Original Post Date June 26, 2013 at 10:29 AM
The author offers a chronicle on last night’s storms across Saint Pete Beach.
The crazy part was, the entire day was textbook Florida sunny day. But come rush hour, and the sky amasses with pink cheeked grey clouds. As Bobby chased squirrels and birds alongside the lake, I tightened my eyes to focus on the distinct rotation in the center of the large clouds. This ain’t my first rodeo; there be a twister! I looked to the distance and noticed the clouds were low in the atmosphere, flat to the bottom. Where’s the sun? I found it making a sheet of mottled window pane clouds glow white towards the west.
My focus went back to the rotation. A bright cup extended between purple grey masses. It glowed purple pink as cotton candy strips of grey cloud joined the revolution. The cup extended as if to form a spout, but then changed its mind. Which means, topside of the formation, the activity was picking up, the priority of the event was still in the higher level of atmosphere. Anyone familiar with Michael Crichton’s work, Twister, knows everything about tornadoes, and knows when the spout retracts, it means it’s growing in strength and planning to touch down elsewhere.
Bobby and I stood in the middle of the field, watching as the cup twisted upward into the pink cheeked grey. Two things can happen here. The intensity of particle activity could reduce, stabilizing the atmosphere, or intensity could increase dramatically, the atmosphere converting to the host of a full on maelstrom. Lightening commenced to crashing around us. Yup, it’s time to retreat. We watched the show from the safety of the Treehouse.
The opera performance outside my bay window provided inspiration for next works, something storm related, a mashup of Hemingway’s Old Man And The Sea and Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God for the Digital Age, maybe. Or, I could write a western. Yeah! A western.
Just as I predicted, a tornado touched down, a few miles southwest of us. Not too soon after the NWS alert, I lost power to the Treehouse. It was a full day anyways. By 8pm, I was asleep, lulled to the dreamscape by whip cracks across the sky.
A writer of chaos and destruction just eats up these moments. The moments when humankind is reminded there are limits to control. The technology that avails me real time radar information on storm activity, hurricane data, National Weather Service alerts, will never be sophisticated enough to stop nature.
That fascinates me.