Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weather in Iowa

by Scott Dalen

The past two nights have terms of how the weather has shaped up. Here in Iowa we very commonly get a mix of heat and humidity partnered up with warm and cold fronts that will produce some pretty crazy weather. This weekend has been no exception.

Friday night, my wife and I spent the evening at my brother's house, which is about a 20 minute drive away. As we lounged around at his house, I started noticing quite a bit of lightning flashes out the window, but I wasn't overly concerned. As we headed home the lightning continued and as we drove through the country, rain drops started hitting the windshield. The rain increased and then suddenly the wind picked up. Visibility dropped to about 10%, which is to say that I could make out the middle line along the side of the car and that was about it. We slowed to a crawl but eventually we did drive out of the heavy stuff. Once we got home we flipped on the weather and discovered that we had just driven through an area that had conflicting wind directions strong enough to produce a hadn't, but it had been a possibility. All's well that ends well I guess.

Fast forward about 24 hours. We went out with some friends last night for a late supper at a local restaurant that overlooks the lake. Half of the seating is under cover, and half is out in the open. As the group of us sat there, we watched some ugly looking clouds come rolling in over the area. Gradually the wind picked up and pretty soon all the people that were outside came in. The staff closed up the sliding deck doors, and after a bit, they started getting pretty concerned. Apparently a report came through that there was a tornado about 5 miles south of the restaurant that was coming that way.

They shipped all the people into the kitchen which was enclosed and actually shut the awning doors, essentially locking us in there. For the most part, everyone was in good spirits as we stood there, and the kitchen even handed out free food that had already been cooking and they needed to get rid of it. We were in there for about 15-20 minutes, and it was hilarious (to me at least) to see everyone on their smartphones and blackberries looking at the weather and texting people at home for weather updates. I was doing the exact same thing, so I shouldn't make fun of the situation. Pretty soon they did let us out though, which was good, because one lady was starting to get claustrophobic and that could have been bad if she started freaking out.

After the heart of the storm came through, we still had to wait for our food to come out, which eventually it did. After we ate, we wanted to get home, because that was where the report of the tornado had been. We were a little concerned as to if we would still have a house when we got home. After walking out of the restaurant into what was then only a very light rain, we got in the car and headed for home. We didn't see any damage on the way home, which was a good sign...and sure enough, the house was still there. All's well that ends well.


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