Saturday, March 1, 2008
Sunday was a nice day. Kind of windy but it got up to 76 degrees. We were well into Sunday dinner (supper to some of y'all). Wife had made her special spaghetti for us and and we were chowing down pretty well when the tornado siren went off. Being hungry I kept eating. Being sane my wife grabbed her cat, and our son who was eating with us turn on the TV. Seems there was a large circulation forming over western Oklahoma City. In fact is it was forming about four miles west of my house. As I proceeded to gulp down my meal they showed the hook and intensity on dopler radar and the location. The sucker was now less than three miles from my house. My wife was already in the basement and my son then grabbed his cat and joined her. So with my wife and son in the basement with two of the cats, I of course grabbed my camera and went out the front door. I could see the lowering and that it was moving fast. The city lights and the lightning gave a fair view of it. Then there was so much scud, that I lost it for a while. Then it cleared off again and it was straight down the street and about a mile south of the house. So I of course started taking pictures with my super duper new camera that I just barely know how to use yet. It was set on "dark of night" and 1600ASA. So I thought I 'might' get lucky. The picture above is the best of the lot.
The top picture shows what was happening, but of course you could see it much better than the camera can. The bottom picture is a print of the top one marked up to show where stuff was. The interested parties and storm freaks of my acquaintence will be able to pick out the particulars on the top photo.
Now lest you think I be totally stupid, stupid maybe, but not totally, there is something missing from the photo and from the event. The cyclone has not dropped a tornado to the ground, because there were no power line or transformer flashes. Inside a city a tornado on the ground would be producing those constantly. So I knew I was safe, and besides I could see the animal itself.
After a bit, I went in checked the TV radar and map and could see it was clear of us. So I hollared down into the basement to my people that they could come up now. So Wife took her cat out of the clothes dryer where he had been put for safety's sake (and because he wanted to come outside with me) and came up. We went back to the cold meal, but kept the TV on just in case.
Now you see this near miss of the whole downtown Oklahoma City by a cyclone full of funnels is not a story because (1) It didn't actually get low enough and no funnels came down, thus no destruction. (2) Nobody could get any real good pictures of it because it was too dark and it was covered in scud. (3) And anyway they already had some footage of some minor tornados from an hour of two before west of OKC that were better visuals. So the dragon flys over the town but does not breath fire and it means nothing.