Wow. I experienced one of the most exciting events of my life this last Monday. Earlier that morning I checked the weather as I always do and saw a descent chance of severe storms. We had been in class for about 2 hours when the first wave hit. The rain came down like crazy and we were hit with nickle to quarter sized hail. We played around in it, and walked out and about and collected and ate them during a break. It looked like the worst was well passed us as the skies began to clear. About 20 minutes or so later I looked out the window to see a black low-lying sheet roll in. I was gazing at it for a few minutes when all of the sudden a huge hail storm began to pound down on the classroom. It sounded like 100 mile per hour bricks. My immediate thought was that we would not be able to hear the tornado sirens among all of the noise. I brought this to the attention of our teacher who shrugged it off. I couldn’t help but to think hail that hail that big almost always accompanied some sort of rotation. Sure enough a few minutes later a teacher came bursting in and told us all to promptly make our way to the storm shelter. On our way out I heard the tornado sirens.
We all cramped into a huge cement tunnel that usually served as a training aid for a missile silo. Cops were running around with bullhorns, lightning was striking everywhere, and the hail was still coming down, though it was now much smaller. After about 5 minutes in the shelter we began to climb out when the noises subsided. As soon as I stepped out I instinctively looked to my north east to see an absol-freakin-lutely huge funnel spinning around fiercely about 1/4 to 1/2 a mile away. It was an amazing green color, and the sight made the hair on my arms stand up. Low lying clouds were being sucked up into it and rocketed back over our heads. I am not sure I will ever see a sight like it. Apparently it touched down right by us, out in a field, and the damage from the tornado was limited to downed trees throughout the praries outside of base. The irony of the situation; I am almost positive that we ran to the shelter as it was over us, or possibly even after it past us (most likely since massive tennis ball hail had stopped falling).
Later that night we left base and drove a couple of mile to the airport. I had read reports that they received softball size hail and that all of the rental cars, and short and long term parked cars were demolished. We were all amazed by the destruction. Practically every car there was totaled. All said and done, the hail storm only hit 3 miles of scarcely populated city, but 1000+ cars were demolished according to the Daily Union. Pictures of the destroyed cars at the airport are located Here
Also on the same day the ongoing war between chief and I regarding the merits of Georgia and Texas continued. I struck hard by handing him the matchbook shown to the left, unopened. He slowly opened it expecting something to fall out or something, and almost died laughing. So far Texas 3, Georgia 0. I also have several pictures of chief modeling his Texas T-shirt or should I say a picture of Sheehan and one of our friends holding him down after he jokingly put on his Texas shirt. I will post more pictures of that later.
Sheehan and I plan on visiting Texas next week. This will be the first time he will spend real time there. I am presently attempting to plan every meal, and every layer of entertainment. Let me know if y’all have any ideas.