What's Your Best Wild Weather Story?

| 2/12/2010 9:04:58 AM

Tags: weather, question to readers,

BlizzardBlizzards, bitterly cold temperatures — the past few months have been full of wild weather stories, shared in the news and at the local coffee shops. Here in northeast Kansas, we had an early stretch of unusually bitterly cold days, followed by a white Christmas that for many people entailed being snowed in for anywhere from one to three days. It was beautiful, but definitely not the average Kansas Christmas. And that doesn't hold a candle to the heavy-duty winter Washington, D.C., has been experiencing. (Check out these photos of Washington, D.C.'s, "snowmaggedon.") Whether this week or 20 years ago, collectively experiencing a meteorological Big Deal often leads to some great stories (assuming everyone comes out OK), not to mention the pleasant comraderie that seems to stem from pulling through together.

Whether from this year or many past, what is your best wild weather story?

carolyn s_2
2/26/2010 4:20:58 PM

I live in a little town called Ashcroft located in a Rural area of British Columbia, Canada. This area is a region of desert with sage brush, cresote bush,huge stands of pine beetle killed pine trees and due to global warming very, very dry. Starting in the spring of 09 this province experienced the summer from H...L!!!!!(literally). At one time in late July and early August it seemed that no matter which direction one looked in there were active forrest fires. In fact, at this particular time, British Columbia experienced over 750 active fires buring out of control. The skies at night could be seen glowing red and orange with pilars of black smoke reaching as high into the sky as you could see. Some of these fires were in areas that were so remote that they were almost impossible to fight by ground personnel. This winter the area around Achcroft has had little percipation in the form of either rain, or snow, In fact when talking to old timers this winter is probably the warmest ever. I personally feel that we will be seeing a repeat of the tinder dry forrests that were the cause of last years forest fires and the hellish summer of smoke, ash, fear and evacuation that we all experienced in the summer of 2009. Yes I believe in global warming and we as citizens and caretakers of this earth need to stop being such brainless users, get off our collective duffs and start recognising and realizing that the time for action is now!!!!!!

lisa owens_4
2/18/2010 7:23:38 PM

It was September 28, 1998. We were living in Long Beach, Mississippi - a few miles west of Biloxi - about 100 yards off the beach itself. Hurricane Georges was nearly upon us and we had brought the motorcycles into the living room, filled up the bathtub with fresh water, and battened down the hatches. My husband and I were playing Scrabble by candlelight, listening to the fury of the storm when I heard the strangest sound. It was a kind of "chittering" noise and it worried me because I couldn't identify it. I looked out the front window and saw the funniest thing EVER. We had a persimmon tree in the yard. The wind was whipping that 10-foot-tall tree so hard it was touching the ground before it sprang back up and blew over to touch the ground on the other side. Clinging tightly to the branches were not one, not two, but THREE adult raccoons - and they were squabbling over the persimmons as well as enjoying the wildest ride of their lives! We watched them for at least ten minutes before they tired of the game (or had eaten enough of our persimmons). We were lucky. The storm surge didn't hit us, and the Category 2 storm didn't do much damage. And we will never forget those nutty raccoons!

barb mundorff
2/17/2010 3:47:46 PM

When my daughter, Shannon (now 28) was about 3 or 4, we had a bad summer thunderstorm. There were no tornado watches or warnings, so I wasn't concerned. I ran upstairs in our split-level home to get something, & noticed that water was coming in a rear window. The window was securely closed, but the water was pouring in through the space between the glass & the frame. I got an armload of towels, & was standing at the window trying to soak some of it up, when there was a loud boom, & the window imploded! The next thing I knew, the room was filled with broken glass, my glasses had been blown off my face, & heavy rain was blowing into the room. Well, I got out of there fast, running over the broken glass, & closing the door to try to keep the rain isolated in one room. I ran down the stairs, calling to the rest of the family to go to the lowest level of the house. Once I got downstairs, I found a piece of glass, jagged, and about 1 1/2 feet long, down the back of my sun dress. But I didn't have a single scratch from it, & I hadn't cut my feet when running out of the room. Not to mention the fact that I wasn't torn to shreds by the window as it imploded. My only wound was a 3-inch long, fairly deep cut on my right calf, which I didn't even notice until my daughter pointed it out. She had noticed blood running down my leg. (I told her it was ketchup, and she was fine). There was no tornado that day, but it was my worst thunderstorm ever.

steve thyng
2/15/2010 7:30:25 PM

When I was a junior in High School. in 1966, in Springvale, Maine, it snowed for three days, and each day it snowed two feet. When it stopped, six feet had accumulated. School was closed for a whole week, as the town plows could not even get out! I had a paper route then, and had to walk it. Years later, when I first moved to Anchorage, Alaska, I found myself in a similar situation. I had set up my two kids with paper routes in August of 1988, and I had one also, with 150+ customers. The kids gave theirs up but I kept mine long enough to experience a 'cold snap' that December. It was at least 20 below everyday for three weeks. The last day it was 35 below!

2/15/2010 6:39:15 PM

When I was 15 I lived with my father in Kaslo BC and we were in Calgary for Christmas that year. We both needed to be home on a certain date for work but on the way a major snow and wind storm had closed down the highway over the Rogers Pass. When I got out of the car to talk to the office at the block the wind pinned me against the car and I was unable to walk on the road. The wind was so strong that it blew a loaded semi trailer across the road and into a police crusier. We turned around and headed south finding that the next mountain pass was also glossed due to the storm. We had to cross into the United states but I hadn't brought my ID as a 15 year old hasn't much use of it. We had to go into the border station and into seperate rooms so as to be sure my father wasn't kidnapping me. Once they let us go we continued south finding the first pass also closed but the next was open. Despite our best efforts we did not make it home ontime thanks to the rocky mountain storm.

jim z._2
2/15/2010 12:17:50 PM

One story from our neck of the woods. On July 21, 2009 two areas near us were hit with a microburst. Wheat Ridge and Arvada, Colorado were the two suburban towns that sustained the worst damage. I have found a 5-minute YouTube video that gives a pretty good representation of what it looked like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWl7KmSWqTo It appears that YouTube has others as well (see RH side of that page). My Mother-in-Law's house was at the center of the Wheat Ridge damage; thankfully the extent of her damage was only needing a new roof & gutters, plus I carted away six pickup truck loads of firewood (keep us warm for a few years...) from her trees that were downed or damaged. From her property we filled about 50 large trash bags of slash and leaves. I spent a half day just clearing her roof of accumulated stuff. Many houses around her had structural damage and lots of blown out windows, paint stripped off whole north sides, fences fllattened (even a brick fence!). One historic house was crushed by a large tree and had to be demolished (see this URL for picture): http://www.kdvr.com/news/kdvr-storm-cost-072709,0,560821.story My wife's Mom's area was without power 4 days. We worked round the clock for a couple of weeks to clear her property & make it halfway presentable. Amazingly, despite the lateness of the season, her trees began getting leaf buds after about 3 weeks.

mother earth news fair


Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!