I think that the last semester of getting a degree in meteorology should include experiencing an ice storm, a hurricane, a tornado, an earthquake, and a wildfire. The Weather Channel employs people who have evidently never experienced an ice storm. If you listen to them, there is this very moment an ice storm closing down Saint Louis. This has been widely reported, even in this AP news story.
I'd heard about the ice storm Saturday night as I was headed out to Friend #2's Moving Party. (An aside: Mr. #2 is not at all pleased that I made fun of Sting. "Hey, you, this is for Sting!" he said as he flipped me off. Mental note: Target Sting.)
Sister-in-law Karen called us to warn us not to go outside because the roads were getting really slick. I realized Karen had not set foot outside her house to see how the roads really were. They were fine. I tuned in to the Weather Channel and saw the roads were Extremely Hazardous in the Midwest! I looked outside again. I drove off to the party, where my car was parked outside all night and the windows didn't even frost up.
Right now the Weather Channel meteorologists are speaking hopefully that we might get an inch of ice overnight, but I don't buy it. If we do, we'll all just take an extra hour to get to work and the ice will melt by mid-day.
I started thinking about this last weekend when I watched the Tornado episode of Desperate Housewives. I am sure others across the Midwest also howled with laughter when they saw Katherine putting tape on her windows, and Susan packing a bag and putting blankets and water and canned goods in her basement. You know, because those tornadoes can sometimes hover over your house for almost a minute sometimes.
I was greatly comforted by the tornado that hit about three miles from our house. The Charter television company saw I was sitting on my couch with my dog on my head, eating chips, looking out the window to see if the sky was green (tornado indicator #1) and listening for the freight train (tornado indicator #2). Charter Cable kindly shut off what ever program I was watching and put a crawl across a black screen that said "A TORNADO HAS BEEN SIGHTED IN YOUR AREA TAKE COVER IMMEDIATELY."
I think that's the only time I've gone in the basement due to weather. Supposedly the really big ice storm is to begin at 3 am tonight. We shall see.
First, they called off the ice storm. The National Weather Service rescinded the ice storm warning for my area.
Second, Gary sent this in an email:
"Water, clothes and food are put in the basement because if your neighborhood is destroyed by the tornado, you could be trapped in your basement for days waiting for someone to dig you out of the wreckage. TV always shows people climbing out of their basement to find their entire house gone but that is not what happens. Usually, your basement is buried in concrete, wood and cars. The neighborhood looks flat in the films but there are tons of debris blocking exit from the basement."