Great Expectations

or “My Life in Blog Sounds Much Cooler Than It Really Is”

Wichita = Powerful Weather…

Posted by mandyhuckins on July 10, 2009

As a Southerner, I am no stranger to big thunderstorms.  But, on Wednesday evening, I experienced a thunderstorm Kansas style.  Yikes!

lightening

(note: not the actual lightening I saw, but very similar to how it looked)

I thought I heard distant thunder while we were finishing up dinner, but it looked sunny and gorgeous outside.  I left the house a little before 9:00 PM to go take care of Dancer.  What should have been a 20 minute round trip, turned into a 2 and a half hour saga. 

While driving, I noticed what looked like a small patch of dark clouds off to the west.  It looked like rain and I thought I saw a few flashes of lightening.  I got to the stables and went inside.   I greeted Dancer and put the drop of Cosopt into her eye.  I went into the tack room to get something and when I came out, two riders were coming into the barn.  They had been riding in the outdoor arena in a lesson, but all of the sudden the weather turned dangerous and the instructor made everyone come inside.  The instructor told me that a “popcorn thunderstorm” had cropped up.  (What an innocent and fun name for something so scary!) So, I helped her to go around the barn closing all of the big doors and the individual stall doors that opened to the outside.  By the time we had finished with that (10 minutes?) the sky was dark black and HUGE streaks of lightening were zig-zagging all over the place.  The air smelled electric.  We turned on the weather radio and heard that the storm was carrying hail and I was advised that it wouldn’t be safe or prudent for me to drive home at that moment.  So, we pulled our cars into the indoor arena.  We discussed bringing in the horses that were turned out in paddocks without walk-in shelters and really wanted to do so, but determined that it just wouldn’t be safe to go out onto that flat land with that much lightening all around us.  I said a little prayer for those poor horses.

The rest of the time, we alternated between listening to the amazing reports on the radio (hail the size of quarters up to ping pong balls covering the ground like snow) and peaking outside to see this awesome force of nature for ourselves.  Another horse owner showed up (his horse was one of the ones outside), but when he saw how bad it was, he drove home again without bringing his horse in.  The lightening would sometimes bathe the property as if it were daylight for what seemed like seconds at a time.  Luckily, I had brought Copper with me on what I thought was going to be a very quick ride out to the stable.  If she had been left at home, she would have torn the house down, I am sure.  As it was, she did very well.  She was on-edge with her tail between her legs and her ears plastered back against her head and she stayed next to me like glue.  But, she did enjoy meeting lots of new people and investigating around a new place.

My husband had returned to his office in an attempt to keep up with the overwhelming tide of email he receives on a daily basis.  So, unfortunately, his car was outside when the hail began.  He rushed outside and drove the car to a car wash, where he waited for 45 minutes for things to calm down.  Unfortunately, his little BMW is now covered in dents.  [I wanted to take a picture to illustrate the damage, but I wasn’t able to really capture it.]

We had detritus from our trees littering the yard in the morning morning and alot of the blossoms on our new plants were blown or pounded off, but miraculously, the plants themselves look ok.  All in all, I think we were very lucky.  The worst thing would have been if I had been out to the stables earlier, I would have put Dancer outside and she would have been pelted with hail.  Ouch!

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2 Responses to “Wichita = Powerful Weather…”

  1. Lori said

    This post reminded me of that time we were at our house in Milton and there was a big lightning storm –we were supposed to go watch a soccer game of Aaron’s, I think, and I just remember your hair standing straight on end because of all the electricity in the air!

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