Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Only in Kansas

I've determined that only in Kansas can you have snow, followed by almost 70 degree temps, followed by a tornado, followed by snow again, all within about four days - in December.

Doesn't that just make you yearn for the normal unpredictability of June weather? (Not the reason I have the lovely picture of June's green grass over on the left. But you can enjoy it anyways.)

Last Friday (the day after Christmas), we had unbelievably gorgeous weather with sunshine and temperatures that soared up to 68. (The night before Christmas Eve it had snowed.) The snow melted, and even though it was muddy, it gave me a chance to go outside with Nathan and relieve some of the cabin fever he's had.

I knew it was supposed to cool off over night from Friday to Saturday, but when I stepped outside to feed the dog right before I went to bed (at 3 AM - Paul was working nights, so I couldn't sleep), it was still 65 degrees.

On a whim, I decided to get online and look at the weather. I was startled to see an angry red line of thunderstorms stretching from Nebraska, clear across Kansas and into Oklahoma. I thought it would be wise to put my car in the shed since on the 6 o'clock news they'd mentioned a chance for hail.

When I came back in, I read what they were saying on the live blog for that station. They said that even though we were in a tornado watch, things had settled down and they were going to quit live coverage. So I went to bed, thinking we might get some rain, but it was nothing to worry about.

I was awakened just over an hour later to the sound of a freight train - the house was shaking and popping. I knew the storm had hit, so I laid there and waited for it to die down - usually after a few seconds of the initial blast, it will start raining and the wind dies down. But after several minutes, the train-like sound was still going on, and Nathan woke up. As I headed upstairs, I noticed all the windows on the east side of the house were moaning and whistling (the storm hit from the west).... If that tells you how strongly the wind was blowing. I let a startled dog inside and peeked out the kitchen window...... To see that our well house was gone. (That's the reason for the picture above - it's the only one I could find for a "before".) The bench swing that I've been nagging Paul to take inside for the winter was blowing almost straight out from the branch it swings from.

As I rocked Nathan back to sleep, the noise died down. I peeked back outside, and decided there was nothing I could do about it, so I went back to bed.

In the morning I went out to survey the damage.

Let me just point out that that well cover was no small thing - it was probably six feet across, and close to four feet tall (not counting the frame that went up to almost 7 feet where I hung a flower basket). It was made out of 2x4s and 4x4s, so it was heavy. (As I learned when trying to drag the pieces out of the driveway.)
But it did give me the chance to look down in the well - something I'd never done before because it would require sticking my head into the spider web-y well house.

This is the only damage I saw to our actual house. (Our the shed in the dog's pen had some damage.) But I decided to call insurance anyways, and they're going to send someone out to look at our roof..... This is the second 80-mph wind storm we've had from the west in the last 6 months (and several neighbors had to have their roofs replaced after the first one). So I figured it wouldn't hurt to get things checked out.

But that piece of flashing landed several hundred yards away - across two fences and in the pasture.
Then by Saturday afternoon it was snowing again.
But by Monday, it was up to 60 again. And yesterday was warm, but then the temperature plunged during the afternoon, and today it's only in the 20s.
Only in Kansas!


carrie said...

geez, I don't remember that night. Wonder if I slept through it or what.

Doug or Janice Rhodes said...

You know you are right in that line from Princeton northeast that we got caught in several times while on the farm...... Glad no one fell into the well.
Mom R