The time I became an unintentional storm chaser.

This morning I woke up with the intention of mowing my lawn. But one glimpse outside and then a look at the radar I knew that our grass was going to be left alone for the day. I was also a little anxious because I needed to get to Omaha today… and severe thunderstorm warnings don’t help that process.

I spent the day watch Dr. Who (my friends are to blame for this) and watching the radar, hoping that things would clear up. Finally, I saw and opening. The storms looked like they would be past the interstate as I was driving so I would be safe. Things were great for awhile, a little overcast but that was about it.

Then there was a spatter on my windshield.

The rain came slowly and then all at once forcing everyone driving to slow down to 40-50 mph and turn on their hazards. It was absolutely terrifying. What I was unaware of though, was that it wasn’t going to be the worst part of the drive. Slowly the rain began to peter out and the overcast sky was relatively clear.

Accept for one spot a few miles ahead and to the south of the interstate. One clump of the clouds was hanging down a bit. This looked sketchy. I kept my eye on it as I continued to make my way to York. Soon I began to see wisps of funnel clouds poke out. Whether you’ve seen one in real life or not, everyone in Nebraska knows what a rotating cloud looks like.

My chest began to tighten as if the air was being squeezed out slowly. The rotating cloud now formed a real funnel and it touched down. Just as quickly it went back up. By this time I was parked on the side of the interstate flashing my hazards, talking to my sister on the phone. The tornado continued to jump and touch back down until it had crosses the interstate and continued to swirl menacingly to the North.

I have been in a tornado before, but I had never seen a tornado actually happen. As my sister stayed on the line with me, she said some very comforting words, “Stay where you are, stay safe… take a picture.”

Now I’m in the safety of my aunt and uncle’s house in Henderson, waiting for the morning (yay for family!).

Oh, and here’s the picture.

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