Spring in Oklahoma! If you’ve lived here long, or even if you haven’t, you know why Oklahoma was given the nickname “Tornado Alley.” Some years are worse than others. The above picture is a free stock photo, not my own. I am not one of the Oklahoman’s who run out to video tornadoes as they sail over. I have great respect for the giants. The funnel pictured above could cause damage, but at least it isn’t a mile wide like some have been and it appeared with enough daylight to see it, not in the dark.
This weekend has been eventful in some places. May 3, 1999 and May 20, 2013 are examples of why we were awarded the nickname. We still talk about these tornado outbreaks. May 3rd still holds the honor of the highest winds ever recorded on the face of the earth, 319 mph. That will get your attention. If you weren’t underground that night, you might not have survived in the path of that monster. It sucked the concrete foundations of homes out of the ground. Luckily we don’t have those often or the state would be deserted.
Last night we had tornados in the state. A small one in the southwest corner of the state destroyed some homes, there were no deaths. That is how we count a win, no deaths. Tomorrow is supposed to be some of the same. The meteorologists say the atmosphere is unstable. When warm air meets cold air, there is bound to be a battle. And when the land is flat and there is nothing to stop the wind, a battle ensues. Tornados love the plains and will sometimes touch down on a turnpike and follow the path of least resistance.
But today is beautiful! The sun is so bright it makes it hard to see. The air is clean and crisp due to the rains last night. No damage at least in this area and we are preparing for tomorrow. May is always the most active month. In Oklahoma the other thing that is a constant is wheat harvest in June. You can be sure that it will rain all through harvest and then not another drop until October when storms can start all over again.
But adversity brings people together. My son says he’s leaving the state, my sister already has. But the places they go have problems of their own – snowstorms and avalanches, blistering heat and haboob sandstorms that will peel the paint off your car – or your body if you’re caught out in them.
I think I’ll stay home where I know what to expect. I’m too old to move and start again. Bring it on, Mother Nature, we can take it.