Summer thunderstorms and twisters

Another sweltering day in this windy city of ours. It’s official. I’m calling it the windy city. We get some wild wind storms here. I’ve had my balcony door open with the fan trying to blow the hot air outside. It was cool up until I started moving around. It’s laundry day.

Am I actually blogging about LAUNDRY? Is there where we have come to in this part of the pandemic? We still have pretty strict restrictions going on here due to the pandemic. I keep telling myself that life will get back to “normal” – eventually. Whatever that may look like.

The wind is really picking up outside now. We’re supposed to get a good thunderstorm. I freaking love thunderstorms so much. Ever since I was a kid and we “survived” the tornado in 87. It was an F4. That one storm, fueled my obsession with weather watching and t-storms. It’s also why Twister is one of my all-time favorite movies of the 90’s. RIP Bill Paxton.

It’s confirmed. There is a severe weather “watch” out now. The next step would be “thunderstorm warning” or “tornado watch”. Those are scary notifications to receive as well. A watch means conditions are favorable. A warning means there’s a good chance one has already started somewhere in the city.

I just watched the movie last week and it still holds up. I know it almost word for word. I really miss 90’s action movies. Movies now are all green screen and just not the same. But every time someone mentions the word “cow” — I can’t help myself. It’s like a disease.

“I gotta go Julia, we’ve got cows.”

They even used footage from the ’87 tornado in the movie. It’s pretty wild. Even the soundtrack to this movie is great. Van Halen’s guitar solo, “Respect the Wind,” is just one of those songs you can mellow out to and feel like you’re right in the movie with Bill and crew.

Man, the 90’s had some great movies. These are my go-to movies for comfort when I can’t find anything of interest on streaming services. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Armageddon (just the other week), Speed, and Conspiracy Theory with Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts.

Other notables are Pelican Brief with Denzel Washington, The Matrix series, and Murder at 1600.

I think I might have to binge watch these movies tonight. Grill up some burgers, make some macaroni salad, and pop some popcorn.

That actually sounds like a great night.

Green sky means danger

I guess I should clarify about the ’87 tornado. We were living in Mill Woods at the time so we didn’t get the worst of it. We got a lot of hail that did a lot of damage to windows, cars and even some houses. I think we lost some big branches to our large trees. But the house and everyone in the house managed to escape harm free.

I remember in ’86, I went to Klondike Days with my bestie at the time. This was in grade six. My mom came with us – looking back now, we would have been old enough to have fun on our own but my mother was an over protective mother at the time. She wanted to be involved in everything. Even right down to what clothing I wore.

The sky went green. It went GREEN.

That’s the sign that danger is near.

Also, if you hear what sounds like train horns, run for cover.

They shut down all the rides in the park that day. Everyone ran for cover to the dome and we watched in horror as massive hail came pounding down. The park had flooded within minutes. And not just puddles – I mean, there was a good foot of water EVERYWHERE. And we had just been on the roller coaster minutes before.

That summer we had several storms like that.

I remember going outside to watch a storm coming in and my neighbour and his friends were on top of their garage roof. I chuckled and said in my head, “you’re in danger!” Of all the stupid things to do during a storm.

F4 tornado, 1987

We really haven’t had any major tornados since ’87. Maybe it’s climate change and all that. We’ve had some spectacular wind and hail storms though. The temperature has dropped even more so I think we’re going to get a good one tonight.

There was a bad one in Pine Lake many years ago. Other than that, we’ve had some funnel clouds.

Tornadoes in city areas are a rare thing. They usually start on the outskirts of the city in farmland or trailer parks. That’s what happened here in ’87 with the F4. The Evergreen trailer park got hit really bad. We were about ten minutes from the park.

I remember the day vividly. It was the first time my mom let me go to the mall alone with a friend and her older sister. While we were there, the power went out. Hail started plummeting through the windows and broken glass started falling from the ceiling.

The older sister, grabbed us both by the hand and we ran towards a cab. Even though the mall was only a ten minute walk from home. We had walked up together to get some ice cream and play at the arcade. I was 10 years old.

When I got home, the lights were out, the tv was off and my dad was pacing the living room floor while listening to the news on the old radio. When the radio went out – that was the scariest thing I can ever remember. And then the phones went out. Edmonton was a small town back then. A smaller city. And everyone was trying to call their loved ones.

It was terrifying and yet, at the same time, I wanted to see and take everything in that was happening outside. And I’ve been obsessed with tornadoes ever since.

I think what I love about tornadoes, and what also scare me, is the power behind them and the unpredictability.

Nature is a powerful thing, and terrifyingly beautiful.

Here’s some insane footage of the 87 tornado in Edmonton. While we didn’t see funnel clouds where we were, I can tell you I’ve never seen clouds move so fast. It was pitch black during the day.

What are your thoughts on thunderstorms? Just remember to listen to your local weather reports and take cover if necessary!

Welcome to storm season!

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