Thursday, May 22, 2008

Weather Update

The previous post was made about 11:45 a.m. when I was sitting at my desk, perusing my daily Google reader feeds, looking for interesting items to share here, and listening to CNN. A report came on of a "massive" tornado, on the ground in Gilcrest, Colorado which is northeast of Denver.

I have never claimed to have a full measure of common sense, and one very odd trait I have inherited from my mother is the absolute inability to accept the weatherman's version of events or to be told that we must stay home. We just find it necessary to experience everything first hand, and to go where most people, at least those with brains, would avoid.

This slightly mad characteristic has led us into some interesting predicaments over the years, but today our adventure was pretty mundane.

When I heard the announcement, the rest of my pod was out for a walk, so I gathered up my keys, made sure I had my phone (for pictures), went out, got into the car, drove to the street, picked Mother up, put the Shih Tzus-Sophie and Sadie-in the back seat, and we headed north.

After about an hours wandering around, my partner in crime, informed me that she had turned the sprinkler on before leaving for her walk and the water was still running, if I had not turned it off. Now we live in a small townhome, with a little patch of dirt that has a couple rose bushes, some clematis, and a variety of herb like plants but is not large enough to contain three hours worth of water. So with visions of a garden bed being washed into the street, I stopped at Good Times, ordered 2 bambino burger specials with a frozen custard which we enjoyed while watching the clouds swirl around above us. Finally it dawned on me to call my neighbor, and I want to thank you, Mike, for saving the day or at least our garden.

So we merely used a half-tank of like-gold gasoline, tried to wash away our garden, got caught in a couple traffic jams and construction zones, consumed enough calories for a week, only to come home and view the actual tornado on the afternoon local news. We did not even get caught in the rain, although we could see it all around us.

In the spring, the front range of Colorado will frequently get some severe thunder storms often with large hail. It is also not unusual for us to have a few days with tornadic activity. This occurs when we have had warm weather and then a cold front drops down from the north.The hot and cold air don't mix which results in some severe weather. However the few tornadoes we do get are generally, small, rarely touch ground, or if they do it is for a short period over some farm ground out on the eastern plains.

Unfortunately, today was an exception. Luckily it appears that there has been only one fatality, but there is a great deal of property damage. The tornado was nearly a mile wide and traveled a northwest course from outside Greeley Colorado toward Fort Collins, Colorado and remained on the ground for much of the over 35 miles. Things are still pretty chaotic throughout much of north-central Colorado and my thoughts are for those who have lost so much, and I have a special prayer for the pets that have become disoriented and are looking for their homes and owners.

Things seem to have settled down, although Denver is still under a severe weather and tornado watch until 8:00 tonight. But Mother and I and the little bookends, Sophie and Sadie have done our exploring and will be content to spend the evening at home. No more tornado chasing for us today.


Sam said...

That's a keeper of a tornado chaser story, no matter how hilarious. Thank goodness this unusual storm wasn't close to the big city.

I have a strange one too. Something over ten years ago there was a rare outbreak of tornadoes west of Austin TX, and the TV stations showed pictures of locomotives moved off the tracks and a grocery story that was half flattened. However, I was in Corpus Christi at a conference.

I called and I called but all the telephone lines were jammed or down. I was going to book an airplane ticket or rent a car and leave immediately ... when I got a call from the hotel front desk that my wife left a message: all were safe.

So I did my presentation, a little nervously I quess, and headed back to Austin on the regular flight. As I drove home all looked fine until I saw all the damage, the half-a-store, and the old steam locomotive in the wrong field.

So after hugs and kisses, my young son told me how he filed the whole thing while on his bicycle. "It came down out of the clouds and tried to get us, Dad!" He had some serious footage on a cheap video. Not wanting to go ballistic, and grateful all was OK, I smiled. -sam

Joni said...

He didn't decide to be a weatherman did he? The TV storm would love his spunk. Thanks for the story!

Rio Grande V said...


In the words of my Cheech, "Be careful!" You have to survive Colorado to make it back to your bookstore!

Oh, you haven't e-mailed me so here are a few things I like:

A couple of biographies on George Patton, can't find many. Another good book on The Federalist Papers if it exists.

I would also like to see a section of Mexican-American politics/history/culture. There are not enough of them in many bookstores. It might be a good niche for you. I went to a Half Priced up state, and nada!