Thursday, August 4, 2011


I have a great network of family and friends.

When napping they are some of the first to shake me and ask what do I think I'm doing.  I hate to say it, sometimes I get caught unaware.  Last night, I was with a group of people unaware of what the atmosphere was doing, when I got a couple texts.  Severe thunderstorm warning in Kingman Co (county to the west), and are you out taking pictures.  The last one woke me up.  A quick look at the radar and I realized we were in for a good storm.

After discussing it, one of my friends looked at me and said "I just checked Facebook for your storm update and realized you're right there."

I made it about half way home when it hit.  70ish MPH winds and rain bad enough that it went to zero visibility.    Cloud to ground and cloud to cloud lightning was almost like a strobe light.

The car slightly hydroplaned and I felt myself drifting on the street with the wind.  I moved into a large parking lot and pointed my car into it (Rule: ever stuck in high wind? Your front and rear windshields are stronger than your sides, steer into the wind).  I sat in the parking lot watching power flashes all over making sure I was away from the light poles.  Luckily, I knew this wasn't a tornadic storm or that would have inspired some panic.

By the end of it, 10,000 were without power and a lot of drought plagued trees gave up the ghost.  We've had 39 days in Wichita, Kansas at or above 100 degrees and really lack rain.  Last nights 2.5 inches that fell in an hour helped some, but with the speed of rain and the dry crust of earth, more ran off than was absorbed.

There was a lot of street flooding on the way home.  A couple places the water reached to the curbs and across the road.

That's the lovely Chevy POS in the background.
Then when I got home I saw the last Bradford Pear in the front yard gave up the ghost.  This morning, I saw the crack went down to ground and the tree had to be removed.  Now, a naked front yard.  We lost the other Bradford Pear over three years ago after an ice storm.  The tree hit the Chevy POS, but at this point anything to it isn't damage, it's character.

Uprooted tree at work.
Sad thing is, a combination of this years drought and occasional strong pop up storms have made trees very fragile.
storm reports courtesy of NOAA.


Heather Cashman said...

I drove home in that storm with my car bouncing around as if I were being attacked by wild apes. One section of construction zone had signs blown around so bad there was no distinguishable roadway. It wasn't until I pulled into the driveway and had to work at unwrapping my fingers from the steering wheel that I realized how nervous I had been.

Brian Johnson said...

see Blue Lightning, welcome to Kansas.