Jack’s weekly guest blog on something all Scots know a great deal about– bad weather
The last few days have seen me driving around a fair bit and, since we’re in the season of changing weather, checking the forecast pretty regularly. About four or five years ago we had a devastating tornado roar through the town taking off roofs and throwing big trees around like matchsticks, so a tornado watch alert has become a bit more of a big scary thing for me. More recently Wendy almost got caught in a very bad one that roared through East Tennessee and up into Virginia killing many people and practically destroying a number of towns and communities.
News reports starting coming in of serious damage and multiple deaths over to the South West of us a few days ago with indications that those tornado bearing storms were heading our way. On Monday the first local warnings began to appear and I went into ‘check the interactive map’ mode. Sure enough – there it was – a big angry looking swatch of red and yellow heading straight for us!
But there’s something odd about the way we sit behind the Cumberland Mountains that seems to regularly affect what happens to storms as they approach us from that direction. This one did what many do and split into two halves just before it got here. All we got was a brief gust of wind, very dark cloudy sky and a short blast of rain and that was it. One half went North of us towards Norton and Wise and the other half went South towards Pennington Gap and Duffield.
Later on Monday I had to go to an event near Pennington Gap and saw downed trees, scattered branches and flooded fields.
In Scotland, where I lived most of my life, although the weather can be unpredictable it’s rarely extreme. It does have storms and frequent high winds but rarely anything that would be life threatening.
It’s tempting to think that we are seeing the effects of climate change but I haven’t lived here long enough to know what the typical weather pattern is in this part of the world so my jury has to be out on that.
There is one Scottish saying that seems appropriate however – Ne’er cast a cloot ’til May be oot (don’t divest yourself of any clothing until after the end of May)