Friday, 21 September 2012

HAIL-el-lujah, it's storm season!

On Tuesday night just after 8:30pm we got a storm. 
I love storms, they are beautiful, calming & so entertaining. I love them more than I love sunsets and y'all should know how much I appreciate a good sunset!
So the weather had been a bit odd that evening and I noticed that during the night it was pretty windy & it was a strange wind, hard to describe but it was just unusual... Also the sky was a beautiful navy blue colour, it was really cool.  
At around 8:30'ish I saw one of my Facebook friends post a photo of a piece of hail from the storm he was getting at his house that was maybe 20 minutes from where we live, at this point we were just getting a few heavy rain drops.
You can see the heavy rain drops on the laundry rooms roof. (You can also kind of see my pretty flowers I grew!!)
So Trent decided to put his ute in the garage, just as he got down stairs we got hail. Now this lot wasn't huge, maybe a small pea size. We got the ute undercover and waited in our laundry room watching the storm... 3 different lots of hail fell, each getting bigger. Our storm was no where near as intense as the hail that a town a few hours from us got (their hail looked like snow) but still this was our first storm of the season and it was fantastic, lightning, thunder & hail! I can't even remember the last time I saw hail, so I was excited! (Yes, small things amuse me...)
HAIL!! To me it looks like snow, but I've never seen snow, so this is my version of snow - haha!
Hail, 18.9.2012. Toowoomba.
Poor little strawberry plant got hailed on!
Most of the hail was about pea size.
These were some of the bigger pieces of hail we got!
When I walked outside and saw Daisy curled up in her cupboard I knew we were about to get a storm. She hates them & is terrified so she hides in the outdoor broom closet we have at the top of our back stairs. We leave it open all the time for her & put blankets down in it, she loves it because only she can fit in there & Duke can't! 
Duke laying on his bed waiting for the storm to pass...
After the storm passed and Trent went to bed, I stayed up a little longer, entertaining myself on the internet and just when I was about ready for bed (this was around midnight) I heard the thunder returning and lightning was lighting up my lounge room, so I grabbed my camera and tried to get some photos. Well, that failed miserably because for some reason my darn cat (Spook) was wanting to escape outside (my kitties are strictly indoor cats only and trying to take photos whilst standing in a doorway, trying not to get wet & keeping a cat inside is next to impossible, so I gave up!) 
But these are some of the shots I managed to quickly snap;
These photos were taken after midnight out my front door. I just had it on the 'no-flash' setting. The bottom one is from when lightning lit up the sky. Unfortunately I couldn't see any bolts from my house but we were getting the 'light up effect' in the sky, which resulted in the beautiful purple sky. Sorry it's a bit blurry the one shot I get with some 'lightning' effect the darn cat tried to run out the door. I really like the top 2, you can see how 'navy blue' the sky is & the storm clouds! 
So that was my exciting Tuesday night! Was yours entertaining?
According to weather forecasters this storm was just the beginning and we are in for a lot more storm action this season! So I am excited, I love a good storm! But in saying that it is smart to be prepared for storm season. A few basic rules are;

  • Try and keep your cars parked under cover to reduce the risk of hail damage.
  • Clean up around your yard & secure anything that could be picked up by wind. 
  • Trim loose or dying tree branches. Call in the professionals though if they are really high or over power lines!
  • Keep your phone charged. (If my power goes out my home phone doesn't work as it is cordless, so I always have my phone charged)
  • I grew up on a property I remember that if we lost power our water didn't work (as we were on tank water) so it's just habit that I always have 'spare' water in the fridge... Now that I live in town I don't face that problem as much, but I always still have extra supplies. 
  • Make sure you have torches handy & that they actually work.
  • Have a first aid kit, just in case.
  • Keep an eye on your pets, some animals run away during storms because they are scared. I am lucky that Daisy just sleeps in her little cupboard area, Duke isn't even phased by them! So make sure their registration/I.D tags are on & their microchip details are also up to date! 
  • Have a safe & dry place your pets can be in during the storm/rain. If it is storming I often open the back door & pat Daisy and let her know it's all ok...
  • If you are driving in a storm, use common sense! Everyone seems to turn into a terrible driver as soon as rain starts! So slow down, turn your lights on, use your wipers and if the rain is to heavy pull over and wait it out somewhere safe.
  • If a storm does hit, it is smart to turn off appliances such as TVs, CD players, computers , microwaves etc.
  • Keep an eye on weather forecasts and take note of storm warnings. 
  • Do not play in storm water drains, ever! 
  • If you do want to take photos of a storm do it from undercover & somewhere safe. 
There are a ton more tips, but a lot of storm safety is just pure common sense, which I assume you all have!
I keep up to date with all my storm warnings/info on this facebook page; Higgins Storm Chasing! I find it really informative & the team that run it is great! I also regularly check BOM  & keep an eye on my weather updates on my iPhone and the nightly news. But honestly I find 'HSC' to be the most reliable, so if you live in Queensland or even Australia I suggest you head on over & like their page!
As I've said I really love storms, but they can be very dangerous & destructive. So please use common sense this storm season & stay safe!
Love you all.

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