As we are heading further into fall, also known as secondary tornado season for the South, I wanted to add personal accounts of tornadoes from my experience and some from people I know. I will not specify other people to maintain their privacy, and take all stories with a grain of salt please. Since I had so many to share, this will be a multiple part series.
The first time I somewhat remember seeing severe weather in general was when I was four. I was staying with my parents at my grandparents’ house during a severe weather outbreak in November 2002.
I would have to paraphrase my dad’s account since he filled in some missing pieces. I was outside playing tee ball with my dad when he noticed the sky becoming darker, so he told me to head inside. When we went inside, I was told to go into hallway leading to bedroom, and I glanced outside the window and noticed hailstones hitting the ground.
It was probably the most baffling thing my four years old self have ever witnessed. Years later, my dad filled in that there was a tornado warning and possibly a confirmed tornado nearby.
Years later when I was in fifth grade, I spent the weekend at the same grandparents’ in April. It was a pleasant day, but a tornado watch was later issued for East Tennessee. However, we did not see severe weather until later that night.
After the first storm passed, I went to bed only to be woken up by Grandma at roughly 2:30 a.m. in the morning, and I was told to get out of bedroom.
I had no clue what was going on except that it was clearly storming outside, and there were so many lightning strikes. I half-sleepily waited in the hallway until Grandma told me to head back to sleep.
When I woke up much later in the morning, I asked her, and she told me that there was a tornado a few miles away. When I returned to school, when I later researched on tornado history out of boredom in middle school, I found out that the tornado Grandma told me about was an EF-2 which could have demolished the house I was in, which was old and not well built.
A few months after a close call with EF-2 a few miles from grandparents’ house, I was in a chess club meet at the middle school when a tornado warning went out. Yep, our games were interrupted, but fortunately there was no tornado.
I am a trained spotter and weather enthusiast who spent years enjoying learning about weather. I provide my thoughts and commentaries, sometimes with light humor.