Yesterday, July 31st (I think that can safely be called the height of summer), the biggest storm I've seen around here in a while, perhaps ever, rolled into town. It started with a few sprinkles, then the lightning started flashing and the thunder started booming. Before I knew it, the thunder didn't sound away off, but more like it was right overhead. Just in case, I turned off my computer, and unplugged it from the wall (power surges can fry it, I've heard). Then the really heavy raindrops started pounding on the roof and walls. I got up to look outside, and right about then, the rain turned to hail. I thought the big raindrops were noisy on the house, but the hail turned it up to rock concert levels of loud. I took a few pictures after the storm passed. Here's a shot of the pile of hail in the backyard. I felt like I might be able to make a snowman out of it.I decided to grab the video camera. I started filming out the back door, my daughter and her friend at my side screaming about the crazy weather. I turned the camera to get their impression of the storm, and they screamed and ran away. When I turned back, I saw why. The wind had shifted, and the hail, rain, and wind were blowing right in the open door. I quickly pushed it shut.
"Let's go look out the front door then," I said.
Opening the front door, we were again amazed by the ferocity of the storm. There was a river flowing through the gutter, threatening to overtake the street altogether. More pictures from afterwards, the river was still flowing down the street for several more minutes. Many of my neighbors had water flood into their basements.
As I stood their filming out the front door with my camera, remarking on the size of the gutter river and so forth, my daughter said, "Daddy, your windows are open!"
I looked at my car, and she was right. I had taken a quick trip down the street in my car that morning, and rolled the windows down, since the air conditioning wouldn't have enough time to cool the car off. When I'd gotten home, I'd neglected to roll the windows back up. It's the middle of the summer after all, I wasn't expecting the storm of the century.
"Crap," I shouted. I set the camera down, and dashed out into the fury to get the windows closed. My head was painfully pelted with hail as I dashed, and the short period I spent in the storm completely drenched my clothes though, but I managed to get the windows up. It was way too late, however. Both front windows had been open, and due to the fury of the storm, there was hail and puddles of water all over the back seat of the car. If I could have wrung out the car like a dishrag, I'm certain it would have made it's own river to flow through the street. Here's a picture of the pile of hail in my driver seat.The entire dashboard was completely soaked. I think everything still works, but don't be surprised if I have to take out one of those salvage titles on my car like you see on cars that have been submerged in flood water.
We went out to pizza later on, and even though I put a towel over my seat, the water still soaked all the way through and moistened the seat of my pants. Hopefully we'll get a bit of hot weather for the next few days, and I can leave my windows open to dry it out.