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The Jedi Master

My First Hail Storm

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All right, so a big storm came through my town and hail started falling. Good-size, too--almost a half-inch. Luckily, I was indoors and nothing was damaged, but it was my first one, so it was kind of scary.

What was your first big storm?

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I was on a backpacking trip in the Sierra mountain range, California, USA. I was about 10. My dad and I were in a tent when it began to rain lightly. Then it felt like the sky was ripped asunder and water flooded into the tent and soaked my sleeping bag, me, and my clothes. Lightning was going off everywhere.

I couldn't wait to go on another trip. I'm sadistic like that.

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I was on a backpacking trip in the Sierra mountain range, California, USA. I was about 10. My dad and I were in a tent when it began to rain lightly. Then it felt like the sky was ripped asunder and water flooded into the tent and soaked my sleeping bag, me, and my clothes. Lightning was going off everywhere.

I couldn't wait to go on another trip. I'm sadistic like that.

I'll admit. I lol'd pretty damn hard.

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Still trying to determine when my first big storm was. It had a huge impact on me, because it was the event that got me interested in meteorology, AND got me watching the Weather Channel nearly ALL the time, which... for an ADHD pre-teen, is quite an accomplishment.

From the research I've been able to do, it was in 1989, probably in July, and a MASSIVE lightning storm rolled through my area and then went into NYC. It was significant enough that TWC had video footage of the storm. Lightning bolts literally every second, for up to 15 minutes in the dark, with the power out. Freaking incredible. Even now, the thought of how much electrical energy that was discharged in that event is mind-boggling.

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Look up time-lapse video of the April hailstorm in Lake Orion, Michigan. Tornado-speed winds.

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What was your first big storm?

Probably Alicia. I don't remember the actual storm, but I remember damage in the area afterwards.

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Well there are usually a few tornado warnings in my area each year, but one storm tht really sticks out in my min was a few ears ago. You couldn't see three feet in front of you the rain was so bad and debris were flying around. That was my first big storm.

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I was once camping at a lake a few years ago. There was a tornado that touched down a few miles away from me and I could see it.

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Being originally from Florida, I couldn't even guess. Maybe my second day in this world, for all I know. Miami is crazy like that. Hurricane Floyd was in the area when my brother was born, too. For me, storms are simply a part of life. I think how people take them is based on where they're from and the normal in that area.

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What was your first big storm?

Probably before I was old enough to remember. I lived in Tornado Alley most of my life. My main memories of hail, however, are from when I was old enough to own my own house in Arlington, Texas. I owned that house for 3 years and put 2 roofs on it due to damage from baseball-sized hail. Fortunately, I moved elsewhere (and went back to renting) just before folks in that area had to start buying hail insurance separate from basic homeowner's, like with flood insurance.

During one of these storms, the guy who lived across the street from me had like the 4th or 5th largest hailstone ever recorded hit his house. This was 15-20 baseball-sized hailstones welded together into a wad about like a rugby ball . It went through his roof (composite shingles on 1/4" plywood decking), through his ceiling (6" of insulation over sheetrock), through the coffee table in his living room (1/2" pine with oak veneer), not stopping until it reached the slab.

If your car looks like a golfball, you might live in Tornado Alley.

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Hail fell here in Pittsburgh today.

As for my first storm, just Google "Blizzard of '77". I'd daresay most of you have never lived through a storm like that.

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