Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It Might As Well Be Spring

Oklahoma had its first tornado outbreak of the season today. It's only February. Our usual tornado season runs from March to June, with a lesser season from mid September though mid October, but they can happen at any time. We were expecting some thunderstorms today, and I was all ready to see some small hail, and probably some wind - a 30 mph wind is not an unusual thing here in any season. It's not pleasant, but nothing remarkable. Instead we got golf ball to baseball sized hail and tornadoes. I noticed that it was clouding up, but I was thinking of other things and generally the severe weather starts at the warmest part of the day. That usually gets storms into our area between 4 and 5:00. They usually peter out just after dark. Today they started at 3:30. The first sign of severe weather I had was tornado sirens. Down the stairs we went to the first floor inside hall which serves as our tornado shelter. Since we have no basement the building was constructed with this need in mind. After a few minutes I decided to take a peek outside, and to see what was happening on TV. Our storm coverage here in Oklahoma is always excellent. With a National Weather Service facility here in the metropolitan area and all of the local stations competing against each other for the best & most advanced system we get great information. Every school child can tell you what a "hook echo" or "shear marker" is. You can decide for yourself whether it's comforting or alarming to have an ETA for when the tornado will arrive at your home. Right now it's 8:00 pm and there are still big tornadoes on the ground. I hope this is not an example of what our storm season will look like this year.

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