Could I Possibly Be Weather Vain?!
Unprecedented weather is all around us – from Hurricanes, Blizzards, Ice Storms, Floods, Tornadoes and the list goes on. I’m not here to spew the facts that it is a result of global warming, but tell you that it scares the living %&#* out of me.
When I was living in New York, I had to deal with hurricanes, snow storms, excessive heat and extended periods of cold and by all accounts the weather channel was pretty darn accurate. I knew what to expect even when Hurricanes were predicted. I got the candles, batteries, charged my phone and hoarded extra ice. Now, living in North Carolina, where temperatures are milder in the winter, hotter in the summer and an extraordinary level of humidity, it has been by all accounts very pleasant. For the most part the weather reporting has been better than expected and can plan accordingly. Pools open up earlier and the summer glow of tanned skin is well under way. I crave the warm weather and really enjoy being a member of the neighborhood pool. I can lounge around the water, go down a water slide if I so fancy and develop a coffee clutch or two with some of the other women in the neighborhood. But, with the warm temperatures comes some pretty scary weather, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am clearly Weather Vain – I can only deal with normal weather.
Last summer when we first arrived, I encountered my first tropical rain storm while driving in an unfamiliar surrounding. We went through the middle of this deluge of water. Buckets of rain were dumped by the second and I had no idea where I was going, let alone seeing 10 feet in front of me. We were fortunate to find a movie theater and kill some time waiting out the storm. I had to run 50 feet across a parking lot and by the time I got to the ticket window, I was soaked to the core and the droplets of rain were the size of ostrich eggs. At the time I hadn’t realized that getting drenched by the rain would be a regular occurrence (see previous post http://lspostyn.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/oh-the-humidity/). On that day I believed I was never as wet without grabbing for a bottle of shampoo.
I can deal with the torrential rain and have the patience to wait it out until the sun comes up however, I am ill prepared for some of the other weather related incidents this area is known for. First off, the high winds that accompany the beating rain. I can only identify the sound that is similar to a salad spinner amplified at high speed. And of course, you cannot forget about the beautiful lightning that comes along for the ride with the pelting rain and serious wind. It really is beautiful to watch a lightning storm when the skies light up with absolute clarity but I am one of those that stays away from windows so I can’t be certain how beautiful it really is.
There is one more that is last but not least – the occasional tornado that pops up and lands unexpectedly in neighborhoods very much like mine. No one is really prepared for hazardous weather like a tornado unless we all decide to live underground. Tornadoes do pop up occasionally in central North Carolina and the very thought of it sends me spiraling to make endless lists of things that I need to do to prepare, in the event that something like that happens here. Unfortunately, having a list is not going to help me in the middle of the night, usually when these types of storms hit. I can’t run to my basement, because I don’t have one and the best that I can do is run to an interior bathroom on the first floor. There was a tornado watch last fall while my son was at school and because I didn’t know what the protocol was, I raced to the school to pick him up. I was made to feel foolish by the front desk gatekeeper who resembles Kathy Bates from the movie Misery, a woman with an over inflated sense of self-importance. She informed me that the school has tornado drills, and “Ms. Postyn, it’s only a ‘watch'”. As if I knew the difference between a Watch and an Alert. Given the most recent of events in Oklahoma where the teachers risked their own lives for their students, I felt a little more at ease knowing there are plans in place but left feeling deflated and more foolish than before.
A good friend of mine who works for the Red Cross just told me about a wonderful app that is a tornado warning for the iphone or iPad and while I downloaded it and find it very comforting, a potential Tornado still FREAKS ME OUT! If you are as obsessed with bad weather like me, I am sure that the Red Cross and other News Outlets have special alerts for any kind of inclement conditions. Good to know because it turns out no place is really spared from the wrath of extreme weather.
I am thrilled that the summer is now here with more dramatic blue skies, big puffy clouds and where warmer temperatures allow me to get my fair share of vitamin D, it also comes with a price. While I don’t think anyone is ever prepared for the extreme weather that we now encounter, I can only hope that while my life is in North Carolina, Mother Nature will be kind.
Have a wonderful and safe summer. Thanks for reading!