Thursday, 1 September 2011

Stormy Weather

Wow what a summer's it been! I've always been a fan of extreme weather, in particular tornadoes. And, a part of me did wonder what it would be like weather wise over here. I mean, everything is bigger and that had to include the weather, didn't it?

After the banks of 6ft snow that dominated the sidewalks slowly melted away in late March, everyone (bar me!) looked forward to summer. I'm not a huge fan of hot days. For starters, warmth coupled with humidity means that I end up looking like an extra from a 70s flick for the best part of three months!

Unlike ol' Blighty, there are prolonged days of sunshine as well as the hot temperatures. Las Vegas and Texas can consistently reach 104degF+ everyday and unfortunately this year the heat was relentless with a whole month of these temps with no rain! The South were plagued with countless tornadoes. East coast, we're a little bit luckier. Whilst we'll have the sun, guaranteed there's a thunderstorm close at hand to either lower the thermometer a couple of degrees or my favorite add to the humidity! As I've said before, the thunderstorms are just marvelous. It's an amazing sight - sheet lightening, rolling thunder and Hubby pleading with me to stay away from the windows. I convince him that I'll be fine and that my flip-flops are rubber soled!

Last year summer, Hubby and I didn't get our AC unit until quite late into the summer season. Our naivety that we'll be fine with the heat shattered quickly as we reached 80% humidity and moving a little finger resulted in an outpouring of sweat (nice, I know). So, this year, as soon as it hit mid May, we got the AC installed. Weeks later, we were still experiencing spring like weather and we thought that perhaps we were a little hasty in getting the unit so early. But, soon enough along came the hot weather.

What we didn't expect was a tornado that touched down west of Massachusetts...and the loudest thunder I've ever heard and the most fabulous prolonged sheet lightening. I couldn't actually "ooh and ahh" over it for very long as Hubby, when realizing that I wasn't back from getting up from the sofa would come looking for me and drag me away from the window, muttering, "yes very nice and exciting but if anything happens to you, I don't want to have to deal with your mother!"

We didn't think anything else of the summer after that; we had the AC at home, I had Starbucks (and their AC) during the day. Then Hurricane Irene decided to make herself known. At the time I wasn't particularly worried as the meteorologists were saying by the time it hit Boston/Mass it would be classed as a tropical storm but still to take it seriously. So, we bought bottled water, extra food, turned the fridge down in case of a power outage, got a torch but did forgo the wind-up radio. I-Day arrived and, whilst other areas got hit quite badly, Cambridge didn't. We have had worse thunderstorms. Yes, it was continuously windy and it rained a lot but it seemed more like a typical November day. Thankfully, Irene passed without affecting us too much. But I've now experienced a tropical storm.

The US are pretty well equipped with dealing with natural disasters. During the build up to the hurricane, we came home to find a voice mail giving advice of what to do during one, emergency contact numbers to keep at hand etc. (Unfortunately) I couldn't imagine ol' Blighty being so prepared. I mean, a leaf on a train line causes numerous problems!

Now that I'm here, I'm even more fascinated with extreme weather simply because if it can happen, it will happen here. I would love to go storm chasing. But I'm thinking, that if Hubby worries about me standing by a window looking at a storm, 'e ain't going to be best pleased with me in a 4x4 driving at 50mph, driving through darkening skies, with thunderous rain and hailstones trying to catch up to a tornado...

...oh well, looks like I'll just have to stick to watching Storm Chasers on the Weather Channel...

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1 comment:

  1. This is great Lini. brilliant account of your experience!