Friday, August 19, 2005

Close Call

Today's blog quiz question: When is green NOT my favorite color? Answer: When it's the color of the sky. I'm a midwestern gal, in love with cornfields and oak groves and red barns and holstein cows blossoming in black and white across open fields. I know midwestern skies and weather patterns. Hell, I can read the ice crystals that form around the moon some nights and tell you what the weather will be like the next day. I can also tell you all about barometric pressure and how, if you listen to birds and frogs and insects, you can determine whether or not a dangerous storm is about to hit. I've seen twisters and water spouts and lightning strikes at close range. Too close. Many times. I have never seen the sky the way I saw it last night. Surreal, unnatural colors, shapes and forms with cloud tops at over 50,000 feet. A super cell tornado erupted in southeastern Wisconsin yesterday evening and, for a long time, the storm appeared to be headed our way. It veered south instead and soon dissipated over Lake Michigan. We were fortunate. Others were not. Even before news reports of the extent of the devastation reached the airwaves, many people in our city were reporting that debris and vegetation were falling out of the clouds. Letters, bank statements, greeting cards, roof shingles, plywood, tar paper - some with identifying marks from towns more than 70 miles west of us. So far, only one death has been linked to the storm. In the end, that may be the most astonishing report from last night.


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