I'm sitting here with my tea trying to get my thoughts together but a fog seems to be in the way. Needless to say we had a very late night. Yesterday was unusually hot for here and muggy. There was little to no wind which in itself is very unusual and despite the hot temperatures and clear sky there was a feeling of heaviness and an ominous feeling which I couldn't shake. Possibly due to all the weather/tornado watches in effect. I couldn't seem to get much done except for making sure everything was put away and battened down as best as possible.
In the afternoon I watched two systems pass us by. Huge towering clouds that seemed miles high and still there was no wind and everything was quiet, very quiet. I kept thinking, keep going, don't come this way and they did, thankfully. Later in the evening everything changed, there was no way this system was going to pass us by. According to the radar it was headed straight for us.
I'm sure many of you have seen the clouds I am talking about. You can see them coming forever. They seem to touch the ground and yet are miles and miles high. It is like a wall heading straight for you and there is not a thing you can do except lock all the animals up tight and wait. So we waited. Still no wind, no sounds now either, even the birds were silent. Wait.... wait....
The sky is getting darker. Sunset is an hour and a half away but it looks like dusk. We can see the lightening in the clouds. Now they are overhead and still there is no wind. So dark now we wouldn't be able to see the trees at the end of the field except for the continuous lightening.... Maybe the worst of it will pass us by? Maybe we are on the very edge and the worst of it will miss us?
We are surrounded by lightening like I have never seen before in my life. Many straight bolts but most of it rolling, rolling like waves going through the clouds. We try to get a few pictures of this amazing sight but the camera won't cooperate so we finally just sit and watch it in amazement and wonder what is coming our way. Still no wind just the lightening and the thunder that never stops.
Then it hits. First the wind. Our house is built like a tank and still it shakes with the strength of the wind and I wonder if the west window will break. Then the rain which sounds like hail as it hits the window and the roof. A never relenting pounding, so loud we can't talk, so heavy we can't see anything outside of our house except for the brightening and darkening of what we know are lightening flashes. Even the thunder takes a back seat now to the sound of the relentless pounding rain.
We sit mute, watching, hoping it won't hail, if it does that window won't stand a chance as the wind is too strong. An hour passes, two... Then the rain lessens and the wind slows. We can see outside again. It is as dark as midnight but the lightening is still all around us and we can see the water everywhere. My poor garden is flooded again. I wonder aloud if there is anything left in it. Then we sit again and watch the lightening roll and the rain finally stop. Now the fireflies are out and are answering the lightening with their own flashing lights. I've never seen so many fireflies.
Eventually we can see the end of the clouds, a small sliver of sky in the distance which grows slowly and we know we are on the edge of the storm. It will pass over soon. It doesn't, the clouds just sit there and the patch of sky gets no bigger. Then the clouds start doing strange things. Little bits of dark clouds detach and move lower some forming huge bands across the sky.
Wait! That isn't a cloud! Mountain Man goes outside to get a better view while I watch from the window glad we have such flat land and can see for so many miles. It is a tornado, no doubt about it and from the looks of it, it must be close to the town. Mountain Man comes in frustrated again with the camera which won't take pictures in the low light. It is a category two tornado from his estimate as he has seen many that size.
For the next hour we sit and watch the edge of the storm through the binoculars and see many tornado's start to form but then dissipate. Only that one touched down from what we can see. Still we watch and the clouds hover. Finally the moon can be seen. What a welcome sight!
I've been listening to the news this morning but haven't heard any reports of major damage in our area. Hopefully the tornado we saw only hit empty fields. The winds are very high here today but the sky is for the most part clear and I am looking forward to a better day.