First Tornado/Thunderstorm of 2009

I have what would best be described as a morbid fascination with tornadoes. As a child, I got extremely upset when everyone went outside as Ken Siemeck implored us to get in our basements. I had a little suitcase packed full of my favorite matchbox cars, die cast John Deere implements, and maybe a doll or other trinket that I could take into the fruit room with me at a moment’s notice. Though we lived in Lincoln, we spent most of the summer on the farm, taking care of the garden & haying; for my brother & I, this also involved the creation of elaborate games with elaborate rules & generally getting into trouble. On the farm, the nearest tornado siren was in Emerald, a solid 4 miles away and hard to hear. The notion that the sirens might be going off and we couldn’t even hear them??? Terrifying. (As of a few years ago, there’s one at the lake, so this wouldn’t be a problem anymore. Not consequently, I now enjoy watching the sky.)

But I loooove a good thunderstorm. I missed them thoroughly in New England. Now, March 23 seems a little early, but we had our first tornado warning today (a brief blast of the sirens, even), in what was a narrow, windy & fast-moving band of storms. It’s snowing in Scottsbluff. I managed to bike home in the 10 minutes where it really poured. Right before I left my office, though, it was sunny & there was a rainbow.

Note, however, the extremely windblown flags. The state flag has even been wrapped around the pole a few times.

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