Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Riders on the Storm

Well, I have a lot to update about, but for now, I will just write a little about our eventful Memorial Day.

Brendan's mom called us Monday around noon and asked us to drive up to Wichita, KS to pick her up (long story). Well, our air conditioner was broke (again) so we wanted to get out of the house, and Wichita is only about a 2 hour drive each way, so we figured "why not?"

So, we ended up heading out to Wichita around 6:00. It had looked a little overcast all day, but hadn't stormed or rained or anything. About 40 minutes in, we stopped at a Dairy Queen off the highway. When we came back out to our car, the sky started to look pretty menacing, but it wasn't raining or storming.

After driving for about 1o minutes more, we saw wall clouds start to form. (If you've never lived in the midwest, "wall cloud" is code for "cloud that a tornado could drop out of at any moment.") So, we turned on a local radio station, and within 5 minutes the radio station was struck by lightning twice. After driving for a few more minutes, it started raining. And then hail. And then raining so hard that we couldn't see more than 10 feet in front of our car. And then bigger hail.

So, at this point, we decided it was time to pull over. Not only could we not see the other cars on the highway, but if a tornado formed, we wouldn't be able to see that either. Luckily, we were right beside an exit, and there was a little gas station there. So, along with about 50 other cars trying to escape the storm, we pulled into the gas station and ran inside. After waiting there for about 30 or 40 minutes, the storm passed (luckily without a tornado ever coming over us), and we met up with Brendan's mom safe and sound (but a little wet from running to the gas station, and me shaking like a madman because I was scared out of my mind).

Here are the pictures I managed to get from my car window before it started raining/hailing (click to enlarge):


Grizzly Mountain Arts said...

Those photos are spectacular! They give me the chills just looking at them. I tend to be a shaker and a screamer when it comes to getting caught in a car in the middle of a hail storm :) I'm so glad we don't have those too often here in central Oregon, but I do have to admit I miss the adrenalin rush from those good ole Oklahoma storms!

ThisOldHenHouse said...

Eeep! Just the thought that a tornado might hit makes me SOOOOOOOO glad I live in Pennsylvania!

Those pictures are awesome though, scary situation I'm sure, but awesome photos!

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