In California, this meant a heat wave or over an inch of rain in one day. Here, it means golf-ball sized hail and tornadoes. With increasing frequency, the local news stations are blaring Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, Tornado Watches, and the occasional Tornado Warning. What's the difference between a "watch" and a "warning"? Good question. I just found out recently myself. Apparently a "watch" means conditions are favorable for the weather-oriented event in question, such as a tornado, whereas a "warning" means the weather event has actually been spotted in your area. In other words: Tornado Watch: no biggie. Tornado Warning: Holy crap! All of the warnings, thankfully, have been in counties far from where I live. That is, until Mother's Day. We had a really bad storm roll through, and there was a tornado warning in effect for Wake County. We ain't Kansas, so there aren't cellars. All you can do is go into an interior room and hope for the best. Of course, nothing happened, or else I wouldn't be writing this a week later.
Speaking of severe weather, hurricane season starts June 1, and this week is Hurricane Awareness Week. It is all over the news here, not only because of the awful hurricanes last year, but also because Raleigh was hit by a hurricane not too long ago. The infamous Fran, in September of 1996. It's hard to imagine what a hurricane might do to a city that's located a hundred miles inland, but last night on the news they showed clips from when it hit, including footage of one of the major malls here (Crabtree Valley) under several feet of water. I've also heard that people were without power for over a week, with mid-ninety degree heat and nearly 100% humidity. Ack! I hope we don't get hit this season. Last September, knowing that we were moving to NC, I watched Ophelia with a wary eye, and even saved this radar shot:
Looks pretty ominous, no? I can't help but think...I'm on the second floor so if there's a flood my stuff should be okay...but since I'm on the "top," does that make me more vulnerable to the wind ripping off my roof and blowing everything away? Let's hope we don't have to find out!