We were just driving home from a friend’s house. I was looking at the clouds back toward where our subdivision is and I thought to myself that it looked like a “funnel cloud.” I’ve never seen a funnel cloud before but it looked exactly like how I’ve always heard them described. It was moving pretty fast and by the time we got to our neighborhood it was well beyond us. As I was turning in, I got a good look at the clouds behind us and sure enough there was another one. I tried to get into the house to get my camera but by the time I got the kids in and got the camera, it had moved on as well. As I was settling Eli into bed for a nap, the weather warning sirens went off. They were a little too late for my taste.

All this after I watched a video on a weather website this morning about how most people’s chances of seeing a tornado is under 4% for their whole lifetime and that’s if they live in places like Oklahoma and Kansas. It’s lower than 1% if you live in the Northwest or New England.

So now that I’ve seen two funnel clouds in one day, does that mean I’ve seen my weather for my lifetime?

6 thoughts on “Weather

  1. That number seems off. I’ve seen a funnel cloud nearly every year since I was a kid. I live in Iowa, but still. I’ve seen two that touched down, fortunately briefly, and I’ve seen one full blown tornado on the horizon at an Iowa State football game, delaying the game for about half an hour. I guess they don’t call them the Cyclones for nothing. (We took it as a good omen, because the team ripped Colorado in half that night.)

    I would bet that every one of my extended family and friends have, in their lifetimes, seen at least one funnel cloud, whether they live in town or the country. Maybe only 1% of us see a tornado in a given year, but just a non-touchdown funnel cloud? That percentage has to be higher.

    I think you’ve still got a little more weather in your future, and, unless it touched down and ripped something up (or drove straw bits horizontally into a telephone pole, which I’ve also seen), you saw downward pointing clouds, but not a tornado.

    That’s a good thing!

    Be weird

  2. Xdpaul: Those percentages were for actual tornadoes on the ground, not for funnel clouds and that 4% was for people who live in Oklahoma and Kansas. I agree with you about most people living in the south at least having seen funnel clouds.

    Here’s the weather link: Tornato Minute

  3. In 1993 I saw a funnel cloud touch down on interstate 95, right in front of me (quite a ways in front of me, obviously, but still…)

    Downtown Petersburg, VA (just south of us here in Richmond) was destroyed. Millions of dollars in damage, some dead, many injured.

    I took an out of town friend who’s interested in Civil War history to Petersburg a few months later, as they were trying to reuild their town. In true Confederate style, there were signs hanging all over the town –

    “What the Union Army couldn’t do in nine months, the tornado of ’93 did in nine minutes.”

    Like you, I’m sad I didn’t have a camera handy.

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