Monday, March 09, 2009

Not Flying Tonight

I'm not flying tonight because the forecast was poor. I'm just sitting in the hotel room with the TV on. Law and Order, or some similar crime drama, I think. But the weather is drowning out the TV. Here's a 60 second video clip as poor as the weather. There's enough ambient light that I can see the rain between the lightning flashes on my copy, but uploading to blogger drops the resolution enough that you only need look at the first few seconds to see all there is to see.

The beginning of this storm was a thunderclap so loud that the next morning when an airport dog barked at me it hurt my ears all over again. I would easily have believed that the sound was a bomb falling on the building. According to the desk clerk it set off part of the fire protection system, and guests were calling to ask what it was. The storm had been going on for at least fifteen minutes before I thought to film it, so this is actually a clip of the storm dying down. It was over perhaps fifteen minutes later. Just long enough for me to realize that I really should have turned off the TV before taking the video. You can use it for perspective and note that the TV volume is turned up fairly loud because ten years of sitting between engines has taken a toll on my hearing. It may need to be louder still thanks to that thunderclap. Plus the TV is in the room with me, while the audio of the storm is coming through a double-glazed window. I'd love to have a better shot of the sky, but you can see why I didn't want to go outside.

That would be quite something to fly through. The rain is forceful enough, and there may be some hail mixed in with it, without adding the speed of the aircraft to the impact. The weather is supposed to be good for tomorrow morning, though.


Anonymous said...

MMM yes... Texas T-storms. I've seen a front sending waves along a line between Dallas (+5C) and Houston (+28C). It took three hours to get airborne from IAH then we had to turn north and pick our way through the line...

A nicer gig to just sit it out in the hotel!

Fly safe.

Anonymous said...

"That would be quite something to fly through."

I'm thinking " fly through" in this sentence might be replaced with:

" tossed around in." or,

" flung about in" or perhaps more likely,

" have survived."

I can still remember watching a wall of anvil heads coming out of Kansas for southwest Missouri as a child. Glad you were on the ground during one of those world famous storms.

Anonymous said...


If my memory hasn't failed me, Sulako wrote a post a few years ago about how he wound up flying through a t-storm. Obviously he lived to tell about it, but the experience didn't sound fun.

There are also some crazy buggers out there who deliberately fly into convective weather for research purposes....

E said...

Flying through a thunderstorm is a bad idea... I've unintentionally done it (or at the very least I was waaaayy to close). This was a number of years ago in Texas flying north out of San Antonio at night in a small jet with no radar so I had to trust ATC.

We also had a car totaled (along with about half of the people in our city) due to softball sized hail... this was also in Texas.

And finally, we were in the middle of a huge storm in Florida much like the one you describe. One bolt of lightning hit so close that it blew one circuit breaker in our apartment!

(And just because I have two stories from Texas... well lets just say I completely agree with your assessment that Texas is just a bit "different" than the rest of the world.)