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Thursday, May 1st, 2008

In the Path of the Tornado

Tonight was my first serious tornado warning.

The sirens were wailing, the rain was falling, and the lightning regularly lit up the low overhead clouds. I, of course, was outside, looking for the circling cone, or at least the reported baseball-sized hail. What else did I have to do? My new episode of Lost was preempted by the weathermen.

Actually, the weather reports were fascinating. The maps showed the blue-green-red-green-blue surface map overlay, with the red focus heading slowly and inexorably towards me. The cacophony of the sirens emphasized the “tornado warning” spouted by the TV. But the animals were fine, and I knew that statistics were in my favor. The plot of the possible tornado, which included me, reminded me of plots of possible asteroid strikes.

I saw Greensburg, Kansas, just four days after that F5 hit. The devastation was awesomely impressive. But it was narrowly focused. I wasn’t afraid. Risk is purely statistical analysis factored with impact. Hell, if I survived a direct tornado hit, I could lose everything and have a great story. I’ve lost everything before. You survive, and when you shake yourself off afterwards, you haven’t lost as much as you thought.

So I was mostly outside, looking. It was disappointing. Frankly, I prefer a good 6.0 earthquake.

Posted by Greg in Posts About Me

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