Tuesday night in Texas, the weather spiraled out of control. Dark descended during the daylight hours. A tornado watch was in effect, and to Jason and I, it appeared to be just a wee bit to the North of us. By wee, I mean, across the freeway. But we were totally safe from that, right?!? We decided to pick up some BBQ a few miles from the house. We kept our eyes on the dark, and noted the wind whipping the trees leaves, uh, up – straight up.
The dark and light wanted to mix, but it wasn’t quite there when we entered the BBQ place. However, the news on inside big screen showed several rotating masses a little north, and a little west. TORNADOES! Whoa.
We weren’t too worried. I grew up in Oklahoma. I knew tornado skies. As a child, and young girl, I had made many runs to the cellar, and even saw one touch down from a hill about five miles away. This was close, but outside was not green, nor tinted in any way. It was dark across the street, but not a funny color.
After getting our order to go, I noticed the outside coloring had changed. It was GREEN. It was tornado color. The clouds were churning above us, but still the black stuff was a road away, however the light poles in the parking lot shook, and creaked with the straight winds. I would not want to be parked under those.
The feeling in the air was just eerie.
We checked the sky again. We checked the radar on our iPhones. It was incredible to be this close, and on the edge of such a massive storm that developed out of nowhere. And it was mean.
I did not have my big guns camera, nor my big guns lens. I had my first DSLR and it had a 35mm prime lens on it. I carry it, because it’s small and light.
That said, the pictures really don’t do it justice. There was so much more detail with the eye. You could see clouds moving west and the clouds moving north at the same time.
What happened next, I really can’t explain. We got in the car and drove toward it.
Marveling at the colors and the air; marveling at the storm that was right there. We could have turned around and headed towards home (run to the light!), but we didn’t.
We kept going.
Just to see.
The light. The clouds. Maybe a tornado?
Jason took this picture out the car window. It’s not the best photo, but does represent what we were seeing as we traveled into the storm.
I’ll admit. We felt like storm chasers. We watched the sky. We watched the road. When I asked if we should turn around, he said to keep going just a little farther. That’s when we saw a cloud start to knit together – right in front of us. Slowly, it churned as it built a funnel wall. A tornado was descending before our very eyes (and car). I was so busy watching that, I didn’t notice we drove into a debris cloud. I didn’t notice other swirling masses going vertical. Don’t worry, I was definitely turning around at that point. We were in dangerous territory. Thing is, there wasn’t a PLACE to turn around. I was officially FREAKED out. A funnel was over our heads, dirt and trash, flying all around and above us. The air looked like we were in a war zone. You could barely see in front of the car.
We got to the turn around in the median, at this point, my hair was standing end. We drove (quickly) the other way about a half mile and stopped with the other
crazy people storm chasers. All of them were on their cell phone taking pictures.
We found the tornado(s).
I was a little shocked we did. I mean, we haven’t storm chased before. I don’t even watch that TV show. Although, the movie Twister was one of my favorites. But we caught up with it – for real.
These were not well-organized or large tornadoes (they were trying). They were over the city dump and picking up a lot of junk (heh!).
And don’t get me wrong, I was glad to be south of them and not UNDER them.
After they moved on, the masses departed from our storm watching party. As we headed home, the rains came. When you see live tornadoes and raging skies of hot and cold, you get something else……hail.
The raindrops were HARD on the car and i knew it was coming. We pulled into driveway (with our BBQ) and ran for the door.
Not much after that, a few minutes, we get these raining down, and thankfully, they were very small compared to other parts of town that got baseball to softball size hail (broken windshields and all).
Our backyard in the hail storm.
The storm moved on after the hail. I believe it’s the same system that gained steam and hit Oklahoma. We were very lucky. I have never seen anything like it.
These storms systems and weather patterns seem to be getting worse and worse.
Is mother nature taking revenge? Did the Japan earthquake shake her up?
All I know is, if you chase a storm, be prepared to catch it. I think we may eat-in next time.