Some things are worth remembering, especially when its related to wild weather. Hi, I'm Dave Thurlow and this is the Weather Notebook. Today, correspondent Bob Henson shares his childhood memory of a particularly dark and stormy night in tornado-ridden Oklahoma. It was the last night of April, thirty-one years ago, and a storm was on its way. I was a nine-year-old weather junkie growing up in the heart of Oklahoma City. My neighborhood was full of two-story homes, but there was just enough space between the trees and the rooftops to keep my eye on the western horizon. And on nights like this, after the rest of my family had gone to bed, it was just me and the sky. I knew that tornadoes usually struck in the afternoon, but they could hit any time of night in Oklahoma.
By 1 a.m. a cluster of storms was racing toward us. I could see them on the crude black-and-white radar they showed on our local TV station. Each sweep of the radar beam was like a windshield wiper, but instead of clearing away the storms, it only made them look brighter and more ominous, like glowing white tumors on the move.
By 2 a.m. our roof was being pounded by hail and rain, and the lightning was constant. The TV station was knocked off the air. I knew something really bad was happening. But it wasn't till the next afternoon that I learned just what it was. A major tornado had struck only four miles west of our house. Over a thousand homes were damaged and about 50 people were hurt. My only injuries were internal, a psychic bruise to that part of myself that trusted nature to be kind and gentle. I never slept quite as well during storms after that one night showed just how cruel April can be.
That's writer Robert Henson. The Weather Notebook is supported by the National Science Foundation and Subaru.