April 3rd, 2005

lion

As a certified stormwatcher, I recommend you skip this post

I went to training to become a National Weather Service-certified stormwatcher today (thank you, tidesong, for alerting me to the existence of Official Stormwatchers), and invited all the storm-loving locals I could think of to come with me. It was neat. Mostly sitting in a dark room watching videos of baseball-sized hail and crazy mudslides and tornados and learning how to identify and predict various aspects of them to call in a coherent report. (The documentation says, all in capital letters: DO NOT REPORT HAIL AS MARBLE-SIZED! MARBLES COME IN MANY DIFFERENT SIZES! Apparently this is a problem for them.)

My favorite weather formation is now the mesocyclone, which is a rotating cloudmass, indicative of a world-class thunderstorm forming. A giant silverdark swirl, like wool on a spindle or water moving over a rock, feeding raw power into a thunderstorm.

I am much looking forward to being able to say, "As a certified stormwatcher, I recommend walking in the rain," or, "As a certified stormwatcher, I recommend a mug of hot chocolate. With cinnamon."
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