storm chasers

We were watching Stormchasers tonight as a family (WHAT??  We’re from Tornado Alley, it’s in our blood!) and it struck me how incredibly upsetting it was to me.  Tonight’s episode got all the way up to the Joplin tornado (which, btw, none of the chasers caught) and I was so stressed I kept checking the time to see if it were close to the end of the show.   I know the ending this year.  It was quite memorable.  Once Joplin got hit, we were next.  I remember thinking, for the first time in a long time, that the severe weather season would never end.

  The severity and frequency of the tornados was really, incredibly rare and something I had never experienced in my lifetime.  I am unbelievably thankful for the meteorologists and chasers that risk their lives to keep us safe.  Their ability and willingness to keep their eyes on the storm and help us to understand the who, where, what and whens of a storm are great comfort to this mama of seven. 

Still, even with that comfort I find myself, for the first time I can remember in my life, dreading the thought of another storm season next spring.  Evidently “La Nina” is setting up again in the Atlantic (the same weather pattern in place for MUCH of the past year) so we could be facing blizzards, tornados, and drought yet again.   We do not yet have a tornado shelter, but after the season we lived through this year we will be getting one in time for the next storm season to hit.  The risk is too high not to have one. 

I love this state we live in, for all of the reasons that make it dangerous.  It’s so wildly unpredictable and extreme, which makes life interesting.  It’s a hostile environment with blazing sun, torrential rain, intense wind and temperature extremes that range from -27 degrees (last winter) to 117 degrees this summer.  It’s difficult to grow much of anything, so you know that anything that thrives here is quite tough!  There is no risk of “hot-house flowers” here. 

For all the reasons I love it, I have also learned to respect it.  There is no controlling this state.  We listen to the meteorologists when they tell us it will be at the corner of such and such in exactly 7 minutes.  We’re blessed with that technology!!  We get tornado shelters!  It’s worth it!  Just the peace of mind it allows is remarkable.  (yep.  We’ll be putting one in this spring!)

I was just struck by how a single TV show could affect me so completely.   I am thankful I live where I do, where warnings are given, usually with ample time to react, and, for the most part, they’re also heeded. 

Did I mention we were getting a tornado shelter this year??