storm and calm

It was a beautiful early summer day today – quite humid and warm. In a few months we’ll probably be sick of that kind of thing, but today it was just great – lots of greenery, and the humidity in the air really carried the aroma of tree and lilac blossom.

Around 5pm we were just getting ready to go over to our neighbors’ place for dinner, when I looked out of the window and noticed how dark it was getting. And windy too. In fact after a moment I saw that the rapidly gathering clouds were moving in a strange way, with tiers of the clouds moving in opposite directions.

This is not generally a good sign, as it means that the wind is unstable and can even indicate spinning air – tornadoes.

Fortunately we only had a few spots of rain and distant rumbles of thunder, but some really strong gusts of wind. When I stopped looking at the sky I noticed a huge tent-like structure had blown out of the backyard of the house across from us, and onto the road, blocking cars. The owners of that house have this tent in their yard to protect some equipment they have stored there, and even though it seemed to be moored in place, clearly the gust was too strong for it to hold.

I zoomed out to let the owners know what had happened, when I saw a guy wrestling with the thing, and thought I should probably help – it’s about the size of a two car garage and made of metal poles with big sheets of tarpaulin. We managed to get it out of the road and into the alleyway, when one of the guys in the house ran out clearly agitated at what had happened. We dismantled the thing and thought that was it. Emma, Toby, Dara and I went to our other neighbors as planned, and had a great evening with good food, drink and friendship. We did notice that the temperature dropped about 20 degrees in half an hour or so, but the weather stayed really calm.

Looking at the news this evening it seems that we actually got off lucky – just north of the Twin Cities in the town of Hugo there was a big tornado which killed one person, seriously hurt eight others and damaged more than one hundred homes. Here’s a photo gallery – crazy stuff.

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