My wife Kalebra has always been fascinated with severe weather, which is handy since so much of it comes our way. She was born and raised in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, (known as the Lightning Capital of the World), so she grew up living with everything from massive thunderstorms to hurricanes and tornadoes, which is why I think my wife is so interested in learning about severe weather.
When you grow up dealing with stuff like this, the pendulum doesn’t usually stop in the middle; you’re either terrified of it, like one of Kalebra’s sisters, or really fascinated with it, like Kalebra is.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised when she told me she wanted to spend a week out in the midwest with a team of meteorologists (and other weather freaks), chasing storms, and learning about them up close and personal. And last week, that’s exactly where she was (where she captured the photo you see above, taken last Saturday, where they saw 11 tornadoes in one day).
By the time she left for the trip; she had company as Moose Peterson, Laurie Excel, and her brother had all signed on for the week of running for their lives, too (Moose has chronicled the week on his blog–here’s the link).
The people on the trip mirrored the people I talked about above; some were there to overcome their fear by facing it head on, and others were there (including native Oklahomans) who were just as fascinated with learning about the weather they have deal with as she was.
The group she went with was called “Tempest Tours” and when I asked her what she thought, she said, “Do they know what they’re doing? Absolutely! Were the guys in charge (Bill, Brian, Keith, and Steve) knowledgeable? Absolutely. Do they mean it when they say, ‘It’s not about the food or the lodging? Absolutely!”
All in all she learned a great deal, had a great time, saw some amazing weather, and got a real insight into what people who live in that part of the country have to deal with each year. Would she do it again? Absolutely!