Last night saw the first tornado of 2010 in Okieland, which was about 60 miles away from us. This morning I had an email from my mum who had seen it on the news in England apparently, and as she knows it was close wanted to check on us! This has tickled us, as it's a small tornado for here and so for it to make the news abroad is funny. But as the Hubster said, a tornado is still a tornado and newsworthy for those who don't get them like we do.
Above you can see one of the amazing storm prediction tools our weather forecastors use. Okieland is rightfully home to the National Weather Service HQ and the warnings we are given are the best in the world. The map shows the exact path they know the storm will track along, the time it will arrive and the strength. The only thing this doesn't show is whether a tornado is on the ground. But some even show the 'hook echo' a radar image of the strongest circulation, which pinpoints where a tornado is likely to be on the ground.
This was the end result (taken off the TV), a probable F2 tornado on the ground for 30 minutes, mainly across sparsely populated land. Sadly though it did destroy five homes in Hammon, but narrowly missed the centre of this small town and there were no injuries.
I was predictably driving all over town for photo's as the storm clouds rolled into our area. I took this 5 miles north of town and it shows the huge cloud formations, but all that came out of this was some lightening.
But the view in this photo perfectly demonstrates why I am excited for the first time at the the arrival of storm season. I never thought I'd say it, but I had a ball tonight chasing the spectacular skies and the wide open space here allows me to capture the grand scale of our storms.
With more time here I have learned to read the weather, I trust the forecastors and I know what to do in an emergency situation. Now if a tornado is ever bearing down on my hometown, there's no doubt I'll be a headless chicken. But I have enough knowledge to ensure my own safety and can therefore appreciate natures grand show at moments like these.
Ya never know, I might be a storm chaser yet!