Thursday, March 1, 2007

Auntie Em! It's a Twister!

I don't think I'm in Vermont anymore.

As I sat in the parking lot of the Bahia Mar Resort in Fort Lauderale Beach, a softball-sized chunk of ice slammed against the driver side window of my truck. I looked out at this mishapen glob of ice, now resting on the ground and thought maybe some spring breaker had heaved it from their balcony for fun. But just as I began to step out of the truck to get a better look, a shower of golf ball-sized stones began pelting everything around. (Article from the Sun-Sentinel)

I had thought a few seconds earlier that the sky looked menacing, but it's Florida and thunderstorms are routine. As quickly as the hail began, the rain began pouring down and within a minute the street was flooded. I pulled under the above-ground pedestrian walk-way that led to the beach to avoid the ice-pummeling and soon there were a dozen cars tucked under the bridge seeking refuge from a storm that was now blowing winds over 60 mph. My truck rocked back in forth from the gusts and the hail stones grew in number as they dwindled in size. Panicked drivers of cars that were caught out honked to be let into what little room there was under the bridge.

As the storm was in full force, I called my sister Tiff outside of Boston to ask what the heck was going on. She reported back that a tornado had been spotted in Tamarac 5 miles northwest and another was later reported in Port Everglades less than a mile southwest. A few windshields were cracked, from the hail, but my truck was fine, just a bit shaken. So was I. I'd have more pictures but the sky was as dark as dawn and the rain and wind made it impossible to open a window. When it did stop, I got a picture of the hail stones before they melted.
Check out the palms and flags in the background. Here's a close up where you can see the hail stones raining down. Lookout! Here's the map of Tornadoes for 2/28/2007 - Kansas had a few more. How cliche...

1 comment:

  1. Rule I learned while living in Atlanta: hail means go for cover! I've always been excited by storms. I can remember when the hurricanes came up the Coast when I was a kid on Long Island and the absolute joy I felt going around my little suburban nest/hellhole getting everything in a safe place, then the wonder of whirling winds and hard rain. Tornadoes are different but just as exciting. Duck and cover, JungleBoy!