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Memories of a summer storm

Azores Hi


Below is a little story I penned shortly after a huge storm on the 19th July 2007. It was widely believed to be super cellular with high straight line winds, possible tornado damage near or around rye/eastbourne and very large Hail towards Canterbury.

The day had been one of those hot, sticky days. The sort of day that the sweat clings to your skin and no amount of cooling margaritas can quench the oppressive humidity (although there is no harm in trying).

Watching telly with my Fiancée we exchanged a glance which spoke volumes about how we were feeling, too tired to change the channel we sat and sweated and stared at the screen.

As we sat there I sensed a vibration, barely audible, I felt the noise rather than heard a rumble. I shrugged it off and continued with the task of perspiring languidly.

But soon enough the vibration came again, a gentle rumble, deep and resonant, the window rattled gently in its frame. My curiosity aroused I turned to my partner.

“Was that thunder?”

“Was what thunder?” She replied.

Not being a huge weather fan like myself she was not tuned in, but like my fellow weather fans I spend most of my summer, chained to the models and the weather reports hoping beyond hope for the chance of a storm. At the mere possibility of a storm I leapt from my seat, strength and purpose renewed!

I rushed through the open door into the murky stillness of the hot afternoon. As I did so I looked up and around, not immediately seeing an approaching storm, I was half expecting another false alarm and my spirits momentarily sank, was it just a distant lorry I heard?

And then I saw it.

To the south west, about 20 miles away a huge, towering thunder head! I looked it up a down, instantly recognising it as something special, its base seemed to be near the town of Rye on the south coast, its sides towered upwards and it leaned heavily to the north, as I continued to look up to see its anvil, already well developed streaming up over the county, nearly stretching over the top of me. I realised then that this storm was something special, a real monster, a potential super-cell!

“Oh cr*p, where’s the camera?” I exclaimed.

I raced back inside and fetched it, screaming excitedly at my partner, who just stared and continued to sit and perspire, she sighed and wearily fetched the camera for me.

“I expect you'll be off chasing it? Get me some more ice while your out, I feel the need for another cocktail.”

“I’m not going anywhere, this beast is heading right for us”

The next hour and a half was spent in rapture, one of the best storms of my life, the lightning flickered through the sky and the thunder was deafening. I crouched in the green house as the gust front hit, half petrified and half joyful, taking shot after shot.

I returned to the house, breathless with excitement

“How was your storm dear?” asked my Fiancée.

“Better than sex”

Not the most tactful statement I admit, she sighed again and poured me a drink.

“Enjoy sleeping on the couch do you?”


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