One of the hazards of living in Oklahoma... and Tornado Alley in general... is spring weather. Tornadoes aren't, of course, limited to spring, but that is the time we're most prone to them.
We've been lucky this year. Just a few days ago, the news stations were actually talking about the fact that we were in a 'tornado drought,' because there had been so few tornadoes this year.
I think Mother Nature heard them. She's vindictive like that sometimes.
Yesterday, the first round of storms came through. I wasn't particularly worried about them coming here because while it was humid, it was also cloudy and windy all day. The conditions just didn't seem right. Sure enough, all the storms fell apart before they got here, and we only had a small cloudburst, just enough rain to make the gardens happy.
Today, though, things felt... and still feel... different. It was sunnier, more humid, hazier, and just generally more like the weather that I've grown up to know means storms and tornadoes.
I've swept out the closet under the stairs (we're spending our tax refund on a safe room, but it's not here yet), and totally unlike yesterday, I've had the kids pack bug-out bags. Sometimes when you can see a tornado coming your way, the safest thing to do is actually climb in the car and head south or east as fast as you can, then come back when it's over. I've only had to do that once, but hey... it's an option. And when that's an option, it's nice to be able to tell the kids to pack their pajamas and a couple of their favorite things, just in case.
|Hanging out and waiting|
|Radar and knowledge of local geography are your friends|
To someone who isn't used to tornadoes, it probably seems like I'm freaking out, hyper-aware, and just taking far too many precautions. To those who live in Shawnee or Moore this week... well, I think they'd say I'm doing exactly what I need to do. My heart breaks for them and any others affected by these storms.
To help those affected by tornadoes this week, please consider donating to the Red Cross. They aren't paying me to say this, but I'm saying it, anyway. You can donate by visiting their web site or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10.