Mean looking clouds

Clouds to the south before they started looking mean on May 17. Photo taken northwest of Dodge City, Kansas.

I started this blog post nearly two weeks ago, and just couldn't get it the way I wanted. We've had more storms since, so I've decided just to finish it up, whether I like it or not!

My mother called me a weather expert the other night. I'm not, much to her chagrin. I think she believes this because I have my radar app handy and constantly check the National Weather Service forecast.

But one of my favorite things about spring is thunderstorms. I'm almost addicted to watching them build up and move in and out. Plus some times it makes for a spectacular photograph.

I'd had an evening photo session scheduled for May 17, but it ended up getting canceled. I decided to run home before picking the boys up. Cattle needed checked and horses fed.

I was struggling getting cattle found and counted because everyone was so spread out. The wind had blown literally all day, and it was still blowing in the 40 mph range. Once I emerged from the pasture, I could see storms building up far to the south. I finished what I was doing and headed to get the boys. I brought the dogs with me "just in case" since we were already in a tornado/thunderstorm watch area and we don't have a basement or storm shelter at my house.

On my way to Mom's I got a text from my sister who was out of town at the time. She'd been watching the radar and wanted me to move their pickup into their hay shed. I got up there and moved the pickup, checked on the pigs and decided by the way the clouds were looking to the south and west, I better park my own vehicle in there for some protection. I decided against just waiting it out there and called my other sister to come get me.

Now, when there's a storm brewing and I'm at home, I prefer to be standing beside the window or door, watching. In the mean time I monitor TV, social media and the radar app on my phone. The way my mom's house is situated it's not as easy to do this (and a little frustrating for me). She did have the news on so we watched the updates from there.

Once they started showing the footage of the tornado near Minneola, Kansas and projecting it's path my boys started getting a little scared and consequently acting a little wilder. I reassured them, it was quite a ways away from where they were at, and double-checked to see if my husband had made it home, as he would have had to drive through some of it.

He ended up making it home in time for a downpour and some small hail. It never really did rain at Mom's, and before I headed back home, I told my sister, "I knew it wouldn't do anything if I parked my car out of it!"

In the days since the tornado near Minneola and a couple others, it seems to have gotten worse in some areas than it's gotten better. Oklahoma seems to be flooded. Practically all of the state is under some degree of water. Rivers are cresting and dams are letting water out or levies are breached.

More tornados have spun out and caused damage in a multitude of states. I've read about or watched multiple accounts of tornados and severe weather. Preliminary reports from the National Weather Service show that since May 17, 225 confirmed tornadoes have been recorded. There's more than 400 tornado reports logged by NWS, that have yet to be confirmed.

Another astounding statistic came out May 30 too. NWS has issued 762 tornado warnings since May 15. That's at least 50 a day in that time period. Crazy stuff Mother Nature. I sure hope she remembers us in August? We don't need all our rain for the year at once.

What’s it like where you are?

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