Anatomy of a Mini-Hurricane


It came out of nowhere. The day had been hot, baking the ground into powdery dust, and wilting every plant in my garden, even those touted as being drought-tolerant. I was running the irrigation out of desperation. Then…dum, dum, duuuuummmmmm…a clap of thunder and a sudden darkening of the sky.  That was all the warning I got.

Within minutes, torrential rain was falling…sideways! Wind was hurling small branches and other debris across my yard, and I could hear thumps and bumps coming from the roof. But worse, yet, I could hear a loud, and growing louder, roar approaching. The dogs went ballistic. The cats hid under the sofa. There was a heavy, ominous THUD from outside. I, being far less intelligent than my cats and not quite as loud as my dogs, ran to the glass door to see what had happened.

I was shocked to note that the sideways rain had turned into something I’d never seen before–sideways hail, larger than marbles, spraying across the yard like bullets from an automatic weapon, and sounding pretty much the same, as it bounced off every surface in sight. Squinting through the…umm…SIDEpour, I could make out that one of our 35-year-old laurel oaks had given up the fight. Or knuckled under without one, being at death’s door, already. It lay across our yard, across the front sidewalk, across the street, and into our neighbor’s yard. Gleep. Okay, “gleep” isn’t actually what I said, but this is a public forum, so it will suffice for now.

We made the national news. This is mostly not a good thing. In our case, we had winds “well over 70mph,” and hail the size of golf balls, which I assume is the only reference weathermen know to use when describing hail, since they never say things like “hail the size of mandarin oranges,” or “hail the size of ripe loquats.” We also had more than 5 inches of rain in less than a half hour.

For those who don’t know, 75 mph winds are hurricane force winds. So, essentially, we experienced a forty-five minute hurricane here in Seminole County, yesterday. And did I mention the tornados? Time for another “gleep.”

Florida. Land of extremes. Thank God we have plenty of alligators, snakes, sharks, mosquitoes, and oh yeah, Burmese pythons, now. Otherwise, I suppose Life would get boring.

So how was YOUR Monday?

8 thoughts on “Anatomy of a Mini-Hurricane

    • We need to be. In spite of all the development, asphalt paving, and hordes of winter visitors, nature is never very far away. As for thin blood, don’t look at me. I hate hot weather more every year, even though I ‘m a native. I don’t EVER turn on the heat, even when we have a freeze, and it’s 19 degrees outside. I’ve lived in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Alaska, and fared just fine. Give me cold weather over hot any day. 🙂 I’ll be housebound now until October, pretty much. Don’t get me wrong. I have my limits. Fargo, North Dakota is right out. But oh, how I long for the mountains of North Carolina, snowy winters and all.

      And yes. It scared the bejeebers outta me, and I’m no newbie when it comes to storms. We sustained some roof damage from this one, but won’t know how serious it is until Mark gets up there this weekend and takes a look.

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      • I have to ask, why would you move to Florida if you hate the heat? I love having four seasons. Oh, and the bugs. Florida has some gigantic insects. And don’t get me started with gators and pythons. Eeek! I’d love to visit because it’s a beautiful place if memory serves, but I’d probably need an air conditioned suit of armor at this point in life. LOL

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        • I was born and raised here, though I’ve lived in other places briefly (my son was born in PA). Both of my husbands have been transplants from the north who loved Florida. Mark really doesn’t want to live anywhere else, so it’s a choice between him or heading north alone. He’s winning. So far. 😀 I keep hoping for that little cabin on a mountain in North Carolina, where I can escape when I need to, but so far, alas. No cabin.

          There are things about Florida I love. Our winters are fabulous for gardening. I’m outdoors a LOT then. I love our rivers and ALL our wildlife, to include those gators and snakes. I’m a reptile lover, in addition to being an ardent birder, and you don’t get much better birding than we have here. I love canoeing, and can do it 12 months a year, here, though my back isn’t happy with that idea these days. My kids live here.

          Mostly, it’s the heat in the summer that does me in, just as the cold in the winter keeps a lot of folks inside several months up north. But yes, if I had my heart’s desire, I’d be in the mountains at least half the year. I’d be here the other half, gardening right through the winter. 😀

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            • YES! That’s why I’m writing like a thing possessed, and am on my 4th novel in just over 2 years!! And have no life, except that of sitting here at the computer all day. And go to bed with nothing but dreams of words, words, words in my head! 😀 I will FIND a way!!! I’ve earned that cabin! I want it!!! With a fern-lined stream out back, and a waterfall nearby, and…and…and autumns with piles of pumpkins on every porch, and skeins of wild geese overhead, and fiery-red maples lining every road. Somebody stop me, quick, before I hurt myself just thinking about too many mountain wonders! 😀

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