Dogwood Winter 2015

Slow down, Spring.  Please, slow down.

Your longer days bid me linger in your presence.

But, you’re passing so quickly I hardly have time to enjoy you.  I’ll blink twice and you’ll be gone.

Stay with me…settle in and pass some time with me.  Stay a while and let me soak up your sweetness and savor your beauty.

Red tulips. Yellow daffodils.  Grape hyacinths.  Flaming forsythia.  Violet violets. Pink peach blossoms. Hot pink redbuds. Green clover. New leaf green.

You’re in such a hurry – rushing toward Summer…. Slow down.

Let me touch you…smell you…feel you…inhale you…enjoy you.

Pear blooms – nearly gone.  Redbud burst blooms a week ago.  Peach blossoms…dropping.

And, now…now Dogwood spreads its bracts, wider each day, pale green, greenish white, whitish green, whitish tan, whiter…then white as the flowers within them bloom.

Today, a cold front rolled through with rain and storms and wind.  Tonight the temperature will feel more like Winter than Spring and offers a promise of frost for Easter morning.

Dogwood Winter is upon us.

That’s two down.  Three more Winters to go.

#WorldMetDay

What a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday – World Meteorological Day.

I have a definite affinity to all things weather wise.

Excuse me – the sun’s shining and the sky is clear blue.  I’m going to celebrate.  I’ll let you guess what. 🙂

Specificity, to be specific

A quick glance at today’s forecast became a several minute event when I read the following:

ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TODAY AND THIS EVENING OVER
ABOUT THE SOUTHWESTERN TWO THIRDS OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE...AND A FEW
OF THOSE STORMS COULD BECOME STRONG TO SEVERE...WITH GUSTY
WINDS...HAIL AND HEAVY DOWNPOURS.

It went on to say there was only a 30% chance of this developing.  And, from the statement above, it (apparently) will be centered in one particular area.

The problem is…I’m not sure where that one particular area is.

The problem is what turned a second’s glance into a multi-minute glare.”

The problem? The specificity of the advisory – that’s the problem.

“…the southwestern two thirds of middle Tennessee…” – where exactly IS that?

I know what part of middle Tennessee is included in the southwestern designation – but what’s up with the “two thirds”?

Specificity in forecasting and weather advisory is a good thing – it can provide fast, easy information that says YES this is for your area, or NO it’s not.

But…sometimes specificity can muddy the clarity of the matter.

If you’re in the southwestern two thirds of middle Tennessee…heads up.  If you’re in the remaining southwestern 1/3 (and I assume you know who you are)…no worries.

God, Who Knows Best

It’s Thursday morning as I type this.  Between now and the time this post goes live, two full days will pass.

I can’t see into the future and I don’t know what the next 48 hours hold.

But, I know someone who does. And, I believe I can trust Him to know best concerning it all.

DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND HAIL WILL BE POSSIBLE AS A COLD FRONT
PASSES THROUGH THE MID STATE FRIDAY NIGHT. THE MAIN AREA OF
CONCERN IS ALONG AND SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 40. MIDDLE TENNESSEE
RESIDENTS WILL WANT TO MONITOR FUTURE FORECASTS FOR THE LATEST ON
THIS DEVELOPING WEATHER SITUATION.

March has not been a rocky month so far.  I wouldn’t say it followed the saying: March came in like a lion and out like a lamb.

As I type this I’ve no idea if all will be well when I awake Saturday morning – or if all is lost in the storm that’s forecast for Friday night.

We can hope, we can plan, we can move forward in doing what we can – but we only live in the present..the now…right now.  That’s all we have.

God, however, is present in the past, the present and the future.  God sees where I was…knows where I am…is already at work in my future.

What worries you about the future?  Why?

What can you do to ensure things work out as you desire?

Do what you can in the present to move things in the right direction and trust God with the rest.

Secondary Severe Weather Season

The National Weather Service issued a Special Weather Statement for our location. Within the statement was an overview of a weather system that would move into and through our area today.

At the end of the statement, this paragraph caught my eye:

WE ARE IN THE SECONDARY SEVERE WEATHER SEASON HERE IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE.  RESIDENTS OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE SHOULD STAY ABREAST OF THE WEATHER CONDITIONS ON SUNDAY…AND LISTEN FOR WARNINGS SHOULD THEY BECOME NECESSARY.

Secondary severe weather season?  That’s a new one for me.

Spring has always been a rocky time weather wise.  I’ve hunkered down many times and waited out severe weather – here and in other places we’ve lived.

But, in Autumn?  Well, yeah…down South where Summer hangs on tight and dies a hard, slow death.  Down South tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are not uncommon, even into late December.

But…here?

I’ve never really thought about there being a “secondary severe weather season.” In Georgia and Florida, it seemed ANY time was severe weather season. 😉

But, I guess any time you have cold arctic air overriding warm moist air, you have the makings of a messy situation and the potential for a rough ride.

Now, I can see where the North’s winter snow and ice storms can precipitate the need for the declaration of a “secondary severe weather season,” but…here?

Apparently so.

All I know to do is to keep an eye to the sky…an ear on the weather forecast…an ice scraper handy, and my bug-out-bag nearby. That way I’m prepared for anything. You never know what this secondary severe weather season will serve up!

What? You don’t have a bug-out-bag?

You should. And, so should every member of your family.

(You probably already have a rudimentary B.O.B and don’t realize it.)

Emergency preparedness is not a fad or a hobby, it’s a way of life.

Be Red Cross Ready.

Be prepared.

Be secondary severe weather season smart – update your evacuation plan.

What?? You don’t have an evac plan? For the sake of those you love…take a few minutes and create one.

Storm Approaching

(Monday morning 8:17 a.m. )  A strange, sustained, high-pitched sound has continued for the past 5 minutes.  It’s unlike anything I’ve heard in my 54 years.  It’s like when my ears ring, only much louder. And, it comes from outside.

What is it?

I stand at the back door and watch the horizon to the West grow dark. Light rain begins to fall.

And, then, as suddenly as it began…it stops.

I slip into my computer chair and click on weather.gov radar for my area.  A line of storms is approaching.

In the northern portion of the county in which I reside, an area of the line is outlined with red (indicating a tornado warning), a “bow echo” boldly evident within the center of that outlined area.

My area is outlined with yellow (severe thunderstorm warning).

Perhaps, what I heard were tornado sirens? If so, it’s unlike anything I’ve heard before and certainly would not call me to take shelter.  I’m accustomed to “air raid” type sirens that raise the hair on the back of my neck and prompt a surge in adrenaline. But, I’m also new to this area, so what I’m accustomed to may not be norm here.

This siren would not wake me from sleep.

And, it sounds again.  Not loud.  Certainly not loud enough for me to hear if my doors were closed and my blinds drawn.

I rise once again and walk to my back door.  The high, piercing sound is easily blown away by the gusts of wind.  Surely, this is not a tornado warning siren.

I turn again to the radar, then click over to our local news page. A tornado warning is in effect for my county.

The sound ceases again.

Surely, that was not a warning siren.  The storms have not yet entered my county.

I research tornado warning sirens for my area and find that my county has recently updated – going from a tone to the old “air raid” warning siren, that I am familiar with – both from my childhood and from living in different locations.

Then, if what I heard was not the county wide warning siren…what was it?

I research further and find that Vandy University has recently begun using a siren specific to their campus to warn their area of imminent danger.

It’s possible the Vandy siren was what I heard.

I’m signing off now.  Our little tornado warning siren is sounding.  She’s a 9 year old doxie and when severe weather is near, she begins a strange little noise that increases as her agitation grows.

Thunder rumbles. It’s time to unplug and seek shelter.

Do you know the signs and sounds that announce severe/imminent danger to your work/home/school areas?