Thursday, February 25, 2016

Heeding the Warnings

When I stepped outside with the dogs a few minutes ago, I looked up. Not a cloud in sight. Curious, I turned 360 degrees to see the sky from all angles. It was a canopy of pure, uninterrupted blue.

The sky shots I took yesterday were more interesting:

Those Wednesday photos show how heavy the clouds were, low to the ground with dark underbellies. The blue sky behind the clouds--and the glare of the setting sun in the bottom photo--made me feel grateful that Tuesday's terrible weather had moved on.

Here in Southeast Louisiana we get tornado watch announcements all the time, so frequently that the loud, screechy alerts are annoying. They interrupt television shows, overriding important bits of dialogue, and they never seem to amount to anything. Lately, we've been getting more warnings (as opposed to watches) than usual. People with smart phones are receiving calls warning to seek shelter immediately. The first such middle-of-the-night warning prompted my daughter to wake me up so we could gather the dogs and hunker down in a safe, centrally-located place until the storm had passed through. Kim and I,  bleary eyed, listened for train sounds in the light rain that fell outside while all four dogs  sat and looked back and forth from one of us to the other, telegraphing a message that said clearly, "What the heck is going on and why did you wake us up?" After a few minutes we all went back to bed. All these alerts began to seem like the National Weather Service announcement that cried "Wolf."

This week, Monday's weather forecasts predicted bad storms on Tuesday, with a "moderate" chance of tornadoes. When Tuesday rolled around, I went grocery shopping early to beat the impending rain. Two hours later, a tornado ripped up buildings in a shopping center about half a mile from where I'd bought groceries. That was only one tornado out of several that struck in nearby towns, all part of a storm system that moved through here in one day and has continued to wreak a large swath of havoc across several southern states.

Two people died on Tuesday in an RV park 15 miles away from where I sat paying close attention to weather reports and frequently updated warnings. I have no doubt that those warnings saved many lives.

I took no pictures during Tuesday's storms. Any photos I might have shot would have shown a blur of waving tree branches against a dark grey sky, all of it behind a rippled curtain of rain.

Today's cloudless sky might not be too interesting, but it's a welcome sight, for sure.


  1. So glad you and yours were spared!!

    1. Thanks, Betty. I think we'll give those televised warnings more respect from now on.


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