one. When I was in high school it was about 9pm and I was at my girlfriends house. I should have been driving home because it was a school night and my girlfriend and I both had 9 o'clock curfews but there was a massive thunder storm and Jennifer's mother insisted I wait for the storm to pass. We were sitting in the kitchen having hot chocolate looking out the window at the storm and the houses across the street. Then suddenly in a literal flash the lights in the house and all the others went out, a blinding light flashed and the sound of the next door neighbors tree exploding all happened almost at once. As my eyes tried to clear from the blinding flash of light I could see in my retina the picture of the actual lighting hitting the tree and the first moments of the tree ripping apart.

Minutes later as the largest part of the storm passed we went outside to take a look. All that was left of the tree were large burnt splinters. No branches or limbs. Not even the stump was left intact. That was one of the most powerful things I have ever seen.

There was also that one time a tornado almost killed me and everyone else at Water World just outside of Denver but I'll just leave the lightning story.
 
2019-02-03 09:41:33 AM  
Riding the bikecentennial transcontinental trail in 1991, somewhere in middle-of-nowhere western Kansas.  I'm with 3 other guys at that point.

And we can see a thunderstorm coming across the plains from quite a distance away.  It's ok, we joked, a little rain will cut the heat.  Besides, we're on fully loaded touring bicycles - it's not like we out run it or something.

And then it hits.  A blinding downpour - so much - rain in the air it was almost hard to breathe.  And wind!  But up ahead in the distance, before it hits we had seen a farmhouse and thought maybe we could find some shelter there.  So we slogged through it, struggling to keep the bikes upright in the wind.

And then the hail started.  Little pin-prick pea sized at first that really stung your exposed skin.  But quickly ramping up to golf ball sized stones that made me glad I had a helmet.  And we're getting pummeled.

But by now we're in the yard of the farmhouse, between the house and the barn.  And this woman comes out on the porch, yelling "Go!" Over the roar of hail on metal roofs and pointing to the barn.  She didn't have to tell us twice!

We got into the barn just as it got worse, if you can believe it.  Some hail stones close to 2".  We just stood and watched it through the open door, rubbing our welts.

The woman came out to the barn after it ended to tell us we we're welcome to sleep in the barn if we liked, as long as there was no smoking or fire near the barn.  And offered to run our cothes through a dryer if we liked.  We thanked her profusely of course, and helped clean up her yard a bit from the storm.

It wasn't until years later, living in Colorado, that I realized how lucky we were.  Hail storms can get alot worse, and people can get killed or seriously injured by stones as bigger then baseballs!
 
2019-02-03 09:47:35 AM  

SBinRR: Lenny_da_Hog: Let's see...

Yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, yup, and even an etcetera for the 100mph+ Chinook.

Funny that we were having 100mph winds tearing our roofs off for days in a town of 250K, resulting in mudslides from the sharp temperature increase and snow melt, but since it's Alaska and not a hurricane, there was no coverage in the news.

My biggest Mother Nature memory from my 7 years in Anchorage was the 1989 Mt Redoubt event.  I remember everyone freaking out at work trying to cover every computer and anything else electronic with plastic.  The fear was that the ash would infiltrate them and kill them dead.  Fortunately that didn't come to pass.   The layer of ash resulted in a quicker snow melt during breakup that year.

When Mount Spurr went off three years later it felt more like a "Been there done that" moment.


Exact same experience.

I'd been in Alaska for about six months, was working my first engineering industry job. I looked out the window at sunset, and saw a beautiful red cloud to the southwest. I went back to work on the computer, then looked up again, and that pretty cloud had grown very large, very fast.

One of the lead engineers was walking by, and I asked him to explain what might be causing that. He looked for a minute, then gasped. "I think that's Redoubt!"

That night, the ash started falling on Anchorage. You couldn't see it fall, but you could hear it and see it accumulating on things like car windshield wipers. Just an endless "sssssssssssssssssss,,,,,"

The biggest difference between Redoubt and Spurr -- well, two differences -- was that there was nothing aesthetically pleasing about Spurr, and we had a different mayor for Spurr.
The entire medical community advised people not to drive unless necessary, as those invisibly small glass shards were a true threat to anyone with almost any type of respiratory disorder.During Redoubt, the Anchorage government warned people not to drive, then spent the money to clean the streets as quickly as possible,During Spurr, mayor Tom Fink told people to get out and drive as much as possible in order to blow the glass off the roads in order to avoid paying to clean the streets.And Spurr was just nasty and ugly, It was like turning the city into a big, wet ashtray.
 
2019-02-03 09:49:48 AM  

Lamberts Ho Man: Riding the bikecentennial transcontinental trail in 1991, somewhere in middle-of-nowhere western Kansas.  I'm with 3 other guys at that point.

And we can see a thunderstorm coming across the plains from quite a distance away.  It's ok, we joked, a little rain will cut the heat.  Besides, we're on fully loaded touring bicycles - it's not like we out run it or something.

And then it hits.  A blinding downpour - so much - rain in the air it was almost hard to breathe.  And wind!  But up ahead in the distance, before it hits we had seen a farmhouse and thought maybe we could find some shelter there.  So we slogged through it, struggling to keep the bikes upright in the wind.

And then the hail started.  Little pin-prick pea sized at first that really stung your exposed skin.  But quickly ramping up to golf ball sized stones that made me glad I had a helmet.  And we're getting pummeled.

But by now we're in the yard of the farmhouse, between the house and the barn.  And this woman comes out on the porch, yelling "Go!" Over the roar of hail on metal roofs and pointing to the barn.  She didn't have to tell us twice!

We got into the barn just as it got worse, if you can believe it.  Some hail stones close to 2".  We just stood and watched it through the open door, rubbing our welts.

The woman came out to the barn after it ended to tell us we we're welcome to sleep in the barn if we liked, as long as there was no smoking or fire near the barn.  And offered to run our cothes through a dryer if we liked.  We thanked her profusely of course, and helped clean up her yard a bit from the storm.

It wasn't until years later, living in Colorado, that I realized how lucky we were.  Hail storms can get alot worse, and people can get killed or seriously injured by stones as bigger then baseballs!


did the farmer have 3 daughters?

The barn part sounds familiar...
 
2019-02-03 09:52:28 AM  

Lamberts Ho Man: Riding the bikecentennial transcontinental trail


The trail runs right in front of my house.  There's still a few riders that come through here.
 
2019-02-03 09:54:23 AM  
My 21st birthday is so famous, there's a Wikipedia entry on it.

So the 30th was Easter, which, given that I went to a Catholic college, meant that we were off for five days originally (Holy Thursday through the Monday after Easter). So on the 31st, I drive back to college, and it's a full on Nor'Easter, blowing my little '89 Corolla around the highway. That night we had a practice for our upcoming student production (I was in pit orchestra for it), so by the time I was heading to it (just a couple of buildings over) it had already changed over to snow, and there might have been half an inch on the ground.

Two hours later, we get out of practice and have trouble opening the door, because it's now 6 inches on the ground. Finally get back, change out of my clothes, put my shoes over the radiator (since I didn't have snow boots on to go to practice) and turn on the TV to find out that yes, we're farked.

Next day, of course, is my birthday. My 21st birthday. AND THE ENTIRE CITY OF FARKING PROVIDENCE IS CLOSED. At least a foot of snow fell overnight. It would've taken me a good half hour to walk the half mile from my dorm uphill to the nearest liquor store that I would've trusted to go to anyway. (In case you're wondering, there might've been a closer one downhill from campus, but downhill from campus is also one of the worst housing projects in the city, so...no.)  I didn't end up celebrating until that Friday when my friends and I went to a dive bar to see a friend's band...and I didn't even get carded.
 
2019-02-03 09:55:04 AM  
Hiking the Potowatomi Trail with the scouts in Michigan, mid-1980s. A bad thunderstorm rolls in; so lightning, many wind, wow rain. We are under a sizeable shelter, waiting it out - maybe 40x20 feet, and still getting wet.

Eventually it settles to a drizzle, and later stops. We resume hiking eventually, when it's just cloudy. A half mile or so down the trail, we come to a clearing. A brand new clearing.

It's maybe 70-100 feet across, roughly circular. The trees are knocked down, no matter how large. Two weird things about it, though:

1. In the very center, one tree is still standing. Relatively undamaged.
2. All the other trees, even larger ones than the one in the center, are knocked down... all the same way. They are all knocked down in the same direction. Like they'd been combed flat.

We can't figure out what did it. If it was a tornado that touched down in one spot, we'd expect the trees to be knocked down in a circular pattern. If it was a 'roll cloud' (sort of a horizontal tornado) why would it have spared the one in the center? Still have no idea how that happened.
 
2019-02-03 10:01:43 AM  
My friend Dano was a babe magnet, one I remember in particular was named Rebecca, who was more into him than vice versa.  She was tall and thin except where it counted, squeezed into those checkered pants that chefs wear; beautiful enough face.  Not really germane to the story, but some people appreciate the details.
We were having a barbecue out on a wooden deck, when a squall blew up, sky got dark, wind gusts.  Just then we heard a cracking sound above us and we all scattered.  Except Rebecca who grabbed the Weber charcoal grill and then scattered just as a huge tree limb crashed right through the deck just where we were all standing.
In my opinion, he should have taken more of an interest in Rebecca.
 
2019-02-03 10:05:21 AM  
Nothing exciting, but multiple amusing stories from one event.

I was doing some consulting work in San Ramon when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit in 1989.  It was pretty far from the epicenter so three of us just crammed into a doorway when the building shook and watched some ceiling tiles and books fall down.  I didn't realize how big the earthquake had been until I got back to the hotel and a found a bunch of phone messages from my boss and friends checking to see if I was still alive.

My GF's cousin John was visiting family back east.  His friends called to tell him that the hill had collapsed onto his pickup and camper, completely burying them.  The was the second time he'd been made homeless in two months.  He'd just gotten over coming home from work to find both his GF and mobile home gone and his dog tied to the remaining steps with food and water bowls plus an appliance box for shelter.

Two days later one of his friends called to tell him that his laziness had paid off.  John had put off fixing the parking brake on his truck and it had rolled across the road and down into some brush before the hill had collapsed.  Friends had just finished winching it back up to the road and were calling to tell him the damage was limited to paint scratches on the outside and cereal  all over the inside.  They had already put their dogs to work on cereal cleanup.

I went into San Francisco the next weekend.  One shop clerk I was talking to said she had completely missed the earthquake.  She and her boyfriend were in the middle of a huge fight when it hit.  After her boyfriend stormed out her mom called.

"Are you OK?"
"I'm fine.  How did you know we just had a fight?"
"What do you mean fight?  There's just been a big earthquake!  Didn't you even notice?"
 
2019-02-03 10:05:35 AM  
In Atlanta, our historic storms usually cycle through roughly every 10 years.  In 1972, we had the ice storm that shut down schools for a solid week as the power kept going out as the pines kept snapping.  In 1982, we had our epic Snow Jam, with people walking home from subway stations and bus stops because the chains for the buses were all stored in one shed because no one thought to keep them with the buses.  In 1993, we had the storm that finally ended the pilgrimage people coming to see the farm in Conyers.  We were stuck inside again for almost 4 days because of ice pulling down trees over power lines.  The next was 2004, but my kids were so small that it was actually fun to be home with them and teach them the joys of cardboard box racing on ice.  Then, we got tricked in 2011, another house trapping half thaw snow turning into ice and watching all the amateurs trash their cars ignoring the advice to stay put.

Now, even if there is no snow, just cold weather, everyone freaks and closes down.

Hopefully, we are good for another few years before being house bound.
 
2019-02-03 10:06:25 AM  
Ice storm January 1998

Jan 5 - The first day, all the schools in town were closed, except for mine.  My bus shuttled for 3 area high schools so the driver slowly kept along her route, turning away most kids and trying to get the rest of us there. We made it but it would be the last day for 3 weeks. I went to school one of the corners of the area called the "Triangle of Darkness" or "Triangle noir". I had classmates who lost electricity for 6 weeks; several of them were from farming families that incurred heavy livestock losses during the outages.

We lost power at home that day, not to return for 15 days. We did not have an effective means of secondary heating so plans were in the works to escape.

Jan 6 - Dad decides that this would be a good time to arrange a business trip to Toronto so we didn't have to deal with the impacts. This was a questionable call in hindsight. Normally, the trip to Toronto would take about 6 to 7 hours but the roads were horrendous. We managed to make it through the Island of Montreal before they closed the bridges. The ditches and medians were lined with cars that had lost control. One particular truck lost its thick coating of ice from his trailer, as we were following it. The sheet managed to sail over the roof but not before making Mom scream. She drove into the evening and could see the extent of the power outages. The first signs of electricity were in Kingston, where we stopped for the night but only about 20% of the town had power. The total time to get to Kingston was 8 hours.

Over the next 10 days, my mom and I went from Toronto, to my Aunt's in Fitch Bay, to my sister's apartment in Montreal. Dad stayed with my step brother, commuting back and forth between Montreal and the Townships, checking in on the house and our old cat (who was fine).

When the neighbour called saying the power was on some 2+ weeks later, my mom started crying, hard.
 
2019-02-03 10:11:52 AM  

sorceror: Hiking the Potowatomi Trail with the scouts in Michigan, mid-1980s. A bad thunderstorm rolls in; so lightning, many wind, wow rain. We are under a sizeable shelter, waiting it out - maybe 40x20 feet, and still getting wet.

Eventually it settles to a drizzle, and later stops. We resume hiking eventually, when it's just cloudy. A half mile or so down the trail, we come to a clearing. A brand new clearing.

It's maybe 70-100 feet across, roughly circular. The trees are knocked down, no matter how large. Two weird things about it, though:

1. In the very center, one tree is still standing. Relatively undamaged.
2. All the other trees, even larger ones than the one in the center, are knocked down... all the same way. They are all knocked down in the same direction. Like they'd been combed flat.

We can't figure out what did it. If it was a tornado that touched down in one spot, we'd expect the trees to be knocked down in a circular pattern. If it was a 'roll cloud' (sort of a horizontal tornado) why would it have spared the one in the center? Still have no idea how that happened.


Sheer wind?
 
2019-02-03 10:13:52 AM  
August of 2004, on vacation in the Jeffersonville/Clarksville, Indiana, area with my mom, I experienced a weather phenomenon we don't have in Idaho.

I was out running some errands, and monitoring NWS Louisville's amateur radio repeater frequency. One of the operators there sent out an alert to all amateurs that severe weather was expected within a few hours. Since I was (and still am) a weather spotter for the National Weather Service in Spokane, WA, I got on frequency, and asked if I could offer my services as weather spotter. They asked me where I was located, and I said my temporary QTH (base) was Utica, IN. I was informed that a "derecho" was headed toward the area, and could I get my station set up for emergency communications. I was already headed back "home" (so to speak...mom and I were staying at my aunt's house), so I told them I could be set up and operating within 30 minutes.

My mom and aunt were sitting in the living room as I started hauling my radios and antennas into the house. They asked me what I was doing...I said a derecho was coming, and NWS Louisville asked me to get ready for emergency operations. They got excited about the weather...well, being from Indiana, they knew what a derecho was. I didn't.

I set up my station in the spare bedroom, pointed my yagi toward Louisville, tuned my main radio to NWS Louisville's repeater frequency, and asked for a radio check. "Loud and clear, sir...and you'll be Clark County 1," they replied.

The next few hours were freaky as hell as the derecho arrived. I never saw clouds moving so fast in my life...then the winds picked up, and it started raining sideways. At least, I think it was raining sideways...it came down so hard, we could barely see across the street. A branch broke off the neighbor's tree...and by "branch", I mean half the damn tree...about a foot in diameter.

We lost power toward evening...thankfully, I switched to batteries shortly before that, as the lights were flickering in the house.

I was pretty damn scared...my mom and aunt were unfazed by the weather.

The wind had started calming down just before bedtime...but it was still pouring down rain. We didn't get power back until almost noon the next day.

I went out and see how much damage was done around the area...and to grab lunch from White Castle ;)

Holy Fark...trees were down, vines were hanging everywhere, wires were laying across roads, power crews from every state surrounding Indiana were out helping to restore power. Luckily, the damage wasn't very bad...but to this Idaho guy, this was the worst thing I'd ever seen in my life.
 
2019-02-03 10:22:18 AM  
A forest fire hit my folks' neighborhood in northern Wyoming almost twenty years ago - a true rager, ripping through I don't know how many acres of trees and tearing up the hillsides, threatening and destroying houses, mass evacuations, smokejumpers pouring in from around the country and building a tent city in an empty field nearby.

The previous owners of the house my parents had just bought hadn't practiced good forestry, so our place was in an uproar as the fire approached, clearing (huge) trees that they'd clustered around the house, sticking a massive sprinkler on the roof to wet down the shingles. They got the evac order while in town, so the sprinkler kept running.

A nice pair of strangers invited us to hang out in their driveway across the valley, and we spent a few days in a nail-biting tailgating party - dragged out lawn chairs, coolers, binoculars, and radios; watching trees flare and explode closer and closer to the house; tracking the funky belly-less helicopters as they scooped water from the river in huge buckets to swing them around and drench whatever they could, and dropping bombs of crazy neon orange fire retardant on any structure they found; all of us trying to catch a glimpse of the house whenever the wind shifted.

We could make out the house only because of the sprinkler, and started hearing references to 'The Wet House' on the radio; the firefighters had made it a mini basecamp, and as long as we kept hearing them mention it we knew it was standing.

You take care of your firefighters when something like that happens. The community really pulled together, too, helping each other and celebrating everyone who'd braved the smoke and fire. Everyone got a ridiculous amount of hugs and home-baked 'thank you' cookies (I contributed to the cause), and the relief and awe at their hard work when the fire was contained was amazing.

My folks really wanted to do something for the local firefighters, at least, and everyone in the community who'd pulled together. For the next few years they and some friends would rent out the local roadhouse for the 'Wet House' Halloween party, give a VIP list of firefighters open-bar wristbands, and open the doors to the town. Daaaaaaamn the costumes, music, and total ruckus were great. Some of the best parties of my life.
 
2019-02-03 10:24:26 AM  

FriarReb98: My 21st birthday is so famous, there's a Wikipedia entry on it.


What I recall about the April Fools Day storm is that it was the year we took the kids to FL and the Bahamas for Spring Break. It had been a pretty snowy year further North than you and  that mean a great deal of shoveling for me. I was sick of it. But we were already gone two days before that storm dropped 3 feet of snow at my house, and the snow had all effectively melted before we got home so I never had to clear out the giant snow burm that the plows pushed into my driveway.

At least you and others keep trying to tell me about all the snow but I figure it was just an April Fools day gag played on me about my trip to FL and the Bahamas. Makes me feel special that you guys went to all that trouble to make up a story just for my little family.
 
2019-02-03 10:35:42 AM  
October 1987, in London.  The great storm killed 18 people in England, with force 10 gales, up to 119 knots, 15 million trees destroyed.
The next morning I biked to work.  At several points on the journey, I had to stop and carry my bike over fallen trees.  Underground and overland trains weren't running due to fallen trees on the lines. Most people didn't make it into work.  A lot of houses lost their roofs. This was one of the few hurricanes to hit London, and hadn't been properly forecast, with the TV weather forecaster warning only about "strong winds."
 
2019-02-03 10:41:13 AM  
I live in AZ, not much in the way of earthquakes, limited tornadoes, the occasional haboob.  That sort've thing.

But we do have heat.  I was in a band and we were playing at a place called Hammerheads in Tempe, AZ on Jun 26, 1990.  That was the day it hit 122 degrees at Sky Harbor airport and the grounded every single plane, since their temperature charts only went to 120.  It was still 102 at 10 p.m. when we hit the stage, and with the large PARs on us, the temperature onstage was quite a bit higher than that!  We did two 1-hour sets, and when I was done, my jeans were soaked with sweat all the way to my knees, and there was salt encrusted on the back of my bass and on my shirt and jeans.  Thankfully, we drank for free that night... although we drank more water than beer.
 
2019-02-03 10:41:20 AM  

Lamberts Ho Man: Riding the bikecentennial transcontinental trail in 1991, somewhere in middle-of-nowhere western Kansas.  I'm with 3 other guys at that point.

And we can see a thunderstorm coming across the plains from quite a distance away.  It's ok, we joked, a little rain will cut the heat.  Besides, we're on fully loaded touring bicycles - it's not like we out run it or something.

And then it hits.  A blinding downpour - so much - rain in the air it was almost hard to breathe.  And wind!  But up ahead in the distance, before it hits we had seen a farmhouse and thought maybe we could find some shelter there.  So we slogged through it, struggling to keep the bikes upright in the wind.

And then the hail started.  Little pin-prick pea sized at first that really stung your exposed skin.  But quickly ramping up to golf ball sized stones that made me glad I had a helmet.  And we're getting pummeled.

But by now we're in the yard of the farmhouse, between the house and the barn.  And this woman comes out on the porch, yelling "Go!" Over the roar of hail on metal roofs and pointing to the barn.  She didn't have to tell us twice!

We got into the barn just as it got worse, if you can believe it.  Some hail stones close to 2".  We just stood and watched it through the open door, rubbing our welts.

The woman came out to the barn after it ended to tell us we we're welcome to sleep in the barn if we liked, as long as there was no smoking or fire near the barn.  And offered to run our cothes through a dryer if we liked.  We thanked her profusely of course, and helped clean up her yard a bit from the storm.

It wasn't until years later, living in Colorado, that I realized how lucky we were.  Hail storms can get alot worse, and people can get killed or seriously injured by stones as bigger then baseballs!


Yep... Roopkund
 
2019-02-03 10:43:29 AM  
May 10th, 1996 in Big Spring, Texas. I was out with my cousin. She was borrowing an outfit for a banquet the high school band did every year. We stopped at a good friends house after she got her clothes. He was talking to his girlfriend, whose house we had just left, and said her car was getting beat to hell by hail. So, we decided we should head back to my house (we were in my mom's car).

As soon as we stepped outside, my buddy's neighbor was staring down the street and asked us if there was a tornado. I looked and noticed that you couldn't see past about a block and a half. It wasn't hazy or anything. No, you just could not see. It was like there was a wall there, a dark gray wall. That's when I noticed the noise. It sounded like a train was heading our way. Funny, we weren't all that close to the train tracks.

Suddenly, we heard a bang. It sounded like someone had hit the top of the car with a baseball bat. Yep, it was a piece of hail. Then there was another. Being stupid teenagers, my cousin and I decided we should haul ass home. I guess hunkering down inside of my buddy's house just didn't cross our minds. I can't explain it other than to say that it was panic taking over.

We didn't make it far. We got to the next block before we knew we had to take cover. There were no covered car ports or open garages that we could see. The only hope we had was a driveway with a tree that kind of hung over it. Well, that was going to have to do.

We pulled in and kind of sat there as the hail pounded us. We were mostly okay at first, but then it got bad. Yeah, it was mild until that point. Who'd have thought? This hail was stupid big. Seriously, we are talking about hail that was anywhere from tennis size to softball size hail. They weren't falling in spaced out intervals either. Oh no, this stuff was coming down as quick and heavy as a downpour.

Well, thinking as quickly as possible, I jumped to the back of the car (a station wagon) where I knew there was a pad for a swamp cooler. I grabbed the pad, threw my cousin's head in my lap, leaned over her head, and put the pad across the back of my head and neck. In that position, we were looking out the back of the car. That's when the first window broke. Then the back window. The front started cracking and caving in. I could see this hail flowing down the street like a river. Every time one would hit the river of hail, it would explode like a grenade. Frozen bits of ice would shoot off like shrapnel. I seriously thought we weren't making it out alive.

It all ended as quickly as it started. The hail didn't taper off or slow down. No, it just stopped. We sat up and my cousin was freaking out. She was screaming, "your mom is going to freak out. She's going to kill us, the car is destroyed!"

I just yelled at her, "Shut up and drive! Go, go, go! Get us home and forget about the car!"

The damage was unbelievable. Leaves  and branches were everywhere. I don't think I saw a single window that wasn't broken. Cars looked like they had been through a demolition derby. It was terrifying. I was shaking all the way home. The look my mom and sister gave us when we came through the door was one of complete relief. My mom had been worried sick because she just knew we had been trapped out in this beast of a storm.

The total damage to the town was massive. It was seriously bad enough that a glass company that had been out of business for years before that was able to start up business again. Roofing companies moved in to town and circled like vultures. The freaking Red Cross came in! I never thought I'd see that in this little town of 24K people. Needless to say, to this day I am terrified of hail storms.
 
2019-02-03 11:00:45 AM  
being from Montana, I have dozens of stories of blizzards and Ice storms. However, for my cool story bro I shall pick May 19th, 1980. I had dropped out of college in February, and returned to the family farm. I was almost 19 years old. Woke up to fairly clear skies, although they seemed kind of hazy. We had animals to take care of, so I did that. And went back inside for a couple hours... About noon, I noticed then it was Twilight outside, and went outside to check. The chickens had returned to their roosts, and the cows were acting very curiously. Now even though  it was fairly warm, there seem to be snow falling from the sky... Of course, this was before the days of 24-hour television, indeed we only had two  channels out on the farm. We turned on the radio, trying to figure out what happened... By now it was virtually dark outside. Finally, about 1pm  Mountain Standard Time, the radio came on with the news that a day earlier Mount Saint Helens had blown, and the ash was following the jet stream east. We ended up with anywhere between 2 and 8 inches of ash, and it was absolutely incredible. Fortunately, the spring rains came and washed it all away, but not until lasting damage had been done to a lot of equipment. I will never forget it, it was eerie having Nightfall at 1 in the afternoon. Have a nice and safe Super Bowl weekend all you farkers.  Love to you all.
 
2019-02-03 11:07:54 AM  
As a kid in the Dakotas, I saw a lot of snow growing up. It didn't just snow but it blew as well. A piddly couple of inches could make neat little drifts a foot high. Drifts were funny, big here and little there, and they could grow rock hard where you could walk on them without sinking. As flat as it was around there, we always saw plenty of wind and drifting with each winter storm.

So I recall a whopper of a storm back in the 60s which, try as I might, I can't find mentioned in the news annals of worst storms. I seem to recall it was a late spring storm that came on strong leaving huge drifts and melting within days. It was colder than cold with killer wind-chill. Nobody went outside during the storm.

As with every snowstorm on the plains, the winds blew. It blew so hard snow would come in through the cracks around the front door. The toilet waters would roil back and forth just shy of whitecap stage as the gales ripped across the roof. The single pane windows wore a coat of frost fed by the humid air inside the house. The house creaked and moaned as the storm raged away.

Morning came and it was over. We suited up (think Christmas story) and out we kids went, meeting up with all the other kids in a hurry. There were really big drifts across the driveway and the front of the house. The road in front of our house had a smallish drift of a foot or two but down around the corner it was huge. One of the snow plows with the giant chewing augers came through and cut a path leaving our street looking like the Alps. The drift was taller than that truck. There was so much snow we thought we be building snow forts until August.

But the best part was how the snow drifted at our house. The house itself was a split level thing, single level in front with the roof sloping up towards the two story rear. Those weird drifts went right up to the roof in front. We knew what to do.

So we hiked up those drifts onto the roof and walk all the way up. Then we edged our way down the back side and looking down discover huge amounts of snow in the backyard, too. Not as high as the front but five or six feet deep. It wasn't drifted but gently deposited all along the back of the house in a big, giant, inviting pile. We all had the same idea.

We'd jump off and *PLOOMP* we'd land in the big pile.  So we'd race around to the front and repeat our trek, walk up the slope, and jump off the back again. *PLOOMP* We probably got four or five rounds in before mom came out and... well, you know how mom's are. Fun was over.

I'm still enjoying that storm today.
 
2019-02-03 11:22:43 AM  

stir22: being from Montana, I have dozens of stories of blizzards and Ice storms. However, for my cool story bro I shall pick May 19th, 1980. I had dropped out of college in February, and returned to the family farm. I was almost 19 years old. Woke up to fairly clear skies, although they seemed kind of hazy. We had animals to take care of, so I did that. And went back inside for a couple hours... About noon, I noticed then it was Twilight outside, and went outside to check. The chickens had returned to their roosts, and the cows were acting very curiously. Now even though  it was fairly warm, there seem to be snow falling from the sky... Of course, this was before the days of 24-hour television, indeed we only had two  channels out on the farm. We turned on the radio, trying to figure out what happened... By now it was virtually dark outside. Finally, about 1pm  Mountain Standard Time, the radio came on with the news that a day earlier Mount Saint Helens had blown, and the ash was following the jet stream east. We ended up with anywhere between 2 and 8 inches of ash, and it was absolutely incredible. Fortunately, the spring rains came and washed it all away, but not until lasting damage had been done to a lot of equipment. I will never forget it, it was eerie having Nightfall at 1 in the afternoon. Have a nice and safe Super Bowl weekend all you farkers.  Love to you all.


May 18th, but everything else is spot on. That was a trip.
 
2019-02-03 11:29:24 AM  
I was seven or eight. We had a lilac bush  20 or so feet from the house.
I was staring out the window during a storm when a bolt of lightning struck it. I fell over and was dazed.
The bush was hallowed out. I would use it as a fort until we moved a year later.
 
2019-02-03 11:37:52 AM  
I've been in the vicinity of several famous weather events, I seem to attract them. Epic blizzard of WNY '77-78, direct hit of Cat 3 hurricane Marilyn on St. Thomas, the tornadic system that hit Joplin (a smaller one went right over my car as I took cover at a rest stop), stranded in MO while visiting thanks to the flood of '93...

The most amazing thing I have ever seen was a snownado over Lake Michigan, late January 2014. I was heading home from work and I saw a shelf cloud roll in from the west, so I parked at the beach to watch it unfold.

I noticed what seemed to be a funnel cloud develop so I got out my phone to take video. Since the lake was frozen, the vortex picked up the snow and it became distinctly tornadic in appearance.

This is a still from the video. It actually became more pronounced a couple of minutes later but by then I wasn't filming, just standing there in awe.
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-02-03 11:44:33 AM  
I grew up about 8 miles from Xenia, OH.  In the spring of 1974, when I was 7 years old, there was a massive tornado outbreak all over the  south and the midwest.  The F-5 that hit Xenia in the late afternoon was a record-breaker.

My mom, my brother, and I were hunkered down in a lower-level bathroom in our house for about an hour.

In the weeks following, people would drive a few hours to do disaster tourism.  We went, of course, and my biggest memory is the amount of paper and other trash strewn all over.

Then 10 years later the US Embassy in Beirut was bombed, and the pictures on TV showed a building with one entire wall sheared of.  And I had flashbacks to driving through Xenia.

coda: President Nixon flew out to see the damage.  I had military brat friends, and we got onto base to see him board the stairs to Air Force One and do the victory wave.  He resigned just a few months later.
 
2019-02-03 11:58:44 AM  

edmo: As a kid in the Dakotas, I saw a lot of snow growing up. It didn't just snow but it blew as well. A piddly couple of inches could make neat little drifts a foot high. Drifts were funny, big here and little there, and they could grow rock hard where you could walk on them without sinking. As flat as it was around there, we always saw plenty of wind and drifting with each winter storm.

So I recall a whopper of a storm back in the 60s which, try as I might, I can't find mentioned in the news annals of worst storms. I seem to recall it was a late spring storm that came on strong leaving huge drifts and melting within days. It was colder than cold with killer wind-chill. Nobody went outside during the storm.

As with every snowstorm on the plains, the winds blew. It blew so hard snow would come in through the cracks around the front door. The toilet waters would roil back and forth just shy of whitecap stage as the gales ripped across the roof. The single pane windows wore a coat of frost fed by the humid air inside the house. The house creaked and moaned as the storm raged away.

Morning came and it was over. We suited up (think Christmas story) and out we kids went, meeting up with all the other kids in a hurry. There were really big drifts across the driveway and the front of the house. The road in front of our house had a smallish drift of a foot or two but down around the corner it was huge. One of the snow plows with the giant chewing augers came through and cut a path leaving our street looking like the Alps. The drift was taller than that truck. There was so much snow we thought we be building snow forts until August.

But the best part was how the snow drifted at our house. The house itself was a split level thing, single level in front with the roof sloping up towards the two story rear. Those weird drifts went right up to the roof in front. We knew what to do.

So we hiked up those drifts onto the roof and walk all the way up. Then we edged our way down the b ...


March 4th (get it?) 1966.
 
2019-02-03 12:03:15 PM  
There was also the camping trip last June in Killarney where we were visited by Post-tropical depression Alberto. Only the 11th named storm to reach Lake Huron, let alone cross it. We knew the storm was going to affect the trip but the original paths put the storm to the east of us so we decided to paddle out to our spot the first night and hunker down. Mother Nature decided otherwise and pushed it almost over top of us.
img.fark.netView Full Size

Image courtesy of this Twitter post

It was a wet and blustery morning but we were ok. This picture was taken in the height of the stormof a brave group giving her all they got. Despite the wind, we could hear them yelling to psych themselves up.
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2019-02-03 12:07:42 PM  
I remember a tornado on the farm when I was like 6. I was the only one home and was scared shartless and cried so hard.

I remember helping several friends with clean-up / recovery after this https://www.wandtv.com/news/rememberi​n​g-the-decatur-tornadoes-of-years-later​/video_100b12de-a89a-537b-b40d-e295de8​a1528.html

But, likely my best example of Mother Nature showing her stuff (that I was personally involved in) was when I was on my first West-Pac deployment.

We were warned that we would be sailing through a very bad storm. As we got closer to the storm the orders went out for all hands remain in their racks. That meant unless you had a damned good reason to be up and moving we were all to remain in our racks and we were to tie ourselves in. PBJs would be delivered to us.

I was young and dumb; as we almost all were at 20. So I really wanted to see what it was like outside. We posted a Marine guard at every exit to the outside of the ship and nobody was allowed on the weather-decks. When I made my way to the head, the ship was rolling so bad, that I was walking on a bulkhead one minute and then would shift to walking on the opposite bulkhead. So, when I got back to my berthing area I grabbed up my sling rope, a carabiner, tied a Swiss Seat , and headed to the near exit where my good friend was on guard duty.

After a couple of minutes I finally convinced him to let me out to look. Yes, it was a stupid, dangerous, rule breaking thing to do. Out I went. I instantly lashed myself to the rails and squared my footing and handholds. What I saw out there made the storm they showed on Gilligan's Island look like a playful moment in a bathtub. I was in awe. The skies were so dark. And a non-stop string of lightning blasts. There was just enough daylight for me to see what was going on, and to recognize just how much our ship was being tossed in every direction. I was on an LPD. Not a huge ship, but not all that small one either.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/​USS_Dulu​th_(LPD-6)

After a couple of minutes I finally found our command ship in the distance. It was an LHA. These are basically the size and shape of a small aircraft carrier.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki​/USS_Bell​eau_Wood_(LHA-3) I could see the ship take the crest of a swell. Then it would go to the bottom and come up again. On every second swell I watched the nose of this ship stab into the oncoming swell several feet down from the top. It would then rise and scoop all of that water up and toss it across the entire ship making it disappear almost completely. Only to repeat this cycle of events every couple of swells.

At the ripe old age of 20, I can assure you, I became fully aware of just how tiny we are in comparison to the power of nature. That storm was so bad just after our group entered it, the LST with us was ordered to turn and run full steam to Korea. The poor Cayuga sustained structural damages in just a couple of hours that made folks wonder if she was done for good. It seems that flat bottomed ships aren't made for heavy storms at sea :).
 
2019-02-03 12:08:02 PM  

turbidette: stir22: being from Montana, I have dozens of stories of blizzards and Ice storms. However, for my cool story bro I shall pick May 19th, 1980. I had dropped out of college in February, and returned to the family farm. I was almost 19 years old. Woke up to fairly clear skies, although they seemed kind of hazy. We had animals to take care of, so I did that. And went back inside for a couple hours... About noon, I noticed then it was Twilight outside, and went outside to check. The chickens had returned to their roosts, and the cows were acting very curiously. Now even though  it was fairly warm, there seem to be snow falling from the sky... Of course, this was before the days of 24-hour television, indeed we only had two  channels out on the farm. We turned on the radio, trying to figure out what happened... By now it was virtually dark outside. Finally, about 1pm  Mountain Standard Time, the radio came on with the news that a day earlier Mount Saint Helens had blown, and the ash was following the jet stream east. We ended up with anywhere between 2 and 8 inches of ash, and it was absolutely incredible. Fortunately, the spring rains came and washed it all away, but not until lasting damage had been done to a lot of equipment. I will never forget it, it was eerie having Nightfall at 1 in the afternoon. Have a nice and safe Super Bowl weekend all you farkers.  Love to you all.

May 18th, but everything else is spot on. That was a trip.


I know it blew on the 18th, but the ash didn't  reach us until the 19th.
 
2019-02-03 12:12:31 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size

/obscure?
 
2019-02-03 12:17:45 PM  
I've read and heard many times about the sky turning "green" when a tornado is approaching.

It wasn't a tornado, just a downburst, but I recall watching the sky turn blackish and then distinctly green as a storm approached my college apartment. Closer, closer, the shopping center across the road disappeared -- and then the burst slammed squarely into my apartment's outside wall.

After it passed, the windows were unbroken -- but covered with shredded bits of leaves. It was like having a green tapestry over the windows.

So, I don't know if the sky turns green because it's full of vegetables, but it seems like that's what happened this time. And there was the Andover tornado that briefly turned pink when it ran across a nursery's field of geraniums...
 
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