I’ll keep this short because I want to get back outside where the weather is gorgeous and the storm clouds are rolling by without touching us.
Here’s the beautiful tornado that began it all. Photo credit to the amazing Craig Hilts of Prairie Fire Photography.
One year ago today, June 26th, 2012, I saw my very first tornado on the Tornado Hunter (Greg Johnson’s) live feed! It was amazing! I could not believe how close to us it was. I watched as this beautiful tornado passed harmlessly through fields for about ten minutes. I was hooked from that day. The fascination began. I’ve grown from being terrified of storms to being awed by them. I respect the damage that storms, and especially tornadoes, can do. I know that many, especially this year, have been affected by powerful storms. I’ve watched friends caught in scary situations, family members facing floods and mourned the loss of some pioneers in storm chasing. (RIP Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young.)
I know that storms aren’t all fun and adrenaline, but there is amazing beauty and fascination that can be found in storms. The beauty of those storms as they bubble up on the horizon. The sunlight glowing on, or back-lighting, huge thunder-heads as they sweep in. The smell of impending rain. The motion in the clouds as the atmosphere moves them in so many directions. The beautiful lightning that can erupt from a single storm, or a line of storm cells. Thunder. I love thunder. Power. So much power in storms. And yes, I like to see a beautiful tornado. Let me clarify this by saying I like a tornado in an open field with nothing but grass, dirt and the occasional tree to uproot. When they near a city or a home, the fascination turns to prayer for any in its path.
I am so grateful for all those storm chasers out there who are out nearly all summer, gathering data to make you and I a little safer. Think about those storms in OK this year. Without advanced warning, brought about by these amazing men and women, the casualties could have been even more devastating!
I may never get out in the field with a pro to learn and see first hand these dynamic storms, but I am so grateful for all those who are out there live streaming so that I can watch at all!
Here’s a video from that day with Greg Johnson!
How about you? Do you find storms terrifying or are you amazed by storms? I’d love to hear your stories!