Okay, there is one thing I like about hot summer days and that is thunderstorms. The bigger, the better (so long as they don't actually damage property, but we're already asking a lot from Mother Nature).
Thunderstorms add a spice to a summer day that doesn't exist for a day in spring or autumn. There is drama in watching the clouds billow, top-out and grow dark. If I could see a tornado heading away from me (preferably across an unpopulated field), it would be the most exciting moment of my life.
If I had taken a degree in meteorology, I'd probably be a storm chaser.
Erin and I took the day off yesterday and went to Burlington's Ikea. Along the way, the muggy summer afternoon broke in a line of thundershowers that brought heavy rains to Highway 401. They were remarkably well organized. When we turned off the highway and went down Highway 6, the rains stopped, the sun came out, and the road was dry. In the sun, the clouds were fluffy white, with wisps stretching out from the top of the anvil.
Returning from Burlington, we went up Highway 6 and found ourselves staring into a very large and very dark storm that stretched several kilometers at its base, at least. The clouds were grey-green, with even hints of a developing wall cloud and counter-rotation. We actually proceeded under the cloud for several minutes, along with several other rather nervous drivers before the rain hit. It took us several minutes to get through the cell.
On the other side, the sky was pink and the roads were soaked. It was glorious. I wished I had a digital camera.
No tornadoes were reported that day.
You just don't get excitement like that in spring.
Looking for links on this blog, I discover that, on June 23, tornadoes swept close by Aberdeen, South Dakota. Storm chasers called the supercell "the best storm of the year". No reports of any serious injuries or property damage. The bit of news that caught my attention was the statement that "an IMAX crew was in attendance".
I think I'll be paying a visit to the Ontario Science Centre's IMAX theatre, next year...