un vent violent EST possible! ooh la la…

Only the very sound sleepers in the Grenoble area got much rest last night. The rest of us rubbed our bleary eyes and drank extra coffee after one very fierce storm blew through. And I think this is the first time I have actually watched a storm blow through the area.

At first, we could just see the lightning in the skies across the valley from our house. It was really a spectacular show… the lightning first would light up the sky just above the mountains straight across from us then it would light up the sky over Grenoble to our right. I don’t know if it is because we are high up with a wide view but I’ve never seen lightning do that before.

Then, Bill pointed out how we could see a cloud moving over the mountain directly across from us. I don’t know how long it took but pretty soon that cloud blocked our view of everything. No mountain, no city, no lights. Nothing. Just the trees outside our house blowing and bending in the wind… and debris flying all around. It was a little scary. I asked Bill for reassurance that there are no tornadoes in the mountains, but he couldn’t answer definitively. (he’s the scientific one in this relationship; he is supposed to know these things)

Since the lightning display got considerably less interesting when we became engulfed in the cloud, I gave up on watching and went downstairs for some water. Then it sounded like the house was under attack. Hail was beating on our tile roof and our metal shutters. It sounded horrible. And pretty scary. Then I was glad that Bill was home, even if he apparently isn’t the science expert I’d taken him to be all these years. We opened the shutters to look at what was making all that racket. Pea sized hail was bouncing all over the place.

Now, I have seen the movie Twister. First we had debris. Then hail. If the donkey from across the street had blown by our window I’d have known for sure we were being hit by a tornado.

I tried to go to sleep but it was hard given that the sliding glass door in our bedroom was open so that Bill could take pictures of the storm. This morning, I found pieces of that debris in my clothes. (our shelves that are the French version of a closet are right by the door)

When I took Kaitlyn to school this morning I saw that that bit of debris is nothing to complain about. The road was coated with leaves and twigs. (by afternoon our town’s street sweeper was out tiding up) The school’s playground was also quite a mess. A big tree in the middle of the schoolyard lost two huge branches. Kids were having fun sweeping up the mess with brooms. The teachers looked less thrilled with the clean-up.

Fortunately the forecast for the next week does not include any storms. Of course, that forecast does change frequently (often if you check in the afternoon it has changed since the morning). It’s not just fortunate so that the mess can be all cleaned up. It’s fortunate because I looked up the answer to my science question myself. And here’s what I found from NOAA:

MYTH: Areas near rivers, lakes, and mountains are safe from tornadoes.
FACT: No place is safe from tornadoes. In the late 1980’s, a tornado swept through Yellowstone National Park leaving a path of destruction up and down a 10,000 ft. mountain.

Now I have to find out if they have tornado sirens here… or if they just shrug their shoulders, eat a baguette, drink more wine and mutter …. c’est la vie.

2 Responses to “un vent violent EST possible! ooh la la…”

  1. Debbie says:

    I wish I could have seen that storm. You’ll have to show us the pictures! Maybe we’ll get lucky and have a storm while we are there visiting. 🙂

  2. D.A.D. says:

    I know I like rain, but that sounds nerve-wracking. (racking?) (racquing?) (graccking?) anyway, glad everyone is safe and the burrow still only goes down the road, not flies by the window (I didn’t learn how to say that in Spanish in high school, as there is only rare need to describe flying burrows.) (I have learned in real life is rare need to describe a burrow going down the road, either).

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