Monday, June 29, 2015

Garden Party

Being plugged into the Filipino community as I am, they like to get together about three or four times a year for a get together so that they can speak their native tongue and eat native food. Since almost all of them are female, we males of a different descent generally sit outside in lawn furniture sipping beers and talking among ourselves.

As we were sitting there, I noticed this cloud heading over the trees towards us. In today's smart phone world, a half dozen people pulled out there phones with radar apps and promptly declared that we were in for a bit of rain. I on the other hand decided we might be in for a bit of wind too and that perhaps we might start securing things and heading in doors.

The host of the part didn't seem to worried but after awhile, some of the ladies started picking up the buffet and carting it inside. It probably was five minutes later when the wind hit and hit us it did coming in somewhere around 70 to 80 mph I learned later. Darn near tornado status.

At first there was a bit of a panic among the kids and the Filipinos as people scrambled toward the door of the house. It was justifiable panic for seconds later the wind blew a large ladder propped up against a nearby building and almost squashed a few people but missed. After that, people had a bit more pep in their step. My biggest concern was from flying debris as the house where we were having our party tends to leave quite a bit of debris out in their yard all the time. Fortunately however, this storm came in over the pasture which was clean and gave us some eyesight so I just kept my eye upwind as I tried to help wrangle in all the lawn furniture and other party detriment that was quickly flying away.

Eventually we got things wrangled up as best as you can do in a gale and headed inside. However the house is small and we were probably nearing 60 or 70 in number and with the humidity of the storm, it was more like a sauna. I opted to go stand back outside under the roof with no sides where we were having our buffet and wait out the storm. Despite staying on the downwind side forty feet away from the upwind side, I still ended up getting plenty wet until the winds died down to respectable levels but at least it was comfortable temperature wise. This storm did end up producing some tornadoes and hail in other parts of Iowa but fortunately for us we only saw wind and 2 inches of rain in about 30 minutes.


sage said...

those smart phones also take some good photos--nice shots of the clouds and hopefully it was cooler after the storm passed (here, that's often not the case, it's just steamy)

Vince said...

Someone from Texas saw a photo of mine and went wowza we must've had a massive storm, but we'd only had a little tussle. Yes there was a blow of wind but nothing that would startle. I realised then looking at other peoples photos of weather and deriving conclusions would only be based on my experience. I will say this though, whenever we see cloud stacked one over the other we watch out. We can have very very nasty localized intense wind.
Glad you are all safe.

ErinFromIowa said...

Yikes! Glad you made it through the storm. :)

Ed said...

Sage - They do take great photos and I find that I leave my SLR at home more often in favor of the convenience of a camera in my front pocket. However, there are still times when an SLR can do a scene more justice.

Vince - I find it very hard to judge a storm by what it looks like on approach. I've seen many storms that looked similar to this one with winds but nothing near as strong. I've also seen more pleasant looking storms with lots of hail and this one had none. Anymore, I have come to rely on my smartphone which provides hail, wind and tornado warnings ahead of time.

Erin - My too!