Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Rumble-Dumble-Dum of Thunder

As I type I hear the rumble-dumble-dum of thunder outside my office window. The sound is long and rolling and somehow slightly comforting in that it is NOT acute crashing thunder.

I love rolling thunder. Especially in the middle of the night when it awakens me long enough to notice the storm outside. That kind of thunder allows me to roll over and snuggle deeper into the blankets because I know we are safe from the distant lightning. To my way of thinking low rumbly thunder is merely pleasant background noise to rain.

The crashing kind of thunder indicates ground strikes of lightning close at hand. Light travels faster than sound. The time delay between the lightning flash and the resulting thunder tells us the approximate distance of the lightning. When we were kids we counted the seconds between lightning and the resultant thunder. If I remember correctly, five seconds meant the lightning was approximately 1 mile away from us. If we could count "one-chimpanzee" five times we knew we were safe. It's when you see the flash and instantly hear a gigantic "BOOM" that you know the strike is close...dangerously close.

About an hour ago we watched the local weatherman on Channel 9 as he pointed out the path of the storm on a radar map. He indicated a tornado touchdown about 7 miles NNW of us and traveling in a direction away from us.

I took these two photos at the height of the storm. The first photo was taken out our back door with the camera pointed NNW in the direction of the tornado at about the time it was sighted. The orange of the sky was fascinating.

The second photo was taken only moments later. The camera is pointed out the front door and shows the sky to the SSW. The color of the sky was totally different. It merely looked like dark storm clouds.

To the north of us, in the direction of the tornado, we had this peculiar orange sky. To the south of us the sky was merely stormy dark.

Weird. Awesomely weird.


Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Oh how I love to hear thunder.....A few hours of Sunday blog hopping. Hope you will stop by for a visit...I am giving away gifts on both of my blogs this week, all week....

Happy Sunday

Twain12 said...

glorious pictures

Diane said...

Gorgeous pictures, and what a difference by just changing direction!

Have been listening to the rumble of thunder and counting the seconds between lightening and sound since 3 a.m. Raining, too. Did I mention I'm supposed to be seeing Third Day at the Fair tonight? It should get hot and steamy, but the chance of storms (some "severe") stays with us all day.

Storms are so much nicer when you can roll over and pull up the covers!

Debby said...

The reason for the orange (or mud yellow)sky when a tornado is about is that the thing is sucking huge amounts of dust and debris into the air. In Michigan, we were always taught to watch the sky during tornado weather. If we saw that hue, to take cover. ASAP. A couple three weeks ago, we had a violent thunderstorm, and the world turned golden. Just a golden hue to everything. I tried to capture the color of it, but could not. The sky was yellow. We found out that a tornado had gone north of us doing quite a bit of damage.

melissa said...

Beautiful photos, and I'm with you...thunder, the sort you describe is wonderful to hear during the night. Very cozy. :)

Kelly said...

Great photos!

I always remember being told that each second equaled a mile. Your version sounds more logical. I just know that if you hear the crash just as you see the flash, it right on top of you!!

Whidbey Woman said...

Beautiful, but eerie photos!
Keep safe in this wild weather.

Elle Bee said...

Distant thunder evokes so many memories for me! I spent my childhood summers in Kansas. Coming from California, that was something special because in CA, we don't really have "weather". I miss it. There's just something different about that humid, thunder-laden air.

Laurie M. said...

That is very strange indeed.

I have an inordinate fear of tornadoes, having almost been caught in one once, in Arizona of all places. Anyway raised in So. Cal. earthquakes don't rattle me a bit, but that funnel cloud put the fear of God in me.