Friday, May 09, 2008

Welcome, spring

From earlier this evening:

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
1115 PM EDT THU MAY 8 2008

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND...
ST. MARYS COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND...
FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA...
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA...

* UNTIL 1215 AM EDT

* AT 1114 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
DEVELOPING TORNADO 6 MILES NORTHEAST OF FREDERICKSBURG...MOVING NORTHEAST
AT 19 MPH.

IF YOU ARE IN OR NEAR THE PATH OF THIS STORM...TAKE COVER NOW! IF NO
UNDERGROUND SHELTER IS AVAILABLE MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE
LOWEST FLOOR. MOBILE HOMES AND VEHICLES SHOULD BE ABANDONED FOR MORE
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. AVOID WINDOWS!
OK, the truth is that isn't a real National Weather Service alert. I reconstituted a later one because I couldn't find the original.

But you can understand my concern when Doug Hill breaks into the newscast and announces that the National Weather Service has just issued a tornado warning for five different counties; Fairfax was one of them.

A Doppler-indicated tornado had been observed in far southeast Prince William County - the same county where I work - and was somewhere between north and northeast. Due north would drop the storm right near our house.

I got myself mentally ready. I had listened to what Hill had said earlier: If a strong wind suddenly comes out of the blue, that's your cue to find shelter. I was thinking I'd have to get Linds out of bed, we'd head downstairs to the bathroom there and wait it out, hoping for the best. The cats most assuredly wouldn't follow, but we'd cross that bridge when we came to it, I guess...

Fortunately for us, the severe storm veered eastward and away from us. Though it's hard to be too happy when our regional neighbors may be out of home. The tornado came rather close to La Plata, Md., which was devastated by an F4 tornado six years ago.

I remember that storm. I was sitting alone in the old townhouse - the 'Bachelor Pad' townhouse with Keith and Kipp - and was taken aback by the sudden, considerable downfall of hail. It rained like crazy, as hard as I'd ever recall seeing. It was a bad storm for us, to be sure; but when it hit the water, it got so much worse.

This one was nothing like that. Aside from some moments of heavy rain and a crack of thunder that rattled the house (and scared the living shit out of me), there were no hairy moments.

All in all, it's been a hell of a week, what with the microquake and now a tornado warning.

Welcome, spring. Glad to see you're back.

4 comments:

ME said...

Glad to hear you guys are okay.

Anonymous said...

Brian fails to mention that we were also hit with an earthquake on Tuesday. I (Brian's wife) worked from home that day and was very surprised when I heard a loud rumble in conjunction with the house shaking. I thought for sure something had hit the house, but later learned that a 1.8 earthquake hit the area. That brings the total of earthquakes I have been in to 4 (all small with no damage - luckily!).

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keith M. said...

Hey, I got mentioned in this post!

I must be oblivious though, I heard about the tornado and earthquake after the fact.