With a name like Midwestern Ramblings you shouldn’t be surprised to know that I actually live in the midwest region of the US. Spring is beautiful here. We have some really gorgeous rivers and lakes surrounded by great landscapes. Lots of different flowering trees that mix up the lovely natural artistry. We also have tornados. That’s right, The Wizard of Oz wasn’t far off with their portrayal of the Kansas twister. It’s just another part of life. Growing up here I remember having tornado drills in school where we would collectively gather in the basement of the school and assume the tornado position (not even kidding). This position was more of a “kiss your ass goodbye” kind of thing. I never really understood protecting my head with my hands if my entire SPINE is exposed to flying debris. Even now there are weekly tests of the tornado sirens that sound exactly like air raid sirens.
I can always tell when there’s a good storm brewing by just looking up. There’s a strange phenomenon that always seems to precede tornadic activities that the locals call “green sky”. It really is a different pattern in the clouds and they appear green. It’s like nothing else I’ve ever seen. It’s eerily beautiful.
Of course there’s more accurate ways to predict tornadoes than just looking at the sky. Technology is always getting better at predicting dangerous storms. I have always had a weather radio that will scream at me whenever a thunderstorm warning is near and it does the same scream when there’s a tornado watch or warning for me too (I’ve got an app on my phone that does the same thing for me). Granted there is also what is called storm spotters. These are people that have been trained to look for certain things with the cloud patterns. It’s not uncommon to see cars parked on the side of the road when weather gets questionable. Most of the time these are the spotters and often they are law enforcement officers.
Because we are currently experiencing one of these spring storms I feel the need to remind everyone the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch (tornado, thunderstorm, or flash flood) means simply that conditions are right so keep and eye out. Whereas a warning (tornado, thunderstorm, or flash flood) means it’s going down and you should take appropriate action.
Since my mama didn’t raise a fool I’ve got some spare food/water (for the pup too), clothes, a comfy place to sleep if needed, and a good book all stashed away in my hidey hole down in my basement… just in case.