Tornado-shy.

Alright. So, I haven’t been around a lot of tornados, and I haven’t lived in a lot of places where tornados happen. In fact, as Jen inadvertently pointed out, I am terribly ignorant about tornados. While her son was at school huddling under a desk in lockdown, my kids were running around our front yard with bicycle helmets on (you know, to protect them from the massive golf ball hail).

Extreme weather is part of the fun of Colorado, especially living by the Rocky Mountains, where strong fronts move through and collide constantly. For the most part I can watch it all happening way up on the mountains without having to deal with it directly.

Now that I’ve been educated on tornado weather, I’m a little high strung. Today we continued to have strong winds and ominous clouds overhead, and I couldn’t stop running to different windows to make sure there were no swirling clouds coming to take us somewhere over the rainbow.

It just so happens that yesterday was the second time this month that I’d been under a tornado watch. We encountered some weather in Wyoming on the drive back from South Dakota. It all started innocently enough, with the beautiful prairie and big sky above us.

And then I admired some massive cumulonimbus forming in the distance:

And then the sky above us started roiling and boiling a little bit, which I thought looked really cool.

It was cool, until we drove into some other, more ominous clouds which made it black as night all around us, even though there should have been plenty of daylight left.

That’s about the time when the downpour started. I wasn’t driving, so I could focus on taking pictures and mindlessly chattering about ‘My! I’ve never been in a storm like this!’.

Hubby had set his jaw and grabbed the steering wheel tightly. At one point he muttered, “What? Are we driving into a tornado or something?” to which I thought he was joking around and laughed. Like they have tornados in Wyoming!

Radio reception was poor, so we drove an hour or so through intermittent downpours, daylight, walls of clouds, and weird weather. As we approached Cheyenne some radio stations came through in time for us to hear, “…APB, Tornado Watch is in effect for the Cheyenne area. Keep a watch out for severe weather and take tornado precautions until 10 tonight…”

Hubby looked at me like, “I told you so!” and THEN I started freaking out a little bit.

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4 Responses

  1. Oh holy heck, I didn’t mean to freak you out! LOL! I don’t LIKE knowing this much about tornadoes; my husband is a little psycho about them. So I know more than I’d like about greenage, and updrafts, and swirling. Can’t get away from it, he works from home. LOL! If Tom had seen those clouds in Wyoming he would have found the nearest town and hauled us out of the car. Sigh…he’s done it, cross my heart.
    CO does get extreme weather, but we’re from the midwest, where this crap happens all.the.time.
    Oh, and I was running outside yesterday to move my van into the garage…in hail…as a tornadic cloud was going over the town. Ay yi yi…

  2. We have warnings and watches all the time, and have a special spot in our basement with stuff for the kids while we hang out and wait if the sirens do go off. It isn’t as common up here as where I grew up (MO/KS), but we many. Definitely becomes a part of life. 🙂

  3. Jen–they don’t have tornado alarms in my town, but I did hear the car alarms of every car that was out on the street!

    Denise–how do you know when to come back out of the basement?!

  4. […] it has rained at least 7 inches today and tonight. Also consider that we recently drove through a tornado warning in Wyoming, and had a terrible tornado pass through not 30 miles north of us, and I’m starting to wonder […]

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