One thing about living in Oklahoma is the amazing weather we experience. As a child even through my early married life, I was terrified of any sort of storm that even remotely had any wind, lightening, and thunder. My biggest fear was of their being a tornado in one of those storms. My favorite place to be was in the basement if there was even a hint of a tornado being in the area. However, now things have totally changed.
I love to watch the active weather around here. When there are storms in our area (anywhere in Oklahoma), you can find storm coverage on all 3 of our main news channels. This really aggravates Jason because the best weather always seems to happen in the evening...right around national news time...and around here, the severe weather comes first no matter what is scheduled on television. Most of our stations come out of Oklahoma City (the main viewing for almost all of Oklahoma) so we get everyone's weather coverage from the panhandle to the Texas border.
There is also a very active online “live wire” that you can follow where people are constantly updating and writing in about what is happening in their area during the storms. The storm chasers will also put in their comments, as well as the meteorologists for the station. It is really interesting to watch and amazing how they can pretty much pinpoint where the best weather action will take place. My family makes fun of me because I truly get excited when a storm is happening. I have the "live wire" blog going on the computer and the three stations flipping back and forth on t.v. I love watching weather.
I have seen some of the most impressive lightening storms since living here. There have been times when we have watched distant storms play out in the clouds with beautiful light displays over the horizon. You can watch the massive cloud to ground lightening at a distance and see just how "wowing" it is. A lot of this is probably because it is all open where we live, and you can see for miles. You can watch as the clouds form and move in for a storm. You can look off in the distance and see the rain coming and know just about how much time you have before you will get wet. It will be warm and sunny one moment, and within a half an hour, you are being blown away with 50 M.P.H. cool winds. (The wind is another phenomenon that I will save for another day.)
Yesterday, we awoke to a pretty active weather system coming through our area. The lightening was flashing and the thunder was rolling. As I lay in bed, I listened to the amazing sound and could almost imagine the lightening sizzling through the atmosphere. It is truly an awesome sound. Of course, then came the torrential down pour turning our flat prairie yard into a pond.
After about 3 hours of rain, the rain stopped and really that was all the storm amounted to. We went to town and really thought nothing of the overcast cloudy day.
We arrived home about 5 p.m. and were relaxing in the house. My neighbor called about 5:30 (about 45 minutes away) and thought she would let us know that there was a tornado coming our way. Now, to look outside, you would never believe that there was even a storm brewing. However, sure enough, we turned on the T.V. and here it comes. We cleaned out our inner closet just in case and waited. We followed as the news stations said a 1/4 mile tornado was going to go through the middle of Stillwater. We waited and even as far out as we live could hear the town sirens going crazy. Finally, we began to feel the wind picking up speed. We watched as the rain began to fall and the intermittent hail started coming down. The hail at our house only got up to about quarter-size. The picture at the top right is one of the bigger pieces of hail that came out of this storm. Most of this storms hail were smaller. Hail is another piece of weather that we seem to get a lot of around here. They have the biggest hail in Oklahoma! I have actually seen pictures of much bigger Oklahoma hail on the news and online.
For most of the storm, we watched and waited. The news kept on top of where the storm/tornado was at with live shots from the various anchors that were traveling about. They constantly warned the people of Stillwater to get to shelter. The tornado was last really reported in the town of Stillwater near the OSU campus about 5 miles from our house; however, after all the excitement, it never reached us.
Now…my son and husband were a little disappointed that we did not get to see a tornado. My daughter had little desire to see a tornado. Me, well…I got to watch 2 hours of weather and see some great live shots on television that was within 5 miles of my house.
As the rain continued to lightly fall, the calm weather followed. The sun could once again be seen in the west shining in the clearing in time for the setting of the day just as if a storm had never been through. Probably the neatest of all was the full double rainbow (if you click on the photo you can just barely make out the double bow on top of the brighter one) that was off to the east of our house “following” after the storm.