The Squall

Yesterday’s weather was bizarre. With temps in the upper sixties I was glad to be out at Roger’s where snowpack kept things down to the mid-fifties. But, despite being dressed only in a T-shirt, I was sweating as the boys and I trudged along a rapidly melting snowmobile path. Other than the unseasonable heat, it was a beautiful day.

By the time we made our fire, there were heavy showers interspersed with calm. Definitely not pit bull weather! Mak was not wearing his coat so I held him with me by the warmth to keep his fur toasty.

Back at Roger’s we had coffee, but when Rollo became an incorrigible pain-in-the-ass, I announced it was time to go. In Roger’s driveway I encouraged the boys to pee. From the woods behind his house I could hear a heavy wind. The odd thing was, unlike usual wind, the sound was growing louder and louder. It grew to the sound of a jet engine, by which time the boys and I were engulfed in torrential rain.

I’ve never experienced such a sudden weather change and I felt caught with “my pants down.” I don’t carry a smart phone and there is no reception most places I frequent. Roger, at 81, is about as de-tech as one can get. I had no idea what was still to come. Spring is the most common time for tornadoes formed from unstable and contrasting air masses. I often have a weather radio that broadcasts emergency messages but this time, nothing.

Mixed with the rain was sleet, and the night sky flashed blue with lightening. Roger has huge trees along his driveway… which always makes me nervous. You only have to have one large tree fall on your house to be forever leery of them in the wind.

A tremendous crack sounded overhead. I just had a tiny flashlight in my mouth and couldn’t see a thing. Not knowing if branches were on their way down I crouched along the truck’s running boards thinking the truck might at least break the impact of massive limbs. I began to head back towards Roger’s door, the dogs tied to me, but as the rain became even heavier and another crack sounded, I spun back for the truck. I figured I’d take my chances in the next seconds just to get out of there.

The dogs were nervous of the sudden violence as well and made the high leap into the truck with me right behind them. I scooted the truck across the street to a large empty lot with no overhanging trees. A bright blue flashed behind me. At first I thought a police officer had flicked his lights, it was exactly that color of blue, but then realized it really had been electric blue. Power lines down, the street went black.

We made it home alright despite branches down and enormous puddles nearly invisible in the dark, but it had been quite and adventure.

A medley of dark clouds heralds a coming and violent change of weather. February, 2017


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