Well, it worked for tonight. All the severe stuff moved off to the east. I'm hoping we get a little rain over the next couple of days, it'll soak in the chilis, tomatos, garlic and the rose bush I planted.
Tornados are truly awesome things, and can do very weird things. Last year, one followed almost exactly the path taken by one a few years back through Moore, damaging some of the same houses that had been repaired or rebuilt after the last one. There were interviews with a couple of families who said they were moving, and didn't care where to; they just couldn't take living there any longer. I can understand that.
Back when I was 14 or 15, we lived in a little town called Medford in northern OK. One summer night Ma Nature was putting on one of her 'you better not forget about me' shows: dark as a yard up a welldiggers arse, strong gusting winds, rain you couldn't see through and lots of severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings. Dad was out trying to keep from blowing off the road, and Mom and I were watching tv, which consisted of occasional snippets of shows between the weather alerts. Then one came on of radar indication of a possible tornado over Pond Creek, a town about twelve miles south of us. All of a sudden the wind rose to a roar outside, and we both dived into the hallway. About the time we hit the floor, it was gone, nothing but normal wind and rain outside. We waited a few minutes, then I decided to take a look outside. Mom was not happy with the idea, but since I put my helmet on and promised to stay on the porch, she ok'd it.
I had a flashlight, but it didn't much matter, the rain was so heavy and blowing so hard you couldn't see more than maybe twenty feet. It was hailing now, stones about 3/4 to 1" in diameter, coming down hard and fast. I could tell the house next door was still there, so I called it good and went back inside.
Morning came, clear blue skies, and now you could see all the tree limbs down, and anything loose that weighed less than about fifty pounds had moved. In the afternoon Dad called me out front and said, "Look at the porch". I looked, and something wasn't right. He finally said, "The posts are tilted". The tornado had, very happily, been off the ground when it went through; when the big gust in front of it hit the house, it hadn't been able to flow to the sides fast enough, and had lifted the porch roof hard enough to pull the heads of the screws through the holes in the wrought-iron posts, then set it back down just as the posts started to lean. Both of them at exactly the same angle and direction.
The warning for Pond Creek? Dad was told later that the weatherman had switched the radar to a longer range scan, and had either not set the range or misread it. So while he was warning Pond Creek, the damn thing was going through Medford.
It took me about two weeks to chop up and stack all the limbs. And I reflected numerous times that I was very damn glad the thing had been up in the air when it went through.