I love storms.
And not just the regular run-of-the-mill thunderstorms. But the SEVERE kind…that only happen a few months of the year The kind that Weather Network warns you about…the kind that spawn microbursts, funnel clouds and tornado warnings.
I love how these storms are spawned on those days that are stinking hot…”stupid hot”, I call it. Where its’ stifling, miserable, and you can cut the humidity with a knife. Where being outside is just damned stupid.
I love how, at the peak of daytime heat, a subtle haze starts to form. And puffy clouds start to appear, and a hot wind blows.
I love how, even if the sun is still out, you can hear a rumble in the distance, like artillery. So low, it’s almost at the threshold of your hearing, where you almost feel it before you actually hear it.
And that’s when you know that the storm will probably be a decent one.
I love how the sun slowly gets dimmed by the clouds, and the rumbles get louder and louder…and the clouds start to organize themselves and get darker. But it’s still stinking hot…and you know something is up.
I love how you see cloud formations start to form…billowing, churning, nasty…forming into columns and anvils and mushroom and other shapes that “ain’t quite right”.
And you wonder just how bad it’s gonna get.
I love those surreal pre-storm moments, where the car headlights come on in the middle of the day, and the birds stop chirping, and the dog retreats to the basement with their tail between their legs.
I love how the air crackles with energy, how the barometric pressure and temperature plummet.
I love that sinking feeling of dread in you get in your stomach, coupled with that feeling of exhiliration…because you know that soon, all hell’s gonna break loose.
I think it’s at this moment of anticipation, just before the storm, that I like the best.
My senses are at their keenest, and I’ve never felt more alive. I want to run to a mountain top, challenge the Gods, and scream profanities at them. At moments like this, I feel I can take on the WORLD.
But the ultimate for me would be to see a tornado.
They don’t happen very often in the area of Canada where I live, but they do happen. And on the rare occasions we get a tornado watch, I’ll make a special effort to go out and watch the storm. And chase it, it time permits.
First tornado watch I remember as an adult was 23 years ago. My sister and I walked down the road to watch for it, and I took photos with my cheapo Kokak camera. And Dad gave us shit.
There was another tornado watch seven years ago, where I distinctly remember, for the first time, being a little frightened.
Though fortunately (or unfortunately), I’ve never managed to see a tornado.
Oh, I’ve been close, though.
Once I was stranded in the woods in a violent storm. The wind made a weird sound like a freight train and there was an unconfirmed report funnel cloud in the area.
Other times, there have been confirmed tornado reports within tens of km of where I’d been….yet I ALWAYS seem to miss seeing them.
Like during the 9-year period I lived in Hamilton, Ontario. The two times a tornado within the city limits, which happened to coincide with the times I was out of town on vacation. (I swear, it’s almost a conspiracy…)
Though several people have lectured me: “Believe me Friar, you do NOT want to see a tornado!”
Oh..but I DO.
And I’ve been known to drive several hours chasing storms to find them. (Not that I have the faintest clue what I’m doing, though)
But I don’t need death and destruction. I’d be perfectly happy with a tornado touching down in the field next to me, destroying an abandoned barn, and nobody gets hurts.
Is that too much to ask?
But until that happens, I will not die happy.