It's been a while since the weather geek in me woke up to a day like today, when the doom and gloom of the cable news network meteorologists was matched by the message coming from the National Weather Service. We're talking a severe weather outbreak, and one that might see the squall lines make entry into my home state. Not that I want any damage anywhere, specifically in my immediate vicinity, but I do love me a good evening of lightning and thunder. Other than the few little burst of snow in late January and February, the weather around Raleigh this winter has been too San Diego for me.
Well, as I'm monitoring the weather, I notice a storm spotter report out of Enterprise, Alabama. Seems there was a tornado spotted at the airport there. Now I don't have kin living within two hours of Enterprise (which is close to Dothan, which is where the statue of the boll weevil happens to reside) but this caught my eye because I once survived a close call with a tornado while working an archeology dig in a field beside the Enterprise airport. It's a rather long story, but a few of my co-workers and I actually rode out the storm in a tiny camper on the edge of this peanut field, scared so shitless that all we could think to do was to pass a pipe of some of south Alabama's finest skunk weed around. If we had to die, we wanted to die high.
Obviously, we made it and once we saw the damage around us, including the tops of the trees shaved off not fifty yards from our survival den of inequity, we decided to no longer pray for severe weather as a means of getting a break from the summer heat of a south Alabama peanut field. Digging up Indian relics was never quite the same.
By the way, for the two or three of you interested in such things, check out the new tool available at weather.com, the online home of the Weather Channel. If you type in your zip code and go to your local page, then scroll down to the radar, you'll see that they've teamed up with Microsoft to offer radar that will zoom down to near street-level. It's a pretty cool tool and moves weather.com from fourth on my list of best weather sites, to tied for third with accuweather. Still hard to beat Weather Underground and the National Weather Service.