Saturday, June 9, 2018

Stormy Weather

Sometimes a storm sneaks up on you a bit.  Other times, you get to watch from a distance as it rolls past the farm without going directly over it.  And sometimes, you get some advanced warning and prepare for it.

Today's episode was one we were watching for because the weather just felt like it was going to do it.  There were dark clouds to our northwest for some time, which allowed us to check radars and other resources with plenty of time to do all we needed to do in order to deal with potential downpours and heavy winds.

Looks like it could be serious, but plenty of time.
 In fact, we had time to get the camera out and take a series of pictures.  That is even rarer because that means we got everything pretty much closed up and prepared with time to spare.
Some very interesting clouds moving in opposite directions.
 Our afternoon activity just prior to this was to do a large tray planting with another succession of cucumbers, summer squash, brassica, lettuce and other goodies.  Since this work is done under shelter anyway, we had a good deal less to clean up than we might have if other tasks were on the list.
The first cell to the North was pretty serious.  Apparently some small tornadoes near/in Rockwell?
 It's the second cell developing south of that cell that we were concerned about at our farm.  We could see clouds moving different directions and the development of some interesting low clouds to boot.  There wasn't any bad looking rotation, nor was there evidence of super strong storm surge early on.
But, it got stronger as it got closer
 We had a moment in time where the sky to the South was still pretty bright, but the sky to the North.  Well, let's just say there was some amazing contrast between the dark sky and the red buildings and tractor that were still reflecting some of the light coming from behind me when I took the photo below.

I'd call that a deep slate blue.
 We did the "Typical Iowan" thing and stood outside for a while and watched this one roll in.  Neither of us was entirely happy about seeing this one come in because you could see it build up and get stronger as it approached.  We also had visions of the high tunnels at Grinnell Heritage Farm (our friends) being blown around by winds a few days prior to this.  We were not wanting our own version of this scenario.

Soon, the peas and carrots will be more visible in that field.
 On the plus side, the relatively slow approach of this storm, the presence of a stronger cell nearby and the lack of a bow in the radar image told us that we were not likely going to have a horrible "poof" coming our way.  On the other hand, this sort of thing often has a longer sustained wind.  At least that's been our experience at the Genuine Faux Farm.
Clouds can be beautiful, that's for certain.
 Sure enough, we got a fair amount of sideways rain and some sustained winds around 35 miles per hour.  The sky was inky black for a while and you couldn't see through the rain to assess whether the farm was still there or not.

At last count, we were over an inch of rain with more on its way.  We got 1.6" of rain yesterday and were glad for it because we needed it.  We're really not so sure we need more at this point.  But, we don't really get a say in the matter.  So, there you have it.

I guess all of the plans Rob and Tammy took the time to make for the next several days are going to have to be modified.  Such is the life of the Genuine Faux Farmers.

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