Weather Wise

Having lived in Kansas for the majority of my life, I am a weather observer of the finest kind.  I had a paper route for a year in 1961 and spent most of that year outside twice a day watching the best and worst Kansas delivers. For most of the year, the wind blows from the north west or the south east.  Major storms blow in with the impact of warm moist air from the gulf and the cold air arrival as fronts from the north.  When those events meet over Kansas, we generally catch some severe weather.  

last night, the clouds stayed overhead and warm moist air is here waiting for a cold blast and the weather is predicted to be bad from Texas to Minnesota.  Generally we will start as the day warms up.  The clouds form major formations as they rise and lots of things go on inside those clouds.  The wort thing is when it is so cool that hail forms.  When the hail raises and falls within the clouds it adds layers of ice until they are to heavy to stay aloft.  We have had hail that looks like sleet up to hail that looks like softballs.  here we pay a premium for insurance due to the effects of hail.  

If the weather is truly two fronts trying to pass each other, they create a vortex like water flushing in a toilet.  Add a jet stream of 100 MPH the effect makes the wind run along the ground in circles.  On the Fujita scale, that effect varied from 1 to 5 with 5 being the strongest.  Houses are generally built to withstand winds up to 100 MPH in a straight line.  Blow those winds in a circular motion, and you wind up with rubble.  In 1983, we lived on the east side of Topeka and a small front was passing on a Friday night.  Typical humidity early, clouds building up and it started to rain. Great big rain drops fell first, a pretty strong wind and then hail.  I was watching out the garage door and I saw a flock of birds flying about 1/4 mile to the southwest.  Because of the rain, the tornado funnel was clear air and not full of the dark dirt of those spectacular funnels over farm land. I watched in amazement until I saw a house explode and realized the birds I thought I saw was debris from roofs, couches and yard art.  We all went into a downstairs bath room and it wasn't until the house moved that I realized my beer mug collection on the walls made that choice less than good. 

Debris started to slap the house and all of a sudden the wind just lifted the house off the foundation.  We went from a dark inside to outside in a flash.  The next thing I knew, I had the whole damn house hit me and push me down into a corner.  As the house settled back down, I shouted to Barb to see if she was OK.  She could not see me buried in the debris and i told her to get out and I would do my best to get out.  I could wiggle and push the wall up just enough to move forward a couple of inches.  An inch at a time I moved my way to the daylight until I could get out.  There was  a busted water pipe that was making it rain inside the house  and a gas pipe that sounded like a jet plane.  My biggest fear was that I would be trapped under the mess and a fire would start.  I kept lifting, pushing and got free.  

I guess what I am saying is that we watch the weather and aren't afraid to be fraidy cats in bad weather.  


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