Tornados!

No, not in CA. I mean, you saw those gorgeous pictures of the coastline, right? We’re not even close to Tornado Country  anymore, thank God.

But our old home was hit by a bunch of tornados yesterday. We got reports all afternoon from friends, texting us from their bathtubs, worried about loved ones who were still out and about. Tornados happen every spring, but usually only on the outskirts of Dallas (aka, an hour away). It was always hard to explain to other how large the DFW metroplex really is– while a tornado was ripping something up a good 75 miles away, the sun could be shining where we were. It was like someone being concerned about a neighborhood in Whittier being disturbed when one lives in Santa Barbara.

But the reports that were coming in yesterday had me worried. These weren’t “tornado sightings”, these were actual tornados, dozens of them, all over the metroplex, leaving trails of wreckage. And a few were even headed straight for downtown Dallas where our old church stands.

One of the suburbs hit hardest was Arlington, home of the Cowboys Stadium and Rangers Ballpark. Thankfully, these structures were not hit at all (Arlington is the 49th largest city in the US, so the tornados were in another place entirely), but the news did mention a section of Arlington– Kennedale– that I know well, mainly because our dear friends the Pothoffs live there. It’s also where my car always used to break down on my way to and from teaching at St. Peter’s Classical School. Ah, good times, good times.

But everyone’s safe and sound, thank God. Storms like this only happen in DFW every 5-10 years– a big tornado that ripped up entire sections of downtown Fort Worth happened about 5 years before we moved there, 9 years ago, so I guess it was about time for another. Here are a few pictures though.

I only saw hail like this once or twice while living in Dallas-- yikes! This is why we paid extra $ for a garage 🙂 It's also why I laughed at everyone getting all amazed/scared at the slight sprinkling of hail we had in CA a few weeks ago. My question was, "Is it bigger than a golf ball? Because we should move our car, if so."

I used to drive by this sign every day on my way to work

One of the hardest hit suburbs was Lancaster, about 30 miles southeast of Downtown Dallas. This was from the tornado that was headed towards Dallas, but veered towards Arlington instead

A home in Arlington, near where our friends live

At least a dozen, just like this one, occurred all over

Also in Arlington...yup, those are flying semi trucks

More pics here:

Hail and Tornados!

We had a pretty crazy weather day over here! I left my piano lessons half hour early in order to beat the storm home. I’m a bit skittish, seeing as there was a similar, lesser in intensity, storm on Friday afternoon, wherein I was caught in hail whilst driving on the freeway (I ducked under an overpass and waited it out with a dozen other cars). It was miserable, so I took every precaution to avoid it today.

The sirens were going off for around 45 minutes. I am pretty certain that at one point, I saw a funnel cloud begin to descend from the clouds in the distance. We were pelted with golf-ball sized hail for around half an hour (it sounded like someone was throwing baseballs at our windows and roof!).

the size of hail that fell near us-- we were on the outskirts of the storm

The hail that fell 10 minutes from where I was teaching piano lessons, smashing windshields and denting cars

Here’s the scary thing: this video was taken from within the Unruh’s apartment complex.

Here’s a video that Jesse and I took. Take note of our AWESOME parenting skills.

Video of the Ice

The highway featured goes right by our house 🙂

Snowed in Birthday

Last night, it started snowing. Lots and lots. As a result, Jesse got to stay home from work yet another day! That’s two days this week (Tuesday and Friday)– his manager said that in his 9.5 years of working for Nationstar, they’ve never even closed once until now!

So, in honor of my birthday (25!! Quarter of a Century!!) Jesse made me breakfast– eggs, bacon, coffee and toast– in bed. Then, he watched G so that I could *GASP!* sleep for at least 2 consecutive hours! I am not kidding when I say this– those of you without children, SLEEP NOW WHILE YOU STILL CAN. Sure, you pulled all-nighters in college. So did I. THIS IS NOTHING LIKE IT. The only way I was able to get an hour nap yesterday was by turning over so that G could yank on my ponytail. Yup. I let my kid pull my hair for over an hour, just so I could get a nap. The craziest part was that I slept through it! Get this– including months 9 and 10 of being pregnant, it’s been HALF A YEAR since I slept through the night!

I digress. Once I awoke, feeling like a brand new person, we went out and played in the snow. G only lasted about 10 minutes– the cold, 19 degree wind kept stinging his face, seeing as that was the only part of him peeking out of his snow suit (sized newborn! Can’t believe his feet were the only thing too big for it!).

Plans for the rest of the day: Bubblebath by candlelight and dinner at Chili’s  (the only restaurant I want to eat at that’s close enough to avoid bad ice) with Julie and the Unruhs.

Here are some videos and pictures from the snow!

Unsuccessfully shielding G from the wind

Frozen pool fountain

Once again, borrowed from Jason. This is what the roads look like! Ice!!

Someone has a bit of cabin fever!!!

CBS Article

Interesting article about the weather. For instance, it’s the coldest it’s been in 15 years! That would explain why the -1 windchill last night did NOT feel normal!

2 Images

I have two pictures, one taken by Jason on a nice camera, one taken by me on a camera phone (can’t find the camera, too lazy to try!). You can guess which is which 🙂

What we did to block off our stairwell and save lots of $ on heat. Yes, that's a down comforter and a mattress 🙂

Those are definitely sleet pellets, not snow...

Snow-mageddon

That’s the term the weathermen in Dallas were using to describe the next couple of days. And that’s sure what it sounded like. Jesse and I were watching TV at around 11:30pm, when all of a sudden we heard a ROARING sound, like a train. And then, came the sound of “falling glass” (Courtney wanted credit for that description), pelting the windows.

Just last winter we had a record breaking 14 inches of snow, but this is different, for a variety of reasons.

1. The order in which things happened last night. When you have a sleet storm that freezes into ICE before the snow even arrives? What you get is a seemingly harmless and beautiful landscape. It isn’t until you WALK on it, that you realize you aren’t making any tracks (or, you realize that you’re flat on your back!). Instead, it’s 1-2 inches of THICK ICE. We can’t even park on our driveway right now– its at an incline, so our car just…slllliiiddddesss down.

2. The longeavity of it. Since this happened at the beginning of a 2-3 day stretch of under 30 degree temp., we are looking at it being here for a while. Seeing as every single surface is covered in ice (instead of just the usual bridges), Dallas’ transportation system doesn’t have enough equipment to sand everything. Business/schools/you-name-it might be closed until Thursday! Apparently, this is why half of the grocery stores have been completely cleaned out of all the staple food items– people ran out last night and stocked up on all the essentials, just in case!

3. The Super Bowl. It’s here this Sunday! Currently, DFW is shut down, seeing as all the runways are covered in ice. Naturally, clearing it up is going to be the first priority. But if visitors can’t get around this week? The Dallas economy has been planning for the Superbowl for the last couple of years, especially the businesses near the stadium. If that doesn’t pay out like they expected, there are going to be restaurants going bankrupt. People have even been renting their houses out for around $3k/day!!!

As far as we’re concerned, Jesse ALMOST went to work today. The automated number he had to call said that the company wasn’t opening until 10am, to give things time to “melt”. Yeah right. So, Jesse left for work around 9:15, hoping to slowly make it there. He knew there was trouble when the towel we had placed over our windshield “peeled” off, keeping its stiff board-like shape. After only getting 3 lights away, even determined Jesse admitted defeat. Every time he turned, he said, the car just kept going straight. Cars were sliding like bumper cars, all over the road! He called the automated number again and it said that Nationstar would be closed until further notice.

So we get to be snowed/iced in! We might ask the Unruhs if they want to hang out this evening. Jesse said that he felt comfortable driving to their place because (get this) it’s a straight shot, with only 2 turns. I told Courtney that we would probably just apply a little gas and then slide the rest of the way there!

So the 3 of us crawled back into bed and slept until 1:15pm this afternoon! Jesse’s currently making us cappuccinos in our new espresso maker. I’d say that our snow day is off to a great start 🙂

Snow?

Apparently, it’s supposed to snow all week! The high is only supposed to be 23 on Thursday! This is after 2-3 days of sunny 65+ degree weather. Oh, Dallas, make up your mind!

On the plus side, the day it’s for SURE supposed to snow is my birthday! Snow flurries for my birthday? I’ll take them.

Last February's snow

Floods

In case you didn’t hear on the National News, as an after-effect of Tropical Depression Hermione, Dallas was hit with major flooding today. We got over 10 inches of rain in 12 hours, which is more than half of CA’s avg. yearly rainfall, and a little less than a third of TX’s (for perspective). Many freeways and roads were closed. Our park across the street is now a lake, with even the bathrooms halfway submerged in water!

One of the pictures taken of Jesse's freeway commute home

An apt. complex about 3 miles south of ours. People were airlifted out of the 2nd story

More pictures here.

sob….

What’s worse than this?

Being 7.5 months PREGNANT in this…