Saturday, June 24, 2017

Stormy Weather

In my last post, I mentioned that we cut our trip to East Texas short because of bad weather in the form of Tropical Storm Cindy. Little did I know that by coming back home, we were going from the frying pan into the fire.

Our local weather forecast predicted a 30% chance of rain coming with a cool front. Yesterday, our high topped at 109 degrees, setting a record held since 1969. So, we were looking forward to a cooling trend.

Around 7:00 PM or so, we noticed the wind picking up, along with a light rain. We looked outside and were greeted by the smell of rain on a hot summer day. Then the wind increased, as did the rain. I was working on the computer, and Donna was watching a movie on Netflix. Normally, when the weather turns bad, Donna starts shutting things down, so I was a bit surprised that the TV was still on. Then the wind really picked up, and the rain began splattering with some velocity, and she began turning things off. Just before she turned off the TV, though, we caught a local weather alert, which indicated winds had reached 80 to 85 mph in the area, mainly north of here, I think.

The power then went off for several minutes, but came back on shortly. A few minutes later, the power shut down again, this time for much longer. We gathered our emergency items: flashlights, battery powered radio, candles, etc. We glanced outside and saw the north wind bending over all the trees. Our neighbor's flag, which we watch regularly for wind direction, was whipping boldly. The flag pole-- which extends above the neighbor's roof -- would soon snap at the base like a match stick.

Our power stayed off until 10:30 or so. The house was getting somewhat warm compared to the 72 degrees it was now outside. I was able to go out on our back patio once the rain eased and cool off out there and watch the most fabulous lightning show to the east I've ever seen. Streaks of lightning would fill the eastern sky, reaching in all directions. It was magnificent.

Finally the wind eased, and the rain ended. After the power returned, we crawled into bed and had a good sleep. For more info on the storm, complete with pictures, go to San Angelo Live.

This morning, we took a drive around Rio Concho West and I snapped the shots below. We sustained no noticeable damage at our house, so we feel very fortunate. I cannot tell you how much rain we received, though, for the wind blew the rain gauge away. I retrieved it from the yard this morning and remounted it.

Our neighbor's flag pole, which I mentioned above.
Debris covered the streets in the old section of our development.
This tree just split. It fell between 2 houses. I do not know if either house was damaged.
Another split tree, similar to the one above.

I'm not even going to venture a guess as to how this golf cart ended up between these 2 rows of houses. Several residents have golf carts, but they keep them in their driveways or garages. Notice the downed limbs.
Another split tree, this one at our club house, The Oak Tree Club. It looks as if the tip of the tree just brushed the building on its way down.
Luckily, this ripped tree fell into the street rather than on the house.
Down by the nearby Walmart, this sign for a medical care center was damaged, but crews were already repairing it.
The wind is still blowing today and skies are overcast, but nothing is on the radar at the moment. We do have a 30% chance of rain right now, increasing to 50% tonight. We'll see.

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