While I will never complain about what has so far been a mild winter (even by Texas standards) it is weird as hell to have a spring/summer type of mega thunderstorm blow through in January.
The forecast for Friday was super doom and gloom. They were calling for straight line winds of up to 75mph, tornadoes, and lots of hail. The farm was along the southern most tip of the projected affected area so the forecasters went back and forth for days (and even the day OF) trying to decide if it would actually hit us or not, and when. I had extra shavings delivered, in case the horses had to stay in all day, and watched and waited. And waited. And waited.
By the time it finally formed and started marching across Texas, it was a couple hours later than they’d originally said. Every time I checked the weather app they’d changed their mind about whether or not it was going to continue to form far enough south to hit us. The storm was definitely just as nasty as they’d said, though. Some places were getting 70mph wind and golf ball size hail. Parts were dumping rain at a rate as much as 15″ per hour, but it was moving so fast that luckily no one really got too much. There were several areas of rotation that could be tornadic, and at one point one of them was pointing right at us. It was close to hurricane-like. We get a few storms like that per year, but never in JANUARY. So odd.
By 8 I could tell we were definitely going to get slammed, so I went out and gave everyone more hay, shut all the doors, and hunkered down inside. It hit around 9, and it hit very suddenly and violently. It sounded like a train was circling the house, the wind was howling so hard (50-60mph, they said later). The windows were rattling, the power was flickering, and I could hear things blowing around outside. The satellite went out and I lost the connection to the barn cameras, so the dog and I just sat and waited.
Luckily it WAS traveling really fast, so within 20 minutes it had passed over. I went out and checked on the horses, who seemed to have not even noticed. The rain had blown so hard that the entire aisle of the barn was soaking wet, but the horses and stalls were dry. Some of the ceiling insulation had blown out and I saw a lot of little scattered branches, but in the dark it was hard to tell much else. Since the horses and structures seemed to be fine, I went to bed.
The next morning the SO came and we walked the property checking for damage. Luckily the leaning power pole (that is slated to be fixed soon) hadn’t budged, and there was no major damage to any trees. Lots of little limbs down, and the bushes along the back of the house were blown completely over the fence, but considering the wind, it wasn’t bad at all. The letters from the dressage arena and my jumps were blown all over the damn place, though. My barrels were scattered across various ends of the pasture, blown up against the fence. But, thank goodness, that was all easily fixed.
We had everything sorted and cleaned up by Saturday afternoon, so no real harm done. That was a completely bonkers storm though, for this time of year. Hail and tornadoes in January?? And Dallas had all this same weather on Friday night, then SNOW on Saturday morning. What the heck? Luckily it wasn’t even all that cold down here, much less snowing… that would have made me exceedingly grumpy.
Global warming is nuts. Anyone else having crazy weather?