I Failed At Storm Chasing

Today was a great combination for a weather geek like me: I had the day off, and there were lots of severe thunderstorms.

Turbulent looking clouds over Burlington today as severe thunderstorms roamed Vermont

It was time to go on a storm chase. But, as is always the case it seems, things went wrong.

The first storm warning said the severe weather would hit Georgia Center, Vermont. So I positioned my truck in the parking lot of Georgia Elementary School, which has a nice view to the west. That’s where the storm was coming from.

Some of the lightning bolts were impressive, but I could see the worst of the storm was going to pass just to my south. So I would drive south on Route 7 for a few miles to catch the best storm drama.

Not so fast. A dog that was terrified of the close lightning bolts and thunder ran to my truck and cowered beneath it, shuddering. There was no way I could drive away without running over the dog.

I then realized the dog was jumping with every close lightning hit, and I worried it would burn itself on the hot parts beneath the truck. I had to find the the dog’s owner.

I decided to coax the dog into the elementary school, where at least it would feel a little safer. It was pouring, so we were both soaked by the time the dog was in the school.

I found the dog’s owner. It was the guy I saw who was weed wacking in front of the school before the storm hit. He left the dog out in the storm. He had to have known the dog was afraid of storms, that jerk.   Unless the dog had run away from him in a panic, but I doubt that.

As I was leaving the school, a woman in a room yelled at me, “What are you doing in the school without a shirt on,?” (I’d removed it to be out in the downpour with the dog.)

I replied loud enough for the dog’s owner to hear:  “Getting the dog who was abandoned out in the storm inside so it wouldn’t panic so much.”

I got in the truck and moved south. The storm got much more interesting with a torrential downpour, some wind, and a few hailstones the size of nickels and quarters banging onto the truck.

A thunderstorm crosses Lake Champlain southwest of Burlington Wednesday

I pulled over to film. Nothing. The battery died, and I had no spare. So you will not see a video of trees leaning ominously in the wind and torrents, and you won’t hear the bang! bang! bang! of the hail hitting my truck.

I went back home, and recharged the battery. Another line of storms approached. I gave chase. Of course, the storm weakened into garden variety, minor storms.


One Response to “I Failed At Storm Chasing”

  1. Another Unsuccessful Vermont Storm Chase « Matt-of-all-trades Blog Says:

    […] the last storm chase I did in July, this one was a bust. Unlike last time, nobody got in my way, my equipment didn’t fail. It’s just that […]

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